When the importance of spirituality falls in my eyes, it is as if the rod falls out of my hands and turns into a serpent. But these two states are connected: we cannot rise up without going down. “God has made one opposite the other.” The rod holds me up and the serpent drags me down.
If spirituality falls in my eyes and I elevate it, it means that I am walking with the rod. The nature of the rod is such that it constantly falls and each time I have to lift it up. The rod falls, I lift it; it falls again, I lift it again with the help of the ten and the reforming light. At first, we just study this theoretically, but later it turns into practical work. I begin to work with these forces, feel how the ten gives me energy, desire, and support by attracting the upper light and revealing the Creator.
Such a powerful compression occurs inside the group that the force of bestowal is revealed in it. Through this pressure, we squeeze all the egoism out of ourselves and it flows outside. An empty vessel remains there, already without egoistic desires, filled with the light of Hassadim.1
If someone humiliated me, just spat in my face in front of everyone, what should I do? If this happens in ordinary life, with outside people without any connection to inner work, I must react as it is customary in this world, the same as everyone else: defend myself, complain, that is, act according to the situation. In the external world, I must look like everyone else and not appear strange.
However, if such a conflict occurs with a friend and the friend suddenly insults me, then I have to accept everything. There is no room for calculations. The calculation here is the opposite: everything the friends do is for my benefit.
The Creator shows us His actions more clearly and we must become more delicate and sensitive in order to understand where everything comes from. 2
It is written, “Anyone who is proud, says the Creator, ‘He and I cannot dwell in the same abode.’” Proud means the one who thinks that he has his own thoughts, his own desires, actions, that he has at least something of his own. To think that I have even a grain of something that belongs to me personally is already pride.
All our work is in completely annulling ourselves so that there will be no one else beside the Creator. From this absolute zero, we must lower ourselves even further, until negative infinity, so all the work that is required after our complete annulment will be done not by us but by the Creator, according to our request.
It turns out that from plus 100 percent of egoism, we descend to zero and then further to minus 100 percent of egoism. In this way, we reveal the right desire, the vessel in which the Creator clothes and begins to act. This is called the revelation of the Creator to the created beings in this world.
We must work with our desire to enjoy for the sake of bestowal, meaning, use our egoism to the fullest. By doing our work, we grow our egoism 620-fold and attain a corrected desire that is 620 times greater than the original one.
We lower our egoism all the time, it again erupts and grows even more each time. The light that enters us at the next degree only inflates our ego. Through our work, the light of infinity enters into us for the sake of bestowal, but we immediately fall and want to receive this light for our own sake. Thus, the light throws our little egoism up to the degree of the light that was going to fill us for the sake of bestowal and eventually was received egoistically.
The next egoistic degree comes from the light that I drew for the sake of bestowal, but then I fell and wanted to have it for myself, This is the rod and the serpent: the importance of bestowal drops in my eyes and I must raise it higher and higher. This is how we ascend. Therefore, we reach 620 times more power. 620 times more is the degree of the light from Malchut to Hochma.
It is as if we are inflating our desire to enjoy the upper light with a pump and it expands 620 times. Only we can do this because we are in two opposite states: for our own sake and for the sake of bestowal. The Creator cannot give this to us already prepared; this can only be achieved by working on our correction, through the Torah and commandments. Therefore, it is written: “ There is not a righteous man on earth who will do good and will not sin.” How else can he be able to become even greater righteous if not through the fact that the upper light has entered the desire to bestow and turned into egoistic reception. 3
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/17/19 , Baal HaSulam, Shamati 59, “About the Rod and the Serpent”
1 Minute 52:40
2 Minute 56:30
3 Minute 1:04:50