Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Parsha Vayetze

The richness of this Parsha overflows with treasures pure and delightful.

We see first of all in the opening line... And Jacob went forth from Beer-sheba, and went toward Haran Lets take this verse and see where consciousness takes it. Yaakov is the one who supplants or takes the place of the apparent heir of Yitzhak's blessing. What is this like? A King is building a palace and decides to use the timber that is close at hand in the forest nearby. It is strong wood but the King is still unsure about whether it is fitting to use this strand of forest for his palace building purposes. Then just as construction is about to begin the Queen comes back from a long journey with carts filled with the precious cedars of Lebanon. Because she knows that the King's palace must radiate with majesty she tells the chief architect to use the cedar wood instead of the trees from the forest that happens to be close at hand.

After Yaakov receives the blessing he leaves the well of the oath or the seven wells. What are these seven wells? They are the seven lower Sephiroth. Why does he leave? He is on a spiritual quest. His path lies in the direction of Haran where Abraham sojourned with his father Terah following their departure from Ur of the Chaldees. Haran is also Abrahams younger brother who died before they left for Haran. Confusing isn't it? Haran is both person and place. This kind of thing never occurs by accident in the Torah. Haran has the root of Heh Resh which symbolizes mountain or mountaineer. The significance of this word placed with a final nun at the end is of transition. Another indication of the transformation of this word Heh Resh is that when the Nun is place in front of the word as in Nahar its meaning is 'river' symbolic of the flowing movement of the life energy in contrast to the fixed state of a mountain. Haran the son of Terah transitioned from life to death. When Abram leaves Haran he becomes Abrahamand now when Yaakov heads towards Haran he is traveling towards his very own transition. The nun speaks to the transformation of the consciousness in regard to its journey towards unity between what is discovered above as in Chabad and what is being transformed below as in Zeir Anpin.

One of the many purposes of Torah is to lead into the understanding of these transformations so that we may be conscious of these in own life and apply the principles we learn in like manner. In addition the plan of Torah provides for both the connection above and the transformation below. What happens is that the more we are connected on high the greater our transformations below. Each feed the other in an unending flow of embrace and letting go.

Now when Yaakov lay his head upon a stone Aleph Beth Nun we have the combination of the Father Aleph-Beth, and the Son Beth-Nun. There are many ways to look at this through the Sephiroth perhaps seeing from Kether to Tiphereth or Chokmah through to Tiphereth. Regardless of our vantage point it is clear that Yaakov is about to undergo a transformation. The Sun setting symbolizes the passing of one level and the beginning of the next level. Whilst in the midst of his 'dream' the covenant made with Abraham and Yitzhak is repeated now with Yaakov. The ladder ascending to heaven represents the Torah interpretations given by the 'angels' or sages of Torah going to and from the higher levels called Heaven. When Yaakov returns from the realization of holiness he acknowledges YHVH attributed to this place, HaMahkom. Mahkom is repeated three times in the opening verses of Gen 28:11 to symbolize the transition through the upper triad of Chabad. Afterwards place is referred to singularly to indicate the unity that has occurred as a result. Place refers a state of consciousness that has been ascended to. The initial Mem and the Final Mem point to the waters above and the waters below. Kaph is the cup or hand that holds the water on either side. It is the container that holds the life force as it isdirected and connected through Vav the connecting element acting as a wire to guide the Shekinah through the upper triad in its return flow upwards through Zeir Anpin.

In a sense this journey of Yaakov is spiritually symbolic of the Shekinah's return and Yaakov's ultimate transformation into Israel. Yaakov then makes his vow to take upon himself YHVH to be his Elohim. He promises in effect to continually unify the above revelations with the lower transformations that face he and his brethren. He says that if he is allowed to return to his fathers house he will honor the blessing that he is given by promising to reach for the connection with YHVH and then giving to YHVH a tenth of all he is given by YHVH. This concept of giving to YHVH is tied to this verse here as well. Deuteronomy 8:3 that He might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every thing that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live. The tenth is given to YHVH because we should never become completely material in our aim. Always we need to recognize the presence of YHVH and to give our attention to part of life's experience. Another tie in comes from the Zohar Vayechi 14 which speaks about the bread that sustains the world and that one (the upper or Nukva) cannot exist without the lower Zeir Anpin similarly telling us that there is no transformation without ascension.

Yaakov having experienced this very thing promises to be true to what he has just experienced. Wherever Yaakov travels the people who are around him are going to be transformed just by being in his presence. His first act upon confirming that he is indeed in Haran the land of 'his people' is to roll back the stone of the well to water Rachel's flocks. The well represents the container for the consciousness (water) of Rachel's or the Shekinahs flocks. Although these are sheep they symbolize the greater family of Yaakov that will now become enlightened by his recent experiences. Yaakov weeps and kisses Rachel meaning that he is sharing the water (hisconsciousness of YHVH) with her and touching her with love.
This is such an incredible description of how the mind of man comes into contact with the Shekinah.

To continue...Jacob serves Laban to marry or become one with Rachel but instead is tricked into becoming one with Leah. The name Laban means "white". It represents loben ha-elyon, the "supernal whiteness" that transcends all "color" and classification. Thus "Laban" embodies the power of transformation -- because it is beyond classification, it bridges opposites and can transform a thing into its very extreme. (From website)

Yaakov wants to unify with the Shekinah seeking further transformation through the agency of Laban. When he marries or is with Leah he must perfect his understandingthrough the flowing tears of Leah symbolizing the energy of transformation that is now resulting in the many offspring she begins to bring forth. The first four children are Leah's, the next two through Bilhah are Rachel's, the next two through Zilpah are Leah's and then Leah conceives two more sons and a daughter. Finally Rachel conceives a son Joseph. All of these children symbolize the generation of the growth of the spiritual ideas that Yaakov has been planting within the Shekinah. Each child refers to a different kind of energy being manifested which I won't go into at this time. The point being that Yaakov's revelation has now had a chance to mature and reach the point of reproducing itself through the agencies of the four women of Laban's camp.

What about Laban's betrayal and Yaakov's subsequent ruse to maximize the strength of his herd? Let us presuppose that Laban represents a higher energy that somehow misses the mark by blocking YHVH expression in a fully realized revelation. (It is said somewhere in a MidrashI read that Laban later on morphs into Balaam who is hired to thwart Israel in their quest for their promised land.)

