Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Song of Songs: The Love Story of God and Israel (XXVII)

“Your two breasts [are] like two fawns, twins of a gazelle. Your neck [is] like a tower of ivory. Your eyes [are like the] pools in Cheshbon by the gate of the daughter of a multitude. Your nose [is] like the tower of the Lebanon in front of the Damascus. Your head upon you [is] like [mount] Carmel, and the hair of your head [is] like purple. The king [is] bound in its locks. How beautiful you are, and how pleasant, oh love in delights! Your stature [is] like a date tree, and your breasts like clusters of grapes.” (7:4-8)

Again, God’s description of Israel’s material features as qualities evokes the structure or body of the Tabernacle and the Temple of Jerusalem. As we mentioned before, these allegories suggest a fusion between Israel and the Temple as a one in the spiritual bonding with God’s love.

“I said, ‘I will go up in the date tree, to hold on its branches, and let your breasts be as clusters of grapes, and the breath of your nose like [the scent of] apples. And your palate be like the choicest wine, going to My beloved in righteousness, causing the lips of the sleepers to speak’.” (7:9-10)

God reiterates His promise for Israel's final redemption and the Messianic era. In the time He considers proper, as the Jewish prophets have announced, God will reveal His presence in Zion as Jerusalem and its Temple. The latter referred here as the date tree in which He will be seen elevated.

“And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken! (…) together they shall sing, for they shall see eye to eye the Lord returning to Zion.” (Isaiah 40:5, 53:8)

There God’s love will bond with Israel’s love manifest with the highest traits and qualities as her branches, clusters of grapes, the goodness of her deeds and actions as the scent of her breath, and the delight of the rejoicing they cause in all the hearts, as the best of wines.

All the goodness of these traits, qualities, deeds and actions emanate as the flow of streams coming only from the righteousness of love. In the righteousness of Israel’s love the sleepers (the nations) will speak the ways and attributes of God’s love.

As we have seen, these verses allude to a new human consciousness that will be led only by the goodness of love’s ways and attributes destined to prevail in the material world, and directed by Israel as the inheritor of God’s final redemption for all humankind.

“And I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:26)

Here flesh represents life and the heart as the goodness that drives it. Existence has meaning because of goodness, for goodness gives meaning to existence. God’s promised new consciousness led only by goodness heralds His complete and eternal bonding with Israel, for it is the spiritual and material manifestation of God’s love as His spirit, glory, majesty, power, triumph, splendor, regency and greatness.

“(…) Says the Lord, ‘My spirit that is upon you, and My words that I have put in your mouth shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your offspring, nor from the mouth of your offspring’s offspring’, says the Lord, ‘from here to eternity’.” (Isaiah 59:21)

We all are here in this world to experience, learn, enjoy and manifest goodness as our essence and identity. We already said that goodness is the essence of the soul as an extension of God’s love, and we as souls are here to find ourselves in all aspects, facets and dimensions of life and the material world. Thus we reveal God’s blessings in all that is in us and our surroundings, for everything we perceive through our senses also has the purpose to be and have goodness, a grain of sand, a leave of grass, an ant or an elephant.

We have said that the purpose of the soul is to find itself in all expressions of God’s material creation, by seeing the hidden goodness of what we may perceive as opposite to it. Thus we understand our prophets’ messages about the Messianic era.

 “‘The wolf and the lamb will graze together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox; and dust will be the serpent's food. They will do no evil or harm in all My holy mountain’, says the Lord.” (Isaiah 65:25, 11:6)

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Song of Songs: The Love Story of God and Israel (XXVI)

“Return, return O Shulamith! Return, return, that we may gaze at you. What have you seen in the Shulamith, like a dance of the camps?” (Song of Songs 7:1)

The daughters of Jerusalem call up to Israel, urging her to return to her essence and true identity as her common bond with God’s love. Once we make the choice to abandon ego’s fantasies and illusions, and return to love’s ways and attributes as the means to follow God’s will, our higher traits and positive qualities support us in our journey back to God’s love. These know that God calls Israel the one who is all peace (Shulamith), for through the encompassing peace of love's ways and attributes we reach out to He whom peace belongs.

