Did God Create An Illusion of Matter?

Is matter really an illusion? As we seek to keep our faith and religious beliefs as science advances, how can we reconcile what we read and take on faith from the Bible with new scientific discoveries? After studying much on the compatibility of science and religion I want to share one idea because it resonates to the truth I came to understand through my inner promptings and communication with what I believed was from heaven. God IS and He created the universe that ultimately He only knows the purpose, but it could very well have to do with His creating beings in His own image (us) so that He can experience being not only through us but that we can experience being through Him.

Although I am not a philosopher or scientist I will present ideas from both fields to help understand my conclusion. Following the Age of Reason (also known as the Age of Enlightenment) throughout Europe the Spiritualist movement began in the United States and spread to Britain and other parts of Europe. Other movements developed as people explored the mind and their relationship to matter. Since scientists during this period were providing fewer supernatural and more natural explanations for the universe, spiritualist manifestations provided religious people with evidence that there was more to the world than scientists had discovered. Women became more prominent in leadership positions, especially in religion, as they sought to gain more individual rights.

Starting with the Fox sisters in New York, people became interested in contact with loved ones who had passed on. Mesmerism opened the way to New Thought and Christian Science and a way to gain more control over people's individual lives, especially in healing. While science was opening doors to hidden world of the atom, medicine was slowly moving towards their advancements but not fast enough to avoid losing loved ones, especially children. By 1900 children under 5 accounted for 40 percent of all deaths from infectious diseases.

In the Middle Ages, theologians like Thomas Aquinas taught that God was separate from the world. Aquinas affirmed the truth of Scripture without falling into the trap of literalistic readings of the text. As modern science advanced Christians were having to choose between the literal interpretation of the Bible and modern science. For Aquinas, the literal meaning of the Bible is what God, its ultimate author, intends the words to mean. Francis Bacon's "Novum Organum" (1620), contended that inductive experience (gathering facts through experimentation) gave the truest picture of the world.

During the 16th and 17th centuries the Catholic Church prosecuted those who appeared to oppose traditional teachings. Nicholas Copernicus and Galileo Galilei were two scientists who printed books that later became banned by the Church. Galileo was tried by the Inquisition after his book was published.  Their theory was that the Earth revolved around the sun. Martin Luther and John Calvin denounced Copernicus' heliocentric views as heretical.

At the end of the 17th century Isaac Newton became renown for his law of gravitation and his description of the universe functioning as a grand mechanism — matter in motion governed by regular mathematical laws. In his Principia Mathematica he develops a physics of the solar system to compete with the “vortex theory” of René Descartes. Newton sees in this physics and in the solar system the action of God.

Charles Darwin, an agnostic, published "The Origin of Species" in 1859 announcing his version of evolution. Fundamentalists began defending their literal biblical interpretation. In the West, Darwin contributed largely to enthroning science above God's Word. Darwin once said, " … the more we know of the fixed laws of nature the more incredible do miracles become.” Science rejects miracles because they supposedly break the ‘laws of science’. This led the way for religious movements to form that delved into the "other world" to find their answers about life and death, heaven and hell, and take more control over their health and physical lives.

Matter as an Illusion
At the heart of Christian Science, developed by Mary Baker Eddy in the late 19th century, is the conception that all matter is an illusion. She defined matter as a godless illusion in the carnal, or mortal, mind. The way out of the conundrum of living in a material world, according to Christian Science, is to focus on Spirit. Spirit is infinite and matter is finite; the two cannot actually exist together. Ultimately, when Spirit reigns matter, as it appears, will no longer exist. According to Christian Science, it is the illusion of matter that causes sin, sickness, poverty, death. Matter is made up of evil forces which the Christian Science tackles through prayer and the denial that matter exists.

