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FIVE

Creation of Universe

Tzumzum

http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Articles/kabbalah/Ein_Sof/ein_sof.html

Ein Sof (אין סוף), which is understood as the Deity prior to His self-manifestation in the creation of the spiritual and physical realms, single Infinite unity beyond any description or limitation. From the perspective of the emanated created realms, Creation takes place "Yesh me-Ayin"  when "Something from Nothing" happened. From the Divine perspective, Creation takes place "Ayin me-Yesh" ("Nothing from Something"), as only God has absolute existence; Creation is dependent on the continuous flow of Divine life force, without which it would revert to nothingness. Since the 13th century, Ayin has been one of the most important words used in kabbalistic texts.  

 

If all was filled with God or If all there was was God, where could God create?

 

Thus in order to create, God will have to create a vacuum within himself.  The place that was vacated was finite in that it was limited in relation to the Absolute All that held it.  This act of contraction, or Tzimtzum, produced a void.  However since there is no space outside of God, even when God contracted to a limit, the space is still filled with God himself - in a limited way.  Which would mean God was immanent even in these void and hence in the subsequent creation.  So we could say God is immanent in the space though he transcends it.

Into this Nothingness created by contraction creation can now take place.    Although it is a vacuum, Positive Existence may come into being within it.   The Ohr Ein Sof , God's emanation began to fill the space created by the Tzimtzum.     

Here's how  Isaac Ben Solomon Luria(the Ari :the holy lion; Ari represents the initials of “Ashkenazi Rabbi Isaac” ) (1534-1572) describes the doctrine of tzimtzum:

"Prior to Creation, there was only the infinite Or Ein Sof filling all existence. When it arose in G-d's Will to create worlds and emanate the emanated...He contracted (in Hebrew "tzimtzum") Himself in the point at the center, in the very center of His light. He restricted that light, distancing it to the sides surrounding the central point, so that there remained a void, a hollow empty space, away from the central point... After this tzimtzum... He drew down from the Or Ein Sof a single straight line [of light] from His light surrounding [the void] from above to below [into the void], and it chained down descending into that void.... In the space of that void He emanated, created, formed and made all the worlds." - Isaac Luria, Etz Chaim

In bringing about the creation as a work outside of Himself, the Eyn Sof, willfully set aside His limitlessness and adopted a path of limited action. This is called the Tzimztum ("contraction") of Eyn Sof. God has to sacrifice himself to produce the creation.  Apart from that he created Free Will beings to populate this world.  It means that God gave up his omni properties (Omniscience, Omnipotent, Omnipresent) that the creation may have liberty to grow, evolve and be sons of God rather than machines.  This was the greatest of all sacrifices. 

This way we can think of the universe with all the sentient and matter and energy as the body of God.  ,They are not outside of God but as a part of the body and is expected the function as a body.

In the Chabad view, the function of the Tzimtzum was "to conceal from created beings the activating force within them, enabling them to exist as tangible entities, instead of being utterly nullified within their source". The tzimtzum produced the required "vacated space" (chalal panuiחלל פנוי, chalal חלל), devoid of direct awareness of God's presence.  The finite Godly light that is immanent within the universe, constantly creating and vivifying it, is only a "faint glimmer of a glimmer of a glimmer" (Tanya, Iggeret HaKodesh) of God's infinite, transcendent light that has been completely concealed by tzimtzum. (Dovber Schneuri, Ner Mitzva Vetorah Or, Kehot Publication Society).  To interpret Tzimtzum  realistically, God’s omnipresence   did not undergo any change  before or after Creation.  But God concealed his presence so that the creation could have independence. It became necessary for the sake of the act of Creation itself, in order to bestow free will to man, and the fulfillment of God's ultimate will in Creation, to "reveal Himself below."  If Sons of God are to be Sons with total freedom equivalent to God himself, God cannot impose his very presence unless sought after.  He remains silent unless called.

Relatedly, olam—the Hebrew word for "world" or universe—is derived from the root word עלם meaning "concealment". This physical universe conceals the spiritual nature of creation. The creation has been put by the Absolute outside Itself, and for the appearance of this "outside" the Absolute had to limit Itself, had to create borders for Its own borderless nature.  This is transcendence of God.

A commonly held  understanding in Kabbalah is that the concept of Tzimtzum contains a built-in paradox, requiring that God be simultaneously transcendent and immanent. Transcendent means that God is completely outside of and beyond the world, as contrasted with the notion that God is manifested in the world. This meaning originates both in the Aristotelian view of God as the prime mover, a non-material self-consciousness that is outside of the world. Philosophies of immanence such as stoicism, Spinoza, Deleuze or pantheism maintain that God is manifested in and fully present in the world and the things in the world.

