Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Parsha Vayishach

Parsha Vayishav
Jacob sends forth messengers. Messengers are angels and angels are thoughts. Seir refers to Zeir Anpin due to a play on words here. This gives us an indication of how Jacob is moving up the tree on his path of return following his successful passing of the test of Laban in the last chapter. Jacob is now undertaking the way of return corresponding to the movement up the Tree of Life. When Jacob meets Esau he sends forth his angels - messengers- to meet with Esau's messengers or angels. This is the consciousness that actively seeks YHVH meeting with the consciousness that does not actively seek YHVH. Consciousness has the unique quality of reflection meaning that when we rise to the level of Elohim everything around us is transformed even if only for the moment of being in the presence of this vibrational level. This is why Esau is not angry with Jacob because Esau is being immersed then in the higher wisdom or emanation of Elohim described by R.Shimon Bar Yochai in his exposition on Genesis in the Zohar. Because Esau is immersed in this level he can only feel the truth of their relationship which is the love that two brothers may share when all extraneous events are cast aside. This is what was meant when it was said that Jacob would rule over Esau. Jacobs thoughts are focused on YHVH causing that rulership to flourish in this meeting between them. Jacob's thoughts go before him stamped by the wisdom he has acquired through his years with Laban and his constant love and awe of Elohim and his internal connection to the Shekinah via Rachel and Leah.

Edom refers to Esau and also due to its spelling similarity to Adam references a close tie to the ideas of imaging that are central throughout the Torah.

Thoughts produce images even unto the first emanation from Ein Sof. Jacob is thinking about his return trip. He thinks wisely sending angels and goods before him to meet Esau in order to place him in a receptive state of mind. Each series of goods is accompanied by an angel or messenger. Let's take this for a moment out of the context of two twin brothers and into the concept of two twin worlds.

The world of Jacob represents the spiritualizing of form while the world of Laban and by extension Esau represents the worlds of chaos formed by the klippoth of our imagination gone awry. Unreined thoughts produce chaos. Keep this in mind while we go further within the details of this Parsha. Esau in effect receives now the extension of Yitzchak's blessing through Yaakov now after his elevation through his revelation following the meeting with Laban where Yaakov's experience with the transformative power of Elohim is revealed to him.

So Esau goes on his way accepting finally not only Jacob's blessing but also their worldly reflections in terms of the goods and cattle Jacob gives him. As various midrashim will tell us it is always important to give something to the evil side. In this case we see that through the gift of Jacob Esau is transformed in the moment from anger to love just by being in the presence of Yaakov.

In essence what we give to the evil side is our consciousness of Elohim and it is out of that consciousness that the evil side is indeed transformed. Herein lies a portal that leads to the unification of the name. Torah provides these portals to open our awareness to the Shekinah facilitating the quantum leap necessary to transcend from level to level or from Sephiroth to Sephiroth. How does this play out in terms of Yaakov's fight with the angel and his subsequent transformation into Israel? Following Esau's visit it is true that Esau was transformed and went happily on his way. However Jacob was left with those vibrations that were still attaching themselves to him symbolized by the angel who he fights with. He spends the night fighting in effect with the negativity that he has come into contact with. This is really a struggle between allowing this negativity to overcome him or his getting the upper hand through the transformation of his own consciousness.

Jacob realizes that it is up to him to change his mind or struggle with the angel in that darkness of mind where the klippoth are gathered until the morning or realization of the supremacy of YHVH. This realization is found in those thoughts that are directed in this way through the intermediary of the Shekinah. This then becomes about a further acceptance by Yaakov of his part in becoming that which he is seeking.

The blessing that Jacob asks for in return for ceasing this struggle is a natural outcome of his tenacity in holding on to the truth of the Unity of YHVH through the emanation of Elohim. The angel says that Jacob has striven with Elohim and with men and won. This aspect of the Parsha tells us the twofold nature of our journey through thought.

On the one hand we have the thoughts that are generated by our interaction with the outside world or the
world of man.

On the other hand there are those thoughts generated from G-d via the Shekinah. A thought does not become spiritualized until it is touched by the Shekinah as a result of contemplation (the return flow through Zeir Anpin). Jacob was able to keep his focus immersed in the contemplation of Elohim which allowed his consciousness to never veer from its higher calling. He can then ask for this blessing following his 'fight' because he has become intertwined with this angel. He knows what these negative thoughts are and recognizes that only by letting them go will he receive the blessing of Israel which is the release of the emanation of Elohim. It is this unity of thought which now must seek its expression throughout the entire camp of Israel. This expression however is not confirmed until later when Elohim appears to Jacob and confirms his identity as Israel including the legacy that is to come after him.

