It's breakout time. Understand this. The moment you have the realization that you can indeed be free of negative thoughts or the polarized left column of the Tree of Life, you will immediately be drawn in towards the center where harmony exists in perfection with the reality of your life. Egypt represents the reliance upon the material world for your well-being. It negates the causation behind material wealth and see the ends as a means unto itself. Israel represents the harmonization of thoughts that will occur in any free market system of thinking. This free market system of thinking allows thoughts to grow naturally without the hindrance of overpowering doubt. This isn't to say that resistance isn't necessary to strengthen the flow of cognition. It is just that we cannot mistake this resistance as a force divorced from the unification of Hashem. This is was and always will be the sole purpose of creation. It is that purpose that drives the energy which flows endlessly in response to our connection and aspiration to connection to the Tree of Life. Now in this timeless saga Israel flees from Egypt. What keeps them on the path when they are still feeling the lingering effects of negativity? How can they keep their focus and maintain their faith? These next verses give the answer.
Ex 13: 21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; that they might go by day and by night:
Ex 13:22 ‘ the pillar of cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night, departed not from before the people.
The understanding of these particular passages calls into play the Ancient Ones. The mere intention to delve into these deeper meanings that lie within here brings the holy assembly together. You see what we are doing here is examining the keys to the kingdom. This is the kingdom that consciousness makes and is making to be claimed by
any who would follow the pathways of awakening. What are these pillars of cloud and
The pillar of cloud by day is the awakening of consciousness to its own ability to transform from within these thoughts of negativity into thoughts of creativity. In this sense all of Israel was filled with inspiration. This inspiration comes direction from the presence of connection called the Shechinah. Shechinah flows in response to our aspirations. In this case Israel's aspiration is freedom. The way then towards freedom is shown by the Shechinah, which turns out to be our inner sense of the right way of being.
The pillar of fire by night serves the same purpose only this time it is with our subconscious mind. These are the thoughts that exist below the surface that we carry
with us being a part of the entire spectrum of consciousness. Israel carries with them the negative thoughts, which they brought with them from Egypt. Left to their own devices the negativity would overwhelm their subconscious mind. The pillar of fire is a beacon for their freedom to partake in the entire promise of the Tree of Life reality. It glows in the night by saying 'yes here I am' and allows the soul to recover its purpose and dream the dream of enlightenment. Pharaoh's heart is hardened along with his people and they decide to pursue Israel.. What is this hardening that is spoken of here? It is the isolation of negativity made even more prominent by its contrast now with Israel. This contrast has to be in place in order for the thoughts that seek unity to bond with each other escaping the pull of the negative forces that pursue them. Now the stage must be set for this departure from negativity in creativity.
Ex 14:9 'And the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses and chariots of
Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them encamping by the
sea, beside Pi-hahiroth, in front of Baal-zephon.'
Pi-hahiroth translated as "mouth of the gorges," or place where the reeds grow and Baal-Zephon meaning 'Lord of the north," is where Hashem tells Moses to camp with Israel.This is the supreme moment of facing both the unknown and gathering darkness or negativity that lays close by Israel. The people express their consternation as does Moses. Hashem in response asks Moses:
Ex 14:15 'And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Wherefore criest thou unto Me?
speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward.'
It is the act of Moses that will part the waters. There isn't any divine intervention without human interaction. Man has to act with the full knowledge of connection in order to be successful in passing through the obstacles that negativity places in his way. Look at this scenario as taking place solely within the framework of your thoughts. When you connect to Hashem what is asked of you? It is action; the action of reaching up on high and stretching forth your hand (your intention - the awakened mind) and then going forward as if it is already done.
What happens next is the point of no return symbolized by three magical verses that form the basis for the formulation of the 72 names of Hashem. Using an atbash cypher the names are derived as meditation type mantras whose efficacy utilizes the livings Hebrew letters that form the basis for all created forms.
