Two questions I received on corporeality’s relationship to spirituality:
Question: You’ve said that if people don’t study Kabbalah, it will lead to material consequences such as murder, destruction, and corporeal suffering, and that by studying Kabbalah, we can prevent the suffering. You have also said that the spiritual and the corporeal aren’t connected. How do you explain this contradiction?
My Answer: Spiritual forces operate from above downwards. They create and determine everything in the corporeal world. However, it is impossible to have a reverse effect, from below upwards, and influence the Upper World with one’s corporeal, physical actions. One can, however, influence the Upper World with one’s desires, by becoming similar and balanced with the Upper World to the extent of one’s desire for it. As a consequence, a force descends upon you from the Upper World – a Light that corrects you, making you similar to the Upper World.
Question: Is there a connection between a person’s place of residence and his luck, health, and happiness? How can someone find out where he should live?
My Answer: It doesn’t matter where one lives. It only matters if you live in a physically or spiritually dangerous place, near physical or spiritual criminals, because they influence you negatively. See Baal HaSulam’s article “The Freedom,” section “The Environment as a Factor.”