Thursday, December 28, 2006

Bahir 187

The flow of ideation is described here. It moves from one place to another as will be explained.

Verse 187. The fear of God is the one that is higher. It is in thepalm of God's hand. It is also His Force. This palm (kaf) is called the pan of merit (Kaf Zechut). This is because it inclines the world to the pan of merit. It is thus written (Isaiah 11:3), "I will grant him a spirit of the fear of God, and he will not judge by the sight of his eyes, he will not admonish according to what his ear hears."
He will incline all the world to the pan of merit. From there counsel emanates, and from there health emanates to the world. [It is also written,] (Genesis 49:24) "From there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel." This is the place that is called "There." Regarding this, it is written (Habakkuk 3:4), "[He has rays from His hand,] and His hidden Force is there. "

Commentary: From the Sepher Yetzirah: Chapter 2

Twenty-two foundation letters: three Mothers, seven Doubles, and twelve Elementals. The three Mothers, AMSh, their foundation is the pan of merit, the pan of liability, and the tongue of decree deciding between them.

Twenty-two letters: Engrave them, carve them, weigh them, permute them, and transform them, and with them depict the soul of all that was formed and all that will be formed in the future.

"He will incline all the world to the pan of merit." This is the flow of thought that proceeds from the right side or the side of Chesed. It emanates according to what is good.

Everything must proceed from this place because it is the mystery of the above that everything that emanates from it is first declared good. Therefore what we have is good health and good counsel. Everything then that is good proceeds from this pan of merit. The palm of G-d's hand is open in order to represent the giving nature of deity.

This giving nature is called the fear of G-d. This fear is translated as the awe of G-d in terms of reflection. What is it that we see when we contemplate holiness? We see what is good and we see that which we cannot ever truly encompass in our understanding. Yet still we are able to partake of this holiness simply through our contemplation of it. The deeper we move inside of this contemplation the greater the delights of emanation appear according to what is good. It mentions in this verse the 'spirit of the fear of G-d.'

This spirit is none other than our connection with the thought of deity. If our every consideration proceeds from this thought of deity we will not be tempted to think outside of this presence by reacting to what our eyes see or our ears hear. We will then learn to recognize that our focus must always be on causation. We are directly quite specifically directed here to this place of causation which is called "There."

The rays therefore proceed from the hand or giving nature of G-d proceeding from the hidden force that continously emanates from "There." We learn also by the inference contained in the Sepher Yetzirah that all forms proceed from this hand via those rays of emanation called letters. These rays (letters) in their turn depict what is called the soul of all that is formed or will be formed in the future.

Therefore our contemplations reach to 'There' and then proceed from there via the rays of emanation the sum total of which turns out to be the totality of the experiences we become a part of. Those forms of our experience are first emanated from the palm of G-d. This is where we keep going endlessly in our pursuit of happiness, well being and a better life for all. In addition the alchemy of thought is covered when in our Torah study we engrave, carve, weigh and permute
the letters and phrases of Torah in order to Transform first our consciousness and then the world around us in reflection.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Parsha Vayigash

What is it that we have learned about the workings of the inner mind concerning the activities of the most high? Thoughts decay. They deteriorate according to the places from which they are first taken. These places represent the direction of our intention. it is where our mind goes when following any chain of relationships within. Mind cannot know anything except in the symbolic knowing of such thing. Observe this now and see what becomes of it. Notice how the road continously branches according to the emphasis you place on where you are going. You are on your way to somewhere but still aren't sure of where you are going. The connection between the point of departure and the destination hasn't been made yet. These are what are known as the in between times. You recognize your missteps but are still bound by the chain of causation. You haven't yet learned how to change your mind. Divine inspiration is always available but only to those who seek it actively.

There are four parts to the SHMA. First the four beginning verses.

The first verse tells us to listen. Seek that which is within ready to fill you with inspiration.

The second verse tells us what we are listening for; i.e. Hashem is our G-d. It is everything represented by the four letter name, the four worlds from inspiration to demonstration.

The third verse tells us most importantly that our connection is only with this name and that our entire being is the sum total of that interaction. There is nothing else for us to consider but the unification of this name within ourselves.

The fourth verse represents the kingdom or Malchus of YHVH. The final Heh considered as the outcome of that which we are seeking. The earth or form that represents being in the image of inspiration.

