Monday, October 16, 2017

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

For what is the advantage of the wise over the fool? What [less] has the poor man who knows how to go along with the living? Better is what he sees with his eyes than that which goes to satiate his appetite; this too is vanity and frustration. (Ecclesiastes 6:8-9)

In the fields of ego’s fantasies and illusions there is no difference between wise or fool, for both of them toil for the same vanities.

The lesson we learn in those fields is to open the eyes and embrace goodness as the real purpose of life, and abandon the vanities that bring frustration.
What was, its name was already called, and it is known that he is a man, and he will not be able to strive with him who is stronger than he. For [if] there are many things that increase vanity, what will remain for a man? (6:10:11)

The more we feed the object of our desire, lust, coveting, envy, wrath, haughtiness, indifference and indolence, the stronger they become along with their oppression, frustration, vexation, depression and impotence to pursue the freedom than only goodness provides.

If these are our rulers and masters, what is that remains in us? Hence we have to hold on goodness as our essence and true identity.

For who knows what is good for man in his lifetime, the number of the days of his life of vanity, that he does them like a shadow? For who will tell man what will be after him under the sun? (6:12)

As long as we live in vanity as the shadow of ego’s fantasies and illusions, goodness is not recognized as the cause and purpose of life. If we don’t recognize goodness, what or who will?

Here King Solomon brings us a mirror to see who we really are, or to realize who we are not, for we are meant to conduct our lives according to who we are and what we believe in, which brings us to our name as our identity.

A good name is better than good oil, and the day of death than the day of one’s birth. It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for that is the end of every man, and the living shall lay it to his heart. Vexation is better than laughter, for with a stern countenance the heart will rejoice. (7:1-3)

Having a “good name” means having goodness as who we are, have and do. This is better than the ephemeral scent of perfumed oils. In this awareness death is welcomed when goodness has been the purpose of the living.

Thus we realize that birth is the uncertain beginning of a life of toiling, either in the fields of God’s ways and attributes or in the fields of ego’s fantasies and illusions.

We also realize that in our afflictions (“the house of mourning”) we learn more than in our joys, particularly if that joy derives from the temporary pleasures of materialistic desires. In this same context we understand the upcoming verses.

Monday, October 9, 2017

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

There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, and it is prevalent among men. A man whom God gives riches and property and honor, and his soul lacks nothing of all he desires, and God gives him no power to eat of it, but a strange man eats it; this is vanity and a grievous malady. (Ecclesiastes 6:1-2)

King Solomon reminds us that evil is only the reference that God created for us to choose goodness, in order to exercise free will and remain free, for goodness is our freedom.

Evil continues to be prevalent as long as we live in the duality from which we have to make choices all the time.

Thus we approach life with the ethical principle that orders goodness when we are before positive and negative, true and false, constructive and destructive, useful and useless, delightful and awful, sweet and bitter, joy and sadness, et al.

We have said that goodness is the origin, cause, reason and purpose of God’s creation. It is what we pursue and find in all that God gives us as possessions, “property, riches and honor”, and from which we don’t lack nothing, except for the “strange” or alien thought, desire, coveting or lust triggered by ego’s fantasies and illusions that are just the vanities that become the maladies of our attachments, obsessions and addictions.

Should a man beget one hundred [children] and live many years, and he will have much throughout the days of his years, but his soul will not be sated from all the good, neither did he have burial. I said that the stillborn is better than he. For he comes in vanity and goes in darkness, and in darkness his name is covered. (6:3-4)

In our vanities, no matter the plenitude and fulfillment that we may acquire in this world as something supposedly good, without real goodness we will never be sated.

Whatever we make ourselves believe as good, coming from materialistic desires, we still live in the darkness of the vanities that become our “name” as who we are and what we pursue.

Moreover, he did not see the sun nor did he know [it]; this one has more gratification than that one. And if he had lived a thousand years twice and experienced no pleasure, do not all go to one place? All of a person’s toil is for his mouth, and is the appetite not yet sated? (6:5-7)

These verses make us aware of the repetitive patterns of the vanities that are the vexation of our soul, trapped in their cycles and returning to the same place. What we say usually reflects our desires, for which we toil and their futility is the reason of our non-satisfaction.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

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

There is a grievous evil that I saw under the sun; riches kept by their owner for his harm. And those riches are lost through an evil design, and he will beget a son who will have nothing in his hand. (Ecclesiastes 5:12-13)

We have to identify what harms us and what protects us, and what are the real riches we must pursue in life. Once we fully assimilate that goodness is the cause and purpose of God’s creation, it becomes our most valuable asset; instead of the other things we believe or feel are better to us based on ego’s fantasies and illusions.

As he left his mother’s womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and he will carry nothing with his toil that he will take in his hand. And this too is a grievous evil that just as it came so shall it go, and what advantage does he have that he toil for the wind? Also all his days he eats in the dark and he has much vexation, and sickness and wrath. (5:14-16)

Materialistic desires derived from ego’s fantasies and illusions are destined to be lost by the futility of their nature. This compels us to appreciate, value and cherish goodness as the true inheritance for our children and generations to come.

Goodness is what we must toil for and to devote all our efforts so we “eat” in its light for the greatest fulfillment of all, and separate ourselves from the vexation, sickness and frustration of having a meaningless life.

Behold what I saw; it is good, yea, it is beautiful, to eat and drink and to experience goodness with all his toil that he toils under the sun, the number of the days of his life that God gave him, for that is his portion. (5:17)

Goodness is the portion God has given us to fully enjoy all His creation. This means that goodness must accompany all aspects, facets and expressions of life, as we “eat and drink and experience” it in all we think, create and do in the material world.

This verse tells us that goodness must encompass all the days of our life, making it a complete part of the existence that God has granted us.

