"In A Beginning..."

Quantum Cosmology and Kabbalah

Joel R. Primack and Nancy Ellen Abrams


Modern cosmology--the scientific study of the universe

as a whole--no longer sees the universe as an infinite,

changeless arena in which events take place, the way Isaac

Newton did. The universe is an evolving, expanding being,

and its origin is the oldest mystery. For the first time in

possibly a million years of human wondering, we are not

simply imagining the beginning: We are observing it, in

radiation that has been traveling to us since the Big Bang,

possibly bearing information generated even earlier.

Theorists are piecing the data together into humanity's

first verifiable creation story.

Most educated people today have an essentially Newtonian

picture of the universe as a place, devoid of all human

meaning, in which we happen to find ourselves. If people

come to understand the emerging scientific cosmology,

however, they may see from what we know of the early

universe that we actually are part of an extraordinary

adventure. With its mind-expanding imagery, this emerging

cosmology gives us a new cosmic perspective, a powerful

source of awe, and a potential source of meaning in our

everyday lives.

We will present the cosmological theory first directly,

and then as if it were a creation myth, which it is. But

here we encounter the limitations of the English language

for the task: the universe is like nothing else. It's not a

thing that exists at any point in time but includes within

it all time and all concepts. We will therefore turn to

Kabbalah, medieval Jewish mysticism, as a possible source of

language and metaphor, because certain kabbalistic concepts

fit our picture amazingly well. Moreover, Kabbalah's

cosmology gave meaning and purpose to the everyday lives of

its adherents, which we hope may become possible with the

scientific cosmology emerging today.

The Large-Scale Structure of the Universe

While Newton believed that stars are randomly

distributed through space, we now know that stars are

organized into galaxies, and distant galaxies are flying

away from each other as space expands. About ten percent of

galaxies are in dense clusters, with many clusters linked by

sheets or fine filaments of galaxies. Our own Galaxy, the

Milky Way, is located in a small group of galaxies on the

outskirts of the large sheet of galaxies (the local

supercluster) in which the Virgo Cluster is embedded. On the

scale of hundreds of millions of light years, there are

millions of these enormous superclusters of galaxies;

between them are great voids containing hardly any visible

matter. Furthermore, vast flows of galaxies have been

observed as a perturbation to the overall expansion of the

universe. This is what astronomers call the "large-scale

structure" of the universe, and much of it has been

discovered only in the past decade.

As the universe expands, our neighboring galaxies will

remain our neighbors forever, but farther out the expansion

of space is carrying galaxies away so fast that we see their

light stretched and reddened. The greater distance of

expanding space we look across to see any particular galaxy,

the faster that galaxy will be moving away from us. At last

there is a distance where galaxies are being carried away by

expanding space at the speed of light. This is our cosmic

horizon. It is a spherical wall, and we are inside.

Countless galaxies no doubt exist beyond, but they are

whisked away by expansion. Their light cannot reach us, so

we cannot see them. Every galaxy has its own horizon, its

own "visible universe."

But visible matter, on scales of individual galaxies and

larger, does not move as it should if it is all that exists

out there. Stars in galaxies, and galaxies themselves in

groups and clusters, move too rapidly to be held together by

the visible matter. Something invisible is exercising

enormous gravitational effects on visible matter. After

eliminating all other possibilities, astronomers have in the

last fifteen years accepted the weird idea that over ninety

percent of the mass of the universe is not stars, dust, gas

or anything we know, but instead some invisible substance

called "dark matter." Dark matter does not emit or absorb

any kind of radiation. Most of it is probably not made of

electrons, protons, neutrons, or any of the familiar

elementary particles. It forms an invisible halo around

every galaxy perhaps ten times the radius of the disk of

visible stars, and around every cluster of galaxies.

What is the dark matter made of? How much of it is out

there, and where? How does it behave? There have been

several competing theories that managed for years to agree

with all the reliable data, because the data were so rough

and incomplete. But most theories are now being shot down by

new astronomical data which is rapidly accumulating from

telescopes all over the world and in space. This has

drastically narrowed the range of possibilities.

Accordingly, coauthor Joel Primack has modified the theory

he pioneered and which set the agenda for much of cosmology

for over a decade, called Cold Dark Matter1. He is

currently developing a new version of the theory, called

Cold Plus Hot Dark Matter. "Cold" dark matter is some kind

of hypothetical particles which were moving slugglishly in

the early universe. "Hot" dark matter, which was moving

relativistically then, may be composed of two kinds of

neutrinos--at least, that is what's suggested by the latest

data from the particle physics laboratories. Each component

of dark matter has its own characteristics, and each no

doubt plays a crucial role in the history of the universe.

