Sparks from a fire

Sparks from a fire

Sparks from a fire

Yesterday on the way to work, I listened to the “Thought for the day” on Radio 4. This program allows people with a variety of beliefs to give a three or four minute talk on a subject of their choosing.  This particular talk was by the Rabbi Lionel Blue, and he talked about what a Kabbalist had told him about his view of God. The image he used was of God being nothing in the beginning, then withdrawing part of himself to leave a void. Into this void he sent divine sparks of himself.

According to the Kabbalist, the purpose of our creation is to allow these divine sparks to find their way back to God, to make him whole again.

It struck me how similar this is to the symbolism of the Mundaka Upanishad:

“This is the truth:
as from a blazing fire
thousands of flaming sparks come forth,
so from the imperishable, my friend,
various beings come forth and return there also.

There are many things that we would see differently, I certainly have trouble with the idea that God needs to be made whole. Even so this seems to be one of the occasions when truth is expressed by two ancient religions using the same picture and metaphore.


Image from Wikimedia Commons, and is reusable with attribution.

10 responses to “Sparks from a fire

  1. I agree, just as a fire remains whole, even when a spark flies high up into the air…away from its point of origin…so Beloved also does. He is whole…we are just those shining bits, seeking out our story. All the while…that eternal Fire…blazes on and on!

    I also agree that it is wonderful to find those common threads of belief. Seems that those steps very near to finding Sanatana Dharma often make very similar connections. Maybe this life or the next, those more primitive ways of understanding will fade into a fuller picture. Just as a child is born with limited senses and thereby an limited ability to understand this world…yet grows to become fully aware of its surroundings. May we all achieve such a full view and understanding of Beloved<3

    • Aum,
      Thank you L.E.,
      I think I was meant to see your comment at this time. I was just commenting on another blog about why we can laugh at the idea that “everybody who disagrees must be wrong”. I had missed out the important reason – how limited our understanding is compared to the glorious whole.

      • That I could be of some service to Beloved is more than I could ask for…I often put my hands in the air and say…use them…use me…I am Yours Beloved.

        I am at your feet, Beloved Everything.

  2. Thank you, Tandava, for continuing the effort toward Oneness in thought. Often there is stress on similarities just for the sake of trying to make a connection that is not necessarily there. But I believe you have pointed out true Unity of two philosophical systems. Religions are man-made. Truth is Eternal

  3. The whole world has come out of Brahman, still it is full
    – Brihadaranyaka upanishad
    In an empty jar there is air inside and outside similarly Brahman is we, what is within us and what is outside us.

    • Thank you syamukamath
      It also reminds me of this mantra:from the Ishavasya Upanishad:

      Om Puurnnam-Adah Puurnnam-Idam Puurnnaat-Purnnam-Udacyate
      Puurnnashya Puurnnam-Aadaaya Puurnnam-Eva-Avashissyate ||
      Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih ||

      Meaning:
      1: That is Full, This also is Full, From Fullness comes that Fullness,
      2: Taking Fullness from Fullness, Fullness indeed Remains.
      3: Om Peace, Peace, Peace.

  4. Pingback: Time: past, present, and future | Western Hindu

  5. Pingback: Forgiveness is Human but not Divine | homophilosophicus

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