Then what continues in the SHMA are the commentary on each verse according to its unique lesson. How do we listen? By loving Hashem with all our heart and soul and all that we possess. We pay attention to Hashem by speaking of him throughout our day and night. Hashem is to be there upon our hands and yes there right between our eyes.

The next section says 'if you listen to my commandments,' everything that will result from this listening is described. It is telling us to listen for the good things that Hashem is offering us. If we do not listen and are 'seduced' by appearances we will be subject to chaos brought about by our own choices not to pay attention.

The third section speaks once again about the unification of the name by our attention to the ever flowing river coming our of the Eden of inspiration. We are reminded again what we are to pay attention to. "These words of mine', are what we are quite specifically called to report unto our own hearts and mind.

The fourth section mirrors the earth symbolic of the last Heh in YHVH. It tells us to remember the commandments and not to stray after our own hearts and eyes. This is telling us that the effects are never to usurp the cause or be taken as a subsequent cause. We are told to listen for the cause always for it is only this cause which takes us out of chaos or Egypt and brings us truth.

In this Parsha Joseph finally recognizes his brothers after Judah brings him to tears with tales of what their recent misfortune would cause to his father. It is too much for Joseph to bear and he comes clean with his brothers. The illusion of Egypt is now cast aside for the truth of their love for each other. In the midst of the chaos of betrayal and misunderstanding the brothers are finally reunited in their love for each other. Joseph through his forgiveness has paved the way for Jacob to come to Egypt.

his is a crucial crossroads. According to the Zohar the meeting between Joseph and Judah is a meeting between Kings. Joseph is the King above and Judah the King below. The explanation continues with a description of the nephesh which takes it sustenance from Ruach above who in turn receives from the level of Neshamah. Between Joseph and Judah there is a meeting of unification. On the one hand Judah comes near Joseph or we could say that he ascends to the level of Joseph. Joseph for his part has to descend to meet Judah halfway which is evidenced by his tears which he sheds on Benjamin and then all of his brothers. The tears symbolization the unification of the above with the below. What is this above? It is the questing for answers and connection with Hashem. What is this below? It is the answer that unifies with the question.

Thoughts are by nature multidimensional. They are connected along the lines of ideation streching forth much like we would describe the expanse of the heavens and the earth below. The relationships between thoughts undergo numerous transformation accepting ideas that expand their nature and also rejecting ideas that take away from their nature. The totality of ideation that passes from inspiration to demonstration through all four levels of being is rarely witnessed as a totality of expression. The big picture then is overwhelmed by the details of each individual happening as they occur.

Joseph represents thought which expands via the Shekinah in order to see that which is to become.
Judah is clearly rooted in the present making sure that the strength of the moment is not compromised. What happens then when Judah seeks to unify with Joseph? All pretense is cast aside. The prophecy now can become the reality of their lives for it is the highest thought that is always seeking manifestation. This is why Judah refers to Jacob here. Jacob is the key to the prophecy of deliverance.
This is because Jacob has already been told by G-d that a great nation would be made from his seed. When Joseph hears about his father he remembers the prophecy Jacob was given and cannot restrain himself any longer from revealing his true nature to his brothers. The lesson here is that the most precious thoughts you receive are meant to be revealed to you not only in mind but in the physical form as well. That is why an idea must continue to be investigated until it gives forth its fruits. These fruits for Israel are their deliverance from Egypt and the entrance back into the land of fathers. It is this thought that is called into attention here. The idea of time is not mentioned here. All that is necessary for this prophecy to come true is for Israel to think about it in such a way as to make it inevitable. The meeting of Joseph and Judah thus takes on a far more important role than just a son pleading for his father's happiness. All of Israel becomes invoked by this holy union now of the two Kings. It is through this union that Joseph may see the future and Judah make sure that this future is secure through his father Jacob.

Before leaving for Egypt Israel receives a confirmation from G-d that he will be with Jacob in Egypt and deliver him from this land. It is the darkness that must be passed through before the realization of the light of the divine prophecy. G-d says: Gen 46:4

I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again; and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes.'

Joseph is the light of awakening that has not only sustained him in this land of darkness but has also provided a way to save the lives of his family. G-d promises that Joseph will put his hand upon Jacob's eyes telling him in effect that even in the midst of darkness Joseph will care for his father by keeping the Torah constantly. What this means is that Joseph will continue to seek the mystery with all of its openings into the higher realms of thought. Jacob need not worry because there in the midst of Egypt he will be able to study Torah and continue his connection to G-d. In effect it is the Shekinah that will be with Jacob. The touching of the eyes symbolizes 'right perception' that is conferred by the Shekinah. It is because of this continuing connection with the Shekinah that Jacob is able to bless Pharaoh both in his coming and going. Why does Joseph bless Pharaoh twice?