Yaakov first has his revelation but does not fully understand its implications (This is the beginning of Wisdom ala the Chabad triad and subsequent explanation).

Then he learns more about his revelation and its possible pitfalls as he is tested by Laban's philosophy, which allows for deceit. Still Yaakov remains because of Rachel and Leah both representing the Shekinah in its initial influx of the powers from above (Leah -tears or the waters of consciousness revealing the divine connection) and the returning flow (Rachel transforming through the extension of connection) upwards through Zeir Anpin.

Now there is Understanding learned through time and experience.

The final test will be when Yaakov wrestles with the angel completing the Chabad triad by adding Knowledge or the ability to transfer and explain this revelation. Laban pursues Yaakov and confronts him. It is Laban'sphilosophy that is in effect warring with Yaakov, however Laban is powerless to act even though it appears that he has the superior outward forces to overcome Yaakov because Rachel has taken the icon of his power, the Teraphim keeping it hidden by in thesaddle she was sitting upon on her camel. He could not act against Yaakov because of this. In another sense Rachel who symbolizes the Shekinah in her upward flow through Zeir Anpin was able to prevent the lower forces from pulling Yaakov back into the spells of illusion that were ultimately the conditions under which he was forced to accede to in Laban's camp.

Summary: We are seeing a progression of events that summarily repeat themselvesthroughout Torah. Every story that unfolds does so in the same manner as the opening phrases do in the beginning.

First there is the revelation of YHVH. Then there is the unfolding of the understanding that occurs due to this initial light that was revealed. In due course there occurs the journey away from the home into a place of darkness and yet even here the light is revealed. Abram and Yitzhak ventured out faced danger and then prospered receiving the revelation of YHVH. Both also returned to seed their faith so to speak. Yaakov repeats this by taking his own journey of return, which begins, with the confirmation of the revelation of YHVH. Then he enters Laban's camp where despite the presence of the Shekinah there is still darkness in the evil designs of Laban's philosophy, whichstill relies upon idols for the impregnation of spiritual power. Yaakov leaves just as his father and grandfather have done before him to find his own place. It is no coincidence that the closing verses of this Parsha conclude with: Gen 32:3-4 And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. 'This is God's camp.' And he called the name of that place Mahanaim. Shem hamakom hahu Mahanahim.

First he returns to his place that is his makom or his state of mind that accompanied him as a result of the original revelation. However now his reflections are called Mahanaim or 'two hosts, or two camps.' What Yaakov is reflecting upon is both the influx of the Shekinah coming in her downward flow signifying one camp and then the return flow signifying the second camp. Soon he will experience the unification of both camps as a result of his struggle in next week's Parsha. B'H"

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Bahir 184

What becomes disconcerting after a while is the disparity between the world you are making and the world that appears already to be. This disparity exists due to your own preconceived notions about what the world really is. It isn't despite evidence to the contrary solid. Oh I know if you drop a ball it will hit the ground all right and that you can't drive any further than the vehicle in front of you but that isn't what I am talking about. It is this. The world is set up for change according to the changes you place upon. Just as water assumes the shape of its container so too does the world assume the shape of its container. What is the world's container? It is mind and quite specifically your mind. You may look no further as they say. It is exactly this question of where are we looking in terms of who is responsible for our good that this next verse addresses directly.

Verse 184. What is the reason that we say [in blessings, "Blessed are you...] who made us holy with His commandments and commanded us" [in the third person]? Why do we not say, "that You made us holy with Your commandments, and You commanded us, " [in the second person]? This teaches us that all commandments are included in the Life of Worlds. Because of His love for us, He gave us [the commandments] in order that they should make us holy and allow us to be worthy. Why? Because when we are in this world, we can become worthy of the World to Come, which is great. In its hand is the treasury of souls. When Israel is good, these souls are worthy of emerging and coming to this world. But if they are not good, the [these souls] do not emerge. We therefore say, "The Son of David will not come until all the souls in the Body are completed." What is the meaning of "all the souls in the Body"? We say that this refers to all the souls in man's body. [When these are completed] new ones will be worthy of emerging. The Son of David (the Messiah) will then come. He will be able to be born, since his soul will emerge among the other new souls. What is this like? A king had an army, and he sent them much bread to eat. They were so lazy that they did not take care of [the bread] which they did not eat [immediately]. The bread therefore became mouldy and went to waste. The king investigated to find out if they had what to eat, and to see if they had eaten what he had sent them. He found that the bread had become mouldy and they were ashamed to ask for new bread. How could they tell the king, "We did not take care of [what you sent us,] but now we are asking for more"? The king also became angry. He took the mouldy bread and ordered that it be dried and rectified as much as possible. He swore to the men, "I will not give you any more bread until you eat all this mouldy bread." He then returned the bread to them. What did they do? They agreed to divide it up, and each one took his portion. The diligent one took his portion and placed it in the air, taking care of it and keeping it in good condition to eat. The other one took it and ate it lustfully. He ate what he could and laid the rest aside, not taking care of it since he had given up on it. It spoiled even more and became so mouldy that he could not eat it at all. He therefore starved to death. He was then blamed for the sin of his body: Why did you kill yourself? Is it not enough that you ruined the bread the first time? But I returned it to you and you ruined it [again]. You ruined your portion because you were too lazy to take care of it. And not only that, but you also killed yourself." [The soldier] replied, "My lord, what could I have done?" He answered, "You should have taken care of it. And if you claim that you were not able to, you should have watched your friends and neighbours with whom you shared the bread. You should have seen what they did and how they took care of it, and you should have kept it like they did." They also interrogated him: Why did you kill yourself? Is it not enough that you ruined the bread? But you also went ahead and killed the matter of your body. You shortened the days of your life, or [at least] caused it. It may have been possible that you would have had a good son. He could have saved you, and [rectified] the damage that you and others did. Your suffering will therefore be increased on all sides. He became confused and replied, "What could I have done when I did not have any bread? With what could I have sustained myself?" They answered: If you would have strived and worked in Torah, you would not reply foolishly and brazenly like this. Because of your reply, it is obvious that you have not worked or strived in Torah. It is thus written (Deuteronomy 8:3) , "For not by bread alone does man live, but from all that emanates from God's mouth does man live." You should have searched and probed and asked, "what is it through which man lives?" What is this which "emanates from God's mouth" From here they said, "An ignoramus cannot be pious." If a person does not act with kindness (Chesed) toward himself, he cannot be called pious (Chasid).

