You have to humble yourself not before certain people but before the means for attaining the spiritual goal—the study, the teacher, the friends, and the group. It’s because these are not just people, but a system, and if you annul yourself before it you will enter your first spiritual state: Ibur (embryo). Of course, there has to be a different kind of annulment with regard to every means; with regard to the study, you should examine its essence and why it’s needed and what it is that you study.
The system is revealed to you in the image of the teacher and the friends. It is one upper system, which by its revelation to you depicts in you the images of Kabbalists throughout the generations and of the friends. It’s you that builds these images, and they are in you. It says, “Thou shall not make statues or images,” in the sense that you are forbidden to perceive them externally, that they exist outside your feeling. You are in front of the Light that depicts all these discernments in you.
So the work is in imagining only the Creator’s bestowal upon you instead of all these images. But in this general behavior of the Creator, you are allowed to discern all the individual manners with regard to which you can focus yourself.
It’s as if you are playing a chord on a musical instrument and you need several strings that are perfectly tuned relative to one another. In order to do that, you have a teacher, friends, this world, and the study. If you tune all the “strings” correctly by perceiving everything as coming from the Creator, you will be able to come to Him.
If you regard the teacher, the friends, the group, the study, and the world as coming from one upper source, then everything that you do to tighten the connection with them allows you to tune yourself more accurately. It’s as if you are checking every one of your strings according to the sound of this tuning fork and thus advance.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/7/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam