Sunday, October 27, 2013
Our consciousness faces devastation with ego's fantasies and illusions. As we let them control our thoughts, emotions, feelings, passions and instincts we are doomed to live under their terms, conditions and whims. This sounds like living under the dictatorship of addictions, attachments and obsessions out of an either false or fabricated feeling or belief of lack. Then we reflect on what is relevant beyond our immediate needs as the first step to free ourselves from the modern slavery of Consumer Society. The point is to make a clear difference between what is truly relevant in life and what is not. Thus we realize that from the moment we are born all we need is Love, and Love is what is necessary and relevant.
Empirically we realize that we can't live or survive without Love. Hence Love's ways and attributes must be the purpose of life in all its extension. Also, based on experience, we learn to put aside all that oppose Love's ways. But we don't. The so called "establishment" we also call "the system", "lifestyle", "modus vivendi" or "way of life" is what usually determines the values and principles from and for which we live. We live according to what others around us are, have and do. When we are fed up with it, we usually look for "better" or "higher" values and move to where they are. At some point (unfortunately not everyone gets there) we wonder about what our individual and collective consciousness is about.
The unavoidable questions arise. What we are, where we came from, and what is the meaning and purpose of life. The Torah gives us all the answers. Then we learn and regain what we thought we never had. Love comes as the answer for all the questions. As we reflect on the Creator's ways and attributes we realize that these are also ours, for we came from Him. The Prophet refers to devastation in our consciousness after we allow our enemies to take over our Essence and identity. Devastation is all that doesn't belong to who we truly are.
"And seven women shall take hold of one man in that day, saying: 'We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel; only let us be called by your name, you take away our reproach'." (Isaiah 4:1)
Though our Sages teach that in those days of devastation thousands of widows were willing to become wives of the remaining men, after their wars against the invaders, let's understand it in other way. The fact that the verse precedes another one full of redeeming meanings invites us to take a different approach. We become aware of our basic needs and forget about ego's desires and pretensions when we become destitute. After our consciousness is depleted by the claims and demands of materialistic fantasies, addictions, attachments and illusions, we are forced to return to what it is truly real. The seven women also represent the seven Canaanite nations as negative tendencies in consciousness (greed, envy, lust, wrath, indifference, indolence and cruelty) that instead of depleting Love as the vital force that sustains and nurtures life for the sake of their predicament, begin to provide for themselves under the guidance of one man.
This man represents human consciousness under the guidance of the unifying power of Love. The negative trends in consciousness are transformed into cooperative and productive qualities when we realize that the goodness of Love is the natural conductor of all facets and dimensions of life. Love integrates and harmonizes all aspects and trends in consciousness for the purpose of Love's ways and attributes. In this sense we understand that Love is its own cause and effect. We can also understand the sentence, "only let us be called by your name, [and] you take away our reproach" as a plea from our negative tendencies to be redeemed and transformed by the Creator, who placed them in our consciousness for us to have free will. We ask Him to let us be called by His Name, so He may take away our reproach and disgrace. In His compassion we are redeemed from the outcome of the wrong choices we make, and their negative consequences.
As we said above, the man mentioned in the verse represents human consciousness under the guidance of the unifying power of Love. This is the Messianic Consciousness, the premise for the Final Redemption. We are not completely redeemed if we still allow in our consciousness beliefs, thoughts, feelings, emotions, passions and instincts opposite to Love's ways, qualities, means and attributes. We have said before that the approach to Redemption is radical. Thus we understand the Commandment to wipe out the memory of Amalek from below the Heavens.
Love does not cohabit with anything different from its ways and attributes. It is an imperative to remove all traces of evil, its ways and traits, in order to have the life the Creator commands us to live. The Torah is the instruction to make goodness prevail, by all means. Our Jewish identity is stated in the Torah. We act accordingly to make goodness prevail. Our individual and collective Redemption begins as we embrace the goodness that we are, and the goodness we must have as our eternal destiny. Goodness is the moral and ethical imperative of Love as the material manifestation of God's Love. As He redeems our consciousness we realize the greatness and beauty of His Love.
