Question: What does The Zohar mean by, “When a person lies asleep and the soul leaves him and testifies to that person” (Chapter “Lech Lecha [Go Forth],” Item 359)?
Answer: The soul is the Light in the desire (Kli). We can correct our desire to receive only in the Sefirot of Keter, Hochma, and Bina, while correction in the Sefirot of Zeir Anpin and Malchut can only be partial. For this reason, the largest Light that can manifest in us for now is the Light of Neshama, while the Lights of Haya and Yechida can serve only as small supplementary illumination from below upwards.
Therefore, our collective desire is called “the soul” (Neshama), by the name of the greatest Light that the soul can contain within it until the end of correction. If the desire exists in a state where it is able to attain the Light of Neshama, it is called the soul (Neshama). That’s because we name desires by the names of the lights which fill them. However, if the desires cannot contain these lights and be filled with them due to the lack of the screen, there is no soul. It is because the filling is the screen and the Reflected Light, the property of bestowal.
The soul is not my reception of Light from Above. The soul (Neshama), like all of the Inner Light in the desire, is formed by my giving this Light to someone else, by passing it through myself and thereby getting filled by it. This is called my Light, the Light that I receive. I receive the opportunity to bestow, and that’s what fills me.
This is why “at night,” when I am not yet able to correct my desires and gain control over them with the help of the screens (the property of bestowal), I receive a negative impression in my desire called darkness. But what is “darkness”? Darkness is when I cannot bestow and this state feels as “night,” meaning the lack of bestowal on my part. I feel regret and prepare to correct my desires.
I merit the “day” through my work “at night.” I got up at dawn to attend the Kabbalah lesson and united with my friends; I made various corrections and obtained new desires and screens. In all of these screens and desires I create a new form of bestowal that fills me. This means my “day” has begun.
Hence, “night” is also a spiritual state for it is the preparation of desires. And if a person doesn’t have a desire to attain bestowal, even the “night” doesn’t exist for him for we define “day” and “night” according to our spiritual states.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/5/10, The Zohar