The Kabbalah of 'The Secret'
Over the past several months, a new movie called “The Secret” has been generating growing attention and excitement across America and beyond. If you haven’t heard about it yet, chances are you will. It’s a phenomenon.
According to the film’s producers, an eclectic group of visionaries, authors, motivational speakers and internet millionaires, The “Secret” is the so-called “Law of Attraction”. This “Law” states that our thoughts and emotions, if we hold them consistently enough, will generate our physical reality.
Is The Secret real? Yes, as far as it goes. But there’s far more to the story than that. The phenomenon of The Secret, as exciting as it may be, is only a tiny part of the vast cosmic transformation that was predicted by the Torah thousands of years ago.
Geula – Seeing Through Walls
"In the sixth century of the sixth millennium, the gates of supernal wisdom will be opened, as will the springs of earthly wisdom, preparing the world to be elevated in the seventh millennium."
“And the world will be filled with the knowledge of G-d like water covers the ocean bed.”
According to the Hebrew calendar, this is year 5767 since the creation of the world. We are living in the times of which the Zohar speaks. That’s why so many things are becoming possible that were never possible before.
When G-d created our world He concealed within it a vast reservoir of untapped spiritual and physical potential. This latent potential is now beginning to assert itself in virtually every area of life. Whether in technology, medicine, science, psychology, or the ever-accelerating search for spirituality and meaning, new boundaries are being broken every day. This is no accident; it is a sign of the times.
In these amazing times there are fewer limits than ever before on what human beings can experience and achieve. G-d is giving us a glimpse of the infinity that lies beyond the walls – a glimpse that points to the underlying oneness and purpose beneath the surface of our diverse and conflicted world.
As we get closer and closer to the times when, as the prophets say, “The world will be filled with the knowledge of G-d as water covers the ocean bed”, it becomes easier and easier to sense those vast, uncharted depths. And the more we relate to that underlying reality, the more we can see it poking through.
The Torah tells us that "ein od milvado" – there is in actuality nothing here but G-d.
Great tzadikim, holy people profoundly in touch with this deeper level of truth, have often been able to create miracles at will. Undeceived by the apparent reality of our separateness, by the seemingly immutable limitations of the natural order, they have the power to “see through the walls” and access higher planes of existence, creating or shifting physical circumstances from their spiritual source.
However, for ordinary people, trapped within physical bodies in a physical world, it has always been a great challenge to experience this deeper truth as a tangible reality. But that was then. This is now.
In these times, poised, as we are, at the edge of history, moments before the final geula (Redemption), it is possible for even ordinary people to begin to see through the walls. That means that you and I have far more power than ever before to access the realm of the miraculous in every aspect of our lives.
G-d’s relationship with us has always been in a sense like a game of hide and seek. He conceals Himself in the illusion of separateness and the fragmented, confusing details of life and waits for us to find Him. But in these times, more than ever before, He lets us choose the rules of the game.
When we refuse to allow the limitations of our emotional tendencies and physical circumstances to get in the way of our relationship with G-d, of our trust, our confidence, our creativity, our joy, G-d responds in kind. Life becomes miraculous, unbounded by those limitations. We become partners in Creation.
That is our destiny.
You and G-d – Two Partners in Creation
"Know that everything above" - all that transpires in the spiritual realm - is "from you," [dependent on your conduct] The Maggid of Mezeritch
The physical world, although it experiences itself as separate and sourceless, is actually only the end of the long “chain of creation”. Like the tip of an iceberg, which is the visible part of a vast mountain of ice concealed below the water, our physical reality is the crudest, most visible manifestation of its underlying spiritual source. Far from being separate, whatever happens in the physical world is simply an expression of what is happening on the spiritual plane.
Like every relationship, this works in two directions, each mirroring the other. Just as the spiritual reality inevitably expresses itself in the physical world, our thoughts and actions here below have a very powerful effect on the spiritual realms. And by the same token, once there is a change in the spiritual realms, there will automatically be a corresponding change in the physical world as well.
That means that by changing our thoughts, emotions and actions, we change our world.
The Infinite Power of Joy
“When man below is of a “radiant countenance” and filled with joy and gladness, he then draws down upon himself the same qualities from Above.” Zohar (II, p. 184b)
"Joy breaks through barriers." The Rebbe
Kabbalah and Chassidus explain that the greatest channel for accessing this miraculous power is joy. True, each of us has our “nature”, the ingrained beliefs and tendencies that limit and define our choices in life. However, joy – simcha - breaks through those ordinary limitations within you, allowing you to express yourself in ways your everyday nature does not allow. In the same way, in the macrocosm, joy breaks through the limitations of the entire natural order, allowing a more transcendent, unlimited light to flow into the world. This light affects not just you, but the world around you as well.
