"Breaking of the Vessels"

There is an ancient story from the Kaballah about how emanations from God created vessels of light in the world. Eventually, the existing vessels in the world overflowed and burst with the outpouring of spirit, dispersing both light and evil to all corners of the world—an allusion to the symbolic and psychological dissolution of the fixed and limiting patterns of thought (Watkins, 2004). 

Greetings all,

Eva mentioned this story in the first webinar and I suggested we might all want to familiarize ourselves with it before next week's webinar. A shattering of the psyche on some level is required in order for us each to transform, and perhaps, also, to fix the shattered world. A descent is necessary for a re-emergence/rebirth. 

One of the better sources I've seen for this story is Mary Watkins' article, "Liberating soul sparks: Psyche, classroom, and community," published in A. F. Dalke & B. Dixson (Eds.), Minding the light: Essays in friendly pedagogy (Peter Lang, publishers).

I'll quote a couple paragraphs here (p. 25). Please share any images or thoughts that arise for you as you read:

In the Beginning

God was everywhere. It is said that in order to create, God had to contract

and concentrate his being,  to inhale as it were, so that space for creation could

arise. Just as a garden holds the smell  of jasmine, even when the plant is removed,

this space of potential creation was suffused with the light  of God's

being. Creation occurred with a series of inhalations and exhalations. The emanations

of God's being first created Adam Kadmon, the primordial man. From

Adam's eyes, mouth, nostrils, and ears die light of God's being streamed forth.

This streaming created vessels of light in which more divine light could be contained

and differentiated. Initially  this process went  well, GUing three vessels.

But then, as die divine light came from Adam's eyes, it suddenly surged forth

with great intensity, breaking the fourth and the earlier vessels, shattering them,

and dispersing their light into all corners of the world. Both light  and evil were

strewn. The shards of light that lodged in each and every being and tiling were

hidden by shells or husks, k/eh)potb, that must be removed for the light to shine


Quakers experience this divine light or "that of God" within each being.

They often speak of this light as a divine seed. In interactions with others,

Quakers attempt to orient toward this divinity within die other. George Fox;,

die founder of Quakerism, instructs, "So feel the seed of God in every particular..

.and then ye come to be the bone of his bone and flesh  of his flesh" (Epistie

99, quoted in Brinton, EthicalMysticism 34). This practice, says Fox, allows us

to "answer that of God in every one" (quoted in Faith andPractice 66).

Through the eyes of Lima's story we can experience the way in which crea don

is unfinished and, thus, ongoing. This ongoing work of creation is  a work

of restoration, of liberating the hidden sparks of exiled divine light, Once these

sparks are gathered, it is believed that messianic time can begin, a time of peace,

plenty, justice, love, and at-home-ness. In other words, creation was not fmished

by God as imaged in Genesis, with man and woman spoiling it, falling

from a paradisiacal state. Creation was seen as continuing, requiring  us for its

f~1~lln1e in nt ways particular to each of our beings. The res toratioi~t hat Lurk

speaks of is not restoration to the past but toward the deeply desired. Luria's

myth works within an interdependent parxdigm of the self. where  there can be

no finat coming home for one  until the divinity that has been hidden and  exiled

is liberated in each and gathered together.

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  • Wednesday’s Musings….Synchronicity

    Broken vessels - my first awareness happened in San Francisco in 1994, suddenly, I felt compelled to go into a neat looking, small bookstore, my eyes fell upon the only book I purchased there – Inner Healing for Broken Vessels – Seven Steps to a Woman’s Way of Healing by Linda H. Hollies [1993 (3).  ISBN:0-8358-0670-7. 


    Linda Hollies Preface:

                “One day I walked into a curio shop and was immediately attracted to a beautiful gold vase.  I just knew it was too expensive, but the beauty was startling.  As I oohed and ahhed, I was afraid to pick it up and inquire about its price.  The salesperson approached me and asked if I was interested in such a rare find.  Hesitatingly, I confessed my inability to pay for such an article.  The salesperson said, “It’s on sale.”  As she picked up the fragile looking artefact and handed it to me, she told me to look at its interior.  Inside was a complexity of lines and scratches.  They told of the difficulty the designer had while trying to complete the vase.

                Immediately, the title of this book, Inner Healing for Broken Vessels, came to mind.  That vase tells the story of so many of us, who look good and together on the outside but have wounded interiors.  There are designer dresses, shoes, accessories, and perfumes to cover the broken hearts and crushed spirits of women.  Executive jobs and prestigious positions enfold many women who have wounds inside that none of us ever see.

                The ugly insides reduced the price of this vase until it now sits in my home.  Our wounds have given us value because God can now use us in the healing of others.  May this book serve as a source of your inner healing.


    Linda Hollies Closing Poem:

    The Broken Vessel

    By Andréa´ Crouch


                The Potter saw a vessel

                That was broken by the wind and rain

                And He sought with so much compassion

                to make it over again.


                Oh! I was that vessel

                That no one thought was good.

                I cried, “Lord, Your’re the Potter

                and I am the clay, make me over again, today.”


                Then God picked up all the pieces

                of my broken life that day.

                Then He made me a new vessel

                And revived my soul again.


