The Creator And Israel In Exile
The Zohar, Chapter "BeHukotai (In My Statutes)," Item 50: "And I will chastise you, to go into exile. And if you say that I will leave you, I, too, am with you."
Even though we are talking about actions that aren't done for the sake of reward, in actuality such an action cannot exist in nature. We always require a reward as energy for our action. After all, only crazy people and little children act purposelessly.
However, our goal is to attain revelation, to see the true state, to understand its reasons, and to realize what our place is. We need the full scope of the truth, here and in all the worlds.
The revelation of this truth is the revelation of the Creator. This is our reward. That is how the essence of the science of Kabbalah is defined: It is the revelation of the Creator to the creatures in this world.
We aspire to the highest reward, yet we don't acquire it in the form of egoistic fulfillment, but in our aspiration from falsehood to truth. My entire life can seem like luxury that's so sweet, it's nauseating. However, at the same time I feel empty because there is no truth in it. Then I change my goal: Instead of receiving direct fulfillment with sweetness, I want to acquire the fullness of truth.
It isn't easy to achieve this. In Hebrew the word truth consists of three letters - אמת. Alef is the first letter of the alphabet, Mem signifies Bina, the quality of bestowal, and Tav is the last letter of the alphabet. In other words, all my qualities must come together around Bina, the intention for the sake of bestowal, and then I will understand what this is and will reveal the Creator.
Truth is the criterion of my exile. If I see that I am in exile relative to the truth, that means I am in exile relative to the Creator. In the final, desirable state we are united, merged, and fused together in one, perfect, unceasing Zivug. And that means that right now we are both in an undesirable state. In other words, both me and Him are in exile.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/03/10, "The Creator and Israel Went Into Exile"