Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Messianic Consciousness in Jewish Prophecy (LXIII) Isaiah

God reminds us (Isaiah 41:1-3) that He creates all, and He controls His Creation.

“Who has wrought and done it? He that called the generations from the beginning. I, the Lord, who am the first, and with the last I am the same.” (41:4)

The One only God reveals something we can't grasp in our consciousness, which is the fact that He doesn't change. This is difficult to assimilate, considering that all we perceive in the material world is in constant change. Another thing we are not able to comprehend is eternity, for nothing is eternal in our perception. With this preamble, God introduces His bond and relationship with Israel as the goodness He wants to make prevail in the material world.

“But you Israel, My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham My beloved. You whom I have taken hold of from the ends of the earth, and called you from the uttermost parts thereof, and said unto you: 'You are My servant, I have chosen you and not cast you away'.” (41:8-9)

Goodness is created to manifest God's goodness in His Creation. Thus we understand that Israel serves God's will for the world. For this He chose His people, whose spiritual seed is Abraham, the one that God loves. God's Love is essential in His Creation, and foremost in our connection with Him, for in Love we find and realize our true identity and destiny. As God's Love chooses us, He embraces us and there is no separation.

“Do not fear, don't be dismayed, for I am your God. I strengthen you, yea, I help you; yea, I uphold you with My victorious right hand. Behold, all they that were incensed against you shall be ashamed and confounded. They that strove with you shall be as nothing, and shall perish.” (41:10-11)

The Creator gives us life and also the strength, not only to face and overcome adversities but the courage to know Him through His ways and attributes. These are the goodness destined to prevail over the fantasies and illusions we create to separate ourselves from Him in order to become gods of our own domains. These are the cause of our shame and confusion, in spite of coming out of the nothingness we give illusory life.

“You shall seek them, and shall not find them, even them that contended with you. They that warred against you shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. For I the Lord your God hold your right hand, who say unto you: 'Do not fear, I help you'.” (41:12-13)

We have said often that we get trapped in our own illusions, beliefs, desires, attachments, obsessions and addictions. They become the idols we serve and to which we submit our free will. Once we become their captives, it is almost impossible to return to the freedom we have in the Essence and identity God gave us from His Love that is His right hand. Hence there is nothing to fear, for our freedom belongs to Him.

“Fear not, you worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel. I help you, says the Lord, and your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” (41:14)

We mustn't fear in the darkness of our negative traits and tendencies, for these are destined to disappear as we begin to the embrace the goodness of God's ways and attributes as the hand of our Redemption, for the Creator is also our Redeemer. Here we realize that goodness is our sacred bond with Him.

“Behold, I make you a new threshing-sledge having sharp teeth. You shall thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shall make the hills as chaff. You shall fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them. And you shall rejoice in the Lord, you shall glorify in the Holy One of Israel.” (41:15-16)

God promised our Final Redemption and the Messianic Era through a radical change in our individual and collective consciousness. This will be as a “new threshing-sledge with sharp teeth” to transform the negative aspects of consciousness, and turn them into chaff faded into the air. In this new consciousness we will see God's Love revealed to us, rejoice in His Presence, and glorify Him through the glory of our triumph over the darkness we have created with ego's fantasies and illusions.

“The poor and needy seek water and there is none, and their tongue faints for thirst. I the Lord answer them, I the God of Israel do not forsake them.” (41:17)

We become poor when we renounce Love's ways and attributes to embrace ego's fantasies and illusions. God knows our hearts and does not abandon us, in spite of our feelings of lack that keep us away from Him. He tells us that He will answer if we call Him. Therefore it is up to us to make the choice to return to Him.

“I will open rivers on the high hills, and fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.” (40:18)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Messianic Consciousness in Jewish Prophecy (LXII) Isaiah

The Prophet refers to the troubles of Israel in his times (chapters 36 through 39) during the the reign of king Hezekiah. Isaiah warns against reliance on military alliances rather than trusting God regarding Israel's freedom and national well being. This means in our consciousness that we must not compromise our connection and relationship with God by making negative traits and trends part of our Jewish identity. Either we rely on our bond with God or on ego's fantasies and illusions. These don't blend or cohabit with God's ways and and attributes, from which our identity is formed and shaped.