  • On the one hand, if the "Infinite" did not restrict itself, then nothing could exist—everything would be overwhelmed by God's totality. Thus existence requires God's transcendence, as above.
  • On the other hand, God continuously maintains the existence of, and is thus not absent from, the created universe. "The Divine life-force which brings all creatures into existence must constantly be present within them... were this life-force to forsake any created being for even one brief moment, it would revert to a state of utter nothingness, as before the creation...".
    This understanding is supported by various biblical teachings:
    "You have made the heaven... the earth and all that is on it... and You give life to them all" (Nehemiah 9:6);
    "All the earth is filled with God's Glory" (Numbers 14:21);
    "God's Glory fills the world" (Isaiah 6:3).
    Creation therefore requires God's immanence.

"Only in the future will it be possible to understand the Tzimtzum that brought the 'Empty Space' into being, for we have to say of it two contradictory things... the Empty Space came about through the Tzimtzum, where, as it were, He 'limited' His Godliness and contracted it from there, and it is as though in that place there is no Godliness... the absolute truth is that Godliness must nevertheless be present there, for certainly nothing can exist without His giving it life." (Rabbi Nachman of Breslav Likkutei Moharan I, 64:1)

Within this void, God created worlds and all the hosts there of.

Big Bang
http://home.fnal.gov/~carrigan/pillars/Big_bang.htm

A Summary of Cosmic Evolution

Period

Emergent Interaction/Structure

Time (sec)

Energy (GeV)

I

Unity

<10-43

>1019

II

Gravity, Space, Time

10-43

1019

III

Strong Force, Quarks, Leptons

10-35

1015

IV

Weak Force, Electromagnetic Force

10-10

102

V

Hadrons (Protons, Neutrons)

10-5

10-1

VI

Nuclei (Hydrogen, Helium nuclei)

102

10-4

VII

Atoms (Hydrogen, Helium atoms)

1012

10-9

VIII

Galaxies, Stars, Heavy Elements

1016

10-11

IX

Chemistry, Elementary Life

1017

10-12

X

Self-Consciousness

1018

10-12

Dont forget that the Scientific Big Bang is only talking about the creation of the visible material universe, while we are talking about the entire universe whose domain goes into dimensions that are beyond the space time.

When Kabbalah refers to worlds or planes of existence with several dimensions just as the material world involves 11 dimension.  These planes are considered to be successive links from the Infinite Divine essence (Ein Sof) with the physical realm of existence.    The names of these levels follow the prophecy of Isaiah.

Isa 43:7  
every one that is called by my name, 
and 
whom I have created for my glory; 
I have formed him; 
yea, I have made him.

This defines the essence of the four levels:  divine, creation, formation and completion.

 This defines four levels of essence  with the four letters of the Tetragrammaton YHVH

The personal Name of Adonai, the transcendent Source and Ground of all being whatsoever. This Name appears 6,800+ times in the Tanakh. The Jewish sages note that the four letters of the Name are used to form the phrase 

 אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה

hayah hoveh yi'yeh,
"He was, He is, He will be."

The Four Worlds and the Process of Creation

Moses Maimonides (1137 – 1204), summarised the Divine relation to Creation:

The foundation of all foundations, and the pillar of all wisdom is to know that there is God who brought into being all existence. All the beings of the heavens, and the earth, and what is between them came into existence only from the truth of God's being”

In Orthodox theology, a distinction is made between the "essence" and "energies" of God. The creation cannot share the essence of God, but they do share the divine uncreated energies.   It is the vibration of the uncreated energies (The Word of God) which creates in the vacuum created by the self sacrifice of God. The divine energies are "within everything and outside everything." All creation is the manifestation of God's energies. "These divine rays penetrate the whole created universe and are the cause of its existence." (Vladimir Lossky :Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church).  The uncreated Light and the knowledge of God in Orthodox tradition "illuminates every man that cometh into this world."   

In it God created four worlds filled with inumerable sons of God all bound together into one unity as the body of God - within the Cosmic Christ - YHVH

In Christ were created all things in heaven and on earth everything visible and everything invisible.... Before anything was created, he existed, and he holds all things in unity. Col.

The four worlds referred to in Kaballah are:

1.      Azilut (Emanation) - the eternal unchanging Divine world.  This is not to be confused with Ein, Ein Sof and Ein Sof Aur  which are beyond description and comprehension.  Though Godhead may appear hear in knowable limited form (Manifest Form), created beings here are the Sons of God who partake the divinity though not God.