The first time Jacob blesses Pharaoh it is for the welcome he receives at the hand of Pharaoh. It is also the introduction of the Shekinah there at the beginning of Israel's exile. The second time he blesses Pharaoh it is because of the deliverance of Israel 210 years later now accompanied still by the Shekinah as it leaves Israel. It is this Shekinah that will be the instrument of this deliverance as will be explained in future Parshas going forward.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Parsha Mikeitz

This Parsha sets the stage for Israel's inevitable descent into Egypt. It is true that circumstances have led them to this point. It is also true that their actions too have made this road into Egypt inevitable. If only Israel could wake up and follow Hashem their fate might have been avoided. Joseph through his spirit of prophecy does wake up only for long enough to divine the future. He realizes he is a part of G-d's ultimate plan for the deliverance of Israel which is why he arranges all of the events that befall his brothers.

Joseph comes in at the level of Yesod seeing that which is to come in the future. It isn't for him to make his own destiny. He simply becomes the observer of destiny rising to this level through his right actions. Joseph is caught between both worlds. Here all of his efforts revolve around bringing his family into Egypt taking them irrevocably away from their home in Canaan. Joseph isn't the master who can heal both past and future. This will be up to Moses later on. For now Joseph is only master of the dreams of consciousness and not their outcomes. Joseph is trapped in time never realizing the ultimate reality of now where all events are both fluid and naturally becoming. He doesn't realize that the plenty of Egypt is but an illusion which will in the end cause all of Israel to become slaves to materiality and then finally become the subjects of this materiality. Joseph is the light that shines throughout this Parsha. In the midst of his affliction as he calls it Joseph is still able to see the good all around him. Joseph is on his way in this Parsha to bring all of Israel into Egypt so that they may receive a great deliverance in the future. The enticements of Egypt are many foremost among them is the plentiful food that supplies the entire surrounding area that is going through the famine predicted by Joseph. We cannot however lose sight of the fact that this is Egypt land of darkness no matter what there may appear to be on the surface.

Joseph marries an Egyptian and has children with her. This is a key aspect of this Parsha. He reproduces his kind in Egypt from the side of the evil inclination. His success will short lived as his influence over his family Israel will pass away and the toils of Israel in bondage will increase in the land that they are destined to be strangers in. He rises to the pinnacle of Egyptian success one rung below the Pharoah. Because of this he is able to hold sway over his entire family so that they too will come to enjoy Egypt and the plenty that he has found there. It is a common enticement for the ego to enjoy the fruits of momentary pleasure while the attention grows further and further away from Hashem.

Pharoah in the next Parsha commands that Joseph's entire clan be brought into Egypt and made comfortable there. It is ironic that Joseph brings his family out of the land that is then promised to Israel following their flight from another Pharoah four hundred years later. The question then becomes why leave Canaan at all if it is the promised land of the future? Why not simply stay put in Canaan, worship Hashem, and let the land become filled with the milk and honey of righteousness. The answer is of course that the family of Israel wasn't ready for this blessing. In effect by letting Joseph be sold as a slave they doomed themselves to suffer a similar fate. Their actions produced a negative result that would take time to unfold. It is symbolic of their negative actions that Joseph further tries to implicate them in evil deeds by planting the Silver Goblet in Benjamin's sack. The Silver Goblet represents the illusion of materiality that is thrust upon them by Joseph in his efforts to teach his brothers a lesson and prove his sovereignty over them just like in the dreams he told them long ago.

There is always a better way only Joseph could not envision this. His visions could not be modified because of the level of consciousness which he attains only could predict and not interdict as Moses is able to do further down the historical road. We see that Joseph's actions however directly contributed to the subsequent enslavement of Israel. He could not resist the evil inclination that called for some kind of payback for the misdeeds that had befallen him. In so doing he only created more havoc within the body of Israel leading to their steady deep descent within Egypt. This in a sense is Joseph's vision colored by the evil inclination surrounding Israel that needs to be purified. This evil inclination is fueled by the unconscious desires of men who haven't yet embraced Torah nor divined deeply into its secrets.

