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The Existence of Other Worlds

By Baruch Crowley

In the Book of Job (38:31) there is a curious verse which reads: "Canst thou bind the chains of the Pleiades, or loosen the cords of Orion?" How did Job get hold of this piece of 20th century inter-stellar astronomical information - that the Pleiades is gravitationally bound, and Orion is gravitationally loose? What other knowledge of the cosmos and its many celestial bodies (and their inhabitants) was known to the ancient Hebrews who used the Torah (the Five Books of Moses) and the Oral Tradition given at Mount Sinai for understanding life on all levels?

The fact is that, in Hebrew Scripture and within the mystical or metaphysical tradition known as Kabbalah, there are numerous references to worlds other than our own, with life on them, both corporeal and incorporeal. The problem is that anyone who is not able to fluently comprehend Hebrew will not be qualified to plumb the depths of meaning hidden within the Hebrew Bible, or, for that matter, any of the sacred literature that supplies the original basis for both Judaism and Christianity.

Coded mysteries

In the Hebrew language, every single word usually has more than one meaning. Every single letter - and even the size and various parts of an individual letter - contains additional information of profound consequence that may not only add to its definition an unfolding story, but may also provide essential keys to hidden Kabbalistic interpretations allied with the separate Oral Tradition that was handed down verbally by Moses to the Jewish People.

For the scholar, none of this is too surprising, as it is known that everything that has happened, is happening, and will happen, is somewhere, at some level, encoded in a 'divine formula' within the holy texts. This refers to not only generalities but to all the particulars of every single species and every single human being, including everything that will transpire in his or her lifetime, from the day of birth until the day of death, as well as all of his reincarnations and all of their particulars and minute details. This is true as well for every type of animal, plant and mineral.

Alongside the written Torah, the Oral Tradition is considered equally valid. Indeed, the exceedingly complex and comprehensive Talmud can be claimed to deal with almost any given topic in our physical and metaphysical universe. This is why, seemingly, in centuries past, and even today, major scholars and mystics have been able to provide answers to riddles that even scientists have been unable to solve.

Eighteen thousand planets

We have already quoted an intriguing passage relating to a possible advanced knowledge of cosmology in the Book of Job. In the Book Judges (5:20), within the lines of the song sung by the Hebrew Judge, Deborah and Baraq son of Avino'am - on the day Yael drove a tent peg through the head of the wicked King Sisera - there are a couple of highly intriguing verses with other worldly connotations. The first of these strange quotations reads "They fought from heaven; the stars in their courses fought against Sisera", and the second (5:23), "Curse Meroz, said the angel of the Lord, curse bitterly its inhabitants; because they did not come to the help of the Lord against the mighty men."

But what does this 'Meroz' reference really allude to? In his book Sefer HaBrit ('Book of the Covenant'), Rabbi Pinchas Eliyahu Horowitz, (18th century ) quotes as his authority a clear Talmud reference when he contends that Meroz is an inhabited planet somewhere in outer space. Furthermore, he states emphatically that G-d created an infinite number of worlds, of physical, spiritual and inter-dimensional nature. This view is upheld by the Ari'zal (Rabbi Yitzchak Luria), who also spoke of an 'infinite number of spiritual worlds'. All of this might even be taken to indicate that the preceding battle described in Judges may even have extended beyond the boundaries of our planet's surface, unless, of course, the first reference is merely astrological.

Rabbi Horowitz refers specifically to 18,000 physical planets -- which is also recorded in the Talmud -- and claims that the stars are really worlds of a kind each with a place of habitation. Again in the Talmud, there is a reference to something like 1018 stars in the observable universe, a figure that is very close to the accepted number that can now be seen. Commenting on the 18,000 worlds mentioned above, the Oral Tradition states that each and every true Tzaddik (supremely righteous person) will eventually become the governor of a planet in outer space. This interplanetary scenario is all set to occur in the post-Messianic age, following a general resurrection from the dead. According to the Talmud, the quote in the Book of Isaiah, (40:3) "They shall rise like the eagle", refers to the righteous being able to take off and fly into outer space.

