KosherTorah School for Biblical, Judaic & Spiritual Studies
Mistaking Tons for Pounds, Not a Good Idea
by Ariel Bar Tzadok
Copyright © 2015 by Ariel Bar Tzadok. All rights reserved.
Which weights more, a pound or a ton? We should know the obvious answer, but we often see things differently from how they really are.
Does our skewered perception actually change
the reality around us, or does our skewered perception pervert our experience,
and prevent our acknowledgment of the truth? All the while that one does not see
things as they really are, one may never believe that things are, in fact,
different from how they are perceived.
Sometimes the pound looks like its weighs the
same as the ton. But until one tries to lift both, one's skewered perceptions
Knowing truth is not an experience that one
reaches quickly. There are many different cloaks and veils that cover the mind's
eye, and the heart's ear. Cloaks and veils over one's eyes blind one from true
Although one does not see the truth, this does
not mean that the truth is not already there in full blossom, unobserved by the
singular observer. Quantum states are always subjective in nature, for although
one observer does not see, and therefore cannot take a multiple potential and
transform it into a singular actuality, nevertheless, there is always more than
one observer. Just because the one does not see does not mean that others do not
What may be a quantum state of uncertainty for
one, may be an actual singular state to another. To one, the pound is as heavy
as the ton, and to the other it is obviously clear that a ton is a ton, and a
pound is a pound, and never the twain shall met. One sees a delusion, the other
sees the reality.
There is reality, and then there is the
perception of reality. Often the two are like the comparison between the pound,
and the ton. While they may very well look alike to the untrained eye, they are,
nevertheless, very different from one another.
Here now is our dilemma. If two very different
things look alike, and are nevertheless quite different, how do we come about to
discover the actual difference, and once and for all put aside the skewered
perceptions that we have gotten wrong all along?
The path to discovering the truth about things
is a long and arduous road of trial and error. We have to experiment, discover,
experiment a second time, and then verify the experience before we can proclaim
that a certain discovery has been proven true. Discovery requires exploration.
Without such investigation and exploration, a pound might just continue to
appear to be, and then becomes accepted as, the same as a ton.
With all this talk about what is reality, and
what is just the perception of reality (but not really it), this leads us to an
important question. Does any of this matter? I mean, so what if someone doesn't
see things the way they actually are. What difference does it make? Will the
skewered perceptions of someone else have any kind of effect on me, or anything
that I care about? These are all very good questions!
Let's just say, for a moment, that our concern
is not to help another see clearly, but rather our concerns are completely
self-centered, and focused on how the other guy can have an effect upon me.
Within this context, do I have anything to really be concerned with? The answer
to this may be found in the arena of science and mathematics, rather than in the
realm of religion and philosophy.
There is a scientific/mathematical principle in
chaos theory called the “butterfly effect.” Simply put, the butterfly effect
states that small changes in one thing, in one place, can result in large
changes in another (seemingly unrelated) thing, in another place. This
scientific theory is based upon the concept that things are interrelated, and
therefore subject to influence from one to another.
Interestingly, over 1500 years ago, the Talmud
(Shevuot 39a) made a similar statement with this regards to the human arena. The
Talmud stated, “Kol Yisrael Arevim Zeh Bazeh.” The correct translation of this
should be, “All Israel are interconnected with one another.”
The Talmud, long ago, recognized, in its own way, what modern science has discovered. What science sees happening in the natural realm, the Talmud sees happening in the human realm. Being that human beings are part and parcel of nature, this association should not come as a surprise to anyone. Therefore, to answer the questions raised above, does the actions, or perceptions of one have an effect upon the actions, perceptions, of others? The answer is a definite theoretical yes!
What the other guy does can definitely have an
effect upon me! In light of this truth, my concern for the other guy is now
heightened. My concern about him/her is no longer altruistic, religious, or
philosophical. Now my interest is personal, and self-centered. If the other guy
can have an affect upon me, maybe I had better try to first affect him/her.
Maybe being so patient, allowing the other guy to mistake a pound for a ton, is
not such a good idea, after all.
So then, how can I convince the other guy that a pound is not a ton, or for that matter, convince him/her of anything that may be based on skewered thinking? There is only one way to properly convince another about anything, and this is through education. We must make efforts, with care and concern, to assist our fellow human beings down that long and arduous road of education.
