"The Way of G-d"
Part 1: "The Fundamental Principles of Reality"
Ch. 5: "The Spiritual Realm"
As Ramchal said last time, everything "down here" is fostered by transcendent
forces "up there". He indicates at this point that the upper realm is in fact
the true nerve center and footing of all of existence. That *everything* down
here is a direct result of particular, deliberate interactions between the
transcendent forces up there, where everything plays itself out beforehand.
And that it's G-d who's directing those interactions.
Understand, of course, that we're not referring to something in the sky
somehow or another "beaming down" onto something on earth. What we're
touching upon are the spiritual impetuses and infrastructures behind our
physical world. We can liken it to how the depths of a person’s being affects
what he or she does. If you're mean, for example, you'll do mean things,
because your essential "meanness" fosters mean acts on your part. In much the
same way, a thing’s transcendent force fosters the thing itself.
Ramchal's next point is that the fact of the transcendent forces fostering
physical things didn't only happen once, at the time of creation. It
continues to happen, over and over again. And it doesn't only happen the
first time something appears in the world. It happens every single time.
Interestingly enough, the Hebrew word for "forces" also translates as
"potentials". Thus Ramchal is saying that the ever-present potential for
physical things always lies in the spiritual realm; and that the physical
realm is where potentials are actually carried out.
It turns out, then, that the transcendent forces and everything in the world
depend upon each other, and that each is fulfilled by the other. After all--
what good is the potential for something if it's never actualized; and what
hope can there be for anything for which there’s no potential?
Let's take a peach, for example. Like everything else, peaches were created
in the course of the six days of creation. The first actual, tangible peach
was a product of the original potential for peaches. And not only that, but
each and every peach was and continues to be a product of the potential for
peaches that lies in the transcendent forces. Not only is that true, but
it’s also true to say that were it not for actual peaches, the potential for
peaches would be forever unfulfilled; while were it not for the potential for
peaches, there’d never be a single peach.
Ramchal's final point here is that abstract and potential "peach-ness" is one
thing, while an actual peach is quite another. So there’s a point at which
the rules and realities of the transcendent forces are transferred and
turned-round to the sort of rules and realities we’re used to here, in order
to bring tangible things about.
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