Shamati #225, “Raising Oneself”: One cannot raise oneself above one’s circle. Hence, one must suck from one’s environment. And one has no other counsel, except through much work and Torah. Therefore, if one chooses for oneself a good environment, one saves time and efforts, since one is drawn according to one’s environment.
This is in the power of man: Either he gives himself to the power of the environment or nature, the Creator, rules over him. It’s one or the other.
Why am I called a man if I choose the power of the environment? It is because it is my choice that I make in spite of all the obstacles, in spite of my inner resistance, problems, and troubles. I determine who reigns in me.
Thus, I choose only the force that will act within me and I have no control over it. Either I am driven by the Creator, the individual force, or a good environment, the integral force, behind which He stands. And then, the integral force will become the head of the Partzuf that we depicted on the drawing as a “car.”
In fact, a person realizes nothing but this choice. If he chooses correctly, the group affects him, if he chooses incorrectly the “body” reigns over him, meaning the direct dictates of the Creator. One way or the other, the Creator acts in everything, either through the environment or personally.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/7/13, “Principles for Building a Better Environment”