- SPIRITUAL TIME, SPACE, MASS, LIGHT AND ENERGY
(Last updated 8/20/00)
Consider the following quote:
Time is an accident consequent upon motion and is necessarily attached to it. Neither of them exists without the other. Motion does not exist except in time, and time cannot be conceived by the intellect except together with motion. And all that with regard to which no motion can be found, does not fall under time.
A brilliant insight from Albert Einstein, perhaps?
If you answered "probably," you're only off by about 700 years.
In as much as the above quotation sounds like a 20th century theory of Einstein, it is actually from Maimonides, the great Jewish Torah scholar of the twelfth century. (1) Actually, Einstein and his colleagues probably were inspired by Maimonides' writings, which were well ahead of their time.
The last sentence of Maimonides' quote actually pertains to God Himself. As "motion" (as well as space) imply measurement and can only apply to physical objects, and as God is not corporeal, then He is not confined by time or space. Time was created by God, for us. He operates beyond time as we know it.
TIME AND SPACE IN OUR 3-DIMENSIONAL WORLD
There are many ways that "time" and "space" can be shown to have a relationship. A simple example is found in the game of chess. Chess strategy involves interplay between space (how many of the 64 squares of the board you control), and time (how many moves that you are ahead or behind your opponent). Experienced players often "trade" space for time, having to use their intuition as to whether they are getting the "better end of the deal." Only after a beginner understands this "dimension," of the game, can he move forward to becoming an advanced player.
In mathematics, there are complex equations that cannot be solved without introducing a "4th dimension" (something beyond the X, Y and Z coordinates in 3-dimensional space). Again, without "expanding" beyond the elementary and obvious, one cannot advance to the next level of understanding.
Physics has shown that there are relationships between things like energy and mass, as well as time and space, Einstein's famous equation, E=mc2 (Energy equals mass times the constant of the speed of light, squared) was one of the first to link two such elements. Experiments have been done sending atomic clocks through the atmosphere in different directions, arriving at the same destination at the same moment -- however when the clocks were checked, the times were different, thus showing that speed through space affected time.
FIVE SPIRITUAL ELEMENTS
The concepts we call, "time" and "space," as well as, "light," "mass," and "energy," are all part of God's creation and may be considered a "reflection" of His attributes. As God is consistent in what He does, when studying the Scriptures, we should not be surprised to find that there are corresponding elements in the spiritual realm. The study of these spiritual elements plays a key role in understanding who God is, who we are, what is to come, and how we are to get there.
The following are offered for consideration:
spiritual time, represented by repeated "events" not constricted to the physical linear aspect of time, i.e., the Moedim (including Shabbat, Shemitta and Yovel years, and the seven "Feasts of God"). Many of these are associated with events in the Millennium or Olam Haba (the world to come).
spiritual space, the dimension(s) beyond our physical one, including aspects of those set on earth for us (i.e., the Tabernacle/Temple, a place where God could "reside" among us on this sinful earth.) Spiritual space is necessary for God's spiritual light to be transmitted, just as physical space is needed for physical light.
spiritual light, God's word and/or perfect will, either of which is a constant. "You are the light of the world," is an admonition for God's people to teach others His Torah, which is His light. (Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. - Psalm 119:105.) The glory of God is also represented by "light" in Scripture.
spiritual mass, any entity whose function is to implement the will of God (i.e., angels, the Ruach Ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit), Messiah or the Shekinah). This would also include "evil angels" (demons), including haSatan, who also ultimately serve God's purpose.
spiritual energy, the result of the work of; angels, the Ruach Ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit), Messiah the Shekinah or demons -- i.e., miracles or revelation
The Sabbath is shown to have a time-transcending character, as seen in the mystical teachings of the Zohar, and is directly tied to the Millenium/Olam Haba:
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 88a - Therefore the Sabbath is more precious than all other times and seasons and festivals, because it contains and unites all in itself, whereas no other festival or holy day does so.’ Said R. Hiya: ‘Because all things are found in the Sabbath it is mentioned three times in the story of Creation: "And on the seventh day God ended his work"; "and he rested on the seventh day"; "and God blessed the seventh day" (Gen. II, 2, 3).’
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 88b - The unique character of the Sabbath is expressed in the words: "Between Me and the children of Israel." And because the Faith is centred in the Sabbath, man is given on this day an additional, a supernal soul, a soul in which is all perfection, according to the pattern of the world to come. What does the word "Sabbath" mean? The Name of the Holy One, the Name which is in perfect harmony at all sides.’ [Tr. Note: This idea is based upon the mystic significance of the three letters of the word Sabbath, shin, beth, tau.]
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 205b - ‘The prayer offered by the holy people on the Sabbath is of three parts, corresponding to the three Sabbaths, but being in essence only one. [Tr. note: i.e. the Sabbath of the Creation, the Sabbath on which the Torah was given, and the Sabbath of the Millennium.]
Our definition of spiritual space has to do with a place (and means) by which God can "reside" among His creation -- especially in their sinful state.