While Christian Science is a new "religion" with an estimated 400,000 Christian Scientists worldwide, Buddhism is practiced by over 500 million people. Buddhism originated in the 5th century BC from the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama. While Buddhism is considered to be one of the world's major religions, here in the West there is a debate as to whether Buddhism is really a religion or philosophy. Nevertheless, Buddhism ideas have become widely accepted in the New Age culture primarily from the introduction of Buddhist concepts through Theosophy, founded by Madame Helena Blavatsky and Colonel Henry Steel Olcott.

Theosophy is another religion founded in the late 19th century which many view as the foundation of New Age Ascended Master Teachings. Theosophy, through Blavatsky's books Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine, contributed strongly to the introduction of Buddhism to the West. Olcott became the first American and Blavatsky the first European to formally convert to Buddhism. The Buddhist Society of London was founded in 1924 as a lodge of the Theosophical Society. Yet Buddhism and the New Age concepts and their interpretation of Buddhism can differ significantly.

The parent teacher of Buddhism is Hinduism which believes in a soul that reincarnates and can eventually break free of the wheel of life. One of the most fundamental doctrines of Buddhism is anatta—having no soul or no self; the self is an illusion. There is no abiding Self or soul which is not subject to change. The Buddha said, “...every moment you are born, decay, and die.” The question remains what does reincarnate then that must remember in the next life to transcend the illusion of self? Buddha meant that in every moment, the illusion of "me" renews itself.   Supposedly that which reincarnates is a thought which was the last thought before death, according to some Buddhists. When reborn that last thought reincarnates.

Buddhists claim that perceiving yourself as in some sense unreal will make you happier and more compassionate. Meditation enables an intimate realization of the illusion of self, leading ultimately to liberation from that illusion.  Detachment from ordinary life is believed to be the surest route to salvation. For example, Buddha's first step toward enlightenment was his abandonment of his wife and child. Another Buddhist ideal is the acceptance of the practice that exalts male monasticism as the epitome of spirituality.

The closet belief of Buddhists to this idea of matter is an illusion is parikalpa, which means "the imagined." According to Wikipedia's description of reality in Buddhism, the perceived reality is considered illusory not in the sense that reality is a fantasy or unreal, but that our perceptions and preconditions mislead us to believe that we are separate from the elements that we are made of. Reality, in Buddhist thought, would be described as the manifestation of karma. One school of thought in Buddhism considers perceived reality is unreal like a dream. All appearances perceived through all senses, including sight, sounds, smells, tastes, and tactile sensations is but a dream.

Three Types of Creation
Philosophers describe three types of creation:

  • creation ex materia (out of pre-existent matter)
  • creation ex nihilo (out of nothing)
  • creation ex deo (out of the being of God)

Creation ex materia is part of the Mormon theology. God did not "create" in the sense that mainstream Christianity understands creation; rather, he "organized" the matter that already existed. For example, If we take wood, create a flat top and attach four legs, we create a table ex materia, out of wood. In the 1930s Albert Einstein postulated a type of big bang ex materia, where the universe perpetually cycles through the stages of: big bang, expansion, zenith then reversal, collapse on itself (the "big crunch"), maximum compression, which triggers another big bang.

There is a similar belief in some Hindu sects where the universe is governed by cyclic ages. This process is expressed as the great breath of Brahma (Hindu Creator God) which creates and destroys worlds in an incessant cyclical rhythm. God breathes out and the universe appears. With the intake of breath the universe is called back to the source and ceases to exist, but on the act of breathing out again manifestation begins anew.

Theists accepts creation ex nihilo where God created the universe out of nothing. Then God's creative activity in the natural world ended shortly after the Big Bang, or at the end of the six days indicated in Genesis. Although God's creative activity in the supernatural domain may still continue with the birth of souls, God's creative activity in the natural universe has ceased, and continues through God's ordained laws but independent of God except in the cases of a miracle.

