And it came to pass in the days of the war, the days of the dreadful carnage, that I was praying, crying bitterly all through the night. And behold, at the break of dawn, it seemed as though all the people in the world have gathered in a group before my mind’s eye. And a man was hovering among them with his sword over their heads, lashing at their heads. The heads soared upward, and their corpses fell to a great basin and became a sea of bones. (Baal HaSulam “The Prophecy”)
From the point of view of Kabbalah, we are talking about very large, serious processes in the souls. These are not heads or bodies, not our earthly minds or our qualities.
If we speak purely allegorically, then people, as if, are deprived of their minds. Only their bodies remain with them, which fall to the lowest level, the level of our world. They are deprived of the opportunity to rise spiritually, and thus they become spiritually dead.
By war we mean the war of the forces of good and evil, between which man is confined. In this war, everything depends on which way the action is going, what the scales are leaning toward.
And a voice called out to me: “I am the Lord, God, who governs the world with great mercy. Reach out your hand and take the sword, for now I have given you power and might.” … “I will make you a great sage and all the sages of the land shall be blessed in you, for I have chosen you for a righteous sage in all this generation, to heal the human suffering with lasting salvation.”
Baal HaSulam reveals his mission. The Creator, instead of sending an angel to take off heads, gives him a double-edged sword so that by the force of this sword, only by a reasonable, correct force, he can bring people another idea—correction— to give them, as it were, a different head and to restore their life, to make their striving forward different, that is, to guide them on the path of correction with the help of the same sword.
The sword symbolizes the upper light. It can be both the poison of death and the elixir of life.
This is what Baal HaSulam felt and he began to seriously implement this prophecy.
From KabTV’s “The Power of The Book of Zohar” #5