Friday, April 27, 2007

Parsha Acharei Kedoshim:

We are poised here in the contemplation of holiness the consideration of which presents a challenge to our idea of what is our true vision. If you want to know where it is in mind that you may go searching then this is a question that must be answered as well as a perception that must be entered into in order to be shown the right way of being. You have the choice of seeing clearly through a lens of perfect clarity or you may also choose to view your world through a kaleidoscope of images some true some illusory. In these kaleidoscopes there are mirrors of reflection that deflect the clear light of vision.

The mirrors of reflection: Herein you mind bounces around experiences like a ping-pong ball runs helter-skelter through the game maze. Everywhere you turn you are confronted with the images of yourself, as you perceive the world around you. If you do nothing to change this all of your influences cannot help but be a confused jumble of information. There is no direction to this flow only a letting loose of momentum that is sure to spend itself frivolously.

The clear light of vision: Your thoughts are directed with a purpose that is connected to holiness. Each time you imbue yourself with this holiness by listening intently for it your world and everything in it take on a greater meaning. We are surrounded by thought energy at every moment impinging upon our consciousness in waves of emotion.

Lev 16:2 and the LORD said unto Moses: 'Speak unto Aaron thy brother, that he come not at all times into the holy place within the veil, before the ark-cover which is upon the ark; that he die not; for I appear in the cloud upon the ark-cover.

The proscription on approaching the ark carries the deepest meaning of all. Torah is like a coat that you wear when the weather turns cold. If you were to simply take the coat off and examine it in the minutest details you would discover its composition in terms of the fibers of the coat, its intricate design, its colors and its weight. All this could of course occupy centuries of inquiry. However, all the while you were doing this you wouldn’t be taking advantage of the primary reason for the coat in the first place which is to keep you warm. In similar fashion these verse in Leviticus dazzle us with myriad descriptions of what to do and how to do it. The details are staggering. The difference in discovery becomes a left-brain right brain thing. One may analyze to their heart’s content or intuit these meanings according to the moment in which they become revealed.

Left Brain

Looks at parts

Right Brain

Looks at wholes

This discussion must therefore proceed using a combination of both disciplines concentrating on the Right Brain abilities to draw in this information as our coat from the above analogy draws the warmth within as a hedge against the weather. What we are talking about here is entering inside of holiness. This holiness is the moment of communion we experience as we reach up for Hashem and receive the answering inspiration. We cannot be sure of our steps here therefore we have to tread lightly in the process so as not to lose our connection. If we try to take this connection by storm so to speak we will lose it. We will become dead to it. Hashem tells Moses to tell Aaron how to approach. Moses represents the certainty of the way to connection. Moses achieves connection in the most dramatic fashion ever since the burning bush experience in Sinai.

Ex 4 And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said: 'Moses, Moses.' And he said: 'Here am I.'
5 And He said: 'Draw not nigh hither; put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.'
6 Moreover He said: 'I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.' And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.

Here is a wonderful metaphor for how each of us approaches holiness. It is ironic in the sense that all his life this is what Moses sought and then experiencing it he is afraid. This kind of thing happens to each of us in our search for connection. We experience this and then turn aside and like Adam in Gan Eden attempt to hide from Hashem. What is this turning away all about? It is the ego that doesn’t understand this communication. It is the left-brain association with the status quo that is fearful of this connection being afraid that it will become subsumed by such power and the awesome potential that this connection represents. Therefore Hashem or the connection itself tells Moses to teach Aaron about holiness and his approach to holiness so that he will not be afraid and be able to enter into connection completely. When Moses is told to take off his shoes it is because he was leaving the status quo or earthly way of looking at things. Aaron too must be prepared for holiness.

R. Apaisu and his donkey were walking down a country lane. Springtime was fully in bloom. The air was warm and intoxicating with scents and wonderful flying creatures buzzing and flitting here and there. It was just after noon and R. Apaisu found himself wishing for some cooling shade where he could enjoy his noon repast. No sooner did he have this thought when in the distance he spotted an oak grove around the bend to the right. Just as he came near to the trees his donkey chose that moment to do what donkeys do best which is to sit down on its haunches and start scratching its ears. The shade was no more than six feet away and R. Apaisu was tempted to simply go sit down and leave the donkey to its amusements however, it is never prudent to leave a donkey sitting there in the middle of the road. So he stayed with the donkey laughing at her comical efforts. The donkey looked up and heehawed sounding a little bit like a cross between an old wagon wheel creaking and that future donkey of renown the infamous Shrek. Eventually the she returned upright and hurried so quickly into the shade that R. Apaisu was taken by surprise. He was right in the middle of a reverie inspired by last nights meeting in Gan Eden with all of the sages. Curiously enough he remarked to himself as he followed a few steps until he was deep inside of the oak grove, even there in Gan Eden he remembered quite a few donkeys walking about in what seemed to be a discourse on humor and its relevance to Torah, especially when considering the portions in Leviticus but certainly applicable to the full range of Parshas studied throughout the year. It brought to mind an earlier discussion he had with Zov Tov perhaps the greatest Torah scholar Morocco had ever known and also a man whose heart overflowed with good will towards others. R. Apaisu sat down in the stillness and took out an apple and began to replay their conversation.

