Sunday, February 26, 2017

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

Once we unite the diversity of human consciousness and harmonize its opposite traits and trends under the regency of love’s ways and attributes, we will see this harmonic functional unity also in our surroundings. Not only as a reflection of our individual and collective peace, but also interacting with each other.

For you will be in league [lit. In partnership, in covenant] with the stones of the field, and the beasts of the field will be at peace with you.” (Job 5:23)

“In that day I will also make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, the birds of the sky and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword and war from the land, and will make them lie down in safety.” (Hosea 2:18)

Therefore all forms of life exist to serve and sustain life in order to make goodness prevail in every way, means and end, for goodness is the highest level of life. Thus we understand what our sages mean when they refer to our actions.

“And let your deeds be for the sake of heaven” (Pirkei Avot 2:17)

God’s love reminds us constantly about this, for we deliberately overlook the goodness of love’s ways and attributes as what we must honor always and in all ways.

“(…) and God in whose hand is your breath and all your ways, Him you have not honored.” (Daniel 5:23)

Goodness is the intended purpose of God’s creation, and as the harmonizing catalyst is destined to transform anything different into goodness. King David reminds us often that God is good, for His loving kindness is eternal; and thus we realize goodness as the ruling principle in the promised transformed human consciousness in the Messianic era.

And He will judge between the nations and will render decisions for many peoples, and they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war.” (Isaiah 2:4)

We live to experience change, from ignorance to wisdom, delusion to awareness, dormant to awakened, immature to mature, darkness to light, coldness to warmth, abyss to summit. This change is the transformational process led by the soul in order to find itself in goodness as its own essence and purpose.

In this awareness some of us ask the fundamental question in regards to the soul, is it me or just the link to our Creator, or am I a consciousness in a biological body? The answer is simpler than we think. It depends on where we place our essence and identity.

Some place it in the body, and some of us place it in the soul. Some identify with the temporary nature of the body with its needs, lacks and desires, and some of us with the transcendental quality of the soul with its endless goodness beyond need, lack, lust or limitations. After what we already know about the soul, can we settle for less?

“I am of my Beloved, and upon me is His desire.” (Song of Songs 7:11)

Israel responds that the beauty of the goodness in her essence and identity entirely belongs to God, for they come from His love. Thus Israel remarks that she belongs to God’s love. Israel is thus, because thus is God’s desire.

God yearns for Israel’s expressions of His love in the material world, for He wants humankind to be fully aware of His presence in all that He has created.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

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

“Your two breasts [are] like two fawns, twins of a gazelle. Your neck [is] like a tower of ivory. Your eyes [are like the] pools in Cheshbon by the gate of the daughter of a multitude. Your nose [is] like the tower of the Lebanon in front of the Damascus. Your head upon you [is] like [mount] Carmel, and the hair of your head [is] like purple. The king [is] bound in its locks. How beautiful you are, and how pleasant, oh love in delights! Your stature [is] like a date tree, and your breasts like clusters of grapes.” (7:4-8)

Again, God’s description of Israel’s material features as qualities evokes the structure or body of the Tabernacle and the Temple of Jerusalem. As we mentioned before, these allegories suggest a fusion between Israel and the Temple as a one in the spiritual bonding with God’s love.

“I said, ‘I will go up in the date tree, to hold on its branches, and let your breasts be as clusters of grapes, and the breath of your nose like [the scent of] apples. And your palate be like the choicest wine, going to My beloved in righteousness, causing the lips of the sleepers to speak’.” (7:9-10)

God reiterates His promise for Israel's final redemption and the Messianic era. In the time He considers proper, as the Jewish prophets have announced, God will reveal His presence in Zion as Jerusalem and its Temple. The latter referred here as the date tree in which He will be seen elevated.

“And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken! (…) together they shall sing, for they shall see eye to eye the Lord returning to Zion.” (Isaiah 40:5, 53:8)

There God’s love will bond with Israel’s love manifest with the highest traits and qualities as her branches, clusters of grapes, the goodness of her deeds and actions as the scent of her breath, and the delight of the rejoicing they cause in all the hearts, as the best of wines.

All the goodness of these traits, qualities, deeds and actions emanate as the flow of streams coming only from the righteousness of love. In the righteousness of Israel’s love the sleepers (the nations) will speak the ways and attributes of God’s love.

As we have seen, these verses allude to a new human consciousness that will be led only by the goodness of love’s ways and attributes destined to prevail in the material world, and directed by Israel as the inheritor of God’s final redemption for all humankind.

“And I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:26)

Here flesh represents life and the heart as the goodness that drives it. Existence has meaning because of goodness, for goodness gives meaning to existence. God’s promised new consciousness led only by goodness heralds His complete and eternal bonding with Israel, for it is the spiritual and material manifestation of God’s love as His spirit, glory, majesty, power, triumph, splendor, regency and greatness.

