Appendix E: Evolution

Published on 30 Mar 2008 at 7:08 am. Comments Off on Appendix E: Evolution.
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(from the perspective of Summa Metaphysica)

According to my reading of natural evolution, random genetic mutations provide a ‘menu’ for Quest-for-Potential∞ to “review” – and then select from – or “lock-in on” – a new ‘genetic line’ most likely to achieve optimal potential (which includes survival)…and then transpose the genetic change across the entire species, and possibly beyond that.

This ‘reading of the data’ would harmonize “punctuated equilibrium” nicely into an integrated theory.

This ‘reading of the data” through my lens of “Quest for Potential / Extraordinariation” would explain why we end up with thousands of species of (dainty and beautiful) butterflies – and not billions of species of (ultimate survivor) slugs.

end of Appendix E



Published on 29 Mar 2008 at 1:51 pm. Comments Off on Definitions.
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The origins of the cosmos.

The nature and dynamics of the cosmos.

Past, present and future overarching dynamics–
transcending, if necessary, time and space and matter.

Reconciling (asserted) God and religion in the face of evil.

The origins of the (asserted) Divine.

* * *

Summa Metaphysica proposes a Unified Theory
integrating the above.



Published on 29 Mar 2008 at 1:43 pm. Comments Off on Prelude.
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“A major intellectual triumph and
potential conceptual breakthrough”

– Professor John Wheeler
Professor Emeritus of Physics
Princeton University, 2008


This is a highly intuitive work attempting to advance our speculative conjecture about the cosmos – but fully comporting to our knowledge of the spectrum of various realities, across the sciences, both physical and social.

The work is written within a Jewish context,
but its motifs are universal.

If the construct proposed herein proves to ‘stand the test of time’, mainstream Jewish philosophy – and theology – will comport to its contours – and other belief systems will find ways to accommodate its assertions.

In due course… In due course…


note: There is a 5-page “Schematic”
re-capping both books starting on pg. 352
or by clicking below

Appendix B: Schematically


“A significant and possibly brand new way of seeing God and goodness as processes that can, in retrospect, be seen as embedded in the thrust of creation toward the (always still potential) fulfillment of potential… ”

– Edward L. Greenstein
Professor of Bible Tel Aviv University
Princeton University, 2008


Extension or Separate?

Published on 29 Mar 2008 at 12:57 pm. Comments Off on Extension or Separate?.
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Is the universe an extension of God

– or separate from God ?

“If you don’t see God everywhere,

you don’t see him anywhere”

– the Kotzke Rebbe
(1787 – 1859)

Note the following from Wikipedia 9/23/06:

(“The Besht”)

“The foundation-stone of Hasidism as laid down by Besht is a strongly marked panentheistic conception of God. He declared the whole universe, mind and matter, to be a manifestation of the Divine Being…. for nothing can be separated from God; all things are rather forms in which God reveals Himself…”

Note the following from Encyclopedia Judaica:

Creator and Universe

“‘The hasidic leader R. Menahem Mendel of Lubavich observes (Derekh Mitzvotekha (1911), 123) that the disciples of the Ba’al Shem Tov gave the “very profound” turn to the doctrine of the oneness of God so that it means not alone that He is unique, as the medieval thinkers said, but that He is all that is:…there is no other existence whatsoever apart from His existence, blessed be He. This is true unification…just as there was no existence apart from Him before the world was created so it is even now.” …as a corollary of hasidic pantheism (more correctly, panentheism)…’”

(author’s note: there are no extant writings of the Besht)

(see also Appendix F: Hasidic v. Kabbalistic)



Published on 29 Nov 2007 at 3:50 pm. Comments Off on Information.
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Books by David Birnbaum

Summa Metaphysica
…God and Evil
…God and Good


To contact the author:
fax: 212-398-9438

Book WebSites:

To contact the publisher:
Danny Levine, President & Publisher
5 West 30th Street
New York, NY 10001

phone: 212-695-6888
fax: 212-643-1044

To order online: ( Classics link )

Email Links will only work if you have ‘OUTLOOK’ or similar installed on your computer. Otherwise kindly copy and paste the email address into your preferred email application.


Appendix D: Consciousness

Published on 15 Nov 2007 at 11:25 am. Comments Off on Appendix D: Consciousness.
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Consciousness remains a vast unknown.

Above, in the main body of the book, I posit a “cumulative consciousness”. And this speculative conjecture is an integral part of my philosophical construct.