Israel then becomes subject to wheel Joseph could rise to only a certain level in his consciousness so that therefore he could not realize the great danger that Israel faced. He hasn't realized what Moses later on does that the mind of man must effect it own change within, that change being called I am. It is only through this change as we shall see that Israel upon receiving the Torah achieves that moment of purity. The difference between Joseph and Moses is that Joseph saw the events that were to take place in the future and could nothing about them while Moses saw these events as opportunities for transformation.

The lesson presented for us is that we too have the ability to foretell our our future by the thoughts we are thinking and the actions we are taking. The plan of creation is written inside and everytime we rise up within to listen for that inspiration the plan of our lives is enhanced. The logical extension of this plan of creation is the perfection of consciousness where we truly become in the image of our creator free of the klippoth of misunderstanding that clings to us because of what we are choosing to accept and what we are too asleep to reject.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Inward Quest

Seek the greater mystery through the latticework of your perception. Listen within using the intention of rising higher in your understanding in this way. Form your thoughts from on high and release them below. Watch and expect to find your good. Keep at it in this way for the results you seek are a function of what you expect to see. Thought knows itself and then builds out of itself what it needs in order to fully express itself. Thought begins in a flash of inspiration and then expands to include everything that surrounds that thought including the relationship it has with other thoughts either like or unlike itself.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Parsha Vayeshev

The further away you get from the cause the more you become immersed in the effects and become distanced from the cause of these effects. In a sense this Parsha speaks about the Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life.

The Tree of Knowledge answers the following question; 'what would it be like if so and so happens?'

The Tree of Life speaks solely about the cause of all being saying return unto this cause for here is where your life begins and never ends. This cause issues forth the light of understanding flowing effortlessly into and through our souls. If we do not listen for and attend to this cause of all causes we cannot possibly expect harmony to be present in our lives. Always the direction is towards Hashem and too many times do we turn away forgetting or willfully assuming that our thoughts of the moment will overreach all the thoughts that have come before. There is a method to all of this and it is this method that we learn about here and elsewhere throughout Torah.

The theme of this Parsha and its accompanying Haftorah is "Listen." Listen to the word of YHVH spoken in dreams by Yosef or spoken by the prophets for the sake of Israel. When Yaakov sojourns in the land of his fathers his actions are at rest. He has come to terms with YHVH and now must pass it along to his children to follow in his footsteps. Now it is up to the generations of Israel to make their own way in the world; to live and die by the word of YHVH in all of their relationships with the world. What is this word of YHVH?

Amos 3:7 For the Lord GOD will do nothing, but He revealeth His counsel unto His servants the prophets. 8-The lion hath roared, who will not fear? The Lord GOD hath spoken, who can but prophesy?

The spirit of prophecy represents the recognition of the channel through which the Shekinah travels connecting Yesod and Tiphereth and then Binah. This recognition is both a filling up and a pouring forth. These words we hear within whether they occur through dreams or the elevation of visionary moments are our direct connection to YHVH or the level of Yaakov called Tiphereth. Here is what happens that makes this prophecy the truth of the moment:

An alignment occurs between the mundane and the super conscious mind that foretells with accuracy the future moments to be experienced. This future telling depends upon the level of the soul that is connecting. Connection occurs when you are able to simultaneously rise both to the level of causation and to the level of demonstration. The two must be one. Prophecy is revealed only to those who choose to listen. What are they listening for? It is the word of YHVH and most importantly the feeling of YHVH through the intermidiary of the Shekinah. If the Shekinah does not rise or fall there cannot be any connection. This movement of the Shekinah occurs during meditations that include right thinking. What is this right thinking? It is righteousness or to put it succinctly thinking good thoughts for the sake of Torah, for the reason being that you are intentionally using the power of your mind to make things better in body and soul.

In this Parsha Yosef's actions are always for the purpose of making his world a little better. When his dreams portend his rulership over his brothers he is speaking metaphorically of how we must continuously choose the Tree of Life in order to rise above our circumstances. Yosef recognizes that soon he will be in Egypt and that his brothers will soon follow. He is telling them that he will watch out for them by rising above their fears and even the results of their negative actions towards him. He does the same thing for Potiphar and the prison warden calling YHVH and the awareness of the Tree of Life into all of his actions in order to make everything better. Despite his circumstances his attention remains upon Torah symbolic of the secrets of contemplation of the mystery that occupied his ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Josef accept his part in this Divine mystery and never stops his meditations.

