Answer: All the matter of the creation—everything around us, including us; everything we see: the still, vegetative, and animate nature and mankind, everything that fills this reality—is merely a desire to receive, a desire to receive pleasure. We are made of matter that wants to receive, to enjoy. The lowest level that wants to receive is the matter of the inanimate nature. The still level of nature doesn’t even want to move. The vegetative level already wants to receive and to enjoy more: it grows from the soil, blooms, lives for a certain period and dies. Animals have a greater desire to receive and to enjoy. They need to move in order to obtain food and this only expresses their internal desire to receive and to enjoy. But humans have the greatest desire to receive and to enjoy. They develop from one generation to the next wanting to enjoy more, inventing different sources of pleasure.
The still creation, the plants, and the animals don’t change the world, but live in nature just the way they were born. Man, however, is above them and he changes himself, changes his environment, and builds different systems that are all meant to fill his ego, his desire to receive pleasure. But if we look at different groups of people or at different nations we see that they don’t all have an equal desire to receive and to enjoy. Some are more passive while others are more active; some have a more developed ego and others have a less developed ego.
According to the wisdom of Kabbalah, if we can change our desire to receive that only wishes to serve itself to receive pleasure into a desire to bring others pleasure; if we change the use of our desire and instead of filling ourselves we fill others, we will resemble the upper force, the Creator; after all, He fills everyone and delights everyone. He will fill us to the extent that we resemble Him and we will feel Him inside us in the same desire that we want to fill others. The desire that we correct and change into a desire to delight others that is filled with the feeling of the Creator is called a soul. Therefore, it says that the soul is a Godly part from Above since it resembles the Creator.
Question: Does that mean that the soul is something that we have to build?
Answer: Of course! None of us has a soul yet. If I begin to work with all my egoism, with the desire to receive in the direction of love thy friend as thyself by yearning at least a little to use my desire to receive in order to serve others, for the benefit of others, in order to fill others, this desire is called a soul.
From the Israeli Radio Program 103FM, 5/10/15