The Point & Impression – 1:16

From the above, we understand that a central point, which contains an impression of the essential light of the soul remains. In the analogy of the teacher-student relationship, it is from this impression, this point, that the entire line of thought is drawn from the teacher to the student. Let us now examine exactly what this impression is.

As mentioned before, when the teacher “holds back” the broad and deep way of how he understands the subject, a central point remains. This point is the central “theme” or “point” of the concept and contains the entire concept within itself, in an implied, hidden manner. Only afterwards, when he concentrates on bringing out the point, is it possible for him to bring out a clear line of explanation from it, tailored to the capacity of the student. Now, when one explains a concept, he must use many words to bring it out. All the words of the explanation are “strung together” by the “line” of thought, which is an extension of the point and holds the thought together. This line is drawn out by going from point to point in the explanation, for a line is made up of many points. Each point along the line is one particular of the thought, and when they are strung together they make up a complete expression of the thought.

However, though the line of thought and the particular points which make it up, extend from their source in the central point, nevertheless, the central point is present throughout the entire continuum of the line from beginning to end. If this were not the case, neither the line nor its particulars could exist. This can be readily understood by the fact that in any action the central point must be present throughout.

It sometimes happens that a person goes to the refrigerator to take out something to munch on. He opens the refrigerator door and stands there with a blank expression on his face. He knows he must have come there for something, but he cannot remember what, so he makes an about face and goes back to the bedroom. The reason this happened is because he forgot the central point of why he went through all the particular points in the line of action which brought him to the refrigerator. Because he was distracted and forgot the point, the whole action was aborted. From this it is self understood that even when only the central point exists, before the line of action with all its particulars is drawn out, the entire line of action already exists as a heyulie-ability within the point.

In the same way, in the analogy of the teacher-student relationship, this central point includes within itself an impression of the entire depth and breadth of the teacher’s intellect, just as the brief teachings of the Mishnah imply the entire depth, length and breadth of the Talmud.

Another example of how the entire light is included in this impression is from a blueprint which includes the entire structure of the building in it, to the finest detail. It is from this blueprint that the contractors will build the building. Not a single detail of the building is missing from the blueprint. Nonetheless, a blueprint is not a building. It is just an impression of the architect’s imagination.

(A further example of an impression which includes the entire light, but in a way of greater concealment, is the analogy of a person who gestures a sign with his fingers, like the V for victory. This gesture is very meaningful to all who understand its symbolism, especially during times of adversity, but by itself it is nothing more than two fingers held up in the form of a V. It has no real co-relation to the concept being conveyed. Nonetheless, when this gesture was popularized by Sir Winston Churchill during the Second World War, it became a source of great hope and encouragement to millions of people throughout the world. This is similar to the analogy of someone who ties a string around his finger as a reminder of something. This little string might bring to mind very deep and profound concepts, but only to one who knows its meaning. The string itself is not at all related to the concepts, for after all, it is only a string.

An even greater example of concealment is the analogy of someone who throws a ball. Once the ball leaves the hand of the pitcher, it is totally separate and removed from him. Nonetheless, the power of movement of the pitcher is still invested in it. It is this power which propels the ball into the air.

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