Now, we know from Astrophysics that
~half-a-billion years
after the Big Bang (with the Big Bang currently calculated at 13.7 billion years ago), Supernovas (collapsing hi-mass stars) started ‘creating/manufacturing/cooking’ the so-called heavier elements (elements heavier than #26 Iron) in their cores,
and then projected them outwards to the far reaches
of the universe.

These heavier Elements were, in turn, necessary building-blocks for LIFE.
Meaning, without the DEATH of the supernovas,
there would be no LIFE.
Meaning, on some level, from DEATH,
emerges (fuller and fuller) LIFE.
Now, we posit as a consistent theme throughout

that: the human parallels the cosmic.
The question is just exactly how.

So, we see from Astrophysics, that DEATH can
profoundly yield LIFE.
The question is:
Is there a parallel in human death?

So, perhaps, perhaps,
(individual) human death enhances the
cumulative cosmic consciousness.

This is fragile and dangerous terrain,
and I simply do not have a good intuitive feel here.
Hence, placement in an Appendix.

However, intriguingly,
Maimonides, Guide to the Perplexed,
from Friedlander’s translation,
Part I, 74, 7th argument:

“Amr, and therefore the souls of all the departed form only one being as has been explained by Ibn Bekr Ibn Al-zaig, and others who ventured to speak on these profound subjects. In short, such intricate disciplines, which our mind can scarcely comprehend, cannot furnish any principles for the explanation of other subjects.”

Somewhat cryptic, for sure, but positing that,
post-Death – all souls merge into one.
Now, Souls are certainly not necessarily Consciousness.

But, then again, maybe they are (very) closely

Thus, perhaps, the Death of an individual, somehow enhances the cumulative consciousness – on some level, however profound.

Perhaps, we should respectfully leave this particular matter (Consciousness) at that (for this treatise)…

end of Appendix D


About the Author

Published on 28 Feb 2007 at 3:03 pm. Comments Off on About the Author.
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David Birnbaum is known in academic circles as the author of the Summa Metaphysica series: an over-arching metaphysics. He is a graduate of Yeshiva Dov Revel, Yeshiva University High School, CCNY and Harvard.

God and Evil (1988), the first book in the landmark 2-book Summa Metaphysica series has been assigned as a Required Text at universities around the world, and was a Book of the Month feature selection of the Jewish Book Club. The work has gone through Five Printings and eighteen thousand copies.The author is known as a leading conceptual theorist.

The 2-volume Summa Metaphysica series was crafted over a twenty-five year period, 1981-1988 and then 2001-2007.

Thunderation!, Birnbaum’s integrated Jewish TimeLine work, was crafted in the 2005-2007 period.

David Birnbaum’s works have been used as course texts at Brandeis, Hebrew University, Yeshiva University, Hebrew Union College, Emory, JTS, Bar Ilan, and Union Theological Seminary, among others. His works have been reviewed by dozens of leading academic journals around the world.

He lives and works in Manhattan.

see also

note short-cut to Summa Metaphysica site:

Purchase God and Good


Appendix C: Extraordinariation

Published on 12 Feb 2007 at 1:55 am. Comments Off on Appendix C: Extraordinariation.
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To our readers:

Summa Metaphysica proposes the concept of Extraordinariation.
This concept is proposed and elaborated upon in the chapter
Mu: Cosmic Tool Kit: Shelf #2 above
(in the first section of this book, Cosmic Womb of Potential)

The following is a finale’ commentary piece on the theme



To say that the feeling in the listener’s soul at the climax of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is ‘perfect’ is drastic and degrading understatement. The meta-emotional human response to this piece of art (and it is not alone) is outside of perfection as it is outside of language. It is transcendent, extra, extraordinary.

It has been said that God is the ultimate artist, creating a world-dynamic with all the idiosyncrasies of complex art. To praise His work as being merely ‘perfect’ or ‘efficient’ is to miss its creative essence. It is to embrace the engineer while neglecting the artisan. This is a neglect bolstered by science and mathematics, disciplines whose unique understanding of the universe’s exactitude has been used to turn the focus from its delicate elegance. The cold progression of evolution engenders an appreciation for the lion’s strength, for the cheetah’s speed; the precision of physics provides a window into the flawlessness of our cosmos; but there is more.

Darwinian evolution need not have yielded the frail butterfly, the vulnerable dove; the Earth’s orbit need not have yielded the grace of changing seasons, snow-decorated forests. Indeed laws of nature and principles of physics need not have yielded complexity at all. Nevertheless, complexity permeates our world from subatomic particles to cosmic galaxies. It is this complexity that allows for the sophisticated beauty that stands in wait of our perception daily.

