The Zohar, Chapter “Truma (Donation),” Item 432: …all the people in the world know that they will die and return to dust, and therefore many repent and return to their Master because of this fear. They fear sinning before Him.
Question: What is the meaning of “to die”?
Answer: “To die” or “to live” talks about the desire. According to The Zohar, “alive” means bestowing and “dead” means receiving.
In spirituality there is no life or death. We talk about life and death in our world because we perceive only one form of existence and we see that this form seems to disappear from us. We think that life is the body when it’s breathing, and death is when it stops breathing.
But to a person who starts to feel spirituality, this distinction becomes very strange: How is it possible that this is the indication by which we tell the difference between what exists and what doesn’t exist, what is alive and what is dead? That’s because this person shifts to perceiving a different form of existence, and the earthly notions of life and death disappear for him.
If a person shifts to a more important perception where bestowal is considered life and reception death, then he rises above the level of an animal to the level of a human, and then life to him means existence on the human level and death on the animate level. He does not connect life and death to the existence of the animate body.
Then this animate body disappears from his sensation, losing its significance for defining his state, life and death. Even if the body dies, a person is already on a different degree of desire in the sensation of life and death in relation to spirituality, and he is united with them.