Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Messianic Consciousness in Jewish Prophecy (XXXVII) Isaiah

The Prophet makes us reflect on our identity in terms of life and death. We all want to be alive, and this implies a purpose. The Torah defines our Jewish identity, and God commands us to choose life and the blessing. Hence we realize that life is the blessing, and blessing is the goodness God wants us to live. Goodness is the purpose or His Creation, for God is good: "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His loving kindness endures forever." (I Chronicles 16:34).

This is the context of what we frequently bring up here, when we say that God's Creation is an emanation of His Love. Goodness comes from God's Love, hence we are made out of goodness to be and live goodness. The opposite of this is death and curse, for death is the curse. The lesson here is to live goodness as the purpose of life (Deuteronomy 11:25, 30:19). The choice is ours, but God commands us to choose life as the blessing. Thus we realize our Essence and true identity, and start making our choices according to what we are.

"The nether-world from beneath is moved for you to meet you at your coming; the shadows are stirred up for you, even all the chief ones of the earth; all the kings of the nations are raised up from their thrones. All they do answer and say to you: 'Are you also become weak as we? Are you become like us'?" (Isaiah 14:9-10)

There is a nether-world as the place where dead bodies are buried. The Prophet reminds us that there is also a place where the living are dead. This place is where the curses take us when we reject the goodness in life. Our weakness is the result of choosing what makes us weak. We curse ourselves when we live in the negative trends in our consciousness. These are the chief ones of the earth, the kings of the nations, the shadows in the land of nothingness.

Our negative choices and their consequences speak to our identity, asking us if we really want to become like them. Envy, greed, lust, pride, wrath, conflict, indolence, indifference, jealousy, hatred, cruelty and violence confront us. They challenge us to choose who we are or who we want to become. 

"Your arrogance is brought down to the nether-world, and the noise of your psalteries; the maggot is spread under you, and the worms cover you'. How are you fallen from heaven, O day-star, son of the morning! How are you cut down to the ground, that did cast lots over the nations!" (14:11-12)

The Prophet addresses the angel who became a devil, from whom we learn that his fall to the nether-world is the result of his negative choices. Arrogance severs our connection with the Oneness of God, to Whom we belong. Pride brings us down from where we originally belong. We often mention what our Sages say regarding pride and wrath as the worst kinds of idolatry. Arrogance is what ego manifests in its desire to be a god by itself. Wrath is the result of such desire, as anger for its isolation.

Death awaits in our separation from our Essence and true identity. Ego's fantasies and illusions bloom from the nothingness of what it creates in our consciousness. These are our psalteries that end up with maggots and worms in the nothingness of being dead.

The negative trend that separates us from the goodness of the Creator is compared in these verses as one who fell from Heaven. A morning star like a sun destined to shine forever, yet chose to fall among the dead to deal with the dead. We are dead as we live among the dead, under the illusion of controlling and ruling what is also fantasy and illusion. Hence the trends and tendencies in our consciousness are nothing but illusions we have created out of a false belief or feeling of lack. We are all fallen day-starts when we choose to live in the curse of what makes us live among what is dead.

"And you said in your heart: 'I will ascend into heaven, above the stars of God will I exalt my throne, and I will sit upon the mount of meeting, in the uttermost parts of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High'. Yet you shall be brought down to the nether-world, to the uttermost parts of the pit." (14:13-15)

Ego's fantasies and illusions are triggered by pride as the ultimate form of idolatry, in direct violation of the second Commandment in the Decalogue. God commands us not to separate from Him, for He is our Creator and we belong to Him. We are destined to be, have and do what our Essence and true identity are. We belong to the Heaven from where we came.

We are all day-stars to shine in and for the goodness of life. Nothing more and nothing less. We are made to be and dwell in the Light of the goodness as the blessing of life. We are made to shine like stars, not made to be like gods. We are Light bearers of the Most High, for He made us to be Light and life; not darkness or death. 

"They that saw you do narrowly look upon you, they gaze earnestly at you: 'Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; that made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners'?" (14:16-17)

Our own fantasies and illusions at some point will ask what have we made of them. Envy will ask why we created it. Greed and jealousy will challenge our motives. Lust will question why such intense passion from the heart could have been driven on to something fleeting and vain. Wrath will demand a reason to exist out of frustration from unfulfilled fantasies and illusions. Indolence will recriminate us from living in denial of what is true and transcendent. Indifference will confront our beliefs, values and principles.

All that makes us shake and tremble in suffering, all that denies the goodness of Love's ways and attributes, will confront who we truly are. This an essential premise for our Final Redemption and enter the Messianic Consciousness. We can't bring the opposite to Love's ways and attributes into the place where the latter dwell. We can't ascend to the sky and shine like day-stars while we live in the nether-world of negative fantasies and illusions. These turn the world into wilderness, destroys the cities, and keeps the captives in confinement.

Our negative egocentric approach to ourselves and to life desolates the goodness of life as the world and earth we live on. It destroys values and principles as the cities we live in. It keeps us prisoners of the negative trends that lead us to live in a nether-world.

"All the kings of the nations, all of them, sleep in glory, every one in his own house. But you are cast forth away from your grave like an abhorred offshoot, in the raiment of the slain, that are thrust through with the sword, that go down to the pavement of the pit, as a carcass trodden under foot." (14:18-19)

The Prophet again refers to the kings of the nations as the oppressors who dwell in their own domains. These are the rulers we empower to make us think, feel, speak and do the way they want. Hence the driving forces that make us empower negative trends in consciousness are ego's materialistic fantasies and desires. This negative trend is the abhorred offshoot that will be wiped out from human consciousness to give way to our Final Redemption.

"You shall not be joined with them in burial, because you have destroyed your land, you have murdered your people; the seed of evil-doers shall not be named for ever." (14:20)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Messianic Consciousness in Jewish Prophecy (XXXVI) Isaiah

We have said that we need God's abundant loving kindness and compassion to help us break the chains of ego's fantasies and illusions, and their negative outcome in life. If we were able to free our consciousness from them, we probably could have done it long time ago. Nobody likes a life in captivity, and trapped in meaningless vanities for which we have to work hard in order to live in their futility. As we indicated in previous commentaries, the addictions, attachments, obsessions and desires we have created out of ego's beliefs or feelings of lack become bigger and stronger than our will and determination to break from them.

These are the idols we feed with the work of our hands, in which we end up becoming like them. Thus we become the epitome of greed, pride, envy, indifference, indolence, lust and cruelty. These are the names of the nations we either had to conquer, destroy or subjugate in order to occupy the Promised Land. The Torah reminds us that the battles of our ancestors to defeat such nations we all fought by our God. Simply because we were not able then, and we are not able now to win over our own negative fantasies and illusions. These are the giants before whom we feel like grass hoppers. Hence we need God's strong hand and stretched arm -- His abundant loving kindness and compassion -- to fight and win all the battles against our enemies and oppressors.

"For the Lord will have compassion on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land; and the foreigner shall join himself with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob." (Isaiah 14:1)

We can't do it without God's Love fighting along with our Love. These are the two fires that bond with each other when we elevate to Him the goodness in life as our continuous offering to Him. The goodness of Love's ways and attributes is the pleasing aroma in which God delights. The Prophet reminds us that God has compassion on us, for He chose Israel as the goodness He wants to prevail in the world. Israel has a setting, the Promised Land that is the material manifestation of the goodness in life. The foreigners who also pursue goodness join our people to cleave together in the destiny God wants us to fulfill, and make prevail in the material world.

"And the peoples shall take them, and bring them to their place; and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the Lord for servants and for handmaids; and they shall take them captive, whose captives they were, and they shall rule over their oppressors." (14:2)

The Final Redemption begins when the negative trends in consciousness cease to exist by becoming subservient to the positive qualities of Love's ways and attributes. Our negative tendencies and their outcome eventually lead us to the positive things we want to live and enjoy in life. Darkness is the premise to recognize Light. Exile is the prelude to Redemption. Slavery and captivity are the preamble to liberation and freedom. These rather obvious conditions have not been completely rooted in our consciousness, no matter how no non-sense they may be. As we said above, our addiction to negative states in consciousness is quite hard to break. We are defenseless against masochism by choice.

In this idle and stagnating point we cry out to our Creator, and ask Him to break the vicious circle or living in ego's fantasies and illusions. We ask Him to be our One and only God. We want to stop being Pharaoh's slaves -- ego's slaves -- and become God's servants. We rather be servants of God's ways and attributes than slaves of the negative trends in consciousness. God wants to know if we truly want to live in His Promised Land, now His Final Redemption, to help us fight our ultimate battle against the nations. Then He will turn them into our allies.

Our perennial inner and outer enemies, not only will join us but also will bring us to our place, the Land of the Lord as the goodness in life. What once were negative aspects and trends in consciousness -- to which we were captives -- will become our captives, the servants and handmaids who used to be our oppressors. Thus we understand darkness as the premise to recognize Light, and exile as the prelude to Redemption. Thus we assimilate the proclamation of the Creator to our Matriarch Rebecca, when He told her that two nations were in her womb and the older will serve the younger.

"And it shall come to pass in the day that the Lord shall give you rest from your travail, and from your trouble, and from the hard service wherein you were made to serve, that you shall take up this parable against the king of Babylon, and say: How has the oppressor ceased! the tax-collector of gold ceased!" (14:3-4)

The Final Redemption begins the day when the Creator turns what we have perceived and experienced as dark and negative into Light and goodness. We will be the eternal servants of the greater purpose God has for His Creation, which is to eternally live in the goodness of His ways and attributes. This awareness and realization will be the yoke of ego as the vital drive and motivation to live. This is the awareness against the king of Babylon as the epitome of ego's negative predicament, that will cease to exist in the Messianic Era.

"The Lord has broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of the rulers, that smote the peoples in wrath with an incessant stroke, that ruled the nations in anger, with a persecution that none restrained." (14:5-6)

The Messianic Consciousness is the staff and banner that will eternally prevail when the Creator breaks us free from the rule of our negative beliefs, ideologies, habits, attachments, addictions, obsessions and attitudes, in their constant oppression. These are the negative traits that rule in anger, pride, greed, envy, lust, indifference, indolence and cruelty, without restrain and without a chance to escape from them.

As we reach out to God's eternal loving kindness and compassion through our own loving kindness and compassion, we find the Redemption we have been yearning for. As we begin to let Love's ways and attributes to rule every aspect and dimension of consciousness, we begin to live in real freedom. All oppressing traits in consciousness will cease forever, and only peace and tranquility will sing in happiness. The trees that represent our values and principles, as our permanent bond with God, will know that nothing will afflict them ever again.

"The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet; they break forth into singing. Yea, the cypresses rejoice at you, and the cedars of Lebanon: 'Since you [the king of Babylon] are laid down, no feller is come up against us'." (14:7-8)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Messianic Consciousness in Jewish Prophecy (XXXV) Isaiah

"The burden of Babylon was seen by Isaiah the son of Amoz." (Isaiah 13:1)

The Prophet addresses the burden of Babylon as the outcome of ego's fantasies and illusions. The consequences of false beliefs and feelings of lack that lead to envy, coveting, greed, pride, lust, wrath, indolence, indifference, and cruelty with their negative causes and effects are the heavy burden in human consciousness. Babylon as the opposite and nemesis of Jerusalem. Egypt, Babylon, Persia, Assyria, Greece and Rome are the nations that in their times became the paradigm of negative traits that undermine the goodness of Love's ways and attributes as our common bond with the Creator. The burden of Babylon that humankind is destined to remove when we individually and collectively make the choice to return to God's ways and attributes as our Essence and true identity. These are the traits and qualities of the Messianic Consciousness.

"Set you up an ensign upon the high mountain, lift up the voice unto them, wave the hand, that they may go into the gates of the nobles. I have commanded My consecrated ones, yea, I have called My mighty ones for My anger, even My proudly exulting ones." (13:2-3)

There is a calling in our consciousness at some point in our lives that summons us to reflect on who we are, from where we came from, and the destiny we yearn to fulfill. This calling takes place in the awareness of our permanent connection with God. The connection between our Love and God's Love, for Love is also our common bond with Him. This bond is the ensign upon the high mountain that is Jerusalem and its Temple.

From this place in consciousness we call the dispersed of Israel among the nations, to gather them together for the Final Redemption. They also symbolize the positive traits and qualities entangled by the negative trends in consciousness represented by the nations. The dispersed are the nobles, the consecrated, the mighty and the exulting ones, who exult themselves in God's ways and attributes. These are the ones destined to rule in all aspects and dimensions of consciousness in the Messianic Era.

"Hark, a tumult in the mountains, like as of a great people! Hark, the uproar of the kingdoms of the nations gathered together! The Lord of hosts musters the host of the battle." (13:4)

We enter the Messianic Era after the imminent confrontation between the goodness of Love's ways and attributes, and the negative trends and expressions in human consciousness. The latter are the tumult of mountains as the oppressing and destroying beliefs, ideologies, addictions, attachments, obsessions, emotions, feelings, passions and instincts. These are the kingdoms and nations gathered together to battle against our Final Redemption.

"They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the Lord, and the weapons of His indignation, to destroy the whole earth." (13:5)

The battle to eliminate all that opposes the goodness in the Earth includes our Creator, for we have become unable to remove ego's fantasies and illusions amid the darkness of their outcome. Life as the earth must be transformed to dignify and honor its purpose according to God's will.

"Howl ye, for the day of the Lord is at hand; as destruction from the Almighty shall it come. Therefore shall all hands be slack, and every heart of man shall melt." (13:6-7)

We often have said that the Messianic Era has been handy since our Exodus from Egypt, but we chose to live in the idolatry of ego's fantasies and illusions that are destined to disappear in order to give way to God's Plan. Thus we understand the destruction from the Almighty. Our negative actions -- the slack of our hands --, and the negative thoughts, emotions, feelings and passions coming from our hearts shall melt.

"And they shall be frightened, pangs and throes shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman in travail, they shall look aghast one at another; their faces shall be faces of flame." (13:8)

We must understand this and the following verses (9-10) as the affliction we go through as we fight to be free from our negative patterns, addictions, obsessions, attachments, ideas, beliefs and pretense. Let's be honest with ourselves and begin to recognize the inner enemies and oppressors that subjugate our consciousness and free will. We all know these enemies are stronger than our will and determination to get rid of them. The same pain we suffer under their oppression is the same pain we suffer as we renounce to them. It's called withdrawal symptoms. For this we cry out to God's loving kindness and compassion to help us in our battle, and He responds to us with His Final Redemption.

"And I will visit upon the world their evil, and upon the wicked their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogance of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the tyrants." (13:11)

The day of the Lord is the one many await. The moment when we will be finally and completely released of what always has been unnecessary in the material world. All we have created that we makes us suffer as evil and inequity, out of ego's pride and arrogance. Thus we realize that ego's negative trends are the tyrants that condemn us to live in their dominions.

"I will make man more rare than fine gold, even man than the pure gold of Ophir. Therefore I will make the heavens to tremble, and the earth shall be shaken out of her place, for the wrath of the Lord of hosts, and for the day of His fierce anger." (13:12-13)

God's Love will transform our consciousness into something even purer than the purest qualities we have ever known. For this to happen, all evil, iniquity and impurities in the earth and in life God will remove. He will make us aware of the Essence from which He created us. He will make us realize that His ways and attributes are our common bond with Him.

The following verses (14-22) describe the battle to overturn the burden of Babylon. This is also the allegorical scenario where we will confront what we have created by ego's pride and arrogance at the expense of the goodness in Love's ways and attributes. The false beauty of kingdoms and nations that will disappear as Babylon, Chaldea, Sodom and Gomorrah. The places where we will never dwell again from generation to generation.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Messianic Consciousness in Jewish Prophecy (XXXIV) Isaiah

As we begin to assimilate God's ways and attributes in all levels and dimensions of consciousness as our connection to Him, we also begin to live His Redemption for us. The Messianic Consciousness is the awareness that only positive traits and qualities inspire and guide what we discern, think, feel, say and do. These are our common bond with the Creator. The opposite traits and qualities secure our separation from Him, what we understand as His "anger", "jealousy" and "wrath".

We must fully assimilate the fundamental principle that our Creator is indefinable. Our Sages teach us that He communicates with us through our human language and understanding, and this does not imply that He is one of us. Hence we understand His Torah through discerning what He wants to tell us by His ways and attributes. These are the means He uses to communicate and relate to us. Thus we realize that His "back" is what He has created for us to know, appreciate and be grateful. His "hands" and "countenance" are His ways and means that sustain and fulfill the needs of all. The opposite of His ways and attributes we experience as the consequences of our negative attitudes, trends and choices, are God's "anger" and "wrath".

God created darkness and Light, negative and positive, destructive and constructive, etc., for us to exercise the free will He gave us. He instructs us and commands us in the Torah to choose goodness. He made clear that evil, wickedness and negativity are only references for us to make positive decisions. The Torah also makes us aware that making the wrong choices implies a learning process. We learn from our mistakes. Thus we understand that God "afflicts" us with our negative choices. This does not mean that He wants to afflict us, because our affliction is the outcome of the wrong choices we make.

We can see it as two fields in front of us. The one in the right is covered by green pastures, fruit trees and the scent of colorful flowers. The one in the left is full of thorns, wild beasts and the smell of putrid waters. The keeper of both fields instructs us about them, and the consequences of living in either one. He called the right field "my comfort and my delight", and the left "my jealousy and my anger". Then we make our choices. Those who chose to be in the left side at some point begin to complain about the field, and express their frustration and suffering out of their choice. They decide to blame the keeper of the fields, saying "the 'the jealousy and anger' of the keeper have befall on us." The keeper replies, saying "indeed 'my jealousy and anger' has befall on you, not because of me but because of you. You made the choice, not me."

We must stop blaming God for the choices we make. As we begin to choose the goodness of Love's ways and attributes over the negative outcome of ego's fantasies and illusions, we begin to return to the goodness God wants for us.

"And in that day you shall say: I will give thanks to You, O Lord; for though You was angry with me, Your anger is turned away, and You comforted me." (Isaiah 12:1)

This is the beginning of our "repentance" as the return to God's ways and attributes, which are all good. As we return to Him we realize that His "anger" is turned away, for His ways are our comfort and delight, our Redemption.

"Behold, God is my redemption; I will trust, and will not be afraid, for God the Lord is my strength and song; and He is become my redemption'." (12:2)

We have to understand our individual and collective Redemption also as the return to our Essence and true identity. We must assimilate that we were created by God through His Love. We are an emanation and extension of His Love. Hence we must become aware of who we really are and have in this material world God has given us.

"Therefore with joy shall you draw water out of the wells of redemption." (12:3)

Our Sages compare the Torah to water, for we can't live without God's words from where we came. Thus we understand that our Redemption comes from His words. The joy we shall live is the awareness that His Love is our Redemption. Love as the material manifestation of God's Love is our greatest joy, fulfillment, delight and plenitude. We enter the Messianic Era and the Final Redemption drinking from the wells of the goodness of Love's ways and attributes as our common bond with God's Love.