Let me repeat what I wrote above. The path to
discovering the truth about things is a long and arduous road of trial and
error. We have to be able to experiment, discover, experiment a second time, and
then verify the experience before we can proclaim that a certain discovery has
been proven true. Discovery requires exploration. Without such investigation and
exploration, a pound might just continue to appear to be, and then becomes
accepted as, the same as a ton.
Unfortunately, all too many people mistake
indoctrination for education. Rather than teaching another how think for
oneself, many are satisfied and prefer to teach others what to think, and have
them conform to accepted beliefs. Needless to say that this quick-fix solution
is part of the problem, and certainly not part of the cure. Why not simply get
everyone to agree that a ton is a pound, and be done with it! After all, if
everyone is mistaken equally, how bad can it be?
How bad can it be? We forget the butterfly effect. If we aggravate the effect, we only make the later results even worse. This seems to be happening all around us at this moment in history. When we ignore a problem, the problem does not simply go away. Rather, it festers and grows, becoming an even greater threat and danger. Which is worse, a pound of trouble, or a ton of trouble? Maybe now, we can see that mistaking a ton for a pound is not such a tolerable idea, after all?
In our modern concepts of morals, we wish to tolerate everyone, and everything. While tolerance is indeed a good and necessary thing, like with everything else there must be limitations and boundaries. Because we are tolerant does not mean that we can, or we should tolerate harmful behavior. Just what is harmful behavior is, of course, subject to the eye of the beholder. And this is where we must again use the scientific method of analysis and exploration.
It is not good enough to declare this or that behavior wrong or harmful unless one can prove it to be so. And merely quoting from religious scripture and blindly demanding that it be accepted as the final authority is absolutely no proof at all, of anything!
Much of religious rote is a ridiculous bunch of dribble that adamantly declares a pound to be a ton, because the religion says its true. It is no wonder that in these blessed times when reason and rationale rule supreme that we are finally able to free ourselves from the mental prisons that so much of religion has wrongly imposed upon us. That this is happening now, and has been happening for over the last century, should come as no surprise to anyone who has ever studied the Zohar. For regardless of the Zohar being of Spanish authorship, and only having a pseudepigraphal relationship to Shimon Bar Yohai, nevertheless, it does contain some very interesting teachings, well worth our academic investigation.
In the Zohar (1, 117a), it is written, “In the 600th year of the 6th millennium [1840 CE] the upper gates of wisdom will be opened and also the wellsprings of wisdom below. This will prepare the world for the 7th millennium like a person prepares himself on Friday for Shabbat, as the sun begins to wane. So it will be here.”
This prediction of the opening of the wellspring of wisdom should rightly be interpreted to mean the discoveries of modern technology. For there is nothing greater than science, and its discoveries that have enables humanity to understand more about the realities of nature, and therefore, to better understand nature's Creator, God. When one applies these wellsprings of wisdom properly and true, then one can discover and know, without a doubt, that a pound is not a ton, and no amount of religious proclamations to the opposite will ever make it true.
This is why many of the modern religious often fight science so very much. Science exposes the truths about creation, and thus properly reflect to us the “true face” of the Creator. Science can show us how to slice through centuries of doctrines, dogmas, and debates, to finally get to the truths about how our world, God's creation really works.
In light of our modern, God given abilities to
discover and discern natural truths, we must expand our boundaries of tolerance
to include all that which is true. At the same time, we must make use of
now-found, and ever expanding knowledge to help us define and isolate that which
is harmful to collective humanity. We must then make every effort to rationally
and wisely address it, and to work through education to neutralize any threat
that any modern behaviors pose to us all.
For some, this challenge is a frightening
endeavor, which many will avoid. However, as we progress in human history, and
in human evolution, we cannot, and we will not be able to avoid our future
collective destiny. What is happening in the world around us is all a sign of
greater things happening in the greater human collective. A wise mind will seek
to see all things properly with understanding, and to act rationally with
regards to them.
A pound can no longer be accepted as being the same as a ton. We cannot argue with those who refuse to listen, but we can educate those who are willing to listen. Education has a purpose, it is our mission. This is how we can each assist in helping make our world a better place in which to live. What better purpose in life is there?
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The Written Works of Ariel Bar Tzadok
Copyright (C) 1997 - 2015 by Ariel Bar Tzadok. All rights reserved.