The creation event ex deo assumes the monastic viewpoint that the universe is composed of only one ultimate "stuff" and that stuff is called God. Monism has the underlying concept of "oneness" and in this creation ex deo God did not create the universe He became it and everything in it is one with God. Thus pantheistic monism either asserts that the cosmos is an illusory entity or that it somehow emanates from the being of God. Either way, all is God and God is all. New Agers generally believe in this concept that all is one and that the "self" has the potential to be God or is God already with a few refinements. New Age is generally all about "self" which promotes the development of the person's own power or divinity. Their deity is not about a transcendent, personal God who created the universe, but is referring to a higher consciousness within themselves. Many in the New Age believe everything that the person sees, hears, feels or imagines is to be considered divine.

Hinduism, through their concept of Maya, that all matter is an illusion, considers that thinking we are as separate entities and that the world consists of separate, autonomous phenomena is in actuality an illusion. Maya thus prevents us from seeing the world as it really is. Maya blinds us to seeing the unity that lies behind the appearance of diversity. In reality, there is only Brahman, or Spirit. Thus in Hinduism it is not that the world is literally an illusion, but that it’s not as it seems. There is more to reality than we superficially seen. 

Theosophy, Christian Science, Buddhism, and mainly all of the New Age focus on control of the mind as the supreme goal, differentiating between the lower mind and a higher mind. For some, the higher mind is a higher consciousness or God. God is the creator of our world, but many believe we are the creators in our world through our minds. Science may contribute to our understanding at what level this creation is possible as we will see in a moment. While Christian Science seeks to transcend the mind to connect to Spirit and Reality, the only way they can do this is through the use of their mind. If our minds have no reality how can we use that which is unreal to achieve reality?

Science and Illusion
How does science contribute to understanding whether our world is real or not? At the turn of the ninetieth century, after Mary Baker Eddy had already introduced the idea of the illusion of matter, physicists started to explore the relationship between energy and the structure of matter. A Newtonian physical material universe that was at the very heart of scientific knowing was dropped. In its place was the realization that matter is nothing but an illusion and that everything in the Universe is made out of energy.

Many of us learned in school that the smallest known matter particle was the atom with its nucleus surrounded by circling electrons. There was the nucleus composed of protons with a positive electrical charge and the neutral neutrons with no electrical charge. Electrons have a negative charge. Yet the notion that the atom was the smallest particle changed with the discovery that the atom itself is made up of even smaller, subatomic elements.

If you observed the composition of an atom with a microscope, you would see a small vortext of energy that is constantly spinning and vibrating. Each atom is radiating its own unique energy signature. If you could see even further down there are a number of infinitely smaller energy vortices called quarks and photons. Quarks have not been directly observed, but theoretical predictions based on their existence have been confirmed experimentally.

Besides the quarks and photons there are six types of leptons: electrons (now are a lepton), electron neutrino, muon, muon neutrino, tau and tau neutrino. These particles are what now make up the structure of the atom. Within the atom is lots and lots of space. In fact, 99.99999% of an atom is really ‘empty space’. As an example, if we were to take out all the dead space inside the atoms in our body what would be left would fit into a particle of dust. Thus the atom appears to have no physical structure but is almost entirely empty space.

We also learn in chemistry that when you change the number of protons an atom has, you change the type of element it is. An element is a substance that is made entirely from one type of atom. All matter in the natural world is composed of one or more of the 92 fundamental substances called elements that are listed on the periodic table. This table lists the elements on a grid organized in order of their increasing atomic number. The atomic number, which is the number of protons in the nucleus of the atom, identifies the element. 

An element is a pure substance that is distinguished from all other matter by the fact that it cannot be created or broken down by ordinary chemical means. The six most important elements that make up most biological molecules on Earth are: carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur. When two or more different elements have been chemically joined together they create a compound. An example most everyone knows is the compound of water. The molecular formula for water is H2O, meaning it contains two hydrogen atoms bonded to an oxygen atom.

