Monday, September 25, 2017

Ecclesiastes: The illusion of vanity and the reality of love (XVII)

If you see oppression of the poor and deprivation of justice and righteousness in the province, wonder not about the matter, for the Highest over the high waits and there are higher ones over them. (Ecclesiastes 5:7)

Some people say that the evil in this world is enough, while others wonder about how much worse can it become. We all are responsible for the wickedness we see and don’t see in this world, for evil has remained or increased by the hand of men.

Let’s remind ourselves that God created evil not as a choice but as a reference to choose goodness, and that evil does not manifest by itself but by concrete actions of human beings. The rest of “evil” can be done by the actions of certain animals or by forces of nature against the benefit of humans. Thus we may consider an earthquake or a hurricane as evil as the attacks of alligators, tigers, vultures or snakes.

Here we are talking about the evil men do as “the oppression of the poor, and the deprivation of justice and righteousness” as specific transgressions against the goodness we owe to each other. As the source of goodness, God’s love does not condone evil or wickedness but makes us accountable for our negligence when we are able to be and do goodness to others but we choose not to.

We can understand the last part of the verse in the sense that God is the Highest over all, who waits for all to be good to each other, instead of being or feeling “higher” to deny the goodness needed by others.

And the haughtiness [lit. loftiness] of the earth is in everything; even the king is subservient to the field. Whoever loves silver will not be sated with silver and he who loves a multitude without increase, this too is vanity. (5:8-9)

Loftiness as arrogance is one of the negative traits and trends in consciousness that keeps us separate from others. King Solomon bluntly states that no one escapes haughtiness in this world, even a king bows to the boundaries of human condition in the field of life. Arrogance makes us insatiable under ego’s fantasies and illusions for which nothing is plenty enough, and this is pure vanity.

With the increase of good, its eaters increase, and what is the advantage to its master, except seeing [with] his eyes? The sleep of the laborer is sweet whether he eats little or much, but the satiety of the rich does not allow him to sleep. (5:10-11)

We mentioned that our eyes take us to what we see or desire (Numbers 15:39), and here we are invited to reflect on the real advantage of what we pursue in life. We were warned already about the increasing desire for having more than enough, and falling into attachments, obsessions and addictions that bring us vexation and frustration.

If we are clever enough to live with the satisfaction of not creating dependence or addictions to anything that invites unceasing desire, we will sleep in peace; unlike the restlessness caused by dependency.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Ecclesiastes: The illusion of vanity and the reality of love (XVI)

Do not allow your mouth to cause sin to your flesh, and do not say before the messenger that it is an error. Why should God be angered with your voice and destroy the work of your hands? For despite many dreams and vanities and many words, only fear God.” (Ecclesiastes 5:5-6)

The “sin to our flesh” means that we put into our individual consciousness that which is not who we are or what we are not supposed to be.

If we stop living in the ways and attributes of goodness, then we live a life (“flesh”) in whatever way we choose. Once we make our choices, these speak for ourselves and we can’t say that “it is an error” to whom we deal with.

“If you have been wise, you have been wise for yourself; and [if] you have scorned, you bear it yourself.” (Proverbs 9:12)

God’s “anger” is nothing but our own separation from His ways and attributes. In this separation we destroy the goodness we are supposed to be, to have and manifest. Let’s be aware that God does not get “angry” and “destroy” what we are and do.

The verse is telling us in a rhetorical way that God does not interfere with our choices and decisions, including those instigated by the vanity and futility of ego’s fantasies and illusions. These are the real cause of our anger for their destruction of our essence and true identity, which is only goodness.

“Your own wickedness shall correct you, and your backsliding shall reprove you. Know therefore and see that it is a wicked thing and bitter, that you have forsaken the Lord your God, and that My fear is not in you’, says God, the Lord of multitudes.” (Jeremiah 2:19)

Thus we realize that the way we revere (“fear”) God is living with, in, by and for the ways ad attributes of goodness which are the opposite of “dreams”, “vanities” and empty “words” of ego’s fantasies and illusion. Despite the many of them, goodness transcends them all as the psalmist reminds us.

“There are many thoughts in the heart of man, but the counsel of the Lord prevails.” (Psalms 19:21)

Kings David and Solomon invite us to focus on what really matters in life, but even more, what gives meaning and purpose to life which are the qualities and expressions of goodness as the counsel that prevails.

