Sunday, March 29, 2015

Pesach: Between the pyramid and the circle

This Pesach we must reflect on what we left behind in Egypt, and what we received after the Exodus. Most of us know the story, but let's consider something besides slavery and freedom, submission and independence, alienation and identity.

Our sages call Egypt and Israel two opposed levels of consciousness that are not supposed to coexist together. They remark that living in Egypt under Pharaoh's rule was an aberration.

Our oral tradition points out that Egyptian society was the most abject and depraved in ancient times. The children of Israel not only lived in that nation, but also were slaves there. In the eyes of the neighboring nations, Israelites lived in the lowest realm of human condition. It also seemed impossible to escape slavery under the rulers of the nation believed to be the most powerful in those times.

Our sages also indicate that, precisely this was the kind of reality God chose in order to make the entire world aware of His preference for the children of Israel. The stone that the builders despised became the keystone. God made it that way, and this is something the nations can't question or reject. It's God's will.

Under these circumstances, the Creator of all fulfilled the promise He made to the Hebrew patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Thus the dramatic events that occurred were not only aimed at the liberation of Israel, but a clear and sound message to the world regarding God's will. The plagues and the Exodus were the preamble to the culmination of such message that is the Torah.

The Torah brings the distinction between good and evil, right and wrong, false and true, useful and useless, etc. The Torah delineates the ethical principles the Creator wants to make prevail in humankind, and Israel the chosen people to convey such message. In this context we must assimilate the transcendental meaning of our liberation from slavery in Egypt under Pharaoh.

The destruction of the most powerful nation of its time is the premise for the Jewish identity. Hence God commands the people of Israel to remember this everyday, for it is part of who we are. Likewise, we must assimilate that our Exodus from Egypt also implies our rejection of what Egypt represents in human consciousness.

The most emblematic symbol of Egypt is the pyramid, and most of us also know what it represents, besides being the tomb of one of the Pharaohs. As a grave, the pyramid represents death, which was the main worship in ancient Egypt, the cult of death. Thus we realize one of the reasons that Israel is the opposite of Egypt.

Let's reflect on the other meaning of the pyramid. Karl Marx used the pyramid model to expose the divisions between classes, and the “levels” that determine the conflicts and contradictions that according to him generate “class struggles” which eventually lead to revolutions aimed to pursue and establish “equality” among the people. Since ancient times, the pyramid model has ruled in most of the peoples and nations in the world, and we may call it here the “mindset” of the goyim (usually translated as “nations”).

God asked Moses to request permission from Pharaoh to let the children of Israel leave Egypt for a chag (usually translated as “holiday”, but literally means “to circle” or “encircle”) in the desert dedicated to their God, HaShem. This word makes us understand that the God of Israel wants His people to encircle around Him, not below Him.

God does not want the pyramid model to rule this world, but the circle model. The people of Israel lived and experienced it in their journeys throughout the desert during 40 years. God was in the center (the tabernacle), and the people surrounded Him.

Some may argue that there were also levels and divisions among the children of Israel after the Exodus. Neither levels or divisions, but different functions according to the kind of nation and society God delineates for Israel in the Torah.

The people of Israel are inherently diverse, hence twelve tribes with distinct traits, qualities and talents, all commanded by God to be “united together” to serve God's will.

In Judaism there is no difference between a water carrier, a wood gatherer, a judge, a priest, a warrior, an artist, a leader, a farmer, etc. All are equally important in the harmonic functional unity that Israel is commanded to be, have and manifest.

Our differences are not meant to separate us but to unite us, in contrast to other nations. Unfortunately throughout our history, the Jewish people have rather chosen to emulate the pyramid model of the nations than the circle our Torah wants us to live in. It is a matter of identity, for we choose who we want to be with the free will God gave us.

This takes us to one of God's propositions to us, regarding making choices. The blessing and the curse. The blessing as life and the curse as death, and He commands us to choose life. Hence we are the people who choose life over the death preached and worshiped in ancient Egypt, and also in our times under the rule of Islamofacists.