The Blueprint Came First

In 1929, Edwin Hubble discovered the expansion of the

universe by showing that the more distant a galaxy is from

us, the faster it is moving away. Astrophysicists ran the

movie backward and realized that the universe had to have

started out extremely hot and dense. The earliest point was

named--derisively by astronomer and novelist Fred Hoyle,

whose Steady State theory it eventually replaced--the Big

Bang. Standard Big Bang theory explains the creation of the

light elements of matter in the first three minutes and

seems to be right as far as it goes, but it does not explain

what preceded that or what has followed.

Gravity alone could not have created the complex large-

scale structures and flows of galaxies that are observed to

exist. Gravity magnifies differences--that is, if one

region is ever so slightly denser than average, it will

expand slightly more slowly and grow relatively denser than

its surroundings, while regions with less than average

density will become increasingly less dense. But if matter

after the Big Bang was absolutely evenly distributed,

gravity would have done nothing but slow down the overall

expansion. Consequently, either some unknown force acting

after the Big Bang formed the giant structures we observe

today--which looks increasingly dubious--or else gravity

must have had some differences in density to work with from

the beginning. What could have caused these differences in

density? Big Bang theory is silent about its own initial


The theory of Inflation, proposed in the early 1980s by

Alan Guth and others, says that for an extremely small

fraction of a second before the Big Bang--much less time

than it would take light to cross the nucleus of an atom--

the universe expanded exponentially, inflating countless

random quantum events in the process. The density

differences in the universe reflect these quantum events,

enormously inflated. This is the best theory cosmologists

have for the origin of the needed density differences.

Inflation is exponential growth--the longer it goes on,

the faster it gets. An old story illustrates its blinding


A Sultan's life was saved by the Grand Vizier.

Overwhelmed with gratitude, the Sultan asked him to

choose his reward.

"You may give me a chessboard," said the Grand

Vizier, "with one grain of wheat on the first square,

two grains on the next square, four on the next, and

so on. That would be enough."

"Such a modest gift for so great an act?" the

Sultan exclaimed. "You shall have it today!"

But when the Sultan tried to prepare the

chessboard, he discovered that the amount of wheat

needed grew faster and faster. By the sixty-fourth

square, he would need about ten billion metric tons--

twenty years' worth of the modern world's production of


The quantum events of cosmic inflation created the

needed small differences in density from place to place,

leaving space slightly wrinkled (in three dimensions). The

wrinkles are extraordinarily subtle, like a hill 600 feet

high compared to the 21,000,000 foot radius of earth, yet

gradually they attracted particles of matter by gravity

alone. The large-scale structures in the universe today--the

clusters and walls built of thousands of galaxies--

illuminate these ancient wrinkles like glitter tossed on

invisible lines of glue.

If the theory of Inflation is right, then the blueprint

for the large-scale structure of the universe existed before

the Big Bang created matter.

Can Inflation be Right?

The central predictions of the theory of Inflation are:

1) that the universe has critical density (i.e., contains

just enough matter to keep slowing down the expansion, but

not enough to cause the universe to stop or fall together in

a Big Crunch) and 2) that the wrinkles, regardless of their

wavelength, all have the same amplitude when they cross the

horizon. (This is called a "Zel'dovich spectrum," after the

great Russian physicist and cosmologist Yacov Borisovich


Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson discovered in 1965 that

heat radiation from the Big Bang itself, called cosmic

background radiation, still fills the universe. This was the

first light in the universe. The radiation just reaching us

now has been traveling since the universe first became

transparent only about 300,000 years after the Big Bang.

This primal radiation would have to bear some trace of the

inflationary wrinkles that were theorized to have filled the

universe at that time. If it did not, then the theory of

Inflation had to be wrong, and the large-scale structure of

the universe could not have formed by gravity alone.

Numerous observations from earth's surface and from planes

and balloons detected no irregularity in the cosmic

background radiation. Except for the effects of earth's

motion, the radiation appeared to be a perfectly uniform 2.7

degrees above absolute zero in every direction, until 1992.

In 1992 NASA's Cosmic Background Explorer satellite

(COBE), orbiting outside earth's atmosphere, detected tiny

differences in temperature in the background radiation. If

Inflation is right, these differences are a lightly traced

but readable fossil record of the period before the Big

Bang--from which the Big Bang emerged. This is spectacular

evidence of the existence of primordial wrinkles in space.