Commentary: In a series of verses filled with the typical obscurity we find in the Bahir we have tried to make clear not only the directions that the Zohar is taking but also the pertinence that it holds for each of us. When I first started out writing out this subject I was unsure of where this would take me. I trusted in Hashem to lead me inside of the paths of right thinking so that I could explain this is a way that would make the obscure shine with the clarity deserving of this incredible series of collected writings. I was also unsure whether or not we would be able to apply these teachings to our Modern Kabbalah way of looking at things. Blessed be Hashem through the Shekinah that provided me with the inspiration to continue even when at first I couldn't make any sense at all of these writings. Finally now we reach a culmination in this verse 184. Because of the knowledge revealed here we will be able to connect the energies spoken of throughout all of the preceding commentaries. What I am trying to show you here is the light that inspires and how it shines through everything. Lets move on to the specifics of this verse.

"Blessed are you...] who made us holy with His commandments and commanded us" [in the third person]? We are speaking about the energy within that is inherent in our innermost being. It has formed us and has directed us to where we need to be in the moment that we need to be there. The holiness spoken of here refers to what happens when new meanings of Torah are spoken of. These new meanings are said to cause new worlds to come into being. These new worlds are brought about by the new relationships we are able to make in mind. These new relationships speak to the core level of creation itself; the expansion of consciousness. From the first single celled organism moving about in its world to the development of the higher senses of perception, hearing, sight, etc., consciousness has been continually expanding. When you read Torah keep in mind this expansion of consciousness and then note the many side roads that are taken as a result of the karma of consciousness or the controlled regulation of thoughts through its many interventions called experience. There is but one purpose to this expansion of consciousness and that is the unification of the higher thoughts with the lower thoughts through transformations both above and below. The 'world to come' that is mentioned here refers to this connection between higher and lower. It calls into play the responsibility that we have not only to become aware of these higher worlds of meaning intimated by Torah but we must also utilize our ongoing understandings in terms of how we are living our lives day by day. We are only worthy to merit the understanding of holiness if we accept upon ourselves the constant attention that we need to cultivate in order to derive these meanings from the words and phrases that Torah surrounds us with. We undertake this quest within inside of Torah so that we will learn the blueprint of creation first hand. In this way we can study how consciousness is sometimes expanding and at other times it seems to be temporarily stuck.

'What is the meaning of "all the souls in the Body"? We say that this refers to all the souls in man's body. [When these are completed] new ones will be worthy of emerging.' The souls in the Body are the spiritual counterparts of the ideas that have risen to the level of unification. These ideas make their way through the help of the Shekinah from the level of Yesod on the Tree of Life. Yesod is the level of generation and it is here that all new thoughts are first brought forth in response to the openings caused by the new revelations of Torah. An essential part of the way we understand anything occurs whenever we make a connection between one thing and another. In Torah the spark that runs across the wire between any two connections that have just been made is called the Shekinah. Think of it as the connecting force of realization. The Life of Worlds that is references here is really the energy of transformation that comes about as a result of Torah study that is directed towards unifying the above in terms of holiness with the below in terms of the chaos. This story about the King tells us this. We are already provided with more than enough to fulfill our every need as long as we husband the treasures that we are given and seek out new ways of connection our future happiness is assured. We make these changes within by teaching our consciousness that expansion is not only necessary but it is mandatory. We cannot remain static in our lives or in our study of Torah. This is because there in Torah when we seek new answers and meanings we will never walk away empty handed.

'It is thus written (Deuteronomy 8:3) , "For not by bread alone does man live, but from all that emanates from God's mouth does man live." ' This verse herein mentioned points out the insight that the bread we eat or the results of our manifestations are simply just one part of what our lives are all about. What emanates from God's mouth or what comes about because we are united with holiness is the sum total however, of our existence. Through this insight we are called to look at the process taking place and to recognize it as being our own personal experience. In this way the unification of both above and below are effected simultaneously through the ongoing actions of the Shekinah stimulated by our Torah study.

To recap: The Shekinah is the energy of force that goes through the wires of connection. The wires of connection are the intentions that take us from place to place in mind from revelation to revelation. Torah has the unique quality of always being in the right place at the right time of your life. All you have to do then is to wake up to the discovery of your own wires of connection to experience the energy of force symbolized by the Shekinah.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Synopsis: Everything is vibration. According to quantum physics the dimensions that exist simultaneously together side by side are differentiated by the level of vibration that occurs within each. If we extend this view to the nth degree this universe we now inhabit not only is affected by the singular vibrations we experience currently but as these vibrations change the very nature or dimensionality of this universe changes.
No matter what else is going on inside of Parsha Toldos the central theme is the struggle for existence between the dimensions of holiness and the dimensions of chaos. In quantum physics it is the observer or onlooker who changes the nature of the experiment. The same is true with Jacob who refused to live in a world without the blessings of his father. His father Yitzhak represents the creative energy of awakening or the pathway that leads into the future through the Shekinah described more clearly perhaps as your very own feeling nature where connection leads to revelation. It turns out that Torah was written just for you personally as map of return to holiness or the dimension that is described by the Garden of Eden. This return however, isn't a return to a place. It is a return to a state of mind. Torah is inevitably linked with that state of mind symbolized by Eden. Remember it was the Shekinah or Rivkah that prepared the way for Jacob to receive his blessing. What was this blessing? It was the way of return as if Yitzhak were saying, 'yes my son this is the way home where holiness resides. Follow this way and transform the world you live in through the vibrations of holiness that you will listen for and become a part of.
Finally how does this relate to us on a personal level? Each of us has the choice to follow the spontaneity of mind in listening for the guidance of the Shekinah or to accept the status quo of inertia that leads to chaos. Torah study opens your mind to a greater awareness of being. Then using the principles of Torah in our daily lives the connections we perceive through Torah share their every day meanings with us. In this way we transform our world and return to the state of mind called Eden. Ironically Eden is only as close as our next thought of holiness.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Parsha Toldos

In this week's revelation of discovery we learn about the connections that Torah has internally within itself and externally in terms of bringing forth new ideas into our consciousness.

