(This is a continuation from Chapter 12, Section One.)

Below this level there is a third one, and these are the those that remained with Adam, which his sons Cain and Abel inherited when they were born. It is like Level Two because they were also part of Cain and Abel.

They are not considered to have come for the first time, since they did not come to Cain and Abel after the death of Adam, but rather they inherited them during his lifetime. Therefore, their inclusion in Cain and Abel is not even considered a first time, and instead they are considered as if they are still a part of Adam.

While the fruit is still on a living tree…it is looked at as being one with the tree….

As long as a person is alive, there is an aspect that his children are counted as part of him. After death, children are considered to be separate. This can be likened to a tree that bears fruit. While the fruit is still on a living tree, even though the fruit has its own identity, it is looked at as being one with the tree. After the tree dies, it attains a full separate identity.

The reason why children are reckoned as being part of the parents is that the parents actually give them a piece of their soul (as taught later in Gates of Reincarnations). Thus the expression: "a chip off the old block". Once the parents' soul departs to the next world, this oneness is no longer apparent.

Any of these souls that come back to the world after Cain and Abel have died, even at a time of a back-to-back zivug, will be considered to have entered the world for the first time, and would therefore be called "new". After that, when the person dies and the souls come back to the world, they are said to have reincarnated. That is, they have come back a second time.

The newer the soul is, the purer it is….

Even though this level is very similar to Level Two, still, these lesser souls which were contained in Cain and Abel are considered to be a separate level from those which remained with Adam himself. They are not considered as new as those of Level Two.

The newer the soul is, the purer it is, and the higher its energy level. New souls will be more fine-tuned to holiness, and will also be more intensely spiritual.

Level Four souls are those which fell from Adam into the depths of the kelipot and are called "old souls". This is even when they come into the world for the first time, since then they are considered to be "old souls" that have reincarnated.

The more one focuses on living from the soul, the more one transcends time….

The kelipot/Other Side is run by our good old friend the Evil Inclination/Devil/Angel of Death (the Talmud tells that they are all the same character). He is called an "old, foolish king" (Ecclesiastes 4:13). The foundational principle of his entire operation is age and oldness. He tries to make a person feel old, set in their ways, and unable to change. Everything in front of our eyes, including the body itself, heads towards death and decapitation. This comes from age taking hold and setting in. This comes from being subject to time.

The root of the soul is above time (Likutei Moharan 33:5). The more one focuses on living from the soul, the more one transcends time (Likutei Moharan 2-61). In simple terms, this means that a spiritually oriented person can more easily renew and change himself. Also, even the good things that such a person does that do not require change, he does with freshness and vigor. In addition, his consciousness is infused with enthusiasm and enabled to constantly seek to ascend to higher levels.

Someone's true age is determined by their state of consciousness….

The Baal Shem Tov teaches that a person is where his mind is. One of the many things that this means is that someone's true age is determined by their state of consciousness (ibid.). There are people who are very old that are really very young, and vice versa. The greatest youth potion is to take a dose of mind expansion. For example: Meditate on the presence of G‑d, and how His omnipotence fills and permeates your being. This is one method of renewing the awareness and elevating it to a transcendent state. It draws a rejuvenating light to the soul that can invigorate the psyche and grant a true taste of what eternal life means. (Likutei Moharan 21:11)

New souls have less trouble renewing themselves. Within this category itself, the higher the class of soul, the easier it will it to find to transcend time and live in a state of indefinite, elongated youth.

Does this mean that old souls should just throw in the towel and resign themselves to a life of senior citizenship? Most certainly not! In Song of Songs, an exquisite, allegorical love song between the collective root of all souls and G‑d, she (this soul of souls) says to Him, "I stored new ones, also old ones, for You, my Beloved" (Songs 7:14). "Renew as an eagle your youth" (Psalms 103:5). The lowest grade, oldest souls through acting spiritually in their bodies can be reborn as babies. Coming out of more difficulty, their renewal process is especially beloved and precious to G‑d. Learn to know and understand your soul root. From that place rectify and elevate.…

After this comes Level Five, which is the lowest of all of them. These enter the bodies of converts.

Later on, the Arizal adds another piece of the puzzle and tells us that they are from Malchut, the lowest level, whereas the other souls are from Zeir Anpin, a step above. This requires clarification, because there are other places that seem to say that the souls of the converts are actually higher (Likutim 10:2,215,228).

"Not with you alone do I establish this covenant…but with he who is here, standing with us today, before G‑d your L-rd, and (also) with he who is not with us today." (Deut. 29:13,14) Further on in this work, the Arizal explains that the six hundred thousand people that were present by the giving of the Torah were the embodiment of six hundred thousand grand soul roots from which all the successive souls that would be come to the world are drawn. "Not with…he who is here, standing with us" means those branches of the roots that were not yet born into the world. Also included was the soul of every convert. They were all there at the giving of the Torah, and they all entered the covenant. Their soul is born into a secular lifestyle. Its root connection to the Torah from days of yore draws it back.

Precisely in the low, far off places, lie the highest lights….

The reason why the souls of the converts must specifically come from the lowest spiritual level is in order to afford their start into a secular lifestyle. This causes that the inherent holiness in their soul is able to bear the clothing of divinity in a material oriented setting. Eventually, the innate connection surfaces and draws them to a spiritual lifestyle. If their souls would have come from a higher place, they would not be able to pass through the intermediary stage of disconnection.

[Translation and commentary by Perets Auerbach.]