GENERALLY, THE EXPRESSION, “IT is all in your mind,”
has one connotation: You’re making it up. It means that, whatever it is that is bothering a person,
it is imaginary, not real, the implication being that if the person would wake-up and realize this,
his problem would go poof, like smoke on a windy day.
Thoughts can affect reality, but they are not reality itself.
There is another well-known expression that seems to say it differently: Mind over matter.
This statement says that, as concrete as reality might seem to be,
and as abstract as thoughts are,
the truth can often be just the opposite.
It appears that in some cases what a person thinks determines the shape reality actually takes,
as if the concrete physical world can take its orders from the abstract psychological world.
To explain the possibility of the latter, in the beginning,
the concept of miracle or magic was introduced.
Whether talking about the Divine or, l’havdil, a sorcerer,
the point was the same:
If you want to break the laws of nature, you have to go supernatural.
In other words, as fixed and solid as the physical world might actually be,
for whatever reason,
a backdoor through which it can be manipulated.
in recent times,
with the advances of science,
a belief has been developing that the human mind has more to say
about the form reality takes than previously thought.
No longer must it be a question,
this way of thinking proposes,
of supernaturally manipulating a fixed and concrete natural reality,
but one of custom tailoring it from its inception.
Reality is what you make it.
It is kind of like the difference between being a guest at a party or one of the hosts.
As a guest, a person is simply a spectator,
with little or no input as to how events unfold.
The best he can do is sit back and go for the ride,
the result of which he will not know until it is over.
As a host, however, one can shape the event itself,
even creating paths to certain pre-determined outcomes.
A host designs the experience,
making all the necessary choices that will determine just what will happen,
when it will happen, and how it will happen.
He may do so with the guests in mind,
but it is his choice to take them into account or to ignore them.
Other such witty expressions,
along the lines of the former two, are,
You sleep in the bed you make, and,
What goes around comes around, both of which acknowledge,
the influence man’s thoughts and actions have in shaping the outcome of physical reality.
It just seems that,
as independent as the natural world may seem from man,
it is built-in to nature to be responsive to what he does.
Kabbalistically, this is quite true.
Indeed, it is a tenet of esoteric Jewish thought that when man acts spiritually,
Creation as a whole becomes more spiritual and elevated.
Likewise, if man becomes corrupt,
then so does Creation become corrupt as well,
to such an extent that when God brought the Great Flood on mankind,
He allowed it to wipe away the world of that time as well,
at least the part that was affected.
The point of all of this is that,
though it is true that it may all be in our minds,
this does not mean that it is imaginary.
In fact, because it is already in our minds,
it might already be shaping reality, and not just our own,
but of others as well,
and because we can affect the way others think,
we can share in the reality that results from their thoughts.
All of this is quite wondrous,
and quite empowering, as it says:
One who trusts in God will be surrounded by kindness (Tehillim 32:10)
Even an evil person who trusts in God will be surrounded by kindness (Midrash Tehillim 32:10). (Sefer Drushei Olam HaTohu 2:5:4:3)
It’s all in the mind,
and when that is in the mind,
then reality bends to suit the momentary needs of the person.
the average person either does not know of these truths,
or does not take them seriously.
They are so used to thinking only as much as is necessary to take advantage
of reality as it seems to come at them,
or to avoid that which it throws their way.
They embrace whole-heartedly the idea of being a guest of reality,
rather than its host.
As history approaches its end,
we may be about to pay for this.
The world has become weird.
History has become distorted.
Values have become reversed and mankind continues to walk down a
familiar old path that has always resulted in some kind of rectifying self-destruction,
and few seem to care.
They just assume that history is running its natural course,
and that there is little we can do about it.
Though they might be right about the first statement,
they are wrong about the second one.
Nature naturally responds to what we do,
but because it responds to what we do,
we can alter its course.
We are suffering from a case of mistaken identity,
thinking that we are guests when, in fact,
we are really the hosts.
Hence, it says:
God is your Guardian.
God is your Shadow at your right hand (Tehillim 121:5)
Just like a shadow moves in the direction of the thing that casts it,
so, too, does God cause the worlds to shadow the actions of man.
(Nefesh HaChaim, Ch. 7)
So, don’t blame God for the way history is evolving.
Don’t wag your finger at Heaven in disgust at the way events are unfolding.
We are merely going to sleep in the bed that we have made over the millennia.
The good news is that we can never go so far as to completely destroy ourselves.
The bad news is that we can never go so far as to completely destroy ourselves.
A father can give his son a game, and then stand back and watch him play.
He may help him, but most of the joy comes from watching the child himself
determine the outcome of the game through his own thoughts and actions.
The game has been designed to respond to the one playing it, and it is the
father’s intention that it be the son.
However, should the child abuse the game,
either consciously or unconsciously,
the father reserves the right to intercede.
The game was given to the son to be productive,
and though a certain amount of failure is necessary for the sake of succeeding at the game,
failure ceases to be instructive once it becomes destructive.
Likewise is it true about man,
history, and God.
Since the first man disobeyed God and ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil,
man has known failure.
However, explains the Talmud, it was a failure that God had anticipated,
and even accommodated.
But as history has shown,
such Heavenly forbearance is only up to the point of world-wide destruction,
it is quite clear now that every time the American government has dealt away Jewish land to the Arabs,
even just in theory,
there has been some kind of natural or national disaster that has followed on its heels:
each and every time, going back at least until 1990.
It has caused damage to the American people and to American property,
sometimes in unprecedented numbers, at least on American soil,
and even to the current President in office.
it is all in our minds,
and what is in our collective mind is determining the outcome of current history and not in a positive way.
It is threatening the future of the Jewish people and the security of the Land of Israel,
and as a result,
that of the world in general.
We are playing a dangerous game,
and if we continue to act destructively,
our Father will move in and intercede once again.
When He does,
the outcome is always positive.
It’s the process that He employs that tends to kill us along the way.