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Religious scholars believe our scriptures are mostly compilations. To historical experts, sacred texts reveal signs of revision, editing, and sometimes even sloppy translation. For me, nothing about this makes holy books less beautiful or valuable. I like the idea of inspired people co-creating our wisdom traditions. It feels communal.

This week, I was blessed with a bit of co-creation. My last blog post, The Gospel of Nonequilibrium Thermodynamics, was based on a book called Into the Cool: Energy Flow, Thermodynamics and Life. One of the book’s authors, Dorion Sagan, was kind enough to leave a comment about the post, and in his comment he made a notable correction to what I’d written.

I’d said that perhaps life on Earth evolved to reduce a temperature gradient (difference) between the hot sun and cold space. Mr. Sagan explained that the reduction of any temperature gradient was a secondary issue, and that the primary gradient life on Earth reduces is between the “high quality” electromagnetic energy of the sun and “low quality” energy of space. He referred to the sun’s energy as “quantum packets,” referencing quantum physics’ discovery that light travels in discrete energetic bundles.

We facilitate a balancing between star-quality energy and dark, cool space. The poetry keeps knocking me out.

So here comes today’s revised poetic interconnection:

All world mysticisms believe human beings are a kind of conduit between divine and physical realms. Kabbalah teaches that the purpose of human life is Tikkun Olam—’repairing the world.’ In an earlier blog post called Kabbalah and Einstein, I explained Isaac Luria’s teaching that our physical universe is thought to be infused with sparks of divine light, fallen from their divine source, trapped in matter, and needing to be recognized and redeemed. That’s our job here, the purpose of our lives.

So now, putting it all together, I wonder: Are Luria’s holy sparks analogous to quantum packets of solar energy? In reducing the sun/space gradient, are we all actually working toward Tikkun Olam?

This post is to thank Dorion Sagan for his feedback. Much appreciated, sir.


  • L.M. says:

    Continued great work, Mr. Daniel! But this comment has to do with your willingness to quickly and thoroughly correct yourself in the face of an error. Many a lesser person would have downplayed or even dismissed that anything had gone awry, especially in this era of polemics. Not that I am surprised, but congratulations for doing the right thing. Our collective knowledge has benefitted from it.

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