Answer: There is no greater help than this. After all, I am within the desire to receive, egoism, and what truly works on me are these blows, not a nice attitude.
Basically, the blows that the Creator gives me are a reward, and my work is always “to kiss the stick.” I build a new spiritual Kli by changing my attitude to the blows, identifying with them and leaving my suffering donkey. The donkey, let it suffer; I turn to the side of the rod and am eager to adhere to the hand that holds it.
With the help of the blows I separate and free myself from my egoism. When I have no where to escape them, I cannot help but wonder if it isn’t possible to evade the stick, then I no longer want to identify with the “flesh.” This is a natural reaction: if I feel unbearable suffering, first of all I ask the doctor for a pill to reduce the pain, meaning I want to pull away from the suffering of the body.
That is how the pain helps me to renounce egoism and connect to something that is used for helping me. And suddenly looking at my ego from the outside, I discover that I am suffering specifically because of it. So the pain helps me distance myself from the ego and get closer to the Creator.
So the blows are necessary. But upon whom are they falling? It is not on me, but my egoistic desire. This desire is not me. I want to identify, not with the “body,” not with the desire, but with intentions for bestowal, to the yearning for bestowal, that are above egoism. Now I understand the desire was given to me to so that over it I would adopt the attitude and involvement with bestowal.
Consequently I need the blows. They help me to make the right calculation.
It is said: “Spare the rod, spoil the child.” The entire history of the people of Israel since they left Babylon is the history of overcoming suffering. Even in the period of the Beit HaMikdash (Temple) there were numerous wars and problems that accompanied the inner work, the clarification of egoism and its correction. The Torah calls Israel a “stiff-necked people” (Exodus 33:3); after all, their desire was always increasing and this led to stronger confrontations.
What can we say about the last 2,000 years of exile when the people were pursued by troubles and faced brutality; it knew no bounds. How is it possible to compare this to a day of illness after a fever? All of these troubles came from the Creator, the good who does good (Psalms 119:68), and landed on the egoistic desire making to make it possible to detach from it and achieve bestowal.
So the problem is that we identify with the desire to receive. If, contrary to the program, despite the fact that it was imposed upon me, I have not yet renounced egoism and am still connected to it, I need to receive blows.
But in fact this is not so, and when I separate from egoism I will stop getting the stick on account of myself. When my time arrives to separate from the ego, to leave it, to that degree trouble befalls me. But the stick comes down specifically on the desire and not on me. If I am detached from the desire, then I don’t feel the blow; on the contrary, I feel good, more strength, health, and attainment.
This is the entire problem. That is what is called exile.
The Creator will increase the blows on the desire to receive methodically so that we will abandon it. Today all of humanity is entering into this process along with the people of Israel, but nevertheless, the people of Israel still have to repay their debts.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/20/14, The Zohar