The science of Kabbalah defines life and death only with respect to merging with the Creator. A state similar to the Creator is called life, while one that is opposite to Him is death. Therefore, egoistic desires (Klipot) are considered dead, whereas the “poison of death” refers to the force that separates the creature from the Creator.
Death is not a loss of existence, as we observe the disappearance of one’s form in this world (at our degree). All that is created (desire) changes only with respect to drawing closer to or further away from the Creator in its intention to bestow; in everything else (in its desire), the creature remains the same. Hence distancing from the Creator, losing the state of adhesion with Him, is called “death,” whereas adhesion with Him, acquiring the quality of bestowal, is called “life.”
In his article, “The Essence of the Wisdom of Kabbalah,” Baal HaSulam writes that the science of Kabbalah is a means for the creature to reveal the Creator in this world. To reveal the Creator means to assume His qualities.
Although we exist in a world of the still, vegetative, and animate matter, by acquiring the human level of similarity to the Creator, we come to feel ourselves and our existence as perfect and eternal, like the Creator. The science of Kabbalah changes us to facilitate our ascent to the next level (degree) where we begin to see that we do not disappear, but simply change the level of our existence.
From the Evening Zohar Lesson 4/21/10