Manfred Eigen, Nobel Prize Winner
'In the beginning [He] created information.'
– Kabbalah of Information
Issues of freedom of choice and Divine Providence are the most nuanced and complex in Judaism. Many commentaries and treatises have been dedicated to this topic. However, a host of complex issues remains unanswered.
Obviously, it is not for us to fully understand the fundamentals of Divine Providence. From the point of view of science, we are all part of a system (the physical universe); hence we cannot fully comprehend this system. Nevertheless, we have at our disposal unique information in the form of the Torah and Prophecies that take us beyond its limits.
The nature of human agency (decision-making, freedom of choice) cannot be described by the physical laws we currently know. At the same time, it is our choices and actions that fill G-d's Creation with substance (informational content).
We cannot change the fundamental laws of the Universe, but we can change the course of events. It is important to note that our ability to change the course of events and influence the world is determined by the information available to us and our ability to analyze it.
Hence the question: how can our brain, which is composed of atoms and molecules, make decisions and thus alter the course of events?
One of the scientific approaches to answering this question is based on the concept of 'emergence'. It is simple: at some stage, the ability to influence the world in a particular way emerges towards the end of a chain (for example, quark – electron – atom – molecule – cell – brain).
Science often employs models of emergence. For instance, one molecule of water does not have a property of 'wetness', but a total of many molecules does. That is, a new property emerges within a system at a particular stage.
I am strongly convinced that the issues of our consciousness, decision-making and free will cannot be explained within the frame of the ‘emergence’ model for the following reasons: 1. The ‘emergence’ model does not explain the mechanism by which a new property arises and does not allow us to estimate at which stage it will appear.
2. Physics considers the interactions between various substances in our Universe, expressing them mathematically. However, the existence of substances is taken as an axiom.
The fundamental distinction between Kabbalah and science is that the former examines the entirety of Creation, of which the Universe is just a part. In addition to examining how the substances of our Universe interact with one another, Kabbalah also examines the laws according to which all these substances exist and are managed by HaShem.
We exercise free will within Creation, but we are subject to its laws. This is why we must consider these laws if we are to understand the principle of free will. To do this, we must turn to the Torah, the Prophecies, the Kabbalah of Information and the physics of spacetime.
Let me remind the readers of the key points of the Kabbalah of Information. In the first verse of Sefer Yetzirah we read, '[He] created this universe by the three derivatives: Letters, Numbers and Communication.' In the same verse, we read about the thirty-two mystical paths of Wisdom (the ten numbers and the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet). Letters and numbers are informational codes, while communication is the way they are transmitted.
The key point of the Kabbalah of Information is the following: 'In the beginning [He] created information', and, to paraphrase the words of Nachmanides, 'And He created nothing else, but only shaped and categorized.'
In this work, I am going to attempt to explain our evolution within Creation from the points of view of the Kabbalah of Information, and science, and answer a few questions concerning freedom of choice and the physics of spacetime.