“Zov, one of my students was speaking with me the other day. He has such a problem with this double Parsha Acharei Kedushim and with Leviticus in general mainly because of all the blood and guts of the sacrifices. He loves animals and cringes at the seemingly senseless slaughter of these innocent creatures. What am I to tell him other than that this is the way it was and that this must be the right way as our sages tell us?” R.Apaisu asked sipping on some cool water taking away the heat of the day.

“R. Apaisu do you really think Hashem requires such things as sacrifices especially the taking life in such a gross manner? I know you’ll say they are humanely slaughtered according to all the rules of Kashrut. Still no one bothered to consult the animals about this did they? Aren’t meant to tend this garden and care for it in a responsible way? Let me change the subject for just a moment. What is the greatest thing that the holy one blessed be Elohim has ever given to us?” Zov Tov answered with his question.

“Zov I know well this answer we’ve discussed it many times before. Joy of course. This feeling of joy of simcha is our greatest treasure and the way that we may be assured that we are as one with the holiness that each of us feels within. In fact it is this very holiness that my student was speaking of having difficulty feeling when reading this Parsha.” R. Apaisu explained.

“Yes R. Apaisu I well understand this dilemma your student is having. Torah is a pretty serious matter isn’t it?”

“Well yes it is the most important document ever written,” R. Apaisu remarked. “There was a time when Torah was simply passed mouth to ear correct?”

“Yes and there are still stories from these times that are communicated just so.” Zov Tov answered him. “Listen you well know that there comes a time when the mind becomes so filled with the incongruity of events that it simply seeks escape and that escape is none other than the very holiness we are speaking. This holiness remains in such a stark contrast to the events depicted in this Parsha that any sensible person is directed immediately within this holy state of being. It is the contrast therefore that is being shown here,” Zov Tov told him while washing out his cup in a nearby cistern.

“You are right. It’s funny how Torah comes at you from within and without and so important as you always remind me about having a sense of humor. I used to make excuses for these sacrifices finding hidden meanings in the gematria of each word or repeated word but then I found that it all became even more convoluted so that I just wanted to get past these parts of the story. What you are saying then is that we have to jump past these gory details to get into the heart of holiness as Aaron was told to do when approaching the ark?” R. Apaisu asked.

“Yes exactly. You have hit upon something very profound. They don’t call you the Moroccan Menorah for nothing,” Zov Tov said as they both laughed. “I see this passage and others like it as a kind of a test for our intellect and indeed our higher natures. The temptation for the animal nature is to dwell upon these sacrificial deaths and to try and give meanings to them. It is very much like the ego to try and justify wrongdoing. However, when we see past these sacrifices as to what they are pointing to then the lesson is clear. It is holiness that we are to be imbued with pure and simple. Indeed ironically what this Parsha Acharei Kedoshim is telling us is that these sacrifices were never intended to persist as they did. The problems came about due to a literal interpretation of these passages. In the times of Moses the symbolism was very clear to these Children of Israel but now through the web of time and all of this whispering down the land what has been lost is the higher translation meant to bring us immediately into holiness. Thank you R. Apaisu. You always astound me with the keys you use to open the doors of Torah. It is remarkable that we have this friendship. It would have been enough to have been born just for this day to have this conversation with you,” Zov Tov walked over and embraced R. Apaisu. That afternoon quickly passed with more of their conversations until the silence of the night surrounded them.

R.Apaisu roused himself from his meditations of the day before and smiled to himself. He looked over at his donkey that was laying down relaxing over by a bush she had just picked clean. Most donkeys will sleep standing up but not this one. It took every opportunity to get off of its feet. The donkey looked over and snorted and R. Apaisu laughed and waved as the afternoon moved into twilight and the night birds began their songs.


Mark Siet

Thursday, April 19, 2007

I’ve gone beyond the known reaches of the farthest universe in this one. Funny thing is Torah guided my steps there as though I were a small child. A voice resounded in that far off distance saying, “Yes even here I am.” As our sages say it would have been enough if I were born just to listen endlessly to that voice repeating the Kedushah everywhere all at once and within everything. B’H”

Parsha Tazria:

All of our thoughts, words and actions have meanings and by extension the same goes true for our prayers for what are prayers but our intention to unify with the holiness above in the hopes of seeing that holiness appear in the form of an asked for wish that comes true. The paradigm is always the same. A thought appears and seeks expression first through bonding with other like thoughts and then as thought rises in vibrational level it approaches this holiness and becomes one with its creator. This is an unseen drama that takes place continuously within. Consciousness provides us with all of the dynamic processes to allow everything we think of to reach its physical counterpart in experience. Thought must image itself. This is the law of like follows like about which was written,

Gen 1:26 And God said: 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.'

Gen 3:22 And the LORD God said: 'Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever.'

