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Science comes home to spirituality - at last

 

TEL AVIV, July 31 (UPI) - Science explains the mechanisms that sustain life; Kabbalah explains why life exists. In his new book, Kabbalah, Science and the Meaning of Life (now available at Kabbalah Books), Michael Laitman, PhD,  combines science and spirituality in a captivating dialogue that reveals life's meaning.

The book is mainly based on Laitman's meetings and discussions with What the Bleep Do We Know!? scientists Fred Alan Wolf, William Tiller and Jeffrey Satinover, that took place in San Francisco in March of 2005.

So what's the big deal?

For thousands of years Kabbalists have been writing that the world is made of a single entity divided into separate beings. Today the cutting-edge science of quantum physics states very similarly, that at the most fundamental level of matter, we are all literally one.

Who is the Creator? Where can I find him and what should be my relationship with him/her/it? Science proves that reality is affected by the observer who examines it. Kabbalah proves this as well, but Kabbalah says more: even the Creator of reality is found within the observer. In other words, God is inside us; he doesn't exist anywhere else. When we pass away so does he.

These earthshaking concepts and more are eloquently introduced so that even the most uneducated in Kabbalah or science can easily understand them. Therefore, if you're just a little curious about why you are here, what life means, and what you can do to enjoy it more, this book is for you.

The following is an excerpt from the first pages of Kabbalah, Science and the Meaning of Life. The book has not been released yet but an e-book version of the entire work is available on the kabbalah.info homepage in the Free Kabbalah eBooks section (ed. see the bottom of this page for direct links to the free online versions):

The essence of human nature is its perpetually evolving desire for pleasure. To realize this desire, we feel compelled to discover, invent, and improve our reality. The gradual intensification of the desire for pleasure has been the force behind human evolution throughout our history.

The desire for pleasure evolves through several stages. In the first stage, it manifests in the need for sustenance, such as food, sex, and family. In the second stage, the desire for wealth arises, and in the third, there is a craving for honor, power, and fame. Development of these three stages had lead to major changes in human society - it became a diversified, multi-class society.

The fourth stage signifies our yearning for learning, knowledge and wisdom. This expresses itself in the development of science, educational systems, and culture. This stage has become associated with the Renaissance and the Scientific Revolution, and is still predominant today. The desire for knowledge and erudition requires that we understand our surroundings.

To understand the present state of humanity and its prospects, we must build a bridge connecting several milestones in the evolution of science. These milestones have significantly affected our approach to life.

The Scientific Revolution that occurred during the 16th century brought radical changes in our thought patterns. At the time, researchers believed that theories must be tested against experiments and observations. They also cautioned us to avoid mythological and religious explanations. At the center of scientific thinking was an analysis of reality, and the search for scientific answers to age-old questions. Until then, these topics had been ascribed to a divine power.

In his book, Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy (1687), Isaac Newton proposed a theory of mechanics that would let us calculate the change in the motion of any body when influenced by a given force. The success of Newton's theory presented a whole new worldview. Newton's deterministic viewpoint stated that in any event, regardless of its nature, a certain natural law will manifest. The presence of the Divine was of little importance because the trajectory of all motion is fixed, and there was no intervention by the Divine.

The deterministic approach was well described by the astronomer, Pierre Simon Laplace (1749-1827) as he sought to explain to Napoleon how our solar system had been formed. When Napoleon asked him about God's place in the process, Laplace replied: "I did not need this hypothesis there."

Thus, science left no room for the existence of other aspects beyond its own limits, including those realities that are hidden from our perception. Everyone believed that humanity had discovered the necessary measures to know the world as it really is.

In the late 1800s, it seemed that classical physics had provided researchers with a complete set of laws for every natural phenomenon. Many researchers maintained that these laws would help them explain even the few phenomena that remained mysteries. Since physics has always been considered "the mother of all sciences" and the forefront of technology and experimentation, its discoveries served as the foundation for research in other sciences, as well.

The era of modern physics began in the early 1900s with Albert Einstein's revolutionary discoveries. Einstein's Theory of Relativity generated a fundamental change in attitude towards everything that had previously been known about time, space, mass, motion, and gravity. Einstein's theory unified time and space into a single entity - time-space - revoking the premise that time and space were absolute.

In the 1930s, another theory emerged: Quantum Mechanics, also known as Quantum Theory. This spurred an ongoing revolution in physics whereby all measurements yielded only approximate, quantitative results, probabilities that Quantum Theory calculations would interpret.

Quantum Theory was able to describe several phenomena that could not be explained by preceding theories. The most famous of these was wave-particle duality, showing that microscopic objects such as electrons behave as waves under some conditions, and as particles under others.

A fundamental concept of Quantum Theory is the Uncertainty Principle, which maintains that the observer affects the observed event. Hence, the key question is, "What do the measurements actually measure?" This principle implies that the concept of an "objective process" becomes irrelevant. Moreover, beyond the measured results, an "objective reality" simply cannot exist.

The discoveries of Quantum Physics drastically changed scientists' approach. The deterministic concept that maintained that physics revealed objective facts of nature and described their absolute existence was dismissed.

It was replaced by an understanding that physics does not know the true essence of nature. Physics can only assist in building paradigms, patterns, and formulae that calculate results of an experiment within a certain boundary of probabilities.

 

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