"And in that day shall you say: 'Give thanks to the Lord, proclaim His Name, declare His doings among the peoples, make mention that His Name is exalted. Sing to the Lord, for He has done gloriously; this is made known in all the Earth." (12:4-5)

In this awareness we express our gratitude for the realization of who we truly are. We finally know and experience what God did when He created us. His Name -- as His ways and attributes He has showed us in the Torah -- is exalted, as we exalt Him when we look up to all He has created. His glory will be revealed in all that is.

"Cry aloud and shout, you inhabitant of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of you'." (12:6)

The Prophet tells us that we as Israel are the ones who return to Him as His people. God is gathering us from all corners of the world. He is bringing us to our Land, to Zion, to rejoice in our return to Him. He does it for us. Great is our joy, for God is our Holy One in the midst of us. Amen.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Messianic Consciousness in Jewish Prophecy (XXXIII) Isaiah

The Messianic Consciousness is an integrating, comprising, encompassing and harmonizing approach to existence. All we are and experience in life that so far we have considered separated, divided, divergent, contrary or opposed will cease to be perceived such as in our Final Redemption. We have lived in confusion and conflict derived from a dual conception of the material world. We must understand this repetitive and prolonged predicament as a necessary learning process for us to appreciate and value what really matters in our existence, both material and spiritual.

In the perfect design of God's Creation, He wants us to know His ways and attributes, for all comes from Him. We are His creatures and we are destined to know our Creator. He wants us to discern by the qualities which He made us, and be aware that all is about cause and effect. In this context He makes us perceive a fractured existence where we must discern and distinguish what is right and wrong, for us to make the right choices. Hence we perceive separation and diversity as parts of a whole, and our purpose in life is to integrate and harmonize every part for an even greater destiny. The ability to transform a divided and conflicting perception into a unified and harmonized functional awareness is what is called the Messianic Consciousness.

We said above that our current human consciousness has been limited to perceive within opposite, divided and separate ways as a mostly painful learning process, for us to value and appreciate what truly matters in our existence, and that is Love. Our negative experiences out of making the useless and destructive choices sooner or later lead us to realize that Love is what integrates, comprises, encompasses and harmonizes all that exists. This also includes all aspects, levels and dimensions of consciousness. Thus we realize that Love is the cause and the effect that sustains life. Through Love we begin to know God's Love as the Source from where everything comes to exist.

As we become fully aware of the dynamics of Love as the material manifestation of God's Love, we begin individually and collectively to harmonize what we perceive as different, separate, diverse, and apparently opposite or against each other. Thus we understand the images described by the Prophet when he evokes the nuances of the Messianic Era.

"And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the suckling child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the basilisk's den." (Isaiah 11:7-8)

Our individual and collective complete awareness of Love as our Essence and true identity begins to experience cooperation among what we used to perceive as apparent opposite qualities. In practical terms, first we must proof ourselves that we have fully learned from cause and effect, right and wrong, goodness and wickedness, etc. In this long awaited stage in consciousness we begin to know the dynamics of Love's ways and attributes, and how to implement them in our intellect, discernment, thoughts, feelings, emotions, passions and instincts. Thus our nurturing and compassionate qualities (the cow) embrace our harsh and withdrawing reactions (the bear) to turn them (feeding together) into constructive and enhancing expressions (their young ones laying down together).

Violence will cease to exist as cause and effect in its never ending cycle, for the cause and effect will only be Love's. The same motivation that leads us to be peaceful and nurturing (straw) will be the food of our driving force (ego as the ox) as well as food for our drive to be and do goodness (the lion). We can see cooperation as the common purpose of two of the main traits of Israel.

The lion as the Tribe of Judah and the ox as the Tribe of Joseph, who later is referred as Ephraim by the Prophet. Innocence will again shape human consciousness (suckling and weaned children) to fearlessly approach what seems negative and destructive in our current perception (the hole of the asp, and the basilisk's den). These qualities are the premise and prelude to enter the total awareness of our permanent connection with the Creator. 

"They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain; for the Earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." (11:9)

There will not be anything negative or destructive to harm our connection with God -- what He calls His sacred mountain --, the Temple of Jerusalem. This permanent bond is the knowledge of the Creator, which will completely fill all aspects and dimensions of life as the waters cover the sea. In this sense, Earth is life itself. Maimonides, the Rambam, says it in his own words: “In that era there will be neither famine nor war, neither envy nor strife, because good will emanate in abundance and all delightful things will be accessible as dust. The one preoccupation of the entire world will be solely to know God. The Israelites, therefore, will be great sages and know the hidden matters, and they will attain knowledge of their Creator to the extent of human capacity, as it is said: 'The earth shall be full with the knowledge of God as the waters cover the sea!'.” (Laws of Kings 12:5)

"And it shall come to pass in that day, that the root of Jesse, that stands for an ensign of the peoples, unto him shall the nations seek; and his resting-place shall be glorious." (Isaiah 11:10)

We just said that our awareness of Love leading all aspects and dimensions of consciousness is the premise and prelude of our permanent connection with God. This awareness is also the preamble to call into the negative trends in consciousness (the nations) to be transformed in the goodness of Love's ways and attributes. These are the root and stock of the Messianic Consciousness, the offspring of Jesse and king David, whose throne and regency will last forever.

"And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord will set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people, that shall remain from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea." (11:11)

We have said often that Love is the common bond with our Creator, that through our Love we reach out to God's Love. In this sense Love is the bridge and the link, with which we call out to Him. God's Love hears our Love as we call in His Name. He tells us in the Torah that He will gather us back to Him again from our dispersion and exile among the nations: "then the Lord your God will turn your captivity, and have compassion upon you; and will return and gather you from all the peoples, where the Lord your God has scattered you. If any of you that are dispersed be in the uttermost parts of Heaven, from there will the Lord your God gather you, and from there will He fetch you." (Deuteronomy 30:3-4). 

"And He will set up an ensign for the nations, and will assemble the dispersed of Israel, and gather together the scattered of Judah from the four corners of the Earth. The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and they that harass Judah shall be cut off; Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim." (11:12-13)

God reiterates His words through the Prophet. Again He reaffirms His promise to remove the negative trends in consciousness that create separation, division and conflict. These are the obstacles that keep us away from our individual and collective destiny to unite and reveal God's glory in all His Creation. Judah as the regency and Ephraim as the birthright will share their common purpose to proclaim and manifest God's will for the Messianic Era.

The remaining verses of this chapter refer again to the ingathering of the exiles as the final prelude to enter a new realm in human consciousness in the material world. Then, Heaven and Earth will share the common destiny to know the Creator as the waters cover the sea.

