If the soul that remains in the 'stomach' of the Malchut b’ibur is on the level of those souls that remain for twelve months, having their capacity, then even the blemished soul which remains with it will stay there for twelve months like it. This is so even if it is from the lowest level of souls, that of the souls of converts, which normally remain only three days.

Higher souls can elevate lower ones to their level

Again we see that the inter-relationship of the souls allows them to help each other. Furthermore, higher souls can elevate lower ones to their level. This is an example of the principle, "it is good for the righteous, it is good for his neighbor" (Chagiga).

Likewise, if the first one is only of those that remain nine or seven months, and the other one is even lesser, for example, from those that remain only forty days or three days, then they too will remain there either nine months or seven months like it. If the opposite is the case and the first one is only from those souls that remain nine months, and the one that remains with it is of those that normally remain for twelve months, then both will remain twelve months. In general, it follows the larger time.

"The good quality is greater" (Talmud). Therefore it always goes after the higher soul, even if it is the blemished one.

I am in doubt regarding what I heard from my teacher about when a new soul from the level of Cain and Abel, whose time is seven months, remains with a soul from Adam, an old soul which has been to the world twice and whose duration is nine months. Do we say that the seven-month soul, since the second soul now helping with rectification is a nine-month soul, also remains for nine months?

Each of these souls has its forte. The new soul is new, the old soul, in this case, is longer inside the belly of the Malchut, and accordingly receives more purification. It is not clear which is higher. It could be that in this case, it works in a way that they are mutually beneficial to each other.

As we have said, a soul can prevent another soul from descending to the Kelipot by giving a spirit to it.

If you have a friend who you know is spiritually in a bad place, give him some inspiration.

This process can be triggered also by souls already in the flesh to each other. If you have a friend who you know is spiritually in a bad place, give him some inspiration. It is actually a type of good spirit that rests on the person (Zohar Teruma, Likutei Moharan 31:9) and can energize him to get out.

As a result of the "partnership," they have the combined ability to prevent a third soul from descending to the Kelipot when the second soul gives a spirit to it. It can work this way for up to ten souls, each being joined to the other, until the tenth soul has a spirit from the first soul, as well as from all the other nine souls that preceded it.

The spiritual effect of good energy is collective. In this case it works up to ten. Ten is a unit that ascends to the next power, i.e., a graduation from the plane of individuals to the all-encompassing collective level. Again, the same affect can come into play in the physical plane when people awaken each other. Thus we find the concept of group repentance (Sh.).

Thus we find that the first soul has given nine spirits to the nine souls under it; the second eight spirits, etc. The tenth has only its own, because there are none below it to receive from it.

It’s not lonely at the top! All the souls beneath are as its children. It stands alone in terms of stature.

As a result of this, the nine souls are "obligated" to the first one, which is like a father for all of them, guiding and rectifying them vis-à-vis the spirit it has given to each of them. Consequently, it has a portion in all the mitzvot they perform and a portion in the good they will receive...

The mitzva of helping someone out to be spiritual and do good is like a seed that grows into a beautiful tree that constantly makes fruit.

Thus it is written, "Light is sown for the righteous…" (Psalms 97:11). The mitzva of helping someone out to be spiritual and do good is like a seed that grows into a beautiful tree that constantly makes fruit. Even after its planter dies, it continues to grow and produce. When the soul ascends to its place in heaven, its mitzvot live on and enable it to amass more reward and ascend constantly to higher places.

...and he is duty-bound to direct them in the correct path.

All of the souls are like one big organism. If something is wrong with the foot, the hand cannot ignore it, because they are part of the same body. It’s not just a nice thing to help others - it’s really mandatory. And we have to realize that it’s just really helping ourselves.

Sometimes members of the same soul family live in different parts of the world. How can they help each other? This is especially an issue for a central, big daddy, father soul, upon whom rests an absolute duty to correct the souls that branch out of him (Likutei Moharan 56:3).

The spiritual web-network transcends time and space.

