Baal HaSulam, “The Peace”: …although we see the bodies changing from generation to generation, this is only the case with the bodies. But the souls, which are the essence of the body’s self, do not vanish, to be replaced, but move from body to body, from generation to generation.
“The body” stands for a desire to receive. If the intention to bestow is present in it, then according to the law of the similarity of properties, the Light dresses into it. The Light’s tiniest elementary particle (the initial level of the soul) is called “Nefesh.” In general, the Light that dresses in a corrected desire belongs to a different level of the soul and is called “Neshama.” We will never completely reveal the highest Lights such as Haya and Yechida until we reach the end of correction.
In fact, the vessel and the Light are all that there is. It also happens that the Light cannot emerge in the vessel; therefore, it slightly “illuminates” the vessel so that it can stay alive. It also happens that the vessel becomes similar to the Light by acquiring the correct intention. The desire to receive and the Light by definition are antagonistic since the Light is constantly bestowing. However, if on top of the desire to receive there is the intention to bestow (meaning “faith above reason” or the “reflected Light”) then the receiving desire becomes somewhat similar to the Light and thus it may be filled with the Light because there is a connection between them. The Light that descends to the desire to receive is called “Nefesh,” “Ruach,” or “Neshama.”
The wisdom of Kabbalah talks about the corrected “body” of the desire to receive. On the other hand, there is no soul in our present desire whatsoever, not even at the level of “Nefesh.” We are not talking about physical bodies here, since bodies are a part of this “illusionary” world.
Books written by Kabbalists are not medical manuals, nor are they written as anatomy textbooks. They talk about spirituality and the soul. The “soul” is a particle of the Creator, meaning of the desire to fulfill and please. It’s the Light that dresses into a corrected desire to receive. It has nothing to do with our current desires that “nourish” this world and belong to the “animate” level. Not at all! It’s about our desire toward the Creator that belongs to the “speaking” level.
Where do we find these desires? They can be found only in the group of friends, never in our physical sensations. This explains why we should “skip” physiology and everything that pertains to the body. Kabbalah doesn’t talk about these things. It explores the desires that emerge in us when we seek the Creator, whether those are “good” bestowing desires or “bad” ones when we “steal” from Him.
These relationships are described very well in the example of the guest and the Host. When I sit at the table that is full of delicacies, it’s not about what is in front of me, but rather who the Host is. The rest refers to the “animate” level and should be left behind the scenes. The thing is that I am sitting across from the Host! How do I relate to Him? How does He relate to me? What is going on between us? This is the wisdom of Kabbalah, and it’s all about spirituality.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/8/13, “The Peace”