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)
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.