Shamati #25: Regarding things that come from the heart, enter the heart. …The thing is that when one hears the words of his teacher, he immediately agrees with his teacher, and resolves to observe the words of his teacher with his heart and soul. But afterwards, when he comes out to the world [to a different environment], he sees, covets, and is infected by the multitude of desires roaming the world, and he and his mind, his heart, and his will are annulled before the majority.
…He mingles with their desires and he is led like sheep to the slaughter. He has no choice; he is compelled to think, want, crave, and demand everything that the majority demands. In that case there is only one counsel then, to cling to his teacher and to the books [on the internal level]. This is called “[Being nourished] from the mouth of books and from the mouth of authors.”
A person who is born and lives in this material world develops in an environment that’s far away from spirituality, and obviously he cannot understand anything on the spiritual path. Even if he has an aspiration to spirituality, this point is immersed in the egoistic desire, which is surrounded by the egoistic society. Therefore, it does not have any chance of developing correctly.
Only a person who makes his way into the right environment merits spiritual development. This is an environment which has a teacher and a group that carries out the teacher’s advice. Besides, this group must study the authentic Kabbalistic sources, but this is already a result of how they accept the guidance of their teacher.
Therefore, the bottom line is that the group’s development depends on the teacher, the Rav (which means “big”). To the degree the students are able to cancel their opinion to his opinion, that is how they will develop. That’s because the spiritual environment is based on the teacher’s opinion, thought, and method, as well as the recognition of the teacher’s authority.
A necessary condition for the student is to constantly check who and what determines his opinion. After all, he is under the influence of two forces and must always decide that the teacher’s opinion has greater force than his own opinion. And if he does not feel any struggle and resistance, it means he does not perform this verification at all and instead thinks that everything is fine just the way it is.
Sometimes a student goes against his teacher’s opinion and thinks that he has a better understanding of how he should act from the point of view of his logic and reason. That is, he does not annul himself. But nullifying oneself means that he goes against his desire, against his logic.
If he endures in this resistance, it means he chooses the spiritual path and progresses on it. But if there is no opposition and inner struggle, then a question arises: Maybe he does not even understand that he is always following his own opinion, all the while thinking that he is advancing correctly?
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/25/11, Shamati