What COBE found was the equivalent of lost baby pictures of

immense cosmic structures, showing that they were not

created whole but grew from these infants; and revealing as

well, if read backwards, very intriguing implications about

the babies' parentage.

The theory of Inflation thus appears to be supported by

the COBE discoveries and subsequent measurements by many

other instruments. If we assume, and there is increasing

evidence we should, that the density of cold plus hot dark

matter is critical and that there is a Zel'dovich spectrum

of wrinkles, the resulting theory produces large-scale

structure like that which we actually observe. Since

alternative explanations are perhaps possible, this does not

prove that Inflation plus our dark matter theory are

actually right, although if the predictions led to

structures unlike what we see, that would certainly prove at

least one of these assumptions is wrong. There are also

potential stumbling blocks, such as some preliminary results

from Hubble Space Telescope suggesting (based on assumptions

that may or may not be valid) that the universe may not be

as old as some of the stars in our galaxy. But on balance

the theory of Inflation is so beautiful and solves so many

problems which initially appeared to be unrelated, it is

hard to suppress the thought that it might actually be true.

While Inflation provides an explanation for the

irregularities in the Big Bang, what about the origins of

inflation itself? It turns out to be more fruitful to ask

instead, why did inflation end? Because if we extrapolate

backwards to find the origin of inflation, the most likely

possibility is that in most of the superuniverse, inflation

never stopped. It is a state of existence that goes on

forever. The theory of Eternal Inflation, largely worked out

by Russian astrophysicist Andre Linde, now at Stanford

University, says that inflation stopped only in the minute

part of the universe we can see--within our cosmic horizon--

and some unknown distance beyond that. Everywhere else it

continues forever.

What Does It All Mean?

The ideas that follow are a sort of theoretical

theology, a spiritual analogue of theoretical physics. A

theoretical physicist's methodology involves choosing a set

of hypotheses and working out the consequences to see what

kind of world they describe and how close it is to what

experiment has found. Hypotheses can be eliminated as wrong

but cannot be proved right. Coauthor Joel Primack and other

cosmologists test theories by creating theoretical universes

in supercomputers and then comparing them with observations

of the real universe to see whether the predictions of any

set of hypotheses can survive confrontation with the

increasingly detailed data. Several fundamental truths about

the origins and composition of the universe seem to be

emerging from this process, although they are still

controversial and they will be constantly tested as new data

become available from the latest ground- and space-based

telescopes. This is a logical game, but amazingly, sometimes

the universe actually embodies a theorist's dreams. When

this happens, it can have the force of a religious

experience--at least for the theorist involved!

So let us suppose--in the style of theoretical physics--

that the theories of Inflation and Eternal Inflation are

correct and then think through some of the possible

consequences for religion and culture.

To experience the human meaning of the scientific story,

we must translate it into myth, the traditional form for

stories about the origin of the world. In common parlance,

"myth" has come to connote the opposite of reality, or the

simplistic fare of the hopelessly backward or quaint. But

myths, as they function in human societies, actually are

explanations of the highest order: the stories a culture

communally uses in order to connect with and give meaning to

its universe. Every traditional culture known to

anthropology has had a cosmology--a story of how the world

began and how human beings took their place within it. A

functional cosmology grounds people's everyday expectations

of each other in the larger patterns of the universe. Such a

shared cosmology may be essential to successful human

community and even to individual sanity. The understanding

doesn't have to be scientifically accurate. None ever has

been, until now. No description is ever totally accurate

anyway, unless it is the universe itself. The map is not the

terrain. What we humanly need is to know the truest story of

our time.

As Plato taught, the answer to the question "What does

it all mean?" can only be a myth. Unlike other myths,

however, a scientific myth never stands still. As long as

the universe of knowledge expands, the myth must absorb, be

tossed out by, or else be enfolded in larger understandings.

No myth is for all time, but myth-making is an ongoing human


A Myth of the Origin of the Universe

In a beginning there was--and almost everywhere else

there still is--nothing but creativity: infinite potential,

hot and dense, wildly experimenting with every possibility

quantum uncertainty can come up with, expanding faster and

faster for all eternity, unlimited by the speed of light or

by lack of space. In this everlasting acceleration tiny

events are expanding from every "sparkpoint," which is what

we call the smallest physical region that quantum physics


Imagine a cosmic Las Vegas, its real estate inflating

forever, lights flashing, money rolling out of slots,

gamblers multiplying blindingly fast, everything hot and

dense. Every point is a gambler, every gambler is flipping

coins, every flip is a quantum fluctuation. But in eternal

inflation, the rules are as follows: Every time a coin comes

up tails, it becomes half its size; every time it comes up

heads, it's suddenly twice its size and there are two of

them. There are minute holes in the floor. The probability

is extremely small that a coin will fall through, since the

rules favor inflation. Most coins grow enormously. But once

in a while a coin will get small enough to fall through the

floor. At that instant, it exits eternity and the realm of

those rules, and time begins for it. It will fall forever.