The laws of leprosy concern the same topic of what is clean and what is not. This parsha continues that theme. The tie in here with Genesis concerns a determined direction that is either holy or is not. Imagine now that your thoughts pave the road before you in the greatest detail including the dotted line down the middle of the road separating each side of the road. This road has two directions and as we shall see it also contains many entrances and exits.

Zohar Tazria 137. Rabbi Yitzchak said, we learned that in "a plague of leprosy," plague harsh Judgment that rests over the world. Leprosy is closing, as we learned, which is a closing of the supernal light, shutting the supernal goodness from descending into the world. It "is in a man": man in general. "he shall be brought to the priest," the priest below, who is knowledgeable in opening that closing and kindling the lamps, (SFIROT), so that through him there will be blessings above and below, that plague shall be removed and gone, and the light of mercy will dwell on everything. For that reason, "he shall be brought to the priest."

The priest is not apart from you. It “is in a man”: man in general. Think about it like this. When you travel who makes the map leading to the destination. If you go off course who corrects this course and allows you to continue on your way. It is the priest the internal guide that unites you with your highest good or holiness. This priest is involved with all manners of holiness since it is through your connection with holiness that you even have the blessing of being on the road in the first place. One of the greatest lessons that are taught throughout Torah is that Torah itself is a map for your higher awareness to follow along with throughout your life experiences. In this way Torah then becomes the priest itself directing and guiding you along towards your innate purpose. Now what happens when you stray from your purpose? Torah is there to lead you back within and to allow you to rise up into holiness. The seven day periods that are repeatedly mentioned in Parsha Tazria symbolize the levels of ideation that run their courses when they are separated as we see the priest separated the victims of leprosy for these seven day periods of wait and see. Chaos is caused by attachments to negativity over a period of time. Leprosy is spoken of in Tazria and is described by the Zohar as a closing of the supernal light. When there is illness you may be sure that this evolves from a lack of connection. We close ourselves off by reacting to negativity. The light of the Sephiros shines from head to toe and may only be blocked or closed off by the taking of side trips. These side trips emanate from the world around us and are akin to pools of negativity that we are drawn into like the black holes draw in everything through its gravity wells. Thankfully unlike the black holes these Sephiros and their paths may be returned to time and time again. As it is said, ‘his mercy endures forever.’ We may return to the paths of doing what is right in terms of our connection.

What is right in terms of our connection? Think about where you want to be. Keep seeing this within. Now before you know it you will begin to feel as though you are exactly where you want to be. It is this feeling that acts as our connection between what is holy and that which attaches itself to holiness. Thoughts do not exist in a vacuum. They continue in their vibrations turning into the forms that they represent in consciousness. It is the unity of our thoughts with our experiences that raises this level of holiness to it highest level of purity. It is therefore our purpose in life to practice the unification of thoughts with experiences. We have within the priest to guide us in remaining on the pathway that leads to the highest purity. Intention promoted by Will guided by the feelings of holiness lead us in the Promised Land of our heart’s desire. In order to see it then we have to feel it. If we are not seeing it then we must return to basics in terms of our vision so we may see it and feel it through consciousness. These seven day periods are this return to basics avenue of contemplation wherein we reassess our situation and place our consciousness in line with the holiness prescribed by the priest within. In order then for Torah to most effective in turning back towards the unification of consciousness with its highest inspiration we have to relate every symbol to the relationships that our consciousness makes from moment to moment. The ultimate goal then becomes not only living a life that is continuously fulfilled but we also serve the primary purpose of Torah which is to lead us back into the holiness of Gan Eden where we are able to flow easily from one thought to another simultaneously experiencing those thoughts as feelings that are satisfied completely as we go from paradise to paradise.

As the Zohar describes above there are blessing that flow from above and from below due to the action of the priest (your inner feeling nature awakened to holiness) which causes all blockages to be removed allowing for the smooth inner flowing of thoughts into their respective idealized forms. All of this derives from ‘man in our image,’ the process of holiness reflecting itself from above through below. Where does the ‘Let us make’ part of this come in? Let us is a code for the combined Intention of Thought to reproduce itself in kind. In fact each time we fulfill this initial Intention Torah is restored in full so that looking at it from all of its many facets produces the unification of its primary Intention, which is YHVH.

Leprosy is alluded to above when it says ‘lest he put forth his hand.’ Why should there be a proscription against putting forth the hand of man? The reason is because Elohim is meant to flow unceasingly reproducing itself through its primary Intention YHVH. When man or the ego in today’s parlance seeks to usurp that primary influence he operates without the center of life and therefore by definition becomes expelled from Gan Eden. The Tree of Life represents all that Elohim has brought forth. The ego cannot be allowed to operate as a center of expression mainly due to the contradictions that are inherent in its makeup. The evidence that the ego gives is symbolized by the blockages that occur in our lives in every area like the leprosy that used to pop up in the wilderness from time to time. We have to realize that all of this takes place not amongst a people but within the mind of each person where consciousness takes on its many coats or colors. Therefore the primary lesson with Parsha Tazria turns out to be this:

Attach your Intention to holiness to reveal the flow of Elohim continuous in its presence all throughout your consciousness. Reserve for yourself periods of peace or silence away from the mass mind of outward things when you feel yourself blocked in any way. Remain like this until the blockages begin to disappear. Take the clothes you were wearing (those negative thoughts) and wash them in the purity of letting go or burn them with the fires of the purity of dissolution so that they may be no more. Then healed of blockages listen for the connection represented by your feelings when you are making your Intentions for the next moment so that all will be aligned with YHVH the primary One that issues from the unification of consciousness.

