Hi, everyone. Back for another week. Ready to share.
I was thinking about the first in the series of 12 Universal Laws — the Law of Cause and Effect. It’s a big one. This law states: “Whatever we put into the universe will come back to us.” Yes, every action causes a reaction.
I think I was around 40 when I was first introduced to this truth. I was in Jerusalem, sitting in the Old City above the Kotel (Western Wall) in a small brick building built atop an apartment building roof. It was a rabbi’s private study and it overlooked the east side of Jerusalem and the Kotel.
This little study was no bigger than a small bedroom, piled with books from floor to ceiling. The stockpile of books was so dense you felt almost claustrophobic as you walked in between the piles to go further into the room. In the room’s center was a wooden desk made of old planks sloppily nailed together with cracks and crannies on top. The desk was partially covered by a blue velvet cloth with embroidery of gold/red and purple Hebrew lettering — quotes from Psalms, I thought. Many of the books on the table were half open and, always in the center, was a bookstand showing what book the rabbi was reading, with a pointer nestled in the center of the book.
We climbed the stairs on the outside of the building three stories to reach the rabbi and five of us would crowd into this little room to hear his words of wisdom. I felt so blessed I had to pinch myself just because I was allowed to join in on this auspicious experience I knew few had privy to enjoy.
The rabbi was a humble and very approachable man, maybe in his 70s. He would gesture us into the room and start talking. He explained that during the Israeli War of Independence this study of his was used as a lookout point for the resistance to watch what was coming at them from East Jerusalem. “Snipers would sit here and watch,” he said.
I felt as though I was in a surreal movie. I was fortunate to know a friend who knew him and would attend his lessons by invitation every Rosh Chodesh. She brought me along this time, and it was just a wonderful blessing to sit with this holy man and listen to his stories and his lessons. That day, his subject was the Law of Cause and Effect.
In essence — he explained — “What we sow, we shall reap.” For me, the light bulb went off when he took it farther to speak about our thinking. He explained that the essence of how our thoughts arise in our brains is corollary to our perceived experience of the world. Our thoughts do not represent the truth of our selves. The lesson was riveting, and I left feeling as though I had been given a bar of gold.
His words resonated inside my stomach as truth. Oh yes, the truth of EVERYTHING lies in your stomach — the stomach never lies.
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The Law of Cause and Effect is very much utilized by our thinking, but we just aren’t aware of it. Having that knowledge can alter our very stories. The brain is a computer without a mouse or control pad, with software running over and over, very similar to a matrix. Our “attention” to thinking is our way to direct and control the software. Intention is everything.
My understanding was that what we think we shall become — to my surprise, it’s not original, but originates with Buddha. And this idea has been said by many prophets and wise men. Our thinking can create our reactions and our actions. Our actions in turn are governed by the Law of Cause and Effect and, therefore, create our reality. What we put out into the universe will cause a chain reaction that will ultimately return to us. What we think is the essence of the start of this boomerang.
What we focus on with intent is important. It is the key — the mouse or the pointer, if you will — to the direction we take. That day I felt like I was given a key, one that unlocks my own ability to effectively gain control over my own life.
For example, if you have ever had a thought about yourself that is negative — and you believe this thought — you might walk around “knowing” this is true about you. If you walk around this way, you will project that negativity out into the world. What will come back at you will be something that reinforces that thought.
I teach this in my therapy practice. Your thinking is NOT your reality.
We ALL have free will. It is up to us to take the reins of our thinking and lead it where we want it to go — not to let it lead us. On one path, what comes up in our minds that we believe to be truth dictates our actions and reactions — a possibly chaotic existence. The other path is to censor what we listen to in our thinking. To recognize that a thought does not make the idea a truth and choose to agree with the thought or throw it out, and then intend to think in the direction we wish to go. To master your thinking is to master your actions and reactions, and this helps us to be the true creators of our life in an optimal way.
My message for this blog is to understand the undeniable Law of Cause and Effect. To self-realize and create your best life. To be set free from the jail of our thinking and CHOOSE to censor our “out of control computer” (the brain) so the maladaptive software is not leading us into a labyrinth of chaos.
This Law was reflected in a movie called: The Secret. Rhonda Byrne and her colleagues (many of the great modern philosophers) have the right idea and they bring it together in this movie, explaining how determined thinking can help create your reality. While they simplify this in the movie — and a large portion of the movie talks about wealth and finances and how to create them — just know it’s an overview and only a part of the recipe. Grasp the concept and you will be on the right track.
Our experiences are intertwined with the Law of Cause and Effect. If we understand this principle — “what we put out will come back to us” — we can effectively begin to change and mold our own story.
I recommend watching this movie on Netflix or Amazon. Many of you have probably already seen it. It really is an innovative and experiential way to introduce and comprehend the concept.
I hope to travel to Israel this year and reunite with my friend, and maybe visit this rabbi’s family in Jerusalem and enjoy another lesson of wisdom, now, I believe, from his son.
L’hitraot, until next time,
By Lori Gordon-Michaeli
Look for Lori Gordon-Michaeli’s blog every other week. Gordon-Michaeli, LCSW, owns Journey Within LLC, 29623 Northwestern Highway, Southfield. In her therapy studio, she uses talk therapy and creativity with a strengths-based, person-centered approach. A creativity track is optional in which gallery-grade techniques are taught, including acrylic pours, resin, clay, encaustic painting and journaling. CBT, DBT and EMDR are also used. Lori has been trained by EMDRIA to facilitate EMDR therapy to her patients suffering from anxiety, trauma, PTSD and abuse. An immersive high-tech surround room is being created to give her clients a chance to enjoy exposure to therapeutic environments for stress relief and relaxation. Visit jwithin.com.
The Secret (movie by Rhonda Byrne)