Sunday, November 26, 2017

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

There is no man that has power over the wind to retain the wind, neither has the power over the day of [his] death; and there is no discharge in war, neither shall wickedness deliver him that is given to it. All this have I seen, even applied my heart to whatever the work that is done under the sun; what time one man had power over another to his hurt. ( Ecclesiastes 8:8-9)

These verses come to expand the reasons for not to entertain fantasies and illusions that we are not fully aware of their outcome, once we turn them into something real. Thus we understand that they are similar to believe that we are able to handle evil or to control it, as we also would like to do with death.

Once we engage ourselves to negative attachments, obsessions or addictions, we are bound to them with no easy relief or deliverance.

There is nothing to profit from this predicament as well as from anything in the realm of ego’s fantasies and illusions, even more so if we inflict wickedness to one another.

And so I saw the wicked buried, and they entered into their [final] rest; and they that had done right went away from the holy place, and were forgotten in the city. This also is vanity. Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.

Both the just and the wicked end up in graves, either sooner or later. Here the just are warned not to separate from their permanent awareness of goodness as the holy place where they belong. Otherwise, they will be forgotten as the wicked in the vanities that they choose to live, for in them there is no judgment or justice.

If we allow negative traits and trends as the ways and means of our consciousness, we confirm that wickedness is sheltered in our hearts.

“Because a sinner does evil a hundred times and [yet he] prolongs his days. Although yet I know that it shall be well with them that revere [lit. fear] God, that fear before Him. But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days which are as a shadow because he fears not before God. (8:12-13)

King Solomon invites us again to become aware of the vanity, futility and frustration of our negative choices, either these shorten or prolong our days, for in them life becomes meaningless.

Thus we translate the reverence (“fear”) of God as the appreciation and devotion to the goodness by which our steps in the path of life are shinned.

There is a vanity which is done upon the earth, that there are righteous men to whom it happens according to the work of the wicked; again, there are wicked men to whom it happens according to the work of the righteous. I said that this also is vanity. (8:14)

This verse reiterates that as long as we engage in the vanity and futility of ego’s fantasies and illusions, there is no difference is we are just or wicked.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

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

Be not hasty to go out of His presence, do not stand in an evil thing; for He does whatever pleases Him. (Ecclesiastes 8:3)

Once again we are reminded to remain in goodness for the sake of goodness as the reflection of God’s presence in His creation, for in this awareness there is no evil.

Thus we realize that evil is the constant reference for us to choose goodness, until the day of the Jewish final redemption when evil will disappear from the face of the earth.

At the meantime we are here to permanently make positive choices and not as we please, for that is a privilege that belongs only to God as the Creator of all.

For as much as the King’s word has power; but who may say to Him, ‘What to do’? Who keeps the commandment knows no evil thing, and a wise heart discerns time and judgment.” (8:4-5)

Goodness is God’s encompassing will for the choices that we are about to make every moment, and it is also the power in His word. His chosen people are destined to choose back to His will and do what is inherent in goodness, for it does not dwell with evil.

In goodness as the ruling principle of wisdom we are born to discern and apply judgment because goodness is the reason and the purpose of life in this world.

For to every matter there is a time and judgment, for the evil of man is great upon him. For he knows not that which shall be; for even when it comes to pass, who shall declare it to him? (8:6-7)

As we mentioned, we all have to face every situation and matter with the proper approach that always pursues goodness, and as our judgment to act and respond according to what is right for every circumstance.

We must live in this awareness because evil is also constantly calling as the other choice that we are divinely instructed, either to avoid or to turn into a positive expression.

Thus we are able to avoid the effects, outcomes or consequences of negative choices, about which we are not always aware of what may result from them, particularly if there is none to advice us against these.

Monday, November 13, 2017

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

I turned about with my heart to know and to search out and to seek wisdom and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly and the foolishness and madness. And I find bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, her hands are bonds; whoever is good in God’s sight will escape from her, and a sinner will be taken by her. (Ecclesiastes 7:25-26)

We can’t fathom the reasons of an uncontrolled behavior, and more so in regards to others. The example presented here about wicked manipulations is another case when people are blinded by their mistaken understanding of life, in which goodness does not exist. Those who share the same approach get trapped in the destructive fate of living in the absence of goodness.