"And there shall be a highway for the remnant of His people, that shall remain from Assyria, like as there was for Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt." (11:16)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Messianic Consciousness in Jewish Prophecy (XXXII) Isaiah

The Prophet continues describing the qualities of the Jewish king, as God commands him to do so. As we said in our previous commentaries, these qualities also belong to every Jew by our Pact with the Creator. The Torah commands every Jew to be connected to God through Torah study and observing His Commandments. This is the Pact we accepted unconditionally when God gave the Torah to the Jewish people. Let's be always aware that it is an eternal Pact.

Our ancestors wanted to have a king like the other nations, and God in the Torah gave specific Commandments for the king of Israel. These include being a guardian of the Pact, and a wise learner and teacher of the Torah, among other duties and restrictions.

The kings of Israel are inheritors of these Commandments, as the focal points of Israel's commitments with the Creator. Hence we all share the qualities, duties and obligations derived from our permanent connection with God. We must understand the Messianic Consciousness as a Jewish collective awareness of God's Plan for the Final Redemption. This awareness does not belong only to a single person but to all Israel. We depend only on God's will, and not relying on one individual. The Torah and the Hebrew Scriptures repeat time and again that God is our One and only Redeemer, and we must understand the Jewish king messiah as the focal point of our collective Final Redemption. The paradigm and reference of what the Messianic Consciousness is and will eternally be for all.

"And there shall come forth a shoot out of the stock of Jesse, and a twig shall grow forth out of his roots. And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the reverence of the Lord." (11:1-2)

The Prophet reminds us that king David is the main reference of the Jewish king messiah, as an extension of the Psalmist, son of the righteous Jesse. Righteousness is the stock, the trait and the quality from where we all are redeemed. Hence the foundation of the Messianic Consciousness is the will power and determination to always choose goodness over wickedness. This is what a righteous person does all the time. This is the premise of our connection with God in order to be the vessel of His spirit in us. As we choose goodness every moment the spirit of God rests upon us. Thus the qualities of goodness rest on us as wisdom, understanding, guidance and might, knowledge and reverence of God's will.

"And his delight shall be in the reverence of the Lord, and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither decide after the hearing of his ears." (11:3)

The reverence of the Creator -- what our Sages refer as the "fear" of God -- is what we experience in our Love of God, as awesome and impressive before our inability to conceive Him. The more we know about His ways and attributes, the more we love Him and revere Him as our most sublime delight. In this awareness of reverence to Him we can only discern through His Torah. Our will becomes the vessel and the chariot of His will. In this permanent connection with the Creator there is no room for personal agendas or ego's fantasies and illusions. These are the sight of our eyes and the hearing of our ears.

"But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the land; and he shall smite the land with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked." (11:4)

Again God reminds us through the Prophet that choosing and pursuing goodness is the foundation of His Torah and His will. This is the righteousness we must plant in the land as our life, as individuals and as the Nation God commands us to have and to be. In practical terms we have to care for each other as the main purpose of goodness by doing what is right. We have to integrate all Israel as an united Nation, bringing together the rich and poor, the meek and the rebel, the passionate and the passive, the water bearers and the warriors, the wise and the ignorant, and all diverse and multifaceted Jews.

The voice of righteousness, the rod that comes out of our mouths -- as the outcome of goodness and expressions of Love's ways and attributes -- is the guide and conductor of all aspects of life, and will prevail over the negative trends in human consciousness. This voice is the language and expression of goodness as the Light that turns darkness into Light.

"And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins." (11:5)

This voice is the expression of goodness as the guide and conductor of every aspect of life. This voice comes from righteousness -- as the expression of the goodness of Love's ways and attributes -- that integrates and encompasses all levels and dimensions of consciousness.

"And the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them." (11:6)

As we integrate and unify all aspects and levels of consciousness, harmony prevails in all dimensions of life. The Prophet makes reflect the Messianic Consciousness in the material world as also the place where meek and wild animals dwell together in harmony. We can understand this ideal state of consciousness as righteousness guiding and directing our discernment, thought, mind, feelings, emotions, passions and instincts through Love's ways and attributes.

The Messianic Consciousness is the stage when the negative trends and tendencies are turned into positive expressions. Hence evil in all its manifestations are removed from what we are, have and do. Envy will become cooperation, wrath will be turned into joy, greed will be generosity, indifference will become compassion, indolence will be solidarity, cruelty will turn into care. The regency of Love's ways and attributes will rule every life in this world, as the premise to enter the Messianic Era. This is the final stage in which our sole interest will the knowledge of our Creator.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Messianic Consciousness in Jewish Prophecy (XXXI) Isaiah

In his three following chapters (7-10) the Prophet refers to the situation of Israel in his times, divided in two kingdoms fighting each other. Idolatry leads to animosity and war with their devastating results. The kings of Judah in the south, and the kings of Israel in the north found their destruction, fall and captivity. We see the nefarious effects of ego's fantasies and illusions as the idols that separate, divide, corrupt and subjugate all aspects and dimensions of life. Yet our Creator pursues peace and brotherhood for all Israel, to be united by and for the Torah, as the all encompassing and harmonizing means to fulfill God's will. Through the Prophet, God speaks to the wicked kings in order to make righteousness and justice the guidelines and common bond with Him.

"And the Lord spoke again unto [the king] Ahaz, saying: 'Ask yourself a sign of the Lord your God: ask it in the depth, or in the high above'. But Ahaz said: 'I will not ask, neither will I try the Lord'. And he [Isaiah] said: 'Hear you now, O house of David: Is it not enough for you that you scorn human [Prophets], that you scorn also my God'?" (Isaiah 7:10-13)

God delivers His message for Ahaz through the Prophet, to whom the king replies with contempt. Isaiah responds to his insolence. Though these verses refer to a specific situation regarding a wicked Jewish king, we can understand them in the context of the Messianic Consciousness. The Jewish messiah comes from the Davidic lineage, therefore all references to it are linked to the coming Messianic times. God wants Israel, as the encompassing consciousness that heralds the Final Redemption, to be permanently connected to Him. Even in the case of Ahaz, an idolatrous king of Judah, God wants to mend this connection with the ruling aspect of Israel.

God knows His entire Creation. He gave us free will, and knows what we are capable of. He lets us experience the choices we make and their consequences. He gave us discernment to learn from experience. In negative circumstances He expects us to learn, to find the way out and return to goodness. God also expects the same from Ahaz, who refuses to return to the Creator. The Prophet in this case represents the voice of Redemption, which calls on our discernment and common sense. At some point we hear its voice, but we rather ignore it or reject it. The same contempt we show to our Creator. In His infinite compassion He reminds us the traits and qualities of the connection He has with us, and expects from us.

"Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: behold, the young woman shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." (7:14)

Our Sages refer to this particular woman, the young woman, as the mother of the future king Hezekiah, the righteous son of Ahaz. The sign includes the name as the identity of a righteous Jewish king who is with God (Immanuel). Israel and its king are distinguished by their connection with God, therefore every Jew's name is Immanuel, which means God is with me. Israel is destined by the Torah to be a righteous Nation with a righteous king. Hence Isaiah will later refer to Israel and its king as one single entity, he calls "the lamb".

"Cream and honey shall he eat, when he knows to refuse the evil, and choose the good. Yea, before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land of the two kings whom you fear shall be abandoned." (7:15-16)

Again, as we said before, these verses refer no only to the righteous traits of the future king Hezekiah but also the royal Davidic lineage. Cream and honey are the qualities of the land of Israel, the Promise Land flowing with milk and honey. These are allegories of the nurturing goodness of life, along with the happiness and contentment of it. The good qualities of the land as the goodness of life are also part of the people of Israel, and highlighted by their king. As we realize that the goodness of Love's ways and attributes is our Essence and true identity, we consequently refuse and reject evil in all its ways. Referring to the divided land of Israel in those times, it would later be abandoned after falling under their neighboring enemies.

"For a child is born unto us, a son is given unto us; and the government is upon his shoulder. The Wondrous Adviser, Mighty God, Eternal Father, called [Hezekiah's name] Prince of Peace. Upon the one with the greatness in dominion and the boundless peace that will prevail in the throne of David, and on his kingdom, to establish and sustain it through justice and righteousness from now to eternity. The zeal of the Lord of hosts accomplishes this." (9:5-6)

Two chapters later, the Prophet continues describing the qualities of the Davidic lineage in his times, and also in Messianic times. During most of Hezekiah's rule, abundance and prosperity returned to his kingdom, as a sign of the same way also expected in the Final Redemption. The main trait of the Messianic Consciousness is peace, which is intended to be its own cause and effect. As we do with Love, we approach peace as something intended to prevail.

We are peaceful in order to make peacefulness reign. God in His Torah commands Israel to be a peaceful people: "and you -- you are to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation" (Exodus 19:6). Israel is the prince of peace as also Israel's kings are princes of peace, as the result of justice and righteousness. There is no peace without these, and the Creator wants us to pursue them and love them He does: "He loves righteousness and justice, the Earth is full of the loving kindness of the Lord." (Psalms 33:5)

We must assimilate this in our consciousness. Our peace depends on how just and righteous we are as our Jewish identity requires from us, individually and collectively. These two qualities are the ways we implement Love's ways and attributes. It is not enough to proclaim Love as the tangible material manifestation of God's Love. We realize this by being and doing justice and righteousness as the ethical and moral expressions of Love's ways and attributes. The Final Redemption and the Messianic Era begin with this, and will remain from now until eternity as we establish and sustain peace through justice and righteousness. As the Prophet says, the zeal of God -- which is His Love -- accomplishes this, as long as we embrace His zeal as our zeal.

"And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and the survivors of the house of Jacob, will no longer rely on him [their oppressor] that smote them; but will rely on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth." (10:20)

We can identify ego in its negative ways as our oppressor. The source of all our idols. In our consciousness these idols are ego's fantasies and illusions. Once we survive the oppressor of the goodness we are as the house of Jacob, we become the remnant of Israel who embraces the truth of God's Love in what we truly are, and are destined to do in the Messianic Era. This is the eternal time and space in our consciousness and in life, when we rely solely on God's ways and attributes, which are the truth. Thus we live in His truth, and realize that God is the Holy One of Israel.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Messianic Consciousness in Jewish Prophecy (XXX) Isaiah

The vision of Isaiah in Heaven is one of the transcendent messages we have in Judaism. Transcendent in many ways. It happened in a place and time where indeed there is no place and time, and this can't be grasped by our consciousness. In this sense paradox is one of the premises of transcendence. In Judaism the impossibility of conceiving our Creator is also a paradox, because the fact that we can't conceive Him does not imply that He does not exist.

Our Jewish conception of God transcends the limitations of human understanding. Hence our Sages teach that the Torah has seventy faces, that actually are endless because the Torah is infinite as its Creator. Yet He gave it in the language of humans as the door to know His Plan for the material world. This means that we must understand His messages within the frame of time and space, and the limitations of human consciousness.

The Prophet has the difficult task to communicate a vision and experience out of the context of human understanding. The dynamics between thought and language is as complex as consciousness itself. Since we are born we are forced to frame thought within the boundaries of language in order to be able to express something potentially indescribable into something describable. Our Sages make an analogy of this situation, comparing it to a blind person who has never seen something ever before and suddenly can see. He has no previous references to describe a starry night or a sunrise, so he begins to describe it with the shapes he used to touch in order to know them. The result of his description of what he "saw" is totally beyond comprehension for those who were not blind in his midst. In other words, our human thought and language lack the references needed to assimilate a heavenly vision or experience.

The Prophet has no choice but to describe his vision and experience in Heaven the way He does it to convey his message. In this paradox of describing what is indescribable we must try to perceive what Isaiah wants to tell us. For this he uses words and situations we can relate to, as an invitation to open our consciousness to a higher level of understanding. Once we enter greater dimensions beyond human comprehension, we must learn to live in them, to relate to them, and to communicate them.

We have said in other commentaries that the World to Come as well as the Messianic Era have different references than those we have in this current world. Our Prophets give us a glimpse, telling us that evil and negativity do not exist in those times and places, and are replaced by new references we only know when we get there. This is also a way to understand that heavenly visions or experiences belong to Heaven and make sense there, not here. We must take this as an invitation to remove the negative references we have in consciousness, and turn them positive in order to experience new dimensions and expressions of life. The result of this will be an entire new approach to what we conceive, perceive, think and feel, and its effect in what we speak and do.

"(...) I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne high and lifted up, and His train filled the Temple." (Isaiah 6:1)

In this sentence our Sages identify two situations and two places. The Creator in Heaven and the Temple in Earth. The Prophet describes God in our human language as someone sitting on a throne not only high but also elevated. In Judaism we can understand our undefinable and indescribable Creator as One who is indeed beyond our reach in every way. High and elevated are words to illustrate this principle. This fact doesn't imply that God does not relate to His Creation, for the rest of the sentence points this out. The edges of His mantle filled the Temple.