Let's gather together united once more this coming Pesach as we did after our liberation from slavery in Egypt. Let's rejoice encircling our God, and celebrate the identity He gave us by honoring our heritage. Let's tell our children again who we are, from Whom we come from, and the destine we must fulfill together united.

The Messianic Consciousness in Jewish Prophecy (CII) Isaiah

“Instead of your shame and confusion, a second time they sing of their portion. Therefore in their land a second time do they take possession, eternal joy is for them.” (61:7)

Isaiah speaks to the people of Israel both in second and third person. First, as the people who have dwelt in shame and confusion due to their separation from God's ways and attributes. The choice to rather live in ego's negative traits and trends and their consequences, which are shame and confusion. Second, as the people who return to their essence and true identity, which are our happiness and joy (our “singing”).

Once we fully embrace who we really are, we return to take possession for a second time of our precious Promised Land, which is also our joy that this time will be eternal.

“For I am the Lord, loving justice, hating plunder for a burnt offering. And I have given their reward in truth, and an eternal Covenant I make for them.” (61:8)

The Creator reiterates the ethical qualities of His Love, for He loves justice. Hence He doesn't like or condone plunder, stealing or looting what is not legitimately ours, nor He likes us to elevate to Him such things. We are talking here not only about material possessions but also traits and qualities alien to our true identity.

God doesn't want arrogance, coveting, envy, lust, indifference, indolence, anger or anything different from the goodness of Love's ways and attributes. The latter are our truth and reward God made for us as a Covenant with Him.

“And known among nations has been their seed, and their offspring in the midst of the peoples. All their beholders acknowledge them, for they are a seed the Lord has blessed.” (61:9)

The goodness of God's Love is our seed that is also the Torah as our Jewish identity, for which we are known among the nations. We have said often that our offspring are not only our children but also the contributions we offer to the world. For these the children of Israel have been known and acknowledged throughout history. The goodness Israel gives to the nations is precisely the seed God has blessed in human consciousness.

“I greatly rejoice in the Lord, joy does my soul in my God, for He clothes me with garments of redemption, with a robe of righteousness covers me. As a bridegroom prepares ornaments, and as a bride puts on her jewels.” (61:10)

Goodness is the object of our joy, for it comes from God's Love. Love's ways and attributes are the garments of goodness with which God clothes us, and these are indeed our freedom and Redemption from the negative traits and trends of ego's fantasies and illusions.

These garments are the righteousness and justice inherent to goodness. In them we rejoice, for they are the ornaments and jewels of the true identity we are destined to be, have and manifest.

“For, as the earth brings forth her shoots, and as a garden causes its sown things to spring up, so the Lord God causes righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations!” (61:11)

We enter God's Redemption and the Messianic era as we integrate Love as the natural ruler and conductor of all facets of life. Love's ways and attributes are the seeds we plant in the field of life, and Love is what springs up and blossoms to be our righteousness and praise.

This is our identity to enlighten the world, and make the goodness of Love be the seed and the harvest to also redeem the nations.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Messianic Consciousness in Jewish Prophecy (CI) Isaiah

“And strangers have stood and fed your flock, sons of a foreigner are your farmers and your vine-dressers.” (61:5)

We have referred to “strangers” as traits and trends “alien” to our spiritual nature. Consciousness is a multidimensional entity we don't know regarding its capability in terms of discernment, perception, conception and thought, or its reach in terms of feelings, emotions and sensations. We have potentials to assimilate these dimensions according to what we bring to them.

We often say that our mystic Sages consider all these dimensions “vessels”, meaning they don't act by themselves but by what we put in them. Hence we insist in keeping them empty of negativity, and fill them permanently with the positive traits and trends of Love's ways and attributes. Thus we realize that Love is its own cause and effect.

In this context, the highest positive values, principles, ideas, beliefs are those that are not “strange” or “alien” to us, for they are inherent to our spiritual nature. “Strange” or “alien” are not necessary negative traits, but certainly something that is not part of our spiritual essence and identity.

