Answer: If you don’t envy the friends it means that you feel that you are better and higher than them or that you don’t pay any attention to them, as if they didn’t exist and you don’t measure yourself in comparison to them. You have your own Creator, your own way, and you come to the group as a free listener who comes to hear a lecture.
It turns out that you have the wrong approach, since you don’t understand that the spiritual world can be revealed only through the connection with the friends. The spiritual world is absolute bestowal, and it’s revealed only in bestowal. The Creator is the force of bestowal, and He can be revealed only according to the equivalence of form with the force of bestowal that a person develops internally towards the environment. But if you don’t work with the environment, there is no way you can advance.
The more you work with the environment, the more you feel that your friends are greater than you. It simply can’t be any other way, since you begin to see the group as one whole. You feel that through the friends, you receive Light, and you see that they are already corrected, that they have transcended the Machsom (barrier), and that you are left all alone here below.
But if you don’t feel that the friends have advanced much further than you, then it isn’t the right approach to correction. If you don’t envy everyone around you, seeing that they understand and feel more than you, it’s a sign that you are not on the right track.
This envy is intended to stimulate and to push a person as a result of his right attitude towards the group. God forbid that he should ever want to see them as inferior to him. When he sees that they are higher than him, he wants to adhere to them, to be in contact with them. His ego pushes him to connect with them, like a child who is impressed by adults asking them: “Take me with you! Help me be like you!”
With that, he turns to the Creator, since he discovers that the Creator is there within the friends, more than in him. It’s a very concrete and qualitative revelation, as it says: “I have learned from all my students.” You see that only if you incorporate in the group and annul yourself, it is there that you will find your spiritual state. If you don’t feel that, it’s a bad sign in the work.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/23/12, “The Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot”