Baal HaSulam, “Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah,” Item 5: The Light’s expansion and its subsequent expulsion create a vessel. It can be logically concluded that if the vessel receives the Light instantaneously, the former will be primary and precede the latter. Therefore, the fourth stage becomes the final stage of creation of the vessel, Malchut.
The Light’s expansion in the creature has to occur in four stages, until the creature feels that it receives and always wants more than it gets. For as long as desire was satisfied with what it was receiving, it wasn’t yet the creature in charge of itself. It didn’t have anything of its own, any personal addition to what has already come from the Giver.
From the Giver, we receive the vessel (desire) and the Light. If all of this expands downward without any interference on the part of the creature, and if the latter doesn’t strive to gain greater desire and the Light, then there isn’t any creature, but something that has no will of its own.
This is why the first three levels of desire, meaning the still, vegetative, and animate nature, which derive from the root phase, are not considered to be existing just yet. They are managed from Above, without any addition on their part.
As to the people who are at these levels of evolution, they live and feed on what they receive in our world from their innate qualities, the environment, media, the education system, and so forth. Unless they begin to contribute their individual desire aimed at the root to this and as long as they obey the desire’s orders, their highest level is still “animate.”
And only when a person evolves to the human degree which yearns to contribute something, to return to the root, only then does he or she ask for the root to add more desire and fulfillment, demands development, and becomes a Human who wants to become similar to the Creator. The Creator has to be revealed all the time, over and over again, as it is written: “Know your Maker and serve Him.” This is what separates man from beast. That’s what makes his plea aimed upward at the root authentic.
A human begins with the point in the heart that also comes from Above. But everything else besides this point, where one feels as “existence from absence,” man has to cultivate it on his own. This is the addition whereby one wishes to become similar to the Creator and earn the title of Human. After the still, vegetative, and animate levels of development, only the final degree is regarded as “speaking.” That is what develops the creature, while all the previous levels get included in it.
This is primarily dealing with our internal world, where the still, vegetative and animate nature rise and fall along with the speaking degree. Don’t visualize Earth with its flora and fauna in the valleys and woods. Everything takes place internally. If all other desires support the growth of a human in me, thereby, they ascend along with him in the same degree.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/26/2011, “Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah”