Saturday 9 August 2014

We’re Angels With Only One Wing

We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can fly only by embracing each other, says, Luciano De Crescenzo. Though incomplete, by reaching out and connecting with others we can do wonderful things for each other, for the world. The story which the 16th century Jewish mystic Rabbi Issac Luria told can fit into place here.
In the beginning, there was only the holy darkness, the ‘Ein Sof’, the source of life. In order to make the human world, God had to contract, to withdraw into God’s self, to make a space. Into that space, the place of the human world, God sent forth 10 holy vessels which held His divine light. Had they all arrived intact, the world would have been perfect. But the vessels were too fragile to contain such powerful, divine light. They shattered, and all the holy sparks were scattered all over the place - like sand, like seeds, like stars, falling into all events and all people where they mostly remain deeply hidden until this very day.

This then, is our sacred task to – to gather the sparks, no matter where they are hidden. It is possible to do this because each person comes into being with the capacity to find the hidden light in all events and all people, to lift up and make it visible once again and thereby restore the innate wholeness of the world. The thing is that the nature of the wide dispersal of light makes it a collective task, involving all people; we must actively participate in this work of restoration or repair of our world that is called ‘tikkum olam’ in Hebrew.
From another tradition of another time, the story of the West African trickster character Anansi says much about the same thing. Long ago, Anansi had all the wisdom in the world stored in a huge pot that Nyame, the Sky God, had given him. Every day, Anansi looked into the pot and learned different things. The pot was full of wonderful ideas and skills. Actually Anansi had been instructed to share it with everyone, but he greedily thought, “No way will I share the treasure with everyone; I will keep all the wisdom for myself.” So, he planned to hide this from others, on the top of a very tall tree. He wound thick vines to make some strong rope, tying it firmly around the pot, and then around his waist so that the pot hung in front of him. He then started to climb the tree. He struggled as he climbed because the pot of wisdom kept getting into his way, bumping against his stomach. Anansi’s young son watched as his father struggled up the tree. Mischievously, he called out: “Don’t you realize that if you tie the pot to your back instead, it will be easier to cling to the tree and climb? And I thought you hold all the wisdom!” Anansi became more angry. “The young one thinks he knows more than I and here I am with the pot of all wisdom!” Seeing him slowing down, his son called out with the same advice again. In a fit of anger, Anansi flung down the pot which shattered, and pieces of wisdom flew in every direction, far and wide.

People found and gathered up the bits that scattered everywhere. Some found large pieces; some found tiny bits. That is why to this day no one person can have all the world’s wisdom. People everywhere need each other in order to be truly wise.

Source - Marguerite Theophil (The Speaking Tree, The Times of India, 08th August, 2014)

So lets gain Wisdom ......

Pooja Shukla 
Communication Skills Department

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