Ariel Ben Avraham – Ecclesiastes: The illusion of vanity and the reality of love (XVI)
“Do not allow your mouth to cause sin to your flesh, and do not say before the messenger that it is an error. Why should God be angered with your voice and destroy the work of your hands? For despite many dreams and vanities and many words, only fear God.” (Ecclesiastes 5:5-6)
The “sin to our flesh” means that we put into our individual consciousness that which is not who we are or what we are not supposed to be.
If we stop living in the ways and attributes of goodness, then we live a life (“flesh”) in whatever way we choose. Once we make our choices, these speak for ourselves and we can’t say that “it is an error” to whom we deal with.
“If you have been wise, you have been wise for yourself; and [if] you have scorned, you bear it yourself.” (Proverbs 9:12312)
God’s “anger” is nothing but our own separation from His ways and attributes. In this separation we destroy the goodness we are supposed to be, to have and manifest. Let’s be aware that God does not get “angry” and “destroy” what we are and do.
The verse is telling us in a rhetorical way that God does not interfere with our choices and decisions, including those instigated by the vanity and futility of ego’s fantasies and illusions. These are the real cause of our anger for their destruction of our essence and true identity, which is only goodness.
“Your own wickedness shall correct you, and your backsliding shall reprove you. Know therefore and see that it is a wicked thing and bitter, that you have forsaken the Lord your God, and that My fear is not in you’, says God, the Lord of multitudes.” (Jeremiah 2:19)
Thus we realize that the way we revere (“fear”) God is living with, in, by and for the ways ad attributes of goodness which are the opposite of “dreams”, “vanities” and empty “words” of ego’s fantasies and illusion. Despite the many of them, goodness transcends them all as the psalmist reminds us.
“There are many thoughts in the heart of man, but the counsel of the Lord prevails.” (Psalms 19:21)
Kings David and Solomon invite us to focus on what really matters in life, but even more, what gives meaning and purpose to life which are the qualities and expressions of goodness as the counsel that prevails.
Instead of wasting life in the materialistic fantasies and illusions in “the heart of man” that are our “many (countless) thoughts”, let’s live in goodness as our true purpose in this world.
Kochav Yaakov, Shomron (Samaria), IsraelAriel 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 20 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 the Creator of all. 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’s Love” is the compilation of many years studying and learning Jewish mysticism. The messages of his book are part of the content, exercises and processes of a series of seminars, lectures and retreats that he facilitates in Israel.