Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Song of Songs: The Love Story of God and Israel (XIX)

“I have adjured you, daughters of Jerusalem, if you find my Beloved. What shall you tell Him? That I am sick with love [for Him]!” (5:8)

Our conscious self, inspired by the awareness that our love is always connected with the love of God our Creator, calls His redeeming power to deliver us from the darkness of our negative choices, trends and actions.

We call the good principles and ruling positive values as our common bond with God to lead us in our return to Him. The goodness in us is what makes the call, hence we first must return to it and walk in its ways and attributes to lead us back to the greater goodness that comes from God's love.

We must be totally sick with love to intensely and passionately yearn for His love in order to return to the house we share with Him. We do it by serving His will that is being and doing goodness as the permanent source of delight, joy and happiness of our life in the material world.

This is remarked in the Jewish prayer book’s Shabbat morning service, not as an abstract or mystic convocation but as an essential fact of our spiritual and material reality. Our entire being must be totally engaged in loving God.

“Therefore, the limbs which You have arranged within us, the spirit and soul You have breathed into our nostrils, and the tongue You have placed in our mouth, they shall thank, bless, praise and glorify, exalt and adore, sanctify and proclaim the regency of Your name, our King. For every mouth shall thank You, every tongue shall swear by Your name, every eye shall look to You, every knee shall bend to You, and all who stand erect shall prostrate themselves before You, all hearts shall revere You, and every innermost part shall sing to Your name.”

Constant or at least continuous Torah study provide the refinement of this total engagement and connection by making us assimilate and integrate God’s ways in all levels of consciousness through adopting and expressing positive traits and qualities in what we say and do.

We also acquire this awareness through prayer, for it elevates our perception of God’s ways and attributes in regards to goodness in every facet and dimension of life.

In the central part of our daily Jewish prayers we integrate the goodness of God’s ways and attributes by blessing Him for them in us, as we review the nineteen blessings in the amidah. Before going through them, let’s remind ourselves that in the Jewish tradition to pray is not an active or passive verb but a reflective verb. This means that praying is done to God as a self-awareness action aimed to bond with Him, and bringing into us the blessings with which we bless Him.

This is a self-accomplished means to awaken in our consciousness God’s presence in us and in the material world. This action allows us to bond with His love through the blessings He bestows in us for every expression of life, and thus we make the blessings part of us.

Let’s begin to embrace God’s blessings by blessing His presence in us.

“Blessed are You, Lord, shield of Abraham”

We bless Him for being the God of our patriarchs whom He blessed with being and doing loving kindness, for the latter is the only means to redeem us as our helper, redeemer and shield.

In this blessing we realize that the eternal goodness of God’s loving kindness is the ruling, sustaining and guiding principle of life and all creation. Hence we bless Him as the shield of Abraham; for he, as the root of Israel, is the epitome of loving kindness.

This blessing brings us to the awareness that our goodness bonds as one with God’s goodness as the essence of our identity, as our truth and shield.

Blessing God means recognizing that goodness comes from Him, hence “blessed is God” literally means “good is God” or “goodness is God”. Thus by blessing Him, we bless ourselves with goodness in order to be, to have and manifest goodness, which is the entire purpose of God’s creation, to make goodness prevail.

“Blessed are You, Lord, who revives the dead”

We bless God for His power to create and sustain life, and bringing us to life from death by the redeeming power of His love. In this blessing we empower God’s might in ourselves to overcome our inadequacies, heal our maladies, release our bondage, and rebirth ourselves from the graves of negative traits and trends in consciousness in order to live in the flourishing fields of complete redemption.

By blessing God for reviving the death, we engage our consciousness in the goodness that life is to empower ourselves also to create and sustain life, and overcome death.

“Blessed are You, Lord, the holy God”

We bless God’s sacredness as His uniqueness beyond fathoming and comprehension, for in this blessing we also consecrate ourselves as bearers of goodness. In this consecration we praise Him for all eternity. We make ourselves holy by praising God’s holiness.

This holiness is the loftiness of goodness, by which we elevate our consciousness to acquire the proper altitude in order to have the proper attitude in regards to being and doing goodness.

Thus we realize that God’s goodness is His holiness, and by being and doing goodness we also consecrate ourselves. In this awareness we realize that the holiness of goodness separates us from anything different or opposite to it.

Hence the literal meaning in Hebrew of holiness is “separate” or “set aside”, and we understand it as exclusive in terms of difference, not as exclusion. Thus we understand the Torah’s passages where God is described as “jealous” and “fiery”, for His ways and attributes do not blend or cohabit with anything different from them.

“Blessed are You, Lord, who with grace bestows knowledge”

We bless God for giving us with grace the knowledge we need to understand His ways and attributes as His will for us, which are aimed to make goodness rule, guide and direct all aspects and expressions of life.

This knowledge is indeed the awareness of bonding with God’s love, with which He bestows grace in us. In this context we understand grace as the reflection of love in a way that its radiance makes us lovable enough to inspire, awaken and arouse love in others and in our surroundings.

With knowledge we are able to discern and differentiate between sacred and profane, light and darkness, Israel and the nations, the Seventh Day and the six work days.

