Long before anyone ever dreamed of a steam engine or a light bulb, the Zohar predicted an era when the world would be flooded with wisdom from below and wisdom from above.

It all begins with Noah and the Flood: “In the six hundredth year of the life of Noah…all wellsprings of the great deep burst open, and the windows of heaven were opened…”

Here’s how the Zohar interprets that: “In the six hundredth year of the sixth millennia the gates of wisdom above and the wellsprings of wisdom below will open, and the world will prepare to enter into the seventh millennia, just as a person prepares on the eve of Shabbat to enter Shabbat.”

When was the six hundredth year of the sixth millennia? That’s the year 5,600 on the Hebrew calendar. On the secular calendar, that’s the year 1840.

Now, that doesn’t sound like such a spectacular date. But it sits smack in the middle of the greatest shift in human history.

Here’s a chart that plots discovery and invention over world population. Guess which decade spikes to the top? The decade of 1840. Yes, the rain had begun to fall at least a century earlier. But by that date, the floodgates were opened wide and gushing.

The wellsprings of wisdom from below to which the Zohar refers turn out to be the technology, science and distance communications that burst open in a torrent unprecedented in all of history. Something we call the Industrial Revolution. And that created an entirely new world.

Am I exaggerating? Here’s a chart that shows how much wealth people had starting from the year one of the Common Era and up until our time. You’ll notice that there’s not much happening for most of this chart. That’s because, for most of time, most people had barely what they needed to survive, if that—the equivalent of you or I earning $200 a year.

And then, wealth, health and the quality of life explodes—at just the time that the Zohar predicts.

From Max Rosen, OurWorldInData.org
From Max Rosen, OurWorldInData.org

So what does technology, science and distance communications have to do with “preparing the world to enter into the seventh millennia”?

The seventh millennia is an era when the universe discovers its own oneness, a oneness that expresses exquisitely the oneness of its Creator. So we’re not talking so much about some revelation that pours down from above. We’re talking about the world opening up to its own truths.

For that to happen, yes, an inner wisdom from above must pour down—and that began with the Baal Shem Tov, a hundred years before 1840. But along with that, the wellsprings from below have to burst open. And that happens through science and technology—a new kind of science that discovers oneness wherever it looks, and a new kind of technology that ties us all together as one.