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"The Way of G-d"

Part 1: "The Fundamental Principles of Reality"

Ch. 5: "The Spiritual Realm"

Paragraph 3

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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