All of our study and work are dedicated to the clarification of our deficiency, the clarification of our goal in life, to what it will lead us, and who I want to be. This is all a person is. Everything is determined only by a person’s deficiency, and only what one adds to what was received from nature.
If certain desires are simply evoked in me to go somewhere, to do something in the group or to connect with friends, these are not my desires. I am incorporated in a group that influences me now by its desire to go to the desert; I am impressed by the friends, but it isn’t me. In that I am like a rock. Does it receive anything from the environment?—almost nothing.
But if I want to invest my powers and am in the right environment, I begin to grow in it like a seed that was planted in the ground from which a whole tree will grow. I only need to add my own efforts and not just wait for those around me to wake me up.
I evoke myself and the others. I rouse all of them so that they will influence me. And what I receive from them is my spiritual vessel. A spiritual vessel is always received from the environment, and it is always the result of a person’s inspiration and working for the society.
There are those that are in the society but are totally isolated from others, as if they have surrounded themselves with electrical tape. So how can they benefit from the environment? In such a case, a spiritual vessel will not be formed in a person. He will be impressed together with the others from the general mood that the environment will put him in and will be swept away by it, but his individual spiritual vessel will not develop.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/16/12, The Zohar