Friday, August 12, 2011
Ein od milvado
"In the heavens above and on the earth below, there is nothing but Him."
It says that the heavens are mentioned first, because it is easier to conceive that there is only Hashem in the spiritual worlds, since they are far away from us conceptually, such that "the spiritual" is some abstract concept anyway, so that it's possible to imagine that all there is "up there" is just G-d or G-dliness or "mind of G-d" or some other such fuzzy idea.
But our world -- it's much more difficult to comprehend how it can be said about it that there is nothing but G-d. What about the sky, the leaves, the ground, the annoying construction company that will turn off the water in the area 11 pm to 5 am on Friday night? Surely, they exist!
So, many explanations can be brought from Kabbala, Chassidus, philosophy, but one can also think of it in a simple way, due to the contributions of modern science.
Modern science tells us that everything is emptiness. Not for the most part, but in reality. As the famous fantasy writer Terry Pratchet put it (I will find the exact quote later), most of the universe is empty, because most of its existence consists of keeping tabs on those parts which are not empty. And this doesn't just means the expanses of space between the galaxies. I mean, inside the chair you're sitting on, most of the space is just "instructions" on how the elementary particles should interact with each other.
But those "instructions" come themselves from the properties of the particles. (The way I put it to someone: let's say you have an observation of a law that if you have a skinhead and a hippy meeting in a street, they will always get in a fight. Now, is this law "imposed" on the hippy and the skinhead from the outside, or is it a sequence of their properties ["skinheads hate pacifists" and "hippies hate racists"]? It would seem the latter.)
And those properties -- what are they properties of? It seems that they are just properties of empty pieces of space. These properties interact with each other; they get assigned to other pieces of space; the pieces of space they were assigned to get other properties, and so on.
Now we have to bring in Chassidus and to say that everything is created every second ex nihilo, by G-d. So, every single moment aspect of space-time is created by G-d, and He assigns to every single aspect of space certain properties, which interact (according to the laws that He set up) with each other in time.
So, looking at this web-site, or the next time you're outside, in the fresh air, think about it: all of the Universe is filled with Dvar Havaya, the speech of G-d.