What an interesting world we live in! You and I may be one yard apart, speaking to each other, seeing, hearing, and perhaps even smelling each other. Yet, I have no idea what you are thinking and what you really want. Perhaps in this very minute you are thinking about someone living in a different place, or even at a different time.
Lovers “take” their loved ones wherever they go. Quite honestly, people in love can be rather dull, at times: they may be standing right in front of you, but their minds are constantly on their charming/lovely/wonderful/smart (choose or add your favorite) loved one.
If, however, you asked who was sitting next to me this morning during my half-hour subway ride to work, or who was standing next to me last night as I lined up to buy tickets to the movies, I doubt I will remember. This is because while waiting in line or riding the train, my mind drifted to other places, times, and topics.
In simple words, physical proximity is not internal proximity. We think, feel, and imagine what we feel close to, what we really want. This is our internal life.
If we examine the law of equivalence of form in nature, we will see that this is not a new discovery. Clearly, we can only detect what our senses can perceive.
The eye, for example, can perceive images by receiving specific wavelengths between the colors purple and red. This is why we cannot see shorter wavelengths than purple, such as ultraviolet, with a naked eye. A bee, on the other hand, does see ultraviolet, and this enables it to detect different kinds of flowers that we humans would not be able to distinguish.
We all know that our world contains many frequencies, most of which we cannot receive, although they do affect us. Take x-rays, for example, or radio waves. With the right instrument -- one that can translate these waves to a length our sense organs can perceive -- we will be able to detect those waves in the space around us.
What would you do if I asked you what is being broadcast right now on your favorite radio station? Most likely, you’d say that you don’t know (unless you’re listening to this station right this minute). But if you turned on the radio and switched to the frequency of your favorite station, you would immediately know the answer.
How did the radio “know” what’s on the air in your favorite station? There isn’t a little guy in there, singing and talking to make our time more pleasant. The radio only fixes itself to work on a wavelength, a frequency that existed in the air before we turned it on. It helps us transform the message created in the radio station from an undetectable wavelength to one our ears can detect.
The law of equivalence of form works in the spiritual world, too. But in spirituality, it is about similarity and dissimilarity of intentions, not about equivalence of frequencies.
All that is measured in the spiritual world are intentions, thoughts. The intention of the Upper Force, which governs the whole of reality, including our lives, is only to bestow, to give. It acts out of love. If we want to know and understand how the world is ruled, we, too, must acquire the intention to bestow. If we concentrate on ourselves and on our personal benefit, we will not know the reasons for everything that happens around and within us, since we will remain detached from the Upper Force. Only if we find a way to equalize with His form will we discover the Creator, and in the process find happiness and peace.
Perhaps no one states this principle better than the Rambam: “As He is called ‘Merciful,’ you too, be merciful. As He is called ‘Gracious,’ you, too, be gracious. As He is called ‘Holy,’ you, too, be holy. In this manner the prophets related to all the appellations, ‘Forbearing’ and ‘Compassionate’ and ‘Righteous’ … to notify that these are good ways…, and that one must conduct oneself in them and resemble Him as much as one can” (The Mighty Hand, De’ot, Chapter 1).