Seeing the Seeing
In this week’s parshah, Moses is reluctant to accept his mission of leading the people out of slavery in Egypt. G-d reassures Moses in an incredibly surprising way- “Re’eh, n’tatikha Elokim l’Paro- See! I have made you G-d to Pharaoh...” (Ex. 7:1)
Moses is G-d? What does this mean? But the key is in the first word- “Re’eh- See!”
That which sees, the awareness that looks through your eyes, is the master over all other forces within. If you don’t know that, you identify with the other forces- with feelings, with thoughts, with memories, with ideas- all those elements of the personality, of the Pharaoh. The Pharaoh within is that bundle of stuff that feels like “me”. As long as awareness is asleep to the truth, that it need not be a slave to “me”, Pharaoh reigns.
But as soon as you listen to the Divine message- “See!”-
you are free. You don’t have to subscribe to certain ideas, you don’t have to change anything first, you just have to see. The awareness that sees is free the moment it stops buying into the story of bondage.
How is this freedom possible? There is a hint at the very beginning of the parshah (6:2): “Elokim said to Moses, ‘I am Y-H-V-H’”. The first Divine Name, Elokim, means the Divine personality. It is a deity. The second Name, the unpronounceable Y-H-V-H, is far more expansive, meaning existence Itself, not some Divine being within existence.
The message here is that your awareness at the root of your personality, the spiritual "entity" of consciousness, is not separate from the rest of Existence. It is Existence, waking up as you, yet completely beyond “you”. To know this is freedom. It is G-d “taking you out of Egypt”, out of the constriction of being separate, a slave to the narrative that the mind is constantly churning out if unchecked.
This Shabbos, may we slow down, open and see this gift of freedom that is being offered to us now and always- barukh Hashem, amein v’amein!
1/20/2015 08:02:26 am
I loved the commentary, especially at this time of year when we celebrate Dr. King's birthday. The legacy of slavery has struck home as we witness, "see" the events of Ferguson and New York City. To see as the teaching unfolds brings forth the possibility that we need not to be asleep, but awaken, and become aware. That is hopeful as we realize we can free ourselves from slavery--to be transformed from slave to the divine. What a way to pay tribute to liberation.
Brian Yosef Schachter-Brooks
1/21/2015 12:11:20 pm
Amein v'ameen Wayne! Thank you so much for your response!
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