Question: Why does Baal HaSulam say that a person is thrown from the friends to the teacher and back again like a “slingshot” and by that the right vessel for receiving the Light is built in him?
Answer: A person receives wholeness from the teacher and through the group he discovers his evil. Despite his reluctance, he is incorporated in the group and makes great efforts to become part of the environment and to connect with the friends.
Thanks to that, in response to all his efforts, he discovers aversion, hate, and anger. This is how his egoistic desire is revealed in him; it isn’t his friends that he sees, but himself in the friends, as if in a mirror.
When all these negative feelings are revealed, the question is to what extent he acknowledges that this evil is revealed in him and not in the friends. At the same time he comes to his teacher, to the lesson, and receives treatment from the teacher, a correction.
If he has the right connection with the Rav and with the study, he has to come out white. As all the evil that he felt towards the friends takes on an opposite form, and he understands that it is in his favor. Instead of cursing he now gives thanks for it. Instead of feeling the evil in the friends, he feels good; instead of feeling good and proud about himself, he now feels bad. This means that everything turns upside down.
The opposite definitions that he now understands and feels in his attributes compared to the friends is called “a slingshot,” reverse, a trigger.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/12/12, Writings of Baal HaSulam