Yet the paradox of this complexity surfaces as we probe it more deeply. Structural biologists have shown that fundamental biology depends on predictable chemistry. Quantum mechanics has shown that chemistry, in turn, can be dissected into the physics that underlies it. Einstein showed that even within physics separations are an illusion. His special theory of relativity (1905) revealed that the division between space and time is artificial. His subsequent general theory of relativity (1915) showed the same of the distinction between space-time and matter.

Thus, the broad perspective reveals our world’s complexity while the deep, penetrating perspective reveals its unity. Stepping back, we appreciate worldly complexity, stepping close we are astounded by its unity. Such is the paradox. Complexity and unity challenge one another as they each thrust forward expanding their respective scopes simultaneously. New species are discovered as unified theorems are developed. This duality teases us with its plainness: we can only watch, spellbound, as our cosmos’ singularity and its nuance develop and unfold, hand-in-hand, before us. Herein lays the irony of our world’s progression: a relentless trajectory towards unbound extraordinariation.

end of Appendix C


Appendix B: Schematically

Published on 26 Dec 2006 at 12:03 pm. Comments Off on Appendix B: Schematically.
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(as introduction to this particular appendix, first let us take one more quick look at the Baal Shem Tov’s philosophy…

see –

lead paragraph

on the Baal Shem Tov’s doctrines

(a/k/a the BESHT’s doctrines)

in Wikipedia (Dec 20, 2006):

“Elements of Besht’s doctrines”

The foundation stone of Hasidism as laid by Besht is a strongly marked panentheistic conception of God. He declared the whole universe, mind and matter, to be a manifestation of the Divine Being; that this manifestation is not an emanation from God, as is the conception of the Kabbalah by Mitnagdim, for nothing can be separated from God: all things are rather forms in which God reveals Himself….”

* * * * * * * * *

Now, having the BESHT’s doctrine above for easy reference, to schematically outline what is happening as regards our formulation,

juxtaposed against other formulations

* * * * * * * * *


A = God

B = Man

AB = GodMan

* * * * * * * * *


encapsuled one core proposition:
God created Man (Aristotelian)

A created B


Lurianic Kabbalah:

encapsuled in one core proposition:
Man is an emanation from God
(sort of, from WITHIN God);

GOD WITHDRAWS to create Man


B comes from WITHIN A


Baal Shem Tov:

encapsuled in one core proposition:
All is a Manifestation OF God


A and B are part of AB


SUMMA / Birnbaum:

encapsuled in one core proposition:
Holy Quest for Potential (to the infinite recursive power) drives GOD, MAN and the COSMOS ever-forward towards EXTRAORDINARIATION.

Now, Summa Metaphysica lays the FORMULATION out in

18 multi-faceted propositions:

9 in the first book, God and Evil

9 in the second book, God and Good

But, let’s give you the “Monarch notes’

‘test-prep version’

on Summa / Birnbaum


Thus, to attempt to outline SUMMA in 6 quick propositions:



(the first part of this proposition has components
in-common with RASHI (‘na-asheh adahm b ‘zalmenu’ –
Let us make Man in our Image – Genesis), and with
Lurianic Kabbalah (En Sof…Sefirot)…aside from being
anchored in ‘Eheyeh Asher Eheyeh’ – Exodus)


Infinite Potentialities at the-end-of-the-rainbow (‘EXTRAORDINARIATION’), retroactively ignite Creation – and the Divine ‘spark’

(no tether)



(this is ~panentheistic, parallel to the BESHT)


We are all part of a grander, evolving COSMIC Consciousness.

(this has components in common with the BESHT and with the Jesuit renegade Teilhard)


Divine consciousness (the Godhead of the cumulative consciousness) withdraws to give greater freedom to MAN (an anchor of the proposed solution to theodicy in Book #1)

(this has components in common with the Torah’s Hester Panim (Hiding of the Divine Face) and with Lurianic Kabbalah tzimtzum)


ALL (AB) are on an ongoing journey towards EXTRAORDINARIATION.

(components ~in common with ‘Messianic era’)


end of Appendix B

< BACK to Appendix A

< BACK to Prelude


Download God and Good

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Available in sections or in whole.

Click on your desired section to Download
(or right-click and save on PC)

By section:
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Updated December 25, 2008