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.”
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.