By Ariel Ben Avraham “Then came the word of the Lord by Haggai the prophet, saying: ‘Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your covered houses. And this House ruined? And now, thus said the Lord of hosts, consider your ways.” (Haggai 1:3-5)
We have said that a house represents our consciousness because it is the place where we dwell in our existence. All we believe we are and have are store in that house. This is also the house where we are commanded and destined to have a place for our Creator to dwell among (in) us. He speaks through the Prophet to make us reflect on what we store in our consciousness, and what we build as its roof in order to protect it. God asks us what is more important to us, the house covered by our own beliefs, ideas, thoughts and feelings as the by-product of ego’s fantasies and illusions, or the House where He dwells in us. What makes us build a house of our “own”, and forget about the House of God erected in the highest level of consciousness? He invites us to reflect on the answer to this question.
“You all have sown much and brought in little; you eat but not to satiety. To drink but you are not filled with drink; you clothe yourselves, but there is no warm; and he who hires himself out, is hiring himself for a bag pierced through.” (1:6)
God knows our answer. We do know that anything coming from false beliefs and feelings of lack out of ego’s fantasies and illusions will never satisfy us completely. We also know what really fulfills the destiny prepared for us by the Creator, and the true meaning of life. If we disregard Love’s ways and attributes as our Essence and true identity and also as the means to manifest God’s Love in His will, ways and Commandments, we remain in ego’s predicament.
The negative trends of consciousness such as envy, lust, greed, coveting, arrogance, indifference and indolence, as the traits that represent the Canaanite nations, keep us away from Love’s qualities. This negative approach to life is usually the trigger to fill the house of consciousness with desires, fantasies, illusions and mirages that by their nature will never satiate what we really yearn for in life: Love as the material manifestation of God’s Love that truly satiates all we want to be, have and do, which are precisely Love’s ways, means, qualities and attributes.
“Go up to the hill-country, and bring wood, and build the House; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, says the Lord.” (1:8)
As we build the house of our consciousness as the House of God with His ways and attributes that are His Glory, these will manifest in what we believe, think, feel, have and do. This is how we praise and glorify the Divine Essence from which all was created, by being and doing what He wants for us. This is the way to understand and live our Essence and true identity.
“You looked for much, and lo, it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew upon it. Why? says the Lord of hosts. Because My House is ruined, while you are running each to his own house.” (1:9)
Our Creator reminds us repeatedly the consequences of our decisions, and it is always up to us making the choice to return to Him through His ways. As we plant ego’s fantasies and illusions in the fields of feelings of lack, Love’s ways and attributes will remain away from us.
“Therefore over you the heavens have refrained from dew, and the land has refrained her produce.” (1:10)
We reiterate in most of our commentaries in this blog that the order of nature in the material world is based on cause and effect. Our Sages teach that the Divine Name Elokim (misspelled to honor God’s Name) is related to the order in which nature works, and Havaya (to replace the unpronounceable four letter Name of God) is related to the ruling Divine power over His Creation and therefore associated to His loving kindness and compassion. In the order of cause and effect we unfold our life. As we sow, we reap.
In this context the absence of Love’s attributes has direct consequences. We don’t have them or enjoy them as the dew and rain for our purpose and endeavors when we devote our consciousness to anything different from them. Thus the goodness that life is refrains from bringing in what we want to be, have and do.
“The word that I covenanted with you when you all came out of Egypt, and My Spirit remains among you; fear not.” (2:5)
God’s Love is the seal of His Covenant with us, the people He delivered from the most abject slavery. His Love as His Spirit remains always with us, hence we have nothing to fear. In a deeper meaning, as long as God’s Love is with us, what we remotely may lack? What may make us fear? Fear indeed is the opposite of Love. All fears come from beliefs or feelings of lack. We feel defenseless and needy out of believing or feeling that what we are and have is not enough. The cure, as king David the bearer of the Messianic Consciousness tells us, is to trust God. We do it by knowing Him in all His ways.
“(…) and I will shake all nations, and the choicest things of all nations shall come, and I will fill this House with glory, says the Lord of hosts. Mine is the silver, and Mine the gold, says the Lord of hosts.” (2:7-8)
We remark again that the Messianic Consciousness is the means through which we transform negative tendencies and all that opposes Love’s ways and attributes. These are the shakers and movers that rectify and redirect all facets of life. These are the ones that bring up the goodness we can harvest in life. These are the ones to fill our consciousness, so God’s Love also fills it as His House. After all, everything comes from His Love.
In this sense, His gold and silver are His ways and attributes to build and become aware of our permanent bond with Him. Our true freedom and Final Redemption are peace as totality and completion. Peace that only comes from God’s Love.
“Greater is the Glory of this latter House than of the former, says the Lord of hosts. And in this place I give peace, says the Lord of hosts.” (2:9)
Here we have to share the words of Maimonides regarding the Third and final Temple of Jerusalem, which will last forever. He says that the First Temple was destroyed due to murder, incest and idolatry; the Second was destroyed due to uncalled for hatred, and the Third will be built on uncalled for Love in order to last forever. Its Glory is greater than the previous House, for the blessing of God’s Peace will be there.
- Ariel Ben Avraham
- Haifa, Southern Galilee, Israel
- Ariel Ben Avraham (f. Zapata) was born in Cartagena, Colombia in 1958. After studying Cultural Anthropology in Bogotá moved to Chicago in 1984 where he worked as a television writer, reporter and producer for 18 years. In the 1990’s he produced video documentaries related to art, music, history and culture such as “Latin American Trails: Guatemala” distributed by Facets.org. Most of his life he studied ancient spiritual traditions and mysticism of major religions, understanding the mystic experience as the individual means to connect with Divinity. Since 2004 he studies and writes about Jewish mysticism and spirituality mainly derived from the Chassidic tradition, and the practical philosophy of the teachings of Jewish mystic Sages. The book “God as Love” is the compilation of his last years studying and learning Jewish mysticism, and the messages of the book are part of the content, exercises and processes of a series of seminars, lectures and retreats that he facilitates in Israel.