Thus it can be said that the basis of all matter is the atom within these elements. Yet there has to exist an energy that holds all these particles together like a sort of glue. This is where quantum mechanics comes in. Quantum mechanics, also known as quantum physics, began at the turn of the 20th century. It is science dealing with the behavior of matter and light on the atomic and subatomic scale with multiple scientists over the decades having contributed to the foundation of quantum mechanics. Quantum is the Latin word for amount and, in modern understanding, means the smallest possible discrete unit of any physical property, such as energy or matter. 

While at the macrocosmic level of the atomic and molecular structure there is an appearance of solid matter, at the microcosmic level it is quite the contrary. Atoms -- with their particles -- have no material stuff. Instead of substance what is observed is a dance of energy. This dance is more intuited than seen because when they are observed under a microscope the dynamic patterns are seen but not the particles themselves.

In the early nineteenth century Albert Einstein published his theory of relativity. He showed in his famous equation, E=mc2, that matter is a form of energy. Einstein determined that energy and matter are interchangeable; and that the rate of exchange is the speed of light squared. In his theory he "proved" the length measured on a "perfect" ruler and the time measured on a "perfect" clock vary according to the relative motion of one object to another.

The idea of energy as the basis of all life is not new, long before quantum physics came about Socrates said that energy, or soul, is separate from matter. The universe he said is made of energy—pure energy—which was there before material creation unfolded. However, at the end of the seventeenth century Newtonian physics became the cornerstone of science, and it was based on the theory that there is only matter and nothing else—the whole universe is a machine, made of matter. Its best-known principle is that in order to understand any complex phenomenon it needs to be reduced to its individual components. When you get down to the smallest possible parts, the "elementary particles" they are the separate pieces of the same hard, permanent substance that is called matter. Newtonian physics supports the deistic view that God created the world as a perfect machine that required no further interference from Him. In this philosophy, once you have analyzed phenomena into their simplest components they will turn out to be perfectly regular, reversible and predictable.

Thus Quantum physics has revealed another type of Universe believed to be a single gigantic field of energy in which matter is just a 'slowed down' form of energy. And order? There is no predictable order at the subatomic level! Electrons are completely unpredictable. As they orbit around the nucleus of an atom they can exist simultaneously as a possible particle or an energy wave packet. They have no fixed path they take around a nucleus. Any single electron can exist simultaneously at more than one place. According to the rules of quantum mechanics, our observations influence the universe at the most fundamental levels. Quantum mechanics has proven through experiments that everything exists because we observe and the outcome of the experiment depends on what the physicists try to measure! Their experiments show that matter/energy at the quantum level reality doesn't actually exist until we measure it. It does not exist with any certainty in definite places, but rather shows 'tendencies' to exist.

The law of conservation of energy, also known as the first law of thermodynamics, states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. This principle is one of the most cherished laws of physics. Basically, the law states that the energy of a closed system must remain constant—it can neither increase nor decrease without interference from outside. The forms that energy takes, however, are constantly changing. Yet energy itself depends on nothing else for its existence; it is omnipresent. Energy is also infinite and unlimited with respect to space. Could energy be the ultimate reality?

In quantum theory, "empty space" is not really empty. It is filled with negative energy electrons. Science has not yet developed the answer to whether space-time is derived of energy or not, and it has even been postulated that space-time-gravity is an illusion with the idea that gravity emerges from a more fundamental phenomenon in the Universe, and that phenomenon is entropy.

How We See Matter As Real
In 1925, Austrian physicist Wolfgang Pauli described the behavior of electrons in a fundamental principle in quantum physics, known as the exclusion principle. This principle asserts that no two electrons in an atom can have the identical quantum mechanical state or may occupy the same quantum state simultaneously. With this principle it effectively stops electrons from "piling up" on top of each other, thus explaining why matter occupies space exclusively for itself and does not allow other material objects to pass through it, while at the same time allowing light and radiation to pass. If you tried to merge two different pieces of matter into the same space it would inevitably involve many violations of those exclusivity rights. Hence, this gives us the understanding why every object on earth can occupy its space without something else passing through it.

