Tanya Chapter 9: The Battle between G-dly and animal soul

Chapter 9: The Battle between G-dly and animal soul

9th Teves/(LY)12th Teves

1. The location of the animal soul in the body:

  • The animal soul resides in the left chamber of the heart: The animal soul of every Jew which derives from Kelipas Nogah dwells in the left ventricle of the heart, which is filled with blood.
  • The negative emotions found in the heart: Now, all lusts and boasting and anger and similar emotions are based in the heart.
  • Emotions spread to the body and rise to the head: From the heart the emotions spread throughout the entire body. The emotions rise from the heart to the brain so one contemplates and meditates on them and come up with ideas of how to quench the desire of the emotion. This is similar to the general flow of blood from the heart into all the limbs of the body, including the head.

  1. The location of the G-dly soul in the body:
  • The G-dly soul resides in the mind and right chamber of the heart: The G-dly soul resides in the brain, and from there, it extends to all the limbs of the body. Likewise, it resides in the right ventricle of the heart where there is no blood.
  • The love for G-d found in the right chamber of the heart: From inside of the right chamber of the heart derives the emotion of passionate and fiery love for G-d.
  • Aroused through contemplation in the brain: This love for G-d is aroused through contemplating those matters that arouse this emotion of love [and hence we see that there is a relationship between the G-dly soul that is found in the brain and the part of it that extends into the heart].
  • Arousing Simcha in the heart through contemplation the brain: Another emotion that is aroused in the heart through the contemplation in the brain is happiness and rejoicing in recognition of the beauty of G-d. This emotion of happiness and rejoicing is aroused through contemplation which leads to recognition of the glory of G-d and his greatness and infinity.
  • Other emotions found in the heart as a result of the brain: Similarly, all the other holy emotions that are found in the heart originate from the ChaBaD in the brain.

10th Teves/(LY)13th Teves

  1. The Battle of the two souls:
  • Scripture states that the Jewish and Gentile nations will be in battle with each other. Allegorically, this refers to the G-dly soul and animal soul found in the body of the Jew which are in a constant state of battle for control of the body.
  • The Mashal of a city being battled for control: The body is similar to a small city which has two kings [or political parties] which are fighting for control of the city. Each king [or political leader] desires to win control of the city and run it according to his wishes and have all of its citizens obey his rule and decrees.
  • Each soul wants complete control: The same applies regarding the body of a Jew and the animal and G-dly soul. Both souls desire control over the body and all of its limbs, and hence battle each other over this control.

  1. The G-dly souls desire to control the body:
  • The G-dly soul desires to be the sole entity controlling and directing the limbs of the body. It desires that the body follow all of its desires and instructions and be completely surrendered to it and be a chariot for the expression of its 10 soul faculties and three soul garments. It desires that the body be a chariot only for the above and that no foreign entities be given expression through the body.
  • Control of the mind: Specifically, it desires that the three parts of the brain be filled only with the Chabad of the G-dly soul, and be used to contemplate the greatness of G-d in order to birth from this contemplation the emotions of fear, awe, and love of G-d.
  • Control of the heart-Loving G-d with both inclinations: Through the contemplation it desires to arouse within the heart such a fiery and passionate desire to cleave to G-d, that it reaches the point of expiry of the soul and spills from the right side of the heart with the G-dly soul is found into the left side of the heart which is the place of abode of the animal soul. As a result of this love for G-d spilling over into the animal soul’s territory, is able to then gain control over the evil emotions of the animal soul and prevent evil lusts from the element of water which derives from Kelipas Noga. Not only does this spillover of emotion from the G-dly soul prevent these evil lusts from becoming expressed in the body, but furthermore it transforms the lust of the animal soul for physical pleasures to a lust for G-d, that even the animal soul gains a love for G-d. On this it states in scripture that we are to love G-d with both of our hearts, with both of our inclinations.

(LY)14th Teves

  1. Reaching a state of Ahava Raba, Ahava Betaanugim to accomplish the transformation:
  • To accomplish the above transformation of the animal soul from evil to good, the above passionate love to attach to G-d reaches a state of Ahava Raba or Ahava Betaanugim, which is a love of pleasure in which one experiences pleasure from G-d similar to which is experienced in the world to come.
  • A pleasure in the mind: This pleasure is found in the head and brain, which receives great pleasure from its comprehension of G-d.
  • The holy element of water overcomes the evil element of water: The pleasure that one experiences in G-d derives from the element of water that is found in the holiness of the soul. This pleasure has the ability to transform the element of water that is in the animal soul evil to good; from being a source for lusts towards physical pleasures, [to being a source for lusts towards the spiritual and divine].

  1. The evil inclination becomes holy:
  • Turning the Yetzer Hara into a Yetzer Tov: Through removing all of the evil and stained garments of the animal soul, which is its lusts for the physical pleasures, the evil itself becomes completely good, and the animal soul becomes just like the actual good inclination [i.e. Yetzer Tov] itself.
  • Taking control and transforming all the emotions of the animal soul: The same applies regarding all the other emotions of the animal soul that is found in the heart, that the G-dly soul desires to take full control over them and transform them from emotions of evil to being emotions that are dedicated towards G-d alone.
  1. Taking control of the bodies thought and speech:
  • The G-dly soul also desires to have full control over the faculty of speech and thought of the body that it only be used to speak and think of ideas that derive from the G-dly soul, which are thoughts of G-d and his Torah, and that he never stop speaking words of Torah.

  1. Taking control of the bodies action:
  • The G-dly soul also desires to have full control over the ability of movement and action of the body and is 248 limbs that it be only involved with the fulfillment of mitzvah’s, which is the third garments of the G-dly soul.

  1. The control of the body that is desired by the animal soul:
  • The animal soul which comes from the side of Kelipa desires the exact opposite of the G-dly soul [which means that it desires that the entire body be used to only express its animalistic lusts and emotions].
  • Is for the betterment of man: Nonetheless, there is one major difference between the control desired by the Kelipa of the animal soul versus the control desired by the G-dly soul, as the animal soul does not truly desire for the body to be in its control but rather simply to challenge man and his G-dly soul in this matter, in order so man can overcome it, as explained in the Zohar with a parable of a harlot that was hired by the king to try to seduce the crown prince in order to show the obedience and discipline of the crown prince to resist seduction.

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