by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths
There is a lot of confusion regarding the concept of "infinite." For instance, most people believe that numbers are infinite. But numbers are endless in only two directions. They increase and decrease "forever," without end, but their endlessness only goes up and down. If "infinite" really means "endless," or "boundless," then numbers do not fit this definition.
The common symbol for "infinite" has the same problem. It goes on and on, even forever, but only on its one track.
The definition of infinite that we want is truly boundless. For something to be truly boundless, it must be endless in all directions, not just up and down or just on a single track. If something is really endless in all directions, then it is the true infinite. To qualify as boundless, It has to be all. There can be only one such infinite. If there were two of them, neither one would be really boundless.
This subject came up the other day with a professor of mathematics. When I tried to explain why numbers are not really infinite, it rubbed his scientific principles the wrong way.
"Well, if you want to say that, then no single aspect of G-d is infinite, either," he countered. He meant, when you address G-d as the Creator, you are addressing only one aspect of G-d. Therefore, this aspect is not infinite. So, according to him, "G-d the Creator" is not infinite.
Do you understand his argument? We say that G-d has many aspects. For instance, He is the Creator, the Father, the King, the Judge, and on and on. The professor was suggesting that since none of these aspects include all of His other aspects, none of these are truly infinite.
Here is his mistake. When we address an aspect of G-d, we are not affecting a distinction in G-d. G-d is unchanged whether we call Him Father or Creator. The only change is in the way that we are considering Him. G-d is still entirely Infinite, no matter what aspect we address. The limitation that we are addressing is only in our mind, i.e. from our point of view.
If I call you a person, an American, or a male, you have not divided yourself into 3 entities. You are still the one you are. I am merely addressing your different characteristics. When I identify different aspects or characteristics of you the changes happen in my mind, not in you.
There are tremendous benefits that come from truly understanding this concept and taking it to heart. For instance, when you really know that G-d is boundless, you can whisper as softly as you like, and you have no doubt that He hears you.
What a comfort it brings to know that you can never separate yourself from G-d. When the Sages suggest that our sins separate us from G-d, they mean that sins put a barrier between us and our awareness of G-d. It is impossible to separate from the Infinite. Where could you possibly go and be away from It?
Sunday, April 18, 2010
// 4/18/2010 //