There are the terms “staff and snake.” If I constantly try to keep the Creator above and myself below, then it is a staff; it is below in its importance (same root in Hebrew) so it supports me on the way. But if I don’t work this way and my egoistic desire makes all the decisions, this means that it throws the stick to the ground and it turns into a snake. Then I am under the control of my ego.
A person should constantly check to be certain he is not a partition in the sea of Light; thus he annuls himself, surrenders, and is included in the Light. He should constantly check himself this way and see himself in relation to the friends and the group. They guarantee that you won’t start imagining that you are completely corrected, completely righteous. This is why we are given such a specific method of measurement, so we can always correctly assess and check where we are in relation to the group.
I should constantly check whether I am “transparent” in relation to the group, so I do not disturb the group, but I participate in it. Thus, I build balanced and equal relationships. In this case, I will constantly find something in the work that will keep me in balance with the upper Light. This will go on until all this work becomes a habit for me, and I begin to feel the upper Light permanently.
This work is done in “exile” when we don’t feel the greatness of the Creator but only want to imagine His greatness, the greatness of the attribute of bestowal, above all the obstacles that disturb us from feeling its importance. I constantly check myself in relation to the group because in the meantime, I don’t feel spirituality, and I see myself as a righteous person who is totally transparent and doesn’t stand in the way of the Light.
It may seem to me that I am already on the level of harmony with the Returning Light, repeating its movements by bestowing upon everyone like it does. How else can I know whether this is true or not? There is no other way I can check myself, except in my attitude towards the friends.
If I succeed in being the connecting, balancing part that equalizes everyone and draws them to one collective center in which our connection exists, then there is no doubt that in this way I equalize myself with, and do not stand in the way of the Light, the Creator who fills all of reality.
This is possible only in the group, and there is no other way to check it. This is the reason for the shattering and all the preparation work—in order to create a system of measurement for us.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/2/12, Shamati #59