Baal HaSulam, “The Peace”: We can all plainly see that the human species must lead a social life, meaning it cannot exist and sustain itself without the help of others. Therefore, imagine an event where one retires from society to a desolate location and lives a life of misery and great pain there due to his inability to provide for his needs. That person would have no right to complain about Providence or his fate. And if that person were to do that, meaning complain and curse his bitter fate, he would only be displaying his stupidity.
This is because while Providence has prepared for him a comfortable, desirable place in society, he has no justification to retire from it to a desolate place. Such a person must not be pitied, since he is going against the nature of Creation. And since he has the option to live as Providence has ordered him, he should not be pitied. That sentence is agreed upon by all of humanity without dispute.
A person who retires from society will certainly suffer. This is the way we are built; we need society. It’s because no one can provide everything that he needs for his existence by himself. It’s the same with animals, and all the more so with humans.
Question: But why does Baal HaSulam use such a blunt language?
Answer: He wants to show that there are clear cut truths in nature: If you want to remain human, you have to live among human beings. If you want to be an animal, go and live among animals. A child who is born in a herd of cows takes an example from what he sees and becomes the same up to his physiological limits and possibly even beyond these limits.
The environment determines everything, no one promises you anything. By choosing the environment you determine your own future. So choose who you want to be; which society you want to join. There is a need to be accurate here: First you decide who you want to be, and then you enter the right environment that will turn you into who you want to be. Ideally, if a person advances correctly by adding his feeling, by checking himself, by listening to his attributes, then he will always find the right place, the right environment that will advance him gently and lovingly.
Unfortunately, we don’t know how to calculate things correctly in order for all of that to happen. The right environment is right at your side, but you don’t choose it. You keep on returning to different external circles, external societies, and are impressed by them. Eventually, you receive even the good impression through the prism of the external distortions and are left with nothing…
If you entered one of the environments “head on,” no matter which, you would find that environment very beneficial. But today you are mixing them and confusing them and you don’t know where you feel good and where you feel bad. It’s because there is no accurate discernment of any of them, only the mixed and blurry contours.
So it turns out that the real problem is actually not about entering a bad environment. On the contrary, get in and check it out. But this mixture of environments leaves us confused: we don’t know what we have received anymore and from where and cannot decide…
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/11/13, “The Peace”