God asks the daughters of Jerusalem what do they see in the wholesomeness of Israel, like a dance in the camps. It is a rhetorical question, for they already know the goodness inherent to Israel. The two camps evoke the episode about the meeting of Esau and Jacob during the latter’s return to the land of Canaan (Genesis 32:2, 8).

There was and there is a clear distinction between the character traits of the two brothers, to the extreme that they are opposites. In this contrast, Israel’s wholesomeness is remembered in the last verse of the sixth chapter of this Song. It’s brought to relevance in the context of Israel and the nations. God praises Israel as the bearer of peace that belongs to her.

“How beautiful [were] your steps in sandals, O daughter of Nadib! The roundness of your sides [are] as jewels, the work of a master's hand!” (7:2)

Israel takes the steps of humbleness (represented by sandals) in their way to meet her Beloved, as the daughter of the Benefactor’s (Nadib) goodness and loving kindness. God remarks this time the beauty of the roundness of a body that epitomizes the grace of her traits and qualities as God’s attributes of compassion with which His hand forms and directs His entire creation.

“Your navel [is] like a round basin, where no mixed wine is lacking. Your womb [is like] a heap of wheat fenced with roses.” (7:3)

Israel’s “body” as the encompassing material expression of her spiritual identity is allegorically described as circular (“round”), meaning completeness and wholesomeness. Mixtures of wine usually refer to diversity of vines as multidimensional knowledge derived from the Torah that is the encompassing essence of the Jewish identity. Here the physical body reflects the material expressions of the spiritual body the Torah represents for Israel.

The womb (lit. the stomach) is the metaphor for the place where life is nurtured from its beginnings. Wheat is the quintessential food for feeding human life, and being mentioned here as a womb reinforces its life sustaining qualities. God describes Israel’s womb as a nurturing source to feed the goodness in life. It is “fenced” with roses as the beauty inherent to goodness.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Song of Songs: The Love Story of God and Israel (XXV)

“I knew not my soul, that my soul set me as chariots of my people, Nadib.” (6:12)

Israel answers to God's inquiries by admitting that in her long and dark exile she became alienated and assimilated enough to disregard her own soul. In exile, Israel has been prone to lose the awareness of her essence and true identity. Instead of assuming responsibility for her separation from God's ways and attributes, and the consequences of her negative choices, Israel blames Him for her predicament under the nations.

As we allow ego’s fantasies and illusions, these become the rulers of our free will. In this predicament we become vulnerable to others controlled by negative traits and trends. Our total freedom is in love’s ways and attributes, with which we are full and without lack. Thus we make them the rulers to bring the blessings God’s love wants us to enjoy in the material world and in all expressions of life.

We must be aware that we also can bless ourselves in order to be the blessing we want to be in order to be a blessing for others. Our thoughts, speech and actions have the potential to reflect our blessings or curses. Negative traits and trends are indeed curses that turn our self into evil for us and for others. Curses not only come from others or our midst, but also from our self. Thus we understand king David’s warning.

The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not. They have ears, but they hear not; neither is there any breath in their mouths. They that make them shall become like them; yea, everyone that trust in them.” (Psalms 135:15-18)

The idols as ego’s fantasies and illusions with their negative trends are the curses we bring to our self, that rule and control our thoughts, emotions, feelings, passion and instinct. As they turn us into them, we become either the epitome of lust, envy, coveting, wrath, haughtiness, indifference or indolence, among other cursing traits. Thus we realize that the blessings of love’s ways and attributes elevate us, while the curses of negative traits and trends keep us trapped in the shallowness and futility of ego’s fantasies and illusions.

We must be constantly bonding with goodness in order to allow the blessings flow in us, for us and for others, and fulfilling our soul’s purpose to make goodness prevail in human life and the material world. We maintain this constant flow by being and doing goodness, allowing our self to be its vessel and channel in the awareness that goodness comes from God’s love. Thus we understand that the cause of His creation is goodness, and the purpose and end of His creation is goodness, as it is written.

“Everything the Lord has made [is] for His sake.” (Proverbs 16:4)

And God saw everything that He made; and behold, very good.” (Genesis 1:31)

“(...) may the Lord rejoice in His works.” (Psalms 104:31)

Goodness indeed rejoices in goodness. As we have mentioned often, our total fulfillment in every aspect of life is complete only by the goodness that emanates from God’s love. We achieve this with our constant desire for goodness by bonding with His loving goodness.

“(…) You [God] open Your hand and satisfy the wanton of every living thing.” (Ibid. 145:16)

“The Lord wants those who revere Him, they who desire His loving kindness.” (Ibid 147:11)

Thus we also realize the transcendence of goodness, which makes it perfect.

“Everyone called [created] in My Name, and whom I have created for My honor [goodness], I have created him, I have shaped [perfected] Him.” (Isaiah 43:7)

Materialistic fantasies and illusions tamper the awareness of our essence and true identity, while love’s ways provide us the clarity to elevate our consciousness to higher realms where we are able to reveal God’s concealed presence. Prior to our journey to fully know God’s ways and attributes, we must know our own. Only then we can realize the strength of our awareness of love, the weaknesses of our fears and feelings of lack; the creative potentials to bring and manifest goodness in what we are and do, and the limitations of negative ideas, emotions and feelings.

Thus we learn what brings us closer to our Creator is goodness, and what separates us from Him is anything that is not good. Then we begin the journey to refine our consciousness and body by eliminating and avoiding negative traits; redirecting our basic drives, trends and creative potentials; and strengthening our positive qualities to guide all expressions of life.

This self-refinement process is indeed the premise to approach God’s ways and attributes, for as we have said, only through goodness we can bond with Him. Hence we engage in the knowledge of our self as goodness and inherently separated from anything different from goodness.

We must see our self as the soul that looks for its place in human life and this place is goodness, for goodness is from which the soul comes and its only reference to approach the material world. Thus we realize that the purpose of the soul is to find goodness as the place it knows before entering human consciousness.

Evidently, the material world is not suited for the loftiness of the soul, yet it looks forward to make the physical realm a reflection of the soul realm. Therefore we as the soul have to pursue goodness always and in all ways. Thus we assimilate that “the ways of the world are His” (Habakkuk 3:6), for all of them are the ways of His goodness. The soul finds its ways in the ways and attributes of its Creator, for which it is destined in the world.

“Certainly there is a spirit in man, and the breath of the Almighty gives them understanding.” (Job 32:8)

As we have indicated, the soul as pure intellect begins this process analyzing the nature of human consciousness by knowing the dynamics of positive and negative traits, and their expressions and effects; and selecting those that are compatible and inherent to the soul. It does so in every level of consciousness, from the mind and thoughts through emotions and feelings, passions and instincts, by separating from them anything opposite to goodness and love’s ways and attributes.

We must be as practical, empirical and pragmatic as we can be, in order to learn from the goodness of positive traits and actions, as well as their opposites. Thus we can effectively execute change in our consciousness and surroundings, unless we bind ourselves to the repetitive vicious circles of obsessions, attachments and addictions to destructive ideas, thoughts, emotions and feelings.

The soul is actually the one that directs the refinement of human consciousness towards its goal to bond permanently with the Creator, while dwelling in the world. We must not allow the soul as our essence and true identity be trapped in the negative ways and trends of ego’s fantasies and illusions, for these are not its place.

The soul gives us the intellect and its discernment to remove them completely in order to allow it manifest its divine origin and qualities, as extensions of God’s love. This is one of the meanings of Israel’s mission to build a place for God to dwell in our midst.

Israel recognizes before God (called here Nadib, Benefactor) her choice to falling into negative traits and trends. This falling (represented by her exile among the nations) turned into vassals (“chariots”) His people.

Monday, January 30, 2017

The Song of Songs: The Love Story of God and Israel (XXIV)

“Sixty are queens and eighty concubines, and maidens without number. One is My dove, My wholesome one. One is she of her mother, she is pure to the one who begot her. Daughters saw her and acclaimed her, queens and concubines, and they praise her.” (Song of Songs 6:8-9)

God's love also yearns for Israel's love, and distinguishes her among the nations (queens, concubines, and countless maidens). He exalts her as the true inheritor of her mother Jerusalem, as the highest level of our awareness of God's love.

