In addition to the animal essence, we have something that is above animal existence. This something is called our egoism. It is based on our aspirations to wealth, honor, fame, power, and knowledge. Animals do not have these aspirations [...] envy, inclination to pleasures, and aspiration to honor. These aspirations bring a person to a level above the animal. Since they are above animal qualities, these aspirations and qualities are praiseworthy. On the other hand, their common natural utilization puts us below all other levels [i.e. still, vegetative, and animate].

Yehuda Ashlag
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