Major Tom, Do You Hear Me?
A Kabbalistic Journey Into the Galaxy’s Mysteries
The final frontier is not somewhere in outer space, but hidden deep inside each one of us
“Space, the last frontier….” There were times when millions would hold their breath as these opening words of the TV series “Star Trek” were heard. In the background, the spaceship Enterprise breaks forth on its winding journey to discover strange new worlds.
Until the last few years, space research was the greatest hope for the human desire for discovery; an awesome adventure that drew us all. After everything on our planet was conquered, and there was nothing left to discover, new horizons suddenly opened when the space age began in the second half of the 20th century. The first few trips into outer space far overshadowed the legendary voyages of the great discoverers: Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Ferdinand Magellan, and others. The moon, which had always seemed an untouchable heavenly crescent, suddenly became a tangible, reachable object, a place one can walk and even plant a flag. The following waves of astronauts, shuttles, and satellites that would fill the sky inspired great artists of the time, Asimov, Kubrick, David Bowie, and others to create hair-raising fictional fantasies.
And while space research remains exciting to this day, it is hard to ignore the fact that the space industry is still far from satisfying the hopes we have harbored. The pool of water recently discovered on the moon is clearly an important discovery. But what about the great dreams we envisioned? Still clinging to those hopes, the latest issue of National Geographic’s cover proclaims we are still searching for another “Earth” in the heavens. So what about all those worlds and creatures that we hoped to find? Why can’t we find forms of life beyond our world? Is it possible that all the exploration has been in vain and there is nothing “out there”? Or maybe we are just not looking in the right place….
A Contraction of the History of Time
For millennia, the wisdom of Kabbalah has said that the universe does not contain any intelligent creatures other than man. As disappointing as it may sound, there is no possibility of encountering green creatures from Mars anytime soon. But there is something even better for those of us who long to be adventurous explorers: There is an enormous, invisible force that surrounds and fills the universe which we can reach. What is that force?
In the middle of the 16th century, with the appearance of a man named Isaac Luria, known as “the Ari,” in Tsfat, Israel, a window to the understanding of that force was opened. A minute before the astronomer Galileo started astonishing and confounding the world with his amazing discoveries of outer space, the Ari developed a different kind of telescope, one directed inside man, into the mysteries of the human heart. Through the lens of that telescope, the Ari unveiled the spiritual cosmology of the universe. In the poetic language of his time, he begins the revelation this way:
Behold that before the emanations were emanated and the creatures were created,
The Upper Simple Light had filled the whole existence.
And there was no vacancy, such as an empty atmosphere, a hollow, or a pit,
But all was filled with Simple, Boundless Light.
With these opening words to his book The Tree of Life, the Ari describes the initial point of creation. At that point a force called “the Creator” brought forth a force called “the creation,” which constitutes a vessel for receiving unlimited pleasure and love. This vessel was in “wonderful and mysterious” unity with its Creator, with no empty space, gap, or border between them.
However, in order to allow the creation to develop an independent identity, the Creator performed a special act called “restriction.” The purposeful act created a divide between the creature and the abundant pleasure. Using the restriction, the creature separated from the Creator until there was a complete disengagement between them and concealment of one from the other. The restriction determines that from now on, the creation can connect to the Creator only by acquiring the Creator’s quality of bestowal. This is the way that the Creator will be “unveiled” to the creation.
In the Ari’s method, this entire process is described through a structure of ten concentric spheres, with a central point representing the creation, and the spheres around it representing the space between the creation and the Creator. Traversing all the spheres is a “thin line” of Light that originates from the initial created state, Infinity, and penetrates all the way down to the central point. This spark of Light is what ignited the creation of the physical universe known to us. But this universe is but a small droplet of the complete reality, where we are only at the initial stage of the exploration process….
Spiritual Space Odyssey
In order for the creature to regain the knowledge of the Creator that it lost after the restriction, it must embark on a long, adventurous journey designed to expand the small central point back to its original, complete, and unlimited form. Baal HaSulam, the Kabbalist who interpreted the Tree of Life for our times, explained that first and foremost we must understand that we are not exploring physical space. The spiritual space which we reveal is a “space” inside us that separates us from the Creator.
Spiritual movement is a change in qualities. Therefore, the more we change the way we use our created nature—the will to receive, and make it similar to that of the Creator—the will to bestow, the more we reduce that empty space between us and the Creator. Like a space rocket launched from Earth passes through the various layers of the atmosphere, so we cross the layers of concealment separating us from the Creator.
At the last stage called “End of Correction,” we return to the same state of eternal unity and harmony with the Light as we were in before the restriction, but this time we do so with our full awareness and free will. It is precisely the disengagement and emptiness we had experienced that enable us to build this new, mature relationship with the creative force of the entire universe. We then become a vessel in which the initial pleasure is multiplied a thousand-fold.
So, how is all of this related to the space research of our era? What is the connection between rockets, shuttles, satellites, and extraterrestrial life, and the End of Correction?
A Guide for the Hitchhiker in Space
The intense drive to explore space and to search for new worlds originates from an internal, deep, and justified feeling that we are not alone. However, instead of searching for partners who are aliens in space, we need to embark on the true search: the search for the Creator. Kabbalists are those who have experienced this entire journey and arrived at the final result. Based on their research, they created a map that we can use in order to follow in their footsteps. The books they wrote are structured as a special guide for a person who wants to break forth into the higher dimension of existence.
This is not science fiction. Using a special language, the Kabbalists tell us about future states that each one of us will feel in the most real and clear way. By reading Kabbalah books with a strong desire to feel what they are describing, we draw a force from our future, more advanced state, which pulls us “upward” toward that state. That force acts on our created nature, the will to receive, and gradually expands it from a small, empty point to a complete vessel for receiving the infinite Upper Light.