The Torah that defines Israel's identity introduces her to the nations to respect, acclaim and praise her for what she is and represents for humankind and the world. This respect, acclaim and praise will be complete in the advent of the final redemption, and encompassing in the Messianic era.

“Who is this [she] looking forth as [compared to] the morning? Beautiful as the moon, clear as the sun, awe inspiring as an army with banners.” (6:10)

God continues praising Israel as His chosen nation to make for Him a place to dwell in the material world. Israel is destined to be the light of the nations as clear as the sun in the morning, bright and beautiful as the moon at night. Shinning as the sun, revered for the goodness of her traits and qualities with their awe inspiring material and spiritual expressions as banners of the Messianic era.

“I descended to the garden of nuts to look on the buds of the valley, to see whether the vine has budded, the pomegranates in flower.” (6:11)

God also “descends” to evaluate how much the nations and humankind have learned from Israel's contributions to make human life a more pleasant and joyful journey in the world. In this verse God refers to Israel as His garden of nuts, vines and pomegranates to see her blossoming and flourishing amid her exile among the nations.

The Creator knows the qualities, traits and trends of human consciousness, for He endowed it with free will to choose between the goodness of love’s ways and attributes or the negative expressions of ego’s materialistic fantasies and illusions.

We have mentioned often that we truly exercise free will as long as we are properly informed about the choices we have and their effects, results and consequences. Thus we realize that life is indeed a learning process, whose ultimate destiny is to be, to have and manifest goodness as the sole purpose of God’s creation.

We also become aware that evil exists as a reference to choose goodness, and that wickedness is something we can overcome and eliminate from us and our midst. One of the most misunderstood verses in the Torah speaks about this.

“For the desire of man’s heart is evil from his youth.” (Genesis 8:21)

The context of “youth” is presented here as ignorance, inexperience, clumsiness, foolishness, inability and incapacity as lack of knowledge to make the right choices, and to fully assimilate the dynamics of human consciousness in the material world.

Thus we understand evil as a negative tendency based or generated by poor judgment on what is supposed to be right or wrong. However, this may not be applicable for those who knowingly and purposely make evil a choice and not a reference, and see nothing valuable in goodness even being fully aware that they can’t live without it.

This does not mean that man has the natural tendency to be evil or do evil from his birth or youth, but to make negative choices based on immaturity, lack of knowledge or adequate information to wisely exercise his free will.

This verse is a direct admonition and warning that since early childhood we must receive and/or give the best possible intellectual, moral, ethical, mental and emotional education the Torah commands us to acquire for ourselves, our offspring and others, in order to make goodness “the desire of our heart” since the moment we are conscious of life.

Goodness is our essence, true identity and common bond with our Creator, and what we are destined to be and do in the world. Thus we also understand why God created man in His image and likeness. This is the foundation of His covenant with Israel, as an eternal bond of love, in order to harvest “the budded vine and blossomed pomegranates” as the future expressions of goodness once we enter the fields and gardens awaiting us in our final redemption. Thus we realize goodness as the light the Torah and our prophets refer to.

I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness, and I hold in your hand and keep you, and make you a covenant for the people, and a light of the nations.” (Isaiah 42:6)

And He said, ‘It has been a light thing that you are to Me for a servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and the preserved of Israel to bring back. And I have given you for a light of the nations, to be My redemption to the ends of the earth’.” (Ibid. 49:6)

Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.” (Ibid. 60:3)

Israel is close and dear to God for precisely embracing her mission to be a light for the nations, for she has been commanded to make a place for Him to dwell among (in) us.

And they have made for Me a sanctuary, and I have dwell among [in] them.” (Exodus 25:8)

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Song of Songs: The Love Story of God and Israel (XXIII)

“I am my Beloved's and my Beloved is mine, who feeds among the roses.” (Song of Songs 6:3)

Israel knows her Beloved and His dwellings, for both belong to each other and share their common bonds founded on the goodness of love's ways and attributes, from which God nurtures His creation with His constant blessings as roses to pick from His garden. As it has been mentioned, the Creator shares this garden with Israel as His partner in bestowing the blessings to make goodness prevail in the material world.

