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Cloudy Trophies

What the hand dare seize the fire?

Rating: 20 votes, 2.20 average.
Out, out, brief candle!

Ah yes, the flickering flame, such a symbol of ourselves, and of our world. Almost every religion attributes some symbolic meaning to this item, representing some form of synergy with a higher power to our mutual improvement - bringing, as it were, illumination to our personal darkness.

But is it an accurate representation of our situation? Is our existence, our personal reality, a flame? A single burst of energy in an otherwise eternal darkness? A candle in darkness illuminates only itself, and once extinguished is entirely forgotten. Is not that supremely sad? That all we see is ourselves, and that in the seeing we slowly reduce ourselves until we are nothing - consumed by the eternal night.

Yet what is that single twist of smoke that issues from the doomed candle? I, like Wordsworth, believe that something greater precedes us - the flame is our pre-life, and that which we call life is in reality our death-throes. For like the smoke, we move with a transient violence that soon defeats itself - surely a more fitting image than the steady flame?

But do we end? No! We become something more, something infinite - one with the darkness! The flame of pre-life is individuality, and the process is not one of self-destruction, but rather a progression from one of many to one being alone - a true realisation of Moksha? One with the night, beautiful and mysterious, and ever around us!

But, a candle can be relit..?


  1. andave_ya's Avatar
    To bring the dead to life
    Is no great magic.
    Few are wholly dead:
    Blow on a dead man's embers
    and a live flame will start.
    Robert Graves
  2. Virgil's Avatar
    Loki, you live in an era of electricity. I think the candle metaphor would be much more poignant when that is all one had for light in the evening. Really we can't imagine what it was like prior to electricity. If you've ever been in a power outage you might get an inkling, and even then you know that it will be short lived. I think the contrast of light and dark was way more tangible to people living over a 100 years ago.
  3. kiz_paws's Avatar
    And Loka, I think that when each little candle has burned its last in this existence, it joins that massive light that we hear about ... one candle at a time ...
  4. prendrelemick's Avatar
    I feel an Elton John song coming on
  5. a_little_wisp's Avatar

    And it seems to me you lived your life
    Like a candle in the wind
    Never knowing who to cling to
    When the rain set in
    And I would have liked to have known you
    But I was just a kid
    Your candle burned out long before
    Your legend ever did
    *Waves candle in the air*

    No, really, Lokasenna - this is a very interesting post- and very well written! For one, I love 'The Tyger'. Two, nice find, andave_ya. I do agree with Virgil, and...

    I don't think it's sad. I don't know - I think it's bold. That one little candle has a lot to do. Under the light of many candles, some of the greatest works of literature have been written, some of the greatest paintings have been painted - our lives may seem to go out as quickly as the light of the candle, may seem to be as fragile, but it's important that we don't think of life that way, that we are only small, flickering flames...

    But instead, that we try to live as stars, ever-shining boldly in the night. That's what makes our short lives worthwhile.

    And Elton John makes a good point you know - if we live that way, we are remembered.

    I... I want to hold off my sinking into the night for as long as I can.

    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.