History presents us with many such examples. For instance, one of them is Joshua Bin Nun who merited becoming Moses’ successor. It is our internal force that leads a person to the final stage of correction, by lovingly bringing him or her closer to the final correction (Gmar Tikkun), after the force of Moses has done its part.
It is the most exalted rung of receiving in order to bestow! And how did Joshua merit it? He merited it by helping Moses while the latter was teaching the people: He cleaned the room and “straightened the benches.”
In other words, he cleaved to his teacher’s actions and wanted to be his inseparable part, thereby receiving Moses’ wisdom. It was he who merited and not the students who were studying. He didn’t even study, but rather received spirituality “Peh El Peh” (“from mouth to mouth,” through the common screen), by having adhered to his teacher.
And those who did study also received it, each at their own degree (they were great Kabbalists as well), but not as exalted as that of Joshua Bin Nun. Were they not aware of such principle? They were, but could not apply it.
It all depended on how strongly a person is trying to annul himself before the teacher and the group. I would also add that “good fortune” plays a part in this too. That is, additional settings provided a helping hand which we are not aware of that descend from Above, “dripping” downward (“luck” or “Mazal,” from the Hebrew word “Nozel” or “a trickle, drip”). It is strongly determined by the root of the soul from its predestination.
But there is no point in discussing what is not up to us. We have to do what is up to us, which is self-annulment.
It is described everywhere and isn’t news to anyone. What do we do if we are not succeeding? I know from my own experience how hard it is to achieve. Usually, a person stumbles over the simplest obstacles: They seem so easy to overcome, and yet he can’t. He even understands that it is beneficial in every respect, even the corporeal one, but something inside him prevents him from doing so.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/3/2011, “The Wisdom of Kabbalah and Philosophy”