“You are beautiful, My beloved, as Tirzah. Comely as Jerusalem, owe inspiring as an army with banners.” (6:4)

God recognizes and praises Israel's love as her desire (“Tirzah”) to bond with His love. Also reiterates His love comparing her to Jerusalem. We can understand Tirzah as the motivation and determination, desire and willingness to fulfill Israel's destiny to be the guiding light for the nations.

In this sense Jerusalem represents the fulfillment of this destiny. Once achieved, it is as imposing and compelling as an army whose high banners of loving kindness, righteousness, compassion, fairness, truth and peace inspire the nations to revere them. Thus the nations make them their principles and values to live for.

God compares Israel to Jerusalem as one and the same, for the love He shares with Israel inspires the nations to follow her in the elimination of evil and negative traits from human consciousness, initiating the final redemption and the establishment of the Messianic era.

In these coming times, the highest level of consciousness where love leads all aspects, facets and dimensions of life, inspires and evokes the complying and reverence of the lower levels arousing their desire to follow its ways and directions to rejoice in their goodness.

“Turn Your eyes away from me, for they have made me proud. Your hair [is] as a flock of goats streaming down from Gilead. Your teeth [are] like a flock of sheep coming up from the washing. All of them wholesome, forming twins, and there is none missing among them. Your temples are like a slice of pomegranate from behind your veil.” (6:5-7)

Israel confesses that God's love led her to become haughty. This haughtiness turned her to materialistic desires out of ego's fantasies and illusions of grandeur. We can also understand this first sentence as Israel's difficulty to fully assimilate and bear with the overwhelming qualities of God's love for the human consciousness. Thus, leading her to follow the profane ways of the nations.

Returning to her natural humbleness, Israel evades God's love for feeling unworthy of it. At the same time, she yearns and evokes the beauty and delight of her rejoicing in bonding with His love in the inner chamber of their Temple, as metaphorically described in the previous chapters.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Song of Songs: The Love Story of God and Israel (XXII)

“His cheeks [are] like a bed of spices, towers of perfumes. His lips [are] like roses dripping flowing myrrh. His arms are rods of gold, set with diamonds. His body shinning ivory covered by sapphires. His legs [are] pillars of marble set upon sockets of fine gold. His appearance [is] like Lebanon, choicest among cedars.” (Song of Songs 5:12-15)

Israel continues evoking God and her bonding with His love now in the inner chamber of the Temple, allegorically described as a human body. This allegory suggests empathy and admiration for God's ways and attributes as if they were countenance, lips, arms, legs and presence. All these joined with their scents, fragrances as expressions (arms, body, legs and appearance) of His goodness as the finest gold and precious stones, and radiantly beautiful.

As we empathize with the expressions of God's ways and attributes, we also experience oneness with the place and circumstances we are in. Thus the place, the time and the elements involved become as one and the same. God is in the Temple, and is also the Temple and what is in it, as these verses suggest. This principle also extends to all His creation, if we are able to assimilate it.

Israel knows this in her soul and in her heart, for she has lived with, by and in God's love. Such is her answer to the traits and qualities of goodness set in the higher level of our consciousness, as the daughters of Jerusalem.

“His palate is sweetness, and all of Him is delightful. This is my Beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem!” (5:16)

Now these sublime traits and qualities ask Israel as the conscious self where her Beloved has gone.

“Where has your Beloved gone, O beautiful among women? Where has your Beloved turned, that we may seek Him with you? My Beloved has descended to His garden, to the beds of fragrances, to delight in the gardens and to pick up roses.” (6:1-2)

The questions are directed not only to our awareness of free will, but to our essence and true identity that make us separate from the lower levels of consciousness (the nations as “women”) and be chosen to belong to the higher levels. This essence is what distinguishes Israel as “beautiful among women”.

Israel, as conscious self-endowed with free will, must have the initiative and willingness to firmly take the steps to return to God's ways. The daughters of Jerusalem as our highest values and principles as well as the positive and uplifting traits and trends, follow through and stand by us in our firm determination to return to the permanent awareness of our connection with God.