Mantle as well as any other garments represent two conditions. One is to cover and the other is to identify. In the sentence the Prophet is referring to a Divine attribute (a mantle) that extends down to a place, the Temple of Jerusalem. It is also the connection between the Creator and us. This attribute completely fills the Temple as the endless time and place where we are permanently connected to Him. We call this mantle His Loving kindness, for it also covers His Creation: "He loves righteousness and justice, the Earth is full of the loving kindness of the Lord." (Psalms 33:5), "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His loving kindness endures forever." (136:1, 100:5, I Chronicles 16:34).

"Above Him stood the seraphim; each one had six wings: with twain he covered his face and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one called unto another, and said: Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts; the whole Earth is full of His glory." (Isaiah 6:2-3)

Angels are also creatures that belong to this higher realm we call Heaven. Our Sages refer to them as messengers that perform specific tasks or missions to fulfill God's will. These missions represent ethical and moral lessons that reflect God's ways and attributes, with which He relates to His Creation. These messengers proclaim and reiterate the sacredness of the Creator as something that is also beyond conception. In this sense we understand that sacred means separated, as unreachable for our discernment. Yet the paradox persists, for His glory fills His Creation, which encompasses all we see and all we don't see.

We realize in these verses that His glory is His loving kindness, of which we must be aware. If His Love fills His Creation, we are also filled by His Love; therefore we are an emanation and extension of His Love. Hence we realize the sacredness of God and His Love.

This triple proclamation must resound in all levels of consciousness, for our Essence and identity are formed and defined by God's Love. This awareness impacts the Prophet. After hearing this proclamation, Isaiah questions his own identity. He contrasts his ways with the ways of the Essence from which God created us.

"Then said I: Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts." (6:5)

As we reach this awareness, we realize what is real and unreal, true and false, right and wrong. We make a clear distinction between ego's fantasies and illusions, and Love's ways and attributes. We become aware of the traps we have made to submit our consciousness to the opposite of who we truly are. Once we see and experience God's ways and attributes, we realize that these are our Essence and identity. This is how we return to where we belong. This is the turning point when repentance becomes the realization of who we really are: How could I have been being, having and doing something I am not? This is our first step to return to the Creator.

The Prophet recognizes himself as an undone person, someone incomplete, as long as he dwells in the fantasies, illusions and mirages of the material world. He mentions the lips as the bearers of impurity. As we indicated above, thought precedes language as the expression of what we conceive, believe or feel. What we feel is the outcome of what we think or believe, hence we must be aware of what we entertain in our mind. Lips in this sense are not only what we speak but also what we do.

"Then flew unto me one of the seraphim, with a glowing stone in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar; and he touched my mouth with it, and said: Lo, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away, and your sin expiated." (6:6-7)

Before the Divine Presence the Prophet has the privilege to be cleansed by the heavenly fire we call here God's Love. This fire not only cleanses our negative actions but also what generates them. As long as we live in, by, from and for this fire, we live before God's Presence. This is the fire that transforms our lives, removing the negative aspects and trends in our consciousness, heralding the beginning of the Final Redemption and the Messianic Era.

"And I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?' Then I said: 'Here am I, send me'." (6:8)

As we allow Love's ways and attributes to lead and direct all dimensions and facets of life, and to unite and harmonize the diversity and creative potentials of human consciousness towards God's ways and attributes, we are ready to be full partners in God's Plan.

"And He said: 'Go, and tell this people: you hear indeed, but understand not; and you see indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they, seeing with their eyes, and hearing with their ears, and understanding with their heart, return, and be healed'." (6:9-10)

Here the Prophet is commanded to make us aware of our stubbornness to reject the goodness of God's ways and attributes, and rather embrace ego's fantasies and illusions. We rather desire power instead of Love, control over freedom, addiction over detachment, anger over joy, lack over abundance, cruelty over compassion, indifference over solidarity. These negative states of consciousness are our own punishments, from which we have no other choice but learning from them. Here God tells the Prophet that these negative traits make our hearts heavy and hard ("fat"), our understanding (the "ears") blocked, and our knowledge (the "eyes") useless. By coming to this dead end, sooner or later we become aware that living in a negative predicament is futile. Then we return to where we really are and belong as a healing transition.

"Then said I: 'Lord, how long?' And He answered: 'Until cities be wasted without inhabitant, and houses without man, and the land become utterly waste." (6:11)

The returning process is always up to us, but there is a point when we are fed up of living in the opposite side of Love's ways and attributes. That side is where the wasted cities and desolated lands are located. We have said that cities, land, mountains and hills represent beliefs, ideologies, lifestyles, customs, habits and behavioral patterns. These can become desolated and wasted places, bad enough to compel ourselves to transform them into positive aspects and trends in our consciousness, and in our lives.

"And the Lord have removed men far away, and the forsaken places be many in the midst of the land." (6:12)

Stubbornness makes us give up our free will. We lose our higher awareness to ego's fantasies and illusions. As we put aside the awareness of our permanent connection with the Creator, we remove our consciousness far from Him to enter the many forsaken places of our negative trends and choices.

"And if there be yet a tenth in it, it shall again be eaten up; as an elm, and as an oak, whose stock remains, when they burn their leaves, so the sacred seed shall be the stock thereof'." (6:13)

Our Sages refer to this verse as the minority of Israel that remains in spite of the wickedness in their midst. The minority that is swallowed by the enemies of goodness and real freedom in humankind, yet the few whose stock remains. Their seed will blossom and fructify in the end. This is the stock and the sacred seed that will prevail forever in the Messianic Era.

This verse may sound ambiguous, but it doesn't. On the one hand God reminds us of our negative predicament as the cause of our destruction. On the other hand He tells us that in spite of that, our goodness will prevail. God wants us to be aware of what our stock and seed are about. We are also those who proclaim His sacredness from which He created us.

We are good because we come from the goodness of God, hence goodness will always prevail. This goodness endows us with free will to make choices of freedom, not control or captivity. We must not allow consciousness to lose our free will. Thus we realize that our freedom lies on Love's ways and attributes, the holy stock and seed that always prevail.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Messianic Consciousness in Jewish Prophecy (XXIX) Isaiah

We indicated in the beginning of these commentaries on the Messianic Consciousness in Jewish Prophecy that the messages of our Prophets are divided in three parts. These are our separation from God and its consequences, the process of our return to Him -- usually called repentance --, and the Final Redemption as our permanent connection to Him. These are also prophesied the last book of the Torah, and the Creator sent His Prophets to remind us about them. Hence we see the same messages delivered repeatedly through their writings. They are stated in different ways, ranging from a direct and severe language to allegoric and sometimes poetic expressions.

