The third level of the G-dly soul is the aspect of Nefesh which is lower than Ruach. This is the activation of the emotions as they relate to action only. For example, here the activation of fear of HaShem relates to accepting the yoke of the Heavenly Kingdom; to serve HaShem and to do His will. The activation of love of HaShem, likewise, is to willingly and lovingly accept HaShem’s Kingship specifically as it relates to fulfilling His will alone.
This can be compared to the activation of the Ophanim angels of the world of Asiyah. The essence of their being is the service of bowing in prostration to HaShem as they revolve in their orbits, as it states, “The hosts of heaven bow down to You” and “They do not turn [from their path] as they go”. This prostration of their substance is expressed by their continuous revolutions as they go on their path and it constitutes the negation (Bitul) of their substance to their form, which also is in a state of negation (Bitul) and is an aspect of acknowledgement (Hoda’ah).
This is the strength of conviction in the soul of the angel to acknowledge G-dliness and to negate its sense of separateness from HaShem. This comes about through accepting the yoke of the Heavenly Kingdom with love and fear of HaShem as it applies solely to action. Similarly, in man this is the acceptance of the yoke of the Heavenly Kingdom, to desist from evil and to do good and to only fulfill the will and decree of the King, in that one fears rebelling against HaShem because he cannot bear to tear himself away from His Supernal Unity, G-d forbid. In man this constitutes the Nefesh of Asiyah, because his fear of rebellion is only through this lower level of fear of HaShem.
(Now, in regard to the angels; whether in regard to the Ophanim of the world of Asiyah, in which the angel accepts the aspect of HaShem’s Kingship in action, in other words, the acceptance of the Yoke of the Heavenly Kingdom only as it relates to action; or whether in regard to the Ophanim and Chayot HaKodesh [of the world of Yetzirah], in which there also are two levels; Ophanim whose acknowledgement is only from afar, like one who bows before a king with self-negation that is external, and the Chayot HaKodesh, who have natural love and fear of HaShem and whose inner emotions of love and fear are in a state of actual activation, except that they are not born of the contemplation of HaShem’s goodness.
Rather they are instinctual to them, like the natural emotional characteristics of an animal or like the inborn natural emotions of a human being etc. This is likened to the aspects of the face of the lion and the face of the ox in the Chariot (Merkavah) of the world of Yetzirah and likewise in the Chayot angels of the world of Asiyah etc.)
Now, in general terms, there are the three above mentioned levels of Nefesh, Ruach and Neshamah in the three worlds of Briyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah. The Neshamot are in the world of Briyah, the Ruchot are in the world of Yetzirah and the Nefashot are in the world of Asiyah, as explained in the Zohar.
(However, more specifically, each world has something of all three, in that each world has Briyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah included in it, these being the Nefesh, Ruach and Neshamah of each world.) (Elsewhere it is explained that these are the three levels of thought, speech and action. Thought has thought speech and action included within it, and so do speech and action etc.)