[We have been discussing the soul's life-tasks.]

The soul did not descend into the body for its own sake: as for itself, it is in no need of correction.

The entire purpose of its descent is to correct, refine and elevate the body and the natural soul.

Before its descent into the body and the natural soul it was in the ultimate state of dveikus, truly and constantly cleaving to its source in the living G‑d without any separation whatever. As it is written, "The sublime image of each and every soul used to stand before the Holy King." At that level the soul had one wish — for G‑d alone and none other.

It descended from that state to enclothe itself in the body and natural soul in order to refine and elevate them, and in order to bring light into its environment, its portion of the world. This is the entire intent of the soul's descent below. To this end, "days were formed."

Every individual has been allocated a certain number of days to carry out his divine service through the refinement and restitution of the body and the natural soul, and to bring light into his portion of the world through the light of the Torah and the light of prayer.

The real place for this labor is here below.

For when the soul is in the spiritual worlds, as we have said, it enjoys the ultimate state of dveikus. However, it descends into a body that is filled with alien wishes and physical and material desires that prevent it from expressing itself in G‑dly service.

This challenge eventually calls for strenuous exertion in a most formidable battle, which can be won only by a determined desire for victory.

This determination allows a man to stand firm and fortify his involvement in Torah and in his service of G‑d. For the animal soul seeks to overwhelm him, to cause him to sin, and to vex him, heaven forbid, with alien thoughts and all kinds of concerns, and to confuse him with the yoke of earning a livelihood and the bothers of business, or with other matters that disturb him until he is robbed of his peace of mind.

It can be patently observed that a man's evil inclination endeavors to disturb and confuse him precisely when he is involved in the service of G‑d.

Precisely when the Divine soul is aroused in the love and awe of G‑d, the animal soul too is aroused, doing its best to disturb and confuse him in various ways.

Sometimes it will burden him with dread or terror for reasons that have no substance. All this takes place particularly during his divine service through Torah study or prayer, or while he is fulfilling some mitzvah, for example, during the fixed times that he has set aside for study, at moments when he feels motivated to pray, or while he is engaged in a mitzvah or neighborly deed.

The animal soul makes it appear to him that this is precisely the moment that he must leave or hurry through his prayer.

In truth this is nothing more than a means of distracting the G‑dly soul.

The proof of this lies in the fact that when he is strolling through the streets and market places in his spare time, these thoughts do not come to him.

Realizing this, one must stand firm and reinforce his determination to observe his times of Torah study and prayer, to overcome the animal soul, and not to heed it.

The attribute of striving for victory has the power to thereby overmaster the animal soul, for this attribute is rooted in the very core of the soul, at a point higher than the source of the soul's revealed faculties.

This enables it to overpower and thrust aside all of man's bothersome worries to the point where no blocks or obstacles obstruct his study of the Torah and his fulfillment of the mitzvos.

Then ultimately, when a man conquers his own animal soul, he causes the forces of holiness on high to vanquish the forces of evil.

Moreover, he causes the sublime treasures of the spiritual realms to be drawn down to this world below: he brings about the revelation of the innermost essence of G‑d's infinity.