Kabbalah of information - Part 3

The author considers it justified to interpret Kabbalah's concept of "light" as information.

Sun penetrating the clouds above the mountains near Chengdu, China. "It looks like Genesis to me," says Tomer (photo credit: TOMER ZADOK)
Sun penetrating the clouds above the mountains near Chengdu, China. "It looks like Genesis to me," says Tomer
(photo credit: TOMER ZADOK)
Click here for part 1
Click here for part 2
Based on the arguments provided in parts I and II of this article, the author considers it justified to interpret Kabbalah's concept of "light" as information.
This theory is described in detail in the author's book From Infinity to Man. The purpose of this and the following parts of the article is to briefly explain the development routes of the Kabbalah of information.

With 32 mystical paths of Wisdom 

engraved Yah 

the Lord of Hosts 
the  God of Israel 

the living God 

King of the universe 

El Shaddai 

Merciful and Gracious 

High and Exalted

 Dwelling in eternity 

Whose name is Holy – 

He is lofty and holy – 

And He created His universe 

with three books (Sepharim), 

with text (Sepher),

 with number (Sephar) 
 
and with communication (Sippur).                                                                                                                                                             
Given what we've mentioned in the previous two parts of the article, this quote, in this author's opinion, confirms the correct use of the concept of "information" in the Creation because letters and numbers represent information code, and communication is a way to transmit information. Aryeh Kaplan, in his commentary to Sefer Yetzirah, expressed similar views on information communication. Note that in the quote above, the names of the Almighty are provided in order from top to bottom as per the Sefirot, and then from the bottom up. This, in the author's view, confirms that the circulation of information is one of the key prerequisites of the existence of Creation. 
 
Given the above, Creation can be regarded as a hierarchy of informational worlds with the continuous circulation of information. It's important to note that the light radiated in the process of the tzimtzum contained information about the entire creation in general, and the first thing that was created after tzimtzum was Adam Kadmon ("Primordial Man"), from which the following informational worlds were created, the last of which is Adam ha Rishon (the "First Man"). This subject is discussed in more detail in the author's above-mentioned book. 
 
Now let us briefly discuss the key ideas behind the development of the Kabbalah of information.

From the author's perspective, here are the main concepts of the Kabbalah of information: 

1. Sefirah — an area in information space which contains a vessel (information) about the manifestations of the Almighty (kindness, judgement etc.) and light - information about the Almighty.

2. Utterances of the Almighty — informational commands.

3. Commandments — informational instructional commands.

4. Torah — information about the creation and its main functions.

5. Blessings — informational channels.

6. Prayer — informational appeal to the Almighty.

7. Soul — the informational structure, created in a likeness of the structure of the informational worlds.

I would like to point out to the fact that the utterances of Almighty and Torah are the perfect examples of what is called in the modern theory of information “data Compression.” The utterances of the Almighty are extremely concise.  For example, the utterance of the Almighty:” Let it be light!” contains huge amount of information. Ding that utterance. There exist volumes of commentaries regarding that utterance. The same applies to the other Utterances. 

The concepts of "space" and "time" deserve a dedicated discussion. There is an opinion that the concept of space as we understand it does not exist in higher informational worlds (Atziluth, Beri'ah, Yetzirah).  It does not seem possible to review this subject in detail in this article, so we are only going to provide a few basic points.

The concept of space does not have a clear definition in modern science. Isaac Newton proposed the idea of an absolute space which can be described figuratively as a container filled with matter and energy. He called this space, "God's sensorium." Aristotle believed that there was no space without contents — matter and energy. In his special relativity theory, Einstein combined the concepts of "space" and "time."  In Einstein's general theory of relativity, space essentially means a gravitational field. The three theories mentioned above all viewed space as a continuum. The theory of loop quantum gravity, which has not yet been verified by experiments, states that space and time are discrete. The prominent philosopher Immanuel Kant considered space as an external aspect of our perception of the world; time as an internal aspect.   

The author believes that space in our world can be interpreted as the degree of information exchange. We use conventional units of measurement to measure space (centimeters, meters, parsecs, light years), but subjective concepts that are important to us are "near" and "far away." 

From the point of view of tactile informational exchange, a distance of two meters is "far away." From the point of view of audio informational exchange, twenty meters is "far away." From the point of view of visual exchange, one kilometer is "far away." From the point of view of informational exchange using electromagnetic waves (maximum speed dissemination of the information), light years are "far away." 

We cross distances in order to obtain information.

The author believes that higher worlds also have a space of information exchange. The metric of that space is the level of concealment of information about the Almighty (it's called "hishtalshelut" in Kabbalah) which extends from the tzimtzum to the lowest kelipot (emanations of evil). Therefore, there is rigid correspondence between the position of the informational substance and a degree of the concealment the information about the Almighty. Only a human soul can change its position in the information space of higher worlds.  It's also important to note that that concealment of information about the Almighty is conducted by means of gradually presenting other information — about the Sefirot, angels, the world around us, etc.