Ex: 14:19 And the angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud removed from before them, and stood behind them;
Notice the reversal of the energy field here. At first Israel follows this cloud, the angel of God, the Shechinah moves simultaneously with the pillar of cloud to protect them from the negativity that is pursuing them.
Ex: 14: 20 'and it came between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel; and there was the cloud and the darkness here, yet gave it light by night there; and the one came not near the other all the night. '
See how the cloud or the divine presence shields Israel from the darkness of Egypt, from the negative thinking that enslaved their minds. Separation first occurs above between the darkness and the light that shines even in the darkness. The positive thought of connection always shines its light as we reach up our hands for it no matter where our thoughts are seemingly headed.
Ex 14:21 'And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all the night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. '
Moses is both liberator and the thought of liberation. Because he knows this must be Moses acts by stretching out his hand or seeing the deed is already done. Now the connection between Moses and Hashem is what causes the sea to go back. What is this strong east wind? It is the persistence of our intention cutting through the morass (sea of reeds) of doubts making our steps sure in front of us. In this way the waters of consciousness are divided so that the our attention is focused as a strong wind to cast aside all those thoughts of negativity (waters on either side) while the way to freedom proceeds on dry land (the demonstration of our focus providing a perfect path).
Afterwards the song of praise unifying the connection with Hashem and placing into memory the successful completion of the entire creative process from Intention through Focus meeting Resistance and testing our purpose through the Attenuation of that Focus until like the rays of the sun passing through a magnifying glass our Focus parts the way, proves the path and demonstrates the form of that Focus.
Next the journey begins. It isn't enough just to be free of doubt (Eqypt) we have to establish for ourselves the entire realm of our Kingdom. In order to travel to our destination we will need water and food to sustain us along the way. What is our water? These are the thoughts of consciousness that unify with Hashem. When Israel murmurs at the bitter waters of Marah it symbolizes the old thoughts or doubts that are still with them. Moses touches the waters with a tree which is the Tree of Life meaning the consciousness of Hashem and unity of all that is good. Hashem tells them through Moses that if the people attach themselves to Hashem via the Tree of Life they will enjoy the fruits of goodness.
Their journey progress and Israel seems to follow Hashem’s instructions as the waters of Elim are their next sojourn. 12 springs and 70 palm trees. First Seventy which is the value of Ayin representing the eye or the perception of consciousness. Partaking of the Tree of Life reality one sees clearly their place in the world in terms of their relationship to Hashem. This perception raises the consciousness much like wine (yai'in gematria equals 70) allowing us to perceive the secrets (sod also numbers 70) that Hashem has in store for us. As the sages used to say, "wine in, secret out." Twelve most significantly refers to the permuations of Hashem which are a part of the secrets that Israel enjoys here at Elim.
Every path inevitably leads to a decision over which bend or turn in the road to take. An individual has the ultimate responsibility for his thoughts in terms of which ones to follow and which ones to pass over and through. Here we find Israel in the wilderness of Sin murmuring again. They have turned towards doubt once again losing their trust in Hashem. Even after they have been given Hashem's instructions following the miracle at Marah they still don't get it. The group mind gives in to their unrest and Moses is troubled once more. Now the gift of the Sabbath is given to Israel. Even with this gift and plentiful food there are those who refuse to listen. This points out the persistence of the ego driven mind set that refuses to let go of doubt. The admonition is given then by Hashem.
Ex: 16:28 'And the LORD said unto Moses: 'How long refuse ye to keep My commandments and My laws?'
What are these laws and commandments? Moses hasn't yet been to Sinai to receive them. Why would Hashem expect Israel to follow something that hasn't been given to them yet? The answer is that they have already been given in the most direct way possible by Israel's experience now of the countless miracles they have been witnesses to. Here is the dynamic taking place. Thought cleaves to thought in direct proportion to our intention. Intention is the direction of thought that joins like thoughts together. Israel (those thoughts that seek freedom and want to cleave to Hashem unifying with the Tree of Life) has experienced this unity over and over again and yet they seem as strangers to it having to be reminded each time by Moses their liberator, of the right way to go. Coming out of Elim they had a chance to cleave to Hashem and gain immortality but this wasn't to be so. As we shall see each time it is the group mind or the mind of yetzer hara that gains the upper hand as Israel approaches the ultimate freedom of self-determination. This self-determination is the ability to choose the Tree of Life reality over the chaos of the world of the ego.