In the 18th century an Irish philosopher, George Berkeley (1685–1753), proposed a different theory on matter. Berkeley's famous principle is “esse est percipi”, "to be is to be perceived." Berkeley’s investigations into perception and illusion led him to believe that matter is nothing more than a subjective experience. Berkeley was an idealist. He held that ordinary objects are only collections of ideas, which are mind-dependent. The true reality, according to Berkeley, is nothing but God’s ideas; an object has real being as long as it is perceived by a mind. Individual elements and manifestations in matter, such as trees, water, and wind, exist because they are ideas of the divine mind. God, being omniscient perceives everything perceivable, thus all real beings exist in the mind of God.

In the Biblical book of Exodus there is a record of a conversation between Moses and God that introduces a mystery about who God is and His creation that is no where else in the Bible. In Exodus 3:13 Moses asks God what he should say to the Israelites if they ask him for the name of the God who sent him to them. "And God said unto Moses, I AM that I AM: (in Hebrew 'Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh') and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you" (Exodus 3:14). Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh' is usually translated as 'I AM that I Am', 'I AM who I Am', or 'I AM what I Am'. The Greek Septuagint translated 'ehyeh asher ehyeh' as "I am the being", or "I am the existing one". When Christians were spreading throughout the Roman world they needed a reliable translation of the Bible into Latin. St. Jerome based his translation of Exodus directly on the Hebrew version, not the Greek of the Septuagint, and his version of God's self-description was "I Am who Am" or "I Am who I Am"

The Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria, a contemporary of Jesus, writes an explanation from God of the self-designation he has chosen: "At first say unto them "I am that I am", that, when they have learned that there is a difference between Him that Is and him that is not, they may be further taught that there is no name whatever that can be properly assigned to me, who am the only being to whom existence belongs."

In Thomas Aquinas's metaphysics since no creature exists through itself of itself, every creature is continually kept in existence through continual active causality of God. God is the cause of the being of all things precisely because He is Subsistent Being Itself (ipsum esse subsistens). As such, God is transcendent—not part or the sum of the universe of things—and all that exists owes its being to him. In God there is no distinction between What He Is, i.e. His Essence, and the act whereby He Is. 

The 18th century Jewish teacher Schneur Zalman taught: "The fact that all created things seem to have existence and being in their own right is because we can neither conceive nor see, with our physical eyes, the Force of God which is in the created world. . . . There is really nothing in existence besides God." God is the ultimate self-defined being—a being not preceded by any cause, a being who exists to no end other than itself. This is how He perceives Himself—for this is what He Is.

How did the universe come to exist? According to theists God created it. The book of Genesis tells of God creating by the act of speaking: "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light." Therefore, everything exists because the Creator says it exists. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1). Christians believe that the Son of God is called the Word and is a part of the Father in the beginning. This reference is a mystery as we know not what God Is before creation except that He Is all things in the Absolute Isness. The plainest reason why the Son of God is called the Word, seems to be, that as our words explain our minds to others, so was the Son of God sent in order to reveal his Father's mind to the world.

There is a Jewish explanation for creation. R. Schneur Zalman, established the Chabad school predicated on the concept of studying and understanding God and His relationship with the world. Chabad is an acronym of the initials for the Hebrew words Chokhmah, Binah, and Da'at, wisdom, understanding and knowledge from the Jewish Kabbalah. R. Zalman came to the realization that God created everything that exists because He desired to. “With the word of God, the heavens were made” (Psalms 33:6). Through the Word and Desire God created the heavens and the earth. Form, he says, is an artifact of the Creator’s desire. Before the desire to take pleasure in a created world, there is nothing, not even a concept or even a possibility of form, for all begins with a choice to desire.

