While working in this world, we practically do not think that there should be an alternation between successful and not successful states. We always strive forward.
But in the spiritual world, it is not so. When we really seriously enter the spiritual process, we start to comprehend that we should take into account the ascents and descents. Moreover, these states alternate, and in fact, the descents are no less important than the ascents so we should relate to them with absolute seriousness and preferably the same way as to the ascents.
Baal HaSulam writes in “Letter 25” that a descent that is intended for the following ascent, is considered an ascent, not a descent. This is really so.
The fact is that on the way to the goal of creation, there is a growth of egoism (blue line on the drawing) above which we build the altruistic part (red line). Afterward, egoism is added and we cover it with altruism again. That is how we ascend: ascent – descent, ascent – descent. There is nowhere to run from this.
Therefore, we need to relate to descents equally as to ascents. In the beginning, the ego is growing in us, and then above it, we grow a spiritual ascent—anti-egoism and cover ego with the quality opposite to it.
So the descents – ascents happen according to phases: 1 – 2, then 3 – 4, etc. Therefore, the ascent is impossible without a descent.
It is also possible to depict this as a sine wave: ascent – descent, ascent – descent. The greater the descent, the greater the corresponding ascent. That is how they are tied together: 1 – 2, 1 – 2.
In spiritual work, everything starts from a descent, from the night, from the darkness. As it is said in the Bible: “And there was evening, and there was morning— one day.”
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 3/31/19