Hashem wants Israel to remember both his commandments and the miracles that come from him.
Ex: 16:33 And Moses said unto Aaron: 'Take a jar, and put an omerful of manna therein, and lay it up before the LORD, to be kept throughout your generations.'
This passage here tells us that Hashem will always care us for with all of our needs met and our lives filled to overflowing. What is laid up before Hashem is our pathway to connection. That is the constant message that Moses the liberator is both shown and attempts to show Israel. Through connection with Hashem we act and become everything our heart desires. It is a reminder as well that Hashem forever remains available to Israel.
Israel journeys out of the wilderness of Sin and while camped at Rephidim complain once again of thirst. This seems reasonable enough. After all Moses is leading the people why hasn't he found water for them? Moses asks a perplexing question of Hashem.
Ex 17:4 'What shall I do unto this people? They are almost ready to stone me.'
By this time Moses should have figured out how to produce water in the desert. The rod that Hashem instructed him to use is there for a purpose. Moses is ever the reluctant leader. What does Moses want from this people? This is a problem. Moses always faces the possibility that he will be drawn inside of mass consciousness and lose his ability to lead Israel. The obvious answer is what Hashem tells Moses to do. Strike the rock and bring forth the water. (The rock is the earth or our body seen as Malchus and the water is the connection of consciousness via the Shechinah with Hashem) Israel has not been unified in their awareness of each let alone with Hashem. There are still to many discordant thoughts floating around that band together to form these doubts. Israel's thirst however, is a very real thing. It is their thirst for Hashem that causes their discontent. Israel or our thoughts that seek unity want to partake of Hashem at every moment and not be left in the wilderness of the ego mind. This is an ongoing problem that Moses as liberator must deal with.
Following the miracle at Massah, and Meribah Israel comes face to face with their greatest enemy, Amalek.
In Deut. 25:17-19 we read: “Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt; How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God. Therefore it shall be, when the Lord thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget it.”
Amalek represents the antithesis of Israel's connection with Hashem. He shows up here to illustrate what happens when we repeatedly reject the fruits of Hashem that are given in response to our pleas for freedom. If we do not seek and cling to Hashem or to the higher wisdom of the Tree of Life our thoughts decay and find themselves bonding with the chaos of decay that seeks only annihilation. Then this chaos comes around to challenge our way to the Tree of life much life the flaming sword in Gan Eden challenges the seeker to choose the right way, the right thought in every encounter. When Moses holds his hands up symbolizing connection Israel triumphs. When Moses becomes tired and his hands are lowered, the connection with Hashem diminishes and Amalek appears to triumph.
The final verses of this portion conclude with:
Ex 17:14 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Write this for a memorial in the book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.'
Ex 17:16 And he said: 'The hand upon the throne of the LORD: the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.'
Hashem tells us that the remembrance of Amalek will be blotted out and yet in the succeeding verse we are told that the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation. How can we unify these two verses that seem to contradict each other. Israel is called to remember that first evil thought must be uprooted and blotted out. Otherwise it will grow and cause chaos in the mind, which will in effect war against its own best interests. This hand upon the throne of Hashem is our hand, our choices in thoughts we entertain and focus upon. If we choose the right way then it is Hashem that will focus our minds and hearts keeping back the chaos of the ego. We need do nothing but to always seek this connection with Hashem. In a nutshell this entire Parsha comes down to maintaining and aspiring to our connection with Hashem. This is the focus indeed of Torah and of the process of Kabbalah that is the adventurer of Torah discovery her hidden paths and adorning her with new meanings to discuss after midnight amongst the holy assembly in Gan Eden.