Question: If I am totally dependent on the environment, how can I influence it?
Answer: If you look closely, you will see that indeed everything you will be in the future is totally determined by the environment. This means that you are like clay in the hands of a craftsman, which is the environment, since the upper Light comes in an abstract form. The environment stabilizes you and then the upper Light goes through it and influences you, and then you can somehow imagine what the environment is like, what is should look like. Since it is your future, you want to look for this future form on the environment and thus relate to it. Then suddenly you begin to discover that your future attributes and the attributes of the whole world are in it, since the individual and the general are equal, and even if you delve into an individual person, you will see the whole world in him, all the way to the end of correction.
So when you look at the environment this way, you want to become dependent on it, and then you begin to discover that in all the friends there are the correct future states, although they don’t identify them yet. Thus the great Kabbalist, Rabbi Yossi Ben Kisma learned from his new students, as it written, “I have learned from all my students.”
This is the way you should relate to the environment, since it is the same wrapping that affects you. The more corrected you imagine it to be, the more it impresses you. It has no form of its own; everything depends on how you see it.
You may ask, so why does it say: “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers.” (Psalms 1) It is good for the person who does not sit among the wicked and certainly good for a person who sits among the righteous.
Of course we refer to wicked and righteous in the right and good environment that advances to spirituality. But the point is that a person himself shapes his environment. By the way he treats it today, he determines if it is an “environment of wicked” or an “environment of righteous.” And accordingly he determines how this environment will affect him.
It is because we don’t know who is wicked and who is righteous. At first people yearn for spirituality—this is what I reveal by my corporeal senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch). I see in my mind and heart that everyone yearns for spirituality more or less. The way I perceive them from now on depends on me. The different qualities I attribute to them and the more sublime and respectable they are, is how they will impress me.
I build my environment, the envelope that affects me. Then it determines not only this affect but also the form of the Creator. It is because the Creator has no form. The relationship between me and the environment stabilize the Creator’s image for me, and since He has no image, I simply imagine Him that way.
Later this environment becomes an external vessel for me in which there is the Surrounding Light, and this process continues until the end of correction, until this vessel unites with me and becomes my vessel, for my whole “self” that is filled with the Inner Light.
From the 2nd part the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/29/12, The Zohar