Answer: I measure my advancement by checking to what extent I justify the friends, value them, and see them as the greatest in our generation, as special people, and to what extent I see the Creator’s image in them and want their attributes to become part of me.
I want to become the result of their influence because this is called the internal perception of the environment. What they imprint in me will be the form of the Creator, the human part in me.
I understand that this is how I should treat them, but at the same time I don’t see them that way. These are two feelings that don’t connect at all. On the one hand, I feel that the friends are great and special and that they are no different from the Creator. On the other hand, I understand that I treat them in a totally different way. This determines my attitude towards the Creator. If I disrespect the society, to the same extent I disrespect the Creator, it’s absolutely the same. If I want to change by the environment, it’s as if I place myself under the influence of the Creator.
If I can combine these two discernments, meaning hating and disrespecting the friends while at the same time respecting and valuing them, I attain these two polar opposite points. One becomes my Keter and the other becomes my Malchut and together they build my spiritual vessel.
By attaining such a vessel, I understand that this is my nature and I can determine that I am in “exile” because now I see the cause that requires my connection with the group and that I should place myself under its influence. On the other hand, I discover how far I am from connection, how I always forget it. I discover the difficulty in attaining it and how reluctant I am to do it.
Thus I see how harmful my ego is by not letting me be included in my environment in harmony, which means to be included and to melt in it as an integral part. This means that I transcend the Machsom (barrier) that separates me from the spiritual work.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson, 4/19/12, Writings of Rabash