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The Laws of Manifestation
By David Spangler
Red Wheel/Weiser, LLCCopyright © 2009 David Spangler
All rights reserved.
What is Manifestation?
Manifestation is not magic. It is a process of working with natural principles and laws in order to translate energy from one level of reality to another. The following are some examples of this process:
An author has an idea. It exists as mental energy. He writes the idea as a play or novel. It now exists in physical form in print.
An inventor has an idea for a new machine. By working with the right materials, he gives that idea physical form.
An artist is inspired by a natural scene: he has a subjective, feeling reaction. This is emotional energy. Through a painting or a craft-work, he gives that idea form on a physical level.
An orator has a concept, which is mental. Through his speech to people, he is able to fire their emotions in response to that concept, say, the concept of free elections. He has translated mental energy into emotional energy.
A piece of coal by itself is cold. Yet, it can burn; it contains the potential of heat. When ignited, that heat is released. Physical energy is translated into radiant heat energy.
These examples tell us certain important things about manifestation. First, manifestation is a change of form or state or condition of being; it is not the creation of something out of nothing. The dictionary defines it as "making clear to sight or mind, making visible." The implication here is that the thing manifested was already there but it was not clear, not visible. It was in a different state of being. For manifestation to work, we are asked to recognize that that which we wish to manifest does already exist, even if it is invisible or separate from our immediate environment. What we seek to do, therefore, is to open a route or start a process through which it can enter our environment and be "clear and visible" to us.
This process may involve faith, which is an abstract and somewhat frightening word to many people, seeming "airy-fairy"; but we need to remember the New Testament definition of faith, given in Hebrews II:I: "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen." The New English Bible phrases it in modern English in a way that directly relates to what we have just said: "Faith gives substance to our hopes and makes us certain of realities we do not see." Thus, the processes of manifestation are rather like ordering something through the post from a catalogue. We do not actually see the thing, but we know it exists and we know the postal laws that will bring it to us.
Being asked to draw to oneself something that exists is quite different from being asked to be a magician and to conjure something up from nothing. It is this confusion of manifestation with something supernatural or magical that blocks many people from using the laws properly. Manifestation is not magic. It is a natural principle or process by means of which something is changed or transferred from one state of being to another.
Second, manifestation deals with a great deal more than just finance, though it is often spoken of within an economic context. The movement of an idea within a person's consciousness from a vague, ambiguous state to one of clarity and understanding is a process of manifestation. One can manifest ideas, states of being, health, as well as tangible objects.
Third, we often think of manifestation as a process of "bringing things down," of giving form and definition to abstract qualities, of making invisible, spiritual things visible and concrete. Yet manifestation can just as easily be a means of elevating and uplifting, of raising the physical into the spiritual. This is often referred to as translation, but it is another form of manifestation. The dictionary definition fails to cover all the aspects of the spiritual definition of this process. Manifestation is the process of translating energy from one level to another, without specifying whether this is "up" or "down" the energy scale. The manifestation of light and heat from coal is an example of translating energy from a lower state to a higher one. The coal becomes invisible, but the heat, which previously was only potential and not experienced, is released and becomes "clear to the mind" or the senses. Likewise, one can translate an emotional or physical experience into wisdom and spiritual insight, which is transferring energy from a lower to a higher level of awareness and appreciation.
This illustrates a fourth point, that manifestation is a process of releasing a potential. This is another way of saying that we are manifesting what already exists. The heat was potential within the coal. The answer is potential within the problem. Health is potential within illness. Abundance is potential within poverty. Divinity is potential within humanity. Manifestation is a means of bringing the reality of potential into the reality of actuality, availability, and activity.
