Moth and Flame analogy is also used to symbolize self-transformation. In a sufi story by Fariduddin Attar (adopted from the book, Essential Sufism), its described in this following fashion:
One night, the moths gathered together, tormented by their longing to unite themselves with the candle. They all said, ‘we must find someone to give us news of that for which we long so earnestly.’One of the moths then went to a castle and saw the light of a candle within. Upon returning he reported what he saw, but the wise moth said, ‘he has no real information to give about the candle.’

 Then another moth visited the candle, passed close to the light, drawing near to it and touching the flame with its wings. He too came back and explained something of what union with the candle meant, but the wise moth said to him, ‘your explanation is really worth no more than your comrade’s.’

A third moth rose up and threw himself violently into the candle’s flame. As he entered completely into its embrace, his members became glowing red like the flame itself. The wise moth saw from afar that the candle had identified the moth with itself and had given the moth its light. He said, ‘this moth alone understands that to which he has attained. None other knows it, and this is all.’


A gentle breeze flows as the night gently unfolds. The moon shines and infuses the darkness with life; crickets call for one another, an owl announces its presence.

I stand on the porch, an audience to the orchestra that permeates this evening. This is my time, a time where I relive the instances of the day that have passed. My thoughts are interrupted by the gentle fluttering against the window screen.

A Luna Moth struggles to get closer to a candle in the window. I wonder how God could make something so beautiful, yet something so easily fooled and swayed by a simple flame. Of all the celestial bodies that appear at night, this moth struggles to get closer to a light that doesn’t shepherd it on its journey, doesn’t reward it for its effort to get closer. It will flutter and struggle, and in the end die from its fascination with something it will never have. Such a shame… excerpt from here!


food for thought~ (allow me to ramble..   when I read the above … I was stirred…so many thoughts came into play)

I have often used the phrase… ‘like a moth to a flame’ as a way to describe one’s desire to be drawn to zen, enlightenment. But if you were out in the desert and your car broke down, and you had to walk to get help and you saw a light in the distance then you would naturally head that way.

I pass by the local church everyday, RBC (in riverside) and they built a light house out by the road. The ideology of this is great, for a lighthouse brings sailors home safely from the darkness. A guiding light, like drawing moths to a flame.

When I thought about the moth being consumed or burned by that which it was fascinated by, it reminds me of so many things that lure people into a trap that is harmful and or not good for them;

such as the sad fact that drugs plague nearly every community in the world. Knowing it is harmful to them yet they swarm to the nearest flame to be submersed in it.

Alcohol is another, I remember I use to bar hop when I was a younger man (perhaps we were seeking something) but I no longer desire to go to a honky tonk where drinking yourself into a coma or auto accident seems to be the norm. (I am usually the designated driver)

I am not perfect by no means and I don’t believe there are too many out there that are, so with that being said, we all have our flames. That which is not good for our health yet we dive into it uncaring of the outcome. (for me, cigars… I admit, I love them)

a candle has been lit
inside me,
for which
the sun
is a moth.

– Bahauddin Valad

be the flame, not the moth