Sunday, January 28, 2018

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

“And if man lives many years, in all of them let him rejoice. And remember the days of darkness, for they are many, [for] all that is coming [from it] is vanity.
(Ecclesiastes 11:8)

Here we have to make a clear choice, either darkness of light. We enjoy life in the goodness that nurtures it, and thus we rejoice in the days of our years. In this chosen reality we confront the darkness with its vanities and futility and lighten them up with the light of goodness, and turn their negative trends into new opportunities to make the positive prevail.

Rejoice, young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth, and walk in the ways of your heart, and in the sight of your eyes; but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment. (11:9)

We must understand childhood and youth as the years of a care free enjoyment of life, for these are the times to rejoice in goodness. Thus we relate youthful thoughts and childlike innocence as joyful expressions of goodness that make the hearts happy.

In our heart dwell our thoughts, emotions and feelings as the ways in which we walk. Thus we look forward to enjoy the vibrant joy of goodness to live away from its opposites.

God’s love reminds us that our choices have effects and consequences that eventually bring us to their judgment. Once we make negative choices, these bring us to their also negative ends. Thus we understand that “evil is the punishment itself”.

Let’s be always aware that God does not judge our transgressions. Our transgressions judge our awareness or unawareness of their consequences. It is simply a matter of cause and effect, for thus is the way of the ethical principle inherent to God’s creation.

“And turn aside anger from your heart, and put away evil from your flesh; for youth and the age of life are vanity. (11:10)

In this context we must remove negative thoughts, feelings and emotions, along with their evil expressions from our consciousness. Here “youth” is referred as ignorance and inexperience in regards to negative traits and trends in the vanities of ego’s fantasies and illusions.

Remember also your creators in the days of your youth, before the evil days come, and the years draw near, when you will say, ‘I have no pleasure in them’. Before the sun, the light, the moon, and the stars are darkened, and the clouds return after the rain.(12:1)

Here the “creators” are the principles by which we are formed and educated in our childhood and youth, “before the evil days come” when we have to confront negativity and make the right choices. These are the days in which a strong and positive education enables us to realize that there is no pleasure in fantasies and illusions, but only in the goodness of love’s ways and attributes. In the light of goodness we can face with success the darkest moments.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

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

Don’t curse the king, no, not in your thoughts; and don’t curse the rich in your bedroom, for a bird of the sky may carry your voice, and that which has wings may tell the matter. (Ecclesiastes 10:20)

Thus we understand that we must cherish our most precious and valuable beliefs and principles (the “king” and the “rich”), for these are the blessings by which we achieve the goodness God wants for us. We must not despise them, either with our actions or with our words or thoughts. We know that by our ways and actions we portray and express ourselves; and for them, sooner or later, we will be accountable.

Send forth your bread on the face of the waters, for in the multitude of the days you will find it. Give a portion to seven, and even to eight, for you don’t know what evil is on the earth. If the thick clouds are full of rain, on the earth they empty themselves. And if a tree falls in the south or to the north, the place where the tree falls, there it is.

Our Sages relate to water in many ways, hence we can understand the first verse in diverse forms. The context here is a life that encompasses a “multitude of days” in which we live to find the goodness that we are commanded to share with others. Here, we take “the waters” as the thoughts that we direct by discernment, understanding and knowledge with goodness as their ruling principle.

Thus we share it with as many as possible to keep away the negative ways and trends of vanities and illusions, as “the evil on the earth”. This factual statement is followed also by natural facts, such as the rain over the earth and the trees that fall on it.

In a deeper meaning, and following the same context, our thoughts (“the waters”) eventually turn into concrete actions (“the earth”), where the former “empty themselves”. The trees symbolize life standing in the material world to which we give a direction, either positive or negative, where we live and stay when we die.

He who is observing the wind does not sow, and who is looking on the thick clouds does not reap. (11:4)

We are warned time and again that we reap what we sow, and inaction leads nowhere. Wind and clouds can be understood here also as the whims and desires of material fantasies and illusions that don’t have true profit or benefit, and from which we can’t sow or reap.

As you don’t know what is the way of the wind, nor how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child; even so you don’t know the work of God who does all. In the morning sow your seed, and in the evening don’t withhold your hand; for you don’t know which will prosper, whether this or that, or whether they both will be equally good. Sweet also is the light, and good for the eyes to see the sun. (11:5-7)

Our ignorance extends from our own unawareness of the effects of ego’s fantasies and illusions to the ways of nature and the ways God directs His creation. Hence we have to do what is right and proper in all our endeavors without selfish reservations, and share our goodness the best way we can, without expectations or manipulations.

