Baal HaSulam, “The Teaching of the Kabbalah and Its Essence“: Thus, it has been made clear that the revelation of the Creator is not a one-time disclosure, but an ongoing matter that is revealed over a period of time, sufficient for the disclosure of all the great degrees that appear from Above downwards and from below Upwards. On top of them, and at the end of them, appears the Creator.
It is like a person proficient in all the countries and people in the world, who cannot say that the whole world has been revealed to him before he has completed his examination of the last person and the last country. Until one has achieved that, one has not attained the whole world.
There is an enormous system, a system of desires, and above them intentions that we need to develop, connect with each other, and form our soul from. The desires remain below and practically do not change. The intentions are most important. Their attitude to each other builds the soul between us, what we refer to as the “spiritual world.” The spiritual world is a world of intentions: my attitude to everyone else.
It is based on desires and, possibly, some actions. But that’s it for our world. When we begin to give preference to the intentions, all the actions of our world lose their vibrancy, might, and importance.
Question: Let’s suppose that I do something now, and I realize that I do it for myself. And Kabbalah tells me that I must overcome my will and do something for the sake of the other. Does that work?
Answer: It works, but only in the group. As a member of the group, I try to do everything I can in order for the group to advance successfully.
Question: But what if I don’t hold onto the right intention?
Answer: That doesn’t matter. By carrying out actions in the group, you rouse the upper Light, which forms your intention.
Question: But you say that we draw the upper Light by reading Kabbalistic books, rather than through our actions?
Answer: No. Everything works only through the friends and only to the extent that you rouse the common desire in the group. There is no other way. The books and the studies are the preliminary means, and they are quite weak; through them you come a little closer to the goal. However, the most effective way to influence yourself and the group is when you push the friends to spiritual attainment. Even if you carry out these actions without the right intention, it is good.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 3/25/18