In a chain of events as inevitable sooner or later as a

losing streak to a gambler, one sparkpoint got tails every

time. Each throw was a random event. A single heads could

have pulled the sparkpoint back and vastly increased the

probability of another speedup until it merged forever in

the cauldron of eternal inflation. But that did not happen.

Tails continued. The gambler had started with a trillion

dollars and had lost all but one dollar. It was still

possible to win back the trillion. Then the last dollar was

gone. There was no turning back. The sparkpoint exited

eternity. Quantum events had taken it, like Alice, through

an invisible looking-glass.

This was the seed of our universe: a single creative

sparkpoint--an almost vanishingly small capsule of eternal

creativity. This sparkpoint we name "Hokhmah," a kabbalistic

term whose choice we will explain later.

Hokhmah had not lost its creative character, any more

than a child changes its character upon leaving home. It was

still inflating and emanating quantum fluctuations. But when

it exited eternity, its inflating was destined to die out.

Down the hill of potential energy Hokhmah now rolled, unable

to regain eternal potential, compelled to express its finite

potential now. Hokhmah had only the blaze-out we call

inflation--possibly as little as 10-32 seconds--to create

the blueprint for a cosmos. And it did so. The region that

would become our present horizon inflated from the size of a

thought to that of a grapefruit wildly faster than the speed

of light. In the process it spawned all the quantum impulses

that will continue to reverberate for hundreds of billions

of years, creating the wrinkles that are becoming all the

cosmic structures in the universe from galaxies to

superclusters and larger.

Eternal inflation is endlessly creative and lavishly

profligate. Every sparkpoint in eternal inflation has the

possibility of becoming a Hokhmah. In detail, every universe

will be unique because the quantum fluctuations during each

one's inflationary epoch will be completely different. Each

universe is a tiny bubble cut off from all other bubbles by

eternal inflation. No one knows if the laws of physics are

the same in other bubbles, nor do we yet have any way of

testing. We may be further than ever from answering the

question Einstein said was the one that really interested

him: "Did God have a choice?"

On the scale of the superuniverse of eternal inflation,

time begins an infinite number of times. The opening words

of Genesis might be better interpreted, "In A beginning..."

Very, very deep inside our bubble, hemmed in by a horizon

probably as minuscule compared to our bubble as a child's

sandbox is to the visible universe, is the rarest of

phenomena: the evolution of our universe. In eternal

inflation, nothing persists. When all possibilities exist,

none is realized. Time can never decide what direction to

run in. Every sparkpoint can create infinite possibilities,

but though those fluctuations expand at the speed of light,

all other sparkpoints are expanding away so much faster that

they are forever out of causal contact with each other. Our

universe is vanishingly small compared to the superuniverse

of eternal inflation, but in it effects reverberate! It

takes time to play out the great possibilities, time to

grow, to become something. The great miracle of our universe

is that something is happening. Galaxies are evolving. Life

is evolving. We are not just eternal potential--we are a


If you play a drum, the skin vibrates in waves. If you

could get very close to it and slow things down

considerably, you would see the skin forming troughs and

crests, not just one at a time but different waves in

different directions across it, the troughs and crests

adding to each other. The sum of all the waves makes the

"sound." The wrinkles of inflation were the primal, cosmic

sound whose meaning the universe is still expanding to

express. This gives a physical picture of the origin akin to

the phrase at the opening of the Gospel of John: "In the

Beginning was the Word."

The idea that God followed a blueprint which existed

before the universe was created is also found in Jewish

Midrashic literature. Genesis Rabbah 1:1 says: "A ruler

building a palace consults an architect's plans. The

Blessed Holy One, in creating the universe, also worked from

a plan--the Torah."

Hokhmah and Kabbalah

Kabbalah, medieval Jewish mysticism, is the only

traditional cosmology we know of in which the universe was

understood to have begun in a point and expanded. We are not

kabbalists, nor are we trying to promote Kabbalah. We are

not arguing that Kabbalah was prescient or somehow knew

mystically what science is now discovering. We are

interested in Kabbalah because it developed a set of ideas

describing the origin of an expanding universe and

integrated these ideas into its religious worldview. Can

Kabbalah help us to integrate the scientific concepts we

have been describing into our own culture?

