Answer: The soul is the quality of bestowal and the body is the desire to receive. There are many nuances between these two qualities and that is why a person who is not aware of them usually gets confused.
The fact is that the Creator created the desire to receive pleasure, which is the substance of all nature. The nature of the Creator is the desire to bestow and only the Creator possesses this quality.
Therefore, when we say that a person can change his desire from the desire to receive to the desire to bestow, we do not mean that we can change the desire itself but only how we can use this desire with the intention to bestow. Nevertheless, we still always only want to receive.
Usually, we just say that one person gives to another, but in fact, no one gives anything to anyone; such a state does not exist in our nature.
Even if I give you something, I get something in return. The state when a person gives of himself does not exist because a person is not a source. Therefore, any bestowal on the material level has a hidden reward.
But how can a person achieve similarity to the Creator, after all? In other words, how can a person find his or her soul? How can the desire become similar to Him if it is, in fact, the desire to receive? Receiving becomes identical to bestowal only when it has the intention to receive for the purpose of bestowal.
How do we do that? If someone loves me and wants to give me something, then I really can receive it with the intention of pleasing him. By doing him a favor in receiving from him, I perform an action that is equivalent to bestowal.
There are many such instances in our lives. We are talking about the relationship between an important person who is revered by all and an ordinary one. For instance, when an ordinary person gives a gift to an important one and the important one accepts it, he gives pleasure to the ordinary person.
At the same time, there must be absolute understanding of what happens: the important person receives in order to please the ordinary one and the ordinary person gives because for him the action itself is a pleasure since he is giving to the important person.
Here, we can see that the actions are opposite to the intentions, but this does not matter because the most important thing is the intention; it determines the value of the action or its essence.
The Creator’s desire to give and to delight is constant. The desire of the creature, on all levels, inanimate, vegetative, animate, and human, is only to receive.
The inanimate, vegetative, and animate desires are called “nature” and they exist in all people.
The desire to enjoy at the expense of others is called egoism. Moreover, we enjoy, not because it is necessary for our survival on the animate level, but because the “evil man” in each of us enjoys humiliating others.
Thus, egoism is not something that we have to have because nature forces us to use it but only to suppress and rise above others. This is the evil nature, which is characteristic only in humans.
If I rise above the desires to rule and use others, transform them into bestowal, and do not exploit others for my vanity, but, on the contrary, I lower myself toward them in order to really give back, delight, and fulfill them, then these desires have been corrected from evil to good and are called the soul.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 5/21/17