What is our Soul ?
Our soul or neshama is The self, as Beresheis describes the soul as HaShem's breath " And G-d breathed into the nostrils the breath of live. "
Everthing that lives has a Soul, it's not only life, but existence which needs a soul to sustain. We cannot see the soul just as the engine of life, as it gives form to the " why " of things existing. Like it's meaning, it's purpose and it's innner identity.
The human soul is more complex than the soul of all other existence. The five worlds,which are the five dimensions of the soul : Nefesh ( breath ) Ruach ( spirit) Neshama ( breath ) Chayah ( life) Yechidah ( singularity )
The Nefesh is the soul of the engine of life. Ruach is the emotional self or the personailty, Neshama is the intellectual self, Chayah is the will, the divine faith and commitment. Yechidah the essence of the soul, is in unity with it source. The essence of our soul is litterly a part of HaShem, a piece of HaShem within us.
The Two Souls
Chassidus speaks of two souls, every Jew has a Nefesh and is known as the Nefesh HaBahamis, or rhe Animal Soul and then we have the Neshama which is Nefesh HaElokis, the G-dly Soul.
The Animal is only interesred in the physical side of what we need, like eating, drinken, if for instance the food is not available, there goes a signal to the Nefesh HaBihamis that the food remains unabated.
The Nefesh HaElokis, the Neshama will signal the Nefesh HaBahamis that it has to obtain the food in accordance to the Torah.The Nefesh HaBahamis has a need and the Nefesh HaElokis controls the need.
When the Nefesh HaBahamis need for food is great enough and it can't be obtained, it will transgress in stealing it. The same time the Nefesh HaElokis will join this battle by making a moral decision not to transgress a Mitzvah. It depends on the strength of the person's Nefesh HaBahamis whether the Nefesh HaElokis wins or lose the battle.
The Nefesh HaElokis, the G-dly Soul has a desire to reconnect to its source, the Nefesh HaBahamis, the animal Soul always protect it from harm and is self- enhancement. This is the constant battle in our lives between our two souls, it a struggle to find a balance between the physical needs and the spiritual yearning.
The Souls are not sitting next to each, but are enclothed, the G-dly Soul to the Aminal Soul, and the Animal Soul to the body and although they are in constant conflict with each other, in essence they are compatible.
The essence of the Divine Soul is what sets us apart of all others. When we do a Mitzvah, we do a G-dly deed and every time the Soul performs a Mitzvah, or Tzedakah, putting on Tefillin, lighting the Shabbos candles, we perform an act as in partnership with HaShem and with this we do bring the presence of HaShem into the world. Although Mitzvos are physical deeds, it is still the Soul that performs it. The Nefesh HaElokis connects the G-dly with the mundane.
Ever Mitzvah we do is planting a seed, into the soil to grow. Mitzvos making our Soul ascent to a higher consciousnness and with the good deeds we perform in the physical world, is for the merit of the departed Soul. In the world to come the Soul will be again reunited with the body.