Question: If everything is done by the Light, what exactly depends on a person in attaining the love of others?
Answer: A person has to try to perform certain actions. Not everything is determined by the Light, it also depends on the person. He tries, sees, and understands that he is incapable of performing them, and so he asks for help, cries out, and disagrees. This is where he participates in the process: in the work of the group on a person and in a person’s work on the group.
It is true that the Lights move the vessels, but the person and the group are combined and also the group with the teacher, and there is still the personal effort that a person makes in this combination.
If I begin to perform different actions in the group, for example, if I take kitchen duties although I don’t want to at all, but I do it because I am ashamed of others, because I want to be loved and respected, it means that my motives are egoistic.
Otherwise, I feel regret because I did it as a result of my ego and didn’t act by myself with the intention of love and bestowal. The feeling of regret comes later when I don’t work in the kitchen anymore, but during the study. These actions accumulate: my regret because I operated egoistically and also the actions themselves in which my ego helps me. This means that the evil inclination helps a person, “Pharaoh brings the children of Israel closer to our father in heaven.”
The fact that we see a great profit in spiritual actions and rush to perform them in expectation of a reward is actually thanks to the evil inclination. Without it we could not attain anything. But later I regret the fact that I did everything for my own sake and this sorrow draws the Light that Reforms. These two forces operate in us in complete harmony, as it says: “the Creator has created them one opposite the other.” And so we arrive from Lo Lishma, which means for my own sake, to Lishma, in order to bestow. The actions are the same actions and only the intention changes.
From the Preparation for the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/4/14