Goodness knows its ways, and the ends of its qualities. As long as we direct goodness in our own personal ways, it may not be as good as it is by itself. We have said that light is an abstraction of goodness, and we contemplate on its sweetness and kindness, as we are pleased by the radiance of the sun that fills every open space.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

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

If the snake bites before it is charmed, then there is no profit for the charmer’s tongue. The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious; but a fool is swallowed by his own lips. The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness; and the end of his talk is mischievous madness. A fool also multiplies words. Man doesn’t know what will be; and that which will be after him, who can tell him? The labor of fools wearies every one of them; for he doesn’t know how to go to the city. (Ecclesiastes 10:11-15)

An undeveloped and uneducated discernment leads to foolish choices and decisions that can bring destruction. The same goes for an uncontrolled egotism, similar to an untamed snake that can kill the goodness that we have to embrace as the ruling principle in consciousness.

We have no profit, benefit or advancement in beliefs, thoughts, emotions and feelings inspired or fed by negative traits, but actually having the opposite. Hence we realize that our words and actions are the expressions of what we believe in, either good or bad. Thus we are able to know what is coming to us after what we say or do.

Nobody can tell us about the outcome of our actions but these. Our own ignorance leads us to the effects of our foolishness, derived from ego’s fantasies and illusions that obstruct our awareness of goodness as the city where we all belong. In this sense, “the city” is also Jerusalem as the permanent awareness of our connection with the Creator.

Woe to you, land, when your king is a youth and your princes banquet [lit. eat] in the morning! Happy are you, land, when your king is the son of nobles and your princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness! By slothfulness the roof sinks in; and through idleness of the hands the house leaks. (10:16-18)

We have learned that the earth and the land symbolize life, while kings and nobles represent the ruling beliefs and principles from which we conduct ourselves.

The first verse refers to wasteful and undermining traits and trends that turn life into something meaningless and futile as drunkenness, in contrast to the positive qualities that strengthen goodness as the cause and purpose of life.

Here we are warned to constantly live in goodness, and not fall in the idleness of vanity and futility that weaken and destroy the dignity of life.

A feast is made for laughter, and wine makes life glad; and money is the answer for all things. (10:19)

This verse contains two separate statements, both meant to complement each other. As we have mentioned, the purpose of life is goodness as its laughter and enjoyment that are expressions of its plenitude and wholeness.

What money has to do with this? Money exists as the means to acquire services, goods and assets which are needed to achieve the plenitude and fullness of life in this material world under the sun.

We learned from our Sages that in the spiritual worlds there are no material possessions to be acquired, for the spirit is not sustained by matter. In this world the human body nurtures from physical food, for which we are commanded by God to work for. Thus we buy to acquire or possess what we need, in order to live and survive as human beings.

In this context we assimilate that “money is the answer of all things”, as the means to acquire the necessary things to make life as comfortable and pleasurable as God wants us to.

This is not meant to be forever while we live in the material world, for our Prophets tell us about “the end of times” when we won’t need money to live in the abundance and plenitude of the knowledge of the Creator.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

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

There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, the sort of error which proceeds from the ruler. Folly is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in a low place. I have seen servants on horses, and princes walking like servants on the earth.
(Ecclesiastes 10:5-7)

Here Kohelet reminds us that every choice that we make has effects or consequences. This applies to positive actions and negative choices. The second verse is quite insightful for us to understand the times we live. When he says that “folly is set in great dignity”, is referring to the glamorization of ego’s fantasies and illusions, presented as respectable options for an acceptable lifestyle.

This cultural, social or fashion trend considers certain beliefs that label goodness according to their own benefit or gain as part of the dignity inherent in life. Thus we understand the “rich” as the ones who believe in the uncompromising quality of goodness, sitting it in the “low place” of materialistic fantasies and illusions.

The final verse illustrates this moral decay when we see the fool acclaimed as respectable, and the respectable (the “princes”) behaving as slaves by their materialistic obsessions, attachments and addictions.

He who digs a pit may fall into it; and whoever breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake. Whoever carves out stones may be injured by them. Whoever splits wood may be endangered thereby. (10:8-9)

In this predicament we become aware that the desire of living in fantasies and illusions makes us fall into them, and become liable for the afflictions that come out of them. Once we are trapped in them, only their ways rule our life to inflict pain and suffering. These verses illustrate quite well this predicament.

If the ax is blunt, and one doesn’t sharpen the edge, then he must use more strength. And wisdom is advantageous to make right. And wisdom has the advantage to succeed. (10:10)

Kohelet compares wisdom to an ax that has to be sharpened. The sharpening of the ax is the necessary learning process that makes us wise. The comparison invites to develop discernment and understanding as the means to achieve the proper knowledge required to make righteous judgments.

In this sense, having a sharp mind implies to “cut” out the foolishness of ego’s fantasies and illusions from our hearts, and leave in it only the righteous ways and attributes of goodness to approach all aspects and facets of life. In this wise approach we can only expect the success inherent in goodness.

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.