“Comfort ye, comfort ye My people, says your God. Bid Jerusalem take heart, and proclaim unto her, that her time of labor is accomplished, that her guilt is paid off; that she has received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins.” (Isaiah 40:1-2)

In this chapter the Prophet speaks again of Redemption. Our Sages say that God asks His Prophets to comfort Israel with the promise of the Messianic Era, after the completion of our exile among the nations. The ending of the exile begins when our learning from the negative traits and trends in consciousness is accomplished. As we finally assimilate our pain and suffering in our separation from God's ways, our guilt is paid off. Thus Jerusalem as the awareness of our permanent connection with God is compensated greatly by His hand, which is His Love.

“A voice is crying in a wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in a desert a highway to our God. Every valley is raised up, and every mountain and hill become low, and the crooked place becomes a plain, and the rough places a valley.” (40:3-4)

In the wilderness of ego's fantasies and illusions we cry out to God's Love, and from there we prepare our way back to Him. The way back is straight as His ways and attributes, in which humbleness is the means to lower that which we have raised up in our consciousness. We must transform the haughtiness of false beliefs and negative emotions, feelings and deeds into ways and means to return to our Essence and true identity.

“And the glory of the Lord has been revealed, and all flesh has seen it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken'.” (40:5)

This prophecy has been revealed before hand, therefore we know that God's glory is manifest in His Creation. There is an allusion to His revelation in mount Sinai when He gave us the Torah, and also our awareness that His redemption is in our reach. Hence it is up to us to choose back to God in order to fulfill His promise in us, individually and collectively.

“A voice is saying, 'Call', and he says, 'What do I call?'. All flesh is grass, and all its goodness is as a flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, for the Spirit of the Lord blew upon it. Surely the people is grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands for ever.” (40:6-8)

The Prophet's metaphors remind us time and again that God is our Creator, and we depend on Him. He invites us to attach our consciousness to God's word as His ways and attributes in order to live according to His will. Thus we will be able to transcend the withering and fading of the material world, and live by and for God's Spirit as the breath of life He wants us to experience in all levels of consciousness.

“On a high mountain get you up, O Zion, proclaiming tidings. Lift up with power your voice, O Jerusalem, proclaiming tidings. Lift up, fear not, say to cities of Judah, 'Behold your God'!” (40:9)

We must lift up our consciousness to its highest level, which is Zion, and proclaim from there our Redemption, for God is with us as we reach up to Him. The cities of Judah represent the potential goodness in our discernment, thoughts, feelings, emotions, passions and instincts. In God's ways and attributes there is no fear, for we see all aspects and dimensions of life from the right perspective, from the high place of our permanent connection with God. That is the tidings as the good news of our Final Redemption and entering into the Messianic Era, when the only desire and concern will be the knowledge of our Creator.

“Behold, the Lord God has come as a Mighty One, and His arm will rule for Him. Behold, His hire is with Him, and His wage before Him.” (40:10)

The knowledge of God is His hand as our ruler. Our attachment to Him is our labor, and also our pay. Thus we realize that our purpose in the material world is to reveal God's Presence in all levels of consciousness. The Prophet refers again to God's works and control over His Creation, with allegories (40:11-16) to tell us that all depends on Him.

“All the nations are as nothing before Him; they are accounted by Him as things of nothing, and vanity.” (40:17)

We are also reminded again about the vanity and futility of ego's fantasies and illusions, as well as the negative traits and trends represented by the nations. We must return to the truth from where we were created, as our reason and purpose in the material world.

