There is a rule: “For social life, take after the collective, in spiritual life, take after the individual.” For example, I enter a group. Does this group represent the majority for me? Do I have to listen to my friends? I see three hundred men before me—this is a force.
If they demand something from me on the corporeal level, that’s one thing, but what if they are dictating their terms on the spiritual level? Do they understand more than I do? Are they, taken together, smarter than I am? How should I behave in regard to them? Do I have the right to influence the group? After all, if they are the majority, then I have to lower my head and accept their opinion.
On the other hand, we are talking about spiritual life and therefore, one must follow an individual as opposed to the majority. Am I that individual?
These aren’t simple questions and they are relevant to every group. In the corporeal sense, everything is pretty clear when it comes to the majority. However, even there we see many movements, parties, governments, and mafia. There is no common opinion in the world.
It’s actually quite simple for us. I establish a separation between the spiritual and the corporeal life, and then my corporeal existence is narrowed down to the vital necessities. I should be content with that.
I ensure a normal life for myself: home, work, family, bank, social security, health insurance, vacation, pension, and so on. This is where I follow the majority and do what’s considered the norm. Here my obligations toward society end. In our world I’m set. This is how I realize the concept of “follow the majority,” which refers to obligatory social conditions.
Besides this, all of my attention and strength are directed at my spiritual development. In my spiritual life, I work with the group. Rabash writes that one must lower himself completely before the group. I lower myself before a spiritual society as I do with the majority.
Where is my freedom then? After all, I have to follow my own opinion when it comes to spirituality.
In reality that’s exactly what I do because I determine the degree of my connection to the group. No one is taking this freedom away from me. This is the meaning of the law of “follow the individual.” Each one of us is an individual and decides freely to be a part of the group. There are no laws obliging us to do this and no external pressure. We apply the same principal in our dissemination of Kabbalah: Whoever wants it takes it, and who ever doesn’t is free to say no.
And so your freedom consists of you lowering yourself before the society without there being any pressure to do so. In the corporeal world, the society obligates you, but in the spiritual one, no one does, including the Creator. You must mature and come to this decision on your own.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/11/2011, “The Freedom”