What in our development is up to us? We inherited certain attributes; we have been influenced by the environment since childhood. How can we decide what our development should be like from here on? What do we need to do for it?
On His part, the Creator has done what was in His hands: He laid our path through internal and external Kelim (vessels), our own nature and the environment. And now, finally, the upper force is offering us free will. Naturally, this is a very narrow area. After all, our internal development has already brought about numerous details of perception, and moreover, we exist in a specific environment.
As it is written in the article “The Freedom” and in “Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot,” the Creator brings a person to a certain state, a certain group, an environment, and says: “This is for you; take it.” And a person has to strengthen himself in what he takes. And what he takes is a bond with the environment.
So it follows that if a person strengthens this bond, then with its help, he or she receives “supernatural” values. This is the only way a person can adopt principles that on his own he would never choose to respect. The environment has the power to affect him and alter the scale of his priorities to such a degree that he totally replaces his values and is willing to do things that are against his nature.
This is why, while talking about lesson preparation, we primarily speak about the environment. A person prepares himself in the right environment and, by participating in its life, discerns the true values: bestowal, love of others, adherence with the Creator, and altruistic intention Lishma (for Her Name). On the whole, in the eyes of a person, the Creator’s nature must become incomparably more exalted and profound than the nature of the created being.
A person receives awareness of this importance from the group: “It is desirable to make it so.” The group cannot provide more than that; it only elevates the importance of the goal in our eyes. How profound the goal is depends on the level of the group and to what extent a person is willing to lower himself before it.
However, it isn’t realization just yet. A person merely arranges values for himself: “If the Creator is my goal, I go for this goal, which means that I change to fit it.” But who transforms a person? Who performs these changes in him? After all, by nature, from birth, he is immersed in the desire to receive pleasure. Desire itself will always remain as is. Who will reform its intention from wanting to receive to wanting to bestow?
That is what the method of Kabbalah is intended for.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/24/2011, Writings of Rabash