When the Infinite Light emanated a world, it did so with two minds, two states of consciousness. One mind sees from Above to Below - and so, all is insignificant before it. From Above to Below, there is no world, only One.From Below to Above, there is a world - a world to point to the Oneness Above…. The other mind sees from Below to Above - and so all of creation is G-dly to it. From Below to Above, there is a world - a world to point to the Oneness above.At the nexus of these two minds, at the razor's edge of their paradox, there shines the very Essence of the Infinite Light. The first mind descended into man; the second into woman. That is why the man has the power to conquer and subdue, but he lacks a sense of the other. That is why the woman feels the other. She does not conquer, she nurtures. But her light is tightly constrained and so she may become filled with harsh judgments.In the union shines the very Essence of the Infinite…. As they bond together, the man sweetens the judgment of the woman and the woman teaches the man to feel the other. And in the union shines the very Essence of the Infinite.There are three partners in the conception of every child: the mother, the father and the One Above.The One Above provides the breath of life. But that breath cannot enter this world unclothed. If that breath is a "new" soul it is too delicate to survive here without protection. If it has been here many times before (as with most of us) then its memory of the past, it's failure and its bruises, will greatly hinder it from dealing with a new body and a new life. And so it enters with a "suit", fitted for breathing life from Above while manipulating the body it is given here Below.The thoughts and conduct of the mother and father at the time of conception…will allow the child's soul to shine…. Every thought, word and act the soul does in its lifetime must relate through that suit. Even the current of blessings and life from Above must pass through its channel. The soul itself may be pure and luminous, but if its suit doesn't match, that light will have great difficulty breaking through.How is that suit formed? It is fashioned by the thoughts and conduct of the mother and father at the time of conception. Selfish thoughts, distracted thoughts, coarse thoughts - these will provide great challenges for the child throughout life. Oneness of mind, elevated thoughts and caring thoughts - these will allow the child's soul to shine. Even when no children are born from relations, there are souls born above in higher realms. And all that a person does for those souls will return to him.
Rabbi Yitzchak Luria (from the Writings of the Arizal as recorded by Rabbi Chaim Vital)
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