This article on the portion of the week was originally published in 2018.
The light of a single candle has the power to remove all the darkness in a room. That is the nature of the light. For it does not need to conquer the darkness, it simply fills the void of it. Darkness is not a force, but merely an absence of light. In the same way, hatred really is only an absence of love. We have found throughout humankind that hating hatred just simply does not work, any more than being angry will make a darkened room illuminate. When we stumble in the dark, nothing will enlighten our path but the power of the Light. When we come across hatred from others, our only recourse is to inject love. Love is the only weapon that will work in defeating the enemy of hatred and intolerance. It is our spiritual responsibility to ignite our own candle of love within, so together, we may all stand, hand-in-hand, and wipe out the darkness of hatred still left in the world. This week, as the full moon of Sagittarius peaks, we prepare for the ultimate spiritual battle, a battle that begins with ourselves. We are given the holy task of igniting the spark of the Creator we hold within. We are asked to open our hearts, share our Light, and once and for all, remove the darkness. This week, we transform hatred and fear into love.
"Make a commitment to the path of love."
Our guiding Light in this spiritual assignment for the week is the portion Vayishlach from the Bible. Vayishlach means “to send away.” Here we read about the confrontation of the two brothers, Jacob and Esau. We learned in a previous portion that Jacob was of completely positive consciousness and Esau entirely negative. Esau had been on a quest to find his brother and kill him. Jacob knew the time had come to finally confront his brother. Jacob, being a spiritual being, understood all external battles originate internally, and that he needed to first examine himself. Jacob meditated and connected to the Creator through prayer, asking for the strength and wisdom to remove his own inner hatred and the power to activate his own Light within. The Bible tells us next, “a man wrestled with him till daybreak.” That night, a negative energy appeared which was the force behind Esau’s consciousness. Jacob is humankind’s channel for our spiritual work: the removal of our own negativity and the opening of our own hearts to others. Jacob battled first, on the level of consciousness, the negativity that gives rise to hatred and the lack of Light in the world. Through Jacob’s pure consciousness of love, he was able to conquer the inner negativity. Because of this, when Esau found Jacob the next morning, instead of killing him as he intended to do, the Light emanating from Jacob removed the darkness from Esau. As the Bible states, “Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him….and kissed him, and they wept.” Like the vanishing of the darkness in a room, Jacob’s Light removed the negativity in Esau. A miracle that did not require anything more than an open heart that Jacob embodied. From this moment on, the darkness and negativity of Esau was gone. Jacob, through the power of love, “sent away” the darkness, just like the light of a candle.
The confrontation of Jacob and Esau is not just a story in history, but a reminder of what we face today in our world. Hatred is a battle the whole world is fighting to this very day. It is not a matter of with whom, it is with what. Jacob demonstrates for us the importance of taking responsibility and embracing our spiritual work to identify our own negativity. Such negativity prevents our Light from shining and acts only to increase the darkness in the world. If we are going to succeed in the removal of darkness and hatred from this world, we can only do so by wrestling with the darkness and hatred within, and by opening our hearts to others who are different than we are. When we work at building the love and Light within, we emanate this energy, naturally, around the entire world. With the help of Jacob, who is the channel for balance and restriction, we can merit the ability to transform any negativity into positivity, turning every drop of darkness into Light and hatred into love. Only Light can remove darkness. Only love can stop hatred.
"If we are going to succeed in the removal of darkness and hatred from this world, we can only do so by wrestling with the darkness and hatred within, and by opening our hearts to others who are different than we are."
In this week's meditation, we each learn to light our own inner Light. Close your eyes and take yourself to a clear and cool night in the countryside. You sit in an open field. The night is dark and quiet. Now, imagine you light a small candle by your side. Suddenly, a warm glow basks across your face and body, encircling you. A once dark and cool area now glows with the warmth of a beautiful light. You are surrounded with love and protection. Now take a deep breath. Make a commitment to the path of love and the removal of any intolerance within you. Allow others to live their own truths, have their own faiths, and walk their own paths. Every one of us is a child of the Creator. To judge another is to judge the Creator. As you purge from your heart negativity, the Light glows from within. You radiate like a candle adding Light that the world so desperately needs. As each one of us accomplishes the spiritual work of opening our own hearts and learning to love each other a little bit more, we can all merit a world of peace and safety. We can extend ourselves outwardly to people of all faiths and backgrounds. Like the light of a candle, we send our love without discrimination to everyone. We learn that the power lies in our own hands to remove the darkness in this world, for it is only love that is able to do this.