In his article “Body and Soul,” Baal HaSulam explains a very common confusion about body and soul. The topic concerns everyone. What am “I” in this realm? What will happen to me after I die?
Animals do not worry about such things. They never have thoughts like that since they do not sense time outside their nature, nor do they ever rise above their nature, whereas on top of human sensations of life, there is an additional feeling of detachment that causes questions. What happens outside of this life?
In fact, we belong to eternity, and to the degree of our personal connectedness with eternality, we raise different kinds of questions. Our quest varies in intensity and strength, but everyone deals with these questions one way or another.
As a result of this quest, people have come up with multiple theories and concepts. There are several thousand religions, beliefs, customs, and so on that Baal HaSulam divides into the following categories:
- Some think that there is no soul whatsoever and that a body is a machine, a sack of chemical combinations, and that it is driven by electric impulses.
- Others think of a body as something that possesses a soul that enters a body at the time of birth and exits it at death.
- Some think that, even though a soul does exist, still a body can live without it. We know how to attach bodily parts that were torn apart and learned to implant new organs, sometimes even artificial ones. In the future, we possibly will create our own bodies from a set of body parts.
To make a long story short, people are very confused about this issue. Is there a soul or not? Is it inside or outside a body? No one knows the precise answer, nor does anyone have any scientific explanation of this matter.
Therefore, people chose theories according to their tastes. Numerous hypotheses were created during the last century that brought a lot of money to their authors. However, so far, none of those theories provide a true answer to the question since they do not disclose the topic in full.
That’s why Kabbalah is called a “secret wisdom.” It studies things that are concealed from us and makes them obvious to those who study this science. Of course, one must invest lots of effort, but he will be rewarded according to his exertion. It’s a place where veracity can be discovered, although we should remember that revelation in Kabbalah is conditioned by internal changes of a student.
The wisdom of Kabbalah doesn’t deal with external activities such as rituals, amulets, or secret ceremonies. In a very accurate and clear way, it demands a person to change internally.
The demand is very rigid. Being controlled by our desires to receive, we always think to take care of ourselves. This makes us “egoistic animals.” Think about it, check it out, realize your evil inclination, and transform it into its opposite: the intention for the sake of bestowal. There is a special power that implements the correction when we work in the group.
One way or the other, the implementation of Kabbalah principles should be very clear and easy for everyone who wants to know them. The problem is, let’s say, in being lazy. Hence, there are not too many people who have managed to reveal the truth so far.
The wisdom of Kabbalah states that there is no soul that dwells in the body. There is a vessel of the soul that also is called the “body of the soul,” a desire to receive that is totally oriented toward bestowal. It is a corrected vessel for the soul, that is, for the Light that fills it according to the law of similarity of properties and which is called the “Light of the soul.”
Thus, if a person transforms himself into a vessel that receives the Light, then the Light enters him. Afterward, one obtains a soul that belongs to him and that reflects the level of the desires with which he has worked.
There are five levels of the Light of the soul: Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama, Haya, and Yechida. In general, a person must attain a big, common soul and recognize his spiritual attainment in everything around him.
As for material values, they disappear, cease to exist, since material sensors are imaginary. They were given to us temporarily so that we escape this reality and exit to spirituality.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/7/12, “Body and Soul”