Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I'll Take Some Bread Please!

For Latter-Day Saint the benefit of books like the Zohar is not so much that there is some new doctrine to be learned, it’s more that of gaining an added perspective on already established LDS doctrines. Take the following for example:


“There was a man who lived in the mountains. He knew nothing about those who lived in the city. He sowed wheat and ate kernels raw. One day he entered the city. They offered him good bread. The man asked “What is this for?”

They replied, “it’s bread, to eat” He ate, and it tasted very good. He asked, “What is it made of?”

They answered, “Wheat.” Later, they offered him thick loaves kneaded with oil. He tasted them, and asked, “And what are these made of?”

They answered, “Wheat.”

Later they offered him royal pastry kneaded with honey and oil. He asked, “And what are these made of?”

They answered, “Wheat.”

He said, “Surely I am the master of all these, since I eat the essence of all of these: wheat!”

Because of that view, he knew nothing of the delights of the world, which were lost on him. So it is with one who grasps the principles but is unaware of all those delectable delights deriving, diverging from that principle.” [1]


Break this down and it is pure LDS doctrine.

It says that things can be learned on four different levels.

These levels of understanding correspond to the four levels of man (three of glory, one without glory).

A stone exists on one level, it is hard and solid. On another level we can also understand that it is made of atoms mysteriously held together by a force. Then we can understand it is mostly just space with spinning particles within the atoms. Then we can understand that it only exists as strings from another dimension that vibrate to bring it into our existence.

The Doctrine and Covenants dovetails nicely here:

“All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence.” D&C93:30]

I am planning some posts that will build upon this idea. I think it is important to understand things on every level we can grasp.

[1] The Zohar, Volume One, Daniel Matt, Stanford University Press, PgXXV (introduction) (quoting: Zohar Vol. 2, pg 176, a-b).

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