My Answer: How can you find a true Kabbalist? Well, what is a true Kabbalist? Baal HaSulam writes that a true Kabbalist is someone who strives only toward the Creator and toward nothing else, such as anything related to this world or himself.
The only means that makes it possible to reveal the Creator, the Upper World, and the quality of bestowal is a Kabbalistic group. The group is a connection among people’s aspirations to reveal the quality of bestowal among them. This quality is called “the Creator.”
You aren’t trying to learn a Kabbalist’s earthly habits from him. What you learn from him is how to cancel yourself, where “cancelling yourself” means to cancel your egoism in relation to the goal – the attainment of the quality of bestowal. You have to accept this goal without any resistance to it, with full trust and no criticism, as if you were a baby.
Criticism and verification have to take place before you accept the teacher as your instructor. However, if you have a point in the heart, then you have nowhere to run from an instructor who is showing you the truth.
But what is “the truth”? It is the force of bestowal, deemed the Creator, and it becomes revealed inside your love for friends and then for the whole world. If you see that the other students and the teacher are trying to accomplish this, without considering anything besides the Creator important, this means you have found the right place to study.
Yet, this still doesn’t give you any guarantee that you will attain the goal. From here on, everything depends on you; this is where your freedom of will starts. But at the very least you have found a teacher and a group, which is the place where the Creator can be revealed.
A teacher is not the flesh and blood person you see in front of you, but attainment of the Creator and experience along this path. What you should be absorbing from him is not the earthly things, but his connection with the Creator.