As you know, I am a big fan of manifestation methods and the law of attraction. I like books like Psycho-Cybernetics, and meditate on my goals daily. But one thing we need to remember is that manifesting doesn’t work for everyone, and this has nothing to do with putting in the work or skill. It has to do with the mere fact that many people don’t have the privileges to ‘just manifest’ a dream job, relationship or home. And we don’t talk about this enough.
‘I just made it happen’
I think this is because we like to think of manifesting as some kind of magic, or control. We love to be able to say that we just made it happen. We often feel like life is hard and we need to struggle to get what we want, so how great would it be if we can just think or meditate certain conditions into being?
I do often point out that certain effort must be put in as well, but overall I whole heartedly embrace the law of attraction and manifestation theories. You know why? Because they work for me.
Why manifesting works for me
But the reason they work for me is not only because I have a ‘go with the flow’ mentality, set and work on my goals daily, and slowly but surely master the art of meditation. The law of attraction also works for me because I am from a pretty wealthy family, I never have to worry about hunger or homelessness, I live in a country with hardly any problems and am born with pretty good looks and a smart-ish brain. Life is simply easier for me than for many, many other people.
And so I’m privileged enough to say ‘I want X, so I’m going to manifest X’. Because to me, it often is this simple. To a woman my age born in Africa, struggling to feed five children and dealing with a lot of disaster and poverty, it is not that simple. She can’t ‘just manifest’ a safe home, healthy children and plenty of food one the table. No matter how hard she works, wishes and meditates.
I am lucky
It makes me think of a comment someone posted as a reaction to a famous inventor of a meditation app. It said something like: ‘Of course this works for you and you are happy, you have everything going for you and nothing to worry about. It would be weird if you weren’t happy.’
The inventor interpreted this as an accusation of not being self made, and replied that she never used her parents money to get where she is, that she used to work 3 jobs to pay her rent, and that she build her whole life and business herself.
And of course, this is all true. But I think the point of the comment was to nuance how unlikely the chances are that everyone can benefit from her meditations the way she does. She is her own biggest example of how far these meditations (and of course some necessary work) can bring you in life, but she seems completely blind to how privileged and comfortable you have to be to begin with in order to truly change your life for the better. Because no, her parents aren’t super rich and never gave her money, but she does seem to have had a pretty good basis for life to build on.
Who has time to manifest?
This is probably also why Plato said that many people only start their interest in philosophy and larger life questions from the age of 50. Looking at Maslow’s pyramid – who really has the time and space (and energy) to think about self-development, manifestation, and life in general?
Right: the person who has their most basic needs met. Someone who has the time and money to spend on not much else but their own personal dreams. And who probably also has the brain to comprehend these things and can take a risk because they have the social network to fall back on when things go wrong. Which (surprise!) are indeed people like the app inventor and myself.
What I’m trying to say is: don’t pride yourself or ‘magic’ too much when it comes to how much you are able to meditate, manifest and reach your goals. The truth is that you actually need a lot of privilege, good circumstances and mere luck to be able to ‘just manifest’ something. And not everyone, unfortunately, is in this position. So let’s stop the toxic spirituality and let’s stop telling people that they are completely in charge of their own life and happiness. Life is not that simple.