In this blessing we praise God for giving us wisdom, understanding and knowledge, in that order. Hence these enable us to integrate our bonding with God’s love to manifest it within the proper ethical frame in our moment to moment approach to life.

Thus we realize that goodness is the foundation of true knowledge.

“Blessed are You, Lord, who desires returning [to Him]”

We bless God for His compassion and loving kindness that desire our returning to Him and His ways. In this blessing we renew our awareness of the Torah as our Jewish identity and purpose as well as the service of goodness with all our heart.

Hence we realize that as we do goodness we are in our way back to God, who thus desires our return to Him by following the ways and means of goodness, for it is what He wants for us.

“Blessed are You, Lord, gracious One who pardons abundantly”

We bless God for graciously forgiving our transgressions and misdeeds against the goodness of righteousness, justice, truth and loving kindness. In His gracious forgiveness we reassure our trust in Him, and in our strength to keep on going in His ways and emulate His attributes.

In this blessing we remind ourselves that our life is a process of learning and correcting aimed to ascend the highest realm of our consciousness, for there is where we bond with our Creator.

In this process God’s graceful forgiveness brings us to also forgive ourselves in the awareness that this action is completed by correcting the consequences of our transgressions and misdeeds, through bringing goodness as we remove from our thoughts, feelings, emotions, passions, instincts, speech and actions anything different from love’s ways and attributes as the source of goodness.

We are fully forgiven by God’s grace when we bring back goodness to us, for our transgressions and misdeeds are committed against goodness.

“Blessed are You, Lord, redeemer of Israel”

We bless God for He is our redeemer, and the blessing is that goodness is the means and the end for our self-redemption from the negative traits and trends that keep us captive in their materialistic fantasies and illusions.

In the awareness of our weaknesses and tendencies to transgress goodness as our essence and true identity, we bless the redeeming power of God’s love, for we are truly redeemed by His help and support in our individual and collective quest for the total freedom from the negative trends of ego’s fantasies and illusions.

In this blessing we remind ourselves that God’s love fights our battles, and we bless Him for being Israel’s redeemer.

“Blessed are You, Lord, who heals the sick of His people Israel”

We bless God for His goodness that also heals all our pains and wounds, either be physical or spiritual. God indeed knows the pain and suffering we are inflicted from ourselves and others, for His compassion is an expression of His eternal loving kindness.

Thus we realize that God’s faithfulness for goodness is the assurance for our redemption from the ordeals and trials. Let’s never forget that most of these are created by us to inflict among each other.

Goodness again is with us to provide healing for our lack, deficiencies, ailments and illnesses. We bless God for His continuous healing from the negative outcome of wicked ways and choices.

In this blessing we bring our awareness to the goodness of love’s ways and attributes as the constant source of nurturing, relief, healing and total freedom.

“Bless are You, Lord, who blesses the years”

We bless God’s loving kindness as the source of our material and spiritual sustenance and support every year of our life, as the dew and rain for the earth. In this blessing we elevate our awareness to dwell permanently in God’s love by living every moment in the goodness of loving kindness as our complete and constant well being.

We bless the Creator for blessing (meaning bestowing goodness) to our years as He gives dew and rain to the earth in order to make flourish the resources we need for our nurturing and abundance.

In this blessing we bring our awareness that good deeds and acts of loving kindness are also our dew and rain that also come back to us by the principle that goodness is its own cause and effect. Thus we realize that as we sow goodness, we reap goodness with us and for us, with others and for others.

“Blessed are You, Lord, who gathers the dispersed of His people Israel”

We bless God for gathering our dispersed fellow Jews from all corners of the world. In this blessing we realize that goodness is the banner God’s love rises to reunite His dispersed people, for goodness is the common root and identity He gave us and also our common bond with Him. It is the means to gather us all together for the sake of goodness. Hence we all have to rise and elevate goodness as the banner of our existence.

We are still living in exile among the nations, and this blessing makes us conscious of the purpose of our lives in the world. We must understand in this blessing that our dispersed fellow Jews also represent the diverse positive qualities and creative potentials that the Twelve Tribes of Israel encompass.

God fulfills His promise to gather and reunite them all as the functional harmonic unity destined to fully reveal His presence in the material world. This is the total revelation of goodness in all facets and dimensions of life.

In this blessing we also become aware that God’s love gathers in us as individual Jews and as the Jewish nation the endless potentials of goodness trapped in ego’s materialistic fantasies and illusions, represented by the nations where they (the endless potentials of goodness) live in exile.

“Blessed are You, Lord, King who loves righteousness and justice”

We bless God for His love for righteousness and justice, for these are the primordial expressions of goodness. We bring our awareness the ways and means of goodness as our judges and counselors that remove from us sorrow and sighing with loving kindness and compassion.

Thus with this blessing we empower our judgment and criterion with the ethical expressions of goodness, in order to make prevail righteousness and justice in what we are and do.

This blessing tells us that God’s loving kindness and compassion precede His judgment. Likewise, we bring into our awareness these ruling and directing principles to inspire and conduct our thoughts, feelings, emotions, speech and actions.

“Blessed are You, Lord, who crushes enemies and subdues the wicked”

We bless God for destroying our enemies and subduing the wicked. Thus He makes us aware that the goodness of love’s ways and attributes don’t dwell with evil’s ways and their negative traits, trends and effects.

Hence goodness defeats and overcomes evil by removing its destructive qualities, and correcting and redirecting its ways towards positive ends.

We realize that we must protect ourselves from betraying or sabotaging our continuous awareness of goodness as the ruling principle of our life.

In this blessing we reinforce our determination to subdue and correct negative traits and trends as enemies we must defeat and remove from ourselves and our midst, for these afflict and endanger the positive qualities and expressions of goodness in us.

“Blessed are You, Lord, the support and security of the righteous”

We bless God for making us trust in goodness as our common bond with Him and the constant expression of His love as the foundation of our relationship with Him. If we don’t trust God along with His ways and attributes, there is no meaning for us to exist in this world. With our trust in goodness we bond with God’s love.

We bless Him for supporting and protecting the righteous and the loving ones among the house of Israel, for goodness is our support and safety in which we place our trust in who we are, and goodness as the destiny God secured for us.

“Blessed are You, Lord, who rebuilds Jerusalem”

We bless God for building Jerusalem as the permanent awareness of our connection with Him. In this blessing we remind ourselves that in this connection we realize our final redemption, by enabling the redeeming power of God’s love to transform and elevate our consciousness up to the realm of the Messianic era. The latter is symbolized in this blessing by the establishing of the throne of David, His servant.

With this blessing we empower our own goodness to bring us to the complete and full awareness of our bond with God, as an eternal edifice, for goodness is the cause and purpose of His creation.

“Blessed are You, Lord, who make flourish the power of redemption”

We bless God for making flourish in us the redeeming power of His love, represented by the seed of David, His servant. This seed is the human expression of the new consciousness for the promised endless Messianic era, as the time and space of our eternal redemption in the goodness God wants to rule forever in us and in the material world.

In this blessing we become aware that by enthroning in all levels of consciousness only the goodness of love’s ways and attributes we are truly redeemed.

“Blessed are You, Lord, who hears prayer”

We bless God for hearing our prayers, for in these we are aware of God’s goodness in ourselves as the source and sustenance to be and manifest goodness also as His will for His creation.

In our prayers we embrace goodness as the source to fulfill all our needs. In this awareness God certainly hears our prayers and supplications, for goodness is what He wants us to live by, with, in and for in every aspect of life.

In this blessing we know that we ask God only for goodness, and for the purpose of goodness; and not for anything different from it. Thus we engage only in asking God’s assistance for the goodness we need for ourselves and for others, and not for ego’s materialistic fantasies and illusions.

“Blessed are You, Lord, who restores His divine presence to Zion”

We bless God for making us aware of His presence in us, for He indeed dwells in the highest level of consciousness, represented by Jerusalem and its temple. Hence we bless Him “for restoring His divine presence in Zion”.

Thus we realize that our fire offerings and prayers are expressions of the goodness we receive from God, and we elevate them back to Him in our good deeds and actions as our common bond with Him.

These are our daily continuous offerings, along with our sin offerings, guilt offerings, gratitude offerings and peace offerings, with which we constantly renew our closeness to His ways and attributes.

“Blessed are You, Lord, goodness is Your Name and to You is fitting to thank”

We bless God to thank Him for the goodness He bestows in us, beginning with the fact that He is our Creator who gives us life and sustains us.

This single fact is big enough to make our blessings to Him infused with the utmost and greatest gratitude, for recognizing this is actually the source of our existence.

As much as we thank God every moment for each breath we take, we elevate ourselves to Him in order to be worthy of His continuous sustenance.

Thus we appreciate the wonders, miracles and goodness He does for us, making ourselves fully aware that by His goodness He gives us His unceasing compassion, and that His compassion for His loving kindnesses are endless.

We also ask Him to gather us and our dispersed into the courtyard of His Temple, so we all return to His will to serve Him with a wholesome heart, because we thankfully acknowledge Him.

Hence in our gratitude we engage to His will, for we are the clay and He is the molder. Our gratitude must be permanent in order to secure goodness as our eternal bond with Him. With this blessing we also thank our own goodness as the cause and purpose of our life.

“Blessed are You, Lord, who blesses His people Israel with peace”

Lastly, we bless God for blessing His people Israel with peace, for peace is completion, perfect balance, wholesomeness and harmony as the end and purpose of goodness.

In this blessing ask God to give us peace, goodness, blessing, life, grace, loving kindness and compassion, along with righteousness, all as the traits and qualities, ways and means of God’s love in all levels of consciousness.

This is the blessing that encompasses all the previous blessings in a functional harmonic unity to perfectly fulfill God’s will, beyond our own personal expectations or desires.

We receive God’s blessing for peace to make us aware that goodness, life, graciousness, loving kindness, compassion and righteousness are the expressions God wants us to have, enjoy and experience as our material and spiritual plenitude and completion.

In conclusion, we pray to God by blessing His ways and attributes as the means to bring ourselves to their goodness, for in them we empower and enable our awareness of goodness as our essence and true identity.

Thus we understand that our Jewish prayer is a reflexive action, for in it we align all levels of consciousness to bond united in complete awareness of God’s love.