"In that day shall the sprout of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land excellent and comely for the survivors of Israel." (4:2)
We have referred to "the day of the Lord" and "in the end of times" as the time when His Presence is fully revealed as announced by our Prophets. We understand this prophecy as the time when we return to the identity God has given us in His Torah. This means when He joins us in the removal of all that is unnecessary and obstructing in our consciousness. This is the rebirth of our Essence and true identity, the beautiful and glorious sprout that blossoms in the land as the restored true meaning of life as created by God. Those who remain loyal to His ways and attributes, and to Love as the means to live them are the ones who harvest the fruits of their individual and collective Redemption. We have said that the land of Israel, the Promised Land, is the goodness of life and life in its goodness. This is the land where we become aware of our permanent connection with the Creator, where our Love meets His Love.
"And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remained in Jerusalem shall be called holy, even every one that is written unto life in Jerusalem;" (4:3)
Those who maintain their Love permanently connected to God's Love are the holy ones, for this connection is the meaning of Zion and Jerusalem. Both represent our bond with the Creator, which is the real meaning of life and what makes us be written in its book. We rebuild Jerusalem and its Temple as the eternal time and space that keep us united with the Creator, and makes us sacred as the life He has given us.
"when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof, by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of destruction." (4:4)
The Prophet reminds us again that as we unite our Love with God's Love by being and doing His ways, Commandments and attributes, He washes away the negative trends in our consciousness. His Love cleans from all impurity the driving force of our life that yearns to bond with Him, by removing the destructive and demeaning traits of the negative choices we make out of ego's false beliefs or feelings of lack.
"And the Lord will create over the whole habitation of mount Zion, and over her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory shall be a canopy." (4:5)
After this cleansing process, the Creator promises us to completely renew our consciousness and connection with Him. This includes all their aspects and dimensions in intellect, discernment, mind, thought, emotions, feelings, passions and instincts ("the assemblies"). All these will be protected and guided by God's will, as He did with our ancestors in the desert after their Exodus from Egypt. His cloud and fire as the canopy of His glory, which are signs of His Love.
The Prophet announces a new habitation for Zion as another dimension of our connection with God. We can't grasp it with our current divided consciousness in which goodness and wickedness, true and false, right and wrong, positive and negative coexist in constant confrontation and conflict. This new awareness belongs to the Messianic Consciousness with which God's Love and our Love bond, for us to fulfill the Creator's Plan for the material world. A new consciousness without barriers against Love's ways and attributes.
"And there shall be a pavilion for a shadow in the day time [to protect] from the heat, and for a refuge and for a covert [to protect] from storm and from rain." (4:6)
Sunday, October 20, 2013
We must always be aware that we are an emanation of God's Love. We are His creatures. We belong to Him. We have an unbreakable connection with our Creator. Judaism proclaims in its fundamentals that He created all that exists, and also sustains and directs His Creation. These principles seem to rebound on a wall in our consciousness called ego. As long as we live believing that we are our own creators and our own gods, we live an illusion. There is no separation from God until we come with the idea or feeling that we are far from Him.
We have said in this blog that being individuals doesn't make us individualists. We obviously are separate entities as individual humans, but this fact doesn't entitle us to separate from each other. By separating from each other we mean being indifferent, indolent, cruel or against each other. We are meant to live close to each other since the moment we are born. We need each other and this makes us responsible and accountable to each other. Free will is empowered by righteousness to make positive choices. Without knowledge of what is right and good we will never be able to execute free will. We learn from experience in order to act accordingly, and we are supposed to act for the sake of our individual and collective well being. This implies that what is good to us individually must also be good for each other. This is the purpose of the entire Torah.
