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"The Way of G-d"

Part 1: "The Fundamental Principles of Reality"

Ch. 3: "Mankind"

Paragraphs 13

We come now to the end of the chapter entitled "Mankind", and concentrate this week upon the soul itself.

As we'd indicated, the soul becomes immeasurably empowered by the mitzvot we do in this life. Nonetheless Ramchal's point in this chapter is that the soul had a "life"-- i.e., a presence, purpose, and wherewithal-- even before it entered the body. And that it enjoyed a high degree of *intrinsic* perfection and brilliance then, even before becoming further empowered by mitzvot.

The soul's intrinsic perfection was already powerful enough to accomplish its ultimate task, which is to purify a body (as we said). And it was already powerful enough to transform the combination of body and soul into a superhuman entity.

Nonetheless, G-d saw to it that the soul's intrinsic perfection be suppressed, and that the soul not accomplish its goal -- yet. That is, before the World to Come. As such, the soul had to stay in place, if you will, and sit silently and alone by the waysides before it could enter a body -- until its time would come.

Thus the soul could be said to be all potential at this point. It's already primed to do great things, it has it within it to express itself radiantly and mightily, and yet it's not allowed to yet. The way an athlete all primed and pumped up might be asked to "sit it out" despite his or her talent and power. Simply because it's not his or her turn.

The soul's time will come after the Resurrection, when it will be allowed to express itself fully. When nothing and no one will hold it back. That is when it will re-enter the body in all its glory and might, and will *immediately* begin to purify the body. This initial process won't be a slow and deliberate one, like a child growing and maturing. But rather an *instantaneous* one.

It would be the moment that the soul had been waiting for, for so very long, which it had been primed and trained for from its inception, and which it had been honed for by a lifetime of mitzvot, which it can finally experience.

But that's not to say that body-and-soul couldn't evolve even further. For it could. It's just that the body itself (that's to say, the renewed body, and the ego and self that once identified with it as well) will enjoy a far greater degree of enlightenment at that very first instant of reconnection with the soul than it ever could in its lifetime. It's just that the *degree* of that evolvement will all depend on the number and merit of mitzvot the ego and self had performed in his or her life, while still embodied, and accompanied by its (suppressed) soul.

The final point is that the greater number and depth of mitzvot accomplished in this world, the higher the degree of enlightenment would the body-and-soul experience immediately at the point of resurrection. And that degree of enlightenment will then serve as a starting point for even further elevation and enlightenment.

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