All this Kabbalistic stuff gets you wondering: Where is the center? Meaning, the origin, the hub, the nucleus—the dynamo vortex that makes all else move. Where does stuff begin?

It would seem everything begins from the moment now. Yes, there is something beyond the moment now—it’s not only the party-poopers, but even the Mishnah that says so: “Know that which is above you.”

But there’s more than one way to read that. When Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi returned from his first year of study with the Grand Maggid of Mezeritch, he brought back with him another way to read it:

“You need to know,” he said, “that all that is above is from you. The very existence of the sefirot that make the heavens function—it all depends upon the work of a created being here below.”1

As it turns out, everything that exists today—not only in our world, but in all the worlds beyond and even in the motherboard wiring of the cosmos—which implies all of the past as well (since the motherboard of the cosmos generates time, it’s obviously beyond time)—all of that emerges into existence according to what you, little critter, are doing here right now.

Nothing is more powerful than the moment now. That’s the epicenter. The past is dead, and the future is a mere twinkle in G‑d’s eye. The only thing alive, real, supple-green and growing is this moment now. So, from this moment now extends all movement and change.

“Hold it!” you protest. “Doesn’t it say ‘In the beginning G‑d created the heavens and the earth’?” Isn’t G‑d the Primal Cause, the Maker and Shaker, Doer and Gluer, Master Mover and Buck-Stops-Here High Command Central of all that happens?

Sure. But a mastermind has a vision. What’s the vision? It’s the vision of this moment now—when a critter in a critter-like world, struggling with a wild, critter-like animal burning inside, turns that critter-animal drive around and sits down to learn some kewl Kabbalah (like this stuff right now), to get reconnected with the G‑dly soul inside and out of all the stupid darkness all around, and then turn around and transform that stupid darkness into glorious G‑dly light, because after all there really is nothing else but His Infinite Oneness in all things (like it says in those Kabbalah books, and like the critter’s soul really believes). There, in the midst of envisaging that vision, G‑d says, “Y e a h!! Let’s make a world!”

According to the Grand Maggid, that’s the divine vision with which the first human being was created, and which each of us carry, because that is our purpose of being, like it says, “G‑d created man in His image.” What image? That image of inspiration that triggered off the whole thing to begin with.

Or another moment now: When the adam-critter is taking his hard-earned money that he really wants to hold on to ’cuz he has to pay off the credit card so he can afford to buy another one of those neat gadgets just released from KabbalaLabs—and instead, he writes out a big check to help pay off the rent of the single mother living downstairs, so she can use her savings to get the kids new clothes and gifts for Chanukah. And in the primordial vision of that moment, the Master-Mover-of-all-things-even-before-anything-was-created says, “What a high! Let’s make a world!”

As it turns out, everything starts from the moment now—’cuz that’s what inspired the whole thing to begin with.

But you still got a problem. ’Cuz you say, “So if He had this whole vision thing even before it happened, even before there was any world in existence, even any twinkly-winkly angels or sefirot or infinite lights, so He planned everything out for it to happen. And even if He gave us free choice, which I can’t understand but I’m going to have to surrender to, He still knows with certainty that it’s going to happen. And since, unlike with our humanly confoundable plans, there’s nothing that can stand in His way and prevent it from happening, so for Him it’s like it happened already. And if so, what on earth does He get out of watching something happen that He knew all along was going to happen?”

Which means you’re saying that the center is not the moment now, because everything really already happened already.

Well, you’re wrong. And all this extends from the state of not being G‑d. If you were G‑d, you would understand, “No no no—you don’t get it! The whole idea is to have it actually happen. Not actually as in “well, if I know it’s gonna happen and it’s gotta happen, so as far as I am concerned it already happened.” No! Really happen, as in down on the earthy wet soil of planet Earth in real time and real space, from the perspective of earthy time and space critters—that’s where it has to happen. Only then is there going to be that ultimate kick and that ultimate high.”


In the place where all things begin, there is no “why.” If there would be a why, the why would come before, and this would not be where things begin. Rather, this is where He decides, and that’s the way it is—and He decided He wants a real-time high. And when it reaches that point, and that moment now kicks in and the lady discovers her rent has been paid and exclaims, “Oy! Thank G‑d!”—that’s when all the heavens tip over to pour down their blessings (so the guy can get his gadgets after all), all the sefirot shine bright, and the Infinite Light bursts out through the darkness.

Because this is the moment for which all those heavens were brought into being. This is the hub.

There is nothing more powerful than the moment now.2