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More on Simulating Reality
Responses and discussion on the original post

Recently I wrote a piece entitled, "Simulating Reality", subtitled with Einstein's famous one-liner, "I, at any rate, am convinced that He does not throw dice".

I consider this to be one of my most important essays; perhaps it is the reason for which I began writing in the first place. The article spells out, not only the imminent arrival of the biblical "end of days", but additionally the reason I believe we are now in a position to seriously discuss this inevitability.

The above is not intended to imply any greatness on my behalf. I have simply put together what I have learned over the years from my many teachers, both in person and in writing. "From all my teachers did I develop my understanding." [Pirkei Avoth iv:1]

Sometimes information placed on the world wide web can "go viral", i.e. spread quickly and widely. This article has yet received the distribution I would like. This is always the problem when disseminating ideas -- how do you ensure you are heard. I still hope to generate further discussion on this important topic. Perhaps others will find this second post stimulating.

Below please find some of the exchange that so far has ensued.

Please note that anything appearing below in square brackets below is my own editing.

Aryeh wrote:

Wow, you've developed depth in your old age!

Did you actually work out the two clock solution or are you guessing?

The soul into Adam is familiar, where did you see it?

All in all, powerful stuff.

Menachem replied:

re the maths, it is spot on -- I was at a lecture where Gerald Schroeder, author of Genesis and the Big Bang, did the maths on a blackboard -- it blew me away -- I still remember it clearly, well over 20 years ago. He was scribbling away, doing some simple maths, and suddenly 15,000,000,000 ends up on the bottom line!

Schroder was the first one I heard talk about the introductoin of the soul into the equation. Others mention it but it becomes pretty obvious when you think about it, once you accept the 15 billion years axiom. Schroeder quoted the midrash about Adam have relations with certain animals before God "decided" to create Eve as a life partner.

Shroeder exclaimed, "Obviously it was with humanoids -- how could Adam do it with an elephant or a mouse?"

Ted, wrote:

To say I am impressed would be an understatement. Yet, I truly believe that I am not qualified to offer a critique or even a modestly intelligent comment, since I am totally ignorant when it comes to physics, or for that matter any of the sciences. Still, your amazing applications of the same and daring philosophical attempts to reconcile them with our faith are brilliant (if dangerous and speculative) and certainly demand a more intelligent and knowledgeable forum.

Menachem replied:

That's my problem -- I write and I photograph -- I don't know how to distribute.

I don't write to make money, so everyone, please feel free to send the link to anyone you like, the more the merrier.

Things can fly on the Internet if people spread the word.

Howard wrote:

I thought that this was well written as you started not allowing the reader to know where you are going with this. The science was easy to understand and the scriptual parts built up to your finale.

It's hard for people to get up and go but one of these days they will wake up with a big fright.

Ches wrote:

Read the first paragraph, then for the lack of the required chemicals . . . put on Pink Floyd and read the rest . . . . hmmm

Ganny wrote:

Let's say, Apocalypse Out! Pink Floyd In!

Don't get offended about the apathy ("we couldn't care less about apathy!") That's human nature from the days Noah's generations watched Noah building that ark.

And I'm no paragon myself: had your loyal readers picked Abbey Road instead of Pink Floyd . . . Anyway, not enough is being done for the apathetic.

But later on . . . she, I suppose following a careful read, modified her position.

I've just read it again. I delete my frivolous comments about human apathy and agree with Ted about publishing it elsewhere.

Ches wrote:

I'm not sure that Ganny's comments about human apathy were far off the mark. T'was an awesome article though :-)

Nat wrote:

Well -- this is one worth reading (several times) Yes definitely your best yet

You give your readers lots to think about!!!

Keep going in health.

Gavriel wrote:

Hi Reb Menachem

I enjoyed your latest article (read it about 3 times). Very nicely written. Probably have to see it a good few more times to fully get each point . . . and how they lead up to the main point.

The idea of b'ito achishenu ("in its time I will hasten it") is exactly as the Kol haTor writes in the name of GRA [the Vilna Gaon].

The Einstein theory of relativity is amazing and l'maleh m'derech h'tevah [above the normal nature of the world], that a human being can come up on his own with a thing like that (although the Maharal [from Prague] hinted this already (stating that zman [time] and makom [place] are the same thing). Also the Sefer Yetzira [the kabbalistic Book of Creation, attributed to Rabi Akiva to express the belief system of Abraham our forefather] that the world was created in three [parts which are actually five dimensions]: olum, shana and nefesh = [the first three dimensions of] space, [the dimension of] time and the spritual dimension.

Your thesis to use science to understand haShem's (optional) plan for the geula [final redemption] and how to understand the seeming contradiction between 6 days and 15 billion years again reminds me of the Kol haTor which states that for every amount one is missing in science, he is lacking the ability to understand Torah one hundred times as much.

The idea is that there is more than one reality, and it depends on where you are standing and that only a ba'al bechirah [one granted the special ability to differentiate] can tap into more than his immediate reality. (I think the Ramchal [Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto, 18th century Italy, wrote on rabbinic and mystical aspects] mentions this idea on the subject that hazal [the rabbis of the Talmud] say the sun goes over the sky while science claims otherwise.

[My memory is, in the story of mayim shelanu -- the water for kneading matza was cooled traditionally overnight rather than drawn directly from a well at the time of baking. The Rabbis believed that the sun travelled beneath the earth at night, back to its morning starting position. This is what caused the warming of well waters. The non-Jewish scientists claimed that the sun transited above the "dome of the heavens" during the night. The Talmud's conclusion is that the scientists' position is correct, and in a general statement, we should accept provable science rather than allegorical or assumed traditional hypotheses. Of course we now all accept that both these positions are incorrect physics. We may, however, still learn lessons from allegoric teachings.]

Ramchal: There are two suns (bayn hashmashoth [the biblical term for the later afternoon] literally means between the suns) and the Talmud says nirim divrahem m'divranu, the simple understanding is that their [the scientists] view is correct. Yet accordingly it means the way it seems from the angle at which we standing [the observer].

I'll bli neder read your article again after shabath.

I don't see how your position is against the Rambam [as I hint in my original piece]. In fact all the Rishonim [the early post Talmud sages] say not to machashev kitzim [calculate the End], yet I don't think there's even one amongst them who did not himself propose a time frame.

Shabbat Shalom

Menachem responded:

Gavriel, thank you very much for many important points, especially your delving into some mystical aspects of the creation. While I am glad to be counted amongst the greats like the GRA, I am certainly not anywhere nearby! It is however well known that once a new concept sees the light of day, many others come up with the same idea, seemingly independently. The explanation just suddenly jumped out at me one day as the plain meaning of the text. I don't need to look for a complicated understanding of a biblical verse when a simple one is amply satisfying. And when this further fits into the context of the words of other prophets, I have reasonable support for my position.

22nd June, 2010    

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