Baal HaSulam, “The Love for the Creator and Love for the Created Beings”: After all one certainly loves oneself with all one’s heart and soul and might, but with regards to the Creator, one may deceive oneself; and with one’s friend it is always spread out before his eyes.
The law of correction of relating to a friend is even more important than relating to the Creator because this is how one can draw closer to Him. I cannot imagine the Creator, but a friend is constantly in front of me and I can clearly check how I relate to him.
Remark: Baal HaSulam writes that the method of correction of the egocentric perception of the world, with one’s concerns about self-gratification and fulfillment, has been given to the whole nation, which was a collection of representatives from the different nations in Babylon.
My Comment: They were given a condition that everyone had to accept the principle of “loving your neighbor as yourself” as a means of achieving adhesion with the Creator.
At that time, ancient Babylon was experiencing decline, which is called the “Babylonian tower.” Egoism had suddenly soared, hatred toward each other broke out, and people became unable to coexist peacefully with each other, which lead to the destruction of the Babylonian empire. The same thing happened during the time of Rabbi Akiva at the time of the destruction of the Temple.
Question: Have we been given self-love so that we would realize to what end we should love a friend, take care of him?
Answer: Of course. Only through the opposite can you understand it.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah,” 2/7/19