A question I received: Baal HaSulam wrote that the spiritual worlds differ only with respect to their material. What does that mean? Is it because the same exact forms are imprinted into different material?
My Answer: Yes! We think that desires differ in size, that they can be big or small, but in reality, the desire only changes with respect to its essence or quality. Looking at the four phases of creation (the four phases of Direct Light), we see that desire develops not in size, but in quality.
We do not assess the size of desire according to its volume. We’re always looking at its quality, the extent to which it is similar to the Creator; this is why differentiates the level of Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama, Chaya, and Yechida. The size and quality of a desire are actually inversely proportional. The higher a desire’s quality, the smaller its size, much like the shape of a pyramid.
There is a great quantity of ordinary materials, qualities and people in nature, while their premium counterparts are rare. In spirituality we focus on the quality of the object rather than its size, and on acceleration rather than speed. The size of a desire is determined by its quality, not its quantity. This raises the question: If a desire does not change quantitatively, then what makes it change qualitatively? The answer is that it’s because of the Upper Light that influences it from within!
What is the difference between a great desire and a small one? The only difference is the extent to which the desire is similar to the quality of bestowal. If I’ve grown over the course of a month, it means that I’ve become more bestowing, not larger in size. But we can also say the opposite: The more a person grows in spirituality, the less he “puffs up,” as it is written: “Wisdom is for the humble.”
Spiritual changes are exclusively qualitative, both with respect to objects and time categories. Qualities are determined exclusively by intention – “reception” or “bestowal.”