Parshat Shelach: Directing our life in God’s love

Settling in the Promised Land (living in the truthfulness of God’s ways and attributes) is an endeavor that virtually takes a lifetime. We all know that life in the material world is not an easy task, hence some call it a blessing and some call it a curse depending on how easy or hard it may be or turn to be.

In the case of the Promised Land, the endeavor carries a learning process aimed to create a space for the Creator to dwell with us. This mission is ours, in the sense that it depends only on our free will. It is a choice that we either make or not.

In this context, it is clear that one thing are God’s commandments and another is to fulfill them on our own free will. It is part of human nature, and the choices we make are the result of what we want in our life. It is not about what we need to do, but what we want to do.

Moses, our teacher, knows quite well the fabric with which the Creator made us and he acts accordingly. He, as the representative of our highest awareness of the Creator and His love, has to lead the higher aspects of consciousness as the ones that must direct the remaining dimensions of life.

The Creator then commands Moses.

“(…) ‘send for yourself (shelach lecha) men who will scout the Land of Canaan, which I am giving to the children of Israel. You shall send one man each for his father’s tribe; each one shall be a chieftain in their midst.” (Numbers 13:2)

Moses sends those who are the most able to get acquainted with the traits, qualities and expressions of every level of consciousness in order to direct them into the goodness of God’s ways and attributes.

“You shall see what land it is, and the people who inhabit it; are they strong or weak? Are there few or many? And what of the land they inhabit? Is it good or bad? And what of the cities in which they reside are they in the fields or in fortresses? (13:18-19)

These referring to the nature of our thoughts, ideas, beliefs, habits, moods, tendencies, emotions, feelings, passions, and instincts.

Life indeed is good, regardless the negative approach to it we may have at one point, and ultimately it is our approach to it and not God’s. Our approach and not His is what makes life and the world the way they appear to us. In the approach of love everything is good.

“They [the scouts] told him [Moses] and said, ‘We came to the land to which you sent us, and it is flowing with milk and honey, and this is its fruit’.” (13:27)

The ones who directed their awareness into God’s love find it even better.

“They spoke to the entire congregation of the children of Israel, saying, ‘The land we passed through to scout is an exceedingly good land’.” (14:7)

As we guide all aspects of consciousness in the ways of the Creator, His love makes it so.

“If the Lord desires us, He will bring us to this land and give it to us, a land flowing with milk and honey.” (14:8).

In order to dwell in God’s ways and attributes we must never separate from His love.

“But you shall not rebel against the Lord, and you will not fear the people of that land because they are [as] our bread. Their protection is removed from them, and the Lord is with us; do not fear them.” (14:9)

Every facet of our consciousness is actually an essential part of life and in that sense our thoughts, emotions, feelings, etc. also feed us as bread does. When we cleanse them from their negative expressions, love is with us and thus we have nothing to fear.

If our will is not strong enough to clear negative thoughts, emotions, feelings, passions and instincts from our acts, we will fall into the darkness of the illusion that negativity is.

“For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and you will fall by the sword, because you have turned away from the Lord, and the Lord will not be with you.” (14:43)

God’s love is not with us when we despise His ways.

The experience of the episode of the scouts (also called “spies”) indicates us that our voluble nature must be directed to pursue the loftier delights of God’s ways. The guidance and direction of His love also must be constantly reminded in every aspect of consciousness.

“(…) this shall be fringes for you, and when you see it, you will remember all the commandments of the Lord to perform them, and you shall not wander after your hearts and after your eyes [ego’s materialistic desires and fantasies] after which you are going astray. So that you shall remember and perform all My Commandments and you shall be holy to your God. I am the Lord, your God, who [whose Love] took you out of the land of Egypt [ego’s illusions] to be your God [to live in the Truth]; (because) I am the Lord, your God.” (15:39-40)

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 Kochav Yaakov.
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