Rabbi Horowitz was of the opinion that many planets are inhabited and that just as sea creatures differ from land creatures, because of their different environments, so too will natives of other worlds differ from human beings.

Free will

Based on a statement in the Talmud, these extraterrestrial individuals - who are rather strangely known in Kabbalistic literature as 'masters of intelligence and science' - might well differ from humans in one principle respect, namely the ability to exercise 'free will' in exactly the same way as we human terrestrials can. It is certain that within the infinite number spiritual dimensions, of which ours is but one, there are certainly beings who are superior to us in many ways and who must exercise some form of personal choice. A full denotation of free will in the terrestrial religious/mystical concept might not only refer to the normally understood exercise over choice of good or evil, but may read something like: 'The ability to spiritually raise one's consciousness beyond the control of the mundane forces of space and time through an act of will.' For the record, however, the Talmud reference noted above reads: "All stars are created for the sake of Israel", which has been interpreted as meaning 'for Divine service only in this world', and which may indicate that free will - using the spiritual sense - may not exist on other worlds.

In an extensive article entitled 'UFOs and Aliens', Rabbi Ariel Bar Tzadok, Chicago, puts forward the proposition that this aspect of 'free will' may well explain why many of the extraterrestrial 'contactees' on our planet are presented by their interlocutors with spiritual systems which either overlook or even deny the existence of a caring, personal Supreme Creator, referring instead to impersonal natural forces behind creation.

Perhaps the beings making telepathic or other contact - because of their perceived lack of the 'free spiritual will' ability - just do not know any better, despite any perceived superiority over us in terms of physical technology. It may also explain the seeming obsession with some kind of interbreeding program involving our species amongst those 'extra'-terrestrials who have been reported to abduct humans. Perhaps they are envious of the human being's inherent capability and are seeking to 'manufacture' an ability for themselves to ascend spiritually into higher dimensions? Although this is to a certain extent speculation, there is certainly some confirming foundation in Talmudic literature relating to 'angels and demons', which can not be dealt here.

An interesting side association with the above is that, according to Genesis, the universe, seen and unseen, was created by G-d with the Divine Name Elohim, a pluralized title meaning 'Master over all forces' (The first verse in the Torah reads, 'In the beginning, Elohim created the heavens and the earth'). As the great medieval commentator Nachmanides (1194-1270) writes: "Elohim is the Master over all forces of creation. For the word itself is a compound construction. 'El' means Ruling or Master Power, and 'Him' [like the Hebrew 'Hema', 'these'] alludes to all the forces [i.e. laws and constants that He uses to run His universe]. 'Elohim' thus 'Master Power over all forces'. Kabbalistically, Elohim denotes an 'impersonal' aspect of G-d's supervision over the universe, one that expresses only the outermost qualities of the Creator. Elohim is also known as the 'left hand of G-d' representing the concept of justice and law. Interestingly, in Hebrew numerology (or Gematria), the numerical value of the letters of the word Elohim add up to 86, which is the same number as for HaTeva, the word denoting 'Nature' and/or 'Laws of Nature'.

YHWH, the four-lettered Name of G-d (also known as the Tetragrammaton), as given in the Torah, denotes a level as far removed from Elohim as the highest Heavens are from us lowly mortals on Earth. No person is ever permitted to pronounce the Tetragrammaton, due to its sacred nature, always substituting the appellation HaShem, 'The Name' - other than in formal prayer, when the title Adonai is used. The power behind The Name is associated to the 'right hand of G-d' and thus the quality of mercy and compassion that overrides strict justice, including, on occasion, the laws of Nature. This Tetragrammaton power is believed to be manifested within our physical realm in the form of the Torah.