The fifth point, which our examples show, is that manifestation is not something that is highly esoteric or spiritual, a complex process that can be worked by only a few special people. It is something we all do all the time through our thinking, our feeling, our actions, our very living. One important way in which we do this is through our speech. Language is a tool and example of manifestation. It is the giving of form through sounds and letter shapes on paper to energies of mind and feeling, and of the spirit as well. Speech is a primary creative tool, an energy of manifestation itself, which is why spiritual teachers have always bade us to be aware of our language, of what we say and how. We are always manifesting when we talk, and the forms we make visible to others through our speech can reveal much about our own inner states; they can also determine the nature of the world that we experience and what we attract to ourselves. This is the reason for the oft-repeated suggestion to keep our speech pure, clear, and positive, as well as sacred, using the power of language economically so as to conserve and magnify its power. How often we hear it said of a person that he does not say much, but when he does everyone listens. We also hear the opposite of some others that their superfluity of speech cheapens and dilutes the strength of what they say and makes them simply boring, dissipators of energy. This is also the reason to avoid purposeless, negative talking. If we dissipate our powers of manifestation on one level, or turn them to negativity, then we dissipate or negate them on many levels; an abundance of speech may lead to a poverty of manifestation.
This importance of language to the understanding of the processes of divinity and manifestation is underscored by spiritual teaching. At the beginning of the Gospel of John, we read: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God." Likewise, in the passage on faith in Hebrews, II:3, we read: "By faith we perceive that the universe was fashioned by the word of God, so that the visible came forth from the invisible." God manifested through the power of His language, the speech of divinity. We also manifest through our language, the language of speech, of thought, of feeling, of expression, of action, of being.
We are always manifestors. Understanding this can help us to be manifestors of that which we really want within our lives and the life of our world.
In essence, the clue to manifestation lies in the recognition that God in His wholeness is the only reality. Everything in the universe is directly or indirectly related to everything else through this wholeness and there is no barrier or impediment of time, space, or circumstance that can obstruct the right flow of energy between affinities within the whole. As I think in my heart, so I am; as I am, so I create my world, attract my environment, manifest my being in relationship to the whole. God is all there is. In Him there is no lack. He is reality. The more a consciousness can perceive and understand this and live within this reality, the more he can work the laws of manifestation successfully on every level and in every circumstance of his life. Through oneness with God, I am one with all things, and through this oneness I can be the Supreme Manifestor.
This is what manifestation is: the working of natural laws of energy exchange and transference within a consciousness of the whole and through an attunement to the presence of the wholeness, God. It is not a passive state, an attitude of complacent waiting, assuming that life will attend to all one's needs. It is not a magical operation. It is a dynamic state of consciousness. On human levels, manifestation does not replace working for a living; it is simply a different way of expressing the livingness of the work and the work of living, where work is truly seen as "love in action."
The Levels of Manifestation
Man's consciousness functions on different levels, and the way in which an individual perceives and interprets life and the universe depends on which of these levels or combination of levels predominates in forming basic attitudes and ideas. Where the consciousness is orientated will determine how the individual will understand and work with natural law. Although the essence of manifestation is basic to all levels of life, how the processes of manifestation are approached and utilized, the mechanics of manifestation, depends on a person's level of consciousness. An understanding of this throws light on what is meant by "old" and "new" laws of manifestation.
There are four levels of manifestation and of the consciousness to work its laws:
The physical level is experienced by everyone and it represents our most obvious level of manifestation. On this level, physical energy expended through some form of labor is the means used to bring manifestation about. We call this working for a living. For example, to manifest bread we plant wheat seeds, grow the wheat, harvest it, process it into flour, make the bread dough, bake it, and so forth. We now use machines to expedite many of these stages, but machines also are a form of physical energy. Money is a symbol for physical energy that also expedites the manifestation process by simplifying or eliminating the system of direct bartering of concrete goods.
On the physical level we work very obviously with laws in order to accomplish manifestation. These are natural, economic, religious, and social laws. We do not consider them to be supernatural. Natural law dictates that wheat, not corn, will come from wheat seeds. Economic and social laws describe the flow and manifestation of money, prestige, and culture. Religious laws tell us how we must behave in order to manifest the "good and righteous life." The source from which manifestation comes is also seen in terms of these laws: we acquire what we want from nature, from the economy or society, or from God through these laws and because of them. These laws represent the "middle man" between ourselves and the Source, the means by which we can relate to and receive from the Source, after having expended the appropriate physical energy.