Elohim is the connection that consciousness has that the higher voice not only exists but is an inseparable part of that self same consciousness. I am that I am or I will be what I will be both express this realization of connection. Everytime we say or see Elohim we may reinforce this idea.

What about the hollow of Jacob's thigh that was touched. The evil inclination although subdued still resided within Jacob and although he could still walk with a limp this evil inclination was only temporarily or symbolically defeated. It turns out the that the G-d that Jacob defeated represented the power of the evil inclination at it highest level. These were the idols and symbolic thoughts that Laban and Esau represent. They also represent those thoughts Jacob must turn away from due to their cause-effect relationship in his life. The effects of karma so to speak run through each generation and are only mitigated by mitzvoth.

In this next section further evidence of the karmic flow is witnessed.

In Shechem the violation of Dinah represents an interruption in the flow of the Shekinah which can never be experienced by force. The reaction of the brothers in destroying all the men is said to be because they are wiping those evil forces from this place. In a sense the brothers are trying to eliminate the klippoth that have resulted in the tragedy of Dinah's violation. What we are talking about here is the direction that our thoughts will take when left unfocused. The Shekinah must have our attention constantly in order to provide a way within for our imagination to rise to first the level of Elohim, that inner recognition of holiness and then to the unity of YHVH. The violation then of Dinah stands for an interruption in the flow of the Shekinah.

Yaakov now just become Israel does not recognize fully the unification of his thoughts and must still deal with their 'evil results.' Yaakov's son's represent the secondary effects of thinking as all thought must reproduce itself in kind. Until Israel or all of Jacob's consciousness unifies with Elohim and by extension makes the connection with YHVH there will be 'evil results.' In fact we are witnessed the flow of thought as it rises to become one with YHVH culminating in the giving of the Ten Commandments. The action - reaction story in Torah is never more clearly stated here so as to give us the signposts leading to what events will eventually take place. Another interpretation of putting Shechem to sword is that the sword represents the discriminating faculty of consciousness or our ability to choose right and wrong. By slaying the people or thoughts of Shechem we have given our consciousness the signal that we will only choose right thinking. When Jacob has to leave Shechem he does so because of the additional klippoth that have developed because of their actions there. He hasn't learned yet that the way to unity lies through acceptance of the sovereignty of Elohim in his life. This is further amplified in terms of losing the Shekinah-Rachel while setting up the altar at Bethel. At this Jacob once again recognizes the need for connection to Elohim and is reminded again of the blessings that he has been given. It is through this reminder then that

Gen 35:13 And G-d went up from him in the place where He spoke with him. Elohim goes up meaning by giving Jacob the name Israel he is showing him the key to not only his own unification but the unification of all his people. This turns out to be the same message that is given by Elohim which is our acceptance of the inner voice that speaks when the Shekinah is awakened. Vaya al Mayalav Elohim BaMakom Asher Diber Ito. Once again we see BaMakom mentioned in the previous Parsha and explained their as a particular state of mind. Israel now recognizes the need for this state of mind before he moves on to anywhere else. It is this state of mind that the Torah will keep on pointing to in order to remind to continuously seek connection with Elohim or the emanation of our imagination that points to the limitless light of the Perpetual One of YHVH.

Following this Israel's story is placed on pause while Esau's descendants are described. Esau's descendants or the Kings of Edom represent the various worlds that are created through disharmony and chaos. If it wasn't for the additional blessing of Esau by Jacob none of these worlds could not have lasted for even a moment. These worlds continue through today and the lesson remains the same.

Summary: Torah is the portal for the transformation of consciousness that leads to the transformations of experience including the world, the universe and the state of mind that we live in. We choose our state of mind and by extension influence those around us for good or ill. Our consciousness is in vibration and as we let go of our lower thoughts we rise with the help of the Shekinah into ever increasing levels of awareness of the state of mind called Elohim where our lives are essentially purposely placed in the hands of this state of mind. In other words we never have to force the issue. What proceeds then is smoothly the result of our efforts to continually connect to this state of mind. Our actions direct this course of inner discovery. When we do mitzvoth the experience is universal in terms of the feelings of good that are then radiated out from us. These vibrations or radiations cause the Zohar or brillant splendor to cause a sympathetic result in the world around us. Mitvah breeds mitvah. It is that simple. The world remains full of the klippoth of past experience but forgiveness and the continous effort to bring about redemption (when we radiate our good feelings or mitzvoth all vibrate in sympathy) will resolve once and for all these klippoth or lost shards including the nations of Edom because ultimately Israel shall rule over all. The higher vibration is after all the originating force which will always dominate now and forever.



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