Man’s power of choice enables him to think like an angel or a devil, a king or a slave. Whatever he chooses, the mind will create and manifest.Frederick Bailes
Manifestation is never synonymous with optimistic thinking and for that matter is not an out-of-the-world miraculous process. It involves quite a large array of factors that would help an individual manifest and achieve their desired outcomes. Manifestation, thus, is simply the act of aligning oneself with one’s required intentions or outcomes and further taking all the required steps to bring those intentions and outcomes to a reality. It has roots in the 19th century New Thought Movement which propagated the idea that our thoughts can steer the material world around us and positive thinking can itself become an adequate answer to the troubles we face in life.
The processes of manifestation like “the Law of Attraction” can also traced back to Hindu scriptures and Vedas which talk about the unity and integrity between the body, mind and soul of an individual, thus propagating the idea that the actions, beliefs and the thoughts of a person has to be equal and balanced to achieve any goal. The process of manifestation includes many components like arrays of physical, emotional, metaphysical, mental, and spiritual factors etc. One can manifest one’s dreams and goals only if one tries and maintain a balance between one’s thoughts, emotions, beliefs, needs, values, self-esteem, self-image, and one’s attitude towards various stimuli associated with their desired outcomes or results.
The Manifestation Scale
Researchers had recently developed a manifestation scale viewing the same as yet another psychological process. 3 separate research studies that tried to analyze manifestation through probable overlaps with related beliefs, practices, spirituality(religious and non-religious), karma and karmic justice, risk propensity, financial gains, bankruptcy, victimization to fraudulent activities etc., gave way to the development of the above- mentioned manifestation scale which involves two subscales, that of cosmic collaboration and personal power. The personal power subscale tries to comprehend how capable the individual finds himself or herself to attracting their desired outcomes or the self-image they have about themselves and their prowess in manifesting positive outcomes.
The second subscale, on the other hand, tries to comprehend how collaborative or cooperative the individual finds the universe or even the idea of spirituality to be in helping him or her achieve their goals. Researchers that have used this scale have concluded that manifestation almost overlapped with karma and people higher on the scale did not give themselves away to dispositional hope. There were strong correlations between karmic justice and the ideas of fusion of thought and action. High scorers also perceived themselves to be successful both in their present and future endeavours. This scale, the researchers suggested, measured a unique concept, that related with associated factors of manifestation.
Through its way into Psychology
The concept of manifestation has quite some amount of mention in the field of psychology. Psychologists consider manifestation to induce a mental process in an individual similar to that of when one tries to change one’s undesired circumstance and identify it as involving a direction, intention and a positive mindset. Human beings, when faced with a negative unforeseen circumstance tend to get shaken up and there tends to be a huge depreciation in their self-esteem and self-image. This is often coupled with feelings of inferiority and powerlessness. Thus, thought experiments such as manifestations can prove to be highly comforting for the individual when they face an unsolicited situation. This feeling of control over destiny that one may gain through manifestation can have positive effects on one’s mental health as well. Manifestation may also aid an individual in exploring and comprehending oneself more deeply.
It may help them understand what they want in life and the ways to achieve their goals more intrinsically. It may also help them comprehend and change their ways and habits if they do not align with their outcomes. A 2017 study in Basic and Applied Social Psychology showed that tennis players used a visualization technique that helped them imagine themselves winning goals and were found to strike more goals and play more effectively than the team that did not use the technique. Victor Frankl ought to never be a forgotten name when conversations like these about manifestation happen. He was an Austrian existential psychologist who had been a survivor of some horrendous realities of World War 2.
His experiences in the concentration camp of Auschwitz created pivotal changes in him. His book “Man’s Search for Meaning” talks about how he essentially searched for meaning in every scenario that he met with, no matter how negative or positive they may be. His concept of meaning-making later became a founding stone for his field of psychology, logotherapy. He further propagated the idea of visualization practices which he believed can steer our life outcomes. He believed that human freedom lies in our attitude towards the same. His emphasis on these visualization practices and positive attitude towards circumstances mirror the foundations of manifestation.
Manifestation comes with its banes as well. People using manifestation practices fail to recognize the systemic barriers that may exist and obstruct the achievement of a goal. This may become problematic for the backward or marginalized sections of our society. mere manifestation can never solve the engrained societal evils that work against the success of the minority sections. This can inflict huge harm upon the mental health of those individuals. This can further lead to heightened feelings of inferiority, guilt, worthlessness, self-blame etc., which can all be considered precursors for anxiety and depression.
Thus, practically utilizing manifestation strategies is essential. One should acknowledge that manifestations are never synonymous with wishes. One should be mindful of their goals and the ways to achieve them. rather than sitting around waiting for the magic to happen, manifestations work only if the person tries and makes significant changes in their life. They should acknowledge that these practices work only if their “mind, body and soul” align for the same. While spirituality and such connected practices can aid people in meaning-making and finding calmness in the chaos of their lives, beliefs that undergird manifestation may lead people to take undesirable risks and may them vulnerable to attempting to sure-shot ways of success which may not always lead them right.