Kabbalah and Einstein
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?
Add your thoughts
With due respect to the Holy Ari and Albert Einstein but didn’t Avraham Avinu in Sefer Yetzorah try and already reconcile e=mc², but taking the 3 Mother letters aleph, mem and shin. Aleph=energy, Mem=Mass and Shin=fire or in this case the speed of light square?
Aleph thus equals the reconciliation water an fire? Thanks for the thought process.
Thanks for your comment! I haven’t thought about this post in a long while… I’ll have to Google the passage you’re referring to, but I can already say this just from your summary: I love the poetry in it.
I have received a lot of teaching of kabbalah but this information I have grasped it throughly thankyou
Thank you for the reply. I have some photos, but I don’t know if I can post them here. I was astonished to see that one of the works that for me was the symbol of infinity, was one of the images of the Kabbala itself: two cones, one upwards and the other downwards kept together. Perhaps I was a kabbalist in another life, or perhaps the kabbalist concepts are now part of the collective unconciousness, or else they have been so spread all around the world that they already belong to anyone. Anyway, I intend to plunge into its poetic aspects.
Sadly, my site isn’t set up for uploads. But if you post pics elsewhere, please send me a link. As for Kabbalistic symbols and concepts… Like most mystical ideas, they absolutely appear to me to be part of the collective unconscious. And as this blog celebrates, they surface everywhere: spirituality, science, and creativity. Hoping you subscribe to the blog and continue to enjoy it.
I was very glad to discover your blog because I am searching many connections as an artist, as I work with a sort of scripture in my paintings and some symbols in my sculptures. As a matter of fact, I proposed an installation to a gallery that deals with some scientific theories and I wrote in my aplication that equation of Einstein at its reverse: m = E/c2, thinking that it might be absurd. So I am glad to discover that it is not, and that the Kabala is the source that I must study. Thank you,
Thank you for writing, Pina. I’m happy you like the blog, and I’d be interested to see your work. To the best of my knowledge, the m=E/c2 version of Einstein’s equation is actually the original, and the more popular E=mc2 is a derivation! Either way, there seem to be countless poetic interconnections possible between the equation and mystical philosophy. It’s a fascinating subject of study. Enjoy!
Good work! Thank you!
I always wanted to write in my blog something like that. Can I take part of your post to my blog?
Of course, I will add backlink?
Regards, Timur I.
Please feel free to quote me in your blog… And a backlink would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your compliments!
Very intriguing! I knew of both this kabbalistic legend and Einstein’s famous equation, but I never thought to put them together as you did. Reminds me of how artists seemed to anticipate scientifc discoveries as theorized in Leonard Shlain’s book “Art & Physics: Parallel Visions in Space, Time, and Light.” Maybe he should extend his thesis to spiritual figures! Thanks for this.
– L.M. :o)
Excellent content and style…keep up the good work!
Thank you! I enjoyed your website as well. Nice meeting a fellow wayfarer.
It isn’t possible for me to broach the subject of splitting the atom without contemplating the Alelph, that all-powerful, unknowable immense Energy which is the third letter of “Bereshyt” and to recall someone else wrote it was possible to make an entire course of the study of Aleph. When I survey all the Kabbalistic writings I’ve enountered in the past few years, I stand all amazed and humbled, yet so sublimely excited about the prospect of that invisible heavenly scroll which folds the universes back onto each in turn, mind projecting past the cone of light, being guided by the thought that anything the mind can imagine is possible, even the edge of the universe. Perhaps Einstein was, after all, only an instrument, another who couldn’t control Aleph. It’s been said the Hebrew letters, energy formulas, are contained in our DNA and I let them take me away.
Brother Jacobus seems to be answering my query about Einstein and Kabbalah by offering an explanaton and then posing but not totally answering my question. I have my deep suspicions about Einstein’s involvement with Kabbalah but I haven’t completely nailed it down. I feel that Einstein made it possible for mankind to split the atom and produce an atomic bomb which was matter with the soul left out of the equation. The other part of my query asked for guidance on the Hebrew word “Bereshyt,” which I don’t feel actually means “In the beginning God created…”
Your reference to the atomic bomb as “matter with the soul left out of the equation” is awesome… A truly poetic interconnection between spirituality and science. I take some comfort in knowing Einstein considered his role in making the A-bomb the “…one great mistake in my life”. Thank you so much for your comment!