Sunday, January 22, 2012
The Final Redemption in Judaism I
Our Prophets and Sages refer to the Final Redemption both in concrete and allegorical definitions, and there is nothing obscure or unclear about their meanings. Maimonides says that the Messianic era, as the time for the Final Redemption, starts when we individually and collectively truly love each other, just because. He points out that while the Second Temple was destroyed because of baseless and uncalled for hatred, the Third and permanent Temple of Jerusalem will be build because of selfless and unrestricted Love for each other. Again, we reaffirm the axiom that Love is the key to Redemption simply because Love does not coexist with anything different from its ways and attributes. It does not seem easy to love each other, otherwise we would have gained our Redemption long time ago; and we have to reflect thoroughly on why we don't love each other in the same way that the Creator loves His Creation.
The Prophet Isaiah speaks about the Final Redemption through impressive allegories such as the lion eating grass along with the lamb, in what our Sages call the total vanishing of the "evil inclination". In other words, our human free will is going to be able to naturally choose goodness all the time. The challenge we seem to face is how we get to that level of higher consciousness. How can we be capable to disregard or ignore evil in order to choose goodness all the time? How can we turn the wild untamed lion that represents ego out of control into a docile and obedient driving force always willing to pursue goodness for the sake of goodness? The answer to both questions is that we achieve it in a gradual process of refining all aspects and dimensions of consciousness. We have lions and wolves as well as sheep and lambs, as allegories to negative and positive traits that we must harmonize towards Love's ways and attributes. We do that precisely through Love's ways and attributes.
We mentioned before that our Sages say that those who want to be redeemed must prepare for their Redemption, in the same way that we do what we must in order to get what we need or want. There is no other way to do it. We prepare for what we desire with all our soul, heart and might, and the Torah commands us to do that referring to the Creator. This is not about a blind love or desire to be close to Him and His Love, but a genuine desire to know His ways and attributes as the means to love Him. Our Love for Him does not come from thoughts, emotions or feelings but from our discernment and knowledge of Him. Isaiah indicates that the only interest in the "end of times" as the Final Redemption will be the knowledge of God, which will cover the Earth as the water fills the bed of the oceans.
This is not an abstract knowledge of the Creator but a concrete awareness of His ways and attributes for us to emulate, and we achieve it when we act according to Love's ways and attributes. This is how we understand "loving each other" as the foundation of the highest awareness of our connection and relationship with God, represented by the Temple of Jerusalem. This is the context of our daily prayers when we ask the Creator to rebuild Jerusalem, because besides being the undivided capital of Israel it also represents a united consciousness in its highest knowledge of God.
We have said that the destructions of the First and the Second Temples were the result of doing the opposite to Love's attributes, and we will build the Third Temple by honoring Love's attributes as the ways of God's Love. We mentioned that in a gradual process we individually begin to ignore anything negative and focus on the positive, as a natural way to perceive and approach life and the material world. Most of what we call or see as evil or negative is the result of our own evil or negative approach. All the things we don't like in this world are the effect of either what we or others have done with the wrong attitude. Wars, hunger, slavery, exploitation and their synonyms are the result of egocentricity, and their opposites are the effect of mutual understanding and cooperation out of the common knowledge that these are synonyms of selfless Love.
The good news about the Final Redemption is that once we individually redirect all aspects of consciousness in Love's ways, God's Love does the rest as He promised in the Torah in through our Prophets. Once we choose to return to Him, He will release us from the mirages and fantasies of ego's materialistic desires. Some Sages say that the Final Redemption will come with a sudden and absolute change in human consciousness, in which we are not going to be able to tell the difference between before and after that change occurs. It will be as if evil and negativity have never existed, and we must prepare now in order to allow the imminent change to occur sooner than later. We don't need to wait for the Final Redemption as a Divine decree, but as a mutual agreement between our Love and God's Love; and it's up to us to start fulfilling the agreement because it is us who yearn for Redemption.
Let's start not only to "visualize" Love, peace and harmony among each other but to make it real through positive actions. In the same way that some say "let there be peace and let it start with me", we must say the same about Love and its ways and attributes not only as the right and proper things to do, but because Love is our true Essence and identity. Love is our greatest legacy and inheritance because Love is the portion that makes us happy and fulfilled. Our Sages say that "rich is the person who is happy with his/her lot". We have said many times that "lot" may mean who we are, what we have or the circumstances in which we live, but we believe that our true lot is the awareness of how close or far we are from God. In this sense our lot is Love as whom we are, what we have and the circumstances in which we are when Love is the guide and conductor of all aspects of our consciousness. This is the greatest fulfillment and happiness we can ever have. Final Redemption is at hand when Love is totally enthroned in our life.
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.