Yosef is on the level of Yesod or Foundation on the Tree of Life. It is the level of dreams and of generation or the bringing forth of that which is to come. Yosef rises via the Shekinah to Tiphereth or the level of his father Yaakov. This level may not be achieved except by meditation on the unity of YHVH. It is this unity that covers the prophecy with truth. When Yosef speaks from here as he does so in his dreams what he has witnessed comes to pass. It is noteworthy that all of Yosef's brothers including his father do not fail to discern the meaning of his dream. It is not only their resentment of his place with their father that fuels their (the brothers) anger it is also the very real possibility that Yosef would then be ruling over them. Whether it is their pride or their ego that rejects Yosef it doesn't matter. The stage is set then for their plan which seems to be a solution in the moment to the problem of Yosef. The deeper problem they are trying to take care of is their own misdeeds. Yosef represents a truth of consciousness that the brothers are not yet ready to take on. Like many they would prefer to hide their misdeeds from themselves thinking that by doing so they hide it from G-d.

There are four levels to be considered when studying a Torah verse. One is the obvious on the surface take on the events presented. The second look tries to connect the verses of Torah to a unity within themselves giving subsequent verses wherever they appear either within Torah or Midrashim. The third level arises from the consideration of direct encounters taking place in the word of YHVH, Prophecy, or dreams all of which lead to the outworkings of the divine plan. The fourth level considers how all of these stories are allegories for our own thought process; what it goes through as we experience the various levels of attainment offered as a result of listening to and for YHVH in our lives. In this way we witness the Kabbalah of Torah study through the four worlds of inquiry, Atziluth, Briah, Yetzirah and Assiah.

Let us follow an example of our own thinking and follow it along with the events taking place here in this Parsha.

"Yes there are two paths you can go by but in the long run there still is time to change the road you are on." (Led Zeppelin -Stairway to Heaven)

Josef is able to follow the stairway to heaven, the very same one that his father Israel discovered. His brothers are not able to follow this stairway completely. It is for this purpose of finding the secret of the name of YHVH that Israel sends Josef out to look for his brothers. Israel wants a report of their welfare. What he is really doing is foreshadowing the help that Josef's brothers must receive. Israel has his own prophecy to contemplate. Therefore his thoughts in sending Josef after his brothers are in line with this prophecy. Israel knows that his sons will soon have to follow along with himself into Egypt or the land of darkness caused by the ill results of their negative thinking. Josef is his shining light symbolized by his brilliant coat of many colors. Israel sets the stage therefore for Josef's further spiritual education.

The central part of this story occurs early when Josef goes looking for his brothers. He is told to look to Shechem the scene of the slaughter of all the men due to Dinah's defiling. It is where the darkness of their actions began to send them further into the material realm until at last they must end up in Egypt.

Gen 37:15 And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was wandering in the field. And the man asked him, saying: 'What seekest thou?'

Look at this first word. Vayimsa-aihou, Vav, Yod, Mem Tzaddi, Aleph, Heh, Vav. and then Ish for man (And a certain man). This first word contains both YHVH and Mitzvah. This was no ordinary man. It was an angel of right action or the angel of Mitzvah. It is no coincidence that this angel meets Yosef in Shechem because it is only by right actions that the evil decree may be averted and transformed ala Mitvoth. The angel is wandering the field and asks Yosef, MaTVaKaiSh
"What are you seeking?" Josef answers that he is seeking his brothers but more to the point what he seeks in terms of his spiritual quest is the good intention that he wants help tend or bring forth despite their evil inclination. In effect Josef has already found what he has always sought which is the angel of Mitzvoth. The angel then sends Josef on his way following the path of Mitzvoth. It is this path that will lead Israel into Mitzraim and then out again four hundred years later.

The question always remains then as it does today; why does there have to be such a long way around for Israel. After all Yosef knew the pathway to righteousness. Why couldn't he simply have shown his brothers the 'right' way to live their lives? The question is answered in this way. The pathway to righteousness can be shown but each one has to take their own steps forward. Righteousness or right action must be experienced in order for it to become a pattern in a person's life. Yosef's brothers knew all about right action yet they chose not to follow this course.

