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Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz: “The soul in the adult.”

The Kabbalah is full of stories about the birth of souls, with keen insights into the period of the fetus and of suckling, the need for a proper weaning and eventual growth into independence of thought and will.

There is a first growth and a second growth, with definite stages.

Most of the stages of growth of the physical organs are accomplished in concealment (before the development of consciousness), while the stages of growth of the soul, in its larger scope, are accomplished as adults.

That is, the soul in the adult must go through its own stages of embryonic growth and suckling, then by the mental development, first of the smaller mind and then of the larger mind.

There are Kabbalistic works that see this growth in specific stages as a cosmic principle. They give detailed accounts of the growth of the year, its cycles and seasons, days move through embryonic periods, suckling, and stage after stage of development.

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz