Restore the Light

Jun 12, 2020


Today feels like the right day to revisit the story of Tikkun Olam as told by Rachel Naomi Remen:

In the beginning, there was only the holy darkness, the Ein Sof, the source of life. And then, in the course of history, at a moment in time, this world, the world of a thousand, thousand things, emerged from the heart of the holy darkness as a great ray of light. 

And then, perhaps because this is a Jewish story, there was an accident, and the vessels containing the light of the world, the wholeness of the world, broke. And the wholeness of the world, the light of the world was scattered into a thousand, thousand fragments of light, and they fell into all events and all people, where they remain deeply hidden until this very day.

Now, according to my grandfather, the whole human race is a response to this accident. We are here because we are born with the capacity to find the hidden light in all events and all people, to lift it up and make it visible once again and thereby to restore the innate wholeness of the world. It’s a very important story for our times. And this task is called tikkun olam in Hebrew. It’s the restoration of the world. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about how aptly this story captures the work ahead of us. The yoga tradition tells us these same things. We are here to contribute to the reparation of the world, to the restoration of the hidden light in all things and all people. 

We don’t have to do it all, we just have to do our part. How? By identifying our role, our capacity, our purpose, and being true to it.

Yes, the world is shattered, it is broken. And, yes, each of us has a part to play restoring it back to wholeness.



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