If we rise to a new desire, to a new level of awakening, we feel a growing despair and eventually die. We don’t die in the physical sense which is expected in any case, but the point is that our spirit is extinguished.
On the beastly level the spirit dies together with the body, but while the body lives, we can find a source that will allow us to rise anew each time, a new awakening. In it we feel life, livelihood, to such an extent that we become detached from the physical existence and its dependence on the body and begin to live in an awakening that is detached from corporeality. These become two different things for us, as it says “you shall see your world in your life.”
Thus a person acquires new vessels, desires, to feel life. This begins from the descents: When a person doesn’t feel life in the vessels of bestowal, he considers himself dead. Then he changes the reason, the vessel of awakening, from receiving to bestowal, and thus gets rid of the spiritual and the physical “angel of death.”
Spiritually he moves on to the vessels of bestowal that do not belong to our world. There is no death in them when the biological body dies; it ceases to feel the livelihood connected to it when the time comes for it to disintegrate and to return to the basic materials it’s made of, as always happens. But at the same time, a person acquires an awakening in the vessels of bestowal in which he feels life and the force of livelihood. After all, he can always add something to these vessels.
As a whole, the feeling of life isn’t measured by a person’s present desire, but rather by the addition to the desire, by an acceleration coefficient. So a person should always be like a “bent old man” who seems to be looking for something he lost. I should constantly worry about losing the yearning for the goal. If a person performs this work, then he is young in soul. Otherwise we become “children who have grown old,” who retire without maturing.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/11/12, “The Freedom”