Ariel Ben Avraham

Parshat Bereshit: The light is good

“And God saw the light that it was good, and God separated between the light and between the darkness.” (Genesis 1:4)

Light is the principle and the reference of God’s creation because through light we perceive, conceive, understand and assimilate every trait, dimension and aspect of creation. In the absence of light we simply can’t live in the true and real essence of all that is outside and within us.

Light as a metaphor reveals to us the nature of darkness, that which conceals light. In this sense, actually all is light we perceive either fully revealed or concealed in the darkness. Hence it is up to us to reveal light, and this choice is indeed the main one God teaches us, as we read in the Torah how He made His creation.

Light is the first lesson the Creator of all wants us to learn and embrace as the fundamental principle we must implement in all dimensions of consciousness. We say this because, as we already mentioned, it is clear that light is the principle and the reference to reveal and discover the real essence of God’s creation which includes each one of us.

Light unfolds and leads to understanding, wisdom and knowledge, guiding our discernment to “clarity” about something in order to “clarify” its reason and purpose in life. Thus we understand that light is good, because it is the foundation to tell the difference between goodness and that which either conceals, denies, rejects or even fight goodness.

This is how we understand light as the opposite of darkness. Light as discernment becomes the premise and reference to tell the difference between what is clear as positive, and what is dark as negative.

“Light shall shine on your ways.” (Job 22:28)

In a practical approach, light indeed is the truth we are destined to pursue and enthrone in all aspects of consciousness, and this truth is what the Creator teaches us to pursue as the reference and the choice we destined to become.

In this sense light is the reason of God’s creation, and light is the purpose of life because is the blessing of life. We are blessed when the light is in us, with us, and for us.

Let’s be fully aware that light is the first and foremost principle of God’s creation that precedes the rest of His creation. God created us out of His light to teach us that we are light in order to be light and live in light, and the sole purpose of darkness is for us to realize what light is.

God’s love created us with free will, which re-quires something different than light in order to recognize and appreciate it. This is what we mean when we say that darkness, evil and negativity are references and not choices, because the real choice is light as goodness and positive qualities.

Hence it makes perfect sense that God calls the light good, and it also makes perfect sense for us to pursue the light as the goodness we see and experience in love’s ways and attributes, because these are contained in the goodness of God’s light which is also God’s love in its abstract divine form.

As God shapes His creation we learn how He relates to it, and this defines for us His ways and attributes we must embrace in our consciousness. This is the meaning of being created in His image and likeness, because these are the ways He reveals Himself to us. Therefore our essence and identity are defined as the image and likeness He states twice in the Torah.

“And God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness’ (…) And God created man in His image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:26-27)

This is sweetly reaffirmed by infusing His own essence, His breath, within us.

“And the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and He breathed into his nostrils the soul of life, and man became a living soul.” (2:7)

God is the source of all life, and this is our greatest blessing, because He is the blessing.

“And God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it (…)” (1:28)

This commandment reveals that we, as His creatures endowed with life coming from Him, are also endowed to generate life. Then the purpose of life is to create life and expand life (see in this blog our commentaries on parshat Bereshit: “Let there be Light!” of October 6, 2015 and “In the Beginning” of October 14, 2014).

Through life we fill the earth as the field of the material reality we are also commanded to subdue in all its aspects and expressions. Let’s be aware that the material world has particular qualities that make it different from other dimensions of God’s creation.

God built the material world with rules different from non-material worlds, and under those rules we are commanded to fill the earth and subdue it.

In a deeper meaning, we are bound to the forces of nature and levels of consciousness that comprise intellect, mind, thought, emotions, feelings and instinct, that we are commanded and destined to subdue for the purpose of life under the guidance of our Creator.

“Now the Lord God took the man, and He placed him in the garden of Eden to work it and to guard it.” (2:15)

Human life has a divine purpose in which we have to work in order to fulfill such purpose.

“And God saw all that He had made, and behold it was very good, and it was evening and it was morning, the sixth day.” (1:31)

Life as well as the entire creation is in-deed very good, and because of this we have to guard it, we have to protect it. Goodness is something that we have to work on and guard on. In this context, the garden of Eden represents the “very good” qualities of life in our consciousness, which we must build and protect as the goodness of light revealed to us in the material world.

We read this first portion of the Torah, and in its verses we see the goodness of God and the goodness of His works. We realize that the cause of God’s creation is goodness for the purpose of goodness, as an expression of His love for the purpose of love. This is the identity God creates for us to be good in order to honor being His image and likeness.

God tells us in His Torah that we come from Him, from His light, from His love, and from His essence He breathed into us to make us live and experience the goodness of His creation. This is who we are, and what we are destined to experience and fulfill.

God’s love has a purpose, and love as its material manifestation also has a purpose, which is to know God and reveal His presence concealed in the darkness we are commanded and destined to dissipate with the light we are made of.

Instead of falling down under the illusions of darkness and remain trapped in them, let’s awake to the awareness of light and love as our true essence and identity.

About the Author
Ariel Ben Avraham was born in Colombia (1958) from a family with Sephardic ancestry. He studied Cultural Anthropology in Bogota, and lived twenty years in Chicago working as a radio and television producer and writer. He emigrated to Israel in 2004, and for the last fourteen years has been studying the Chassidic mystic tradition, about which he writes and teaches. Based on his studies, he wrote his first book "God's Love" in 2009. He currently lives in Zefat.
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