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Arguing for the sake of Heaven

Disagreement is, in its nature, like the creation of the world.
For the creation of the world came about in essence by way of open space,
without which all would have been endless divinity,
and there would have been no place for the creation of the world.
Therefore, God withdrew light to the margins,
and the open space was formed,
and in that space God created the world,
through acts of speech.
And so it is, too, with disagreement—
for if all the sages were of one mind
there would be no place for the creation of the world.
It is only by way of the disagreement between them,
and their dividing one from another,
each one drawing to a particular side,
that open space comes into being between them—
which, in its nature, is like the withdrawing of primordial divine light to the margins—
in the midst of which creation can take place, through acts of speech.

—Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav (1772–1810)
Jonah Steinberg, translator

This is a text a lecture (now postponed) by Nehemia Polen was going to discuss at a class in Newton, MA.

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3 Responses to “Arguing for the sake of Heaven”

  1. should we agree or disagree with this text ?

    I mean,
    what if we disagree we create it
    and if we agree it disappear

    what are we supposed to do now ?

  2. I use this kind of thinking a lot in my attempt to imagine God’s outlook as I work to know everything and apply that knowledge usefully:

  3. I love this idea, I am always thinking about how I can convince people that well defined opposing positions on an argument is the starting point to the best kind of change – the new start – one that celebrates both sides as necessary but trumped by the birth of the new.
    If only I could hypnotise every logical positivist on earth

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