Description: Chapter 5 - 01
Chapter 5 – 01
The world is comprised of two parts, the physical and the spiritual. The physical part of the world has in itself two parts, the elyonim and the tachtonim, those who inhabit the heavens and those who inhabit the earth. We and all that inhabit earth are the tachtonim, we are down here. The sun, moon, and stars and planets are all physical entities in the upper realms, in the heavens. Both are physical.
In the spiritual world there are two parts as well. There are neshamos and nivdalim, those who are separate (meaning apart from any physical connection.) The neshamos are our spiritual portion, whose purpose is to connect with a body and be limited by it, to have a powerful bond with the body and affect every action the body takes. The ‘separate’ ones, are the spiritual creations which will never have any physical side to them. There are two types within this as well. There are malachim and other powers – called ‘kochos.’ Within these two types there are many, many levels as well, (as we are accustomed to list out in davening, in kedushah and birchos Krias Shemah.) They have rules and limitations which regulate them as well. Both these types can be referred to as ‘malachi,’ of the angelic type.
There is a third type of creation which is somewhere between the physical and the spiritual, which we are accustomed to refer to as ‘shedim.’ We think of them as spiritual because we can’t experience them with the normal five senses, but in truth they are partially physical, and have the limitations of a physical existence, which sets them apart from Malachim and Kochos.
This is what makes humankind so unique, because we are composed of two worlds, both the spiritual and the physical. We have a neshamah which is totally spiritual, and we have a body a guf, which is totally physical. It’s important not to confuse all other forms of life, animals and the like, with a human. Animal life is physical by definition, the nefesh of an animal is not a spiritual creation, rather it is the life-force of the physical. We have that life-force as well, which we call our nefesh, but it has no connection to the neshamah which is a fully spiritual creation. It is an amazing wonder of Hashem that the neshamah can be connected to a guf, a physical body – which has absolutely no resemblance in any way to the neshamah, and doesn’t share any properties with it. Yet Hashem decreed that they be bound.
We are able to identify, classify, and understand all physical beings, but the spiritual beings are impossible for us to truly visualize their nature, because they are out of our experience, therefore we can only speak about what we have been handed down through the mesorah.
One of the great rules about the spiritual beings is that every single physical creation on this world, has it’s corollary in the spiritual world. Some of those spiritual beings are the root energy of the physical beings which are associated with them, a concept known as ‘hishtalshalus,’ where the true essence of the creation begins in the spiritual world and then descends and transforms into something comparative physically.