One of my favorite storytellers – Rachel Naomi Remen, author of My Grandfather’s Blessings and Kitchen Table Wisdom did an interview with Krista Tippet on Speaking of Faith (now On Being). She told this story which I loved so much I transcribed it here for you!
Rachel Naomi Remen: Actually Krista this was my 4th birthday present, this story. In the beginning there was only the holy darkness – the einsof – 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. This is a very important story for our times. And this task is called tekunoh lam in Hebrew – it’s the restoration of the world, and this is of course a collective task, it involves all people who have ever born, all people presently alive, all people yet to be born, we are all healers of the world. And that story opens a sense of possibility it’s not about healing the world by making a huge difference its – about healing the world that touches you, that’s around you and that’s where our power is many people feel powerless in today’s situation.
Krista Tippet: Right, I mean when you use a phrase like that just out of nowhere – “heal the world” it sounds like a dream – right – a nice ideal – completely impossible
Rachel Naomi Remen: It’s a very old story – it comes from the 14th century. And it’s a different way of looking at our power and I suspect it has a key for us in our present situation –a very important key – I’m not a person who is a political person in the usual sense of that word but I think that we all feel that we are not enough to make a difference that we need to be more somehow, either wealthier or more educated or somehow or other – different then the people we are. And according to this story – we are exactly what’s needed, and to just wonder about that a little – what if we were exactly what’s needed? What then? How would I live if I was exactly what’s needed to heal the world?Tweet