Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Parsha Vaera:

Kabbalah explains that consciousness is the deciding factor in all of our actions both above and below. The key force that determines the direction of consciousness is contained solely in the recognition that is detailed in this weeks Parsha Vaera. When Hashem speaks to Moshe he tells him that YHVH is the same Elohim as was known by Abraham, Isaac and Jacob called El Shaddai. The subtext is still that this is the same 'I am that I am' that spoke to Moshe when he asked who shall I say has sent me. This is pure being and is the place where consciousness originates from. In essence it is the all pervading essence of G-d contacted through connection and sustained by mitzvoth through the intermediary of Shechinah or the feeling nature of connection. This is a concept that cannot be easily explained to a people that live in the darkness of Mitzraim tied to the materiality of existence. The announcement by Hashem of this new revelation is meant to give the children of Israel a central unifying core. It is one thing to rally around a King or a strong leader. The equation however, changes completely when the children of Israel will be asked to rally around an idea. This idea is meant to raise their certainty in terms of their own consciousness so that they will ultimately believe in their own deliverance from Mitzraim.

Ex 6:3 "and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, as God Almighty (El Shaddai), but by My name YHWH I made Me not known to them."

This is a signal moment in the life of Israel and Moshe. It is a new revelation. A higher truth is being presented. It is the truth that within consciousness the light of Hashem always shines. What is that light? It is the way out of darkness. What is this darkness? It is our illusory bondage to our doubts. These doubts are the taskmasters of our consciousness ultimately set free by our connection to that light.

When we first begin this section there are three sets of doubts presented. First the children of Israel will not harken unto Moshe when he speaks to them concerning all that Hashem will do. Then there is Moshe himself who when faced with this lack of faith asks Hashem how he can pull this off when these children of Israel show their faith lacking. Lastly of course there is Pharaoh who initially dismisses Moshe's demands because his magicians are able to match the wizardry of Moshe.

Pharaoh however may only act in the way that Hashem dictates. He becomes of mirror for the doubts of both Moshe and the children of Israel who are still not convinced even after the many plagues have been demonstrated. What we are witnessing here is the perception of Moshe in terms of how he understands 'I am that I am.' Moshe it turns out may only be successful in convincing Pharaoh to let his people go when Moshe accepts this finality for himself. We are led to think about this in terms of an anthromorphic G-d who commands all of these events to take place.

The inner deeper meaning concerns Moshe's conception of G-d and how G-d works in the world within and without. We have to remember that this is a voice that Moshe is hearing-listening to. Similar to a television or radio receiver Moshe has to tune his mind to that of Hashem in order to hear what Hashem is saying. In spite of the clear message of 'I am that I am' Moshe continues to doubt Hashem as witnessed by the prerequisite hardening of Pharaoh's heart. Even though Moshe is a channel for the power of Hashem, he is still living in Mitzraim. The plagues are a symbol of his growing awareness not only of the power of Hashem but of his own intimate connection as well with this power.

These doubts are our preconceived ideas about the status quo concerning the darkness of our situation. Just because a negative situation exists in the present doesn't mean that it must persist indefinitely. The entropy of darkness in fact makes this a given. Change is inherent. The purpose of all of the ensuing plagues makes this point most emphatically. The power of Hashem is unquestioned. In order to convince Moshe and the children of Israel of the efficacy of this new revelation, Hashem hardens Pharaoh's heart so that he will not let them go too easily. Hashem must be proved in the sight of all. Such is the extent of this new revelation that it must be shared across the board with all of Israel.

This sharing of the light or the revelation will gradually remove the darkness completely leading to the liberation of the children of Israel. What is liberated? It is our consciousness. This liberation means that we are then free to connect with the light. This light is represented by Moshe who speaks for Hashem.

Ex 7:1 'See, I have set thee in God's stead to Pharaoh; and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet...'

This is the unity of connection later symbolized by the SHMA. What this is saying is that when Moshe speaks to Pharaoh G-d is speaking albeit through the prophecy of Aaron. What is this prophecy of Aaron? It is the innate linkage between the cause and the effect. Moshe symbolizes the vibration of unity wherein whatsoever is spoken by Aaron is reflected therefore without. Moshe is the mold maker while Aaron is the one who pours the material into the mold to become the demonstration of the forms that the awareness will now witness. Moshe is our own recognition of the intimate connection each of us has with Hashem. Aaron then is the foretelling of the plans we have made in concert with this intimate connection that cannot help but reproduce themselves. Another way to look at this is that although Moshe has received this revelation he is unable to explain it in terms that the children of Israel will be able to comprehend.

It is only through Aaron that the revelation will be brought through to the people and demonstrated before Pharaoh.

Let's take a look at this dilemma. The idea or revelation is this:'I am that I am.' What this is saying according to Kabbalah is that consciousness is both the container and the contained. There is nothing else besides consciousness. Our thoughts are the framework of the universe and these thoughts demonstrate themselves throughout the four worlds of Kabbalah. How can we explain this concept to someone who is immersed in the materiality of the world around them. It is kind of like trying to explain three dimensional space to a two dimensional being. There however, remains a way in which we may understand this concept more directly. The major clue that is given is given by Hashem, YHVH. There is a mystery surrounding this name that is revealed when we consider the revelation of this name, 'I am that I am.' Whatsoever we call ourselves in thought that is what we will become or take on in our experience. Now thought encompasses the totality of being. It is this super grand mega structure of an ideation nexus that is both infinite and particular at the same time. In order to transform our being we need only transform our state of mind by directing our thoughts towards this mysterious name. What we are doing by partaking of this kind of direct focus is called the unification of the name or the "unifying with the name." This unification takes place within the revelation of "I am that I am," represented by YHVH as the outer level of the inner ineffable conceptual construct.

The way forward through all doubt will be explained in the next Parsha. In closing this weeks commentary let's cite The Zohar in its section on Vaera

7. "Another explanation ..."Trust in Hashem forever" (is that) a person has to strengthen himself in the Holy One, blessed be He, throughout his life. No one can harm one who properly places his trust and strength in Him, since one who places his strength in the Holy Name endures forever. 8. What is the reason, ... since the world endures by His Holy Name. This is the meaning of: "For Yah Hashem is an everlasting (lit. 'worlds') rock (Heb. tzur)" (Yeshayah 26:4), (which means) the former (Heb. tzayar) of worlds. For by two letters were the worlds created, this world and the World to Come. This world was created with Judgment and is maintained, on Judgment. This is the meaning of: "In the beginning Elohim created" (Beresheet 1:1), The reason is so that people would conduct themselves according to judgment (law) and would not digress from the path."

What is this judgment or law? It is the law of consciousness reflecting itself endlessly. When we are given the concept of creation through attaching ourselves to Hashem there is nothing that we can think of that can be kept from our experience. Each level of understanding then brings with it a corresponding reflection in our experience. B'H"

Mark Siet

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