"Kabbalah" means "secret tradition," and its origins are

uncertain. Though its earliest preserved writings date from

the twelfth century, from Provence and later Spain, its

adherents believed it derived from the secret Torah given to

Moses and handed down orally through the most religious Jews

ever since.

The early kabbalists were Jews living at the time when

Moslem culture was transmitting the philosophy and science

of Plato and Aristotle to Europe. Utterly committed to the

reality of the infinite and singular God, Jews began

applying Greek reasoning to long-standing problems of their

religion, especially the question of the nature of God. The

kabbalists used every resource they had--not only reason and

logic but poetry, meditation, and mystical experiences--to

try to understand the nature of God. They believed that they

could learn about God through contemplation of God's

relationship to creation. For this reason, they strove to

grasp the hidden reality behind the opening words of


At that time Moses Maimonides, the Aristotle of Judaism,

was teaching that God could only be truly described by

negatives: unknowable, incorporeal, unlimited, unchangeable.

How, the kabbalists asked, could God be beyond human

description yet walk with Adam and Eve and talk with Abraham

and Moses, as Torah reports? How, if God is infinite, could

there have been room for anything else to be created? In

answer to questions like these, the kabbalists developed a

theoretical system portraying God pictorially as having ten

different aspects--in Hebrew, sephirot--with complex

relationships among all the aspects. Beyond the picture was

Ein Sof, "Without End," the unknowable God, which emanated

the light that created the aspects of God knowable to


Of ten sephirot, the first three deal with creation, and

they correspond fairly closely to concepts from Inflation

and Eternal Inflation, although these theories are being

developed by cosmologists in response to completely

different questions. The first Sephirah was Keter, meaning

the Crown, symbolic of the unknowable God's infinite

potential to create--to enter into some relationship with

our universe. The second was Hokhmah, the bursting through

of our universe. The third was Binah, the female womb in

which creation expands from Hokhmah to become what it


Keter might be a thought-provoking name for the state of

eternal inflation, which, like Keter, is infinite, the

source of all that will come, yet Nothing, because no

differentiation can exist within it. Hokhmah is the exiting

from eternity, the beginning of time, the instant with no

instant before it. Binah is expansion or spacetime. There

could probably be no more accurate name for the Big Bang as

we understand it scientifically today than to call it


Kabbalah is an example of a cosmology resembling our own

which successfully penetrated and enriched the lives of a

society. In the sixteenth century, the great kabbalist Isaac

Luria developed the scheme further, teaching that at the

initial point, Hokhmah, God began to withdraw into self-

exile in order to make space for the universe. God envelopes

the universe, in the Lurianic view, but when God withdrew,

evil became possible inside. God sent holy light into the

world, but the world was too weak to hold God's glory. Its

cornerstones were vessels that shattered in the light. The

role of the Jews is to repair the shattered vessels by re-

collecting the sparks of God in the world. Tzimtzum is the

name of God's self-exile. Tikkun Olam is the repairing of

the world. For Jews in the century or so after the expulsion

from Spain in 1492, the concept of a God in exile gave

cosmic meaning to their people's traumatic and seemingly

endless history of expulsions and exiles. The cosmology

alone, however, did not provide the meaning. It came from

the circumstances of their lives and their era, but it was

expressible at a deep and satisfying level with the help of

their kabbalistic cosmological myth. Can the same become

true with modern cosmology?

Kabbalah was a cultural outgrowth of medieval European

Jewish experience. By the time of the European

Enlightenment, Jews who read Descartes and Newton considered

the idea of Sephirot as absurd as angels dancing on the head

of a pin. But Kabbalah is a metaphorical description of a

set of fundamental universal relationships which in light of

modern astrophysics appears closer to reality than the

infinite rectangular space of the Newtonian worldview.

We do not argue that either kabbalistic cosmology or

current scientific theories about the origin are "true" in

some ultimate sense, but rather that by seeing each in light

of the other, we begin to get some sense of what to demand

of any cosmology intended to function for human society in

the twenty-first century. Just as light cannot be described

accurately as either a particle or a wave but only as

something beyond either metaphor, the universe cannot be

adequately described as either something scientifically

observed or something spiritually experienced. A functional

cosmology must do both. The reason kabbalistic terms are

helpful to our account is that they bind together the search

for truth with the search for the divine. If terms such as

Hokhmah did not already exist bearing religious

significance, we would have had to try to coin them--which

would probably have been as successful as Esperanto. The

emerging scientific cosmology and Kabbalah are two metaphor

systems whose juxtaposition points toward a truth larger

than either can express alone.