Many Blessings

Mark Siet

Friday, April 13, 2007

Parsha Shemini

You must have a direction in mind. For every course there must be a pathway that you may follow based upon where you want to end up. Without this pathway, focus or direction the mind will meander becoming subject to this or that flow depending upon the momentary strength of these currents that move all around us every day. By determining your direction in mind beforehand you are able to skirt these currents and proceed along the way of your intention arriving in time to congratulate yourself on keeping yourself on track throughout the entire journey.

Become aware of your background meditations and periodically seek to refresh your mentation actively providing positive emotions to provide a clear passageway for your intentions. Mind looks to emotion for its way forward. Mind and emotion may be described similarly to thunder and lightning. When emotion produces inspiration there is a connection with Infinity. This is the light about which was said ‘let there be.’ What follows then is thought bursting forth from this light as the thunder booms its crashes in the skies. In the case of thunder we hear its sound later because sound travels slower than light. The same thing happens with thought following the inspiration of emotion. We sometimes won’t recognize the connection between the two. In either the case of emotion and thought or lightning and thunder one must follow the other in due course although in truth both are simultaneously produced.

One might conjecture that when something happens it is because we had the thought that this something might occur however, what actually happens is that we have felt the truth of our being and turned towards that truth. Then we witness the outcome of those feelings that includes by the way everything that we thought about the way we felt and are feeling. The transformation that takes place within our emotions is the backflow of thinking where a negative thought is dismissed and a positive one emerges in its place.
Instrumental in these operations are what are called the seraphim and the chayoth ha kodesh. These are the transformative agents linking thoughts and emotions. It is how we move from unclean to holy.

So there are three operations we have now described. One is that of emotion occurring due to connection with the Divine or holiness. Two we have thoughts about this experience that leads to certain choices that we must make concerning which way to flow with those thoughts. Three we turn back towards holiness to remove the doubts that may have occurred due to our focus being reshaped by the field of mass mind all around us. There is a fourth operation that completes this cycle. This occurs when as a result of emotion thinking backflow and correction we see or experience the results in a flash of unity. We understand that were it not for the initial inspiration we would never have arrived at the moment of the demonstration of our intention. In our wisdom we recognize that thought may be transformed after its initial appearance to return its nature to that of the emotional state out of which it originally issued. At the moment of demonstration we know that what we have just witnessed is the essence of truth itself about which is said, ‘thou shalt have no other G-d before me.’

Okay now to link all of this together with this Parsha Shemini. The blood poured and dipped in the sacrifices symbolizes emotion. It is the life force of inspiration. Despite the gruesome details we have to understand that the symbolism of the Torah dates back before time when the Torah appeared in Gan Eden as living letters forming themselves in vines shaping the heart and soul of the world. Moses commands are the thoughts that direct the flow of emotions however, Moses cannot do any of this alone because Moses is thought itself subject at times to negativity. Nadab and Abihu represent the backflow of thought that turns itself into the transformative substance along with the incense offering in order to purify Israel or thought itself. Following their deaths the sacrifice can no longer be consumed in the prescribed manner as Aaron who is the progenitor of Nadab and Abihu refuses to partake of the meal in the sanctuary. What has taken place has been the spontaneous transformation of thought from impure to pure allowing for a complete healing of all thought meaning all of Israel. Moses at first challenges Aaron on this point but Aaron says to him enigmatically, Isn’t this pleasing to the LORD, where after Moses agrees that this is pleasing to him. Thought cannot be detached from connection that is the unity of thought must always have a central focus. This central focus is the LORD and even Moses who symbolizes thought has to go along with the natural events of the moment which was that Nadab and Abihu were translated into something higher and that the sacrifice was already pleasing by definition. The sacrifice is always the lower thought to the higher thought. In this way transformation is accomplished. The perception seemed to be that the LORD was angry with Nadab and Abihu because of their ‘strange fire’ but this is not the case. The strange fire turns out to be the instrument of transformation that is the ultimate goal of all of the sacrifices. It is strange and wonderful how these passages here really turn on Aaron’s comment to Moses.

Lev 10:19 And Aaron spoke unto Moses: 'Behold, this day have they offered their sin-offering and their burnt-offering before the LORD, and there have befallen me such things as these; and if I had eaten the sin-offering to-day, would it have been well-pleasing in the sight of the LORD?

Aaron is saying to Moses, listen even with the people’s offering there have befallen me such things as these that I should not try and complete the sacrifice in the prescribed manner. There is something else going on here Moses, don’t you get it. Then of course Moses says oh okay now I see. Yes it is pleasing to me.

This passage serves as the link between what is holy and what is clean. The animals, fish and fowl that are described continue this discussion of how thought sent forth by emotion may be either pure or impure.