On the religious side, an example of this is seen in the doing of good deeds or good works in accordance with the precepts and laws of a particular religion in order to receive blessings from Deity. God is seen and understood through His laws, and our relationship to Him is one of obedience to His laws within our physical life. Thus, we may be enjoined to eat certain things but not others, to wear certain kinds of clothing, to do certain things on certain days or at certain times of the day. Faithful observance of these physical rituals will result in a manifestation of divine favor.
In any area, these laws are concrete, dealing with tangible, demonstrable, observable realities and processes and can be understood and related to by consciousnesses conditioned by the concrete, form nature of physical life. Manifestation by means of these laws does not require an abstract or speculative awareness; only a willingness to expend physical energy through the appropriate form of work and labor.
The process of manifestation is given a new dimension when the energies of the emotional realms are added. Naturally, thought and feeling are involved in most kinds of physical action and work, generating the incentive, the desire, the direction that can stimulate and channel physical labor. As we are using it here, however, the emotional level of manifestation refers to the use of feeling energies directly and physical energies indirectly in order to bring about a desired condition within one's environment. This often involves the manifestation of things which seem beyond the scope of our physical endeavours. This might be the manifesting of health when physical medical attention is not available or is ineffective; this is "faith healing." It might also be the manifestation of needed supplies when the apparent resources available to be tapped through physical work are not sufficient. An example of this would be a case where an individual needs a sum of money more quickly than he can raise through earning it, or perhaps beyond the reach of his salary. Following the injunction in the New Testament to "ask, and it shall be given unto you," and with an attitude of faith in God's abundance, the person places his need into prayer, then releases it. Subsequently he may receive a check from a relative or friend, an unexpected gift that meets his need. Or he may be prompted to read something or go somewhere or meet someone, and through this is put in contact with an opportunity to earn the money.
The operative factor in this kind of manifestation is faith and the energy of devotion. God is seen as a loving parent, a father (or mother), who knows the needs of His (or Her) children and can supply those needs. Prayer or affirmation, faith in God, and an openness to God constitute the "working" of the laws of manifestation on this level. This does not replace the physical level; faith is not a substitute for work within the concrete world. Instead, it enhances labor and expands its effectiveness. Where there is faith, there is trust, security, and a lack of tension or worry; work becomes a joy, and one is more open to being guided into the kind of labor that is truly fulfilling.
Keynotes to this level of manifestation and the consciousness required to work its laws may be found in the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 6:28-30; 7:9-II.
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin and yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which grows today and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you?"
What man is there of you, who if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If ye then, being of human limitation, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?
Faith in God, our Father, and placing our requests in prayer to Him, knowing through faith that He will meet our needs, thus releasing the problem to Him: this is the essence of manifestation through devotion and the energies of the emotional level.
One other point should be mentioned here. The energy of emotion is the fuel for this level of manifestation; this energy can as easily be expressed as desire and fear as it can be expressed as faith. Thus it may be used for negative results. Worry can be as potent a form of faith as prayer and can trigger the laws of manifestation with consequent effects of an undesirable nature. The laws of manifestation on this level are neutral and will draw to us according to the seeds of desire, belief, and attraction that we plant.
Faith is quite different from hope. The former partakes of knowing and is consequently powerful, able adequately to release the energies required for manifestation to take place. The latter partakes of not-knowing. It is not a single-pointed expression of consciousness, for it admits of fear and an acceptance that perhaps manifestation will not take place. This lack of unity dissipates energy, providing no fuel for the engines of manifestation. Faith, by contrast, is one-pointed knowing.
This one-pointedness, or concentration, is a key to manifestation, as indeed it is to all forms of creativity. Compare the difference in force between a spray of water covering a wide area and a stream of water concentrated through a hose in one direction. The ability to give definition and form to energy is essential to manifestation on the planes of form (body, emotions and mind). It is, in fact, essential on all levels but particularly where concrete manifestation is required, for obvious reasons. Concentration and direction greatly magnify the power of subtle energies to effect changes on physical levels. True faith is such a concentrator of emotional energy, raising it to a high level of affirmation and potential activity and influence.
Excerpted from The Laws of Manifestation by David Spangler. Copyright © 2009 David Spangler. Excerpted by permission of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC.
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