“Why says you, O Jacob, and speaks, O Israel: 'My way is hid from the Lord, and from my God my judgment is passed over'? Have you not known? Have you not heard that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, faints not, neither is weary? There is no searching of His understanding.” (40:27-28)

We can't hide from our Creator, nor from the ways and attributes He reveals to us in the Torah. Once more the Prophet invites us to reflect on what we place in our discernment, understanding, mind, thoughts, emotions, feelings, speech and actions. These are the vessels we fill in our consciousness, and we must do it with God's ways and attributes as our Essence and true identity.

“He gives power to the faint, and to him that has no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall. But they that wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint.” (40:29-31)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Messianic Consciousness in Jewish Prophecy (LXI) Isaiah

“The wilderness and the parched land shall be glad; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice, even with joy and singing; the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon; they shall see the glory of the Lord, the excellency of our God.” (Isaiah 35:1-2)

We associate devastation and desolation to qualities of the wilderness and the desert. The Prophet refers to these as part of the same reality. In our consciousness these represent not only a situation of deprivation and abandonment, but the outcome of a negative state or condition. This is about our exile from the Promised Land, our separation from God's ways where we find ourselves in a desert in which we are deprived from our freedom.

In this predicament we are compelled to return to our Essence and true identity -- as our common bond with God -- that He bestows as our own Redemption. In this context we understand what our mystic Chassidic Sages mean when they say that exile is the premise for Redemption. Likewise, darkness is the precondition to recognize the Light, and evil the reference to choose goodness.

We turn lack into the field that is destined to be filled with the abundance we have denied ourselves during the exile from the goodness of Love's ways and attributes. Hence the wilderness shall be glad and the desert shall rejoice before the endless abundance in goodness. The latter comes with the complete awareness of our permanent connection with God, which is the glory of the Lebanon (one of the names of the Temple of Jerusalem). In this awareness we realize the traits and qualities of goodness, represented by the greenery and fertile qualities the Carmel and the Sharon regions as metaphors of God's glory and excellence.

“Strengthen ye the weak hands, and make firm the tottering knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart: 'Be strong, fear not'; behold, your God comes with vindication, with the recompense of God He comes and redeems you.” (35:3-4)

We must come to the awareness that all comes from God:

“Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty; for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is Yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and You are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come of You, and You rule over all. And in Your hand is the power and might, and in Your hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.” (I Chronicles 29:11-12)

Hence our strength and determination come from God. In this sense fear is an illusion we create to deny ourselves our Essence and true identity. Fear is usually the outcome of ego's fantasies and illusions when we get caught in the emptiness and desolation of envy, greed, lust, coveting, arrogance and indifference. Fear becomes the final judgment, the sentence we impose on our consciousness after we lose the most precious possession of all, which is the full awareness of our permanent connection with God.

All fears that appear in the separation from our Creator we see reflected in our separation from the goodness of Love's ways and attributes. The farther we are from Love, the closer we are to fear. Thus we realize that one of the opposites of Love is fear.

Fear is our prison, and Love is our freedom. Our true freedom is living in the land of goodness that is our Promised Land. God promises to brings us back to our land, and asks us to take the first steps in that direction by overcoming our fears and regain our strength. By choosing goodness and positive thoughts, emotions and feelings every moment, we also invite the goodness of God's Love to redeem us from the desert and desolation of ego's fantasies and illusions.

“Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing; for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.” (Isaiah 35:5-6)

God will open our consciousness to full extent, so we will see clearly without the darkness of evil and negative traits and trends. We will see what we hear, and hear what we see. In this awareness we move forward towards the knowledge of God in fast and long leaps. All the expressions of our consciousness will rejoice as we utter God's Love in what we are, have and do. This awareness becomes the breaking waters and streams that remove forever the negative aspects in consciousness, turning it from a desert into an abundantly blossoming field where Love's ways and attributes are the seeds and the harvest.