“(…) Says the Lord, ‘My spirit that is upon you, and My words that I have put in your mouth shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your offspring, nor from the mouth of your offspring’s offspring’, says the Lord, ‘from here to eternity’.” (Isaiah 59:21)

We all are here in this world to experience, learn, enjoy and manifest goodness as our essence and identity. We already said that goodness is the essence of the soul as an extension of God’s love, and we as souls are here to find ourselves in all aspects, facets and dimensions of life and the material world. Thus we reveal God’s blessings in all that is in us and our surroundings, for everything we perceive through our senses also has the purpose to be and have goodness, a grain of sand, a leave of grass, an ant or an elephant.

We have said that the purpose of the soul is to find itself in all expressions of God’s material creation, by seeing the hidden goodness of what we may perceive as opposite to it. Thus we understand our prophets’ messages about the Messianic era.

 “‘The wolf and the lamb will graze together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox; and dust will be the serpent's food. They will do no evil or harm in all My holy mountain’, says the Lord.” (Isaiah 65:25, 11:6)

Sunday, February 12, 2017

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

“Return, return O Shulamith! Return, return, that we may gaze at you. What have you seen in the Shulamith, like a dance of the camps?” (Song of Songs 7:1)

The daughters of Jerusalem call up to Israel, urging her to return to her essence and true identity as her common bond with God’s love. Once we make the choice to abandon ego’s fantasies and illusions, and return to love’s ways and attributes as the means to follow God’s will, our higher traits and positive qualities support us in our journey back to God’s love. These know that God calls Israel the one who is all peace (Shulamith), for through the encompassing peace of love's ways and attributes we reach out to He whom peace belongs.

God asks the daughters of Jerusalem what do they see in the wholesomeness of Israel, like a dance in the camps. It is a rhetorical question, for they already know the goodness inherent to Israel. The two camps evoke the episode about the meeting of Esau and Jacob during the latter’s return to the land of Canaan (Genesis 32:2, 8).

There was and there is a clear distinction between the character traits of the two brothers, to the extreme that they are opposites. In this contrast, Israel’s wholesomeness is remembered in the last verse of the sixth chapter of this Song. It’s brought to relevance in the context of Israel and the nations. God praises Israel as the bearer of peace that belongs to her.

“How beautiful [were] your steps in sandals, O daughter of Nadib! The roundness of your sides [are] as jewels, the work of a master's hand!” (7:2)

Israel takes the steps of humbleness (represented by sandals) in their way to meet her Beloved, as the daughter of the Benefactor’s (Nadib) goodness and loving kindness. God remarks this time the beauty of the roundness of a body that epitomizes the grace of her traits and qualities as God’s attributes of compassion with which His hand forms and directs His entire creation.

“Your navel [is] like a round basin, where no mixed wine is lacking. Your womb [is like] a heap of wheat fenced with roses.” (7:3)

Israel’s “body” as the encompassing material expression of her spiritual identity is allegorically described as circular (“round”), meaning completeness and wholesomeness. Mixtures of wine usually refer to diversity of vines as multidimensional knowledge derived from the Torah that is the encompassing essence of the Jewish identity. Here the physical body reflects the material expressions of the spiritual body the Torah represents for Israel.

The womb (lit. the stomach) is the metaphor for the place where life is nurtured from its beginnings. Wheat is the quintessential food for feeding human life, and being mentioned here as a womb reinforces its life sustaining qualities. God describes Israel’s womb as a nurturing source to feed the goodness in life. It is “fenced” with roses as the beauty inherent to goodness.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

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

“I knew not my soul, that my soul set me as chariots of my people, Nadib.” (6:12)

Israel answers to God's inquiries by admitting that in her long and dark exile she became alienated and assimilated enough to disregard her own soul. In exile, Israel has been prone to lose the awareness of her essence and true identity. Instead of assuming responsibility for her separation from God's ways and attributes, and the consequences of her negative choices, Israel blames Him for her predicament under the nations.

As we allow ego’s fantasies and illusions, these become the rulers of our free will. In this predicament we become vulnerable to others controlled by negative traits and trends. Our total freedom is in love’s ways and attributes, with which we are full and without lack. Thus we make them the rulers to bring the blessings God’s love wants us to enjoy in the material world and in all expressions of life.

We must be aware that we also can bless ourselves in order to be the blessing we want to be in order to be a blessing for others. Our thoughts, speech and actions have the potential to reflect our blessings or curses. Negative traits and trends are indeed curses that turn our self into evil for us and for others. Curses not only come from others or our midst, but also from our self. Thus we understand king David’s warning.

