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G-d is a Verb
by Dr. Arnie Gotfryd

We, in our finite physical mindsets, cannot imagine any entity truly outside of the dimensions of time and space. - The Rebbe, Mind Over Matter, p.82.

Abraham Principle

The constant presence of stuff in this world lulls us into believing that they are independent - that they no longer rely on G-d's creative energy in order to continue to exist. The fact is, however, that things are constantly dependent on their Source. That reality inexorably leads to the concept of continuous creation, the subject of this week's article. Part 6.

 

G-d is a Verb

Ask your average Josephine or Joe on the street, "What is G-d?" and almost certainly you will get some kind of a noun for an answer. Creator, Judge, Merciful One. He, She, It. That's all fine but it's missing something fundamental - action - and logically speaking, that's necessary and we will soon see why.

If we rewind the universe to just before the beginning, we get G-d alone. Fast forward a moment and we get G-d and a universe. The question is this: Where did He put it?

Until He made space, there was no space - there was only Him - alone, complete, unique. That being the case whatever He made was made out of Himself!

This implies that everything else is a dependent reality, while He is the independent reality, the True Reality that underlies all. It is like dreaming or visualizing something. As long as the mind is on it, it is there. Once attention is removed, it vanishes, just the dreamer is left.

The upshot of all this is that creation is a dynamic process that needs to be continuously renewed, not some one-time prehistoric Event that set the billiard ball universe bouncing some time in the foggy, distant past. Rather creation is here and now.

Once we see G-d as a creative dynamic within the flow of time, the whole concept of G-d comes to life. The waves on the beach, birth and death, seasons and songs, all take on a divine quality.

Just meditating on creation ex nihilo, something form nothing, Yesh me'Ayin, is enough to awaken a sense of the continuous flow of divine energy at every time and place. It seems that Abraham was able to figure this out, and his conclusions were later confirmed by the revelations he received, as recorded in the Torah.

Of the many names by which G-d is known in the Hebrew Bible, the most essential name is the one associated with time. In English, this name is translated as "The Eternal" which has a static implication, like the earth under your feet. But in the original Hebrew, this name is a verb, a dynamic, referring to all of existence continuously coming into being ex nihilo, from nothing to something. The very letters of that Hebrew name, /Yud/, /heh/, /vav/ and /heh/, spell out four forms of the verb to be: Was, is, will be, and continuous coming to be.

This is the notion of G-d being above time, within time, creating time at all times.

Today we have an advantage over the ancients. When they tried to envision continuous creation of diverse beings from a single source, they had to think hard, meditate, and imagine things totally outside their range of experience. Not so you and me. We have modern technology to provide vivid analogies of how continuous creation works.

For instance, a tv image of a tree, as static as it looks, is being refreshed by a new set of scanning electrons some 30 to 60 times per second. It's a new picture every moment. That was Abraham's view of reality as well, a new world every moment. And in recent years, physics has come to accept this view of reality as well.

Bringing creation out of the dusty past and projecting it into the eternal now is about as radical a shift in thinking as you could get. Suddenly the Creator was no longer the great-grandfather god who politely exited the universe for bigger and better things after so kindly fashioning it in the first place. Instead of just being reverently acknowledged as a prehistoric First Cause, the Creator is now seen as an intimately present Current Event.

In a world of change, yes He is the constant. But also the change.

The Present

History is a mystery.

The future is unknown.

Today is a gift.

That's why it's called

The present.

Do you recall your elementary school teacher taking attendance? She'd call your name and you would have to call back, "Present." That meant you were there. There in space, there in time. That was you, nobody else.

Not that we thought about it much back then, but we should be so appreciative about that little fact called existence, being present. There are plenty of things a person can do, but make himself exist is not one of them. Somebody else needs credit for that.

Regardless of whether or not yesterday ever really happened or tomorrow ever will, you still have your today. You've been given existence right now. And now. And now.

Applying the Abraham Principle leads us to continuous creation and that includes continuous creation of you. What an astounding thought! That great big, amazing, all powerful, all knowing, omnipresent First Cause not only notices the likes of a pipsqueak like you, but decides that you're not so bad after all, because having seen all your frailties and weaknesses, he still decided to create you again. And again. And again.

Does that mean that your existence has meaning and purpose? To Somebody, yes. Continuous creation means G-d cares. . . about you. Because why else would he bother to make you out of nothing at all unless there was some Divine purpose in it. What that purpose is, is another question. But if your whole body, with all its organs and cells and molecules and atoms, were not important, why would you be emerging in full regalia from something to nothing right now? And now? And now?

The previous moment of my existence does not force the next moment's existence any more than the previous moment's image on a TV screen forces the next moment's repeat of the same image. It's there because it was programmed to be there. It was conceived and produced and directed and recorded and encoded and then broadcast and received and decoded and now its pumping pulses of infinitesimal electrons racing across the screen recreating far away scenes with a refresh rate faster than any eye can detect.

My existence is a byproduct of a process I cannot see. We will 'see' later how and why that's the case, but for now suffice it to say that the process is not visible to the eye. The mind's eye could envision the process but not the physical eye. This invisible code, like the algorithm that informs the TV image, is the information content of reality, or in the language of kabbalah, the Word of G-d.

And in our next installment, a Word from our Sponsor.

Dr. Aryeh (Arnie) Gotfryd, PhD is a chassid, environmental scientist, author and educator living near Toronto, Canada. To contact, read more or to book him for a talk, visit www.arniegotfryd.com or call 416-858-9868

 

 


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