These are accessories in our consciousness to survive in the material world, such as the emotional intensity with which we experience life, and the instincts that force us to maintain the physical body working properly.

Hence they should be subservient to the higher purpose that aims our higher consciousness. In our current stage of human consciousness, many of us are actually subjugating our higher spiritual identity to lower passions and instincts, and not the opposite.

The Prophet reminds us that in the Final Redemption, the Messianic consciousness is elevated to its spiritual destiny by virtually all aspects and dimensions of our existence. Therefore, the “strangers” care and feed the life God wants us to live when evil is completely eliminated.

The “strangers” sustain and feed the goodness we essentially are, and our destiny to make it prevail forever. Our “flock” and “vineyards” are all the aspects and dimensions as fields of life where we are destined plant and harvest the seeds of Love's ways and attributes. The same approach applies for the “nations” as we see in the next verse.

“And ye are called 'Priests of the Lord', 'Ministers of our God' is said of you. The strength of nations ye consume, and in their honor ye do boast yourselves.” (61:6)

The Torah defines the identity of the children of Israel as their purpose in life. Israel exists to fulfill its destiny, which is to be Light for the nations. Thus we are named priests and ministers of the Creator to fulfill His will for the material world. The allegory in this verse is related to the goodness Israel does for the nations, which is also the reason Israel honors himself.

In a higher consciousness approach, goodness represented by Israel takes away (“consume”) the negative traits and trends represented by the nations. Hence as goodness becomes the cause, reason and purpose for all levels and dimensions of our consciousness, it also becomes our honor for which we boast ourselves.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Messianic Consciousness in Jewish Prophecy (C) Isaiah

“The Spirit of the Lord God is on me, because the Lord did anoint me to proclaim tidings to the humble. He sent me to bind the broken of heart, to proclaim to captives freedom, and to bound ones an opening of bands. To proclaim the year of the good pleasure of the Lord, and the day of retribution of our God, to comfort all mourners.” (Isaiah 61:1-2)

The Prophet speaks as one of the children of Israel that are anointed to fulfill God's will for the material world. This is not only a privilege given to Isaiah for to all Israel. In this context the Prophet is the individual reference for all Israel to follow, for Israel is God's chosen to make goodness prevail in human consciousness.

Thus we also understand the tidings as the goodness God bestows only among the humble, for humbleness is the empty vessel where God fills His loving kindness and truth. These are the destined ruling principles for all aspects and dimensions of life.

We have mentioned often what our Sages say regarding the humble, when they point out that God doesn't sit with the haughty because he is full of himself. Hence he does not have space in himself for God to dwell with him.

We have to empty our consciousness of ego's fantasies and illusions in order to fill it with Love's ways and attributes. Let's also be aware that the latter do not cohabit with anything opposite to them.

As we indicated earlier, God's anointment is His loving kindness and truth for us to free ourselves from the predicament of negative traits and trends. Thus we heal the wounds of our heart, and liberate ourselves from the chains of negative addictions, obsessions and attachments.

Love open
s our bands and breaks our chains to proclaim itself as our common bond with God's Love, which is His good pleasure.

The permanent awareness of Love's ways and attributes is the day of God's retribution to comfort our days of misery, suffering and mourning under the oppression of envy, coveting, lust, haughtiness, anger, indifference, indolence, frustration, depression, cruelty, and the like.

To appoint to mourners in Zion, to give to them beauty instead of ashes. The oil of joy instead of mourning, a covering of praise for a spirit of weakness. And He is calling to them, 'Trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord to be beautified'. And they have built the wastes of old, the destruction of the ancients they raise up. And they have renewed wasted cities, the desolation of generation and generation.” (61:3-4)

Zion again is reiterated as the time and place when we fully realize our eternal bond and connection with God's Love. There we the mourners are gathered and summoned to enter the new consciousness God promised in His Final Redemption.