    Peace + Love Linda


  • I googled Mary Watkins article and found her paper posted by Pacifica website -
    • Thank you so much, Lynn. Still perusing..fascinating article and ties the inner and outer worlds together...how the Vertical connections within us are then made horizontal connecting us back into community!

    • Thanks Lynn

  • Good morning - thank God this space, this sharing container and gathered together...for the Quaker's knowing + understanding brought forth and I noticed the words "die other" + "die founder" here when I read this before I retired.  I rarely have night dreams, mostly daydreams, and when I do have them, an increase in my body heat manifests and when I awaken from [or shall I more appropriately say - "in"] the dream - the content is:  I awoke @ 0330 and jotted this down in my private journal: "awoke from a dream about grey matter and the words [from where in the Bible about the Almond Tree?] came forth followed by a 7-11 store and I was asking myself what? and why was I there.  I had a release of heat, my hair was soaking wet, so I went to listen to the radio for distraction with a cup of coffee and the host was interviewing the guest, Susan Lindour [sp?] who is announced as a former CIA operative, whistle blower who worked with extreme radicalism and I thought to myself...why am I hearing this content...scribbled down some words...went back to bed and slept well.  I do admit, I am tired this morning, so I am simply going to have a leisurely morning, go listen to the birds singing...Peace + Love Linda 

  • This is marvelous and provactive, Bonnie and all...the possibilities are limitless...

    Speaking of which..one of the first resources that I stumbled upon in the early 80s was Jeff Love's book on Kabbalah "The Quantum Gods = The Origin and Nature of Matter and Consciousness" It is a very simplified introductiion to working with the Tree and the symbols. He begins with the 3 layers behind the veil of existence. These are:

    Ayn: Limitless - the Void

    Ayn Soph: Limitless and endless infinity / negative existence

    Ayn Soph Aur: Limitless Light

    From limitless light...the light, the divine light contracts into a point of light and thus begins the action that is the chain of "becoming"

    The Tree of Life is an Archetypal Map of the descent of Light/ the Divine into Material form.

    The myth of The Garden of Eden is an Allegorical map describing this splitting into the duality/polarity that is the descent into Matter.

    Creation is a process and Jung expressed the notion that we are an experiment. What happens when the Divine contracts and descends...light is splintered and each splintered Sphere "Sephira" contains a shard of this light...

    Our destiny is to reunite the shards or pieces of light and return to Union with our origins, thus the return to the Garden and to our Divine destiny as Gods.

    We could say that to know Itself, the divine has to separate, just as we separate over and over again throughout life; from our parents, our childhood in adolescence and in mid-life, we begin the return to our Source.

    Individuation is this process of re-connection with our Divine nature which Jung calls the "Self".

    We could say that the "Light" is analagous with "Spirit" and its intention is to arrive in the Material world and reunite with the light in Matter, Matter being the body, the earth, the Mother/Mater. When this physical vessel is imbued with and can once again contain the "light", we are returned to our natural state with the "Knowledge" of what we have learned on our journey integrated.

    The Shekinah is the Divine Archetypal Mother/Feminine that can be seen in the top Left Circle on the Tree of Life, when facing it. She is also called "Binah" and is the Archetypal representation of "Form". It is through her "dance' with the "Force' or action Masculine/Father who is Chokmah at the top Right Circle on the Tree. Above them, is the Kether the single first point of Light. Kether is the "Crown", Binah and Chokmash are respectively "Wisdom" and "Understanding"...the Three together form the Archetypal Triangle which finds its manifestation at the bottom of the Tree Malkuth "the Kingdom". Here is the redemption of the Light in Matter.. There is no accidental reference here to the last lines of the Lord's Prayer.

    When the Light of the Crown has reached the Kingdom, we have achieved out destiny, having brought Heaven to Earth and "As above, so below".

    The Shekinah  who is also the Sophia of the Gnostics has been redeemed when she arrives manifest in Matter.

    This can be seen more clearly by meditating on the image of the Tree of Life itself.

    It is good to remember as we do this, that "Kabbalah" means to receive and so, it will come on its own or as Bonnie has noted in "dreams".

    On that note, thank you all and thank you Bonnie, for beginning this "stream of consciousness" discussion..

    Now, back to the texts of Luria, Watkins and onward...to see what emerges.

    Thanks you for the connections to the source.

    Please everyone, toss your ideas, thoughts, images, dreams and musings into the vessel and let's see what emerges into form.

    I am most profoundly gratefully to all of you, to Bonnie and to the container that is this forum.

    • OMG Eva - to see your sharing of sacred understanding and knowing about the "Kabbalah" - your words:  

      "The Tree of Life is an Archetypal Map of the descent of Light/ the Divine into Material form.  The myth of The Garden of Eden is an Allegorical map describing this splitting into the duality/polarity that is the descent into Matter." hearing the tree paired with life with the Bible Genesis: Garden of Eden as myth plus your shared wisdom concerning the "Kabbalah" - all coming together now for me, will take this to morning coffee, bird singing too. I want to share a "broken vessel" event that occurred for me in San Francisco [attending an EMDR conference] back in early 2000 [?] that I now can understand too...beam me up Scotty..."tella-porta-potty" - my old way saying of trying to lighten up...and now I know these words were my way of getting back to Ponyrider - has that's changed now too?!!? Peace + Love Linda

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