Christmas offers us a wonderful chance to take another look at the foundational principle upon which the bestselling book and DVD The Secret is based. After all, author Rhonda Byrne has just released her new gratitude journal as another way of helping people who want to manifest their desires using the Law of Attraction. While The Secret offers some wonderful wisdom and tools for manifesting dreams and desires, it has been criticized for its materialistic focus. And it seems that at this time of year, most people are caught up in the commercialism of the season and focused either on getting what they desire or giving their loved ones what they might want for Christmas.
The giving and receiving of gifts may not appear to fit exactly into the scheme of deliberate creation, but it doesn’t really matter how we attract into our experience the things we desire. Having our desire show up in a nicely-wrapped present under the Christmas tree still qualifies as successful manifestation. And, if you approach deliberate creation from a Kabbalistic perspective, the gift you want to receive actually involves giving to others.
You see, according to Kabbalah, the Jewish mystical tradition, this Christmas – or any time – you should want to receive from Santa a brand, spanking, new consciousness that desires to receive not for yourself alone but for the sake of giving to others. The kabbalists, or Jewish mystics, teach that it is God’s nature to give, and God created humans with a huge desire or will to receive all God’s goodness. Thus, it’s human nature to receive and to want to receive. If it weren’t, our nature would be incompatible with God’s purpose in creation. In fact, our will to receive, coupled with our focused thoughts of what we desire, draws to us – attracts – all the good God intends for us.
Indeed, the will to receive gives birth to needs and desires, which, in turn, give birth to thoughts about what we want. If we were to stop having desires, we would die. Every breath we take asks for life-giving oxygen. Desires get us out of bed each morning and keep us moving forward towards our goals every day. While it is all well and good to want “things” in the physical world, and it is part of our nature as physical beings to want and to need material “stuff,” the kabbalists also teach that such desires — and sometimes even the fulfillment of those desires —never makes us happy. Additionally, manifestation of material desires never will open us to the total flow of goodness and pleasure that God is waiting to give to us.
For that to happen, we must change the focus of what we want. This Christmas, we must ask to receive a totally different present. We have to want to manifest a new desire – the desire to receive not for ourselves alone but for the sake of giving unconditionally to others. In affect, the kabbalists tell us that we should desire a new consciousness. Only when we manifest this new consciousness will we truly be happy. And only then can we open ourselves fully to the flow of Infinite goodness and pleasure available to us. So, when we come from a place of unconditional giving, when we want to receive only so we can give to others, we actually begin attracting into our lives the things we want on all levels.
Some might say, “Aha! If I give, I will get! That’s the secret formula to the Law of Attraction.” Maybe it is, and maybe as we begin developing this new consciousness we may find that, indeed, when we give we do get. However, that realization represents just one step towards our new consciousness. We don’t want to get stuck at that step, because the point is not to get but to give.
In the process of giving something wonderful happens – something in line with the spiritual, rather than the commercial, aspect of the winter holidays: We find ourselves connected to the Divine Giver. The separation that we normally perceive to be present between Giver (God) and receiver (human) disappears and we achieve what the kabbalists would call “affinity of form” with God. We become givers. And when we become givers, we feel a unity with God, and our giving and our receiving become one spiritual act. Then, when we receive all that goodness, when we attract all those things we’ve desired seemingly without trying – without conscious and deliberate thought, feeling or action to manifest them, we only feel gratitude for the fact that the gifts we receive allow us to give more.