“And a highway has been there, and a way, and the 'way of holiness' is called. Not pass over it does the unclean, and He [God] Himself is by them, Who so is going in the way, even fools don't err. No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast go up thereon, they shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there.” (35:8-9)

The Prophet is telling us that the way is God's way as a broad road where only holiness leads the journey. In the cleanliness of our goodness along with God's goodness there is no room for the unclean, for God Himself is by us all the way. Even the most innocent or naive won't err, for there are no mistakes in Love's ways and attributes as the material manifestation of God's Love. These are the qualities of the Final Redemption and the Messianic Era, where nothing negative exists.

“And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion, and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads. They shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” (35:10)

We become the ransomed of God when we make the choice to return to His ways and attributes as the goodness we want to make prevail in all dimensions of consciousness, and make them rule over all aspects of life. We all rejoice as we begin to manifest Zion as our permanent connection with God, for this bond is the everlasting joy in our heads. In this complete awareness there are no sorrow or sighting, for God's Love is fully reveled.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Messianic Consciousness in Jewish Prophecy (LX) Isaiah

“Come near, ye nations, to hear, and attend, ye peoples; let the earth hear, and the fullness thereof, the world, and all things that come forth of it.” (Isaiah 34:1)

The entire chapter 34 of Isaiah is another reiteration of God's plan for humankind regarding the imminent change of consciousness toward the goodness He wants to prevail in the material world. The nations, the peoples, the earth, the world and all that come them are destined to be transformed in order to serve the purpose of goodness. These represent all we have made out of our consciousness without the purpose of goodness. These are the enemies and obstacles we have created by choosing ego's fantasies and illusions, and following the negative tendencies in consciousness.

The intrinsic goodness in us -- which defines our Essence and true identity -- is destined to rule all aspects and dimensions of life. This realization is our Final Redemption and the starting point of the Messianic Era.

“For the Lord has indignation against all the nations, and fury against all their host; He has utterly destroyed them, He has delivered them to the slaughter.” (34:2)

God repeatedly tell us in the Torah that His ways and attributes do not cohabit with anything different or opposed to them. He presents to us the blessings of goodness and the curses of evil, for us to choose goodness. He created evil for us to have free will. Hence evil exists as a reference to choose goodness, not as a choice to be evil. Thus we understand His indignation when we choose to corrupt the goodness in us by making envy, lust, arrogance, greed, cruelty, and their predicament the rulers of life and the material world. Again we note that the Prophet is referring to God's words in the past tense, because His will has been decreed before His Creation. God is teaching us a transcendental knowledge by giving us free will. It is transcendental because what we learn is destined to transcend what we didn't know before, that which we used to do out of ignorance.

In other words, we are in the material world to transcend what prevents us to realize our Essence and true identity, which is the goodness as the common bond with our Creator. Hence goodness is what is destined to transcend the material world. Goodness is the cause, the means and the end. Once we fully realize this principle, we are ready to enter the transcendence (eternity) of the Messianic Era. Therefore goodness is the key to our Final Redemption. Our mystic Chassidic Sages teach that the only way to our individual and collective Redemption is by loving and caring for each other. This is goodness in motion, goodness in the practice.

The Prophet is telling us that God already decreed His elimination of the traits and trends that don't transcend in our consciousness, for these are only references to pursue the transcendental. The lesson here is to realize that evil is ultimately our own invention, because it has existed essentially as a reference and not as a choice. We make evil real, clear and present by the negative choices we make. God awaits for us to learn a little faster from the references He gave us. Hence it is up to us to complete our learning process, and initiate the Final Redemption in order to enter the new stage in God's plan called the Messianic Era.

In the following verses there is a reference about Edom as the worst of the nations, in terms of the lowest ideologies, beliefs, feelings, emotions, passions and instincts. Goodness as the material manifestation of God's Love will wipe them out of our consciousness, and they won't have any reflection in the material world. This means that we will not see them in nature. No wild or violent animals, no trees that don't bear fruit, no natural disasters. 

