Isaac Luria was a 16th century Jewish mystic who brought Kabbalah sacred teachings about creation, the nature of God, and the spiritual purpose of human lives.
Luria taught that in the beginning, all that existed was God, in the form an infinity of conscious energy called Ein Sof. At one point, Ein Sof decided to take material form, so it withdrew itself from a small area to allow space for our physical universe. Into this space, God shone a ray of light—the light of creation. This light was mediated through 10 vessels called sefirot which were supposed to manage the transition from pure unified divine 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, causing divinity to become lost in physicality, soul to become 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 and completing creation.
Four centuries later, Albert Einstein produced the seminal physics 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 easily realized by performing a quick transformation on the equation, rewriting it this way:
Now the equation now says that mass equals energy divided by the speed of light squared. Mass is energy slowed WAY down. It turns out, mass is energy trapped in relative stillness. We look around and see seemingly solid, still objects with limits and boundaries. But there’s actually great energy contained there, wanting to break free—to be raised! Inside everything solid is dynamic energy.
Was Luria right, then: Is every particle we’re made of just a shell within which exists an energetic pearl of pure divinity?
Did Einstein confirm Kabbalah?