Isaac Luria was a 16th century Jewish mystic who redefined Kabbalah with sublime teachings about creation, the nature of God, and the spiritual purpose of human lives.
Luria illuminated a three-stage cosmology. It began with God existing alone, as an infinite plenum of conscious energy called Ein Sof. Desiring to create the universe, Ein Sof withdrew itself from a small area to allow space for a material world. Within this space, God then eminated a ray of generative light. This light was mediated through 10 vessels called sefirot, which were supposed to manage the transition from pure unified energy to diverse physical creation, much like prisms refract white light into a rainbow of colors. But God’s light was too powerful for the sefirot, and they shattered. Sparks of the light became trapped in shards of the vessels: Divinity became lost in physicality, soul became lost in body. God became unrecognized in the world, hidden inside matter like a pearl in a shell.
The mission of all human beings, taught Luria, is to ‘raise’ these sparks: to find and recognize the Or Ein Sof—the light of the infinite—in ourselves and in everything, redeeming all creation!
Four centuries later, Albert Einstein, during a career of great genius, produced the seminal equation E=mc². Put into words, this equation says that energy (E) equals mass (m) multiplied by the speed of light squared (c²). This means that energy is equivalent to mass sped WAY up. Einstein’s correspondence between mass and energy is profound—it indicates that all matter in our universe is really made of pure energy! This idea is most clearly realized by performing a quick algebraic transformation on the equation, rewriting it:
Written this way, the equation now says that mass equals energy divided by the speed of light squared: Mass can be described as energy slowed WAY down. Basically, mass is energy trapped in relative stillness! We look around ourselves and see seemingly solid, still objects, with all their limitations and boundaries. But the energy inside wants to break free—it wants to be raised! Our truest nature is energetic: fast and infinite.
Was Luria right, then—is every particle of which we’re made just a shell, within which exists an energetic pearl of pure divinity?
Did Einstein confirm Kabbalah?