While I am thinking about myself, I cannot think about the group. Let’s do this exercise: I do not ask for anything for myself and I do not think about myself. I cut off every thought, desire, and action directed at myself, to prevent them from developing and acting.
I have a terrarium with poisonous snakes, but I do not let them slither out. As soon as even the smallest snake pokes its head out, I immediately cut it off. This is called restriction. That is, I reveal that the Creator has put various egoistic desires into me that I need to limit; I need to lock up my “I,” my egoism, and cut off the heads of all egoistic manifestations. Until I cut off all their heads, I will not begin a spiritual action because I have a serpent’s head.
I have only one request for myself: to make a restriction and cease to exist so that my “I” disappears. Faith above reason and spiritual calculations start to act upon this.1
Restricting my egoism does not mean ceasing to feeling it. It continues existing. Moreover, it is enormous and constantly trying to break through. But each time, I lock it up as if it is gone. This is continuous work, which is called “restriction.”
This does not mean that I stop feeling my egoistic desire—I feel it a lot! But I put myself above it, as if it is nonexistent. This means that I receive a restricting force: I have a 1,000 kilogram screen against 1,000 snakes, which keeps them locked up.2
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/26/18, Lesson on the Topic “How Do We Organize Ourselves For Prayer”
1 Minute 30:40
2 Minute 42:00