Question: What is cancellation before the teacher?
Answer: It is cancellation relative to what the teacher explains, the message that he conveys. You may be able to discover this in a book, but he conveys this to you in a more lively manner. Theoretically, you can study without a teacher, but this is extremely difficult. You still have to awaken the soul that precedes you in the hierarchy, but if it is not next to you in some material embodiment, this is much more difficult.
The teacher is a whole system, rather than a “person.” This is a system that transmits the method, teaching, the Light to you, produces difficulties and problems in you, and works on you and your friends. This is the job of a guide who cares about the group and awakens in them desires and spiritual needs, who confuses and thus stimulates them to come to the solution sooner. But he should not rob them of the freedom of choice and turn them into blind admirers or hasidim; this is the most important.
The teacher should reveal himself before you and present himself in a way that you would not obey him fully and disappear before him. He should leave you room for your own efforts, keeping you in constant doubts about him, in the feeling of rejection, disregard, and darkness. Otherwise, it would be just worship, and you will not have a request to the Creator.
The teacher opens you to knowledge, but does not reveal himself. He shows you just the opposite to give you the opportunity to ask the Creator.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/2/2011, Writings of Baal HaSulam