To understand the importance of God's Desire R. Zalman explains that God's choice of Desire is not obligated by any need or inclination. The Creator has no way of being. The Creator simply Is. God's choice of Desire is an absolute choice having no precedent, no cause. A choice that there will be desire. This Desire implies diversity. “How many (diverse) are your works, O God,” sings David; “all of them You made with wisdom” (Psalms 104:24). "All that He desired, God made, in the heavens and the earth” (Psalms 135:6).

In the language of the Kabbalah, desire is keter, the crown; conception is chokhmah, wisdom. From desire/keter creation is conceived through wisdom/chokhmah. Endless diversity condenses into a single point and from that point, the universe is created in a bursting forth through all the other sefirot1, (Gevurah, Hesed, Hod, etc.) into its abundant forms and function conceived by the Creator’s will and wisdom. As Berkeley suggested, things are ideas of the divine mind.

R. Zalman then took the idea that while desire and diversity are conceived through wisdom, matter comes through divine speech. In the kabbalistic tradition, the Creator is referred to as Ein Sof, the infinite God “without end”. The Creator exists beyond all space, time, and limitation. God, for the Kabbalah, is both everything and nothing, endless and without limits and is the source of all perfection.

In order to create a “Place” for creation to occur, and a way for apparently separate beings to exist, the Creator had to remove His aspects of limitlessness from one place. In Kabbalah, tzimtzum is the word that describes this process. It means contraction and is the act by which the Creator removed His limitlessness from the world so that Creation could occur. God's divine energy needs to be stepped down so that the created worlds can handle it. He hides His light from us so that we can make our own choices. 

According to R. Shneur Zalman, although the light of the Ein sof fills all worlds so that nothing is void of God’s presence, the concealment of that light in our this-worldly reality is also absolute. Precisely because nothing of God’s absolute and infinite unity filters down to our world, the highest object of the religious life is to pierce our illusory sense of separate existence, and merge – to whatever extent possible – with that undifferentiated unity which is God’s. This is accomplished by drawing that unity into this world, eradicating its “reality” by eradicating our false sense of independent selfhood.   

In other words, we can exist within the world from a viewpoint that takes us away from God and God Reality, even making ourselves gods and existing without giving any credit to a Creator above ourselves. We can deny God and that God is the essence behind all things. This happens because God imbued us with a quality that is uniquely His--being. Since only God possesses absolute Being, He can create man, made in His image, that exudes such absoluteness of being—a man that can choose to regard itself as having no other cause preceding it. Material reality presents itself as a true existence when the only true existence is God.

While human beings can speak you are not really speaking unless you have someone else around to eventually hear you. For the Creator by removing any sense of His presence from a conceptual space by tzimtzum and speaking to a conceptual being He created within that space, He created a bona fide, full-blown other all His own to speak to. God creates a space of otherness, and hears Himself from there. These beings perceive themselves as autonomous beings, and consequently walk around inside all these ideas perceiving them as autonomous things as well. In other words, as matter. Yet what if we overcame that subjectivity because we cease to sense ourselves as others? We could lose a sense of the reality of matter, or of space and time.

As R. Schneur Zalman wrote before quantum physics described all matter as energy:

Why does every created phenomenon appear to us as a tangible something? Only because our physical eyes cannot perceive the Godly force . . . within that created phenomenon. If, however, the eye would be allowed to perceive this energy . . . we would no longer perceive the physicality of any created being. Its existence would be absorbed and annulled within the context of the energy running through it.

Matter does not manifest from anywhere. It is entirely sustained by God's non-presence. For what purpose? While we have being because something gave us that being, God is raw Isness or Being. No matter what we imagine we cannot endow that imaginative "other" with being outside of our thoughts. According to Jewish scholars the four letters YHWH (Yahweh) in Hebrew is the name of God. Jews do not pronounce the names of God, except in prayer, because they believe it is too sacred. This four letter name of God is composed of a series of letters that express all forms of the verb of all verbs, the verb to be: is, was, being, will be, about to be, causing to be, should be—all of these are in those four letters of God's name.