The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not. They have ears, but they hear not; neither is there any breath in their mouths. They that make them shall become like them; yea, everyone that trust in them.” (Psalms 135:15-18)

The idols as ego’s fantasies and illusions with their negative trends are the curses we bring to our self, that rule and control our thoughts, emotions, feelings, passion and instinct. As they turn us into them, we become either the epitome of lust, envy, coveting, wrath, haughtiness, indifference or indolence, among other cursing traits. Thus we realize that the blessings of love’s ways and attributes elevate us, while the curses of negative traits and trends keep us trapped in the shallowness and futility of ego’s fantasies and illusions.

We must be constantly bonding with goodness in order to allow the blessings flow in us, for us and for others, and fulfilling our soul’s purpose to make goodness prevail in human life and the material world. We maintain this constant flow by being and doing goodness, allowing our self to be its vessel and channel in the awareness that goodness comes from God’s love. Thus we understand that the cause of His creation is goodness, and the purpose and end of His creation is goodness, as it is written.

“Everything the Lord has made [is] for His sake.” (Proverbs 16:4)

And God saw everything that He made; and behold, very good.” (Genesis 1:31)

“(...) may the Lord rejoice in His works.” (Psalms 104:31)

Goodness indeed rejoices in goodness. As we have mentioned often, our total fulfillment in every aspect of life is complete only by the goodness that emanates from God’s love. We achieve this with our constant desire for goodness by bonding with His loving goodness.

“(…) You [God] open Your hand and satisfy the wanton of every living thing.” (Ibid. 145:16)

“The Lord wants those who revere Him, they who desire His loving kindness.” (Ibid 147:11)

Thus we also realize the transcendence of goodness, which makes it perfect.

“Everyone called [created] in My Name, and whom I have created for My honor [goodness], I have created him, I have shaped [perfected] Him.” (Isaiah 43:7)

Materialistic fantasies and illusions tamper the awareness of our essence and true identity, while love’s ways provide us the clarity to elevate our consciousness to higher realms where we are able to reveal God’s concealed presence. Prior to our journey to fully know God’s ways and attributes, we must know our own. Only then we can realize the strength of our awareness of love, the weaknesses of our fears and feelings of lack; the creative potentials to bring and manifest goodness in what we are and do, and the limitations of negative ideas, emotions and feelings.

Thus we learn what brings us closer to our Creator is goodness, and what separates us from Him is anything that is not good. Then we begin the journey to refine our consciousness and body by eliminating and avoiding negative traits; redirecting our basic drives, trends and creative potentials; and strengthening our positive qualities to guide all expressions of life.

This self-refinement process is indeed the premise to approach God’s ways and attributes, for as we have said, only through goodness we can bond with Him. Hence we engage in the knowledge of our self as goodness and inherently separated from anything different from goodness.

We must see our self as the soul that looks for its place in human life and this place is goodness, for goodness is from which the soul comes and its only reference to approach the material world. Thus we realize that the purpose of the soul is to find goodness as the place it knows before entering human consciousness.

Evidently, the material world is not suited for the loftiness of the soul, yet it looks forward to make the physical realm a reflection of the soul realm. Therefore we as the soul have to pursue goodness always and in all ways. Thus we assimilate that “the ways of the world are His” (Habakkuk 3:6), for all of them are the ways of His goodness. The soul finds its ways in the ways and attributes of its Creator, for which it is destined in the world.

“Certainly there is a spirit in man, and the breath of the Almighty gives them understanding.” (Job 32:8)

As we have indicated, the soul as pure intellect begins this process analyzing the nature of human consciousness by knowing the dynamics of positive and negative traits, and their expressions and effects; and selecting those that are compatible and inherent to the soul. It does so in every level of consciousness, from the mind and thoughts through emotions and feelings, passions and instincts, by separating from them anything opposite to goodness and love’s ways and attributes.

We must be as practical, empirical and pragmatic as we can be, in order to learn from the goodness of positive traits and actions, as well as their opposites. Thus we can effectively execute change in our consciousness and surroundings, unless we bind ourselves to the repetitive vicious circles of obsessions, attachments and addictions to destructive ideas, thoughts, emotions and feelings.

The soul is actually the one that directs the refinement of human consciousness towards its goal to bond permanently with the Creator, while dwelling in the world. We must not allow the soul as our essence and true identity be trapped in the negative ways and trends of ego’s fantasies and illusions, for these are not its place.

The soul gives us the intellect and its discernment to remove them completely in order to allow it manifest its divine origin and qualities, as extensions of God’s love. This is one of the meanings of Israel’s mission to build a place for God to dwell in our midst.

Israel recognizes before God (called here Nadib, Benefactor) her choice to falling into negative traits and trends. This falling (represented by her exile among the nations) turned into vassals (“chariots”) His people.

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.