The wisdom of Kabbalah considers the entire creation to be like a will to receive divided into four levels: still, vegetative, animate, and speaking.
Essentially, this is talking about the vital force that acts within them. On the basic level of the still, it only constitutes the compulsory need to maintain its structure. So everything begins from a simple polarity, from “plus” and “minus,” from an electron and a proton, to which are gathered other particles, forming a complete “galaxy” within the atom.
Then the atoms build all kinds of forms of inanimate matter: gases, liquids, solids, plasma. And on the next level they connect into molecules, and at a particular moment life is formed within matter.
We don’t understand how this happens. Because up until now the particles were connected with each other “mechanically,” then suddenly something new appears among them.
What is life? Is it simply the “leaping” of electrons? No. Basically, in what way is animate organic matter different from the inanimate matter of the still? Science doesn’t know this. But we see the vital force, metabolism, reproduction, all kinds of mutual connections, forming memory, forming reactions that produce the connections and the uniqueness of all kinds of different cells. The origin of all this evolution remains a mystery to us. Nobody has succeeded in creating the vegetative or animate level from the still level.
But in fact, this is talking about the vital force, the desire that acts within matter. It is derived from the spiritual interaction of Lights and vessels; this is the reason why its appearance cannot be explained in physical terms. We discover and investigate all kinds of phenomena but not the force that forms them.
In this manner, the will to receive is the basic force of creation and we can only witness its existence. It is worthwhile to accept this as a fact, to be able to discover and perceive all the rest later. For in sum we are creatures who perceive ourselves in some kind of reality, at a particular moment in our development. Certainly we ask questions, but in order to find answers about them, it is necessary to go either to the beginning of creation or to its end.
A person is a small and limited part of the immense creation, and if he wants to investigate it, he must first grow to its dimensions, to the required height. Only then will he be able to grasp, absorb, and investigate it through analysis and synthesis.
In general, life is Light. But we discover this within a desire that is born within our comprehension of the phenomena of the levels of the still, vegetative, animate, and human. In fact, it is singular, even though on the “screen” of our consciousness we see all kinds of images that are sketched by the Light; even though they compel us to experience all kinds of emotions, all this takes place within us and not in reality. In reality only desire and the Light that animates it exist, to a greater or lesser degree. If to a greater degree, then one is happy, and if to a smaller degree, then one cries. And that is how we develop…
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/10/13, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar”