Thursday, January 12, 2006

How the Computer helped me comprehend Our World. - Part I

A few months ago I had a revelation. I was fixing my computer and had the chance to peek into the labyrinth of chips and wires that inhabit the innards of the machine. It was then that it hit me..the computer is a perfect microcosm of the world. For this alone, I believe, the computer was worth inventing (and for posting it on the blog ..of course).
This world and all that inhabit it are like the screen. The world is the arena of action, this is where we can work within the dimensions of time of and space..but nothing is really happening here. While our “Chomer” (matter) is here in this universe everything is happening on an entirely different plane. This other world is so close..its not a geographical place it’s a heartbeat away.
The computer is exactly the same thing. Nothing is happening on the screen, even though that’s our field of action and that’s all we’ll ever know. But, in reality nothing is happening on the screen. It’s just a manifestation of what’s happening inside the chip. It’s just that we cannot go into a chip and work there so we have a screen which has the dimension of space to operate in.
The Torah and Judaism is mainly interested in this hidden world and it's manifestation in this world.
For instance Chazal say “Whoever embarrasses another person it’s as if he killed them”. They weren’t just saying that to dramatize the act of embarrassing someone. They meant it quite literally. Just like there are many ways of accomplishing tasks in the chip of a computer through different actions on the screen (ie. You can open a file by double clicking on the icon..or by typing in code that will do it) there are different ways of accomplishing the act of murder (or the cosmic impression that murder causes) in the metaphysical world, one of them is by embarrassing the victim. (However there are different levels and degrees of obviously a person won’t get the same punishment).
Another example. The Torah sometimes speaks of Hashems attributes allegorically, like Einei Hashem (the eyes of God) or Yad Hashem (the hand of God), although of course we cannot envision Hashem with any of these actual blood and flesh body’s more than just allegory. However eyes and hands manifest themselves in other worlds, manifestations, that’s what Hashem is accomplishing in those circumstances.