Monday, December 19, 2016

The Song of Songs: The Love Story of God and Israel (XVIII)

“The watchmen who go round about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me. The guards of the walls lifted up my veil from me.” (5:7)

In her chosen separation from God's ways, Israel faces the negative outcome of coveting, lusting, haughtiness, anger, envy, indolence and indifference. Along with cruelty, ruthlessness, discrimination, oppression, intolerance and hatred. These are the watchmen circling the city (conscience) that struck and wound the goodness in ourselves.

The guards keep the walls of the Temple of Jerusalem, and they represent the positive traits and qualities that safeguard goodness as our common bond with God. They expose to our conscience our iniquities and the consequences of negative actions. They lift the veil of our living in denial. Therefore, in such predicament we realize that our only way out is to return to the qualities of goodness as our true essence and identity (“the daughters of Jerusalem”).

The goodness with which God created the material world relies and remains with our awareness of goodness, and the goodness we must be and do in order to make it prevail continuously. In this principle goodness transcends the limitations of time and space, for it is eternal.

“Thank God, for He is good; His loving kindness is eternal.” (I Chronicles 16:34, Psalms 100:5, 145:9, 25:6)

Hence, anything that isn’t good is deficient, lack, limited and temporary; and such as it doesn’t sustain life, for life’s existence depends on the transcendence of goodness which also makes life transcend. Thus we realize that while goodness sustains life, anything different from goodness destroys life.

In practical terms, all the traits and qualities of goodness and their ethical frame protect and enhance life, while the negative traits and trends seek to destroy it.

We acquire full awareness of goodness by removing all that is opposite to it from all levels and dimensions of consciousness. This is the real refinement we achieve by Torah study, which is following God’s ways and emulating His attributes. These contain the ground rules and guidelines to live from, by, in and for goodness.

“Good and upright is the Lord, therefore He instructs sinners in the [right] path. He guides the humble in justice, and He teaches the humble His way. All the paths of the Lord are loving kindness and truth to those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.” (Ibid. 25:8-10)

This refinement culminates in a lifestyle ruled by leading qualities to manifest goodness, also pointed out by the psalmist.

“Let integrity and uprightness help me, for my hope is in You [God].” (Ibid. 25:21)

This ethical frame defines the multiple ways to do goodness as acts of loving kindness, and thus we realize that they are indeed our own reward. This means that our benefit and reward are the fact of being God’s channel and vessel to manifest goodness.

We can’t give what we don’t have, and we can’t be what we are not. As we realize that goodness is who we are and what we have, God bestows it in us for us to be able to give it. Thus all the good things we do are continually coming to us.

We must insist that we make ourselves the vessel for goodness by removing from us all that is different from it, for it does not cohabit with anything opposed to its ways, means and attributes.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Song of Songs: The Love Story of God and Israel (XVII)

“Henna with nard, nard and saffron, cane and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense, myrrh and aloes, with all chief spices. A garden spring, a well of living waters, and streams from the Lebanon. Awake, O north [wind], and come O south [wind]! Make my garden breathe forth, its spices let flow. Let my Beloved come to His garden, and eat its precious fruit.” (Song of Songs 4:14-16)

The Messianic consciousness will be permanently attached to God's love, as it happens in the inner chamber of the Tabernacle, where the primordial spices, scents and fragrances are burned as the incense that symbolizes Israel's eternal bond with God. Those emanate from the gardens and orchards of the promised new consciousness of eternal life in the living waters from this bond, symbolized again as the Lebanon.

All aspects, levels and dimensions of consciousness will flow in the direction of love's ways and attributes, as the winds that flow from the north and the south. Both represent the duality of evil and good, that in the final redemption will blow in every direction toward the knowledge of God and His love.

This is the garden where Israel's redemption awaits God's love to enter together into the delights of the new consciousness in the Messianic era.

“I have come into My garden, My sister espouse. I have gathered My myrrh with My spice. I have eaten My honeycomb with My honey. I have drunk My wine with My milk. Eat, friends; drink abundantly, beloved ones!” (5:1)

This verse is linked to the last in the previous chapter, for they are related in content and context. God answers Israel's invitation to partake in her hidden garden, and joins her as His espouse and partner for the material world.

In this partaking of the bonding between the two loves, the delights in the Torah are like honey, wine and milk, shared with friends. The latter are the nations also redeemed from their inherent negative traits and trends, now living by the leading ways of the Messianic consciousness inherited by Israel from God. Thus His promised is fulfilled to enter a new stage for humankind in the world.

“I [was] asleep, but my heart [was] awake. The sound of my Beloved knocking! 'Open to Me, My sister, My beloved, My dove, My perfect one. For My head is filled [with] dew, My locks [with] drops of the night'. I have put off my robe, how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet, how shall I soil them? My Beloved sent forth His hand from the portal, and my innards stirred for Him. I rose to open for my Beloved, and my hands dropped myrrh, and my fingers flowing [with] myrrh upon the handles of the lock. I opened for my Beloved, but my Beloved had turned and gone. My soul departed as He spoke. I sought Him, but did not find Him. I called Him, but He did not answer me.” (5:2-6)

Israel as the human conscious self is asleep in the fantasies and illusions of ego's negative predicament. God calls up to Israel's essence, identity, truth and purpose, that encompass His sister, His beloved, His dove and His perfect one, as the bond with His ways and attributes. God looks for Israel to bring her back to His paths, and His call is made in the midst of the darkness (“the night”).