What happens then on the eighth day besides all of the obvious things in our traditions? It is the day of transformation. It is the transformation between what is holy and what is unclean and then the process to go about making what is unclean holy. These transformations take place all the time within our thoughts and emotions. The trick is to recognize the flow of one into another and then the subsequent backflow of transformation that brings about the soul of intention. Most of the time we can perhaps remember the thoughts that we are thinking but we rarely pay attention to our emotions. Emotions then are the key to all of our transformations and indeed the very essence of connection to Hashem.

Lev: 9: 24 And there came forth fire from before the LORD, and consumed upon the altar the burnt-offering and the fat; and when all the people saw it, they shouted, and fell on their faces.

The people experienced the joy of transformation. This fire is the backflow of thought that reaches upwards for connection and as it achieved this connection all related thoughts are transformed in the glow of that connection. What the LORD consumes here are the gross parts of the matter or the body of the matter and its linking essence or the fats. Lower thoughts and everything then that hold together these lower thoughts are blinked out in the flash of the consuming fire. The consuming fire is the connection that reasserts itself in the mind allowing the awareness and celebration of the emotion of joy to transform all outward flows.

What does this mean to me practically? It means that I can change my thinking to initiate the backflow of thought for connection with the emotion of joy and I can also listen for that emotion of joy to understand to promote those thoughts that arise due to its pervasive influence. I change my mind by changing my emotions, which then change my life. It’s all good.


Mark Siet

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The following is my response to a recent dialogue I took part in called Is God Infinite or not.

Here is the thing. G-d is everywhere all at once right?
G-d must be inside of me and you at the same time in perfect unity would you agree?
We are becoming something more than we were before. Our entire being is expanding and growing in
G-d Consciousness. Isaiah 55:8 is a perfect example of this expansion.

If we accept that we cannot become like G-d then our experience of separation is complete and the only ones we end up fooling are ourselves. What this verse is pointing to is the experience of separation and yet surrounding this singular sentence are the visions (verses) of what we could become as an Infinite being. Our words would return to us perfectly in terms of the experiences we see as their result were we to be in the mind of G-d and not the consciousness of separation.

The following verses of Isaiah 55 illustrate this

Isaiah 55:1 Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye for water, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

When you are one with G-d all you need to do is to ask for what you will and it appears.

2 Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your gain for that which satisfieth not? Hearken diligently unto Me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.

G-d is calling us all of the time. If we resist there is separation. If we accept the Infinite into our lives our whole soul delights in this experience. Calling G-d and then trying to shield yourself from the Infinite is like praying for rain and then as soon as it comes taking out an umbrella so you don't get wet. The bread is our true connection with G-d that allows us to merge seamlessly with the Infinite.

3 Incline your ear, and come unto Me; hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.
G-d is calling us that our soul may live. G-d is calling us to that everlasting covenant. Don't you see that this covenant is none other than complete unity with G-d. The circumcision is the symbol of the letting go of separation. It is for this unity that as Jews we must heed the call. This Unity or Oneness is everlasting. How could it be otherwise?

4 Behold, I have given him for a witness to the peoples, a prince and commander to the peoples.
What did David show us through his psalms of love and deep understanding? It was his special connection to G-d that all Jews must aspire to. David experienced this unity. In a deeper sense David becomes the connection and the peoples are now known to be his thoughts. He was a commander of his thoughts. This is the only way through to connection and to unity. Our thoughts come in myriad ways but the consciousness of David shows us how to obtain rulership over our thoughts. This rulership means that we get to choose the thoughts we are thinking and let go of those thoughts that do us harm. David is the perfect example of choosing your life to lived in harmony and unity.

5 Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and a nation that knew not thee shall run unto thee; because of the LORD thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel, for He hath glorified thee.
What is this nation thou knowest not? It is your chosen thoughts that must come to be. What is the nation that knew not thee? It is the negativity of your reactive thoughts that must flee from the purpose of unity in which you are glorified or connected with the Unity of Hashem. It is the ego of separation.

6 Seek ye the LORD while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near;
The Infinite seeks connection with you and speaks to you all the time. Listen for this connection and bond with it especially when you feel it so close that it is wrapping itself around you like a tallis.

7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the man of iniquity his thoughts; and let him return unto the LORD, and He will have compassion upon him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.
Ah look here we are speaking about thoughts. It all comes together now doesn't it. Abandon wicked thought and return to the Lord. Return to thoughts of good that issue from the Lord and more perfectly when we return to the Infinite our wicked thoughts are made as nothing. In other words the karma that would have ensued were we to pursue these wicked thoughts will be taken away. There is a simple law of consciousness that states that our experiences are the result of our thinking or as above so below.