When Reuben slept with Bilhah in the previous Parsha he demonstrates his misunderstanding of righteousness. Allegorically he thought to harvest from the works of his father but does not realize that the only fruit of such actions can only be ill. In effect he is pursuing the effect and not the cause. The same type of error occurs with Judah who produces offspring with the Canaanite woman. Judah seeks the Shekinah but only wants the effects that he sees and does not look deeper for the causes. The woman he lies with cannot awaken the Shekinah inside of himself. Because of this two of his sons die relating to those thoughts which having no center are not able to link up with the divine connection of YHVH in terms of one, righteousness and two the ability to inspire like thoughts in kind. Judah had wanted Er the wife of his first son to marry the second son and when he promises and doesn't deliver the third son to Er she devise her own strategy.

Judah is trapped because he still is looking at the effects and not at the causes. He tries to make things right for Er but he cannot do so unless he himself is directly involved. This is why after he finds out that he was tricked by Er he says that she is more righteous than he. Judah recognizes his error however it is too late to prevent the further passing of Israel's sons into the materialistic world of Mitzraim.

Everything depends upon the direction that our thoughts are taking from moment to moment. If we are like Yosef we continually seek righteousness and will not accept any substitutes no matter what the short gains may seem to be. In terms of the Tree of Life we are talking about the aspect of Man in terms of his relationship to Deity. Man realizes Unity by his constant attention to Unity. This attention includes not only his thoughts but his actions as well. It is towards this end of discovering and promoting within himself the divine connection that he can become absorbed by the feeling inspired by the Shekinah.

The butlers dream show him offering wine to Pharoah. He offers life he receives life.
The baker sees the food that he made being taken away by birds. These represent the evil inclination or those thoughts that the baker has been harboring against Pharoah. He holds the food above his head meaning that those thoughts which could have saved his life now doom his life.

Summary: The sons of Israel deny their redeemer Yosef and attempt to thwart him. They turn from righteousness reaping the bitter results of inattention. Yosef meanwhile keeps his high watch always doing what is right. YHVH favors Yosef because Yosef is unwavering in his attention to Mitzvah. It is one thing to repair a fence when you see the rails have been broken. It is another thing to plan for the building of another stronger fence that will withstand the elements of indifference and the world we live while still providing a blueprint for the thoughts and actions we must follow in life. That fence is Torah because it is from this strongest fence that all other fences are modeled after. Yosef's single minded journey here is the inspiration of following the thread of Torah through until you are one with it in its expression and most importantly in your own committment to the inner discovery of your own inward journey.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Bahir Verse 186

We reside within the inner chamber now in all of our explanations. The meanings have been explained in terms of substitution of symbol for word and visa versa. More of the same follows here,

186. What is the meaning of the verse (Job 15:2), "Should a wise man answer knowledge of spirit?" What is "knowledge of spirit"? This is the Knowledge that is close to the spirit. Regarding this it is written (Isaiah 11:2) , "And there will rest upon him a spirit of God, a spirit of wisdom and understanding, [a spirit of counsel and strength, a spirit of knowledge and the fear of God]." [First comes] Wisdom, and then comes Understanding. And in Understanding is "counsel, strength, knowledge and the fear of God." But you told us that "counsel" is deeds of Kindness, and that Understanding is the Attribute of Justice. [One is above the other.] Knowledge is Truth. Knowledge is therefore that with which one recognises the truth. "The fear of God" is the Treasury of the Torah . This is like I say, but one is above the other. Rabbi Akiba thus said: With whatever God created, He created its counterpart. It is thus written (Ecclesiates 7:14) , "Also one opposite the other has God made." What is the Treasury of the Torah? It is that regarding which it is written (Isaiah 33:6), "The fear of God is His treasury." A person must first be god-fearing, and then he can study Torah. This is like a person who comes to buy date honey but does not bring a vessel in which to carry it. He says, "I will carry it in my bosom." He tries to carry it in his bosom but it was very heavy, and he is also afraid that it will tear and soil his clothing. He therefore throws it away on the road. This person is then punished twice. First because he ruined good food, and second because he wasted his money.

Commentary: This time we'll work our way out from the middle of this verse. 'One above the other.' This is referring to Chokmah-Wisdom which is above the other Gevurah-Justice. The one opposite the other is Chesed referred to here as Kindness which is opposite Gevurah and is the counterpart of Gevurah. The full verse from Isaiah 11:2 reads

2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.