As mentioned above, I AM that I AM is the most common English translation of the Hebrew phrase  'Ehyeh asher ehyeh', but also “I am who am”, "I am what I am" or "I will be what I will be". Within Judaism the English translation "I will be what I will be" is the favored because there is no present tense of the verb "to be" in the Hebrew language. As God told Moses, "I will be that which I will be." He then converts God's answer from a first-person to a third-person sentence: he will be who he will be; he is who he is; he will cause to be.

Thus God IS, whether with a name or not attached to God's answer to Moses, He is the cause of all that IS. He is Being—and no one else. Through raw Being God sustains His creation providing them their very existence, yet without any tangible presence. Thus God can IS-ify others but no others can, it is exclusive to God. 

God conceives a story in Creation and creates beings that will perceive it for Him. Hidden in matter are the elements that quantum physics reveals, a dancing movement of energy that defies some of the physics of matter. This is God hidden to our normal eyes so that we can choose to find Him and allow Him to be in us experiencing His thoughts--in His story. We can choose to remain separate from God and His creation or see ourselves, and becoming at times, a part of that creation through our mystical experiences. For what intention? Only God knows, but it could be for us not to not remain as 'others' but become one with the All. This is not to say one with God, because only God IS. This may be the confusion in certain esoteric belief systems that carry the belief that God is creation. God is more than creation. We can become one with His creation, but we are not God, nor can we become one with God that IS, therefore it is ludicrous to believe that matter and self is all there is or that we sustain it or that it is here just by chance.

In conclusion, a construct of God is not an illusion to withdraw from. Matter is real with a purpose and meaning. We are not here to escape the world but reframe it. We must come to know while there is a place for spiritual yearning and enlightenment and experiencing divine ecstasy, the goal may be more in that we need to uncover the spiritual and divine within our everyday lives and share our being in expressions of love, sacrifice and service to other parts of life.

At the end of R. Zalman's life he had no regrets for his many acts of material service. He expressed that the material life of man is full of falsehoods: the fallacy that its concerns are formidable and important, the fallacy that material conditions have the power to dictate one’s spiritual course, the fallacy that physical life is an end in itself. Our first inclination may be to demolish these falsehoods, or to rise above them. But the truly humble soul accepts that it is its mission in life not to repress or escape the material, but to deal with it with faith and integrity.

Legendary physicist Max Planck is attributed to saying in a lecture that was given in Florence the following:

“As a physicist, that is, a man who had devoted his whole life to a wholly prosaic science, the exploration of matter, no one would surely suspect me of being a fantast. And so, having studied the atom, I am telling you that there is no matter as such. All matter arises and persists only due to a force that causes the atomic particles to vibrate, holding them together in the tiniest of solar systems, the atom. Yet in the whole of the universe there is no force that is either intelligent or eternal, and we must therefore assume that behind this force there is a conscious, intelligent mind or spirit. This is the very origin of all matter.”

At the quantum level matter is all energy and does not exist. At the level of physical, matter appears real and is. Both points of view are realities. Matter does not exist except by the Mind of God, but it does exist as an illusion God created for a purpose. We are not here to escape it, we are here to embrace it with embodying the Divine attributes that God Is. Presented here is one possible idea why God created this illusion. By accepting this suggestion we can live in the world coexisting with Scriptures. Love thy neighbor as thyself is just one of many admonishments in the Bible that prompts us in the right direction to fulfill this purpose.


1The ten sefirot are considered the attributes of God, the archetypes of creation, or the primary values of the world. The ten sefirot can be thought of as ten (interdependent) creative forces (logoi) that intervene between the infinite, unknowable God (Ein Sof) and the created world. They are said to be "one" with Ein Sof, like a flame is one with the fire. Through these emanations God created the universe, and it is by influencing them that humans cause God to send to Earth forces of compassion (masculine, right side) or severe judgment (feminine, left side). The sefirot "reveal the concealed" aspects of Infinity and are thought to represent the "unfolding" of the Divine Personality (nous) in the universe.