From this point of view, elementary particles (electrons, protons, neutrons, etc.) and forces between them can also be considered informational programs embedded by the Almighty during the creation. We will discuss it in more detail in the following part of our article. 
Time
As mentioned above, tzimtzum presented us with a temporal succession which Kabbalah calls "seder
zmanim" ("order of time"). This concept can be interpreted as follows:  temporal succession in creation manifests itself as pulsations of information, from the source to environment and back. Since we are created after the image and likeness of God, our informational interaction with the environment occurs by means of informational pulsations. We receive information from the environment, analyze it, act, and therefore give information back to the environment.

Interestingly enough, scientists have come across the problem of "pulsations" when creating programs for robots. They've called this a "frame program." Here's what it means. When a robot performs a certain action as per the program embedded in it, it makes a countless number of changes to the environment. Therefore, in order to perform the next action, the program embedded in the robot has to be able to analyze the changes that have been made to the environment due to the first action, make the right decision, and perform a new action. In practice, however, it's impossible to account for all the changes due to resource limitations and the speed of the computer.  That's why "frame program" means asking the following questions: which changes have to be accounted for, how to make these changes, and which ones can be disregarded?
Part IV
Kabbalah of information and science
The concept of information is not new to our lives. 

Pythagoreans believed that the entire Universe was made up of numbers, i.e. information. Later on information was associated with Plato's theory of forms, which claimed that everything in our world had a corresponding Form and Idea which were that were aspatial and atemporal and were found in the world of forms and ideas. For example, different horses in our world had one corresponding idea (or form) of a horse in the world of ideas and forms. Plato believed that everything that existed and took place in our world could be measured by numbers. In that sense he was a successor of the Pythagoreans. Therefore, Plato linked forms and ideas, i.e. information, to numbers, i.e. mathematics.  

It should also be noted that contemporary mathematicians also fall into two categories — Platonists and formalists. Platonists believe there is a world of mathematical ideas that we are able to discover. Formalists claim that mathematics is a human invention. Supporters of Platonism include Kurt Gödel, one of the greatest 20th century scientists in the field of mathematical logic, and Roger Penrose, one of the most prominent contemporary mathematicians. In his book Shadows of the Mind, Penrose writes that, "Plato's world is an ideal world of perfect forms, distinct from the physical world, but in terms of which the physical world must be understood. It also lies beyond our imperfect mental constructions; yet, our minds do have some direct access to this Platonic realm through an 'awareness' of mathematical forms, and our ability to reason about them." 

Aristotle, Plato's student, rejected his theory of forms, but at the same time he believed that in order to understand any object, one required information about that object. Specifically, this included knowledge about the form and the structure of the object described in numbers.

Nowadays, scientists are adopting the opinion that information is the foundation of our reality and have essentially reached a consensus on this subject. The pioneer of the idea that information is the basis of our reality was one of the greatest physicists of the 20th century, John Archibald Wheeler, whom we have already mentioned in the first part of the article. John Wheeler outlined his famous idea “It from Bit” on the conference in Swiss Alpes. The “It”, as he explained, was “every particle, every field force even the space-time continuum itself”, everything, existing in our physical world, including life.

Noble’s prize winner Manfred Eigen noted, that information in biology is organized in the form of long sequences of symbols  therefore has much in common with linguistic information. There are also some analogies with the information, expressed in a physical process. 
Part IV-1 
Kabbalah of information and structural realism
The way modern science views reality can be divided into several movements: scientific realism, anti-realism (skepticism), and structural realism. Supporters of scientific realism insist that we have to believe in unobservable physical entities postulated by our most successful scientific theories. Otherwise, they say, only a miracle can explain the success of modern science. 

Anti-realists claim that we do not need to believe in unobservable entities, because scientific development is all about abandoning old theories and replacing them with new ones (the meta-induction argument).

In 1989, John Worrall presented his theory of structural realism, which aimed at reconciling the opinions of realists and anti-realists.  Worrall's main idea was that one should not accept the views of realists who insisted that the nature of unobservable objects could be correctly described by the best scientific theories, but he also does not agree with the arguments of anti-realists. Worrall believes that we need to only focus on structural realism, which states that mathematical and structural content remains unaltered despite changing theories. In his work, Worrall named several supporters of structural realism. These include the outstanding mathematician Henri Poincaré; Arthur Eddington, the scientist who proved Einstein's theory of general relativity by experiment; Hermann Weyl, one of the most prominent physicists of the 20th century; and philosopher Bertrand Russell.
 
Structural realism suggests that scientific theories tell us about the form and the structure of an object under observation, but not about its nature. It echoes the ideas of the great philosopher Immanuel Kant on how in observing an object, we can see the result of its interaction with us but not its true nature ("thing-in-itself").Therefore, the true nature of things is either incognizable, or it doesn't exist, and the only things that exist are form and structure (i.e. information). 
 
Henri Poincaré said that abandoned past theories correctly determined the true correlation between objects, which nature has hidden from human eyes forever.
 
