Thomas S. Kuhn, in his book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, has pointed out that when we look at the efforts to explain the world with the tools of Aristotle’s time, we should not speak of a “pre-scientific” stage of knowledge, after which — and after 2,500 years of accumulated and sustained human efforts — we have finally found the “true” and “authentic” scientific method, valid for sciences such as physics, chemistry, astronomy, from today and forever.
Actually, Kuhn says, Aristotle with his model of the universe was as scientific as Stephen Hawking, only without the Hubble Space Telescope and CERN’s Hadron Collider.
Kuhn’s thesis is that science is not timeless, but historical, and that it does not advance by linear accumulation but by leaps, which he calls revolutions.
Forcing the argument, we could say that many of the ideas of the Greek philosophers – who thought of the atom and the revolutions of the celestial spheres – were perfectly correct for their science, but that when experience showed inconsistencies, other theories had to be created.
This would be (or should be) one of the keys to the science that we use today: the notion that knowledge is relative to the historical period and the tools we have, and that they can change radically from one decade to another.
Mutatis mutandis, we can move from the Greek philosophers and Aristotle to Kabbalah, and perhaps we will find that many of the secrets that this ancient wisdom has taught are being verified or rediscovered by the sciences of the 20th century and so far in the 21st.
The work of kabbalists such as Aryeh Kaplan has contributed to this. Kaplan was a rabbi in Brooklyn, NY, but also became the youngest physicist hired by NASA.
This crossing of disciplines is currently possible, due to the phenomenon -prophesied centuries ago- of the arrival of the 5th level Kabbalah, the level of Jihud, of unification.
Currently, Kabbalah has escaped from Israel, and is now studied all over the world, through the Internet, in groups like the Kabbalah Center or Bnei Baruch. And there are thousands of new Kabbalah “teachers” who have opened their schools – their channels – on YouTube, for example.
In fact, nowadays the language in which Kabbalah is most studied in the world is English, followed by Spanish. Kabbalah in Hebrew is certainly the mother of all others, but learning Hebrew is something extremely exotic for a person who does not live in Israel or is not a kosher Jew.
But this is the reality, and welcome to 5th level Kabbalah.
Now, the wisdom of the ancients of the desert dialogues with quantum physics, with neuroscience, with string theory, with astrophysics, parallel universes, quantum entanglement and multiverses.
One of the most common exercises among Kabbalah students who approach topics such as quantum physics and astronomy, is the amazing resemblance between the Kabbalists’ notions of the origin of the universe and the modern theories associated with the Big-Bang.
As an example, let’s look at an excerpt from the poem “The Tree of Life.”
THE TREE OF LIFE – ETZ CHAYIM
Behold that before the emanations were emanated and the creatures were created,
The Upper Simple Light had filled the whole existence.
And there was no vacancy, such as an empty air, a hollow,
But all was filled with that Simple, Boundless Light.
And there was no such part as head, or end,
But everything was One, Simple Light, balanced evenly and equally,
And it was called “the Light of Ein Sof (Infinity).”
Then the Ein Sof restricted Himself, in His middle point, precisely at the center,
And He restricted that Light, and drew far off to the sides around that middle point.
And there remained an empty space, an empty air, a vacuum
Precisely from the middle point.
And that restriction was equally around that empty, middle point,
So that the space was evenly circled around it.
And after the restriction, when the vacant space remained empty
Precisely in the middle of the Light of Ein Sof,
A place was formed, where the Emanations, Creations, Formations, and Actions might reside.
Rabbi Yitzchak Luria (the ARI), The Tree of Life, Part One, Gate One.
Following our line of argumentation, we can understand new meanings of the classical texts of Kabbalah, such as the ARI poem, the obscure passages of the Zohar, or discover, following Michael Drosnin, a secret code in the 304,805 letters of the Torah.
In the ARI poem, we find what is called a singularity, prior to the universe we know, and that makes it possible.
There is still no time or space, but a simple light, information, a code without materiality, which then descends to a central point, and from there, by emanation, by expansion, matter, galaxies, stars, began to be created, planets, our world, we humans. It is the Big Bang, foreshadowed 500 years earlier.
Kabbalah, which was born in Israel, has spread throughout the entire world, employing now all the contributions and resources that human ingenuity is creating as we walk the paths of the Plan of Creation.
Where will we go?
We do not know. The gift of prophecy has been exhausted, according to our masters.
We intuit that we will reach higher levels, towards a new human condition, which we do not fully distinguish. A Homo Deus, as Yuval Harari points? May be…
But we move on. There is a way, hidden in the Tree of Life. Our job as students of Kabbalah and philosophers is to go through it.