Figuratively speaking, God comes down to darkness “under the dew and rain of the night”.

“In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence redeemed them. In His love and in His compassion He redeemed them, and He bore them, and carried them all the days of the world.” (Isaiah 63:9)

And in the Torah He reminds us this.

“And the Lord your God shall return to your captivity and have compassion for you, and He shall return to gather you from all peoples where the Lord your God has scattered you.” (Deuteronomy 30:3)

Israel sleeps dreaming in the exile of materialistic fantasies and illusions, after taking off the robe of her true identity. In her stagnating dreaming state she has difficulty to return to herself. Her nakedness reflects her alienation and assimilation into the nations.

Even coming back to God is a hard and bothering task, for she lives in emptiness and desolation after losing her real self, similar to washing her feet as changing the direction and purpose of her life.

Israel's heart as her love for God remains awaken in spite of living in the vanity and emptiness of ego's materialistic desires. She hears (understands) and feels (by her awareness) God's love as close to her as the knock on her door. The awakened heart wakes her up from her sleep and walks to embrace His affection as He tries to come to her.

She knows that God's call as His love is everywhere and every time, no matter how dark the fantasy, illusion or mirage may be. This awareness is felt by every single fiber of Israel's body that encompasses the entire Jewish people and their nation.

Israel responds bringing her offerings to the Temple destroyed by her choice to rather live in the dark side of human consciousness. The offerings with the spices, fragrances and scents, that symbolize her permanent bond with God, make Him leave her door.

These offerings are tainted by her reluctance to abandon negative fantasies and illusions she knows they can't dwell with God's ways and attributes. They are opposed to the essence she shares with God's love.

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Song of Songs: The Love Story of God and Israel (XVI)

“You are entirely beautiful, My beloved, and there is no blemish in you. With Me from the Lebanon, O bride. With me from the Lebanon. Look from the peak of Amana, from the peak of Senir and Hermon, from the habitations of lions, from the mountains of leopards. You have captured My heart, My sister, O bride. You have captured My heart with one of your eyes, with one bead of your necklace.” (Song of Songs 4:7-9)

In this bonding there is no blemish in Israel, for her love is as pure and sacred as God's love coming from the pure whiteness (Lebanon) of the Temple of Jerusalem.

From this highest level of consciousness, every conception, idea, thought, emotion, feeling and passionate expression are as high as the mountains, above their basic nature and trends. Up there we elevate our driving life forces and instincts as the lions and leopards that also represent strength, swiftness, beauty and majesty.

God rejoices in the goodness of Israel's traits and qualities that build a place in human consciousness to manifest His ways and attributes in every facet and dimension of life in the material world. Thus Israel as God's espouse fulfills her mission as His partner in creation.

Israel's eye looks forward to make His will prevail in the world, and even one single of her traits (“a bead of her necklace”) point out to the paths God wants humankind to walk.

“How beautiful have been your loves, My sister espouse. How good your loves have been better than wine, and the fragrance of your oils than all perfumes! Sweetness drops from your lips, O espouse. Honey and milk are under your tongue. And the fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon. A closed garden is My sister espouse, a closed spring, a fountain sealed. Your offshoots are an orchard of pomegranates with precious fruits.” (4:10-13)

God continues praising Israel's essence and true identity, and the goodness of her contributions to humankind, as His partner (“My sister espouse”) for the material world. These are better than the sensual, temporary pleasures enjoyed by the emotions aroused by wine, perfumes and fragrances.

God's love poetically evokes the sweetening goodness of the ethical and moral principles taught by Israel from God's Torah to the nations.

The delights coming from love's ways and attributes are seen and experienced as Israel's identity reflected by her garments' fragrance, emanated from her permanent bond (the Temple of Jerusalem) with God's love.

God describes Israel's essence as a garden, spring and fountain concealed to the nations as the lower traits and negative trends of ego's fantasies and illusions. In this closed garden, spring and fountain make sprout pomegranates and precious fruits.

Again we see pomegranates and precious fruits as allegories of God's commandments, coming from this hidden splendorous orchard.

This sealed garden with springs and fountains are the source and midst of the Messianic consciousness to be revealed in Israel's final redemption. In this new consciousness evil does not exist, but only the goodness of love's ways and attributes as the ruling and directing traits that will lead humankind towards the exclusive interest of the human heart.

The Creator promises Israel to reveal even the hidden light we don't see in the darkness.

“And I shall give you the treasures of darkness, and the hidden riches of sealed places, that you shall know that I am the Lord, who call you by your name, yea, the God of Israel.” (Isaiah 45:3)

The pomegranates and precious fruits we are going to harvest in this sealed paradise of the Messianic consciousness will be beyond description or current human comprehension.

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Song of Songs: The Love Story of God and Israel (XV)

“Go forth and gaze, you daughters of Zion, on king Solomon with the crown that his mother crowned him in his wedding day, and in the day of his heart's joy.” (3:11)

Israel's love for God compels her to summon her highest positive qualities (the daughters of Zion) in the King whom peace belongs. We look forward to God's love as our true essence and identity, for His love is the crown of His motivation (in this case the “mother”) to make possible His entire creation.

