The Zohar, Chapter “Lech Lecha (Go Forth),” Item 153: NR are not two separate degrees from one another. Rather, they are one degree, and they are two that are conjoined. And there is one that is superior who governs them and clings to them, and they to her. And she is called Neshama.
The Zohar tells us how, after achieving the first spiritual contact, we intensify this connection and see the subsequent manifestations of spirituality in it. Then we feel not only the first degree of unification called Nefesh (N), a state of rest (Nefisha), and the ability to maintain ourselves in this connection, but also the common great life, which is revealed from within the point of our first contact as another higher, deeper dimension called Ruach (R).
If we do not reach the first contact, the place of our unification, we will not reveal the entrance to the upper dimension (the quality of bestowal). Yet, when we establish this contact among us, the Upper Light begins to affect it. It reveals it, and we enter a completely different dimension through it: the spiritual world.
Everything that happens within this connection is called the spiritual world. First it seems to us that attaining this universal connection between people promises us a good life, safety, and pleasant sensations. However, that is not all! Within this common point, an entrance into the spiritual world is revealed.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/27/10, The Zohar