I enjoyed reading "The Jewish View of Creationism" by Rabbi Adam Jacobs on Huffington Post. Coincidentally, we at Kabbalah Publishing are re-editing one of the Rav's previous works in which he discusses time and space from the perspective of Science and the Bible. (The title is Navigating the Universe and it will be released as a paperback in May 2011.) Time and space have always been, and continue to be, an important aspect of kabbalistic study. Understanding these concepts is critical to the fulfillment of our purpose in this world. The Rav began discoursing on these ideas more than 20 years ago, and his powerful words are even more relevant today. I could not have said it better. I hope you enjoy this:
The only time the average scientist will turn to the Bible is when he thinks he can "prove" it wrong on grounds of empirical evidence, never realizing that the code contained within the Bible is every bit as empirical as any experiment performed in his laboratory. Yet if these same scientists took the effort to investigate the true, internal meanings of the biblical predictions, they might be in for a pleasant surprise. In addition to gaining a new perspective into the Bible, they might very well come to an understanding of Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, which today so confuses them.
Kabbalah holds out the promise of a real science of the future. A valid futurology is indeed possible, this despite the fact that the future appears more complex and unpredictable with every passing moment. As astronomers will testify, there is very little if any indeterminacy in the movements of our celestial neighbors. Astronomy, calendars, and almanacs all rely on what happened in the past to predict the future. These astronomical calculators enjoy wide respect, the simple reason being that unlike the predictions of physicists, economists, weather forecasters, and allopathic physicians, the predictions derived from the celestial movements very often achieve accuracy.
When Einstein revealed his theories of special and general relativity, Newtonian scientists had no choice but to reexamine old familiar and cherished concepts of space and time. Before Einstein's day, time was regarded as a continuous flow, like a river stretching back into the past and ahead into the future. Einstein proved that time is not absolute. Time depends on space and space depends on time. The two cannot be separated. One cannot be considered without also considering the other.
The famous "twins paradox" is perhaps the most familiar example of this phenomenon. One twin takes a faster-than-light rocket ship into space, while the stay-at-home twin waits for his brother to return some years later. When the space faring brother returns, he finds his earth-bound brother has aged a great deal, while he has not.
A space ship traveling at near light speed would enable such human clocks as heartbeat, brainwaves and blood flow, to slow down during the journey. Time adjusts to accomodate its spacial frame of reference. As bizarre as this may sound, it is true.
In Genesis we find people who lived many hundreds of years: Adam lived 930 years, Methusalech 969. Then, inexplicably, the average lifespan diminished to a low of only 47 years. Now the average lifespan is becoming progressively longer. Could it be that certain ages and civilizations are more conducive than others to achieving non-ordinary states of consciousness?
The dimensions of spacial consciousness as demonstrated by the twins paradox are, of course, vastly different from those with which we normally deal on the physical level. Yet this bizarre anomaly pervades every aspect of our daily lives.
Consider the example of two secretaries who, at the end of the working day, may be overheard discussing the day's routine: "The day dragged along," complains one. "I thought it would never end." Her friend conversely comments on how swiftly she thought the day went by. Here is an example of how consciousness affects time. The secretary who experienced time in slow motion is likely bored with her job and accomplishes little in the course of her day's work. Feeling down, depressed, unhappy with herself, she has aligned herself with the down side of earth's level, where time moves slowly. The other, meanwhile, gains satisfaction from her work and thus time for her moves swiftly.
Consider another scenario in which two people approach an elevator and both press the down button. After a brief time one impatiently remarks, "Why doesn't that elevator show up?" The other shrugs and points out the fact that the button to summon it has just been pushed. The former is obviously in a hurry to get where he is going, while the latter who is in no rush does not feel the same pressure as does his companion. Again we see how time varies according to how we perceive it.
With this behind us, we may now begin to understand how the space-time phenomenon makes possible prophecy and prediction. No prophecy was involved in knowing how the two secretaries or the two friends at the elevator would react. By knowing the internal space in which a person exists is sufficient to predict that person's potential behavior. The key to prediction is the ability to transcend the bounds of rational consciousness so that we may enter the universal state of mind in which past, present and future exist on the same multidimensional plane.
Einstein's Theory of Relativity destroyed the idea of universal time, and of an absolute past, present and future. His imagination led us to believe that in some sense the future already exists. Einstein never did fully explain why universal time no longer exists. After all, to understand the why of things was not then and unfortunately still is not within the province of science.
Uncertainty belongs to the world of physics. In the realm of metaphysics, reality is seen unwinding along a precise, predetermined route that must lead to an unalterable final state. The kabbalist understands that time depends upon a space reference, and there are infinite numbers of space-time references. Indeed, there are as many of them as there are inhabitants of planet Earth.
Our new interpretation of space-time sheds light on the question previously raised as to why people lived long lives closer to the time of the biblical Adam, and why the average lifespan decreased to a low point only to rise again. Adam and those immediately following him lived in a time of high spiritual consciousness. The further removed one is from the rigid framework of clock-time consciousness, the longer one's life is likely to be.
As we approach the Age of Aquarius, our space-time consciousness is being elevated. Time is slowing down for us and we shall experience a marked increase in the human life-span. However, this does not necessarily mean we will all move up to a higher frequency of consciousness. What will take place, however, is a general recognition that past, present and future are no longer fragmented, but are really one and the same.
The biblical parable concerning the Tower of Babel illustrates that although they lived in this upper frame of space-time reaping all the benefits of their state of being, that civilization did not necessarily achieve a spiritual awareness of Desire to Receive for the Sake of Sharing. However, because fragmented time hardly existed, their grasp of the universe was that of a highly evolved civilization.
Unlike the ancient civilization of Babel, our present civilization is dominated by the cosmic influence of the Age of Aquarius, the essence of which is Desire to Receive for the Sake of Sharing. It is not by chance that the knowledge of Kabbalah is, with each day, becoming more widespread and readily available.
As stated in Jeremiah 30:33: "And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord.' Rather everyone shall know Me, from the smallest to the highest."
Already we are beginning to witness a similarly advanced transition, as did the ancient civilization of Babel. In addition, we are about to experience a spiritual revival, the likes of which did not exist at the time of Babel. No longer is it necessary to accrue vast amounts of knowledge before delving into life's mysteries. In the Age of Aquarius, the ancient wisdom will be the domain of all.