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In the movie Kingdom of Heaven there's the following dialog:

Hospitaller: One may stare into the light, until one becomes the light. I've done it many times.

Balian of Ibelin: [throws a rock at a bush that catches fire by the spark] There's your religion. One spark, a creosote bush. There's your Moses. I did not hear it speak.

What did Balian mean? What does a creosote bush represent metaphorically?

This is the particular scene:

  • @steelerfan Kingdom of Heaven, sorry edited. – Aaron Sep 29 '15 at 2:28
  • There was a scientist arguing the burning bush might simply have been a combination of a hot day & the effect of a spark from a stone chip that ignited a plant that is chock full of flammable oils. Note that the plant in question logically could not have been a Larrea tridentata (creosote bush) since that is endemic to the Americas. – Andrew Thompson Sep 29 '15 at 3:00
  • "There was a scientist arguing.." Yes there it is, mentioned under Alternate theories in the Burning bush entry on Wikipedia - which lists the plant as Dictamnus. – Andrew Thompson Sep 29 '15 at 3:09
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Thanks to @AndrewThompson

Quote from wikipedia

As a powerful religious symbol, the burning bush represents many things to Jews, Christians and Muslims such as God's miraculous energy, sacred light, illumination, and the burning heart of purity, love and clarity. From a human standpoint, it also represents Moses' reverence and fear before the divine presence.

Throughout the movie, Balian was eager to find God and actually talk to him. He travelled from France to Jerusalem to do so, and in Jerusalem he did not find anything different. Hospitaller then tells him that holiness is in right action and protecting the ones that need help. Balian, still not able to talk to god doubts his presence and here lets off a rant about God and if he actually exists, since the fire from the burning bush apparantly dictates God's miraculous energy. Hospitaller replies that it does not mean that God does not exist.

Later in the Movie, Balian knowing that actually physically or mentally talking to God is impossible and when he is about to burn dead bodies to save the people, he says something along the lines of "If God does not understand this, then we need not worry since he is not God.

You can see later from the scene that the bush actually does not burn, instead just dislocates from its root and another flame starts up, indicating to Balian that God may do really exist.

Great movie.

  • "Thanks to @AndrewThompson" You're welcome. :) +1 for following the basic info. and working out the answer from that based on knowledge of the movie (which I have not seen). – Andrew Thompson Sep 29 '15 at 14:16

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