This year’s harrowing, seemingly never-ending series of wildfires in California have burned more than one million acres of land and devastated many lives. Two of the many fires were caused by single sparks: one was a spark caused by a flat tire, another from a spark ignited by the act of hammering a fence post into the ground. It demonstrates the power of a single spark in the physical world.
Everything in the physical world has a spiritual counterpart, something at the soul level. What are spiritual sparks, and how do they effect our lives? The 4000-year-old tradition of Kabbalah reveals it:
What Spiritual Sparks Are
The great Kabbalist Rabbi Isaac Luria taught that every object, force, and phenomenon in existence has a “spark of holiness” within it — a pinpoint of divinity that constitutes its soul, its spiritual essence and design. This spark embodies the higher plan and purpose of this thing, and its function within the big picture and overall purpose for creation. When a person utilizes any object or experience to serve a higher cause, he penetrates its outer shell of mundanity, revealing and realizing its inner essence.
Every soul on earth is allocated its own unique sparks scattered about that individual’s life span. These sparks are embedded in every object and experience we encounter in the world. Everything that comes your way in life contains these sparks — your home, relationships, furniture, work, car, food, entertainment, activities, travel destinations. You are charged with the responsibility to discover and reveal these sparks by directing all your activities to a higher, spiritual purpose.
It is to this end that we all have been dispersed across the face of earth: so that we may come in contact with the sparks of holiness that wait to be raised in every corner of the globe. These sparks are spiritual opportunities, brimming with potent energy waiting to be released. The sum total of these sparks define our missions in life: to redeem each of these sparks, by utilizing every situation and encounter toward a virtuous and transcendent objective. The soul’s mission is not complete until it has redeemed the sparks under its responsibility. Thus a person moves through life, impelled from place to place and from occupation to occupation by seemingly random forces; but everything is by divine providence, which guides every individual to those possessions and opportunities which carry the sparks related to that person’s soul.
How to Raise a Spark
Our work must not only consist of the “big things” in life, it must include all aspects, down to the smallest details. Nothing should remain neglected. Every part of our lives can and needs to be redeemed — each single spark matters.
The Kabbalah teaches us that we’re not alone in this world. We are channels for higher energy. Each of us has something to contribute that’s unique: we’re on a mission. And we are charged to use our strengths, our talents, our unique opportunities to reveal a deeper, spiritual dimension in everything we do; to spiritualize the material world we live in. For example: when we take the next bite of food in our mouths, it’s not just an act of sustenance or indulgence, but rather a spiritual act — there are spiritual sparks in that food waiting to be released by us. Every time we eat, we can do so with the intention to do good with the energy derived from our food; the sparks of holiness contained within this food are thus redeemed and unified with their source — and become part of refining our universe.
Every time you meet a new person or someone that you know, there’s a spark to be revealed or redeemed in that experience. This recognition transforms, in an unbelievably gratifying way, how we live our lives, and how we approach every one of our interactions. There are no random experiences. Wherever you go and whatever you do, there’s a spark waiting to bond and connect with you, and for you to bond and connect with it.
This also adds a sense of urgency, a sense of purpose to all that we do. Whatever you encounter in life — just imagine: that encounter was waiting from the beginning of time for you to elevate the experience to a higher level!
Exercise: Seek out the kernel of good in a situation or encounter. Raise the spark. Journal about it in your MyMLC journal.