“For the Lord has a day of vengeance, a year of recompense for the controversy of Zion.” (34:8)

Zion as the permanent awareness of God's Love will be vindicated, and eternally established as the ruling principle in all aspects and dimensions of consciousness. Goodness as the transcending ruler in God's Creation. The Prophet brings allegories of wild animals and predators that devour what is also part of their nature. Evil feeds from evil, as the nothingness that belongs to nothingness. Negative traits and trends we have created out of what does not transcend such as ego's fantasies and illusions. As God separated between Light and darkness, good and evil, blessing and curse, each belong to their own attributes and realms. This is God's will and He chose goodness to prevail and transcend.

“And He has cast the lot for them, and His hand has divided it unto them by line; they shall possess it for ever, from generation to generation shall they dwell therein.” (34:17)

Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Messianic Consciousness in Jewish Prophecy (LIX) Isaiah

“Look upon Zion, the city of our solemn gatherings; your eyes shall see Jerusalem a peaceful habitation, a tent that shall not be removed, the pegs whereof shall never be plucked up, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken.” (33:20)

This verse is one of the pillars of the Messianic Era in Judaism. In our Hebrew Scriptures and tradition, Jerusalem is Zion and Zion is Jerusalem: “For from Zion comes the Torah, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” (2:3). We have to reiterate the meaning of this place in our consciousness. It is about our spiritual and material origin, the connection with our Creator, and our permanent awareness of it.

Our oral tradition tells us that from the soil of this place God created the First Man. The place where he presented his first offerings to God, where Noah did the same after the Flood, and where Abraham brought Isaac as an offering to God. Jacob called it the House of God, and later was the place of the Temple of Jerusalem. All comes from this place and is destined to return to it.

Here our ancestors gathered three times every year for Pesach, Shavuot and Succot, as king David reminded us: “Our feet have been standing in your gates, Jerusalem, Jerusalem the built one as a city that is joined to itself together. Where the Tribes go up, the Tribes of the Lord, as an ordinance for Israel, to give thanks to the Name of the Lord.” (Psalms 122:2-4). Jerusalem is one, the undivided and eternal capital of Israel.

This oneness “joined to itself together” is where all aspects and dimensions of consciousness are comprised in a functional harmonic unity. Functional because it has a purpose and destiny, as we elevate it as the Tribes of God to thank Him for such destiny. There is a correspondent function between ascending and being grateful. Our gratitude manifests our ascent, and our ascent is the cause of being grateful. There is a higher purpose in uniting our consciousness to the service of God, which is to reveal His Name, His Presence and His glory in and among us.

Thus we become aware that Zion is the “peaceful habitation” where we realize our completeness (peace, eternity, infinity, wholesomeness and completion are the main meanings of shalom), which we achieve in our permanent connection with God: “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Prosperous are those who love you.” (122:6). We do it by being and doing His ways and attributes, the goodness that is our common bond with Him. This takes place in “the tent that shall not be removed”, for our bond with God is never broken although forgotten by us when we choose ego's fantasies and illusions instead of Love's ways and attributes. The latter are the foundations, the “pegs” and the “cords” that support our connection with God's Love.

“For there the Lord is powerful for us, a place of broad rivers and streams; no ship with oars goes into it, and a mighty ship does not pass over it. For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our King. He redeems us.” (Isaiah 33:21-22)

Our strength is in Zion, the highest awareness and level of consciousness where God's Presence dwells in us. Here our bond with Him is broad and extensive as rivers and their flow, where there is no place for anything different from His ways and attributes. In this endless awareness we live in His will, as our Creator and King.

“And the inhabitant shall not say: 'I am sick'; the people that dwell therein are forgiven of iniquity.” (33:24)

Nothing negative or opposed to Love's ways and attributes has a place in our connection with God. No sickness, harm, pain, suffering or any expression of evil will exist in this awareness as the realization of the Final Redemption and the Messianic Era. Here all evil and negativity will cease to be part of our consciousness. These will be forgiven and forgotten as the painful learning process to finally realize that Love -- as our common bond with God's Love -- is the destined Essence and expression to be manifest in who we are, have and do.

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.