Topic: Consciousness | Posted:September 24, 2013
The first word of this week’s portion is beresheet, which means “in the beginning,” and starts with the letter Bet. We know that the Hebrew letters aren’t simply tools of language, but rather that every letter represents a different type of Light, a different type of energy. As we learn in Kabbalah, there are many levels of meaning to everything. One level of consciousness that is available to us through this week’s portion is the knowledge to differentiate between what is coming from the Light and what is coming from the darkness, and what doesn’t have long term ability to continue to grow in blessings, and what does.
Everything that was created in our world was created in perfect balance, which means that whatever you find in the positive side you will find in the negative side, and we draw everything into our lives from either one of those two places. How do we know what side it is coming from? How do we know if our love, desire, drive, or joy is coming from the Light? Most of us think that those feelings must be coming from the Light of the Creator. However, that’s not true, because everything that exists in our world exists in both realms – the energy for them can be coming from a positive place or from a negative place. So, how do we tell?
Rav Ashlag says the Creator gave us one way to tell, one test, one berur as he calls it. The positive side always bears fruit and has continuity. The negative side ends. There can be love, there can be excitement, there can be joy, and there can be drive… but at a certain point it can’t continue to grow. Maybe we are getting some level of fulfillment from what we are doing right now, but it is not a real assessment of whether it is coming from the Light of the Creator. It is not about if you are feeling good right now, if it gives you joy right now, or if you are driven to do it right now. None of those assessments will be real in letting you know what place it is coming from. The test, the only way you can tell whether it is coming from the positive side, is looking into the future to see if it will bear fruit, to see that over time it can continuously grow.
The word brachah means blessing, and is the energy of the letter Bet - the first letter of beresheet. The Bet is actually the energy and distinction of this test; if what you are doing is disconnected from the Light of the Creator, then it does not have potential for brachah, blessing. This is the secret to beresheet, to the first letter of this week’s portion. The question to ask yourself is, is what I’m feeling, doing, or seeing coming from the Bet? Is it coming from a place that will continue to expand in blessings? Do I see a continual growth – in the relationship, in work, in whatever it is - that can endlessly transform, elevate, and bring me more and more joy and fulfillment? If it doesn’t at least have that potential, then it’s not coming from the Light of the Creator.
Unfortunately, as it too often happens, we may decide with a certain area of our life that it’s just as good as it gets. We know it’s not great, and that it’s not going to continue growing endlessly, but accept that it just is what it is. We don’t have higher expectations. Or, we are afraid to give something up -even though we know it’s not going anywhere - because we don’t want to be alone, or we are afraid to let it go until we see something better is coming first. However, if it’s disconnected from the Light of the Creator, if it does not have the potential for brachah, then it actually limits the true blessing that is meant to come to us. As we are holding onto that thing, which as the Zohar makes clear is not connected to the Light of the Creator, we are actually closing ourselves off to the Light of the Creator. And it is true about everything in our lives.
As we begin this new year, it’s important to really assess certain areas of our lives, even if that area is giving us some level of fulfillment now. Ask yourself, is it coming from the Bet, from a place where I can see that it will continue to grow in blessings? If not, then holding onto it will limit and close you off from the true blessing that is meant to come, no matter what fear or other reasons you have not to give it up. When we come to the new year with this understanding available to us through this week’s portion, we will truly be able to manifest the great Light and blessings that we have drawn in through all the connections we have made in all of the holidays up until now.