These repetitions are aimed to awaken all levels of consciousness regarding our relationship with God, for these are destined to be united and harmonized towards His Plan called the Messianic Era. Hence the Torah and the Hebrew Scriptures speak to us in many levels and dimensions in order to guide our intellect, discernment, thoughts, mind, feelings, emotions, passions and instincts. Thus we understand why God's messages to us are stated and delivered in many ways and forms. We must grasp God's words to become fully aware that our choices -- not Him -- have taken us where we are here and now.

We have to open our entire consciousness to become aware of who we truly are before the Creator. Thus we realize our way back to Him, His ways and attributes. The fifth chapter of Isaiah's messages focuses again in our bond with God, followed by our separation from Him after choosing ego's fantasies and illusions instead of Love's ways and attributes.

"Let me sing for my well-beloved a song, of my beloved about his vineyard. My beloved has a vineyard in a fruitful hill, my well-beloved had a vineyard in a very fertile hill." (Isaiah 5:1)

It begins praising our beloved Creator for His bond with us, His vineyard. He exalts us in a fruitful hill, which means the awareness of our permanent connection with Him. This fertile hill is Zion, Jerusalem and the Temple. The point here is to realize what we are, have and do in this special place God has exalted. Our connection with Him is something we can't grasp with our discernment or understanding, for being with Him is beyond conception. Hence we only have the references the Creator showed us in His Torah as His attributes. These are the guidelines as the fertile land to fructify in the material world. The fertile hill as the goodness we harvest out of Love's ways and attributes. Hence it is our choice to make the vineyard of our consciousness fructify in the goodness of God's guidance.   

"And he dug it, and cleared it of stones, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also hewed out a vat therein; and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth bad grapes." (5:2)

God gave us His Commandments to remove the negative traits and tendencies in consciousness for us to allow only goodness in all facets of life. As we chose we harvest, as we sow we reap. Goodness voices its fair complaint.

"And now, oh inhabitant of Jerusalem and man of Judah, please judge between me and my vineyard." (5:3)

The Prophet addresses us individually as one who dwells in Jerusalem, in the awareness of our permanent connection with God. Also as the individual Jew who has an eternal Covenant with Him. Our consciousness is summoned to discern, to judge from cause and effect. We already know that Love is its own cause and effect, and that Love does not coexist with anything different from its ways and attributes. Then if Love is not the effect, what is the cause? God calls us to reflect and use our judgement as discernment. He speaks to our common sense at the basic level of cause and effect. Then we have to respond for that we think, believe, feel, speak and do.

We have said often that our Chassidic sages call "vessels" all levels and dimensions of consciousness. They wisely describe discernment, mind, emotions, feelings and passions as empty vessels waiting to be filled with what we choose to pour into them. We also know that thought precedes action, though some of us act without thinking first. The idea is to be aware of the traits and qualities about beliefs or ideologies we entertain in our mind, the kind of trends we impose in our emotions, the sensations we imprint in our feelings, and the expressions we give to our passions. All becomes a matter of choice. 

"What could I have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? Why, when I looked for it to yield grapes, did it yield bad ones?" (5:4)

The Creator makes us accountable for our choices because we indeed are a matter of cause and effect. The lesson is about choosing Love as the cause, for we know that Love is the effect. Love removes what is different, opposite or against its ways and attributes. In order to make Love rule and prevail in all levels of consciousness, first we must return to God's Love. We must yearn for His Love hard enough to make us return to Him, His ways and attributes. He tells us through the Prophet that He fulfills His promise of Final Redemption, as long as we begin allowing our Love to remove what is not necessary in our consciousness. Making Love's ways and attributes prevail over ego's fantasies and illusions.  

"Now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard. I will take away its hedge, and it will be eaten up. I will break down its wall of it, and it will be trampled down. And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor dug; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they don't rain upon it." (5:5-6)

The Final Redemption in Judaism is about the complete removal of the negative trends in human consciousness, and also in the material world. We must understand it as an individual and collective process we have to initiate. As we say "let there be peace and let it begin with me", we also let Love and the goodness of its ways and attributes begin to manifest in all levels of consciousness. Historically we have not allowed this total Redemption for a reason of choice. The Creator gave us free will to choose what is right and good, not the opposite. The Torah invites us to understand evil as a reference and not a choice, hence we are commanded to choose goodness as the blessing, as life.

"For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah the plant of His delight. And He looked for justice, but behold violence; for righteousness, but behold a cry." (5:7)

As we said above, the fertile and fruitful hill is our connection with God, and we as Israel are planted by Him. We are the other end of this bond in the material world, His delight on Earth, for we are commanded by Him and destined to make prevail His righteousness and justice. These two summarize His Torah as the entire instruction to eliminate violence and suffering from the world. God has honored Israel to make righteousness and justice prevail out of the goodness of His Love. Once more we must understand our moral and ethical imperatives not only as the outcome of fairness to do what is right, but the outcome of Love. God loves and delights in justice and righteousness, for these come from His Love, hence we honor Him by making our Love the motivation and the cause of justice and righteousness.

In this context we the Chosen People are accountable to Love as the material manifestation of God's Love. The rest of this chapter reiterates that we are accountable for our permanent connection with the Creator. Through the Prophet, He points out the negative trends in our consciousness that dispossess and oppress the weak among our people. Selfishness, greed, indifference, cruelty and indolence devastate the goodness of Love, leaving behind misery and suffering. The vanity and futility of ego's fantasies and illusions that call good evil and evil good. God reaffirms time and again that evil and wickedness are wiped as He fulfills His promise to redeem us from them.

God's anger is recalled. Again we understand it as the anger we experience as the result of frustration in the emptiness left by ego's fantasies and illusions. Anger is what we feel out of our separation from God's Love. There is no wrath in God but what He tells us about our wrath, to make us return to His ways and attributes. Our anger and frustration become the trigger to our way back to God. The pain and misery we suffer with the outcome of our negative choices hit our feelings and emotions, filling them with anger, rage, frustration, depression, indolence and indifference. These are the enemies that threaten our consciousness and repel our Essence and true identity.

The message in this chapter can be summarize saying that when we don't care for our vineyard -- the goodness God has planted in us --, and embrace the negative trends in consciousness, these turn into the enemies that seek our destruction. This happened to us in the times of our Prophets, and we assimilate it now in our current times as well. Our enemies increase against us as we allow negative trends to take over our consciousness.

"And they shall roar against them in that day like the roaring of the sea; and if one look unto the land, behold darkness and distress, and the light is darkened in the skies thereof." (5:30)

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.