If we act against this fundamental principle, we are living against God's will. This is the seminal message of the Torah, and our Jewish Prophets remind us that the Final Redemption comes when we begin to truly love each other. It means that, in other to do that, we must remove everything that is against God's will. We are talking about the negative trends and tendencies in our consciousness, derived from ego's fantasies and illusions. The Messianic Era is about living in Love's ways and attributes, and our Prophets tell us that it is only up to us. Once we realize that we are an extension of God's Love, we become accountable to His ways and attributes.
We owe our life to goodness, hence we have to respond to it by being and doing goodness. This is our Essence and true identity, from which we were created, for God is good. The Prophet tells us that God asks us to be accountable for the Love He bestows on us.
"The Lord has stood up to plead, and He is standing to judge the peoples. The Lord will enter into judgment with the elders of His people, and the princes thereof: 'It is ye that have consumed the vineyard; the spoil of the poor is in your houses'." (Isaiah 3:13-14)
The Creator pleads for those we afflict and oppress with indifference, indolence, negligence and baseless rejection. We belong to each other as we belong to God. Hence He pleads on behalf of them to remind us to be good as He is with us. This reminder is His judgment for the peoples. In a deeper meaning these are the lower aspects of consciousness we neglect. Emotions and feelings that make us feel lack, abandoned, rejected or humiliated. These are the poor of the land, the weak aspects of consciousness that we must protect, nurture, straighten and empower in order to be strong parts of our consciousness.
Our higher levels in consciousness, the elders and the princes, are accountable to the lower ones which are the poor, the orphans and the widows. We must love ourselves enough to take us from depression, frustration, discouragement, dejection, anger, greed or envy, and transform our negative feelings and emotions into positive and enhancing qualities. We owe to ourselves our complete well being by returning to Love as our true identity. We can only achieve this by loving and helping each other.
We mustn't allow our good judgment and positive qualities fall to ego's fantasies and illusions that consume the goodness of life. This is the vineyard they consume, and the spoils they devour from our emotions and feelings as the poor we dispossess from the goodness of life. The houses where we store the spoils are our egos.
"What do you mean that you crush My people, and grind the face of the poor?' says the Lord of hosts. Because that daughters of Zion have been haughty, and they walk stretching out the neck, and deceiving with the eyes, walking and mincing they go, and making a tinkling with their feet." (3:15-16)
The Creator holds us responsible for the well being of our individual and collective lives. Ego's fantasies and illusions are the daughters of what we have turned into vanity and futility. Zion is the awareness of our permanent connection with God. The Prophet denounces what we have made of our Essence and true identity. He claims that we have prostituted our higher consciousness by letting her go behind ego's fantasies and illusions, and follow their negative outcomes.
"And the Lord will fray the crown of the head of daughters of Zion, and the Lord exposes their secret parts. In that day the Lord will take away the beauty of their tinkling anklets, and of the embroidered works, and of the crescent-shaped ornaments." (3:17-18)
Once again God's Love redeems us from the consequences of our negative choices. He promises to remove the negative traits that undermine the awareness of our permanent connection with Him, represented here by the crown of the head. This removal will make us know the inner beliefs, thoughts, emotions and instincts we kept secret, which also kept us naked from the true garments God chothed us since the moment He created us. Thus we will realize that there was nothing beautiful in the fantasies and illusions for which we traded our Essence and true identity.
"Of the pendants, and the bracelets, and the veils. Of the turbans, and the ornaments of the legs, and of the head bands, and of the perfume boxes, and the amulets, (...)" (3:19-23)
All we have been creating -- to reaffirm our alleged separation from the Creator -- since we left the Garden of Eden, God's Love will remove from our consciousness. All we have invented to cover and dress our consciousness instead of the garments of God's attributes and Commandments will disappear. These garments, fragrances, ornaments and amulets are the ideas, beliefs, ideologies, whims, desires, fantasies and illusions that attract our oppressors and turn them into our punishments.