God's love becomes manifest in His creation as His crown, by which we learn of His dominion over all that exists. Thus we also realize that our love and God's love are bound since the day He revealed Himself to us in His giving of the Torah. This is the day of His wedding that makes His heart joyful. In that day God saw Israel's love for Him as an eternal destiny full of joy and endless delight.

“You are beautiful, My love, you are beautiful. Your eyes are doves from behind your veil. Your hair is like a flock of goats shinning forth from mount Gilead. Your teeth are like a flock well counted, that have come up from washing. All of which are perfect and there is no blemish in them. Like a thread of scarlet are your lips, and your speech is comely. Like a slice of pomegranate are your temples from behind your veil. Like the tower of David is your neck built for an armory, a thousand shields are hung upon it, all quivers of the mighty. Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle that fed among the roses. Until the day breaks forth and the shadows have fled away, I will get Me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense.” (4:1-6)

The first six verses of this chapter, and most in the Song of Songs are an exultation and praise of the bond of Israel's love and God's love. As we have mentioned many times, this bond is symbolized by the Temple of Jerusalem.

Beauty, love, more beauty, doves, veil and hair refer here to the decorations of the Tabernacle and its inner chamber. Goats and sheep that shine while descending from a mount are the offerings Israel elevates to the Creator. These animals represent the positive vital qualities that follow as a flock the voice and staff of the Shepherd of Israel.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not lack (...)”, “Know that the Lord He is God. Is He who made us, we are His, His people, and the flock of His pasture (...)” (Psalms 23:1, 100:3)

Thus we realize that the offerings brought to the Temple indeed represent our readiness and willingness to elevate the best in us up to God. They also reflect our good will, gratitude and peace we enjoy in our closeness to His love. These traits are fundamental qualities of humbleness as the premise to come before our Creator.

We can compare humbleness to nothingness, as emptiness from anything contrary to goodness. Certainly nothingness is a complex concept to grasp and, depending on what we understand, there are several ways to learn from it. Another way to understand nothingness is as absence or non-existence, in the same way that black is the absence of color. Likewise nothingness, in spite of itself, is still considered “something” named nothingness as a conceptual reference to define quality, quantity or value. Due to its lack of value, quality or purpose, nothingness factually doesn't exist.

In the context of God's creation from nothingness to something which is and has a function and purpose, we may understand nothingness as an unfathomable abstraction that only God knows, for everything comes from Him including the non-factual existence of nothingness. Thus we realize that “all that is” has a purpose for the reason that it comes from the goodness of God's love (see above, Psalms 136:1, 33:5).

Our sages suggest that one who desires to live and conduct himself in God's ways must “nullify” (empty himself) from what is not Godlike. As we have remarked often, every aspect, level and dimension of consciousness are vessels we must keep void of anything different than God's ways and attributes.

This precondition refers to removing ego's materialistic illusions and their negative tendencies in order to fill the vessels with traits and qualities of the goodness God wants us to be, have and manifest, and make it prevail in the world. God created these vessels to complement each other and expressing themselves as a functional harmonic unity, in consonance with the oneness of God's love. Thus we become united in God. 

The Tabernacle and the Temple of Jerusalem are compared to a graceful woman adorned with the beauty of her goodness, manifest in Israel's identity. Goodness is the expression of Israel's love and God's love as the “twin” complementary nature of God's ways and attributes, and Israel's purpose and mission in the world.

The “voice” of God as His love comes as sweet and beautiful as His commandments, similar to the seeds in a pomegranate, coming from the inner chamber of the Temple. Their inherent goodness is also the protective shield of a tower of strength that nurtures and sustains the positive expressions in life. The duality as “twin” mentioned in these verses represent God's will and Israel's purpose as two breasts, two fawns, two gazelles grazing in the encompassing ways and attributes of God's love for Israel, His espouse.

In this union God reveals the promise of His final redemption, eternal as an endless day that breaks forth forever without darkness, for shadows fled away. In this awareness, Israel enters the unity and oneness of God's love in the Tabernacle, the Temple in the mountain where she brings herself as an offering to Him.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Song of Songs: The Love Story of God and Israel (XIV)

“I have adjured you, daughters of Jerusalem, by gazelles or hinds of the field. If you stir or arouse the love until it pleases.” (3:5)

God does not impose His will on Israel and on humankind, for He gave them free will to choose either love's ways and attributes or ego's fantasies and illusions. Hence He also warns our highest traits and qualities (the daughters of Jerusalem) not to force their goodness on the aspects and dimensions (intellect, mid, emotions, feelings, passion and instinct) that comprise human consciousness.

There is another reference to gazelles and hinds as symbols of delicate and sublime qualities that constitute our common bond with God. He wants our conscious self to return to His ways and attributes by our own desire and volition. Thus we realize that our relationship with Him is built through a learning process, based on the experiences we have with the choices we make.

