This is a concept from the Jewish tradition that I like.

In Hebrew, "tikkun" means restoration, repair, or healing. "Olam" is God's creation, the world, or the universe.

As human beings, we have a unique task: tikkun olam.

What I once read about tikkun olam, probably from a mysticist, struck me as beautiful:

Before the universe was, was God. And God was perfect. To create an imperfect universe, God shattered God's own perfection; the shards of light became the world. It is our task to help rebuild that perfection by picking up the pieces. This is tikkun olam.

Every soul has its own unique Tikkun - my Tikkun could very well conflict with your Tikkun. Our souls will continue to be reincarnated until their jobs are done.

A Tikkun doesn't have to be a good thing - it might be a component of a larger picture, a wider process, which in itself is what we would broadly class as "bad". This is in line with the Jewish belief that although God is often less than all loving and benevolent, he knows what he's doing.

Orthodox Jewish people often use the expression "Tikkun", or "this is my Tikkun" in very much the same way as people in the far east use the word "karma" - almost down to the shrugging of the shoulders...

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