In the past 60 seconds, your body has undergone countless transformations. Your brain has received millions of bits of visual information, which are being processed (along with other sensory input) through countless neural mechanisms. Your heart has pumped around 80 times (an average resting number), sending 1.5 gallons through a complex network of blood vessels to deliver nutrients and oxygen throughout your body’s 37+ trillion cells. Meanwhile, your lungs have processed 7-8 liters of air, and your digestive and endocrine systems, along with others, have performed millions of unseen exchanges–all in support of your existence!
And although many of these functions are involuntary, or autonomic, the breakdown of even one of them could cause a collapse of the entire system.
This is what unity looks like on a small scale. But on Shavuot (the 6th-7th of Sivan) and the days around it, the world of illusion and separation gives way to the grandest unity of all. Because on this date over 3400 years ago, the Light of the Creator was fully revealed to every nation in every language, ushering in what Rav Berg called the gift of all the secrets in the Universe. This was the dawn of unity consciousness, or Tselem (which translates roughly to mean “in the image of the Creator”).
Tapping into this Tselem consciousness elevates us beyond intellectualizing or imagining our connection with the Light. Instead, we feel it… we know it… we BECOME it. We realize that we are not merely a shadow or an instrument of the Creator; we ARE the Creator!
Einstein, Hawking, and many others devoted years of their lives to the quest of finding a unified theory, or a theory of everything (featured in the movie by that name). Yet Kabbalah teaches that there is completeness and wholeness in the Light of the Creator. In fact, we ourselves are light-filled beings, right down to our DNA. Recent studies in biophotonics have shown that every living creature emits a low level of visible light, ranging from a few photons to up to 1000 or more photons per square centimeter of living tissue. So when someone tells you to “shine on,” they may mean it quite literally!
Recognizing our inner light helps us realize the power of receiving not for myself only, but rather for sharing with others as well. Because while a candle on a table may brighten a small room, a candle that lights other candles has the potential to illuminate without end! As Kabbalah teaches, this is how we become immortal–by doing work that lives beyond ourselves.
There are places where life is calling to us, where unity has given way to separation, sadness, and despair. Often, tragedies occur when the wholeness has been ignored, hidden, or forgotten. Yet we are each given a unique blend of passions, talents, skills, and opportunities through which our light can help illuminate the dark places in the world. To brighten them in ways that only we can!
This week, remember that the Creator lies not just “out there” but within YOU.
Where are the candles in the world that are asking for YOUR brand of light?
The more we connect to the source, the more we understand how inextricably linked we are to one another, to all of life, and to the entire cosmos. Our role is neither more nor less important than that of any other person. We breathe the same air, observe the same stars, and drink the same water from the same rains that have fallen on every great person who ever lived or will live. In other words, YOU have all the power you need to achieve, heal, or create anything you imagine!
Because during this time of Shavuot, it’s as though we are all still standing at Mount Sinai thousands of years ago, witnessing a radiance bright enough to ignite a million candles, starting with our own.