“Who is she that ascends from the desert like columns of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, of every powder of the merchant? Behold, it is the couch of Solomon [the couch of He whose peace belongs]. Sixty mighty ones are around it, of the mighty of Israel. All of them holding sword, learned in warfare, each with his sword on his thigh, because of the fear in the nights. A sedan chair has king Solomon [has the King whose peace belongs] made onto him [onto Himself], of wood from the Lebanon. He made its pillars of silver, its coverings were gold, its seat purple, its midst lined with love.” (3:6-10)

This verse and the following (3:7-10) make reference to the Temple of Jerusalem as the place shared by God and Israel. The scents mentioned represent the most sublime human qualities that ascend to bond with God's ways and attributes. The inner chamber is the dwelling of the peace that belongs to Him, the holy of hollies.

The sixty men are an allegory of the enhanced or elevated character traits that build and protect our reaching out for God's love as their Creator. There is an inherent human factor that makes possible the connection and bond with Him.

This human factor is love as the motivator to reach out to God's love. These character traits must be guided and directed into the positive ways and means of love's attributes, in order to become an essential part of Israel's spiritual and material identity.

These are the “mighty ones of Israel” as the best of human qualities. These are the principles, values and foundations that stand strong to protect our ways to approach the material world, and to confront and overcome the darkness (“the fear in the nights”) of negative beliefs, ideologies, ideas, thoughts, emotions, feelings, speech and actions. Their swords are the truth of love's ways and attributes as the expressions and purpose of God's will and commandments.

Our highest level of consciousness in regards to the permanent awareness of our connection with God (represented by the Temple of Jerusalem) is what He has made for Him to dwell with us. Israel builds the Temple with the pillars of her utmost traits and qualities. These columns are mentioned as trees grown in the courtyard of the Temple.

As we have mentioned, the Lebanon (lit. white or whitened) is another name for the Temple of Jerusalem, because of its power to transform blackness into whiteness, and darkness into light, besides the shinning white light coming from it.

Wood of Lebanon refers to the trees that adorn the Temple's courtyard, allegorically representing the strongest principles and values that beautify it. They also symbolize the wise men from whom we learn such fundamental values and principles of Judaism. The internal decorations of the Tabernacle are mentioned as the goodness and beauty of the ways and means of God's love, shared by Israel's loving traits represented by the daughters of Jerusalem or Zion.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Song of Songs: The Love Story of God and Israel (XIII)

“I will rise now and roam around the city, through the streets and through the squares, I will seek the One my soul loves. I sought Him, but I found Him not.” (Song of Songs 3:2)

In the darkness as Israel's choice to live in ego's fantasies and their negative trends, she tries to seek God, assuming that His ways and attributes share the same realm of her choice, and she doesn't find Him. Even if she tries to elevate her consciousness in the darkness of materialistic desires and illusions, represented by cities, streets and market places, she realizes that God's ways and attributes don't dwell with negative traits.

“The watchmen who circle the city found me. Have you seen Him whom my soul loves?” (3:3)

The watchmen who circle the city represent evil beliefs and ideologies from which negative traits and trends derive. In the same way there are high ethical and moral principles that watch over their positive qualities, there are lower negative tendencies that dominate and encircle their evil outcome.

Israel says that these patrolmen found her in their domains, and she inquires from them about her Beloved and protector she is not able to find in their midst. Israel reaffirms her longing and desire to go as far as even asking those traits and trends where her Beloved is not found.

“Scarcely had I passed them when I found Him whom my soul loves. I seized Him, and I would not let Him leave until I brought Him to my mother's house, and to the chamber of her who conceived me.” (3:4)

Here Israel became aware that she can find her Beloved only by passing over ego's fantasies and illusions, and their negative trends. Only in this complete awareness we can come to be one with our Creator and His love. Then we are able to “seize” Him and “not let Him leave”.

This oneness is fully realized in the permanent bond and connection with God's love, which are represented by the Temple of Jerusalem as “the house of my mother”. The mother is from whom one is born and acquires his/her existence and identity, including the traits, qualities and attributes that define them both.

This mother in particular is Jerusalem as the connecting and bonding time and space between Israel and God. Jerusalem literally means “I will see peace”, and implies where God shall appear or shall be seen.

Peace and seeing our Creator are one single occurrence. We as God's people are born for this purpose and destiny. This awareness is indeed our mother, for we are conceived to be and live in His peace under His love.

We have to reiterate and emphasized that peace encompasses attributes and qualities, including completion, wholesomeness, unity, harmony, balance and totality.

Peace implies the stillness of a perfect balance in order to function as a harmonic unity for the transcendental divine purpose of knowing the unrevealed God’s presence in His creation. This kind of peace is the foundation of the Messianic consciousness destined to reign eternally.

Bringing God to our mother also means to make His ways and attributes lead and every aspect, level and dimension of life. We bring Him to dwell permanently in our highest level of consciousness where He is enthroned and crowned not only as the sole ruler of Israel's identity but as the One and only ruler of His creation. This highest level is the place of the soul that constantly yearns for her Creator.

The soul's purpose is to give direction and meaning to life. Thus we understand the principle that the soul is pure intellect, as a divine quality in human consciousness that discerns and establishes the moral imperative to make prevail goodness as God's will for the world, for the soul gives us the awareness of His presence in us.

