By Yonatan Gordon
One way to expand our understanding of events is to show the commonality between two seemingly distinct happenings. As we’ve stated previously, the word “Kabbalah” itself means to parallel one thing to another. Our blending exercise this week will include two ingredients from the recent news: Microsoft’s new line of Windows 8 hardware offerings and a functional Apple 1 motherboard that sold at a Sotheby’s auction for $374,500.
“This is the new Microsoft Surface [tablet]. It embodies the notion of hardware and software really pushing each other. People do want to create and consume, they want to work and they want to play, they want to be on their couch, they want to be at their desk and they want to be on the go. Surface fulfills that dream. It is a tool to surface our passion, to surface your ideas, to surface your creativity and to surface your enjoyment.” — Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft at the Surface Announcement Event (June 18, 2012)
What is the difference between hardware and software? We spoke in our previous essay “Windows 8: Engaging the Desktop of Consciousness” about how we interface with our own creativity. We dig upward in order to reveal more potential down here. We can only reveal those ideas from above that the world is ready to hear and accept. Now we will divert our discussion from desktops to surfaces.
Although the physical limits creativity, paradoxically it is also the physical that enables creativity to manifest. This is the idea behind the Surface concept. As long as Microsoft was strictly a software company, programmers’ were limited by the hardware of other manufacturers. By furthering their own line of physical products, they are attempting to keep this limiting process in-house.
What does it mean then that hardware and software are “pushing each other”? Our drive to express ideas pushes products to move forward. While the product is constantly being updated, the concept behind the casing remains the same.
The introduction of creativity into the physical is like lighting up a pile of stones. In order to course electricity through inanimate objects, we need to first awaken ourselves to the concepts behind these products. Products are manifestations, revelations, of some deeper truth. In order to light up a store of city full of tablets and other devices, we need to first bring down the essence of God.
This sentiment is expressed well in Apple’s line of “i” products (Pod, Pad, etc…). In order to bring down truly novel ideas, they indeed need to come from my essence which is a veritable part of God. But products are just revelations. Paradoxically, while busying ourselves with revelations is a waste of time, it is only by means of these revelations that we bring light to this world. Although we may be physically wealthy, our focus always ascends back to the essence of Godliness above. This mindset itself is a segulah for becoming even more wealthy in the future.
If Microsoft or Apple finished a press conference with a complete sense of satisfaction, then the public would be disappointed. By learning to scorn revelations, we prevent the fall from being seduced or satiated by them. We fully expect Microsoft, Apple, and other leading innovators, to be well underway on their next offerings by the time they release their present versions. Scorning keeps developers focused on growth. But before we move to something new, we must first see how this new model improves upon the original idea.
While Apple first started making computers commercially in 1976, Microsoft’s recent foray into hardware has brought about similar sentiments. Once there is a revelation of God’s concealed essence, there is a drawing down of physical plenty (i.e. the product that cases the concept). But after we receive the physical, we immediately revert back to its source in God above. The beginning of something physical is the moment when our ideas were first blessed with physical success. For Apple, this moment was the development of the Apple 1.
Why would someone pay $374,500 for a 1976 Apple 1 motherboard? Because that’s when the idea of Steve Jobs and others first reached the point of physical plenty. But more than a remembrance, this Apple 1 motherboard garnered such interest because it was still operational. This is what we call bringing light into a city of technology.
A Computer in Every Home
What we are now saying that the “idea” behind personal computing was to bring more light to the world. While personal computing made it easier for the public to express themselves creatively, the ultimate goal is to reveal the essence of God.
Just expanding the borders of holiness will never transform darkness into light, because doing so does not reveal the essence of God. All it can do is bring more and more blessing. Like in our goal to have everyone own a personal computer. Even if God is blessing the physical abundance of technology, it will never be enough to rectify present reality.
In order to bring light to the city of technology, there needs to be a revelation of God’s essence. Each of us has the potential to reveal this essence. Whether we find ourselves drawn to a computer made in 1976 or 2012, the dream of Steve Jobs was a vision of a connected world. While he sought to take creativity to every home, our role now is to take the lights of the city of technology, and return them back to their source within God’s essence.
While the term “computer” relates to Wisdom (Chochmah), the start of manifest creativity, the final expression is Speech (Kingdom/Malchut). Ultimately the outcome of our “personal computing” concept is that we should all be connected by means of communication.
Keeping the above lesson about revelation vs. essence in mind, say we were to approach an influential person (e.g. celebrity or a wealthy individual). If we view them as merely someone who is lit up with these external revelations, then it is doubtful that they would give us the time of day. But if we try to connect with them, with who they are, and maybe try to assist them in someway, then already they may start to take notice.
People buy Apple 1 motherboards and Microsoft Surface tablets for a similar reason. What does it means to envision a “computer in every home”? The same Steve Jobs who helped to personalize computers, years later reinvented the music industry with iTunes. While computing relates to Chochmah (the start of conscious creativity), the end result is communication (Malchut). The end-result of our drive to express creativity is that it should reach clear verbal articulation. The idea behind this concept is a term we call Natural Consciousness.