The spirit of wisdom is Chokmah, of understanding Binah, of Counsel Etzah which refers to Chesed according to the deeds of kindness mentioned, of knowledge Daat and VaYiras YHVH or fear of the Lord. YHVH refers to Tiphereth.This verse is central to the understanding of what surrounds it in Verse 186. Let's place the two of these together, fear of G-d and Treasury of Torah. Tiphereth is the central nexus of Torah. It is where thought is transformed both on its way coming from the inspiration of the upper Sephiroth and where ideation, the promulgation of experience is then reinforced and transcended coming from the lower Sephiroth in their return journey through Tipheth to the upper Sephiroth.

What does it mean that a person must first be God fearing in order to study Torah? A person must accept within himself the totality of the presence of G-d within so that wherever he looks in contemplation G-d is where his thoughts are directed to. So it is true with Torah Study. When we study Torah for its own sake our thoughts are directed towards G-d and the mystery that this represents. We find throughout the Torah open doors leading our awareness into greater depths of understanding continuing in this way the process of "let there be light" that comes from the infusion of Wisdom into Understanding. Then Binah may flow forth in its element with the realization of unity that comes from the connection between a thought and its expression. The verse above talks about the vessel required for the date honey. The vessel in this case is 'fear of G-d' or the awareness of the awesome nature of what we are studying so that when we do read Torah we go inside of its outward appearance and penetrate to these inner chambers of wisdom found there only because we started out with this 'fear of G-d.' First there is the question and out of this question an answer is formed which in the case of Torah is infinite in its expression. This teaches us that our own thoughts when directed towards the questions of our lives will find too that infinite expression which increases understanding and travels along the pathways built by the Shekinah. It is better not to study Torah at all if we do not first accept upon ourselves the awareness of G-d and then seek this awareness everywhere we look inside of Torah.

Torah study then leads to a knowledge of spirit. What is this knowledge of spirit? It a conscious choice that we make to discover the hidden meanings that will then be absorbed into our being. What is absorbed is this knowledge of the spirit. It is the inner voice that once awakened serves to guide you in all of your travels. It awakens because of our questions and 'fear of G-d' and we continue to evolve this voice of the most high is readily accessible in our thoughts and feelings as the two become one. Then we experience the operation of the Shekinah opening doors within and connecting us with the all encompassing that surrounds us.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Bahir Verse 185

We go further still inside of our conception of holiness.

185. How can one do kindness to his Master? By studying the Torah. All study of Torah is a deed of kindness toward one's Master. It is thus written (Deuteronomy 33:26) , "He rides the heavens with your help, [His pride is in the skies]." God says, "When you study Torah for its own sake, then you help Me and I can ride the heavens." Then, "His pride is in the skies (Shechakim). " What is Shechakim ? We say that it is in the innermost chamber. The Targum thus renders it, "His word is in the Heaven of Heaven." Therefore, "not by bread alone does man live, but from all that emanates from God's mouth does man live." However, "the fool answers brazenly." "Abandon this brazenness, and do not reply in this manner!" He is therefore punished. What is his punishment? We have already discussed it.

Commentary: What or who is your master? It is your highest thoughts coming from the Keter of your awareness. This kindness that is spoken of means how can you truly reflect what the Creators will is? How can you become open to more of holiness as you reach up for understanding. He rides the heaven's with your help. Your attention and committment to opening up the channels of awareness make Him more accessible to you. Every inquiry you make concerning Torah engenders a response. When you persevere in questioning a particular section or even a phrase in Torah there will come a moment when you will have a breakthrough and your understanding will soar to a new level. From this new level you will strengthen your connection to Him thereby witnessing when He rides the skies. Out of your new sense of self you will enter within the next chamber of awareness until you reach Shekachim the innermost chamber. This is a journey of your understanding from your questions that open up the mystery until there inside the innermost chamber the word of Unity is heard and then everything changes. You then realize that all your thoughts are guided from this place and you will do well to heed the lessons you learn here. The verse goes on to remind us that the outward effects of our inner meditations are not the only purpose fulfilled by meditating here. We study and experience our meditations for the sake of enlivening our souls and raising them level by level through experience and intention so that our ultimate goal of Unity with holiness is not only achieved but constantly maintained by our meditations on Torah. A way of life is described here for those who would understand its fruits are the same as were tasted in Gan Eden except that now we partake of them through the Tree of Life. There can only be on punishment for not listening to the pearls of wisdom found deep within this innermost chamber; that is ignorance. Ignorance partakes of the fruit without the realization of where the fruit has come from. This is describing in effect the sin of partaking of the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil without first becoming one with the Tree of Life. This is a deep lesson and one that can be with you all the days of your life.

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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