8 For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD
Okay now this verse and the above one may be understood more clearly. Righteousness or right thinking is the way of the LORD. In order to experience righteousness or right thinking we have to become one with G-d. Why is this such a scary thing? Well first of all you might fear losing yourself. In a way this is true but what you lose is your ego, the small mind that reacts to things and doesn't seek unity and only seeks separation. Think about it like this. Yes G-d is Infinite but wants to experience everything in the minutest detail. That minutest detail includes you and me and our personalities and the particular gifts we were meant to share with each other. The Lord wants to experience your artistic expression, your love of life, your passion for Torah, your bliss, your love of family and all that is good. This experience becomes all the more intensely satisfying the more singular it becomes because to express that joy of connection is the purpose of Jewish life exemplified in recent times by the Bal Shem Tov. Communion. Unity. These are the thoughts of G-d. (I took a while getting there. I hope it was as much fun for you as it was for me:)

9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.
Once again we speak of thoughts to punctuate this teaching. How beautiful is this and what a great aspiration we have here. We will always rise higher in the mind of G-d. Because this is the Infinite our ways of connection must continue to grow. As much as we are inspired now by the moment's revelation how much more so will we be raised within as our thoughts turn from separation and become one with the consciousness G-d.

10 For as the rain cometh down and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, except it water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, and give seed to the sower and bread to the eater;
Here is why we aspire to make this journey within each moment. Our lives literally depend upon it. The rain that waters the earth are those thoughts we think that flourish and bear fruit as the sower reaps his seed in time and we become the partaker of the consciousness not only of what we are thinking but also of the food of that thought.

11 So shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, except it accomplish that which I please, and make the thing whereto I sent it prosper.
Once again the idea is reiterated in case we weren't sure where the author was going with this. Our thoughts bear their fruit . When we are in the mind of G-d the same thing is promised to us. That is why this particular prophet could speak like this because his mind was aligned with G-d and he himself had this experience. Have you never experienced thinking something and then seeing it appear? It is the experience of the Infinite. The prophet is not only showing us the way but also showing us the results of the way.

12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
It really does all start with joy and the certainty of connection. This is a conceptual reality that is to be aspired to and yes attained. Joy is the fulfillment of certainty and why you can say as in the previous verse whatever words that go forth from my mouth shall accomplish the thing where unto it was sent. It is the big YES of consciousness that says Unity and once there or even close my life takes on the impress of my thinking.

13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall be to the LORD for a memorial, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.
In conclusion the prophet tells us that even though we have made mistakes in our thinking as long as we turn from these mistakes and seek the unity of the Lord even to complete connection our thoughts will not produce the evil that would have come were we to have continued to lose sight of G-d. Instead as a direct result of our connection to the Infinite even to becoming one with the Infinite we will always be able to turn around our negative karma. G-d is always there within us, without us.

It is my opinion that as Jews we were born to throw off the shackles of separation, the Egypt of the ego and to unify with Infinite Consciousness within. We have the responsibility to realize I believe that every part of our being is unified with G-d. Our lives I have always thought are a direct result of this experience of unity with this Infinity within.

You say we can never get too close. Ah don't you see you are holding up that umbrella again asking for G-d but G-d forbid you can't get too close. You do get what you ask for. If you want to experience G-d from afar aways knocking on the door but never entering then you'll keep thinking that you can't get too close and consciousness will agree with you and show you all kinds of reasons why you are right. As you believe so it is shown to you. If however you reach up with faith unto heaven you will then be lifted up and filled with so much connection that it will spill forth from you like the morning dew drips off the myriads of blades of grass repeat this process every day. Amazingly all of this is in Torah depending upon the cipher you use to unravel its meanings.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Bahir 200

It is interesting that this final verse of the Bahir concludes with a discussion of the Other as described in the previous commentary. This is of course a study that cannot have any end. Our meditations continue and yet here we find out what is most important of all. Let’s see what develops.

