Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Manifesting Techniques

Is it Really that Simple?

Sometimes people suggest to me that I try visualizing making money, finding just the right apartment, being healed, or finding the perfect soulmate. They feel smug that they have recently learned manifestation techniques, and want to share them with the uninitiated. They put on their comforting voices, give me a pep talk about how the Universe gives us exactly what we ask for, and how if we have anything missing in our lives, it is our fault because we are obviously creating it our difficulties. And that is wrong. We should have only positive things in our lives. Be positive, and everything will be fine. And if it isn’t working out, it must be my karma. I must have done something bad in the past that is now keeping me from having everything I want.
I just look at them. There is no point in even trying to explain. Since I was a baby, I was immersed in the metaphysical. That was when my father discovered books about how to make money through attitude. “It’s all in your attytude,” I would dance around, singing. “It’s all in your attytude!” I gave him presents of clay tablets proclaiming “PMA.” Positive mental attitude. He told me enthusiastically how to visualize what I wanted, and he passed on the books to me, a precocious girl ready to learn. I visualized being able to levitate every day.
Eventually, his books on making money led to my father reading about a wider variety of goals for manifesting. No one should be sick. If anyone was sick, it was inevitably because he had created it through improper attitude. There was no middle ground. If he was poor, or sick, couldn’t find a job, had relationship problems, mental issues, accidents, anything at all, it was his fault. He should have read the books in which the authors write everything with exclamation marks, and capital letters, bold type. He should have written down his goals and used the phrases, “I have,” or “I am.” He should never say “I want,” as that only established him more fully in the state of needing rather than having. He should not say “I don’t want,” as the subconscious is not that smart to figure it out. The subconscious becomes all powerful, though overly literal, and whatever is it is symbolized in his life. Cut and dried.

I’m very glad my father is who he is, and gave me basic principles of life rather than depressing ironies and elaborate religious constructs. I gained a lot through doing these practices to take control of life and make it as beautiful as possible. But I can’t get down with the New Age insistence that we create our reality, completely, all our little lonesome. I believe we co create our reality. There are others in the world also creating their realities. We influence each other, and have to exist as part of a group. We are not isolated individuals, but parts of a whole. Other people involved in our lives are also related to things going very well or very poorly for us. Other people influence whether we get the job we want, whether we are able to get the apartment we ask for. Others have to approve the loan, ask us to marry them, bring us Mother’s Day gifts, come through on scheduled appointments, land the planes on time for us to make our connections. Yes, I do believe we can affect our lives deeply. We can just happen to be at the right place at the right time, or leave on vacation right before a natural disaster. I have seen miracles, synchronicities. I have had endless experiences that were not coincidence or chance.

