Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” Item 45: And that Light of Nefesh is called “the Light of the holy still in the world Assiya.” This is because it corresponds to the purity of the still part of the will to receive in man’s body. It shines in spirituality like the still category in corporeality (see Item 35), whose particles have no individual motion, but only collective motion, common to all the items equally. So it is with the Light of Partzuf Nefesh of Assiya: Although there are six hundred and thirteen organs in it, …these changes are not apparent in it, but only a general Light, whose action enfolds them all equally, without distinction of details.
The still level is willing to give up its desire and to be under the Masach and restriction, in darkness, in concealment. It’s as if it doesn’t exist at all, holding on to one thing only: adhesion to the Creator, adhesion that it is capable of, meaning minimal one.
Above this state there are the levels of active self-annulment before the Creator that the still level cannot implement. However, it’s capable of passive adhesion within the limits of its abilities, and it’s not after self-benefit in any way.
As we all know, there is a wide variety of different forms on the still level: from the simplest forms to the most complex ones, like corals that are the link between the still and the vegetative levels. There is a difference between gold and diamonds, a diamond is different than copper…. Moreover, the vegetative level belongs to the soil, in which the plants grow. Where do all the differences between these forms of matter come from? The difference is in the levels of Aviut (thickness), in the “layers” of the desire, which one has to give up in order to stay in adhesion with the Creator.
This is how the pyramid of matter is built in our world: There is no shortage of “gravel,” but there are few “diamonds.” Coal burnt in power stations and diamonds are actually made of the same material, but they differ in quality. The difference is in the desire to receive of the still level, and when we relinquish it, we adhere to the Creator on a minimal level.
It’s not a simple level in any way, and it begins from self-restraint, self-annulment, restriction. This is the quality of the first spiritual level.
Question: The still level also develops and evolves in our world. How does that go along with absolute self-annulment?
Answer: Evolution occurs as a result of an external force and not from within. On the whole, the still level “lives” its life. The atoms, molecules, the crystals, and the special vibrations—the whole universe is in continuous motion. “Still” doesn’t mean “balanced.” The ultimate balance is achieved only at the end of correction.
In the meantime, the imbalance evokes movement in the still matter: It doesn’t grow, but it “holds on” to the stable state, according to the program of self-preservation. Thus, the movements and changes on the still level are meant to keep it on the still level.
Take the example of radioactive radiation, which certain matter needs in order to remain static. The wind blows, volcanoes erupt, and the still nature needs all that in order to be more balanced and preserve itself on a level that is as still as possible. The action in this case is not in accordance with its goal.
Question: Is there “recognition of evil” on the still level?
Answer: In the still level of the spiritual world there is everything. It’s a whole unique plan, part of Malchut of Infinity. Everything happens and develops from here. Without the still nature there would be nothing; it’s the basis for everything. Everything that happens on the next levels, the vegetative, animate, and speaking, happens thanks to the special connections of the still elements.
Life itself is built on the contact between still parts. They cannot connect independently, but a force comes from Above, and thanks to this addition, a collection of separate materials becomes a metabolism that we call “life.” Similarly, an addition of Light creates the animate level above the vegetative level and the speaking level above the animate level.
Question: What is the main condition for the ascent from the still to the vegetative level?
Answer: A person ends his development in all the 613 desires of the still level, covers them by restriction, by annulment, and remains in adhesion. It’s just like a drop of semen adheres to the mother’s womb while on the still level.
In this state you are ready for the Creator to join you and to perform a “surgery” on you, which we call “the transition to the vegetative level.” Additional Light is necessary for that, and it’s very hard to bear: “Do anything but not that…” In order to receive this additional Light and to enter spiritual life, you have to relinquish yourself, to rise above the concepts of life and death that we can imagine today, and to start a new life that is totally disconnected from you.
Question: So does the original matter that the Creator created remain the same, and what determines everything is the additional Light, an additional bestowal? Is the level of development higher if there is more bestowal? Do we have to summon the Light consciously and willingly on the speaking level?
Answer: This is called raising a request for correction (MAN). This is the only thing we lack. I am ready for the Creator to “operate” on me, I agree to that and I want it. He simply carries out my desire so that I will adhere to Him.
Question: Do we want to enter our first level, the still level during the convention this coming weekend?
Answer: You will not be able to enter the still level with regards to the Creator if you don’t do that with regards to the friend. No way. I repeat, the main thing here is self-annulment.
Then, on the vegetative level we will rise even higher and will learn to annul ourselves in motion. For example, on the still level I annul myself before the friends a “thousand dollars’ worth” and hold on to this standard, and on the vegetative level I gradually add to it.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/21/13, “The Introduction to The Book of Zohar”