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Zohar - I 050b – The allegory of the candle



Type of spiritual experience


This is beautiful - like poetry, savour every word!

Thy God = Higher spirit

The Three Candles - Marc Chagall

A description of the experience

Zohar I 50b [translated by Gershom Scholem] – The allegory of the candle

If we continue this thought, it can be said that he who cares to pierce into the mystery of the holy unity of God should consider the flame as it rises from a burning coal or candle.

There must always be some material substance from which the flame thus rises. In the flame itself may be seen two lights: the one white and glowing, the other black, or blue.

Of the two, the white light is the higher and rises unwavering.

Underneath it is the blue or black light upon which the other rests as on a support. The two are conjoined, the white reposing upon the throne of the black. The blue or black base is, likewise, connected to something beneath it, which feeds it and makes it to cling to the white light above.

At times this blue or black light turns red, but the light above remains constantly white. This lower light, at times black, at times blue, at times red, serves to link the white light above it with the material substance below to which it is bound and through which it keeps kindled.

This lower light is in its nature an instrument for destruction and death, devouring whatever comes near it.  But the white light above neither consumes nor demolishes, nor does it ever change.

Therefore Moses said ‘For the Lord thy God is a consuming fire” {Deuteronomy 4:24}, consuming actually, all that is beneath him; for this reason he said ‘thy God’ and not ‘our God’……

Only just perceptible above the white light and encompassing it, is  yet another Light, this one symbolising the supreme essence.  So does the aspiring flame symbolise the supernal mysteries of wisdom.

The source of the experience


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