This movement is called epistemological (descriptive and structural) realism, the main idea of which can be described as follows: we cannot know the individualities that determine the structure of the world, but we do know their properties and relationships.  This was followed by the theory of ontic structural realism (ontic is a basic quality of the reality, not a description). The idea of ontic structural realism can be described as follows: there is no individuality, there are only structures. The theory of structural realism is quite vast and cannot be reviewed in its entirety within the frame of this article, so the author has only provided some key concepts. Now we need to address the question raised by Saadia Gaon in his criticism of the sophists (see Part I). What is objective and what is relative?
 
Max Born, one of the founders of quantum mechanics, viewed reality as the invariant nature of structure regardless of other aspects. "The idea of invariant is the clue to a rational concept of reality, not only in physics but in every aspect of the world."

Arthur Eddington, for his part, wrote: "What can I know? The structure." The key idea of Einstein's general theory of relativity was based on the concept of general covariance, which means that any models of space and time obtained as a result of certain transformations are equivalent to one another.
 
Mathematical category theory is also crucial to the ideas of structural realism; here's what it entails. A category is viewed as a range of abstract elements called category objects. So-called morphisms determine the rules of transformations between some elements into others. For example, an identity morphism turns an object into itself. Category theory and its branch, group theory, play a huge role in modern mathematics and physics. 

In terms of category theory, the idea of structural realism is that different representations of physical structure can be transformed into one another, and such transformations involve an invariant state, which is objective for us. 

The use of the category theory paved the way for some important discoveries in quantum physics and other areas of science. In fact, structural realism eliminates the difference between physics and mathematics.
Part IV-2
Invariants of Kabbalah of information
Given all of the above, it seems interesting to review the structure of Creation described in Kabbalah to see if it contains any invariants. The structures of the tree of Sefirot of the world Atziluth  and the of the worlds Beri'ah, Yetzirah and Assiah identical, i.e. invariant.  The process of change in the structure of the Sefirot of the above-mentioned worlds can be described in the terms of the category theory, through transformations related to the level of information concealment about the Almighty. For instance, the sefirah of Chokhmah of the world Beri'ah is different from the sefirah of  Chokhmah of the world Yetzirah because they are located in different information spaces with different levels of information concealment about the Almighty. Similarly, there is a difference between Chokhmah of the world Yetzirah and that of the world of Assiah. It's important to note that according to the theory of Alter Rebbe, our soul has the structure of the tree of the Sefirot and is therefore a structural invariant. Note that it implies an identical structure, not completely identical souls.
 
Based on all of the above, the author finds it reasonable to conclude that Kabbalah of information is an objective representation of the structure of Creation and of our reality in particular. 

One of the greatest scientists of XX century Manfred Eigen said: “What we would need is a theory for the origin of information.”

The answer of Kabbalah of information is: “At the beginning (He created the information)”.
Conclusion
Any theory that explains existing facts is a good theory. But a theory that besides the explanation of existing facts also provides true predictions, is better theory. This raises a question: what kind of predictions with regards to the structure of our world can Kabbalah of information offer? 

One of the key differences between Kabbalah and science is the fact that science only studies our Universe, while Kabbalah encompasses the entire Creation, of which our Universe is the only one of the parts. 
Therefore, science explores the interaction between the entities of our Universe, and at the same time Kabbalah, also studies their interaction with the source and informational prototypes. Based on the above and, in author's personal opinion, based on the idea of Kabbalah of information, we can put forward the following ideas and make the following predictions:

1. The entire reality of our physical world can be described in terms of Kabbalah of information.

2. Time is asymmetrical. Here's what that means: none of the existing physical theories exclude the possibility of reversed flow of time, although such process has never been observed during an experiment. There is a number of retrocausal theories, including that of Wheeler—Feynman, but they have not been proven experimentally. As of right now, there are no proven explanations of the asymmetry of time. Attempts have been made to explain the asymmetry of time from the point of view of the second law of thermodynamics, but they lack an actual scientific explanation and are therefore disputable. 

2. Space and time are discrete, i.e. there are tiny indivisible particles of space and time.

3. By means of the theory of informational prototypes, Kabbalah of information can provide an explanation for the famous problem of measurements in quantum mechanics, as well as for the phenomenon of quantum entanglement.

4. Kabbalah of information can explain the role of symmetry and asymmetry in our physical world. 

5. Kabbalah of information can explain the so-called "hard problem of consciousness", which is the question of how physical impulses in the neurons of the human brain produce abstract thoughts and feelings. The author, G-d willing, will provide his thoughts and detailed explanations on this matter in future articles.

6. Kabbalah of information can explain the reasons why Creation implies backward causation.

7. Kabbalah of information can also provide an explanation of the concept of "now" which has not been explained by modern science.

8. Kabbalah of information stands firmly on the position that our consciousness is not algorithmic i.e. cannot be presented in any kind of algorithm, regardless the complexity. 

To purchase Eduard Shyfrin’s book ‘From Infinity to Man: The Fundamental Ideas of Kabbalah Within the Framework of Information Theory and Quantum Physics’ please click here.   

To purchase Eduard Shyfrin’s book ‘Travels with Sushi in the Land of the Mind’ please click here.
Click here for part 1
Click here for part 2
This article is part of a collaboration for the Kabbalat Shabbat Project with Eduard Shyfrin.