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Michael Laitman, PhD

Matter and Form in Kabbalah

On the whole, science subdivides into two parts: the first is called the knowledge of matter, the second – the knowledge of a form. This means that there is nothing in the surrounding reality, in which matter and form could not be discerned. For example, let us take a table. It consists of matter, say, wood, and possesses a form of a table. Matter (wood) happens to be a carrier of a form (a table). The same is with the word “liar”: its matter is a man, and its form is “liar”, so that the matter called man bears the form of falsehood. This applies to everything.

Similarly, science that researches reality also subdivides into two parts: that which studies matter and that which studies a form. The part that researches the properties of existing matter (both pure and invested in its form) refers to “the knowledge of matter”. This knowledge has an empiric basis, meaning it is based on evidence and comparison of the results of practical experiments, which are taken as a reliable foundation for valid inferences.

The other part of science only analyzes abstract form unrelated to matter. In other words, the forms of “truth” and “falsehood” abstracts from matter, i.e., from people who carry that form. These forms are analyzed as meaningful or meaningless as they are without being invested in some kind of matter. This is known as “the knowledge of a form”.

This kind of knowledge has no empiric basis, because such abstract forms may not be perceived in experimentally confirmed practice. They are beyond the limits of the existing reality. Abstract form is just a non-existent fruit of the imagination.

Accordingly, each scientific research of this kind is based strictly on a theoretical supposition. It is unconfirmed by practical experiments, and is a result of a theoretical discussion. All high-flown philosophy is referred to this category. Most of the modern scientists disregard it, because they are thoroughly dissatisfied with fruitless discussions based on theorizing, which in their view is a totally unreliable basis.

The science of Kabbalah similarly subdivides into the two aforementioned parts: the knowledge of matter and the knowledge of a form. However, unlike conventional science, even the knowledge of a form in it is based entirely on scientific research and practical experience.

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