2.      Beriah (Creation) - considered "Heaven" proper, it is the first separation from the Divine, and "location" of the Throne of God and archangels

3.      Yezirah (Formation) - the abode of the "lower angels," men's souls and the Garden of Eden

4.      Asiyyah (Action) - the material universe in which we live with physical body.

 

Level

Characteristic

World

Host

Yud        

Atzilut
Emanation

Chochma
Wisdom

Divine World

 

Sons of God
Divine

Hei    

Beriah
Creation

Bina
Understanding

Spiritual World

 

Arch Angels
Spirit

Vav   

Yetzira
Formation

Chessed/Yesod
Kindness/Foundation

Mental World 

 

Angels
the Soul

Hei  

Assiyah
Action

Malchut
Kingdom

Material Word

Body
Material based life

The name of God YHVH is used as memorization technique for these.  The Knowable God, the Saguna Brahman Trinity appears in the divine realm.  It is this Father, Son and Holy Spirit that creates the lower dimensions.  We can see the fine line of arguments that seperate the ultimate transcendant essence of God and the knowable God who is active in the creation in love.



The Word became Flesh in the creation
Ein Sof Ohr - the Eternal Light produces the creation as Body where it is immanent.
"In Him we move and have our being."

This brought into focus the three factors that made the void.  

  • The first was the Will of the Absolute,
  • The second was the Act of allowing it to happen and
  • The third is the Restriction to limit and contain the event.  

These three principle at work within Ohr Ein Sof are called the three Zahzahot or the Three Hidden Splendors.

These Zahzahot  are the hidden roots of what would eventually become the laws that would govern Existence. In the higher dimensions of life and existence each being is given total freedom to decide and act within the limits of the bounds.  There is no greater love than this that the infinite Oniscient, Omnipotent, Omnipresent God, laying down his life so that the children will have freewill 

In the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches , as well as in the Church of the East, creation is not considered to be a literal "part of" God, and the Godhead is distinct from creation. There is, in other words, an eternal difference between the uncreated (i.e., God) and the created (i.e., everything else). This does not mean, however, that the creation is wholly separated from God, because the creation exists by and in the Divine Energies (workings). These energies are the operations of God and are God, but the created is not God in the Divine Essence. God creates the universe by the Divine will, using His Energies, that are not identified with His Essence. It is not an "emanation" of God's own essence (Ousia), a direct literal outworking or effulgence of the Divine, or any other process which implies that creation is part of or necessary to God in His Essence. The use of panentheism as part of Orthodox theology and doctrine is "problematic" to those who would insist that panentheism requires creation to be "part of" God.

Other Christian panentheists

Panentheistic conceptions of God occur amongst some modern theologians. Process theology and Creation Spirituality, two recent developments in Christian theology, contain panentheistic ideas.

Some argue that panentheism should also include the notion that God has always been related to some world or another, which denies the idea of creation out of nothing (creatio ex nihilo).

 Nazarene Methodist theologian Thomas Jay Oord advocates panentheism, but he uses the word "theocosmocentrism" to highlight the notion that God and some world or another are the primary conceptual starting blocks for eminently fruitful theology. This form of panentheism helps in overcoming the problem of evil and in proposing that God's love for the world is essential to who God is.

In 1994, a quintet of Evangelical scholars – David Basinger, William Hasker, Clark Pinnock, Richard Rice, and John Sanders – published The Openness of God: A Biblical Challenge to the Traditional Understanding of God. (http://www.enc.edu/history/ot/what.html / )

 

 

 

This Open Theology proposes the following.

·             God’s primary characteristic is love.

·             Theology involves humble speculation about who God truly is and what God really does.

·             Creatures – at least humans – are genuinely free to make choices pertaining to their salvation.

·             God experiences others in some way analogous to how creatures experience others.

·             Both creatures and God are relational beings, which means that both God and creatures are affected by others in give-and-take relationships.

·             God’s experience changes, yet God’s nature or essence is unchanging.

·             God created all nondivine things.

·             God takes calculated risks, because God is not all-controlling.

·             Creatures are called to act in loving ways that please God and make the world a better place.

·             The future is open; it is not predetermined or fully known by God.

·             God’s expectations about the future are often partly dependent upon creaturely actions.

·             Although everlasting, God experiences time in a way analogous to how creatures experience time

 

"Reduced to its bare bones, Open theology affirms that
1) love is uniquely exemplified by God,
2) love is the human ethical imperative,
3) God and creatures enjoy free and mutually-influencing relations,
4) and the future is open and not settled."

(http://thomasjayoord.com/index.php/blog/archives/open_theology_and_the_church_of_the_nazarene/)

 

God in his love directs the history to redeem the creation.  In it all the freedom of sons remain.

 

Even though this is in contrast to Western Theology of Augustine, Martin Luther, John Calvin and others it emphasizes the Arminian theology of free will of man. and  it is a return to the Theology of the Eastern Churches.  Such an approach alone can explain the theodicy - the problem of evil.

