Jewish Mysticism
R. Simeon said- It is written, “This is the book of the generations of man” [zeh sefer toledot ’adam] (Gen. 5-1). Did he have a book? Rather it has been established that the blessed holy One showed to primal Adam each generation and its interpreters. How did he show it to him? If you say that he saw by means of the holy spirit that in the future they would come to the world like one who sees through wisdom what will come about in the world, it is not so; rather he saw everything with the eye, and that image that in the future will exist in the world he saw with the eye. What is the explanation? From the day the world was created all the souls that in the future would exist in people (benei nasha’) stood before the blessed holy One in that very image with which they would be in the world. In this manner, after all of the righteous ones depart from this world, all of the souls ascend, and the blessed holy One prepares for them a new image in the pattern of that world in which they will be garbed. Thus they all exist before him, and primal Adam saw them with the eye. You might say that after he has seen them they no longer exist in their reality. Come and see- All the words of the blessed holy One actually exist, and they stand before him until they descend into the world. In this manner, it is written “but both with those who are standing here with us [this day before the Lord our God and with those who are not with us here this day]” (Deut. 29-14). It has been established that all of the people (benei nasha’) that would in the future be in the world were found there [i.e., at Sinai].

Translated by Elliot Wolfson in “Ontology, Alterity and Ethics in Kabbalistc Anthropology,” Exemplaria (2000)- 129-155.