"And it shall come to pass, that instead fragrance there shall be stench; and instead of a girdle rags; and instead of curled hair baldness; and instead of a rich robe a skirt of sackcloth; branding instead of beauty." (3:24)
What we create out of ego's fantasies and illusions sooner or later become our oppressors and punishments. "His own iniquities do capture the wicked, and with the ropes of his sin he is held." (Proverbs 5:22) Life is the land where goodness must prevail. It is also the field where we wage wars against what denies goodness. Ego's fantasies and illusions consume the goodness of life. They are the sword by which we fall, including all that makes us strong.
"Your men shall fall by the sword, and you mighty ones in the war. And her gates shall lament and mourn. Yea, she has been emptied, on the ground she shall sit upon." (Isaiah 3:25-26)
Once we surrender to ego's fantasies and illusions, the awareness of our permanent connection with God mourns and laments. We surrender to emptiness and fall down bellow, waiting for God's Love to awaken our Love once again. This is the Final Redemption we yearn for, in which we will be aware the our Love and God's Love are united forever.
Sunday, October 13, 2013
We have said that in the Messianic Consciousness goodness prevails in all levels and dimensions of life. As long as we live in Love's ways and attributes in what we are and do, we manifest the Final Redemption. This means than in this full awareness there is no room for ego's fantasies and illusions. When Love occupies everything, there is no room for anything but Love.
"And the idols shall utterly pass away." (Isaiah 2:18)
The Prophet reiterates God's words regarding the day when He will not hide anymore His Presence from our consciousness. This is the time when the purpose of His Creation will be totally revealed to us, and we will finally know and embrace our Essence and true identity, from which God created us. The Torah is the purpose of Creation and as we learn from it we realize God's will for us. This is how we know His ways and attributes in order to emulate them in who we are and do. Indeed God's will is our Redemption. We are redeemed by living in His ways and attributes. In the final chapters of the Torah the Creator warns us about the consequences of living in the ways the nations, and serving their idols.
Our exile and dispersion among the nations are direct consequences of our separation from God's ways to serve their idols, which are ego's fantasies and illusions. We have known over centuries of separation from our Essence and true identity, that our deep sleep in the fantasies we ourselves have created won't last forever. The day of God is the time of our awakening. He knows our nature, for He created us. He knows that we rather make wickedness a choice and not a reference. He knows the suffering from our wrong choices, and also expects us to learn from them. Yet, He won't allow evil and wickedness to rule our consciousness if our endeavors to make goodness prevail fail, for the latter is His will. He will reveal it in the day we return to His ways, to walk with Him.
"And men shall go into the caves of the rocks, and into the holes of the earth, from before the terror of the Lord, and from the glory of His majesty, when He arises to shake mightily the earth." (2:19)
The Prophet twice again (see also 2:21) brings up ego's stubbornness to make our consciousness remain captive in its fantasies and illusions, the darkness of the caves into the hardness of narrow mindedness. The holes of the earth as the depths of materialism. In this darkness we hide from the reverence ("terror") of God and the glory of His majesty, which are His Love that shakes mightily every level and dimension of life. We must understand that before God's Love there is nothing in between. There is only room for His Love and our Love bonding as one. Our discernment, intellect, mind, thoughts, feelings, emotions, passions and instincts are not shaken from anything different from Love's ways and attributes. As we allow Love to rule all levels of consciousness, we also allow God's Love to be revealed to us.
"In that day a man shall cast away his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made for themselves to worship, to the moles and to the bats." (2:20)
The Prophet reiterates time and again that we are the makers of our own materialistic fantasies and illusions. As we allow Love to reign in all aspects of life, we begin to live in the day God promised to reveal His Presence to us. All we gave arbitrary value as silver and gold in life will disappear into the nothingness they came from, the darkness where the moles and bats live.
"Cease ye from man, Whose [God's] breath is in his nostrils; for wherein is he to be accounted of?" (2:22)
Ego's fantasies and illusions are the works of human hands. We create them with the living Spirit with which God sustains us, the breath He exhales in our nostrils. Then, what are we accounted for but for His Love from where we are made? We must cease to depend on the fantasies and illusions we have created throughout our history, and begin to live in Love's ways and attributes in order to know God's will and His Plan for us.