We certainly know “where” our Creator, partner, beloved and husband is. He is not hidden or concealed from us, for it is us who separate and hide from Him and His promised final redemption. Once we have the willingness and determination to abandon ego's fantasies and negative trends, and embrace love's ways and attributes, we will be back in the garden where our Beloved delights bestowing His loving kindness and truth to His creation.

Israel knows that God has already descended to the place of our bonding with Him, waiting for us to do our part and return to Him. In the second verse the garden is an allegory of the Temple of Jerusalem, and in this instance represents the highest level of consciousness where we must ascend by enthroning love's ways and attributes to rule and lead every aspect and facet of life. It also refers to the idyllic garden of Eden where only goodness directs life, as promised by God to also be in Messianic times.

“Return to Me, and I will return to you.” (Malachi 3:7)

Our ascending love embraces God's descending love to graze together in the gardens and to pick roses. Here we see the gardens as a reference to the new dimensions in consciousness inherent to the Messianic era, where new expressions of the goodness of God's love will be gathered as the roses He will descend to pick.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

The Song of Songs: The Love Story of God and Israel (XXI)

“My Beloved is clear and ruddy, preeminent above a myriad! His head [is] finest gold, His locks [are as if] flowing, black as raven. His eyes [are like] doves besides streams of water, bathing in milk, sitting in fullness.” (Song of Songs, 5:10-12)

Israel responds that she knows God quite well, and can recognize Him in the countless multitude of His creation. Israel knows that He is actually present and evident as the Creator of all that is, who controls and directs His creation.

This evident presence is what makes God “clear” and alive as the ruddy blood flowing in our body. Hence He is preeminent and conspicuous above the multitude of His creation we are able to see with human eyes.

The allegory continues describing God as the cause and source of all as the highest and exalted as the finest gold can represent. Cause and source of all as the “head” that rules above all.

The flowing hair as wavy symbolizes the eternal and endless dimensions that emanate from God's plan and will for His creation, unfathomable to us as the shinning blackness of the raven's feathers.

God's love “eyes” for goodness and its expressions in His creation, flowing and moving free as “doves” that drink the living waters of His ways and attributes, from which all is created and nurtured. This sustenance is also the “milk” with which we are also renewed and revitalized every moment, as the source of our fullness and plenitude in which we abode.

The streams of water and ponds of milk are the wisdom and knowledge of the Torah God gave to Israel as their wedlock that constitutes the fullness where we sit as Israel's love embraces God's love.

Our human perception is conditioned according to our circumstances, either filled and approached with love's ways and attributes or with the limitations of ego's fantasies and illusions. God's love indeed sustains and fills all His creation.

“All the earth is full of His glory!” (Isaiah 6:3)

We become aware of the perfection of God's creation when we begin to approach it through a selfless perception, realizing that everything comes from God's love; and that love is the driving force that unites all, sustains all, and fills all to perfection.

Only in our complete awareness of love as our essence and true identity, we will be able to fully relate to God's love as the source and sustenance of all that exists. We begin to relate to God's creation through the eyes of love's ways and attributes. Then we realize that love is what connects, binds, unites and harmonizes everything.

Thus we will approach each other and our surroundings with loving kindness, grace, compassion, cooperation and empathy, coexisting in harmony and peace. As this awareness becomes permanent in our consciousness, we begin to live our final redemption and enter the Messianic era.

From the Book's Foreword

Let's reexamine our ancestral memory, intellect, feelings, emotions and passions. Let's wake them up to our true Essence. Let us engage in the delightful awareness of Love as the Essence of G-d. The way this book is written is to reaffirm and reiterate its purpose, so it presents its message and content in a recurrent way. This is exactly its purpose, to restate the same Truth originally proclaimed by our Holy Scriptures, Prophets and Sages. Our purpose is to firmly enthrone G-d's Love in all dimensions of our consciousness, and by doing it we will fulfill His Promise that He may dwell with us on Earth forever. Let's discover together the hidden message of our ancient Scriptures and Sages. In that journey, let's realize Love as our Divine Essence, what we call in this book the revealed Light of Redemption in the Messianic era.