Thursday, December 06, 2007


Myths, symbolism, and folklore
sparks: symbolically speaking, tiny bits of actual light, floating upward from the domain of base matter into the higher realms - across the duality above/below. The duality spirit/matter, as it appears in Orphism, Pythagoreanism, Essnianism, and other philosophies and religions with Gnostic leanings, begins with the belief that minute bits of the divine spirit or of the ether are buried in us and that they attain the realm of light, as souls without bodies, when they have freed themselves from the "bondage of the flesh." The Chassidic mystic Rabbi Samuel Rav Shmelke of Mikulov (died 1778) formulated the duality as follows: "All souls are divine sparks. When any spark is sunk in the swamp and the mire, will we not feel sorrow for it? Will we not help it to free itself, so it can once more light up with its full brilliance? It is, after all, a part of God himself." (Biedermann)

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