Thursday, October 26, 2006

Bahir 177-178

We could not have prepared ourselves better to understand what these next two verses bring forth.

Verse 177. What are "willows of the brook"? There are two [willow branches in the Lulav, ] and these parallel the two legs in man. Why are the ["willows of the brook"] called Arvey Nachal ? Because the greater of the two is inclined toward the west (ma-Arev) and draws its strength from there. The one to the north is smaller than it by a journey of 500 years. It is on the northwest side, through which it functions. It is named after it, since they are both mixed (Arav) .

Commentary: The theme of the Shekinah is extended here as the energy of life is explained and related directed to man drawing his strength from the thoughts he thinks in the present and the inspirations that he receives from on high. The journey of 500 years refers to the oral Torah. This oral Torah is not only passed mouth to ear it is also passed mind to mind as the Eternal has discovered so we have uncovered. These branches are our direct connection to all things holy great and small.

Verse 178. Another explanation: [Willows of the Brook] are called Arvey Nachal because the function of one is sometimes mixed (ma-arav) with that of the other. Why are they called Willows of the Brook ? This is because of the place in which they are fixed, which is called Brook. It is thus written (Ecclesiastes 1:7) , "All the Brooks go to the sea, but the sea is not filled." What is this sea? We say that it is the Etrog. How do we know that each of the seven Attributes is called a Brook (Nachal) ? Because it is written (Numbers 21:19), "From Gift to Nachaliel [, from Nachaliel to Bamot, and from Bamot to the valley that is in the Field of Moab, the head of the cliff, and it looks down on the face of the Yeshimon]." Do not read Nachaliel, but Nachley El ­ Brooks of God. And all six then go on one path to the sea. What is this path? It is the one that arbitrates between them. It is thus written (Habbakuk 3:5), "Before Him goes the pestilence, and fiery bolt at His feet." All of them go to that pipe, and from that pipe to the sea. This is the meaning of the verse, "From Gift to Brooks of God." [Gift] is the place that is given, namely the brain. From there they go to the Brooks of God. "And from Brooks of God to Bamot." What is Bamot? As the Targut renders it, Ramta ­ "heights." This is the Segol that follows the Zarka . [The verse continues,] "And from Bamot to the valley that is in the Field of Moab, the head of the cliff, and it looks down on the face of the Yeshimon." "And from the heights (Bamot) to the valley that is in the Field of Moab." This is that which is prepared. And what is that which was in the Field of Moab? Do not read Moab, but May- av ­"from a father." This is the father regarding which it is written (Genesis 26:5) "Because Abraham hearkened to my voice, kept My trust, My commandments and My decrees..." What is this field? It is the one that is at "the head of the cliff," and which also "looks down on the face of the Yeshimon." [Yeshimon] is interpreted to mean Heaven. Regarding that pipe, it is written (Song of Songs 4:15) , "A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, flowing from Lebanon." What is Lebanon? We say that this is Wisdom. What are the Willows of the Brook (Nachal) ? We say that this is that which gives inheritance (Nachalah) to Israel. It refers to the two Wheels of the Chariot.

Commentary: If you read all of this keeping in mind the flow of energy or the life force then you will be able to follow this flow where the verse is leading us to. lets dive in here to find out where to begin.

The function of one is sometimes mixed with the other. This refers to the two branches that are mixed or the two sources of thought one occurring now and the other recurring throughout time as in those thoughts that have been building and maintaining the Garden of Eden since the beginning.

This Brook that is talked about above refers to those waters of consciousness that continue to spring forth in response to our studies and thoughts of G-d. Every thought then becomes a reflection and like a brook these reflections follow the pathways of all such reflections., i.e. to the sea of consciousness where holiness never ceases. What is this sea? Etrog it says is this sea. As we learned earlier Etrog refers to the Divine Presence or Shekinah. The seven attributes refers to Zeir Anpin or the seven lower Sephiroth of Chesed, Gevurah, Tiphereth, Netzach, Hod, Yesod and Malkuth. They are called brooks of G-d because they only flow due to the influence of G-d from above. Of course they must flow back to G-d because of the unity of G-d because all things are from One by the mediation (or meditation) of the One.

They flow from the Gift to the Brooks of G-d. The Gift is where our holy thoughts gather or the brain that receives its Gift from the Divine Presence which then by inspiring our thoughts produces the energy of life that flows upwards. It reaches a further gathering place called Bamot called so because it is here that there is a gathering of the life force that then flows upwards still to the 'valley that is in the Field of Moab or as the verse explains 'from a father.

This valley is above us meaning the waters above as in Gen 1:6 And God said: 'Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. Here in this valley in the Field of Moab we find ourselves in the upper waters. Read waters as a specialized type of consciousness that acts to unify our thoughts raised to the level of holiness through the agencies of the Shekinah. From these upper waters we are able as it says to look down on the face of the Yeshimon interpreted to mean heaven.

Thoughts are random at first perhaps and then order in introduced through various ways but order alone isn't enough there must be a level of holiness. There must be a level of return that is commensurate with the inspirations that we are given. We are never alone. The Shekinah surrounds us as we begin our upwards journey towards heaven. This journey takes place entirely in the realm of consciousness. These different states of mind are explained in order that we understand how to live our lives in accordance with the truths that are represented through each state of mind. When we listen we receive more inspirations and then ascend further. The pathways of ascension are explained remarkably well in the language of the times of the Bahir. The field at the edge of a cliff is a perfect metaphor for the overflowing of thoughts taking place as we intentionally place our attention on G-d. The Pipe explained above is the channel through which these waters flow through. Where they come from is Wisdom or the ability to unify diverse elements of creation into a single way of looking at things. Then using this philosophy all things are understood in terms of this Lebanon or Wisdom.

The Willows of the Brook are called the inheritance of Israel. What this means is that everything that has come before in terms of insight and inspiration is ours just for the attention that we give it. More than this what we learn is about the process itself and how it relates to both our finite and eternal life experiences. This is mind raised to holiness through the transmission of the life force (our holy thoughts) which are then transformed first in the lower heaven and then in upper heaven so that in unity we may approach holiness each and every day knowing the right direction by having the map always on hand given from above by
G-d through the Divine Presence or Shekinah.


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