Answer: Evil is what is not related to the Creator. Everything you can imagine that does not pertain to the nature of the Creator is pure evil.
It turns out that our whole world, all the forces, all the manifestations at various levels of nature, are absolute evil. In order to manifest Himself toward us, the Creator made a creation opposite to His qualities. It is called the desire to receive for self alone or egoism.
This desire can only feel itself, nothing outside of it. It has no ability to understand, conceive, or perceive anything else. Therefore it is the foundation of future evil. It is not evil itself yet, because the desire is not at fault for acting this way since it was created this way from the very beginning.
That is why the desires of this world, which pertain to inanimate nature, that is, to what exists in all the vast galaxies, to the vegetative nature that grows on our planet, and to the animal world that exists on Earth, including ourselves for we are animals in our bodies, all are the embryo of egoism. It is not egoism itself, rather a desire to exist, to fulfill itself.
Egoism is a term for what is above the animal level. As a rule, a person consists of part animal, and in this he is not an egoist because he wants to exist as any animal does. However, he also has something that exceeds his animal level, when he yearns for more than his material body does. That is already called “egoism,” although it is not a final state, but rather, “I want more.”
If I want more at the expense of others, with it I’m stealing from them, this is true egoism. If, however, I purposely behave in such a way to derive pleasure from being ahead of others at their misfortune, that is an advanced level of egoism. There are many different degrees of the growth of egoism.
In other words, everything that is inside us as people is egoism; everything that is in us as animals on an inanimate, vegetative, and animal levels are regular nature.
Therefore, egoism is a desire to get pleasure at the expense of others, when I rejoice at being ahead of everyone else.
Animals eat each other because of hunger. For example, a crocodile swallows a cow and then does not have to eat for six months; he had enough. The snake, after swallowing its prey, lays without moving with no concern for anything else. But not a person. As I “swallow” one cow, I already think of how to eat the second one, or at least catch it and hold it for later. Animals don’t really have that.
That is why everything that we do above our natural desire to fill ourselves is human egoism that is reaching ever-new heights.
In this we are different from the Creator. The constantly evolving egoism inside us that acts to the detriment of others is the root of the evil of our nature, and thanks to it, on one side we conquer the world, but on the other, we corner ourselves into a dead end.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian, 2/26/17