It is possible to feel the exile only on condition that a person wants to reach bestowal, invests much effort in every way possible, and sees that he is not able to attain what is desired with his own powers.
Then, to the degree of his suffering and effort, it is possible to declare that he feels he is in exile as if they are holding him by the hands and feet and won’t let him break through to bestowal. He tries with all his might to break free, yet something stops him and doesn’t let him do this.
He seems to succeed at something, but ultimately it turns out that all of this was for his own sake. He tries again and discovers that he gets the power and the vigor from his ego. He intended to do this and he supposed that his work was for the sake of Heaven, that it was pure bestowal, and suddenly he discovers that all of this was for the sake of his desire for pleasure that deceived him. All of this brings the feeling of the Egyptian servitude and exile.
From Rabash’s article, “What is the blessing, ‘Who Has Made a Miracle for Me in This Place’ in the Work?”: And it must be known that a person is under the control of a desire to receive for himself, it is called the “Egyptian exile.” For when we enter into this work, the magnitude of the dominance of evil in one is gradually revealed.
As it is written, “…and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage….” (Exodus 2:23), meaning that they began to work on bestowal and saw that they were unable to do this work because the Egyptians dominated them. And then they saw that they didn’t have the ability to leave the Egyptian exile, but the Holy One, blessed be He, could take them out.
This is a great revelation, discovering, first of all, that I am not free. A second thing is that it fills me with the spirit of impurity that dominates me and forces me to act egoistically, only for myself.
This is not even for my own good, for there is me and there is some kind of spirit that enters into me and fills me inside. This evil spirit constantly eats at me and pushes me toward acting for its sake and benefit.
I am separated from the spirit that exists in me, and I hate it, yet I cannot do anything with it. This is like a cancerous tumor inside, and I dream of being freed from it, yet I cannot. After I try with all my might to be freed from it, I discover that only the higher power above me, only a miracle, can help me remove this spirit of impurity that obligates me to work for its benefit at every moment, and I constantly search for how to fill myself. Basically, it is not even for myself, but for it.
This is the feeling of subjugation and the discovery that only the higher power is prepared to release me from it. I am entirely under this control that fills me and shackles my hands. Only one point of observation remains in me from which I can see that this strange force dominates me and surrounds me. It is the only thing that fills my heart and mind.
Precisely from this point that remains, I can connect with the Creator. I don’t have the ability to do anything with this spirit and foreign dominance within me, and so the need to turn to the Creator appears in me in contrast to this evil internal dominance.
It becomes clear to me that there can be another good dominance, and I want to turn toward that. This means that I have located the Creator. This is because what existed before, which I imagined was the higher power, didn’t belong to that at all. Rather, this was the same Pharaoh.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/1/14, Writing of Rabash