Ariel Ben Avraham – Ecclesiastes: The illusion of vanity and the reality of love (XXXV)
Ecclesiastes: The illusion of vanity and the reality of love (XXXV)
“And if man lives many years, in all of them let him rejoice. And remember the days of darkness, for they are many, [for] all that is coming [from it] is vanity.”
Here we have to make a clear choice, either darkness of light. We enjoy life in the goodness that nurtures it, and thus we rejoice in the days of our years. In this chosen reality we confront the darkness with its vanities and futility and lighten them up with the light of goodness, and turn their negative trends into new opportunities to make the positive prevail.
“Rejoice, young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth, and walk in the ways of your heart, and in the sight of your eyes; but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.” (11:9)
We must understand childhood and youth as the years of a care free enjoyment of life, for these are the times to rejoice in goodness. Thus we relate youthful thoughts and childlike innocence as joyful expressions of goodness that make the hearts happy.
In our heart dwell our thoughts, emotions and feelings as the ways in which we walk. Thus we look forward to enjoy the vibrant joy of goodness to live away from its opposites.
God’s love reminds us that our choices have effects and consequences that eventually bring us to their judgment. Once we make negative choices, these bring us to their also negative ends. Thus we understand that “evil is the punishment itself”.
Let’s be always aware that God does not judge our transgressions. Our transgressions judge our awareness or unawareness of their consequences. It is simply a matter of cause and effect, for thus is the way of the ethical principle inherent to God’s creation.
“And turn aside anger from your heart, and put away evil from your flesh; for youth and the age of life are vanity.” (11:10)
In this context we must remove negative thoughts, feelings and emotions, along with their evil expressions from our consciousness. Here “youth” is referred as ignorance and inexperience in regards to negative traits and trends in the vanities of ego’s fantasies and illusions.
“Remember also your creators in the days of your youth, before the evil days come, and the years draw near, when you will say, ‘I have no pleasure in them’. Before the sun, the light, the moon, and the stars are darkened, and the clouds return after the rain.” (12:1)
Here the “creators” are the principles by which we are formed and educated in our childhood and youth, “before the evil days come” when we have to confront negativity and make the right choices. These are the days in which a strong and positive education enables us to realize that there is no pleasure in fantasies and illusions, but only in the goodness of love’s ways and attributes. In the light of goodness we can face with success the darkest moments.
- Ariel Ben Avraham
- Kochav Yaakov, Safed, northern 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 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