It is said that there is a singular moment when you just know a thing. Similarly there was a singular moment when Israel walked the desert that they knew they would be leaving and arriving at their stated intention of the Promised Land. This moment only arose because as with one ear they listened to Hashem.

The story from Bereshit onwards is the ongoing study of listening within. At each step we are asked to go further inside of that primordial point of expression deep inside the darkness that is light expressing the holiness that accompanies us every step of the way. Our journey has always been ordained from this same Bereshit. We are the makers made in the image of seeking our way of return to the One. What this means is that were we to remember for even the slightest instant what our original question was that brought us here the time of Messiah would be upon us as though there had never been a moment when we were without Mashiach.

In last weeks Parsha we spoke about Chet and Tav in connection with life and death.

This theme is continued here and further expounded upon in the Zohar Toldos verse 68

"They said that redemption will be in the sixth millennium. This was well said, but I see a longer time for the dwellers of the dust, who shall wait until the four hundred and eighth year of the sixth millennium, when they will rise. For this reason, the companions were stimulated by the verse that referred to THE DWELLERS OF DUST as the children of Chet, for Chet alludes to their rising after four hundred and eight (Heb. Chet Tav) years. As it is written, "In the year of this Yovel ('Jubilee') you shall return every man to his possession," (Vayikra 25:13) when this (Heb. hazot) shall be finished."

Here we have a prophecy and it is upon this prophecy and all that led up to this that we begin this weeks Parsha in the land of our spiritual awakenings. You have to realize by this time what Torah really is. It is the ongoing consciousness of creation, of the creator, of the self made and the self known combined with the mystery of unfoldment. It is this mystery we seek by expansion and connection within the Torah of holiness expanding and innovating our world as we go along. When we study Torah we walk inside of her paths coming upon certain passages that appeal to us simply because they represent an opening in mind through which we've been destined to walk through since Bereshit.

Throughout this Parsha we come upon many pairs, Jacob and Rebecca, Jacob and Esau, Esau and Isaac, Isaac and Jacob, and Abimelech and Jacob. These pairings are inherent to the understanding given here and elsewhere as will be shown by this midrash found in holy academy under the Tree of Life that encompasses all of Eden. There near a stream flowing rich and pure the following was a discussion reached there upon the most high.

Isaiah began the talk speaking about the letters and a story that just opened up to him in between the holiness that surrounded them all. The tale flows like this.

'Long before even the primordial point became known there were no coherent thoughts. This will be shown in a moment. Deep inside of the black hole of the deepest darkness there resided the holy letters. They looked neither left nor right being fixed in concept but as yet having no way to express this concept. It would take light to illumine each concept and as yet this kind of light did not exist. Still the letters were there pregnant in their power and all the while like a black hole absorbing all the energy of the universe within each indivisible yet uniquely shaped letter movement was not. Then out of this nothing the Yod being the most restless of all the letters turned ever so slightly. Lo and behold it witnessed the Heh and out of the astonishment now of both the Yod and the awakened Heh the two then formed together the upper triad of holiness called Chabad. When this initial thought of illumination the Heh immediately witnessed the Vav which then looked immediately back at the Heh taking the long way around so that the entire panorama of that which is was and always will be was firmly fixed in Vav's memory. Just at this moment when Vav was wondering how the Heh could be in two places at once Zeir Anpin or the lower triad of holiness was formed."

"What about the rest of the letters?" Rabbi Shimon the holy lamp inquired. All was complete silence for a moment and then the Ancient of Days began speaking with a great sonorous voice.

"All of the letters remained their place however, freed from their immobility they turned to face each other and then face the wonder that was YHVH. Each letter found that if they looked at just the right angle they could not only see their own reflections but they could also see the various unities that were formed by the combinations of energies that each represented. Their excitement began to build exponentially as they each had the realization that a unity was beginning to coalesce out of their excitement and their newly found relationships with each other. Still they remained in place. Then all turned to face YHVH. Something was happening to these letters. For the first time ever the mystery was unfolding and secrets were being revealed. It is in that initial moment of realization-revelation then that all of the letters recognized their divine connection. A vision appeared before them all showing all of their parts in the flowing forth of creation. The scene unfolded magnificently before them. As one they turned towards YHVH and the holiness surrounding them. A single question lay poised within before any of the letters could speak. The question contain all of the usual hows and why and so forth but cuminated in what? What did it all mean? Without blinking the answer came forth boldly and the Torah appeared to all of them. Instantly they all clammored to be first in line to become a part of the blueprint for creation. We all know the story told in the Sepher Yetzirah about how Bet became the first letter. What we don't know but have long suspected about how the Torah was written is contained in Bet's first remark once the issue of who would be first was resolved. It was of course, 'follow me.'

Moshe Rabbeinu reflected for a moment and said,

"Yes this reminds me of the time when the seas were to be parted and that first person walked up to his neck in the water with complete faith that the waters would part. Yes it is this kind of faith that sustains Israel."

The morning mist was forming in the Garden of Eden filtering the golden glow of the mystical sunrise as the members of the Holy Academy each began their morning meditations.

The theme of life and death is continued here in this Parsha along with the inevitable transformations that take place in between.

The connection to Hashem is always through the Shekinah. Isaac through the Shekinah asks for a son. Forget for a moment the physicality of what he is asking for. Think about what a son is and what he represents. A son represents continuity, the future. Beyond this in terms of mind a son represents the fulfillment of thought through the physicality of experience. The only way to reach up on high is through the pathways provided by the Shekinah. There the thought reaches its expression as holiness concurs so to speak in the direction that your thoughts are taking.

In this sense when the intellect descends into its emotions the Shekinah is activated causing the flow of divine light resulting in connection with YHVH.