In the Messianic consciousness He gives us the beauty of Love's ways and attributes instead of the ashes of ego's fantasies and illusions. God gives us the oil as the total awareness of the joy He wants us to live in our knowledge of Him. Joy and praise as our sweetest pleasure and delight before His Light revealed to us.

In this awareness there is no mourning, weakness or anything different from Love's ways and attributes. The latter, as our essence and true identity, make us be called “trees of righteousness”, for we are destined to be the beautified planting of the Creator.

Once we assimilate and integrate Love as our sole ruler and conductor of all aspects of life, in this permanent awareness we rebuild what was destroyed and desolated in our consciousness by rectifying and correcting our wrong doings, as well as our wrong doings to others and to our surroundings.

Thus we turn wrong into right, negative into positive, confusion into clarity, resentment into gratitude, coveting into generosity, anger into acceptance, lust into care, indifference into solidarity, indolence into help, addiction and attachment into freedom, envy into giving, cruelty and hatred into Love, darkness into Light. Negative traits and trends in consciousness are the desolated cities we must rebuild by being and doing their opposite.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Messianic Consciousness in Jewish Prophecy (XCIX) Isaiah

“The sons of those who afflicted you come bending to you, and all those who despised you bow themselves down at the soles of your feet. And they shall call you 'The city of the Lord, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel'.” (60:14)

Again Isaiah reaffirms the prophecy that in the Final Redemption God will turn negative traits and trends into driving forces that will serve only the goodness of Love's ways and attributes. The former will recognize and proclaim goodness as our common bond and connection with God's Love. This eternal bond and connection are the city of God, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel.

“Instead of you being forsaken and hated, and none passing through, I have made you for an eternal excellency, a joy of generation and generation. And you have sucked the milk of nations, yea, the breast of kings you suck. And you have known that I, the Lord your Savior and your Redeemer, am the Mighty One of Jacob.” (60:15-16)

Israel will be finally recognized as the people God has chosen to reveal His glory in the material world. This glory is Israel's eternal excellency and joy. The redemption of the nations will be Israel's milk, for the nations will serve the purpose and mission of Israel. As the Final Redemption begins, the nations will know that God is Israel's Savior and Redeemer, for He is the Mighty One of Jacob.

“Instead of the brass I bring in gold, and instead of the iron I bring in silver. And instead of the wood brass, and instead of the stone iron. And I have made your officers peace, And your overseers righteousness. Violence is not heard any more in your land, desolation and destruction in your borders. And you have called your walls 'Redemption' and your gates 'Praise'.” (60:17-18)

God brings more allegories in regards to the changes that await in our consciousness. Negative or inferior qualities will become positive and superior in what we conceive, think and do. Our officers and overseers are the ethical and moral guides that will direct all for peace and righteousness. Nothing to be forced or imposed, but only peaceful ways and means to approach and direct every dimension of life.

Violent and destructive traits and trends will disappear from consciousness, for love, peace and righteousness do not coexist with anything different from their ways and attributes. These are indeed the foundations and the walls of our Redemption, and our praise of God's Love for us.

“To you no more is the sun for a light by day, and for brightness the moon gives not light to you. And the Lord has become to you an eternal Light, and your God your splendor.” (60:19)

God's Love is our Light and splendor, and the material light coming from the sun and the moon will cease to sustain life, for God's Light will be our only material and spiritual sustenance.

“Your sun no more goes down, and your moon does not withdraw itself; for the Lord becomes your everlasting Light, and the days of your mourning have been completed. And your people are all of them righteous. Forever they possess the earth, a branch of My planting, a work of My hands, to be beautified.” (60:20-21)

Once again God reiterates that His Light is what we truly need, for in it we come to know Him and His ways. Thus we assimilate what the Prophet means when he said earlier that “(...) the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” (11:9). Thus we also realize that our days of mourning certainly have been completed.

When only righteousness as the inherent expression of Love's ways and attributes manifests in what we think and do, there is no place for suffering anymore.