"All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils." (Job 27:3)
The Psalmist also invites us to return to our Creator and His ways.
"Trust not in princes, [or] in a son of man, for he has no deliverance." (Psalms 146:3) "Better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man." (118:8)
Our choices have consequences. The Prophet anticipates in the third chapter of his messages the outcome of living under the rule of the lower aspects of consciousness. By despising God's Love and His ways, we embrace the idols we create as ego's fantasies and illusions. As we forsake Love's ways and attributes, they also abandon our consciousness. Once again we remark that God's separation from us is the result of our separation from Him.
"For, lo, God, the Lord of multitudes, turns aside from Jerusalem, and from Judah, stay and staff. Every stay of bread, and every stay of water." (Isaiah 3:1)
Jerusalem is the awareness of our permanent connection with the Creator, and Judah is the empowerment to manifest this awareness in the material world. As we choose the bread and water of fantasies and illusions, we lose the bread and water of God's ways and attributes.
"The mighty man, and the man of war; the judge, and the prophet, and the diviner, and the elder. The captain of fifty, and the man of rank, and the counselor, and the cunning charmer, and the skillful enchanter. And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them." (2:4)
These verses make no difference between judge, prophet, elder (wise men), warrior and adviser, and diviner, cunning charmer and skillful enchanter. Both positive and negative trends in consciousness become subjugated by the childishness and recklessness of youngsters. This is the way the Prophet refers to ego's fantasies and illusions, childish wreckers, immature imagination.
"And the people shall oppress one another, every man his fellow, and every man his neighbor; the child shall behave insolently against the aged, and the base against the honorable." (3:5, 6-7)
Ego's fantasies and illusions lead us to exploit one another for the sake of our individual materialistic desires. These undermine and humiliate the goodness of Love. Our obsessions, attachments and additions insult our discernment, intellect and common sense; and debase the honor of principles and values that respect, protect and dignify life.
"For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen; because their tongue and their doings are against the Lord, to provoke the eyes of His glory. The show of their countenance does witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have wrought evil unto themselves." (3:8-9)
As we debase ourselves, we debase God's Love in us. The lesson is to return to Love in order to return to God's Love.
"Say ye of the righteous, that it shall be well with him; for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him; for the work of his hands shall be done to him." (3:10-11)
As we choose goodness, so we harvest goodness. As we choose ego's fantasies and illusions, so we harvest their futility and emptiness.
"As for My people, a babe is their master, and women rule over them. O My people, they that lead you cause you to err, and destroy the way of your paths." (3:12)
God laments our separation from His ways, and the outcome of straying away from His Love. Immaturity leads to err, and weakness makes us fall. Babes and women are more vulnerable to danger and harm, thus they warns us about falling down to weakness, through which we divert from Love's paths of righteousness. Love is our Essence and strength that lead us to be, have and manifest what we truly are. In this awareness we achieve our Final Redemption, and enter in the Messianic Era. Love is the destined regent, the natural ruler and the conductor of all aspects, levels and dimensions of consciousness to make goodness prevail in life.
Sunday, October 6, 2013
One of the most important lessons we learn from the mystic Chassidic tradition is the inner meanings of characters, places, objects and situations narrated in the Torah. One of these is Egypt's Pharaoh, which represents the egocentric approach to life, hence we all have a Pharaoh inside of us. It's interesting his relationship with Joseph, his interaction with Moses, and particularly with God. We want to bring up ego's role in human consciousness. The Creator wants us to have ego as well as intellect, mind, emotions, feelings and instincts in order to be subservient to His will. Ego seems to be the one that rebels against this Divine decree, and persuades its peers in consciousness to also separate from what God commands in His Torah.
Ego emerges as a little god to challenge God's control over all His Creation. This challenge comes from ego's "mind" or domain known as imagination. This is the field where ego believes that indeed he is a god. Whatever ego desires, it does it imagining what it wants and how is going to get it. The moment we step into imagination, we enter in a realm where we feel as gods. This doesn't meant we shouldn't imagine, but to pay attention to what and why we imagine. This is the realm of ego's fantasies and illusions. What we envy or covet, and what makes us greedy to get it regardless the circumstances, come up from what we imagine about it.
