The Point in the Heart
Q: Is the development of the point in the heart considered spiritual work with the intent “not for Her name?”
A: Developing the point in the heart consists of several steps:
Working Lo Lishma.
Working “not in order to be rewarded.”
We don’t know…
The work Lo Lishma also contributes to the development of the point in the heart. It develops the point under the influence of the group and the rabbi below the barrier. Therefore, Lo Lishma is a conscious advancement toward the purpose of creation, as much as one can be aware of it when the Creator is in fact still completely hidden.
There is not a single word in Kabbalah about the situation that precedes the appearance of the point in the heart. In that situation, both the religious and the secular prefer the literal part of the Torah.
When a person’s point in the heart is inactive, and there is no desire to develop it, the Torah serves only to assure one of eventual rewards - both in this world and in the next.
Such a state is not regarded as Lishma or Lo Lishma. There isn’t even a name for it. It is simply a way of satisfying man’s need for self-assurance, justifying his existence.
“Not for Her name” is a situation where one has already discovered the point in the heart, and has begun to develop it. At the beginning of the spiritual work, a person develops the point in the heart, but one’s thoughts are still divided between spiritual work and mundane affairs.
Q: Is Lo Lishma a kind of correction?
A: Lo Lishma means that a person begins to work with the objective of receiving a reward, while still developing the point in the heart. To the extent that one is able to changing one’s attributes to resemble those of the Creator, one understands the meaning of the spiritual degree Lishma, from its first appearance to the very highest and complete attainment. That percentage constitutes the degrees of spiritual advancement.
Q: Is there a barrier between Lo Lishma and Lishma?
A: Lo Lishma is a spiritual state that precedes the barrier (the entrance to the spiritual world). Lishma is the spiritual state one achieves after the crossing of the barrier. Between those two states there is a period when we restrict our intentions and try not to fulfill them. Instead, we want to advance toward the Creator for our own pleasure.
This spiritual situation is like a seed from which a new entity grows. That new entity is called “the crossing of the barrier” and “the beginning of the ascent”