Submission, Separation and Sweetening
The Baal Shem Tov taught that all spiritual service entails three developmental stages of consciousness: submission, separation, sweetening.
“Submission” means submission of the ego by quieting the soul. “Be silent before God.” In a state of silence I am able to hear God’s voice.
“Separation” means the circumcision of the heart, cutting off the coarse egocentric foreskin, becoming sensitive to the feelings of others.
“Sweetening” means the ability to alleviate one’s own anxiety and the anxiety of others through pleasant, loving and reassuring words.