Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” Item 24: And since the essence of the soul is but a desire to bestow, and all its manifestations and possessions are fulfillments of that desire to bestow, which already exists in the eternal first state, as well as in the future third state, it is immortal and irreplaceable. Rather, it and all its possessions are eternal and exist forever. Absence does not affect whatsoever at the departure of the body.
Question: What does “the departure of the body” mean?
Answer: The desire to receive disappears in its previous form, and it is as if you acquire a new vessel instead, a desire to receive in order to bestow. In this vessel you discover the Creator, the Light, your eternal life. All your egoistic attributes take on the opposite form by the restriction and a Masach (screen), an intention and the dressing of the Returning Light. Now this is your life.
So, the transition from the intention of in order to receive to an intention of in order to bestow is called “the departure of the corporeal body.” Although the desire to receive was formed as “something from nothing,” it exists eternally. Without this it wouldn’t be a created being, a desire to receive fulfillment and pleasure. There is nothing we can do with it, but only to reveal or conceal it according to the different states.
By revealing the desire a little, you see “this world.” Greater revelations are called “the upper worlds.” Eventually you discover the whole “sphere,” in its full scale (∑), in every direction, and rise to the “integral” (∫) from zero to Ein Sof (Infinity), or to the world of Ein Sof.
The desire to receive is divided into “layers:” from the root phase to phase four. We can restrict (Tzimtzum) the desire and then you cannot use it in any way. You can also put a Masach on the desire, and then you can use it and operate it to the depth of the different layers.
If you use the Masach at the Aviut (thickness) of the root phase, you feel the world of Assiya. In the Aviut of phase one you feel the world of Yetzira, in the Aviut of phase two you feel the world of Beria, etc.
At the same time, the desire to receive doesn’t disappear, but it is as if you always work above it. Of course, you still remain in it, but schematically we present it as an ascent. We can say that the attributes that are corrected by the Masach “descend” and take their place in the Aviut of the desire to receive.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/18/13, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar”