217. RABBI ELAZAR opened the discussion saying: "Then He said to me, 'Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath ('wind').'.." (Yechezkel 37:9). From this passage, I know from which place the wind emerges, for how was Ezekiel able to prophesy the wind, seeing as it is written, "Man does not have power over the wind to control the wind" (Kohelet 8:8). Man cannot control the wind, but the Holy One, blessed be He, rules over everything and Ezekiel was prophesying by His command. Furthermore, the spirit (or, 'wind') was already in a body in this world, BECAUSE THERE WERE DEAD PEOPLE IN THE CAVE, WHOM HE RESURRECTED. Therefore, he prophesied to it, "Come from the four winds, O wind" (Yechezkel 37:9), MEANING from that place where pillars serve as borders at the four winds of the world - WHICH ARE THE SECRET OF THE LOWER THRONE, WHICH IS MALCHUT, THE THRONE FOR ZEIR ANPIN. IT HAS FOUR PILLARS IN THE SECRET OF THE FOUR DIRECTIONS OF THE WORLD, WHICH ARE CHESED AND GVURAH, TIFERET AND MALCHUT, WHERE THE SPIRIT STAYS BEFORE IT RETURNS INTO A BODY IN THIS WORLD.
218. That Jew WHO JOINED THEM sprang up before him. Rabbi Elazar said to him, What did you see? He answered, I saw something. He said to him, What is it? He replied, If the spirit of people is attired in the Garden of Eden in the form and image of the body of this world, AND IT RESIDES THERE, it should have been written IN THE PASSAGE, 'Come from the Garden of Eden, O breath (or, 'spirit').' Why does it say, "From the four winds?"
219. He said to him, The spirit does not descend to this world, until it ascends from the earthly Garden of Eden to the throne - WHICH IS MALCHUT that stands on four pillars, WHICH ARE CHESED, GVURAH, TIFERET AND MALCHUT. When the spirit ascends there, it draws into itself from that throne of the King and descends to this world. The body receives from the four directions of the world, WHICH ARE THE FOUR ELEMENTS, FIRE, AIR, WATER AND EARTH. The spirit also receives from the four directions of the throne. THEY ARE CHESED, GVURAH, TIFERET AND MALCHUT. Thus, it becomes perfected through them.
220. That man said to him, When I jumped before you (interrupted you?) it WAS BECAUSE I saw something on this subject. One day I was walking in the desert and I saw a tree, which was pleasant to behold, and there was a cave under it. I approached it, and saw that from that cave emanated different scents. I braced myself and entered that cave, and descended certain steps in a place that had many trees, fragrances, and spices that I could not endure.
221. And there I saw a man with a scepter in his hand, standing in an entrance. When he saw me he was surprised, and stood by me. He said to me, What are you doing here and who are you? I became very frightened. I said to him, Sir, I am one of the friends and as I saw such and such in the desert, I entered this cave and came down here.
222. He said to me, Since you are one of the friends, accept this bundle of writings and give it to the friends, to those who know the secrets of the spirits of the righteous ones. He struck me with the wand THAT WAS IN HIS HAND and I fell asleep. During my sleep, I saw many hosts and companies that were coming along the way to that place, and then that man struck them with his wand and said, Go by way of the trees. While they were still going, they flew in the air and ascended but I do not know where. And I heard the sounds of many hosts, and I did not know who they were. I awoke and saw nothing. And I was frightened in that place.
223. Meanwhile, I saw that man. He asked me, Have you seen something? I said to him, I saw something. I saw in my sleep such and such. He said, On that road, the spirits of the righteous go to the Garden of Eden to enter there. And what you heard from them, MEANING THE SOUNDS OF MANY HOSTS, IS BECAUSE they are standing in the Garden in their forms of this world, and they are rejoicing with the righteous who are coming there.
224. As the body is built in this world by the binding of the four elements, FIRE, AIR, WATER AND EARTH, and is formed from them in this world, so the spirit is formed of the four spirits that stand in the Garden of Eden, WHICH ARE CHESED, GVURAH, TIFERET AND MALCHUT. The spirit is enveloped there and is formed in the image of the body that is formed in this world. And if it were not for these four spirits which are the air in the Garden - MEANING CHESED, GVURAH, TIFERET AND MALCHUT FROM THE LIGHT OF CHASSADIM, THAT IS CALLED 'AIR' - they would not form any image at all and no spirit would be enveloped there.
225. These four spirits are intertwined one with another, and the spirit is formed and wrapped with them, as the body is formed in the joining of the four elements of the world, FIRE, AIR, WATER AND EARTH. Therefore, EZEKIEL SAID, "Come from the four winds, O wind" (Yechezkel 37:9), MEANING these four spirits of the Garden of Eden with which it is clothed and formed. And now accept this bundle of writings and go on your way and give it to the friends.