My Answer: At any given moment, a student needs to be prepared to be without a teacher, and know that he will have all that he needs. He who advances is one who constantly demands and is independent, in and of, himself. He has the Creator, the method, and the group. All that is necessary has been provided.
However, does one rise to the next level without a leader? The next state is a closer connection among the friends. Therefore, a collective decision is necessary. There could be no recognized leader appointed by the former teacher, or someone declaring himself to be the leader. No one can take the leadership by force, intelligence, or guile.
It’s safer if the group jointly continues on the path and carries out collective decisions by a “spiritual board.” This board doesn’t consist of great minds or recognized experts; it consists of the people who are able to make joint, collective decisions.
Anyone unable to be responsive to the process of the group’s development has no place on this spiritual leadership board. This includes: those that are still blinded by personal interests, those who are unable to subjugate themselves to the group, those who haven’t yet been imbued by the spirit of the path to a sufficient degree, those who make mistakes because they haven’t grasped or tuned into the common direction, those who are subject to outside influence, or those who might be unsuitable for other reasons.
The spiritual governing board needs to consist of people who don’t make mistakes with collective decisions, who aren’t subject to pressure from others in the group, and, more importantly, who aren’t influenced by anyone on the outside. The group has the right and the obligation to immediately expel anyone who interferes with the work or who asserts his own superiority. These are the spiritual laws according to which we need to grow.