We really feel gods in the realm of imagination. There we can be, have and do anything want or desire. We even become aware that we establish the limits of our imagination. Imagination is directly proportional to ego's fantasies and illusions. The Torah tells us that all we discern, think, feel, do or imagine must be submitted to God's ways and attributes, which we call here also Love's ways and attributes.
In sum, we know that ego's fantasies and illusions are the antagonists of both, the Torah and Love. The latter are the foundation of the Final Redemption and the Messianic Era. This is the reason for the Torah and our Prophets to denounce repeatedly the cause and effect of idolatry. We separate from Love's ways and attributes the moment we allow the negative trends in consciousness take over our life. These negative traits are denounced time and again as the stumbling blocks for our individual and collective Redemption.
"The lofty looks of man shall be brought low, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. For the Lord of hosts has a day upon all that is proud and lofty, and upon all that is lifted up, and it shall be brought low." (Isaiah 2:11-12)
Our Sages say in the Talmud that the worst kind of idolatry is pride, followed by wrath. It becomes evident that pride is self-idolatry. They also remark that the haughty is so full of himself that doesn't leave room for anything but him, keeping God away from him. We adore ourselves. In Greek mythology self-infatuation leads to premature death, the case of Narcissus contemplating his reflection on the waters where he drowned. In this case the waters represent ego's fantasies and illusions.
Haughtiness is the assumption that we are gods. Hence its opposite and antidote is humbleness. Once we recognize that all we are and have belong to the Creator, we enter the day -- the permanent awareness -- in which we follow His Plan, not ours. As we have said here many times, the purpose of God's Plan is the Messianic Era. In this context we Jews understand the primordial meaning of Shabbat, "First in [God's] thought, last in Creation". The Shabbat is the culmination of God's Plan. The moment we begin to embrace God's ways as attributes of humbleness in our consciousness, Love's ways as the material manifestation of God's Love will remove pride and haughtiness from us. This is the starting point to continue removing the remaining negative aspects and trends in our consciousness.
"And upon all the cedars of Lebanon that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan. And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up. And upon every lofty tower, and upon every fortified wall. And upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all delightful imagery. And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be brought low; and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day." (2:13-17)
The remaining negative traits and trends in consciousness are allegorically referred here as the "high" and "lifted" trees, as well as the mountains, hills and towers, and the fortified walls. The higher and loftier these are, the more difficult to be cut off or turn down. Interestingly, the cedars of Lebanon are mentioned along with the oaks of Bashan. Both are actually opposite to each other. The cedars grow in the courtyards of the Temple of Jerusalem, also metaphorically known as the Lebanon (the white one in terms of purity), and the oaks as trees planted for idolatrous purposes.
The Prophet abruptly puts them both in the same level, to point out that haughtiness also corrupts even those who are called to serve in the Temple. Our sublime feelings that bring us closer to the Creator can also get corrupted by believing that they are far better than the rest of our consciousness. Their job is to keep all aspects and dimensions of life together and united by, through, for and towards Love as our common bond with God's Love. The Prophet is calling the Priests and Levites as corrupt as the priests and priestesses of Bashan, by the same token: haughtiness.
Tarshish represents stubbornness to remain in a negative state, such as obsessions, addictions, habits and behavioral patterns that keep us away from Love's ways and attributes. Here we see this city-port -- from where ships navigate to invade the Promise Land and fight Israel -- associated to "all delightful imagery", what we have called ego's fantasies and illusions. We really are obsessed in an ego trip of fake delight in our imagination from which we have to wake up. We come down when we renounce the idolatry of loftiness and haughtiness, and embrace the humbleness of being and doing Love's ways and attributes. God's Love waits for our Love to receive His Redemption, and begin to live the real delights of the Messianic Era, the eternal Shabbat we pray for every week.
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.