Rebecca as we've stated before symbolizes the Shekinah. Inside of her, inside of the Shekinah, inside of the form that is to be nurtured and grown there are two forces striving for expression. This is a natural outcome of the Shekinah. Spiritually the word of truth continues endlessly however this word of truth also must manifest and produce offspring of itself. The distance between what is called spiritual and what is called physical may be measured by how much of our attention is on holiness or on worldly matters. It is the difference between trying to listen to that voice within and ignoring it. A life may be compared to the Torah in this way. When the Torah was written the letters worked together in unity to produce a blueprint for creation. In the same way our thoughts are the blueprint of our very own experience of creation. When there is Torah in our thoughts we carry within us the pattern of holiness to guide our lives. This blueprint of Torah is found in a word or a phrase or a passage. The point being that we have chosen just like the letters have in our story above to weave unity into our lives and to make that the very fabric of our existence. If we do not choose unity the consequences are that we are forced to react or to be reacted upon by the world at large. We are not able in this case to see the flow of holiness or even the flow of our own thinking in our lives. The Shekinah is our guide in all of this by providing an emotional response to which direction we have chosen to take. When we choose holiness or choose to have thoughts of holiness the Shekinah responds with her answering call within. If we do not make the effort she makes no response at all.

Friday, November 17, 2006

The thread that run through Torah.

Witness or view the entire Torah as an opportunity for mind to pay attention to holiness via the ongoing inspiration characterized by the Shekinah. The thing is you will be given a direct jolt from the Shekinah when you attempt to contact her and remain poised for the answers she will give.

This weeks Parsha Chayei Sarah

First in order to discuss this parsha we have to experience a series of events. All of these events are interconnected. Let's see how.

  • Sarah's passing

    Sarah's loss means a potential loss of connection with the Shekinah the divine feminine. The first thing Abarham wants to do is to prepare and purchase a burial place. Everything which follows in this story takes place because of the need to reestablish the earthly presence of the Shekinah in the line of Abraham's people. More on this later now on to Heth

  • The purchase of the burial place the cave of Machepelah

    Abraham chooses Heth to negotiate for a burial place. Cheth Tav. In a sense the beginning and the end of life and then the continuation of faith through the generation of new life. Simply put thought serves its purpose and then is put to rest while the sparks inherent in the revelation of thought may never be extinguished. Four hundred shekels for the purchase of the field. It is the number of Tav. It is important for the renewal of the lifeforce and its ongoing inspiration that Abraham purchase this field along with the cave of Machpelah.

    Here are some midrashim I thought were interesting that I found on the net.

    The name of "Machpelah" (= "the doubled one") belongs, according to the Rabbis, to the cave alone, their reasons for the name being various: it was a double cave, with two stories (Rab); it contained pairs of tombs (Samuel); it had a double value in the eyes of people who saw it; any one buried there could expect a double reward in the future world; when God buried Adam there He had to fold him together (Abahu; 'Er. 53a; Gen. R. lviii. 10). Adam and Eve were the first pair buried there, and therefore Hebron, where the cave was situated, bore the additional name of "Kirjath-arba" (= "the city of four"; i.e., of the tombs of Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Leah ('Er. 53a; Soah 13a; comp. Gen. R. lviii. 4).
    According to Pir e R. El. xxxvi., the cave of Machpelah was at Jebus, and the reason that induced Abraham to buy it was the following: When Abraham went to fetch the calf for his guests (comp. Gen. xviii. 7) it escaped to the cave of Machpelah. Abraham ran after it, and when he entered the cave he saw Adam and Eve lying in their beds as though they were sleeping, while lighted candles were around them, exhaling a fragrant odor. Abraham, filled with a desire to possess the cave, determined to buy it at any price. The Jebusites, however, refused to sell it to him until he had sworn that when his descendants conquered the land of Canaan they would spare the city of Jebus (Jerusalem). Abraham accordingly took the oath, and the Jebusites inscribed it on brazen idols which they placed in the markets of the city. This was the reason why the children of Benjamin did not drive out the inhabitants of Jebus (Judges i. 21). Abraham secured his purchase of the cave of Machpelah by a formal deed signed by four witnesses: Amigal, son of Abishua the Hittite; Elihoreph, son of Ashunah the Hivite; 'Iddon, son of Ahira the Gardite; A?dul, son of 'Abudish the Zidonite ("Sefer ha-Yashar," section "?ayye Sarah," p. 37a, Leghorn, 1870).

    In the Zohar, Letters of Rav Hamanuna Saba 23. When He desired to create the world, all the letters of the Hebrew alphabet came before Him in sequence from last to first. The letter Tav saw itself fit to come forth first. It said, Master of the World, may it please you to create the world with me because I am the seal of your ring, which is Emet (truth), And as You are called so it would be most appropriate for the King to begin with the letter Tav, and create the world by me. The Holy One, blessed be He, said to it, you are worthy and deserving, but you are not suitable for the world to be created by you. You are destined to serve as a mark on the foreheads of the faithful one, who have kept the Law of the Torah from Aleph to Tav, but when you appear they shall die (Tract. Shabbat 55, col. A). Not only that, but you are the seal of the word Death, And because of this, you are not suitable for Me to create the world with you. It then immediately left.

    Okay so this is where we may infer that Tav is associated with death. What Abraham is establishing here is a legacy of renewal. This cannot be overemphasized because it is the key to both the renewal of the temple in Jerusalem along with the appearance Mashiach. All of this may take place because our thoughts have been directed towards the holiness within.

  • Sending the servant to find Isaac a bride of his people

    After Abraham establishes the legacy of renewal he continues this theme by sending his servant to find a bride of his people for Isaac. There are several levels to this action as it is explained and unfolds. First it is Abrahams intention that is becoming realized. This intention is associated with Chesed on the Tree of Life. What we are considering here is the ongoing generation of Abraham's revelation of YHVH. Next Abraham wants to insure that this revelation is carried forward and that nothing interferes with it. Abrahams servant asks for clarification and gets it immediately. Another way to view Abrahams servant is to look at Abraham as inspiration and his servant as mind. Mind is the Servant of inspiration. When Mind follows inspiration all is well. In this case Abraham gives both the inspiration and instructions to Mind to follow the course that inspiration has laid before it. The third level is the level of the Shekinah that is a continuing theme throughout the Torah. It is through Sarah and because of her merit that both Abraham and Sarah are able to communicate with the Shekinah. Now that Sarah has passed Isaac has lost this connection and Abraham realizes the importance of giving Isaac back a means to continue with his conversations with the Shekinah. What the Shekinah represents for both Abraham and Isaac is their inner space where the temple of YHVH is constructed out of their thoughts and the rising level of communion-connection that the Shekinah provides within. Indeed the common thread throughout all of Torah is when this connection is strong or when it is weak.

