The Rabbi and the Secret - Part I
Rabbi Manis Friedman
There is a book called "The Secret". I don't know if you've heard about it. It's a tiny little book. It's not a Jewish book. And it talks about the power of positive thinking. Maybe it could be a bit of an exaggeration, you know, it's hype, but basically it's on target. It's correct. One of the people, one of the contributors in the book, his name is John Assaraf, and he wrote a follow-up book on The Secret.
So a couple of months ago, near San Diego, there was a program the shluchim (emissaries) made that was called The Torah and The Secret. And he spoke and basically said like this – he said when you think positive, your thoughts have a very positive and powerful affect. So he creates like a visual board. You hang it up on the wall and you put all your positive thoughts on the board. He has a book about it, how you do this. Now he says that he moved from Chicago to this very expensive house outside of San Diego, and he was unpacking. And one of the things he unpacked was his visual board. And he realized that while living in Chicago many years earlier he had created a board of what he sees his future to be. One of the things that he hung up on the board is a picture of a house that he cut out of a magazine. This is the kind of house he envisions for his own future. As he was unpacking it and he saw the house that he had clipped out of a magazine, he realized that he had just moved into that house. Not a house like it, that house.
So he explained, how does it work. How does it work that your thoughts can affect gashmius, can affect physical reality? So he went into a whole thing that according to science the whole world, even a physical object, is not a fixed and permanent thing. It's all fluid. Even the laws of nature, they're all fluid. So since everything is always moving, everything is always in movement, your thoughts can move it in one direction or another. So your thinking has an affect even on physical reality. He explained the whole theory of the principle of uncertainty in science – that since the atoms are made up of moveable parts and the electrons are always running around and jumping away – so you never know where the buildings blocks of a physical thing, where they're going and what they're gonna do a minute from now. And that's why it's possible for your thoughts to actually change reality. It's all pretty sophisticated stuff and people were very impressed. He is a high powered speaker. He's one of these great motivational, you know, he speaks, gets $25,000 for a speech, this is the big time.
Where is this in Torah? Where do we see it is in the Torah? So I wanted to deliver it, explain it in the most simple – for people who never, don't know what Torah is. Why are your words or your thoughts so powerful? So when he finished speaking I mentioned that right at the beginning of the Torah we are given the same secret. So it hasn't been a secret for at least 3000 years.
The secret is – G-d created the world, how? By saying. He said.
What happened on Shabbos (the Sabbath)? V'yonach bayom hashvii (And on the seventh day He rested). So what happened on Shabbos? He still has to create the world or it wouldn't exist but it's Shabbos. So what happens on Shabbos is that He creates the world not with dibbur (speech), but with machshava (thought). So during the week the world is created with words. On Shabbos the world is created with thought. That's why Shabbos is holier than the rest of the week, because thought is higher than dibbur. Behind it all, what brings the world into existence? Kall asher chofetz Hashem asa (Everything G-d desired, He did). By the fact that the Aibishter (G-d) wants it, that makes it happen.
So now we have 3 things – the word, the thought, and the ratzon (will). The Aibishter wants, it happens. That's why when you think, or speak, or even want, you're affecting the whole world. Cause the whole world, the olam hagashmi is a response to words, thoughts and ratzon.
Now in the book The Secret, which basically tells you stuff that you already know, only it exaggerates it a little, there's one interesting statement, which was surprising to find it in a secular book. They discovered that thinking is very powerful. But positive thoughts are more powerful than negative thoughts. Which is really interesting. They don't explain it. They don't have an explanation. But they notice that this is true. Machshava (thought) is very powerful, but positive machshava is more powerful than negative machshava. Why is that? The explanation in Torah is very simple. The whole world is vibrating in response to the Aibishter's word. If you say a positive word, your energy, your word now joins the Aibishter's word and adds an impact. If you say something negative it has an affect but it's just your word, it's not joining the Aibishter's word so it can't have as much of an affect.
When you have a positive machshava, then you're thinking in the same path, in the same line as the Aibishter is thinking, so obviously your machshava is gonna have a bigger impact. If your ratzon (will) is the same that the Aibishter wants then of course your ratzon is gonna be more powerful.
So that explains everything. It explains why your thought can have an affect, how, and it explains why a positive affect is stronger than a negative affect. So when we say, “Tracht gut vet zayn gut”, (think good it will be good) what is “tracht gut” (think good)? What's good? If you think, for example, whatever the Aibishter wants is fine with me, is that called “tracht gut”? It's not. Why is that not good? It sounds good. Whatever kall asher asa HaKodesh Baruch Hu (all that G-d does) is fine with me. That's not good? That's good emuna. That's not good getracht (thinking). “Tracht gut” means think what He's thinking. Don't just say whatever He's thinking is fine. So “tracht gut” means think what He's thinking. Want what He wants. How do you know what He wants? Since the Aibishter is etzem hatov (the essence of good), and ainei mevakesh ella lefikocham (he only asks according to ones ability), since the Aibishter wants to do good, and He does good according to your understanding, so if you're thinking, “I am sure that I'm going to be well”, or that “my child is going to be cured”, that's what the Aibishter is thinking. So when your machshava (thought) matches His machshava (thought), it brings that machshava down to earth and it actually happens begashmius (in physicality).