This pure intellect has full knowledge and experience of the goodness of love as an encompassing and integrating principle, destined to unify the complexities of diversity in all levels and dimensions of consciousness and their expressions in all facets of life.

Hence we are born to live and experience such principle, by adequately using free will as the means to execute the discernment of intellect also as the guiding trait of the soul to make goodness lead and direct all aspects of life.

“The lamp of God is the soul of man, searching all the rooms of the innards.” (Proverbs 20:27)

We can understand this verse as a two-fold statement. On one side, the soul as the means for God to reveal His presence in the material world, for the light of goodness comes from Him.

“(…) And God saw the light, that is good.” (Genesis 1:4)

Hence the soul is the lamp of God to enlighten life in the material world with goodness. On the other side, the soul searches all the rooms of the innards as goodness looking forward to occupy all aspects and dimensions of human consciousness.

The purpose of the soul as absolute goodness is to express itself while directing our mind, thoughts, emotions, feelings, passion and instinct. Thus the soul fulfills God’s will to be His lamp. This invites us to reflect on the soul as our essence and true identity, with its qualities, ways, means and attributes; and its expressions in human life.

Thus we will understand the ways body and soul relate to each other, in order to complement each other with the purpose to make goodness conduct all aspects and dimensions of life.

We are born with the potential to achieve this principle, for it is the reason and the purpose of our existence in the material world. Yet, our free will must make that choice. Thus we realize that humankind not just has the potential to subjugate and redirect negative traits and trends, but also the potential to manifest only goodness in all expressions of life.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Song of Songs: The Love Story of God and Israel (XII)

“Upon my bed in the nights I sought the One I love. I sought Him, and I found Him not.” (Song of Songs 3:1)

As we have seen, the nights represent not only negative traits and trends but also their outcome. By simple association, we can't enjoy the goodness of life in the midst of evil, for love does not dwell with anything different from its ways and attributes.

In this context, we are not able to find the redeeming blessings of God's love in the deep sleep of ego's fantasies and illusions. The latter belong to the realm of the “nights” where we suffer their destructive predicament.

We understand this situation as if God's love is hidden from us. God's infinite loving kindness and compassion never cease to sustain His entire creation! It's similar to imagine that He would remove the air from us. We are the ones who hide from God's love by choosing ego's materialistic desires instead of the goodness of love's ways and attributes. Hence we have to realize that the ways of goodness do not cohabit with negative ways. This verse may suggest abandonment and weariness, and these are the result of our separation from God's ways.

Goodness is the seed we plant in every positive action, and a lifestyle of goodness is its harvest. Hence we must rejoice more in the harvest than in the seed, yet the seed will be always more precious for being the primary cause of the goodness in which we rejoice. Likewise, God rejoices more in the harvest of His works.

Goodness is the cause and the purpose of God’s creation, as it is written, “And God saw everything that He had made; and behold, very good.” (Genesis 1:31). Thus we understand that we were created by the goodness of God’s love in order to manifest goodness as a divine destiny we only can transgress by choosing to reject it. We do this knowing that evil exists not as an option but only as a reference for us to choose goodness.

Israel is commanded to be, have and do goodness in order to fulfill her destiny as “the light unto the nations”. Here we also see the goodness inherent to light, as the Creator points it out, “And God saw the light, that [is] good” (Ibid. 1:4). Hence being, having and doing goodness are the means to show humankind the path to return to God; for goodness is man's common bond with Him.

Thus we must face and defeat adversities and obstacles through the strength of the goodness in us, by bringing out the best in us. The material world (the earth) is destined to reflect the spiritual world (the heavens), for the former is sustained by the latter. As we just mentioned, God is the source and sustenance of all that is and His goodness pervades all His creation.

“The loving kindness of the Lord fills all the earth.” (Psalms 33:5)

We can understand this by realizing that God’s goodness already fills the material world, which implies that it is our job to see goodness and reveal it when we don’t see it. This means that when we are in places or situations where we don’t see goodness, we are commanded to make it manifest, in order to fulfill our destiny to be the light for the nations. Thus we understand goodness as the light to dissipate the darkness of negative traits and trends in consciousness.

We also understand this as the imperative to make reflect in the material world the goodness inherent to the highest realms of God’s creation we know as the heavens. This is the premise to enter the final redemption and the merit to live, to behold, and to inherit the goodness and blessing of the Messianic era and the life in the world to come.

Thus we engage in a lifetime process of constant change through refining all levels and dimensions of consciousness to achieve their complete functional harmonic unity known as peace. We have referred to peace as a multidimensional all-encompassing quality that integrates completeness, wholesomeness and totality.

We call it functional because it implies a purpose. It is the prelude, the preceding state or precondition to approach unfathomable works and wonders of the spiritual world that reflects God’s perfection.

The objective is to overcome and transcend ego’s fantasies and illusions along with their negative traits and trends, and serve God’s will through love’s attributes as the sources of goodness and the leading means and qualities of the Messianic era. These direct us to the light God’s love saved for the righteous that make goodness their continuous expression, for only goodness permeates the Messianic consciousness.

The encompassing, integrating, unifying and harmonizing qualities of love’s ways bring completion to the material world. Thus we fulfill our part of the covenant with the Creator of all.

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.