As we let Love lead all aspects and dimensions of consciousness we inherit the material world, for Love's ways and attributes are the essence of our true identity. Love is a branch of God's planting, a beautified work of His hands, for all comes from God's Love.

“The little one become a chief, and the small one a mighty nation. I, the Lord, in its own time do hasten it!” (60:22)

Israel is the inheritor to make fulfill and prevail God's Redemption, and reveal His will for the Messianic era in the time that He will hasten it. May it be in our time.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Messianic Consciousness in Jewish Prophecy (XCVIII) Isaiah

“A company of camels covers you, dromedaries of Midian and Ephah, all of them from Sheba do come. Gold and frankincense they bear, and of the praises of the Lord they proclaim the tidings. All the flock of Kedar are gathered to you, the rams of Nebaioth do serve you. They ascend for acceptance to My altar, and the house of My beauty I beautify.” (60:6-7)

The goodness God bestows in His Creation is what He wants us to be aware of. This goodness has also been in places where it was not seen in ancient times, places of idol worship (Midian, Ephah, Kedar and Nebaioth) where the Light and glory of God were concealed in human consciousness. These are the gold and frankincense the praises of God proclaim as the good things that come from His loving kindness and truth.

The camels and dromedaries represent the animal aspects of consciousness that are destined to carry and manifest the goodness that will rule and lead all facets of life. Sheep and Rams are the animal offerings that symbolize the good deeds we elevate to be one with God's Love, in the highest level of consciousness that is His altar in the Temple of Jerusalem. This is the house of His splendor that He makes it splendorous, His Light He wants us to live in permanently.

“Who are these? As a thick cloud they fly, and as doves unto their windows? Surely for Me isles do wait, and ships of Tarshish first, to bring your sons from afar. Their silver and their gold with them, to the Name of the Lord your God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because He has beautified you.” (60:8-9)

The Prophet refers here to the gathering of the Jewish exiles and the lost Tribes. He asks about them when the Final Redemption begins, for this will manifest when all the Jews are returned to their Land. They are like doves that fly back to their nests, and as peoples from isolated places who wait for their return from far away places. They will return by and with their inherent goodness to the goodness of God's ways and attributes, which are His Name by which we know Him, for He is the Holy One of Israel. God's Name is the beauty with which He adorns Israel.

“And sons of a stranger have built your walls, and their kings do serve you. For in My wrath I have smitten you, and in My good pleasantness I have pitied you. And your gates have been opened continually, by day and by night they are not shut, to bring unto you the strength of the nations. Even their kings are led [by you].” (60:10-11)

Traits and qualities that are stranger to us will be revealed to us in order to build the foundations of the Messianic consciousness, and our most precious values and principles (“kings”) will serve the purpose God wants us to have in this final stage of His Creation. We have said many times that our separation from God's ways is His “wrath”.

Our separation from the goodness of Love's ways and attributes has smitten us, but God's Love has always been present in His compassion.

God has opened our consciousness permanently for us to strengthen our own goodness with the traits and trends we have to redirect towards positive thoughts and actions. For a long time we have allowed our negative traits and trends (the nations) for the wrong purpose in life. We have to take full control of them in order to make them serve goodness as the sole purpose in life.

“For the nation and the kingdom that do not serve you perish, yea, the nations are utterly wasted. The glory of Lebanon comes to you. The fir tree, the pine, and the box tree together, to beautify the place of My Sanctuary. And I will make the place of My feet glorious.” (60:12-13)

The change God promised for our consciousness in the Messianic era is absolute, for in it there is no room for anything negative. Every trait in consciousness will serve God's will without exceptions. Anything not good will be vanished. Only goodness as the glory of Lebanon (the Temple of Jerusalem as the total awareness of our permanent connection with God) will lead life, along with the positive traits (“trees”) that beautify goodness. This is also the glory as the place of God's “feet”, which symbolize His revealed Presence in the material world.

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.