Also every man to whom God has given riches and property, and has given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice with his toil, that is a gift of God. For let him remember that the days of his life are not many, for God is testimony of the joy of his heart. (5:18-19)

We are reminded again that the joy of our life (“heart”) is goodness as God’s ruling principle of His Creation. Goodness is God’s testimony in us, and we are commanded to be it and have it as the essence of all the possessions and power that we may acquire while toiling under the sun, for it is God’s gift to enjoy constantly regardless of the numbers of days we may live.

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.

Monday, August 28, 2017

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

Two are better than one, since they have good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his friend, but woe to the one who falls and has no second one to lift him up. Moreover, if two lie down, they will have warmth, but how will one have warmth?
(Ecclesiastes 4:9-11)

Generosity and compassion give sense and meaning to life in a world where we all depend on each other for our individual and collective goodness. In this understanding and approach we are constantly rewarded, for goodness is its own reward. Thus we also assimilate that pursuing goodness is the main purpose of life as a learning process.

We come to know goodness in contrast to anything different or opposed to it, for it is the only way to live it, value, protect and defend it. Thus we see goodness as a source we must turn into a reservoir for the times when our own goodness is challenged and threatened by the negative traits and trends triggered by a selfish approach to life. The latter is the “one way street” mentality that depends on goodness but does not provide it, for such mentality leads only to death and destruction.

And if a man prevails against the one, the two will stand against him, and a three- stranded cord will not quickly be broken. (4:12)

In our unity lies our strength. The more we are bond to each other, the better we can face and overcome our challenges as well as confronting and defeating our enemies. This principle must be applied to our own levels and dimensions of consciousness.

Discernment must lead our thoughts to focus on goodness in order to strengthen our emotions and feelings, and be able to direct our speech and actions toward good deeds. Goodness must be the unifying tread of all aspects and expressions of life, as the eternal bond with our Creator.

Better a poor and wise child than an old and foolish king, who no longer knows to receive admonition. For out of the prison he has come to reign, for even in his kingdom he becomes humble. (4:13-14)

Humility is an expression of wisdom, for only true wisdom can make us humble. The first verse refers to the “poor” as one who needs less, and his fulfillment does not depend on material possessions that he has to care for and protect, as a king who rules over a nation.

Foolishness is related to lack of wisdom or plain ignorance, which makes us unable or incapable to discern between the ways and attributes of goodness, and the traits and trends of ego’s fantasies and illusions that never accept or respond to admonitions.

In this sense the foolishness derived from ignorance is the prison from which the fool carries his life. Once we learn from the failures and falls due to ignorance and from the foolishness of materialistic fantasies and illusions, we become humble enough with sufficient wisdom to rule life as our own individual kingdom.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

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

The fool folds his hands and eats his own flesh. Better is a handful of relief than two handfuls of toil and frustration. And I returned and saw vanity under the sun.(Ecclesiastes 4:5-7)

Selfishness leads us to live within the limits of our own haughtiness, anger, lust, indifference and indolence, with their negative trends and expressions. These restrict our actions and deeds to our materialistic fantasies and illusions, at the expense and detriment of the goodness inherent in life, by “folding our hands” towards ourselves.

They slice off what is on the right hand but still are hungry, and they eat what is on the left hand but they are not sated. Each of them eats the flesh of his own arm. (Isaiah 9:20)

In this predicament we end up eating our own existence (“flesh”), instead of focusing permanently on goodness as our true relief. Certainly, ego’s fantasies and illusions are our “toil and frustration” as the vanity and vexation under the sun.

There is one, and there is no second; yea, he has neither son nor brother, and there is no end to all his toil; neither is his eye sated from wealth. Now for whom do I toil and deprive my soul of pleasure? This too is vanity and an unhappy affair.
(Ecclesiastes 4:8)

A self-centered man has no other in mind except himself, who believes he is second to none. This total lack of generosity or compassion for others makes him work only for his own desires that will never be sated due to their temporary nature.

Hence we must question the real purpose of life, and ask for whom and for what we toil and deprive our true essence and identity of the total pleasure and fulfillment in goodness.

At some point in life we ultimately will realize that goodness is the reason and purpose of our complete well being, and that ego’s fantasies and illusions are vanity and an unhappy affair.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

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

And I praise the dead who have already died, more than the living who are still alive. And better than both of them is he who has not yet been, who has not seen the evil work that is done under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 4:2-3)

These verses contain the strongest warning against the choice of ego’s fantasies and illusions, to the point that it is better not to be born than living in a world of vanity.

In this context, vanity is the evil itself as the vexation of life. The lesson in this warning is not to reject or avoid life in the material world “under the sun”, but to be aware that the only reason to live is to do it in the reality of love, not in the illusion of vanity.

And I saw all the toil and all the excellence of work, which is a man’s envy of his friend; this too is vanity and frustration. (4:4)

There are a few lessons in this verse.

First, we have to focus on our own thoughts, emotions and doings instead of focusing on other people’s lives.

Second, goodness is the excellence of our works, for which we must toil as part of our life in order to maintain and preserve the goodness in life.

Third, if our thoughts, emotions and feelings are focused on the wrong premises for the wrong purposes, we find ourselves toiling for vanity.

Fourth, as we covet and envy other people’s possessions and works, we are condemning ourselves to frustration and anger as the produce we harvest in life.

Wrath is cruel, and anger is overwhelming; but who is able to stand before envy? Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a lover; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. (Proverbs 27:4-6)

We are reminded that all we envy or covet turns into our frustration and anger, which end up filling the void created by our lack.

We must approach beliefs or feelings of lack as the negation of our own goodness that fills all we need or want. The goodness of love suffices all, for there is no lack in love.

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.