The Stuff We Are Made Of
Posted on: 14 May 2018 by Elena Willson
Quantum physics tells us many things. One of them is that we are all made of the same "stuff." Not a particularly scientific definition, but we can easily agree as to what it means. All this "same stuff" is completely intertwined and interrelated. There is never a place where one thing ends and another begins. It has no parts. It is all the same "stuff."
Cool! Now we can claim to know a little quantum physics, but there is a disquieting thought here. If there is no beginning and no end to things, where do "I" fit in? Where is the "I" if everything is the same stuff? Where is my individuality? My freedom? My independence? If I am interconnected and interrelated with everything, then why do I only think about me and my pleasures, desires, and needs?
The "Butterfly Effect" states that the Universe itself is so interconnected that if a butterfly were to sneeze on Mars, it would have an effect on the atmosphere on Earth. If a butterfly's sneeze can have an effect, then how much more significant are the effects of my actions? Should I spend more time thinking about how my actions affect the Universe and less time planning on how they will affect me?
So where is all this going? Kabbalah tells us that there is an infinite Force that surrounds us and influences all of nature. Since we can't see or measure it, we operate in ignorance of this Force in the same way that people a thousand years ago were ignorant of the force of electromagnetic radiation. Forces of nature are consistent, though: we are subject to their laws whether we are aware of them or not.
Kabbalists tell us that this Force (also referred to as the Creator) is the primary law of creation. It is a law of interconnection, of systems. When elements unite into a system, this law controls how they must interact with other parts of their system. It obligates them to sacrifice themselves for the sake of the system, for their society. In the mineral, plant and animal kingdoms, this happens unconsciously; it is embedded in them by nature and they follow it blindly. Examples abound, whether you are looking at ecosystems, ant colonies, or the cells in a human body.
Only men are at odds with this law: we differ because of our self-awareness. For thousands of years, we have operated at a level of individual development. We valued our separate identities and independence. Our concern is about what is best for me, not what is best for mankind. In pursuit of our pleasures, we have exploited Nature and other societies without regard to the impact on the overall system.
While this was possible in the past, we have now reached a critical mass where we have become globally interconnected. As a result, we are now obliged to obey the Creator's laws for a global system - laws of globalization, communication, interaction, and interdependence. Nature is treating us today as a single organism, all parts of which are connected together.
The Creator will constantly push us to conform to this new set of laws in the same loving way a parent corrects a child. The Creator knows we are all the same stuff and he knows that actions that bring pleasure to the whole are much greater than actions that bring pleasure to the individual. In fact, individual pleasure is extinguished almost immediately once you receive the pleasure. The minute you are halfway through eating that piece of apple pie you already have lost most of your original desire for it. On the other hand, pleasures given to the "whole" are eternal.
We are beginning to feel and experience more and more crises on a global level. Climate change, disease, poverty and the one that is getting so much attention as of late: the Global Financial Crisis. Is this latest crisis only about greed, miscalculations, and mismanagement? Kabbalists tell us that these are the Creator pushing us to realize our interconnectedness. These various crises are our need for corrections. What needs to be corrected? Our need to correct is to "Love thy neighbor as thyself;" to put the wellbeing of our neighbor above our own, while at the same time our neighbor is doing the same for us. A mutual bond and agreement to take care of each other. If we can just come to the realization that we are all the "same stuff" it would be the only reasonable course of action.