Following the path of suffering is like a naughty child that is spanked until he says that he wants to study. Do you want to? Please, advance. He takes one step forward and again doesn’t want to so he has to be beaten once more until he says that he wants to and advances again.
This is the path of suffering which has a posterior and an anterior in each phase. In the posterior we receive great sufferings until death and wars, and then, having no choice, we agree and take a step forward the size of which is determined by the sufferings you receive. This is enough fuel for you to make you want to escape them, and this is how we advance.
Escaping the sufferings is the bad path. We still advance, but it is very hard because we receive blows at every point along that way until we finally breakdown and advance despite our laziness and stubbornness, escaping the sufferings.
The blows become increasingly more focused and eventually we begin to feel that it isn’t enough to simply escape the rod that catches up with us. I have already received so many blows, so why am I not moving? Why am I so stupid and stubborn? When will I ever learn?
This is what many people think these days when they look at our planet and see how we are ruining it and our lives, why do we arm, fight, and hate one another? How can we get rid of all that?
But all this isn’t enough to make a step forward. Our advancement has to be towards attaining a goal, not escaping blows like fleeing animals. We have to know the path, understand why it was given to us and for what purpose in order to advance as human beings.
This means that besides the force that pushes us from behind through sufferings, we have to develop a force that will pull us forward though the appreciation of love, bestowal, adhesion, wholeness, and the greatness of the Creator. Unless we have that force we will not be able to move and will not be able to get rid of the suffering. They will become increasingly greater in order to force us not simply to escape from them but to attain the greatness of the goal.
We shouldn’t think that the ordinary corporeal suffering in our world would help humanity overcome the crisis. We, Bnei Baruch, will have to approach people and show them the way so that they will be drawn to the good. Only then will they be able to advance.
From the 5th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/14/14, Writing of Baal HaSulam