The "universe unplugged" idea may sound pretty sci-fi, but really it comes from a Kabbalistic teaching of the Baal Shem Tov. Here's how it goes:

First you need to know that the ancient Kabbalistic work, "The Book of Formation," describes 22 forces that are the building blocks of the universe. The properties of each object and every event of the universe can be explained by understanding how some selection of these 22 forces combine to generate that particular object or event. That snowflake landing gently in your barren flowerpot is generated by one combination of forces, the worm shivering in the flowerpot by another, and each grain of earth in the pot by yet another. You yourself are also generated by a particular combination of forces. And the event itself requires its own matrix. These forces are continually combining and reorganizing to generate every event of your life and of everyone else's.

You may have realized that the Hebrew alphabet also has 22 letters. No coincidence there. The 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet are actual expressions of those 22 forces. The Midrash tells how Adam, the planet's first human consciousness, was able to perceive the matrix of forces particular to each of G_d's creations and thereby give each one its Hebrew name. Which means that the name something is called in classical Hebrew contains information about the sustaining force of that thing.

Now, some people might think that these 22 forces are a sort of glue that holds the particles of matter together. If so, this would mean that if the forces would disappear for a moment and return back to their source, we would be left with some sort of generic dust.

The Baal Shem Tov rejected this idea. He taught that matter itself, along with all physical law and even space and time are mere artifacts of these 22 forces. If the matrix of forces were removed from an object even for an instance, he taught, the matter, energy, space and time of that object would cease to exist. Not only would it be gone, it would never have been.

Here's an excerpt from Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi's presentation of the Baal Shem Tov's teaching in his book, "The Gate of Unity and Faith":

For if the letters were to depart for just an instant, G‑d forbid, and return to their source, all the heavens would become void and absolute nothingness. It would be as though they had never existed at all, exactly like before the utterance of "Let there be a sky."

The same applies to all created things in all the upper and lower worlds. It is so even in this physical earth—which appears totally void of expression: If the letters of the ten utterances by which the earth was created during the six days of creation were to depart from it for just an instant, G‑d forbid, it would revert to void and absolute nothingness— exactly like before the six days of creation.

You might be interested in listening in on a class on the first two chapters of this work. Just surf over to Shaar Hayichud Vehaemuna