Oh great Omar!
What’s the Divine Spark though?
According to gnostic traditions the divine spark is simply that portion of God that resides within us all. Okay. But… where did that come from? Well, old Hebrew manuscripts shine light on it of course.
“With the beginning of the manifestation of the Creator’s will- that is, when the Creator desired to create the world- a hard spark made an engraving upon the supernal Light. This hard spark emanated from the most concealed of all concealed things- from Ein Sof- and took shapeless form. The spark was then inserted into the center of a circle that was neither white nor black nor red nor green,nor any color at all. When He began its measurements, He created bright colors that shone into the empty space and the engraving. From within this hard spark a fountain spouted, from which the shades down below received their colors.”-The Zohar
This passage is what led Rabbi Luria to infer the concept of tzimtzum, which translates into “contraction” or “self-limitation.” Now this isn’t speaking on the Creation epoch in Genesis we think of. It’s speaking on an earlier, primordial event necessary for that creation to become possible.
There are two points in the Gospel of Thomas where Christ alludes to this level of understanding. In verse 19a He says “Blessed is one who existed before coming into being.” Genesis 1:1-2:3 is concerned with the creation of Light and primordial humanity being made in the Image of God, or image of Light, as in the Light of the human race. The second Biblical creation starts at Genesis 2:4 with the creation of the physical world:
“These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created…”-Genesis 2:4
Now we don’t see this Divine Spark clarified until Genesis 2:7:
“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”-Genesis 2:7
That breath of life, or נֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה (ne·phesh chay·yah) is quite the elusive phrase. We’ll skip Hebrew class today and highlight it for later debates. It’s mentioned here because this is the moment where God breathes that stream of consciousness- our souls- into physical being. Thus the Divine Spark of God enters into humanity.
According to Thomas, our ultimate goal as human beings is to transcend our physical natures and attain cosmic unity, or to enter into the condition of the first creation where nothing is separate. Everything actually exists in a perfect state of harmony. The reason we don’t see it is the same reason we can grasp that everything is molecules made up of mostly empty space but can’t walk through walls. We live in this reality and must adhere to the laws of said universe.
Our consciousness comes from beyond the physical world and will return to its source at the end of each life cycle. Er go, we existed before coming into being-
“There is light within a man of light, and he lights up all of the world.”– Gospel of Thomas 24
-That light exists within all things and it is our duty to learn how to radiate that light from creations first day outwards.
It is absolutely essential for the Kabbalist to grasp where this Light came into being from. Everything arose from a desire to be. All this means to we mystics is that in our seeking the Creator we are seeking the fulfillment of His desire for us. We do this by meditating on the forms of creation.
Yes. Each of the 10 sephirot can be seen as orbs of light. Meditation on these orbs of light in relation to our reality will reveal more than any book or lecture could ever hope to achieve. In doing so all the veils, limiting ideas and illusions of our waking minds begin to fade. I highly recommend making it a regular part of your spiritual practice.
I thank you all for your love and support. I hope these concepts illuminate your paths. Peace be with you.