Instead of wasting life in the materialistic fantasies and illusions in “the heart of man” that are our “many (countless) thoughts”, let’s live in goodness as our true purpose in this world.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Ecclesiastes: The illusion of vanity and the reality of love (XV)

Be not rash with your mouth, and let your heart not be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on the earth. Therefore let your words be few because a dream comes with much concern, and the voice of the fool with many words. (Ecclesiastes 5:1-2)

We know that thought precedes speech and action, except for those who speak and act before thinking. Usually we want our words to faithfully reflect our thoughts and intentions in order not to misrepresent ourselves, even more so when we communicate with God “who is in heaven”. Here we understand that our communication with Him must be beyond our human understanding of the divine.

“‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways’, says the Lord. ‘For high have the heavens been above the earth, so high have been My ways above your ways, and My thoughts above your thoughts’.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

As we said before, we must relate to God through the ways and attributes with which He wants us to emulate Him. Thus we can make this world a place for Him to dwell with [in] us.

As long as we continue living in ego’s fantasies and illusions, our thoughts, dreams, speech and actions will also reflect their vanity, vexation, frustration as the futility of a fool’s life.

When you pronounce a vow to God, do not delay to pay, for He has no pleasure in fools; that which you vow, pay. It is better that you vow not, than that you vow and do not pay it. (Ecclesiastes 5:3-4)

Our words and deeds reflect who we are, no matter what. Either we like it or not, ultimately we are accountable for our speech and actions to each other, including God. In this sense we are accountable to Him because we suppose to think, speak and act according to what connects us to Him.

“And I, with a voice of thanksgiving, I sacrifice to You. That which I have vowed I complete, [for] redemption is of the Lord. (Jonah 2:9)

If we believe and pursue goodness, we are accountable to goodness and nothing else, even so if we claim to be good. If we are not able to live by this principle, we rather don’t commit to it as the verse suggests.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Ecclesiastes: The illusion of vanity and the reality of love (XIV)

I saw all [in] one that walks under the sun, with the second child who will rise in his stead. There is no end to all the people, to all that were before them; also the last ones will not rejoice with him, for this too is vanity and frustration.” (Ecclesiastes 4:15-16)

As long as we “walk under the sun”, which means in this material world, we are bound to live by our choices every time we are able to exercise free will. We set our boundaries based on our ability to discern between good and evil, and the priorities derived from either living in the ways and attributes of goodness or living in ego’s fantasies and illusions.

In times of distress we have to maintain the awareness that the goodness coming from God’s love is our freedom, as the psalmist says.

Show me Your ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths. Guide me in Your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my redemption. I wait for You all day long. Guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation. I wait for You all day long. Remember Your compassion, O Lord, and Your loving kindness, for they are eternal.”
(Psalms 25:4-5)

Once our priorities and choices are made, we are bound to them and live by and for them. Every action or creation (including having children) are also ruled by them, and continue to rule under their predicament of vanity and frustration. Our sages also call “children” deeds and inventions to tell us that all our actions have consequences, and we better think more than about what the real priorities and choices in life. Thus we end up realizing that what really matters is goodness as our true sustenance, fulfillment and joy.

Watch your feet when you go to the house of God, and be ready to obey rather than fools should give sacrifice, for they know not that they do evil.” (Ecclesiastes 4:17)

We indicate often that the “house” represents our consciousness and what we have in it or put in it. In this verse, “the house of God” encompasses ways and attributes that He wants to share with us as part of our essence and identity.

Send forth Your light and Your truth. May they lead me, they bring me onto the mount of Your holiness and on Your dwellings. And I go unto the altar of God, unto God, the joy of my rejoicing. And I thank You with a harp, O Lord, my God. (Psalms 43:3-4)

Coming to His house means to engage ourselves in all forms and expressions of goodness, peace, grace, compassion, slowness to anger, abundant loving kindness and truth, as traits and qualities with which God directs His creation and relates to it (see God’s attributes of compassion in Exodus 34:6-7). These are the light and truth that lead us to Him.

In order to have a life inspired, sustained and directed by these attributes as our common bond with our Creator, we have to “watch our feet” by letting our discernment and judgment to embrace constantly all expressions of goodness in every choice that we make. We live in God’s house by following (“obeying”) the principles that bind us to Him.

Thus we understand that the choices of our foolishness are not the proper “sacrifices” we offer to Him, for sooner or later we all realize that a self-centered approach to life as negative consequences as the evil that we seem unaware of.

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.