The first place we see the idea of God creating "spiritual space," is in creation. According to mystical Jewish tradition, the purpose of creation was to provide God with a "dwelling place in the lower realms." Eden was a place where man walked with God, in the spirit (ruach) of the garden. This "space" was corupted by the sin of Adam and Even, and they were banished from it.
God's process of redemption brings us to Mount Sinai, where once again, sin (the golden calf) gets in the way of the plan. In order for God to reside among his people, He needs to create a spiritual space that is not tainted by sin -- first, the Tabernacle, and later, the Temple.
Recall that Moses built the first Tabernacle and its elements according to a heavenly model. The Zohar (3) states that God made everything in this "lower" world along the same pattern as that in the "upper" world. A similar thought is expressed in Midrash Rabbah:
Midrash Rabbah - Genesis II:2 - NOW THE EARTH WAS TOHU E.V. ‘UNFORMED’, etc. R. Abbahu and R. Judah b. R. Simon [gave the follow-ing illustrations]. R. Abbahu said: This may be compared to the case of a king who bought two slaves on the same bill of sale and at the same price. One he ordered to be supported at the public expense, while the other he ordered to toil for his bread. The latter sat bewildered and astonished: ‘Both of us were bought at the same price,’ exclaimed he, ‘yet he is supported from the treasury whilst I have to gain my bread by my toil!’ Thus the earth sat bewildered and astonished, saying, ' The celestial beings [sc. the angels] and the terrestial ones [sc. man] were created at the same time: yet the celestial beings are fed by the radiance of the Shechinah, whereas the terrestial beings, if they do not toil, do not eat.We are taught in Scripture that our bodies are the Temple of God's Spirit. Just as the Tabernacle and Temple were constructed according to an image given by God, we ourselves are created in the image of the same God. God's "characteristics" are consistent and can be seen in all He does. By studying God's Temple (as commanded in Ezekiel) and properly keeping His Sabbath, we actually learn more of how to restore our personal relationship with Him. Such "wisdom" is considered greater than prophecy in Jewish tradition.
As Paul said, these things are indeed a (wonderful) shadow of what is to come, and don't let anyone "trouble you," if you choose to study and do them in faith (Colossians 2:17).
A UNION OF TIME AND SPACE
It is reasonable to assume that we can look for His "pattern" throughout any part of His creation. As we find the Temple and Shabbat closely linked in the Torah (when they are formally given to us, i.e. Leviticus 19:30), and coming to their fullness together in the Millennium, it is sensible to look for a connection involving spiritual time and space between the two.
Besides the weekly Shabbat, the three pilgrimage feasts of Pesakh, Shavuot and Succot were also called "sabbaths" and related to the Temple:
Deuteronomy 16:16 - Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty:
The Jewish scholar Nachmanides (12th century), taught that all 613 commandments of the Torah are related in some fashion to the Temple and Shabbat (2), making the Temple and Shabbat as critical to understanding God's revelation (His Torah) and the spiritual world, as the study of physical time and space are to understanding the "reality" of our physical world.
Science proclaims that our present reality is dependent on the relationship between space and time. Reality is made up of the three aspects of the dimension of space (height, width and depth -- or "X," "Y'" and "Z" coordinates) along with the single dimension of time. (i.e., If you want to know the "location" of something on this earth, you need to know the three aspects of where it was/is and the single aspect of when it was/is.)
The consistency of God's rules would apply to the reality of the spiritual realm. As the Millennium is the return of spiritual reality to its "proper state," we should view the union of of the Temple with Shabbat at that time in such terms, keeping in mind the three aspects of space and one of time. (We will also see later in this study, that there is a "fifth dimension," a spiritual/moral one, that indicates a status of: good/evil, clean/unclean, holy/unholy. This, like the others, is also not "static," (i.e., things that are clean can become unclean and vice-versa).
As we go through this study, we will find that "space-related" things such as; the structure of the Temple, the terms of the Besorah ("Gospel") and the New Covenant, are interwoven with the "time-related items" of; Shabbat, Yovel Year (Jubilee) and Yom Kippur.
Physical time and space are indeed a shadow of their spiritual counterparts:
"Space by itself and time by itself, are doomed to fade into mere shadows."- Herman Minkowski, a contemporary of Einstein, in a scientific address given September 21, 1908
"Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come ..."
- Sha'ul's letter to the Colossians, chapter 2, verses 16 & 17
"HaMakom V'HaZman Echad Hu" - "Time and Space are One"
- 16th century Jewish saying
"Mehitabut ha'orot, nithavu hakelim -"From the condensation of the lights, were the vessels brought into being."
- Ancient Jewish mystical saying
1. The Fifteenth Premise, from Maimonides' The Guide of the Perplexed, Introduction to the Second Part. A study of any of Maimonides' works is very beneficial to understanding deep Biblical concepts. Much of his material can be found on Internet bookstores such as Amazon.com. His work, The Guide of the Perplexed, is an outstanding piece of literature and recommended for understanding the Jewish Scriptures.
2. Nachmanides commentary on Leviticus
3. Zohar, commentary on Exodus 3:1