The Influence of the Environment on a Person
A person has qualities that his parents bequeathed to him, and he has qualities that he acquired from the society through the envy that he feels toward the friends when he sees that they have better qualities than his own. Through the society, he gains new powers that he adopts by seeing that they are at a higher degree than his, and he is envious of them.
– Rabash, Rabash—the Social Writings, “Concerning Above Reason”
If one does not have any desire for spirituality, if he is among people who have a desire for spirituality, if he likes these people, he, too, will be imbued with their aspirations.
– Baal HaSulam, Shamati (I Heard), Article No. 99, “He Did Not Say Wicked or Righteous”
One cannot raise oneself above one’s circle. However, if one chooses for oneself a good environment, one saves time and efforts, since one is drawn according to one’s environment.
– Baal HaSulam, Shamati (I Heard), Article No. 225, “Raising Oneself”