Analogy with the human being

February 8th 2011
You light a candle… Its flame will give out light as long as it is fed by the burning wax. This combustion is in a way a sacrifice. There can be no light without sacrifice. A fire needs to be fed, and the candlewax is that food. This you know. But what you don’t know is that human beings are rather like candles, for they possess all the materials needed to feed the flame within, namely, those of their lower nature – selfishness, aggression, sensuality, and so on. They must sacrifice them to keep the flame burning. Humans are prevented from making this sacrifice by their fear of disappearing. Of course, something of us will disappear, but that is what has to happen for something purer and more luminous to appear – just as when the candle’s physical substance disappears so that the light can continue to shine. You will say that after a while there is nothing left of the candle, and this is true. Human beings, however, can burn indefinitely. Once lit, they remain alight, for the fuel in them is inexhaustible.