  • The servant finding Rivkah with scene at the wells

    What is the criteria upon which the servant (Mind) bases his selection of the maiden suitable for Isaac? First (Mind) has a revelation that speaks in detail as to the events that are to come. This revelation is once again the Shekinah speaking within. (Mind)The Servant has clear instructions from Abraham. He is to listen only to Revelation in choosing Isaac's bride. When Rivkah acts in exactly the way that was seen in the Servant's vision, he knows that Rivkah is the one. The jewels that he gives her are the tokens of wisdom and understanding representing the brilliance of the shining temple within that she is asked to now be a part of. She understand this without asking which is why her response at the well remains true to the vision. What is shared her at the well? It is water which means consciousness or awareness of divinity. This sharing of connection means that everyone is on the same page which is why with one voice do they hear and with one action do they act or obey.

  • Negotiating for Rivkah with Laban

    Once again the jewels are given as tokens of the mystery but before this takes place the specifics of the Servant's vision are presented and all understand the meaning of such a revelation. In their world it is holiness and specifically the inward temple presided over by the Shekinah that guides their actions. This is why they cannot refuse and agree to give over Rivkah because it is YHVH that 'has spoken.'

  • Laban's reluctance to part with Sarah.

    The brother and mother of Rivkah want to keep her for perhaps ten more days. The servant rightly reminds them that he should not tarry because this is YHVH's will that must be listened to.

  • Sarah's consent

    Rivkah is asked for her consent which she gives immediately. She recognizes her place in this scheme of things.
  • Meeting Isaac coming from afar.

    Isaac has been meditating on the Shekinah (the feeling presence of holiness) in the field (which is mind) and then comes forward to meet Rivkah. In some translations Rivkah means 'binding with love,' This is the second binding of Isaac now with the Shekinah. The first was a binding of faith as the angel interceded with Isaac and Abraham with the ram of sacrifice. The third and final binding of Isaac will be the binding of the blessing of Jacob carrier of the wisdom of the holiness within and what this will mean to the future descendants of Jacob.

  • Isaac and Rebecca are married and prosper.

    The actions of man cannot be blessed except through the Shekinah. It is why man cleaves to his wife in order for both to experience the bliss of heaven through their holy union through marriage. Man conceives while woman receives. The object of every blessed union is to contemplate the holiness within through one a sacrifice of negativity, two, a binding of the love between them and three the blessings that issue forth from this holy attention in terms of progency, good will and continuation of the will of YHVH.
  • Abraham remarries Keturah generating another chain of progeny.

  • Mind keeps on making even in the absence of the presence of inspiration as represented by Sarah. What is made evolves its own level of manifestation. The children that become the nations spoken of here are the outgrowth of Mind that must continue to grow into the connections represented by his new wife and his children. One of the meanings for Keturah is 'incense.' Incense is a fragrance that passes in wisps of smoke and is gone in remembrance of the inspiration that is abiding. In Abraham's own way he is remembering the presence of the Shekinah by his marriage to Keturah keeping his ideas flowing and making connections through the holiness of his inner garden.

  • Abraham passes.

    The thought, the idea and the vessel that is Abraham has become transformed.

  • Isaac and Ishmael bury him.

    Both sons bury Abraham. Abrahams son's are representative of the ideas of generation that have issued from the his contemplations. Both now stand on their own and must generate using what their father has left them.

  • Isaac gets everything after the others get gifts.

    Abraham has given Isaac the wisdom of Kabbalah or the knowledge of the way within to build the temple and create the holy inner space. This is a legacy more precious than anything. The other children receive gifts according to their merit. These gifts if applied judiciously will still lead to the creation of the inner garden but these children of Abraham must study to rise to this level of awareness.

  • Ishmael passes

    Ishmael born before Isaac passes before Isaac. Again the idea, the vessel and the thought that is Ishmael now continues in his sons or the results of his own particular meditations.

  • Isaac is blessed.

    Due to the contemplation of the Shekinah through the inspiration of Rivkah or the binding of love Isaac sees through to the true meaning of expression as his own inner garden gets set to produce its own blossoms of awareness and deep inner meaning.

  • Thursday, November 16, 2006

    Bahir Verse 181-183

    These next three verses seem to be talking about the differences between the singular and the plural and what significances these fine points confer upon us.

    181. Why is it written, "My sabbaths you shall keep," [in the plural] rather than "My sabbath" [in the singular]? What is this like? A king had a beautiful bride, and every week she would set aside a day to be with him. The king also had beautiful beloved sons. He said to them, "Since this is the situation, you should also rejoice on the day of my joy. For it is for your sake that I strive,, and you also respect me."

    Commentary: Continuity. We cannot develop momentum spiritually without it. Without momentum we will not ascend the levels of contemplation necessary to reach the holiness that surrounds us within and without. The king is Hashem and the bride is the sabbath. Internally the implication is for connection on a regular basis especially during this period of directed contemplation called the Sabbath. The Sabbath is where all of our efforts are specifically directed towards the contemplation of holiness and the resulting connection. The sons refer to the other days of the week. Consider now that our mundane thoughts for acquisition, for health, for career, etc are the sons of the King while the bride of the king would be represented by our thoughts of the holiness, magnificence, and indeed the entire conceptual world brought about through the contemplation of the sephiroth with all of its permutations and transformations. All thoughts work together which is why the sons are told that 'it is for them that I strive...' It is for the fulfillment of our intentions during the week of creation that we celebrate or become one with the Sabbath. Herein on the Sabbath both the preceding week and the ensuing week are imbued with holiness that unfolded both forwards and backwards through time.

    182. What is the reason that [the Torah says] "remember" [in one place,] and "keep" [regarding the Sabbath in another]? "Remember" (zachor) refers to the male (Zachar) . "Keep" (shamor) refers to the bride. Why is it connected to, "and My sanctuary you shall fear"? This is because My sanctuary is holy. Why? "Because I am God who makes you holy" ­ from every side.

    Commentary: Remember refers to the male Zachar, or the active force of intention. Our thoughts which set the way before us in terms of seeing what it is we would have come into our field of vision. Keep is the bride or promise of complete fulfillment that results in the outpouring from Binah into Zeir Anpin. The bride or Shamar-keep is the repository of holiness as we contemplate holiness becoming absorbed by holiness. This sanctuary is the space or negative space within whereby we attract those thoughts which ascend on high. It is a place of fear or awe because we get an inkling of the openings that take plac ein response to our contemplative gaze. We continue or keep our contemplations on this Sabbath day and have the result of becoming holy through God or the conception of God on all sides.