++++++++++++++++++++

 

Plotinus 204/5–270 CE

The doctrine of divine simplicity says that God is without parts. The general idea of divine simplicity can be stated in this way: the being of God is identical to the "attributes" of God. In other words, such characteristics as omnipresence, goodness, truth, eternity, etc. are identical to God's being, not qualities that make up that being, nor abstract entities inhering in God as in a substance.   The doctrine's origins may be traced back to ancient Greek thought, finding apotheosis in Plotinus' Enneads as the Simplex.  Plotinus taught that there is a supreme, totally transcendent "One", containing no division, multiplicity or distinction; beyond all categories of being and non-being. His "One" "cannot be any existing thing", nor is it merely the sum of all things [compare the Stoic doctrine of disbelief in non-material existence], but "is prior to all existents". Plotinus identified his "One" with the concept of 'Good' and the principle of 'Beauty'. [I.6.9] Plotinus denies sentience, self-awareness or any other action (ergon) to the One [V.6.6].  It is impossible for the One to be Being or a self-aware Creator God. At [V.6.4],we must call the One a sheer Dynamis or potentiality without which nothing could exist. [III.8.10]

Hen (The One, The Expressed)

Plotinus offers an alternative to the notion of creation ex nihilo (out of nothing), which attributes to God the deliberation of mind and action of a will, although Plotinus never mentions Christianity in any of his works. Emanation ex deo (out of God), confirms the absolute transcendence of the One, making the unfolding of the cosmos purely a consequence of its existence; the One is in no way affected or diminished by these emanations. Plotinus uses the analogy of the Sun which emanates light indiscriminately without thereby diminishing itself, or reflection in a mirror which in no way diminishes or otherwise alters the object being reflected.

The first emanation is Nous (Divine Mind, logos or order, Thought, Reason), identified metaphorically with the Demiurge in Plato's Timaeus. It is the first Will toward Good. From Nous proceeds the World Soul, which Plotinus subdivides into upper and lower, identifying the lower aspect of Soul with nature. From the world soul proceeds individual human souls, and finally, matter, at the lowest level of being and thus the least perfected level of the cosmos. Despite this relatively pedestrian assessment of the material world, Plotinus asserted the ultimately divine nature of material creation since it ultimately derives from the One, through the mediums of nous and the world soul. It is by the Good or through beauty that we recognize the One, in material things and then in the Forms.

Both the cosmos and sentient beings in cosmos  were emanations of the Divine substance making the  entire universe or "Macrocosm" as a "Divine Animal" divinum animal, animated by a "Cosmic Mind" mens mundana connected to God, and is permeated with "Cosmic Soul" anima mundi.   There is an ongoing flow of communication from the unknown Cosmic Mind and the Cosmos, thus forming a circuitus spiritualis.  He also posited that within the Microcosm there various levels of  Souls, some  "lower souls" anima secunda and others "higher souls" intellectus or mens depending on the communication.  Some of them even participates in the Divine Mind, intellectus divinus.  For Plotinus man is the interval, the middle between lower and higher, between beasts and gods.


http://dialognaporoge.blogspot.com
Plotinus' "One" pictured as light amidst the darkness of nothingness
This is same as the concept of Ein Sof Aur, the filling light.

Timaeus by Plato
‘Timaeus’ is usually regarded as one of Plato’s later dialogues,
and provides an account of the creation of the universe,
with physical, metaphysical and ethical dimensions,
which had great influence over philosophers for centuries following.  .

"Let me tell you then why the creator made this world of generation.

He was good, and the good can never have any jealousy of anything.

And being free from jealousy, he desired that all things should be as like himself as they could be. This is in the truest sense the origin of creation and of the world, as we shall do well in believing on the testimony of wise men:

God desired that all things should be good and nothing bad, so far as this was attainable. Wherefore also finding the whole visible sphere not at rest, but moving in an irregular and disorderly fashion, out of disorder he brought order, considering that this was in every way better than the other. Now the deeds of the best could never be or have been other than the fairest; and the creator, reflecting on the things which are by nature visible, found that no unintelligent creature taken as a whole was fairer than the intelligent taken as a whole; and that intelligence could not be present in anything which was devoid of soul. For which reason, when he was framing the universe, he put intelligence in soul, and soul in body, that he might be the creator of a work which was by nature fairest and best. Wherefore, using the language of probability, we may say that the world became a living creature truly endowed with soul and intelligence by the providence of God. ....

When the father and creator saw the creature which he had made moving and living, the created image of the eternal gods, he rejoiced, and in his joy determined to make the copy still more like the original; and as this was eternal, he sought to make the universe eternal, so far as might be. Now the nature of the ideal being was everlasting, but to bestow this attribute in its fulness upon a creature was impossible. Wherefore he resolved to have a moving image of eternity, and when he set in order the heaven, he made this image eternal but moving according to number, while eternity itself rests in unity; and this image we call time."  Plato (429–347 B.C.), Timaeus