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Michael Laitman, PhD

Dressing in the Body

Q: I have read many explanations about body and soul. Does the Kabbalah recognize the process of a dressing of a soul in the body, and if so, how does it explain it?

A: “A soul dressed in a body” means that a person suddenly feels drawn to something exalted. That attraction is misinterpreted. One senses some surrounding Light, which indicates that the person is inside something very big, and is rather lost in it.

Everyone feels this preliminary sensation, but after a person experiences that sensation several times, it diminishes because one learns correctly, studies the Kabbalah correctly and begins to create within vessels that will help one feel spiritual sensations.

A person thus stops being like an embryo in the womb (a state that exists in a beginner) and becomes more and more mature. Emotions are then redefined and analyzed, and thus one grows farther away from that preliminary situation.

Instead of wanting to be “enveloped” in something higher like an embryo, one should aspire to attain the Upper One himself, to consciously be in Him and try to move forward independently. That can be possible only if the person begins to acquire a spiritual vessel for progress called the “screen.” That is exactly what Kabbalah teaches.

Q: At what point does the soul dress in man?

A: The soul is not dressed in man from the beginning. In the final stages of one’s incarnations, there evolves a desire for greater and greater pleasures: fame, fortune, and knowledge. Then there begins to evolve a desire for an Upper Force, for the Creator, for something outside the individual.

Then, all worldly satisfactions begin to pale. This is already a phenomenon that characterizes the surfacing of the soul. At that stage, the search begins for the source from which one can satisfy oneself, which can only be found in Kabbalah.

When does this happen to us? That depends on our maturity. It is not a question of age, but of the number of incarnations we have gone through and the root our soul comes from.

We are all individual parts of one collective soul called “Adam.” The soul dresses in the body. Everyone has a unique, special soul. That is, it may take one person fifteen life cycles to attain spiritual sensations, while another would need only five. One may need to experience horrendous torments, while another will have it very easy. It all depends on the purpose of the soul and its initial state.

When the desire for the Upper Force appears, one should do one’s utmost in order to satisfy it and develop it correctly; otherwise it might be taken away, perhaps for several lifetimes.

Q: Are you actually saying that there are people without souls in this world?

A: There is a force that revives every biological body, called “the animate soul.” But when Kabbalists say “soul,” they refer to a vessel, a screen that enables contact with the Upper Force, the Creator. When a desire for contact with the Upper Force first appears in man, it is called “the impregnation of a soul.” If man does not have the desire for the Upper Spiritual Force, it means that that person does not have an upper soul .

It has nothing to do with one’s physical attributes, only with one’s inner readiness to bond with the Upper One.

Q: So are there people without a soul?

A: In each of us there is a “fetus” of a soul, but the question is whether it has come to a situation that necessitates its growth. If the fetus has not yet come to that state, a person will not feel any desire for spirituality, for the Creator. But if the fetus has come to that state, a person feels a need to know the purpose of his life. Without the answer to that question he simply cannot go on living.

From this point forward, the advancement depends on man alone. Some people develop their souls, meaning attain the sensation of the Upper World, within a few lifetimes, and others must incarnate hundreds of times. It depends on the society that a person chooses for himself to develop in.

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