Why feeling is spiritual
It’s written in the holy books that a human being is made up of a spiritual-emotional reality, and a materialistic reality, and that there is a link between our physical body and our spiritual powers.
For example: When someone receives a blow to their body, they feel pain. But if we hurt an inanimate object, it won’t feel pain and it won’t cry out. The ability to feel is something spiritual. Thanks to the connection between his physical body and his more spiritual side, a person will feel pain as part of his spiritual dimension.
The spiritual dimension
The spiritual dimension is made up of five different parts: the Nefesh (animal soul), Ruach, (referring to the emotions), Neshama, (Divine soul), Chaya (living soul) and Yechida (unique soul). These last two parts will only be revealed to a person in the distant future, unless he’s a very great Tzaddik who merits to have them revealed now.
The essence of the nefesh’s strength comes from desires and lusts. Whenever a person desires or lusts for something, that tells us that the light of the nefesh is currently shining within him.
A desire is not necessarily always something bad, because a person can also desire holy things, as it’s written (in Psalms):
“My souls yearns for You (i.e. Hashem) in the night”.
The essence of the ruach’s strength is revealed within us by way of our heartfelt feelings. When we feel love, happiness or anger, and so on and so forth, this means that the light of the ruach is now shining within us.
And the essence of the neshama’s strength is revealed via our thoughts.
The three aspects of our internal reality
These three aspects form our internal reality – the nefesh creates our desires, the ruach creates our feelings and emotions, and the neshama creates our thoughts.
When a person contemplates his inner life a little, sometimes he’ll notice that he’s craving something, he wants something; other times, that he’s feeling some sort of emotion; and that sometimes, he’s thinking. Most of our reality revolves around these three aspects.