Bahir Verse 200. His disciples asked: Tell us how this took place. He replied: The wicked Samael made a bond with all the host on high against his Master. This was because the Blessed Holy One said [regarding man] (Genesis 1:26), "And let him rule over the fish of the sea and the flying things of heaven." [Samael] said, "How can we cause him to sin and be exiled from before God?" He descended with all his host, and sought a suitable companion on earth. He finally found the serpent, which looked like a camel, and he rode on it. He then went to the woman and said to her (Genesis 3:1), "Did God also say, from all the trees of the garden [you shall not eat]?" [He said, "I know that He did not forbid all the trees,] but I will seek more - I will add in order that she should subtract." She replied, "He did not stop us from anything besides" (Genesis 3:2) "the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden. God said, 'Do not eat from it and do not touch it, lest you die.'" She added two things. She said, "from the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden," while [God] had only said (Genesis 2:17), "from the Tree of Knowledge." She also said, "do not touch it lest you die," [while God had only spoken of eating it]. What did Samael do? He went and touched the tree. The tree cried out and said, "Wicked one, do not touch me!" It is thus written (Psalm 36:12), "Let not a foot of pride overtake me, and let not the hand of the wicked move me. There have the workers of iniquity fallen - they are thrust down, they cannot rise." He then said to the woman, "See, I touched the tree and I did not die. You can also touch it and not die." The woman went and touched the tree. She saw the Angel of Death approaching her and said, "Woe is to me. Now I will die and the Blessed Holy One will make another woman and give her to Adam. I will therefore cause him to eat with me. If we die, we will both die, and if we live, we will both live." She took the fruit of the tree and ate it, and she also gave some to her husband. Their eyes opened and their teeth were set on edge. He said, "What is this that you have given me to eat? Just as my teeth were set on edge, so will the teeth of all [future] generations be set on edge." [God then] sat down in true judgement, as it is written (Psalm 9:5), "[You have upheld my cause, You have sat on the throne as a] righteous Judge." He called to Adam and said "Why do you flee from Me?" [Adam] replied (Genesis 3:10), " 'I heard Your voice in the garden' - and my bones trembled. 'I was afraid because I was naked, and I hid.' I was naked of works, I was naked of commandments, and I was naked of deeds." It is therefore written "because I was naked, and I hid." What was Adam's garment? It was a skin of fingernail. As soon as he ate from the fruit of the tree, this skin of fingernail was removed from him, and he saw himself naked. It is thus written (Genesis 3:11), "Who told you that you were naked? [Did you eat from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from it?]" Adam said to the Blessed Holy One, "Master of all worlds: When I was alone, did I ever sin before You? But the woman that You placed with me enticed me from your word." It is thus written (Gensis 3:12), "The woman that you placed with me [gave it to me, and I ate]." The Blessed Holy One said to her, "Is it not enough that you sinned? But you also caused Adam to sin." She replied to Him, "Master of all worlds: The serpent enticed me to sin before You." [God] took the three of them, and decreed upon them a sentence of nine curses and death. He then cast the wicked Samael and his group from their holy place in heaven. He cut of the feet of the serpent and cursed it more than all the other animals and beasts of the field. He also decreed that it must shed its skin every seven years. Samael was punished and made the guardian angel over the wicked Esau. In the Future, when God uproots the Kingdom of Edom, he will lower him first. It is thus written (Isaiah 24:21), "God will punish the host of heights of high." This statement, death and punishment all came because she added to the commandment of the Blessed Holy One. Regarding this it is said, "Whoever increases diminishes."

Commentary: First of all ‘Samael made a bond with all the host on high against his Master.’ Samael represents the idea that there may be anything separate from the unity of Creation. In essence it is the thought of separation where no separation may possibly exist. Call it the dream then of separation. The hosts are all of those reasons why we think that we are separate from the unity of Creation. The reason given here is because ‘man was given rulership over the fish of the sea and the flying things in heaven.’ What we are saying here is that man gets to choose his thoughts symbolized by the fish in the sea and man also gets to align and choose his thoughts from the highest of all aspirations; those thoughts which emanate from the fount of holiness itself which ties in with the flying things of heaven.

Next the serpent descends with his host and finds a suitable host. Do not read a specific woman in Eve but rather think about the creative principle that accepts the seed of the Creator. This Creative principle is well established in Eve as first mother or representative of the earth through which all that is may come to be. The error seems to occur because of a lack of discrimination; the same error that occurs when we take negative thoughts to heart and make them our own resulting in experiences that are negative in nature. What is claimed here is that Eve accepted or became a part of was the possibility of chaos or death through the adherence to negativity that the Serpent as representative of negative thinking presents to her or as in the previous verse’s example has intercourse with her. As a result of this Eve embodies the ideas of negativity by tasting of the fruit of karma. Eve now sees the results of her actions but because she has not attached herself first to the Tree of Life her ability to recover from such actions is limited. Therefore Eve engages Adam in this drama in order to provide ironically a way out of the dilemma of negative karma. Disregard the midrash about the Tree crying out above it is a blind leading you away from the central issue.

When Eve offers Adam the fruit it is because she experiences the wonders of wisdom and wants to share it with Adam. This is the natural dynamic of how Creator and Creation work together in a spiral of inspiration, understanding and fulfillment. What we see above that comes next is the antithesis of Creation and Creator. It gives us the thought forms that have resulted in countless misinterpretations of these particular verses. Here we are moving along with a smooth flow of give and take and let there be and there was when this serpent comes along. The serpent is an obvious invention of the lesser mind of man exhibiting the lesser qualities of men such as guilt, projection, punishment and sin. This is a far cry from the omnipotent Creator who has called the entire play of being into manifest existence. No we have definitely taken a left turn here into the wilderness of doubt where guilt and manipulation are the watchwords of the inhabitants here. Forget about the free will of Eve and Adam. Nowhere in the text does it mention that Elohim or YHVH Elohim created, formed or made man with free will. Man was made into the image of a soul that was breathed into life and then planted there in the garden. The entire incident that occurs after G-d questions Adam and Eve is a classic example of projection. Adam blames Eve and Eve blames the serpent and then all three are punished. Where is the lesson here for all of us? There must be thread that can indeed redeem this tale from its lowly desserts.

