From Religious Form, Chinese Time and the Redemption of the Sparks

This week our first contribution is a recent talk by Reza Shah-Kazemi, “From Religious Form to Spiritual Essence: Esoteric Perspectives on Islam and Christianity,” dealing in particular with insights from Ibn Arabi and Meister Eckhart:

We call this humility ‘radical’ because it goes to the very root of our existence, or rather, it uncovers the fundamental ambiguity of our existence: that we are at once pure nothingness and pure Being. The gnostics, the true knowers, are aware that their true identity is the Real… they recognize themselves in the Light which they discover in the depths of their hearts.

From the Philippines, an article by Manuel Dy, Jr. on “The Chinese View of Time”:

Just as a good teacher “reviews the old so as to find out the new,” so also time creatively reappropriates or recuperates the past, instead of merely reinstalling or destroying it.

And finally an article by Louis Jacobs surveying and explaining the crucial kabbalistic doctrine of the “uplifting of sparks” (birur hanitzutzot), as part of the ongoing “reparation of the world” (tikun olam):

We find many a hasidic tale of a master being propelled by a force beyond his control to journey to distant places for no other purpose than to carry out there some task, otherwise neutral or insignificant, that would have the effect of rescuing the holy sparks held there captive by the kelipot—these sparks awaiting the coming of the one rescuer whose soul-root is close to them in the divine scheme.