Answer: The fate of each of us is very clearly defined. If we take the starting and ending points of our path, then, whatever you say, each soul must go through all these stages and reach its final destination, its full realization.
It depends on how you will tread your path: quickly or slowly, falling and crawling or climbing, or, conversely, flying from one point to another. It makes a big difference whether you will undergo serious suffering, being in the negative, or if you will be in the positive.
Nevertheless, the end point for each of us has already been established. So everything that the science of Kabbalah offers is for the purpose of not slowing you down.
Let’s say that a soul comes out of point “A” to point “B.” You can stop at point “n” and move to point “m” over several lifetimes, in terrible suffering or you can get there fast, as if in flight. Therefore, we determine the pace of our advancement, its magnitude, and its quality. It depends on us.
This is what the science of Kabbalah offers. The science of Kabbalah lets us see the whole perspective, to approximate the ultimate goal we must reach.
Practically, each segment of the path is the achievement of the ultimate goal, only on a larger and larger scale: Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama, Haya, Yechida, or the 125 steps of the gradual development of the soul.
As we develop our soul, we begin to feel how we attain and open nature, to become included in it, begin to see and understand it. It is like a grand symphony that involves us and lets us be its integral participant. Attaining such great harmony, when each part in billions of states connects with all others in perfect interaction, is the greatest pleasure.
Question: Do we advance in a straight path or is there always a sine wave?
Answer: A sinusoid exists, as it is said: “There is no righteous in the world who would not stumble.” But the point is that when you stumble, immediately get up, advance quickly, so that even our mistakes will serve to push us toward the search, meaning, inspire us toward further advancement.
From the Daily Kabbalah lesson in Russian, 12/30/18