Subterranean Worlds

Over and above the many instances of worlds in outer space noted in the Talmud, Zohar and elsewhere, there is, even more surprisingly, abundant reference to a hollow planet earth, with multi-layered worlds existing right beneath our feet. In fact, it's a case of, 'as above, so below' -- echoing the Kabbalistic 'unified theory of knowledge'. Just as there are said to be 'seven Heavens', so too is it recorded that there are seven nether worlds, one above the other, each inhabited by its own species. Indeed, one notable source, the 17th century Kabbalistic classic, Hesed L'Avraham by Rabbi Avraham Azulai, tells us that there are as many as 365 different species of beings living under the earth's surface. These are said to be half human and half animal, perhaps something like the legendary centaur.

The Zohar tells us, for one example, of an amazing encounter by Rabbi Hiya and Rabbi Yosi with one of the residents of an underground realm called Arka, who are human-like but have two heads! The two sages apparently stumbled upon this alien individual when he came up from an underground cave. The venerable Rabbis Hiya and Yosi actually conversed with him, the subject of what must have been a most intriguing conversation being the strange being's desire to know all about conditions in our surface world.

Kabbalists believe that the underground worlds are also the domain of the so-called mazikim, the troublemakers or demons, and of a category of being known as the 'fallen angels'.

According to the Zohar, Adam, the original forefather of the human species, visited all of the subterranean worlds, and left progeny in each. It was not revealed as to who his female partners were. Moreover, one reference in the Zohar even places the Garden of Eden at the center of these underground worlds, without identifying which. Perhaps it was at the second level, known as Adamah, where Cain and Abel are said to have been born. What is also apparent from a number of sources is that these underground realms may not be quite as physical as is our own surface world. Nor may all of the inhabitants possess material bodies quite like our own, but possibly a mix of physical and ethereal or astral. In the sacred literature, Adam is said to have had a 'body of light' before the 'Fall', prior to taking on a garment of skin, or more correctly, a fully physical body. Tradition also maintains that Adam was of immense stature before the fall and carried within his bodily cells all the souls of future humankind.

Gehinnom (Hell) is identified as being at the fourth level called Gey, while, at the fifth level, in a world called Nishiyah, there lives a small statured race who are said to be all male (perhaps, androgynous),who have no noses, but only two slits through which they breathe. Sound familiar? Furthermore, a translation of the word Nishiyah means something like 'dreamlike' or 'amnesiac'. Earth, itself, is, of course, at the seventh level, and is known in the Zohar as Tevel.

Seven Sabbatical cycles and pre-Adam races

It may surprise some readers to know that over 700 years ago, a great Kabbalist put forward a new interpretation of the age of the earth and the universe which coincides almost exactly with current calculations related to the Big Bang theory.

Rabbi Yitzchak of Akko was something of a controversial character who did not, for example, approve very much of some of his Kabbalistic colleagues' extensive use of Divine Names in their meditative practices. He was also alive at the time of publication of the Zohar, and was one of the foremost personalities of his day to investigate and verify its authenticity. In the present context, however, it is Rabbi Yitzchak's work Otzar haHaim, "Treasury of Life", which is of most interest.

In Otzar haHaim, Rabbi Yitzchak puts forward a very profound argument relating to the concept of Sabbatical cycles that contradicts the popular fundamentalist interpretation of the six days of creation and a six thousand year old earth.

Referring to an ancient Kabbalistic work, Sefer haTemunah, the work of the first century Rabbi Nehunya Ben haKanah, Rabbi Yitzchak works out a chronology using as his base calculation figure the 'divine year' taken from Psalms 90:4 (a 'divine day' equals 1000 earth years; a 'divine year' is thus 365,250 earth years) . The Talmud states that the world will exist for seven 7,000 year 'Sabbatical' or Shemita cycles, each one different than its predecessor. Moreover, it will become desolated during every seven-thousandth year. Rabbi Yitzchak concludes that, as there are seven Sabbatical cycles in a Jubilee, the world will exist for 49,000 years. Human civilizations will thus also rise and fall seven times during this period.

