Wednesday, April 09, 2008

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Something From Nothing

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* by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths

When we look at an object, we see it merely from one of the many physical perspectives possible. For instance, when people look at you they see a person. This is the factual reality of this level of your formation. Indeed, you are a person.

If we continue looking at you, but put a microscope between us, then we see an entirely different surface, or facet of your formation. We are not changing what we are looking at. We are still looking at you. All that we are changing is the way we are looking at you. With our bare eyes, we see a person. With a microscope, we see tiny formations. Both are true. If the microscope is a molecular microscope we will see zillions and zillions of molecules. Surrounding and filling each molecule will be what appears as a vast amount of empty space. Scientists estimate that all matter is made up of 99.9% empty space. The Torah says that this is a very close estimate.

These molecules are moving at all times, but no molecule ever comes near another molecule. They never touch. Each of them is always surrounded and filled with the vast amount of empty space. At this perspective, your body would look more like the cosmos than an individual person.

Which of these perspectives is true? Which is actually you? Are you a body with arms and legs, or are you a collection of molecules? Both are true. You are both the body and a vast collection of molecules. Both are accurate views at its particular level, or perspective, of your physical body.

Set the microscope to a much deeper level of magnification. Assume we could see the atomic makeup of your body. Now we see an entirely different scene. Zillions upon zillions of atoms, and again 99.9% empty space surrounding and filling each of them. The atoms are not at all shaped like the molecules. It looks like an entirely different universe than the molecular universe.

So which are you? Are you the atoms, the molecules, or the person? You are all of them. Are they three, or are they one? If I take all of your atoms and move them into the other room, your body and your molecules will go with the atoms. If instead, I move your molecules into the other room, then the atoms and body will move with them. So we see that these three are actually one. They are same body being seen from three different levels, or perspectives. Do not think that the body is a composite that is being made out of these three. If that would be the case, we would be able to take one of these three out and the remaining two would remain. The three are merely different perspectives of the same one.

What would we see if we magnified the atoms? We would come to zillions and zillions of quarks, and 99.9% empty space. Magnify again and again and again. We will come to gluons. Keep magnifying until it does not go any further. What will you ultimately come to? Remember, we are not dividing the molecules or atoms. We are simply magnifying them in order to look closer so we can see what they are actually made of. Each form you come to will again dissolve as we magnify further and further, until we come to absolutely nothing at all, entirely empty space!

G-d creates the Universe “something from nothing” (yesh me’ayin).[i] He did not create it from preexisting matter. There was nothing here before He began to create what He made into the universe. He creates the creation only from His will. Not only did G-d create the Universe when He originally created it, but He is continually creating it. Creation is an ongoing process. And, as it originally was, it is still being made “something from nothing.”

If the power that is right now holding all matter together would cease, the entire physical universe would simply “unfold,” and revert to nothing. Our physical existence is made of matter that is being created out of nothing. This matter is being held together in a form solely by an ongoing power that is sustained by G-d’s continuing will to sustain it.

[i] ex Nihilo

Posted at Mystical Paths, MPaths.com.

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