See, this I have found, said Kohelet, adding one to another to find out the account, which my soul sought yet, but I did not find. One man out of a thousand I found, but a woman among all these I did not find. See, only this one have I found, for God made man straight, but they sought many intrigues. (7:27-29)

The statistics presented by Kohelet are appalling in a world where goodness is the ruling principle in God’s creation. This brings us to reflect on the reasons that human beings may have to follow negative traits and trends out of ego’s fantasies and illusions as the “many intrigues” that they rather choose instead of the righteousness of goodness’ ways and attributes.

Intrigues invite manipulations derived to feelings or beliefs of lack that compel us to control others in order to get what we think that will satisfy our envy, coveting, lust, anger and haughtiness.

As long as we disregard goodness as the source of fulfillment for all our needs, wants and desires with its righteousness and justice, we will continue living in fantasies and illusions.

Who is like the wise man? And who knows the interpretation of a thing? A man’s wisdom makes his face shine, and the boldness of his face is changed. (8:1)

We have said that goodness is the principle that defines the qualities of wisdom which leads us to understand (“interpret”) what we face in life.

The verse brings up light as an abstraction of goodness to teach us that our wisdom must reflect goodness as radiance can shine from a face. This reminds us the second of the three priestly blessings in the Torah.

“May the Lord shine His countenance on you, and make you gracious.” (Numbers 6:25)

In Judaism we know that Divine principles and attributes are symbolically compared to human traits or other material quality such as face, light, hands, darkness, eyes, crown, etc. Hence God’s light is related to the goodness with which He creates, rules and sustains His works, that makes us graceful as an expression inherent in goodness.

As we live in, with and for goodness, the face that represents our identity changes to reflect who we really are with the “boldness” required to approach every aspect of life.

I [counsel you]: keep the King’s command and that in regards to the oath of God. (Ecclesiastes 8:2)

We exercise our Jewish identity by keeping God’s instructions and commandments as the allegiance or Covenant that we have with Him. The Torah says that we are His chosen people, yet we must choose back to His will in order to fulfill our partnership.

This and all the verses in the Hebrew Bible are presented in the context of being, having and doing goodness as the purpose of such Covenant.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

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

It is good that you should take hold of this, and also from this you shall not withdraw your hand, for he who fears God will discharge himself of them all. Wisdom affords strength to the wise more than ten rulers who were in the city, for there is no righteous man on earth who does goodness and sins not. (Ecclesiastes 7:17-20)

Acquiring the awareness mentioned earlier is the way to assimilate God’s ways and attributes that arouse our reverence or “fear” of Him. In this knowledge and realization we release (“discharge”) our consciousness from negative attachments, obsessions or addictions that feed ego’s fantasies and illusions. This acquired wisdom leads us to correct our ways as we learn to live in goodness.

“Whoever is wise, let him understand these things. Whoever is discerning, let him know them. For the ways of the Lord are right, and the righteous will walk in them. But transgressors will stumble in them.”
(Hosea 14:9)

Thus we understand that God created evil for us to learn from it in order to always choose goodness, and to realize that sins and transgressions are mistakes that we commit in order to know that in goodness there is no offense, infraction, violation or error.

Also, take no heed of all the words that they speak, lest you hear your servant curse you. For your heart knows that many times you too cursed others. All this I tested with wisdom. I said, ‘I will become wise’, but it was far from me. (7:21-23)

Again Kohelet invites us to become wise while we thrive in the contradictions and ambiguities that we find every moment that we have to exercise free will in conflicting situations between good and evil.

What was, is far off, and very deep [in consciousness], who can find it? (7:24)

Our wise king taps into the complexities of human consciousness, and sometimes remote causes prompt us by default to act or react without control in certain circumstances. In our unawareness of them we can’t understand their origin or purpose in life.

This does not mean that we can dismiss or justify our misdeeds and negative actions because we are unable to fathom the causes of certain instinctual behavior.

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.