Rabbi Moshe Ben-Yehudah, a modern Kabbalist living in Jerusalem, sums this up very succinctly: "With the completion of each succeeding cycle of 6,000 years, the entire creation is brought one step higher in its (never ending) process of Tikun (Rectification), Birrur (Purification) and Aliyah (Elevation). This occurs in such a way that each particular level is elevated to the position of the one above it."

There is some dispute as to which cycle we are now in - some Kabbalistic sources maintain that it is the second cycle, while others believe we are already in the seventh and final cycle. Rabbi Yitzchak's calculations made over 700 years ago are based on the notion that we are already in the seventh cycle, and that Adam would thus have been born when the earth was 42,000 years old. However, he writes further that, according to Sefer haTemunah, the first 42,000 years - before the creation of our present human race - should be taken as divine years, i.e. 365,250 earth years. The universe can then be calculated to be 42,000 x 365,250 years old, which equals 15,340,500,000 years, a figure uncannily close to the 15 billion years postulated by today's cosmologists as the elapsed time since the Big Bang occurred! Moreover, only before Adam was created do we 'count' in 'divine years; whereas since Adam we count regular 'human' years.

Was the author of Sefer haTemunah (and Rabbi Yitzchak) perhaps privy to some arcane cosmological knowledge that has become lost in time? Moreover, it is clear from all this that the full teachings of the Torah tradition in no way contradict the findings of modern science, including the presence in the earth of palaeontological findings of dinosaur bones and the like, which may well have been produced during one of the previous cycles of time.

Moreover, this hugely extended viewpoint -- that takes us so far beyond the regular fundamentalist religious approach -- also opens up the way for another hard look at evidence for past civilizations that abounds all around our truly ancient planet, particularly in the Middle East and in South America. Not all of what remains must by necessity be considered as having been constructed during our own immediate 7,year cycle. Many ancient ruins and artifacts may well have originated from long lost cultures during other rounds of existence, and about which we now know very little, or nothing at all. A more open viewpoint may also allow for easier acceptance for what looks like (from NASA photographs) evidence for some sort of previous construction activity on the planet Mars, on the Moon, and by latest reports, even on the moons of Jupiter.

The concept of pre-Adam civilizations was well accepted by early sages. Also in support of the notion of lost civilizations, we read in Psalms (105:8) the words: "He remembered His covenant forever - the Word he commanded for a thousand generations ..."The Talmud reveals that this verse indicates that G-d's Law, the Torah, was given to Moses and all the Hebrews at Mount Sinai after the elapse of 1,000 human generations. Since Moses was of the 26th generation following the first progenitor of the human race, this indicates some 974 generations before Adam.

There is a notable Biblical passage that may provide further evidence for pre-Adam races. Genesis 36: 31-39 gives the names of the kings who "...reigned in the land of Edom before a king reigned over the Children of Israel". With Adam, himself, being considered the first 'King of Israel', the hidden Kabbalistic explanation of this listing relates to the seven one thousand year rounds of the previous world, with the eighth king mentioned representing our current world -- he is the only one of the eight not to have died, and whose wife's name is also given. In Kabbalistic literature, the world of the Edomite kings who pre-dated Adam, is known as Olam HaTohu, literally, "world of emptiness", which is referred to at the beginning of the Bible, in Genesis 1:2: "...when the earth was empty...". (The word 'chaos' has also been taken as being a direct translation of Tohu.) This 'empty world' notion coincides very neatly with the Shemitah scenario which postulates a thousand year period of desolation at the close of each Sabbatical cycle.


Copyright 1997 Brian Crowley PO Box 651 Telze-Stone Israel 90838

Baruch (Brian) Crowley is the author of two books dealing with strange anomolies in NASA photographs of Mars that show what could be pyramids and what looks like a huge carved face staring out into space. Evidence for a former civilization...?

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