    183. Why do we say [in the blessing after food], "On all that He created...[Blessed]is the Life of Worlds." Why do we not say, "On all that You created"? But we bless the Holy One, who grants His wisdom to this "Life of Worlds." It then provides for all.

    Commentary: What we are singling out here is the active or male force of creation. Creation is ongoing. Think about what happens when we bless something. Aren't we actually calling a blessing into being through our actions. When we say 'on all that He created' we are calling into being and recognition the active force of creation. We are acknowledging the power that creates all. Also when we bless something we are promoting the all the good that comes from this something. In this case the source of all good is holiness itself which is the "life of worlds," for nothing could be sustained without the holiness that sustains us in all of our actions.

    Wednesday, November 08, 2006

    Law of attraction

    In order to attract that which you seek you have to think about it. This goes for anything that you wish to attract into your life. This attraction is a natural force designed to put you in line with what you are thinking about. This force operates from above to below in varying levels of intensity depending upon how you make yourself feel in the moment.

    Bahir Verse 180

    Keep in mind a picture of the Tree of Life in this verse.

    Verse 180. There are three Spheres in this world. How? This world inclines to the north and the south. How? North west south. North west is the first sphere that revolves around us. Do we then say that it is to the north-west? But we say that its strength is to the north. This is the left foot. Above it is the second Sphere, which is entirely to the west. Do we then say that it is to the west? But we say that its power is to the west. These are the Victories of the world. Above it is the third Sphere, and its power is to the south-west. What is the original power that you said was second? We say that this is the right foot. And what is the power that is to the south-west? This is the Foundation of the world. Regarding this it is written (Proverbs 10:25) , "The Righteous is the Foundation of the world." The second power stands behind the Chariot, while the first power stands in front of it. The "Righteous, Foundation of the world" is in the centre. It emanates from the south of the world, and is officer over the other two. In its hand are also the souls of all living things. It is the Life of Worlds. Whenever the word "creation" (Beriah) is used, it is done with it. Regarding it, it is written (Exodus 31:17) , "He rested and souled." This is the attribute of the Sabbath day. Regarding this it is written (Exodus 20:8), "Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy." But it is also written (Deuteronomy 5:12), "Keep [the Sabbath]." This is speaking of the seventh attribute. Regarding this seventh attribute it is written (Leviticus 19:30) , "My sabbaths you shall keep , and My sanctuary you shall fear." What is the seventh attribute? This is the Blessed Holy One's attribute of Goodness.

    Commentary: There are levels as you understand it of awareness. Each level has its own set of operational laws. All of the levels are of course interconnected and everything that develops subsequently from the one is in turn transformed by the other. Think on high. Directions are mentioned here. They refer to spiritual ascents on high. These are the ascents of thought transcending ordinary mentation rising to the sphere of unfoldment that take the place of thought on high where all things are uniquely enjoined together. The three spheres refer to activation, elevation and mashiach or the state of mind of mashiach. What is this world that is spoken of in this verse? It is the higher world where thoughts transcend their initial birth and become a part of the unity of the greater whole.

    Hod is the left foot and the first sphere. Netzach is the second sphere or Victories of this world and is called also the right foot. The Third sphere is Foundation which is southwest of Netzach. Hod is Northwest of Foundation. Foundation emanates from the south of the world and is officer to both Netzach and Hod.

    Next the Righteous is the Foundation of the world. Now we are getting somewhere. Translate righteous to mean truthful as in those thoughts that line up in synchronization with your heart's desire. An example of Righteous in this context would be this.
    A child comes to his father and asks for a new bicycle. The father brings home a teddy bear. While the child may become excited at the teddy bear it isn't his true calling. The father hasn't been righteous with his child and has led him astray. However he does tell the child that the new bike is on its way and sure enough a few days later the bike arrives fulfilling the child's wish and the father's word.
    We cannot expect to bring something into manifestation until we remain true to that something all throughout the process. It is from this center that everything emanates from, this center of certainty called Foundation. Continuing the verse says, 'in its hands are the souls of all living things.' This is the life that derives from the initial intention being adhered to in Righteousness. Every good thing that then comes along derives its 'soul' or essence from that initial intention.

    'He rested and souled.' Here is of course the heart of the wisdom. Your thought or image has to become so familiar to you that you can freely release it into the cosmos becoming that which you are seeking. Nothing further need be accomplished. The will of the one goes forth from you. In this way 'it is the life of all worlds,' meaning everything that comes about because of this owes its existence to that initial image and all the permutations that are now flowing forth from it. When we talk about 'creation' concerning it we are speaking in terms of secondary effects that issue from it. We speak of this image as the Sabbath because it has become one with the maker. The seventh attribute is Foundation and is called Goodness because it has remained true and righteous calling into being countless wonders from its infinite expressions. 'My sanctuary you shall fear,' tells us that once an idea is born it is surrounded by holiness and this holiness reflects the inner feelings you have as well as the beginnings of any outward expressions. Read fear here as always meaning awe or looked on in wonder as in isn't it amazing that my thoughts persist in images so magnificent to behold while taking form and after form is already in place.

    Friday, November 03, 2006

    Bahir Verse 179

    The mystical heart of Kabbalah is seen through the lens of many veils uncovering at each pass the hidden treasures beneath. It is time to start making those quantum leaps we hear tell about in spirituality.

    179. We learned that there are Ten Spheres and Ten Sayings. Each Sphere has its Saying. It is not surrounded by it, but rather, it surrounds it. This [physical] world is like a mustard seed inside a ring. Why? Because of the Spirit that blows upon it, through which it is sustained. If this spirit were to be interrupted for even a moment, the world would be annihilated.

    Commentary: From Genesis here are the ten sayings.

  • In the beginning G-d created the heaven and the earth

  • Let there be light

  • Let there be a firmament
  • Let the waters be gathered
  • Let the earth put forth grass

  • Let there be luminaries in the firmament
  • Let the waters swarm with living creatures

  • Let the earth bring forth living creatures

  • Let us make man in our image

  • Behold I have given you every herb.