Since everything you feel is mirrored Above, your joy and happiness not only expands you beyond your own boundaries, it causes G-d to go beyond His own “nature” and pour additional blessings into the world.
Trust, a Channel for Divine Blessings
"Tracht gut, vet zein gut! (think good and it will be good)" the Tzemach Tzedek, third Rebbe of Chabad
"Blessed is he who puts his trust in G-d, for G-d will be his security." (Jeremiah 17:7)
The Rebbe explains that there is a fundamental difference between emunah, faith, and bitachon, trust. Faith is the unshakeable belief that everything comes from G-d, and that everything G-d does is for the good. Trust, however, is more than just belief. Trust is the certainty that the good that G-d bestows will come out in a way that feels good to you.
Faith will profoundly affect your outlook and behavior, but it won’t necessarily change your heart. Trust is different. Trust alters your feelings. Trust makes you happy.
When you truly trust in G-d, you feel like a very small child in the care of loving parents. The child knows that his parents will take good care of him. He assumes, without even thinking about it, that he will always have more than enough of what he needs in every area of life. A trusting child has no cause whatsoever for worry or anxiety. He feels happy, peaceful and secure.
By the time most of us have passed early childhood we’ve learned all too much about failure, disappointment and fear. That innocent, heartfelt trust is gone. No matter how much faith we have in G-d’s goodness or love, most of us no longer have the childlike certainty that everything will turn out just fine.
Paradoxically, that’s what makes trust, bitachon, so very powerful. It means letting go of all of your doubts, worries and fears, even when they seem to make so very much sense according to the natural order of things. To trust means to simply connect to G-d’s infinite love and goodness, knowing absolutely He will not let you down, that He will make sure that you’re safe and well provided for NO MATTER WHAT. From the perspective of this kind of trust, it doesn’t matter whether the solution to your troubles seems impossible to achieve. It doesn’t even matter whether you deserve to have things change or not. Obviously, as a responsible human being you should do your part as best you can – but knowing that success does not depend on you.
Total trust, if it is real, can’t help but make you happy. But there’s more to it than that.
Your authentic, unconditional trust comes from a very deep place in your soul, and is very precious to G-d. When you trust in this way, you have gone beyond the illusion of separateness. You have raised yourself, in a sense, higher than the limits of the physical world and connected yourself directly to your Creator. This one action is so profoundly powerful that it will bring blessings, even miraculous blessings, into your life - even if you may not fully deserve them.
The Rest of the Story
"All delicacies will be like dust" (Maimonides, Laws of Kings (referring to the time of Redemption)
Like the myriad breakthroughs in communication, medicine, science and technology, the phenomenon of The Secret is just another manifestation of an accelerating spiritual transformation.
As we continue to move closer to the Climax of History – the Ultimate Redemption – the physical and spiritual planes continue to move more and more into alignment and our thoughts have an ever more profound and direct effect on our reality. However, once again, this is only a small piece of the story. What we can accomplish and where we are going is far more profound and complex than that.
Maimonides, in his Laws of Kings, says that in these times “all delicacies will be like dust”. On the surface that means that just as dust is infinitely plentiful, there will be great physical abundance. Those material luxuries that were once scarce, reserved for people of great power and influence, will be available to ordinary people. For most of us this has already begun to come true.
However, there is a deeper explanation as well. In our times, at the Climax of History, we have the power – and the obligation – to look beyond the struggle for survival, beyond the elusive lure of status, success and material prosperity, toward pleasures and possibilities that are far more compelling and real. We are in the midst of an ongoing and accelerating journey toward consciousness. That is why “all delicacies will be like dust”. Not only will they be plentiful, but they will be relatively valueless – like dust – compared to the far greater and more exciting pleasures in store.
Yes, we can communicate instantaneously with anyone in the world. Yes, we can send people into space. Yes, we can create medical miracles. Yes, we can crack the genetic code. And yes, we can attract material abundance into our lives, far more easily than ever before. And all of those things have great value. They are all fulfillment of prophecy, and bring us closer to our ultimate destiny, a world that is full of joy, goodness, abundance and G-dliness for everyone, forever.
But the real question is not how much we can get, but how far we can go; how we can use these newfound abilities to bring the world – and ourselves - even more quickly toward our ultimate destiny.
Kabbalah and Chassidus hold the keys to unlocking this treasure house of human potential. As the Blueprint for Creation, it is what will allow us to break through our unique challenges and access our unprecedented opportunities. It will help us to fulfill our purpose and meet our destiny.
That’s where the ultimate Secret lies.
**Since the Torah forbids the erasing of G-d's name, it's customary to avoid
writing it out in full