Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot”: Now we can understand the severity of the punishment of the Tree of Knowledge, for which all people are put to death. This death extends from eating it, as the Creator had warned him, “in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
… Hence, that eternal breath of life, expressed in the verse, “and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life,” had to leave there and depend on a slice of bread for its transient sustenance.
This life is not an eternal life as before, when it was for himself. It is rather similar to a sweat of life, a life that has been divided into tiny drops, where each drop is a fragment of his previous life. And this is the meaning of the sparks of souls that were spread throughout his progeny. Thus, in all his progeny, all the people in the world in all the generations, through the last generation, which concludes the purpose of creation, are one long chain.
Obviously, it is not talking about the ordinary life and death of a person in this world. It is speaking about life cycles of the desire to receive pleasure. Each time it is revealed in us anew, and we correct it further. This is what the wisdom of Kabbalah calls “a new life cycle.” However, if we live an ordinary “animal” life, we do not correct anything and do not go through “life cycles.”
Due to the sin of the Tree of Knowledge, a new and enormous void became revealed called shame. This is what we need to correct, but it requires a lot of life cycles. If a person changes, the entire world changes together with him. And if the person does not change, the world cannot change either.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/29/10, “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot”