Sunday, June 26, 2011

Parshat Chukat: The Purity of Life as God's Gift

All the commandments, statutes and decrees stated in the Torah are related to the plan that encompasses God's creation. These are given particularly to Israel because this plan is part of Israel's mission in the world.

Though we can't comprehend God's essence or His plan, the Torah makes us aware that Israel is destined to fulfill His will. Hence, He commands us to do so.

"This is the decree of (chukat) the Torah which the Lord commanded, saying: 'Speak to the children of Israel (…)'." (Numbers 19:2)

sages explain that life is intrinsically pure and everything related to it must be pure. In contrast to death that represents exactly the opposite. In this sense, our life becomes impure when we taint it with all that is against its integrity, dignity, honor, and goodness.

In other words, anything that is against the goodness of love's ways and attributes. Love is the essence of life, as it is God's love the essence and purpose of His creation.

purification is the way to keep love always present in our lives. We must realize that the message here is to understand impurity as the result of inviting anything that represents the opposite of life. We are truly alive when we live in the ways of goodness, the pure ways the Creator commands us to live by.

True life is sustained by the waters of God's love. Our mystic sages teach that Aaron, Miriam and Moses represent our highest awareness of the Creator, what we call the awareness of God's ways and attributes. Aaron is our wisdom, Miriam our understanding, and Moses our knowledge.

As long as these qualities of our intellect are permanently aware of the Creator in our lives and in all Creation, we are truly
alive in the material world. If one of these qualities is missing, we feel disconnected from God's love.

In this view, understanding is the water that gives sense to wisdom and knowledge.

"And Miriam died there [in the desert], and was buried there. The congregation had no water, so they assembled against Moses and Aaron." (20:1-2)

The narrative continues with the conquest of the
promised land, and the events are related to the main message of this portion, purification. We have said the "nations" that occupied this land represent negative traits and trends that Israel must avoid in order to remain sacred to the Creator.

"Please let us pass through your land; we will not pass through fields or vineyards, nor will we drink well water. We will walk along the king's road, and we will turn neither to the right nor to the left until we have passed through your territory'." (20:17)

We must realize that when we are dealing with negative thoughts, emotions, feelings and passions, we risk the goodness of love as the inherent quality of life. Hence, we have to turn away from negativity because in it we can't get through anything good.

"Edom refused to allow Israel to cross through his territory; so Israel turned away from him." (20:21)

In order to avoid the negative aspects of consciousness we must be determinant, and fully commit every dimension of our life to God's ways and attributes. When we allow them to lead, we are able to transform negative traits into qualities that we dedicate to fulfill His will. God's love does this transformation.

"Israel made a vow to the Lord, and said, 'If You deliver this people into my hand, I shall consecrate their cities.'The Lord heard Israel's voice and delivered the Canaanite. He destroyed them and [consecrated] their cities (…)" (21:2-3)

This transformation does not make sense as long as some aspects of consciousness are still attached to lower emotions and materialistic desires as some of ego's negative perceptions that taint the purity of life as the gift of God's love.

"The people spoke against God and against Moses, 'Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in this desert, for there is no bread and no water, and we are disgusted with this rotten bread?'." (21:5)

The illusion of separation in ego's individualistic agenda, represented by the snake, again proves to be the main tainting trait that causes death before the eyes of love.

"The Lord sent against the people the venomous snakes, and they bit the people, and many people of Israel died." (21:6)

Hence the way to return to true life is to re-direct our egos in the ways and attributes of love. As we have mentioned before, ego is part of our consciousness and such as it also must act under the yoke of heaven, the yoke of God's ways.

"The Lord said to Moses, 'Make yourself a serpent and put it on a pole, and let whoever is bitten look at it and live'." (21:8)

The portion ends with the verse, "The children of Israel journeyed and encamped in the plains of Moab, across the Jordan from Jericho." (22:1), where the dangers of falling into negative thoughts and emotions are reminders that our true choice in order to consecrate life is love.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Parshat Korach: Discerning Truth from Illusion

This portion mainly refers to the first dispute challenging the national leadership of Moses and the spiritual leadership of Aaron among the People of Israel.

This dispute not only questioned Moses and Aaron's leadership but the Creator's will and plan for Israel. Division was imminent as night and morning are divided by divine decree. Only in the light of the morning any eventual dispute must be cleared.

Morning is the reflection of clarity, and in the light truth can't be overshadowed by the fantasies and illusions of darkness represented by Korach's rebellion.

"He (Moses) spoke to Korach and to all his company, saying, 'In the morning, the Lord will make known who is His, and who is holy, and He will draw (them) near to Him, and the one He chooses, He will draw near to Him'." (Numbers 16:5)

God's love lives in the truth of His light that symbolizes His ways and attributes. In God's ways there are no divisions, rebellions or separations because He makes known what is part of it, what is holy to Him that is always close to Him.

In the awareness of love, only its ways and attributes prevail because love does not cohabit with anything different from what is inherent to God's ways. In love everything lives and fructifies because God's love sustains all life. Hence death is just the reflection of the illusions and fantasies of ego's darkest desires. Only God's love redeems us and brings us back to life in order to live again in His moment-to-moment miracles.

