Answer: Part of the Creator that is in still nature turns it into the vegetative level. Another part turns the desire of the vegetative level into an animate one and another part raises the desire of the animate level into the level of the speaking. Each time another qualitative force is added: Malchut of the upper turns into Keter of the lower. The Creator’s force that is concealed in it erupts upwards and gives birth to a new lower level.
The form of the new level is determined directly from Above, while its content, the filling, the essence of the level according to which the level is determined, comes from the Creator. So in all the four phases of the Direct Light there is the same typical matter of the desire to receive, but they are totally different, since each phase has a new supplementary part of the Creator.
The level of still nature can only preserve itself the way the Creator created it. It is called “an embryo in its mother’s womb.”
The vegetative level doesn’t totally annul itself before the upper; it already wants to add something of its own; it receives food only when it wants to eat, etc. It can bring the mother contentment, and accordingly it suffers when it is away from her and happy when it is close to her.
The animate level already comes closer and draws away independently. It already has a mind and it can be opposite or similar to the upper one. Shuddering by the oppositeness, it resembles it again, thus bringing more contentment. It isn’t by chance that we love naughty kids more than quiet ones. It is because you sometimes don’t feel a quiet child, while a naughty child, who causes trouble, makes you feel the discrepancy between the states, and you love him more and feel closer to him. He spurs you and changes your mood and eventually summons love. He constantly carves a “notch” in your heart and sometimes “spreads” something good on it.
As for the level of the speaking, it can take the Creator’s place in the creation. It takes care of everything and sees all of creation as a chance to bestow upon the Creator.
This is what is typical about this development: The more the created being is adhered to the Creator, the more clearly he discovers his oppositeness from Him.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/11/12, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar”