What kind of descent should we expect after the major convention we held in Europe? Descents can be very easy and calm because we are already accustomed to them and do not worry about the fog and confusion in the head. The Creator does not give us descents that knock us out; the descents become more qualitative, more “professional.” It is like a professional artist while assessing a picture can take into account the smallest details and strokes and an average person sees only a simple plot. This is the essence of professionalism, and it is the same with us in relation to descents.
Although sometimes we will receive huge descents that stun and paralyze us, depriving us of sight and hearing, most of the time now there will not be such rough descents as before. Instead, they will be subtle where we will have to notice that we do not have the former yearning and adhesion with the Creator and sensitive attitude toward the friends in the ten. All the senses are slightly dulled.
Thus, we are given the opportunity to increase our sensitivity. It is as if the receptivity were transferred to a new range and we need to tune in to it. An ordinary person will not even notice anything unusual here, but a specialist will distinguish many changes.
We have to be very attentive because it is possible that the current state will seem normal with respect to past descents and hardenings of the heart, as if there is no descent and heaviness. But am I connected with the ten? I do not feel it—that means descent. Do I think about adhering to the Creator or do I think about nothing at all? Such a fog in my mind means descent. My sensitivity was shifted to a new range, increased tenfold. Now I have to recognize big ascents and descents by the very subtle discernments.
It is no longer a decline in mood or complete dullness as before. It seems as if I have a normal mood and the ability to think, unlike before when I saw everything painted black and could not gather my thoughts. Yet now, in this new desire and mind, I must decide that I am not adhered to the Creator; that is, I must increase the threshold of sensitivity of feeling and mind within me in order to work with more subtle discernments. This must be done forcibly through prayer and request.
I will then really rise to a new level. After all, I want to take into account details that I never noticed before when I thought everything was in order. But it is not the case if I have no adhesion with, no thoughts about, the Creator and the ten, no proper sharpness of feeling. My senses were dulled and I feel okay about it, when the bad thing in this state is my non-adherence to the Creator in feeling and thoughts.
This is what I must demand and ask, then I will begin to distinguish darkness and descent through more subtle discernments. The Creator will be saying, “Take it, do not worry, everything is in order!” But I disagree to take it and leave; I demand from Him to be closer to Him; therefore, I feel much greater darkness than before.
The hardening of the heart does not mean that I feel heaviness, darkness, and total lack of understanding in the mind and heart. It can be expressed in the most imperceptible things, I simply do not receive the yearning from above and must sharpen my mind and feelings by myself and find the point of connection to the Creator. The fact that I am not given such a connection and have to ask for it, demand it, and win it by force is already considered the hardening of the heart.
Previously, I used to be in such darkness when I could not get out of bed or did not hear what I was told and did not understand the words. Today, I do not have that, I understand what it is about and I can feel. Yet, I do not have a strong yearning for adhesion with the Creator, the former aspiration, and this is darkness for me. The feelings and the mind work, but the yearning, the desire, disappeared and that is the darkness.
I begin to define the concept of darkness in higher parameters. I measure darkness not by how much I have not received from the Creator, but to what extent I do not yearn for Him. I only care about that and not about how much I receive from Him. That is unimportant to me because I do not want to receive, I want to bestow, to yearn. This means a new threshold of sensitivity in the work of the Creator, in the attitude toward Him.
I want my mind and heart to work only for the sake of bringing contentment to the Creator. I do not care what I have in my Kelim (Vessels), but only about what I can give to Him from them.
Previously, I considered the loss of desire or understanding to be a hardening of the heart. Now this isn’t there, everything seems to be in order. So, do I have the hardening of the heart or not? It is said that every moment there is a descent if we are able to see it because new Kelim are constantly revealed. Now I can feel good, but do I have yearning for the Creator, a desire to bestow to Him through the group, to love Him? If not, then it is called hardening of the heart.
This is a new type of hardening of the heart, which was not there previously. I did not even pay attention to such little things before, but now I am required to do just that. That is, the ascents and descents are now evaluated in relation to the longing desire, yearning, and bestowal to the Creator. With regard to that, I now have to examine myself whether I am in an ascent or descent, not by what I feel in my Kelim, but by my feelings toward the Creator.
I suddenly discover that I have none of the former desire and motivation. Previously, I was pushed by the fact that I lacked fulfillment and now my motivation should be that the Creator lacks. How can I find such desires and needs to reach out to Him within myself, to yearn to bestow and love at a time when I feel no need for it? The solution is to connect with the ten and through it raise a prayer to the Creator.
The Creator used to awaken the darkness and now I must awaken the predawn darkness myself. It is much harder. I myself must take care of my Kli, my desire, for the Creator. I used to turn to Him because I felt bad, and now that I do not feel bad at all, how am I going to turn to Him? Here is the place for yearning, prayer, and action. This is a more complicated situation, a qualitatively new degree.1
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/12/19, “Hardening of the heart – Invitation to ascend”
1 Minute 25:00