Wonderful things have happened to me. But I feel I am a realist in taking into consideration other people rather than being too solipsistic in concluding that I and I alone, with the help of my subconscious, make all the decisions in everything that happens to me.
I also believe there is some value to be had in people experiencing difficulties at times. I don’t necessarily want to see people down and out, living lives that deny their creative potential, limping along, looking for shelter. But at the same time, I have been unable to make enough money to live inside at times because of serious illness. I know that even those times were sacred, meaningful, and led to much love and insight. I don’t feel I am any less because I don’t have the successful New Age lifestyle with a car and condo. I don’t feel others are failures if they are living simply, or are struggling with finances. I don’t have the Calvinist thinking that the poor are inferior, and God favors the rich, and you can tell because they are rich. And sometimes, being poor is a matter of having principles rather than exploiting, selling the soul, condoning corrupt corporate behavior. I don’t judge people without a lot of money and tell them to read an inspirational book.
I also don’t judge people who are ill, though if it is their fault, if they are eating sugar and smoking cigarettes, and drinking diet drinks flavored with artificial sweeteners known to cause health problems, and playing video games rather than exercising, yes, I do attribute their illness to their own behavior. And I don’t really approve of that. I feel we should all do what we can to honor our bodies. I realize each person is doing what he has been taught, what he is capable of doing. And in many parts of the country, healthy living is not supported. And I also see that our water contains fluorides that make people become apathetic even about their health. Tap water contains numerous other toxins, and the air contains chemtrail residue which also affects mood and health. Food, unless it is organic and prepared without heated unsaturated oils, contains poisons. Our buildings outgass neurotoxins, our water containers leach formalydehyde, parasites are everywhere, ELF waves criss cross our bodies, causing cancer, and medications create endless side effects. Underground steams can cause cancer for people sleeping above them. Depleted uranium and acid rain and contaminated oceans and car exhaust and any number of culprits can cause people to be unwell. A simple vitamin or mineral deficiency, a subluxation of the spine, the stress of a job: very physical things can lead to illness. I am a healer. I have seen miracles over and over. But I have reverence for physicality as well as the non physical.
I am well versed in the effects of emotion on the body, and I work with that specifically for my clients, dealing with problems caused by too much or too little movement through the various meridians, and with certain places lymph congests because of overwhelming emotions, and certain muscles that will weaken because of emotional trauma. So, someone comes up to me and says, “Ah, your upper back hurts. It’s your heart chakra, so you need to love yourself more.” And I think maybe. Or maybe I really need to take off my bra more often, because the metal of bras is known to cause back pain. I have to admit to physicality as well as spirituality and the subconscious. If a whole school of children comes down with an illness because of being vaccinated, I can’t believe that each child got it because he is manifesting some particular issue out of his subconscious. Sometimes it’s just poisons. Sometimes it’s the subconscious. But I have noticed that the popular writers on manifestation throughout this century have been unable to look at it in anything but black and white terms. I would like to see people be able to look at the combination of ourselves and others, values we can gain from both good and “bad” things happening to us, and at physical causes as well as emotional causes for illness or monetary issues.
I have used the manifesting techniques in a dedicated fashion all my life. I have run full force with the Law of Gratitude. I have had wonderful things happen sometimes. I have also had results the complete opposite of what I was trying for, and other times,
no results at all. Other times, I would be teased, as it looked like what I had asked for was happening, but then it would be withdrawn. Yet the books say it is inevitable. It works every time. I have cleared out my limiting beliefs, empowered myself, searched my language and thoughts and feelings for anything that held me back. I visualized every day, but just for the suggested length of time And with a lifetime of the techniques only having partial success, I concluded that the world is not like clockwork. It is more complex than that. Maybe something else needs to happen. Maybe something else is just going to happen, and it’s a logical outcome of events set in motion. Maybe there are forces in the world that are not all benevolent. For whatever reason, manifesting does not work perfectly every time as they suggest. Yet, when a metaphysician, such as my father, says it does work every time, because he read in the books that it does, he won’t allow me to give the feedback that, no, actually, it doesn’t. Not everyone correctly visualizing winning the lottery wins. Not everyone correctly feeling what is like to be in the perfect relationship does end up with one. Not every time I do the exercises do I receive what I ask for. I have found New Age manifesting metaphysicians can not generally discuss actual real life experiences with the exercises. The authors have taken a few examples of it working, and written only about those, never mentioning the times it doesn’t work. And they say, without anything to back it up, that it works EVERY TIME. And if it doesn’t, there’s something wrong with your subconscious. But maybe your higher, larger self has some plans beyond what your conscious mind has chosen. Perhaps the Divine has some other plan? On the other hand, maybe mind controllers have other designs on your life. Maybe reptilian overlords are keeping us down. Why not look at all the options and make rational decisions? Or at least, hold open the idea that not everything can be understood rationally by our conscious mind.

They say, “Well, everything happens for a reason.” Does everything really do anything? Can’t it just be that sometimes, things happen for a reason? Sometimes, it is the mechanical workings of one person doing one thing, and another person doing another, and there is a simple interaction that occurs? Everything is a lesson, they say. Can’t just some things be lessons, and some things be something else? This is where discussion can grow much more interesting. Perhaps we are even being held down by another species that has its own interests in mind, rather than ours. Perhaps that is what the ubiquitous dragon religious and historical traditions have behind them.

If I have trouble with my health because of something like an overload of pesticides, for example, they will say, “Ah, you are having a hard time, aren’t you. I wonder what you did in your last life to bring that on. It’s a good thing you are burning off your karma.” I want to point to the careless pesticide application company and say, isn’t it possibly related to him doing something wrong, not me?” Does it always have to be something from a past life? And of course, they will generally suggest that I was cursed by a sorcerer, or given a bad initiation as a priest king, or run through with a sword, or burned at the stake as a witch. Yes, sometimes past lives can affect our health in this one, I do believe. But not everything that happens is because of that. I feel the concept of karma was introduced as part of a control tactic, as the Brahmans were able to say they deserved special treatment because obviously, they did things correctly in past lives. Obviously, the untouchables didn’t. So, if the untouchables obeyed the Brahmans, they could progress in their next lives. Is that really a way of blaming the victim?
How much of the manifestation cult is really blaming the victim? How much is it oversimplifying, overgeneralizing, creating guilt? How often does it lead someone in poor health to ignore physical causes? How often does it cause cognitive dissonance, when someone does a manifesting technique to bring safety and abundance into his life, and then is immediately robbed? Because, sometimes it does work that way. It really does.
I know. Can we move beyond the pep talks and platitudes about manifestation and begin real discussion, based on actual life experiences? Can we find all that is good in the New Age techniques, all that is true and useful, and not have to defend every claim? Can we look beyond the black and white, all this, and all that? Can we say the word “Sometimes”?

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