Shattered light made whole

In Jewish mysticism there is a phase of Genesis called Tsim Tsum that names the looking glass from God. According to the cabalists, in order to give the world life, in order to effect creation, God must depart from the world God created. The creator must always exile himself from the creation for the creation to breathe. God contracts to make space so that the world can exist. But right before the departure, God (like a mother) stuffs divine light into vessels that will be left behind. The vessels cannot contain God’s light, and burst, and shards of light are scattered everywhere. Gershom Scholem explains that we spend our lives collecting the offspring of this light. We spend our lives trying to make what once was broken whole again. This, according to the cabalists, begins the history of trauma.
Sabrina Orah Mark for the Paris Review

Lee Krasner

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