The lesson here is this. Both Creator and Creation are within each of us. When we reach upwards in mind initiating our connection with the Creator we are beginning a process exactly like that described in the opening lines of Bereshis. When we reach up it is Elohim choosing out of the darkness of the deep the light of Creation. We choose what we want to experience. As we choose our experiences they grow in their reflection to what we have chosen. Eventually or immediately they become in the image of their maker, which is the Elohim or Creator-Creation paradigm living inside of us. Out of this image then flow the events of our lives. What is the glitch here then with this serpent? It is the interruption of the divine connection in order to pursue a side track. Man is meant to penetrate the depths of knowledge. His very nature calls out for this from the moment he is born. What this serpent incident illustrates is man’s own doubt about the Creator-Creation that reside within him Because of this doubt man is led into all kinds of dead ends that may all have been avoided if he followed the instructions of the initial voice that speaks to him in the Garden. This voice of YHVH Elohim however sets up the entire program of events including the final act of punishments that are issued. It isn’t man or woman who has strayed from the Garden per se it is our conception of holiness that becomes compromised via the agency of the Serpent which is simply the side trip taken away from our heart’s desire and towards something that most definitely does not resonate inside of us. The truth comes through here somewhat unexpectedly. Man is not guilty at all. It is the accuser known as the serpent that introduces the idea of separation but this accuser cannot be viewed apart from YHVH Elohim because it turns out to be YHVH Elohim, LORD G-d that prosecutes man, woman and the serpent and then carries out the sentence as well. With every question that YHVH Elohim asks the man or the woman He instills even more doubt until filled with doubt they are subject to every punishment the LORD G-d would send upon them. There can be only one way out of this doom and that is to reestablish the connection between Creator and Creation within the mind of man. In this way the accuser never get to rise up and become LORD G-d issuing punishments and yes taking away man’s free will. Man’s free will is to be made in the image of Elohim in perfection seeing the thoughts of his making in the forms of his experience. There isn’t any concept or doubt that has the power to dominate the mind of man unless he allows it to occur. G-d accuses the woman because she initiates the act at the serpents urging. Woman or Eve represents Creation. Creation takes on the forms of the Creator. LORD G-d might very well punish the bread for rising or the grass for growing. No we have to understand that LORD G-d or YHVH Elohim represents a level of divinity that rules only when man opts out of the picture. You see what happened was this. Man is made in the image of Elohim which imbues him with all that is Elohim meaning Creation and Creator all rolled into one. Doubt comes along for whatever reasons and man loses that innate connection with holiness. Instead of ascribing all of his (man’s) actions to his own thinking he projects his mistakes on a living G-d taking his own power of redemption and passing it along to G-d in order that he may now blame
G-d so to speak for his problems as in thy will be done. Lifetimes are spent where individuals appear from time to time to let us know about our personal responsibility in building the Garden and then these personalities fade away leaving only the barest traces of their wisdom behind to decipher beyond the reaches of time.

Okay what is the end game in this time of beginning when things appear to go wrong. We do admittedly have a complex problem simply because of the various levels of divinity we are shown. First there is Elohim and then YHVH Elohim. Elohim is the unity of Creator and Creation rolled into one. YHVH Elohim turns out to be something else because as soon as man is on the scene this combination of YHVH Elohim appears. This gives us a clue to both the problem and the solution. What man may conceive he will encounter. The problem is in the conception. The voice of YHVH Elohim is outside of man who tries to hide from this voice. This is the concept that there could ever possibly be anything outside or other to our experience. This concept is separation. It is the separation of G-d and man as distinct units with man then becoming subservient to
G-d. It is a misreading of the truth of what is really happening in the universe. The cure for this misconception is to realize that there is nothing outside of us. Creator and Creation reside within. Everything that we conceive of across the board is exactly the way we are going to experience the world. If we believe there are outside forces operating either in our behalf or against us then that is how our experiences will be reflected to us. As long as we believe in the separation of Creator and Creation then we will never be able to unify within ourselves these ancient concepts of being. If we on the other hand take responsibility for our thoughts and actions within and realize that there is nothing outside of ourselves then by changing our minds we can not only make a difference in our own lives but we will see that difference reflected in the lives of those around us. Of course this is assuming that we intend to work positively on our growth along the lines of unifying both Creator and Creation within.

This verse really then is about what to do about negative thinking as it is interfering with your own experience of those thoughts you hold highest such as what you would like to your life to be about. The negative thoughts can be cut off as easily as YHVH Elohim cuts off the feet of the serpent. The punishments then that are meted to Adam and Eve may be seen as making it increasingly more difficult for these negative thoughts to arise in our consciousness casting them below us in order to rise above their influences. This is the key to every connection that we make on high. The primary focus is our highest good and that good is represented then by the Unity of Creator and Creation which cannot be a cause for separation in our thoughts or in the way we expect our lives to be experienced.

The Bahir represents another way of reaching through Torah to discover what our minds are inventing. It goes past the midrashim that either precede or follow its verses. It is a tool for connection with our highest awareness. When we may use of this tool every line of Torah becomes illuminated in a new fashion. The truth is that if I were to start over from verse one of these selections I would most likely come up with more insights. This is because it is the very nature of consciousness to continuously discover itself in the light of its current reflections. I am not going to do this because there are other areas of discovery awaiting my adventurer within just as for you there are other ways of finding out who you are and what your relationship to Torah and life is all about. Until we meet again then. Many blessings.

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