At the mystical heart of each of the Abrahamic faiths lie teachings about the transformational power of fire and the identification of the Holy One with light. In Judaism, the Shekinah—the indwelling feminine presence of God—took the form of a pillar of fire at night to lead the Israelites through the desert. In the Christian tradition, God revealed Himself (sometimes as Herself) to the 12th century visionary, Hildegard of Bingen, as The Living Light. In the non-canonical Gospel of Thomas, Christ says that he is "the light that is above them all." In Sufi teaching the highest spiritual state is fana, the annihilation of the separate self in the fire of Divine Love, so that lover and Beloved become One Love.... May we let ourselves down into the arms of fire and allow it to melt the armor of our hearts. The excruciating fire of our loneliness and our fear of intimacy. The sweet fire of our longing for union with the Beloved.