Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Messianic Consciousness in Jewish Prophecy (XIII) Ezekiel

Almost three quarters (35 out of 48 chapters) of the message the Creator delivers to Israel and the nations through Ezekiel refer to the consequences of living separated from Him. Harsh words define living in the negative trends of consciousness by our own choice. Before God brings with detail to our attention the effects of our estrangement from His ways, attributes and "commandments for which we live", as He repeatedly indicate in the Torah and through His Prophets, Ezekiel share his visions with us.

Modern psychiatry (C.G. Jung in particular) tries to define the elements that comprise some of the levels in our consciousness unknown or unclear to us. The unconscious, for instance, is the level that makes us act or behave without the approval or agreement of our conscious self. It seems that the unconscious in some degree is closely related to instincts. We are compelled by them. Based on theory, the unconscious contains elements called "archetypes" by which our conscious self relates to ideal states or goals we are compelled to pursue.

These archetypes are presented by symbols that represent ideas, feelings or emotions that interact with each other in order to pursue an end. In other words, we must find the meanings of what compels us to act in particular or peculiar ways. Thus we may understand the visions of some of the Jewish Prophets. What they see invite them to understand and act accordingly.     

"As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of One who spoke." (Ezekiel 1:28)

The rainbow contains the colors or chromatic expressions of pure light (white light), which also represent seven facets of consciousness attached to the Creator, from Whom all exists (that the Zohar calls "the seven spheres"). In the context of his vision, the Prophet indeed relates the colors of the rainbow to the Light from where it came. This Light is referred as the Glory of God, which we call here God's Love.

This is the premise to embrace God and relate to Him. As we recognize His Love as His Glory in His Creation, we are filled by awe as the indescribable feeling we experience before His Presence. Our Sages call this awe the "fear of God" in the ethical context of Judaism. As we stand before the Light as God's Love from where all was created, we finally understand and assimilate who we are and from where we came from.

"And He said to me: 'Son of man, I send you to the children of Israel, to rebellious nations, that have rebelled against Me (...)" (2:3)

The Prophet is chosen by his goodness and righteousness as attachments to God's Love as His ways, attributes and Commandments that keep us close to Him. In this sense, goodness and righteousness as part of Love's ways and attributes are the qualities to confront the negative tendencies of consciousness. Thus we transform them and reorient them as positive expressions. We learn how to do this through the knowledge God gives us in the Torah. We come to know Him by His instruction.

"And He said unto me: 'Son of man, make your belly to eat, and fill your bowels with this roll that I give you'. Then did I eat it, and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness. And He said to me: 'Son of man, go, get yourself onto the house of Israel, and speak with My words unto them'." (3:3-4)

The sweetness of the Torah reveals in our consciousness the Essence and identity that defines our true self. Once we acquire the knowledge God wants us to have, we are compelled to share it. We are accountable for what we know, have and do. It is said that to whom a lot is given, a lot is expected. The lot here is the greatest of all, our connection and relationship with the Creator! We have quoted in this blog our Sages when they ask who is a rich person. They answer the one who is happy with his lot, what we refer here as our bond with God.

If we come to know and realize that Love's ways and attributes are indeed the means to return to goodness as our Redemption from negativity, we must proclaim, propagate, expand and make Love transform and rule all aspects of life. This is our most fundamental knowledge, and also our primordial obligation.

"(...) because you have not given him warning, he shall die in his sin. And his righteous deeds which he has done shall not be remembered, but his blood will I require at your hand." (3:20)

The Prophet says his words for us to understand. Hence it is up to us to hear or to ignore. We are responsible for each other. This is one of the meanings of loving our neighbor as ourselves. Thus we enter the Messianic Consciousness which direct us to live in Love's ways and attributes, as it was meant to be for us by our Creator who loves us as He also loves His entire Creation.

"And the Lord said: 'Even thus shall the children of Israel eat their bread unclean, among the nations whither I will drive them." (4:13)

The message begins to become harsher as God compares the negative trends in our consciousness to human excrement. Harsher words for harsher tendencies.

"(...) and I will send upon you famine and evil beasts, and they shall bereave you; and pestilence and blood shall pass through you, and I will bring the sword upon you. I the Lord have spoken it." (5:17)

God deals with ego's fantasies and illusions, and the negative tendencies of human consciousness in a peculiar way. Let's recall the episode before the Exodus form Egypt when God "hardened" Pharaoh's heart. God wanted to teach him a lesson about obsessive negative behavior. Pharaoh was deeply obsessed with oppressing and destroying the children of Israel, to the point that he could not change his mind. Our Sages explain that "hardening" Pharaoh's heart meant making lose his free will. His only reference about reality was doing evil to Israel, to the extreme that he could not see any other references that may have changed his attitude.

The same thing happens when one is caught in a strong obsession, addiction or either negative state of consciousness like persistent neurosis or psychotic behavior. Once one gets caught in them, free will as the premise of freedom is lost. One becomes the prisoner of his/her own negative fantasies and illusions.

This negative predicament is stronger than our will power to get out of it. Our Love is not enough to get ourselves back to the freedom and plenitude of its ways and attributes. As we pointed out in other commentaries about the Messianic Consciousness in Jewish Prophecy, we realize that only God's Love can deliver us, and we cry out to Him for our Redemption. Our Love needs to be nurtured by His Love, and by bonding with Him through His ways and attributes, we begin to live in real freedom.

"(...) I will bring a sword upon you, and I will destroy your high places. And your altars shall become desolate, and your sun-images shall be broken; and I will cast down your slain men before your idols. And I will lay the carcasses of the children of Israel before their idols, and I will scatter your bones round about your altars." (6:3-5)

God's Love has the power to redeem our consciousness when we are trapped in ego's fantasies and negative attitudes. As He did to Pharaoh, God deals with our attachments, addictions and obsessions. He makes us aware that we live by the consequences of our negative choices, the swords that come upon us. We end up learning by living in the desolation of our addictions as the broken idols God puts before us. These are also ego's materialistic desires that become like dead men and our bones scattered around the objects of our fantasies.

"And they shall know that I am the Lord. I have not said in vain that I would do this evil unto them." (6:10)

Time and again, we must emphasize that what God tells us here and in other passages of the Hebrew Bible about our separation from Him is not intended as vengeance, punishment, retaliation or retribution from Him against us. We shall know that He is God when we separate from Him, meaning that in His absence we are caught in our own inventions or illusions. This is another way to learn who God is. Hence the evil we experience by our own choices is the direct consequence of what He warns us in advance about what will come with our attitude.

Let's understand the harsh words of the first 35 chapters in the Prophet's message. Israel is confronted by God in different situations when He also refers to us as Jerusalem and its daughter as harlots, and the reasons behind it. God calls the facts by their names to bring our awareness to the transcendence of our permanent bond with Him. Once and for all He makes us realize that we live by Love as the material expression of His Love. Here lies the real reason of our existence and true freedom.

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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.