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May 25th, 2010

Concept of creation [May. 25th, 2010|10:44 am]
I was listening to "Alchemist" audio-book in the morning today.
Santiago ("the boy", protagonist) meditated in the desert just outside the oasis, and he saw 2 hawks flying above his head. Then he had a vision of an army approaching the oasis (invasion of osais is completely against traditions of the desert and was therefore unthinkable). His vision materialized the next day - that was the day when the boy met the Alchemist.
I started contemplating on this episode... I don't quite remember how notion of creation got into my head. I recalled story of creation from Kabala and that I couldn't understand it when reading it awhile ago. Kabala says that in order to create the world, God Almighty/Omnipresent/Absolute separated a small part from himself, and from that part he created the world. I couldn't understand this story. It made little sense to me - why not just create the world from his entire self? If he is omnipresent in the world now, why separate some part from himself just to fill it with his self again later (after creation)?

Today in the morning I had another "satori moment". I believe I understand now Kabalistic story of creation.

It's had to express in words. My revelation is more emotional than intellectual.
In essence, creation is division. I previously perceived division only in terms of quantity. (I.e., you have to have something concrete to divide.) Even principle of duality (same quantity but opposite quality) still falls under the same principle of division of concrete entities. Creation, however, is division from nothing. That's the second kind of division. In order to divide something, this something needs to exist. In realm of Nothingness (in Kabala God is called "Endlessness"), nothing exists. Existence is crystallization, or, assignment of form. The form doesn't have to be concrete, but it has to be conceived and then perceived.
For example, first human race - they didn't have concrete physical bodies, but they existed. So they had some concrete, but not necessarily physical, form. But form limits perception, even perception of the form itself.
Consider this: the first time you saw an apple. What did you perceive? I perceived a more-or-less spherical object surrounded with a "shell". But I didn't know anything about the inside of the apple. I thought that the only way to understand what's inside is to cut the apple. Then I could see the pulp, juicy parts and seeds. But by cutting the apple, I removed part of it, inadvertedly. This means that when I perceived all parts of the apple, it wasn't an integral object anymore - its complete essence was altered.
The same idea holds for our categorical thinking and symbols (languages, writing, etc.). Once we assign a symbol or a value to some idea, this idea becomes incomplete. Our perception then determines the limit of understanding of the idea. How many of us can understand true nature of all phenomena in life without using symbols, concepts or words? Not many... but this is the only way to perceive true essence of each phenomenon.

One thing about Nothingness. Russian physicist a few years ago discovered that vacuum actually contains strong currents of energy. He managed to detect and compute those energy currents. His research led to realization that even vacuum (concept of "nothing" in physics) is "alive" with some activity. Thus, nothing is truly "nothing". So, when Kabala talks about "nothingness", it really refers to "endlessness", or, God.

So, here is the issue. In order to create the world, it had to be conceived; therefore, it had to be separated from "Field of nothingness". "Field of nothingness" is God; and only God existed at the time of separation. Therefore, God divided his self into 2 parts. That's what Kabala is talking about.

P.S.: "Kabala" is usually spelled differently in English texts. More common versions are "Kabbalah", "Cabalah", etc. However, I intentionally write only "Kabala" in attempt to keep translation as close to original Hebrew word as possible. "h" is written in Hebrew but not pronounced, so the word I use is a phonetic equivalent.
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