Gershom Scholem – On the Kabbalah and its symbolism - Atoms and the Alphabet
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Gershom Scholem – On the Kabbalah and its symbolism
….. the original nature of the Torah seems reminiscent of Democritus' theory of the atoms.
The Greek word stoicheion has the meanings: letter and element, or atom. According to Democritus, the diverse attributes of things are explained by the diverse movements of the same atoms.
This concordance between letters as the elements of the world of language and atoms as the elements of reality was already noted by certain of the Greek philosophers.
Aristotle's succinct formulation: 'Tragedy and comedy come from the same letters,' not only amplified Democritus' idea but stated a principle which recurs in the Kabbalistic theory of the Torah; namely, that the same letters in different combinations reproduce the different aspects of the world.