This series of posts was written originally for a book I wrote called Soul Prints back in 2000.
This material, along with a few hundred other pages, did not make it into the book. I am now revisiting, rewriting and re-souling this torah for another set of books which are my small gift;
from my heart to yours.
One night, a mystic comes upon a man intensely searching the ground under a street lamp. “Did you lose something?” inquires the mystic. “Yes, my keys,” responds the man frantically. So the mystic bends down to help the man search. After much time, he finally asks, “Where exactly did you lose them?” The man responds: “Over there, in that dark field.” Confused, the mystic says, “Then why are you looking for them over here beneath the light?”
The man explains: “I can’t look there–it’s too dark!” â€¨â€¨Light is the primary image of the spirit. As Proverbs says, “The candle of God is the Soul of Man.” The Zohar, the foundational work of all Jewish mysticism, is literally translated as illumination. Indeed being enlightened is what Reb Tzadok HaCohen, one of the greatest mystical writers of the nineteenth century, calls he-arah – the ultimate goal of all spiritual work. â€¨â€¨Conventional wisdom teaches that light is the force that stands against the darkness.
And ultimately we inherited the belief that in the long run, good triumphs over bad and light dispels darkness. However, the kabbalists’ novel approach taught that the most potent light comes from darkness itself. As the wise King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes, “Wisdom is more powerful than folly, as light is more powerful than darkness.” The ancient kabbalists’ radically interpret this text. In Hebrew the word “than” can also be read “from.” Thus, they replaced each “than” in the sentence with a “from” and came up with the following axiom: “More powerful is wisdom that comes from folly and most powerful is the light that comes from the darkness.” According to the kabbalists, the highest source of light is darkness.
posted on marcgafni.com
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