“And he [Jacob] arrived at the place and lodged there because the sun had set, and he took of the stones of the place and placed them at [lit. of] his head, and he lay down in that place.” (Genesis 28:11)
Our Jewish oral tradition and sages refer to the stones with different meanings, ranging from protecting Jacob from the wild animals around to symbolizing his children, and also to mark the place where the Temple of Jerusalem was going to be built. In a deeper meaning, they also represent the material aspects of life that we gather together in order to serve God.
The literal meaning of placing the stones of his head leads to understand that they too correspond to traits, qualities and characteristics inherent to discernment, thought, emotions, feelings, passion and instinct.
In this context, we have to gather them together in order to introduce ourselves as a unified functioning consciousness before God. In this wholesomeness and completeness we conduct ourselves toward fulfilling the destiny that God offers us in the material world.
This is the place where we either stand or lay down in our consciousness. In this sense, these stones are also the potentially positive and building qualities represented by the Jewish tribes, with which the children of Israel build the Temple of Jerusalem as the permanent connecting time and space with God.
“(...) the land upon which you are lying to you I will give it, and to your seed.” (29:13)
The land as the awareness of our permanent bond with God.
“And behold, I am with you, and I will guard you wherever you go (...)” (29:15)
Certainly we must make this awareness permanent as real as it is.
Most of the time we live unaware that God is the reason and meaning of all that exists, for we are captive under to the illusions as dreams that separate us from our essence and true identity.
“And Jacob awakened from his sleep, and he said, 'Indeed, the Lord is in this place, and I did not know [it]'.” (29:16)
Jacob's words want to remind us that we have to know who we are and our purpose in this world. In order to achieve this permanent awareness we have to unify all aspects, levels and dimensions of consciousness. These are the “stones” that are “at” or “of” our head that we gather (“take”) at the “place” where we unite with God. In this process we turn these stones into a single one.
“(...) and he took the stone that he had placed at his head, and he set it up as a monument, and he poured oil on top of it.” (29:18)
The Torah clearly tells us that the stones became one after Jacob's dream.
The lesson is repeated again to teach us that, in order to come to God's house as the permanent bond with Him, we have to unify and harmonize our consciousness. We do it through love as the material manifestation of God's love, for the purpose of love's ways and attributes as the means to fulfill God's will.
“And he named the place Bet-El, but Luz was originally the name of the city.” (29:19)
Interestingly, luz means light in Spanish and indeed there is true light in the house of God! Our father Jacob called it by the real meaning of light as the place where the Creator dwells.
The Torah refers to it as “the name of the city”. As we have pointed out in this blog, our mystic sages teach that cities symbolize principles, values and fundamentals in which consciousness directs its expression. Hence light/love as the awareness of God's love within us is the keystone/cornerstone that unites all aspects and dimensions of consciousness, where we “pour oil” as knowledge to light up our conscious connection with God.
We build our entire existence on this permanent awareness where we establish and recognize our eternal bond with God.
“And Jacob uttered a vow, saying, 'If God will be with me, and He will guard me on this way, upon which I am going, and He will give me bread to eat and a garment to wear; and if I return in peace to my father's house, and the Lord will be my God.” (29:20-21)
In this bond we realize that God is our shield against the illusion of ego's insatiable belief and feeling of lack.
Love always satiates our hunger and thirst of its ways and attributes because love is the true sustenance of all aspects of consciousness. Love generates the bread to eat and the garment to wear. Thus we return to our true identity, the essence from which we are born, “my father's house”.
In this functioning united and harmonized consciousness the Lord is my God, the reason, the meaning and the purpose of life.
This is the unified consciousness that becomes one stone where we are completely aware that all comes from God and is sustained by His love. Here we truly know that all we are, have and do belong to God, therefore we “give” it back to Him. This is a timeless and eternal space when and where we live in God's place.
This is the fundamental stone on which the structure of our life is built upon. This is the temple where we fully experience love as our common bond with God's love.
“Then this stone, which I have placed as a monument, shall be a house of God, and everything that You give me, I will surely tithe [back] to You'.” (29:22)
This awareness is “the ladder” that connects our love with God's love. We said before about this portion of the Torah (see in our blog our commentary on Vayeitzei: “The House of God's love” of November 27, 2011) that the angels who descend and ascend through this ladder represent the blessings of God's love for us as the angels that descend, and our good deeds motivated by God's ways and attributes (God's love manifest in the material world) are the angels that ascend back to Him.
This is indeed the dynamics of our relationship with Him. God loves us in order to make us aware that His love is our essence and true identity, so we manifest who we really are as loving creatures. As we realize this truth, we begin to fulfill our purpose in life as His will.
Our father Jacob teaches us that we go out (vayeitzei) from the awareness of who we are as creatures of God's love into the world where we encounter material fantasies and illusions that darken the real meaning and purpose of life.
As long as we have a clear and unquestionable awareness of love's ways as the light that dissipates the darkness of ego's separatist agenda, we have nothing to doubt, disbelieve or fear, because we know that God's love sustains our love.
Again, let's bear always in mind, heart and soul that as long as we discern, think, feel, sense, speak and act in, with and for love's sake we are not only being who we really are but also fulfilling God's ways and attributes as His will in His creation. Let's be love to transform that which is different from its attributes, that which separates from what we truly are.