The spiritual web-network transcends time and space. Any good act that anyone does affects and can even ignite (if powerful enough) all the souls that share the root of the doer. (And also the opposite) Especially words can have a very strong influence. A person on one side of the world who speaks words of truth from an expanded state of mind. This broadcasts on the "net" and can awaken someone on the other side of the world (Likutei Moharan 17:5). This can even affect someone from a different root, but generally, the primary influence will be to those of the same root. A primary factor that facilitates the success of this process is good energy and relations between people. This creates calm "air" to allow the spiritual waves to broadcast unhindered (ibid).

With this we can understand a story about the Baal Shem Tov. He was once very upset at one his students, as if he had committed murder. The student asked his teacher why he was so perturbed. The Baal Shem Tov told him that he had gotten angry, and this triggered someone from his soul family to kill someone.

As this book carries on, it will reveal more and more details about how the soul infrastructure works and the incurring responsibilities that stem from it.

However, they have no share in his actions and therefore they have no obligation to direct him, in spite of the fact that the second soul and the eight that follow it are obligated to it.

Parents have to guide children and not vice versa.

This is the sod [secret] of what the Sages taught and what the Maimonedes wrote ("Laws of Neighbors," Chapter Three): If five gardens receive water from one spring and the spring becomes damaged, all of them must repair it with the upper one.

That is, the one closest to the river, which receives the water first. The gardens lower down are like the souls that follow after the first one. The case is speaking where the gardens are set up in such a way that the water must pass through one to get to another. It is thus similar to our domino soul arrangement case at hand. Even though the upper garden is close to the water source and does not suffer from its being damaged and lack of flow, since the water must pass through it to get to the other gardens, it is also held responsible to pay for repairs.

Important to remind ourselves: Even though the upper garden/soul is obligated to contribute to the repairs, the lower gardens/souls must certainly also do their share to fix the spring! One should not rely on someone on a high level to do the fixing to the extent of not working on himself.

When the Ari. says "this is the sod", it comes to tell us that he is not just bringing a parable or comparison to better depict his lesson. Rather he comes to point out that his revelation is actually the underlying principle and the intended secret meaning of that case. The Zohar tells us, "all of the issues of the Tanaim and Amoraim [the Rabbis of the Talmud] are arranged upon the secrets of the Torah". Every seemingly mundane case in the Talmud in reality contains the deepest mysteries.

the souls are often referred to …as trees that grow in the Garden of Eden

In order to understand better this apparent mundane squabble of who has to pay for the plumbing bill, we need to preface that the souls are often referred to in the Zohar as trees that grow in the garden, referring to the Garden of Eden. The Shechina is allegorized to mother earth from which all grows. The trees are the souls/children it produces. They are all born into a utopian state of non-stop awareness of the Divine light, which is the central theme of paradise.

Taking this idea a step further, together with the concept that "man is a world in miniature" (Zohar), the souls themselves can be viewed as gardens. The trees that grow in it are its mitzvot, as seen above, about "Light is sown…". The spring is the source of the Infinite Light that flows to the souls and waters them with consciousness. If one of them sinned, it causes a breakage in the piping system. This affects all of the souls from that root, and they all have to work together to fix it, even the ones that didn’t sin.

there is no righteous person in the entire world who does not have two souls

It must be this way, for there is no righteous person in the entire world who does not have two souls, as mentioned in the Zohar (Noach) with respect to the verse, "These are the generations of Noach: Noach," and likewise, "Moses, Moses," and, "Samuel, Samuel," etc., where the name is mentioned twice.

Often in the Bible, when a righteous person is called by G‑d, the name is called twice. In the simple explanation, this is said to indicate endearment of the righteous person being summoned. However, now the Ari is explaining that this alludes on a Sod-level to the double soul of each righteous person.

The analogy here needs to be understood. The case at hand is about a master soul that saves others that branch out from its root. To support this idea, the Ari. brings the teaching that each individual has a soul above that is aligned with his soul below?

The soul beneath is as a child of the soul above. G‑d calls the righteous twice, measure for measure, because they function and actively relate to Him from both souls. He starts by calling the upper soul, and it in turn activates the lower soul. Similarly, the parent soul of a cluster can affect and ignite its children beneath. One who is not so in contact with his higher self/upper soul, will have a lesser affect on the souls that are in turn beneath him.

[Translation and commentary by Perets Auerbach.]