Only in our individual and collective awareness of God's love as our essence and identity we can embrace the true meaning of life, and be able to overcome death.

"(…) and behold, Aaron's staff for the house of Levi had blossomed! It gave forth blossoms, sprouted buds, and produced ripe almonds." (17:23)

This awareness (Aaron) must lead all aspects and dimensions of consciousness (the entire Israel) because that is our covenant with the Creator and His love.

"Any devoted thing in Israel shall be yours (Aaron's)." (18:14)

In this awareness we understand the following verse.

"All the gifts of the holy [offerings] which are set aside by the children of Israel for the Lord I have given to you, and to your sons and daughters with you, as an eternal portion; it is like an eternal covenant of salt before the Lord, for you and your descendants with you." (18:19)

We must assimilate the image of the high priest in Israel as the place and time in our consciousness where and when we are permanently connected to God's love. This awareness is our portion, the land in our life in the material world.

"The Lord said to Aaron, 'You shall not inherit in their land, and you shall have no portion among them. I am your inheritance and portion among the children of Israel'." (18:20)

In our connection to God's love our mission is to direct all levels of consciousness in His ways and attributes, which are indeed the place He want us for Him to dwell among (in) us.

All we are and do must be infused and expressed with love, the true essence we are, and the best we have in life. Love is the cause and the effect with which we consecrate all we are and do.

"From all your gifts, you shall set aside every gift of the Lord, from its choicest portion, that part of it which is to be consecrated." (18:29)

When we discern love from the mirages, illusions and fantasies of materialistic life, we are able to live free from the darkness these engender. In love there is no space for transgressing its ways, because we are free from any wrong doing.

When we elevate every dimension of consciousness as the vessels to be filled with God's commandments through His attributes, we realize that this is the true meaning of life and our redemption from death. That is the message of the final verse of this portion.

"After you separate the choicest part from it, you shall not bear any sin on account of it, but you shall not profane the sacred [offerings] of the children of Israel, so that you shall not die." (18:32)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Parshat Shelach: Directing our Life in God's Love

Settling in the Promised Land (living in the truthfulness of God's ways and attributes) is an endeavor that virtually takes a lifetime. We all know that life in the material world is not an easy task, hence some call it a blessing and some call it a curse depending on how easy or hard it may be or turn to be.

In the case of the Promised Land, the endeavor carries a learning process aimed to create a space for the Creator to dwell with us. This mission is ours, in the sense that it depends only on our free will. It is a choice that we either make or not.

In this context, it is clear that one thing are God's commandments and another is to fulfill them on our own free will. It is part of human nature, and the choices we make are the result of what we want in our life. It is not about what we need to do, but what we want to do.

Moses, our teacher, knows quite well the fabric with which the Creator made us and he acts accordingly. He, as the representative of our highest awareness of the Creator and His love, has to lead the higher aspects of consciousness as the ones that must direct the remaining dimensions of life.

The Creator then commands Moses.

"(…) 'send for yourself (shelach lecha) men who will scout the Land of Canaan, which I am giving to the children of Israel. You shall send one man each for his father's tribe; each one shall be a chieftain in their midst." (Numbers 13:2)

Moses sends those who are the most able to get acquainted with the traits, qualities and expressions of every level of consciousness in order to direct them into the goodness of God's ways and attributes.

"You shall see what land it is, and the people who inhabit it; are they strong or weak? Are there few or many? And what of the land they inhabit? Is it good or bad? And what of the cities in which they reside are they in the fields or in fortresses? (13:18-19)

These referring to the nature of our thoughts, ideas, beliefs, habits, moods, tendencies, emotions, feelings, passions, and instincts.

Life indeed is good, regardless the negative approach to it we may have at one point, and ultimately it is our approach to it and not God's. Our approach and not His is what makes life and the world the way they appear to us. In the approach of love everything is good.

"They [the scouts] told him [Moses] and said, 'We came to the land to which you sent us, and it is flowing with milk and honey, and this is its fruit'." (13:27)

The ones who directed their awareness into God's love find it even better.

"They spoke to the entire congregation of the children of Israel, saying, 'The land we passed through to scout is an exceedingly good land'." (14:7)

As we guide all aspects of consciousness in the ways of the Creator, His love makes it so.

"If the Lord desires us, He will bring us to this land and give it to us, a land flowing with milk and honey." (14:8).

In order to dwell in God's ways and attributes we must never separate from His love.

"But you shall not rebel against the Lord, and you will not fear the people of that land because they are [as] our bread. Their protection is removed from them, and the Lord is with us; do not fear them." (14:9)

Every facet of our consciousness is actually an essential part of life and in that sense our thoughts, emotions, feelings, etc. also feed us as bread does. When we cleanse them from their negative expressions, love is with us and thus we have nothing to fear.

If our will is not strong enough to clear negative thoughts, emotions, feelings, passions and instincts from our acts, we will fall into the darkness of the illusion that negativity is.

"For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and you will fall by the sword, because you have turned away from the Lord, and the Lord will not be with you." (14:43)

God's love is not with us when we despise His ways.

The experience of the episode of the scouts (also called "spies") indicates us that our voluble nature must be directed to pursue the loftier delights of God's ways. The guidance and direction of His love also must be constantly reminded in every aspect of consciousness.

"(…) this shall be fringes for you, and when you see it, you will remember all the commandments of the Lord to perform them, and you shall not wander after your hearts and after your eyes [ego's materialistic desires and fantasies] after which you are going astray. So that you shall remember and perform all My Commandments and you shall be holy to your God. I am the Lord, your God, who [whose Love] took you out of the land of Egypt [ego's illusions] to be your God [to live in the Truth]; (because) I am the Lord, your God." (15:39-40)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Parshat Behaalotecha: Enlightening Ourselves with God's Love

The awareness of love as our true essence and identity is the beginning of our own individual enlightenment.

"Speak to Aaron and say to him: 'When you light (behaalotecha) the lamps, the seven lamps shall cast their light toward the face of the menorah." (Numbers 8:2)

The message is also to enlighten ourselves. The seven lamps contain several meanings, as the seven days of Creation also encompass multiple aspects of life in its material and spiritual dimension. In the same way that six days exist as a preparation for the Shabbat, six lamps are lit facing the one in the center.

In this "formation" there is no "sequence" of days because the lamps are branches of the same one-piece candelabra. Hence, every aspect of material life must be integrated as one facing (aimed to) our unity with the Creator through His love as our common bond with Him.

This unity is the result of a refined (hammered) work with which we clear from materialistic illusions all levels of consciousness through and toward love's ways and attributes.

"(...) from its base to its flower it was hammered work." (8:4)

The lighting of the lamps is the first step to elevate our consciousness in order to fulfill the Creator's will. In the enlightenment of His love we gather our best thoughts, emotions, feelings and passions to turn them into our constant guides when we approach the illusions of ego's materialistic desires.

"Take the Levites from among the children of Israel and cleanse them." (8:6)

In this sense we have to discern the choicest in us among the best of our qualities.

"Thus shall you set apart the Levites from the midst of the children of Israel, and the Levites shall become Mine." (8:14)

The Levites, as well as the priests represent the best in us, love as the common bond with God's love.

In the permanent awareness of love we move through the ways and attributes that always protect us and guard us from the perils and dangers of the desolation and avarice of materialism.

"(…) and according to the cloud's departure from over the tent, and afterwards, the children of Israel would travel, and in the place where the cloud settled, there the children of Israel would encamp." (9:17)

This means that we must be vigilant and warn ourselves about the obstacles and challenges we face in the life we have, and the material reality in which we live.

"If you go to war in your land against an adversary that oppresses you, you shall blow a teruah (a series of short blasts) with the trumpets and be remembered before the Lord your God, and thus be saved from your enemies." (10:9)

In our awareness of love all mirages and illusions disappear.

"So it was, whenever the ark set out, Moses would say, 'Arise, O Lord, may Your enemies be dispersed and may those who hate You flee from You'." (10:35)

In the same way that we blast the trumpets to remain loyal to God's ways and attributes in times of darkness, we also must do it in the times when we celebrate our connection with the Creator.

"On the days of your rejoicing, on your festivals and on your new-moon celebrations, you shall blow on the trumpets for your ascent-offerings and your peace sacrifices, and it shall be a remembrance before your God; [because] I am the Lord your God." (10:10)

The reminder in this portion of the Torah is to call our attention regarding how we must handle the lower levels of the material aspects of human life.

"The people were looking to complain, and it was evil in the ears of the Lord. The Lord heard and His anger flared, and a fire from the Lord burned among them, consuming the extremes of the camp." (11:1)

In this context the yearning for ephemeral materialistic pleasures and the illusions of lower desires separate us from the transcendence of love. Ego's materialistic desires do not understand love's delights, and crave for the ultimate emptiness of ego's desires.

"But the multitude among them began to have strong cravings. Then even the children of Israel once again began to cry, and they said, 'Who will feed us meat?'" (11:4), "But now, our bodies are dried out, for there is nothing at all; we have nothing but manna to look at." (11:6)

God's love knows the material shape of our lives, and the lengthy refinement and re-directing needed by every material aspect toward His ways. This progression implies an experiential process in order to discern between truth and illusion.

This is why the Creator gave us with free will. Hence, living in the world is an educational experience in which we learn from the "meat" of materialism until we can make a difference between the darkness of ego's illusions and the light of love. 

"You shall eat [meat] it not one day, not two days, not five days, not ten days, and not twenty days, but even for a full month until it comes out of your nose and nauseates you. Because you have despised the Lord who is among you, and you cried before Him, saying, 'Why did we ever leave Egypt?'" (11:19-20)

Again, it is our choice to live in ego's material fantasies (Egypt) or in love's ways and attributes, which are our true identity. Love conquers and overcomes the obstacles and hardships of material life.

The prophet also reminds us this in the haftarah for this portion.

"(...) 'not by military force and not by physical strength, but by My spirit,' says the Lord of hosts." (Zechariah 4:6)

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.