Eternal Inflation, whether or not it turns out to be

true, has opened a cosmic perspective on reality and the

countless threads of connection, including the spiritual,

weaving through. If Eternal Inflation eventually turns out

to be wrong, whatever replaces it cannot explain less and

will have to do better. A new standard has been set for

creation stories.

If the theory of Eternal Inflation is correct, then

there is an eternal blizzard of universes, in which our

bubble is a single snowflake, an infinitesimal capsule of

eternal potential, crystallized into unique patterns of

matter and energy, which has set off from eternal inflation

on its journey to realize itself in a universe. No one has

thought of a way yet to test whether Eternal Inflation

theory is right, but the expansion of perspective the theory

requires certainly enlarges our idea of the physical

universe. It may also enlarge our ideas of God, because

regardless of how much reality one may ascribe to God, one

can only speak metaphorically, and most metaphors are

limited to the extremely narrow experience of earth. This

does not make them wrong, but they are certainly limiting.

Cosmology provides utterly different metaphors--eternal

inflation, endless creation from every sparkpoint--that

humans could not have dreamed up had theoretical physics not

led them there. It seems to be a general rule that the more

metaphor systems through which we try to understand non-

human-scale realities, both large and small, the closer we

come to truth.

Cosmology and Human Meaning in the Twenty-First Century

In a speech given in Philadelphia on July 4, 1994, on

the state of the world and its prospects, Vaclav Havel said

that the planet is in transition: as vastly different value

systems collide, all consistent value systems are

collapsing. We cannot foresee the results. Science, which

has been the bedrock of industrial civilization for so long,

he said, "fails to connect with the most intrinsic nature of

reality, and with natural human experience. It is now more

a source of disintegration and doubt than a source of

integration and meaning... We may know immeasurably more

about the universe than our ancestors did, and yet it

increasingly seems they knew something more essential about

it than we do, something that escapes us...Paradoxically,

inspiration for the renewal of this lost integrity can once

again be found in science...a science producing ideas that

in a certain sense allow it to transcend its own limits...

Transcendence is the only real alternative to extinction."

The search for scientific truth can be a form of

guidance. It is as divine as any other. The foundation-

building revolution that modern cosmology is undergoing

today, as it seeks a verifiable description of the origin of

the universe, requires that we transcend previous notions of

space, time, and reality. This is the kind of science Havel

is hoping for--a science whose metaphors may allow us to

comprehend terrestrial problems from a cosmic perspective.

Exponential growth--like that of the wheat on successive

squares of the Grand Vizier's chessboard--is the dominant

characteristic of the industrial world. Not only is the

human population inflating; simultaneously, so are the

technological power and the resource use of each individual.

Multiply these times each other: we are now processing a

substantial fraction of the earth's entire crust. In

population growth, resource use, pollution, and garbage

production, the human race is addicted to exponential

growth. Inflation is the controlling metaphor of our time.

In our kabbalistic creation myth, Tzimtzum--the

withdrawal of God--occurred in Eternal Inflation. As the

notion of a God in exile gave cosmic meaning to the lives of

a people in exile, understanding cosmic inflation may give a

new if sobering meaning to the lives of a people dependent

upon inflationary growth. Inflation is a taste of what it is

like to be God. It cannot be considered a normal human pace.

In a finite environment, inflation cannot continue, however

cleverly we may postpone or disguise the inevitable. This is

a consequence of natural laws. That does not mean growth

must stop, however, as many people genuinely trying to save

the planet assume. The great transition model for the future

of earth may be the universe. Inflation transformed to

expansion can go on for a very long time. Expansion on earth

can be sustained as long as our creativity lasts. Reality is

not a zero-sum game, in which a gain one place must be paid

for with a loss somewhere else. Creativity is what all tiny

regions do in expressing their quantum nature. The stunning

lesson of Eternal Inflation theory is that the fundamental

nature of reality is not conservation of energy or increase

in entropy but endless creativity.

The question for our time is, how can we end inflation

gently on earth? How can we slow human inflation enough that

creative restoration can overtake it? When we have developed

a sustainable relationship with our planet, humanity and

earth will be in balance, and the transition from inflation

to stable expansion will have been achieved through the

restoration of the world--Tikkun Olam.