  • It is not good for man to be alone

  • From the Sepher Yetzirah
    Verse 4. Ten is the number of the ineffable Sephiroth, ten and not nine, ten and not eleven. Understand this wisdom, and be wise by the perception. Search out concerning it, restore the Word to its creator, and replace Him who formed it upon his throne.

    Verse 5. The Ten ineffable Sephiroth have ten vast regions bound unto them; boundless in origin and having no ending; an abyss of good and of ill;measureless height and depth; boundless to the East and the West; boundless to the North and South; and the Lord the only God, the Faithful King rules all these from his holy seat, for ever and ever.

    What have we penetrated here? What is the connection between these symbolic images and our lives?

    First of all we cannot continue to parcel out our certainty. The totality of the universe is you. This is an immense proclamation. EVERYTHING THAT ISSUES FORTH FROM YOU IS AS A RESULT OF YOU.
    Look at these ten sayings and then apply them to yourself. Make them a part of you by referencing that which is within you. See how your thoughts may take the spiritual shape of these ten sayings and then understand that everything you see symbolically portrayed is but a shorthand for the way that you are thinking about yourself. Relate everything back to the center of yourself. Build your castles and dreams from within. Nothing gets to you except that it must go through you. Raise your thoughts therefore on high inside of the place where you would have yourself spend your days in peace.

    What is the mustard seed inside of the ring? It is the growth of all that surrounds from an initial inspiration. The ring represents the totality of power available to you in the universe. It is singular and connection directly to you via your soul. It is one with you encompassing you taking on the shape of you and yes as the ninth saying says it is in the image of you.

    Everything that is in Heaven and Earth, Aretz and Hashamayim. Establish yourself in your home. Feel it all around you. This is where you live.

    Make what is happening to you a result of what you are choosing to spend your time thinking on and about. What is this Spirit that is blowing upon it through which it is sustained? It is the spirit of your intention that is operational in every moment regardless of your attention. If you however, pay attention then you will begin to experience results that are in line with your intention that being fixed by attention no longer wavers but is true to its own heart of being. This is the same spirit that is called your imagination except that spiritual imagination is the most potent force in the universe. It is what sustains the very world in which we live. Of course this spiritual imagination can never be annihilated because is is the sum total of all that is unencompassable yet truly all sustaining in its influences throughout the multiuniverses.

    Let us then take a look at these ten sayings and uncover more connections to the center of our being.

  • In the beginning G-d created the heaven and the earth

  • First there must be inspiration a will to act to do and then to discover. Out of this driving impulse the act of creation is born in order to of course express itself. This expression then takes the form of those thoughts that are unified above meaning the theoretical and those thoughts which are unified below meaning the actual or actualized expression. This then becomes or is brought into perfection as Kether or the crown of Creation.

  • Let there be light

  • Once this process begins the unity between the theoretical and the actual is joined and that dear friends is sum total of existence. It is the Wisdom of the Tree of Life called Chokmah. It is the know how or the ability to perpetuate the experience of knowing how to create something out of nothing.

  • Let there be a firmament

  • Upon this rock I will build my church. Inside of my consciousness will I become that which I have envisioned. Once I start this process I know that it will continue effortlessly through the sequence of life. It will in fact form a template for my every expression now of these and like minded ideas. It is in fact the drawing board out of which comes every thing else that is flowing therefore into form. Look at this sphere called Binah and recognize that one thought produces several like thoughts that combine themselves into a matrix of creation.

  • Let the waters be gathered

  • Everything flows into being through stages and these stages mirror one another. These waters that flow are the waters of mercy called Chesed. They mirror Binah or the firmament in that the matrix of Binah is reflected in the flowing pulsing being that is Chesed. One above the other taking and giving still bound in unity forever.

  • Let the earth put forth grass

  • And now the coup de grace (coup de grass - sorry about that couldn't help it) as the first signs of life are born into and inside of our awareness. These life signs, this grass is called by the sphere of Gevurah. It is an example of narrowing our focus as in: When God said, 'Let there be a firmament,' the world kept stretching and expanding, until God said, 'Enough!' and it came to a standstill. (Chagiga 12a) In order to express the totality of a thing we need to see it in all of its detail. Gevurah here provide that detail and acts then as the mold to render our creative imagination into tangible form. This sphere or saying represents restriction in terms of choosing to think about only what you wish to experience.

  • Let there be luminaries in the firmament

  • Life is constantly in motion however the inspiration which nourishes life is constantly shining in the form of the countless inspirations that dot the heart of our spiritual skies. Call into action this sphere of Tipheret and witness the beauty of revelation. This revelation is the realization of the unity of being reflected in the heavens above called the firmation shining through to us as reminders of what and where everything including the entirely of our being comes from.

  • Let the waters swarm with living creatures

  • These are the waters below as in 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 the letters of life spiral up and down the Tree of Life in all dimensions given their marching orders so to speak from the original intention or inspiration. Now out of the matrix of thought the living letters form themselves into the lifeforms of ideation and formation. These waters referenced here may be called Netzach because they are the fulfillment of a vision and the precursor for the next reflective phase of creation.

  • Let the earth bring forth living creatures

  • Here is that next phase a further development mirroring the previous sphere shown in Netzach. In this sphere or saying the entire creation has become permeated with inspiration. G-d is in everything and must therefore express G-d in everything. Call this sphere Hod for the imagination and insight that may now be passed from above to below and then begin its upwards journey. It is the splendor of a plan coming to fruition.

  • Let us make man in our image

  • Now we may begin the upwards return when we image that which has created through direct intention making the creation itself responsive to the power of reflection. Call this one Foundation because once established our thoughts will by their very inherent nature begin to reproduce their own reflections, these reflections having the same directive promotive force of the original intention. Our image refers to that which has been created then carries on the process of creation by direct intention. This then is the very Foundation of our world and acts as the earth upon which the entire creation is continued.

  • Behold I have given you every herb

  • Differentiation is the flavoring of creation representing the various ways everyone has of making their worlds in the images or visualizations they have learned to produce. This sphere is Kingdom or the meeting place of the consciousness of one level in comparison to another level. Kingdom is where we blossom grow and transform.

  • It is not good for man to be alone

  • Here is that very transformation. Having lived through the Tree of Life the Tree of Knowledge beckons through this Sephiroth, Dath representing a dimensional shift as we move inside or into the various levels of transformation that are endless above and below.

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