(A translation of a teaching adapted from Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto by Rabbi Shalom Ulman in the book Divine Knowledge.)
The topic of the cosmic amputation: The cosmic female is the root of the souls she births. That’s why her entire life situation brings about parallels within them. Just as when the cosmic female is back to back with her cosmic male, her entire vitality is drawn from him, so with these souls [as they too partake of her cosmic patterns of development]. In this sense, they resemble all creatures; who function by Divine coercion, having nothing of their own, besides what they receive from their higher root. This scenario is the situation of these souls before descending into the earthly realm to inhabit bodies. Though these souls are bound to their Creator and freely delight in His light, they have no free choice. Hence, they can’t lift their heads to face their Creator, for they are like one who has eaten from the alms of a benefactor.
However, the Master wanted that humans perform spiritual work because such work is mainly an expression of free choice - something not determined by the hands of Heaven. Therefore, He sent the cosmic female a fresh flow of spiritual abundance, a flow totally independent from her cosmic male. This cosmic flow was accomplished via the cosmic mother by extracting herself from the cosmic male and entering the cosmic female. Thus, building her up without involving the cosmic male. As a result of the cosmic female’s newly enhanced state, earthbound souls now possess free choice. Free choice is a force which frees them from dependency on a fixed higher illumination, which all other creatures depend on to direct their deeds.
It comes out that the power of free choice accompanies a soul from the moment she descends to enclothe herself in a body. At that time, she draws from the power which the cosmic mother gave to her cosmic daughter during the cosmic amputation. Just as in the higher realms, this power prepares the cosmic female to turn face to face with her cosmic male, so with souls [as they too partake of this cosmic pattern]. A soul grants a person the ability to detach from the natural forces, who use the body to coerce the soul (in the mystery of backside) and return face to face with her Creator; so all her deeds will be intended to please her true Former and not her fantasy former.
Truthfully, returning the soul face to face with her Creator is a daily, lifelong task. The power of free choice requires a person to detach from the evil forces which control the body, i.e. the mystery of the backside (mentioned above), and to carry out his deeds only with the intention to please his Former.
Still, this process is only complete upon death. Since then, when a saintly person ascends his soul, she detaches from the last vestiges of evil which had controlled her via the body to ascend and bond with the Divine Presence, in the mystery of face. Approaching her, the Holy One, leaves aside all His involvements, the mystery of backside, and turns to her in the mystery of face to benefit her according to her deeds.
~ Divine Knowledge, P. 138