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Manifestation

  Welcome to the first volume of the Handbook for the Modern Mystic.  Book I: Manifestation will soon be available in print and Kindle form though CreateSpace Publications, available on Amazon.com.  In the meantime, I'm sharing portions of the manuscript online.

Over recent decades, a radical notion has been spreading across the globe: human intentions can directly influence the physical world. People from all walks of life are opening their minds to the idea of an ineffable inner power that enables us to guide the course of events with our thoughts, feelings and ambitions. This force goes by many names, but prolific authors such as Carlos Castaneda and Gary Zukav call it Intent, so I'll just defer to the masters on this one.

  Manifestation is a word that is commonly used to describe what happens when the force of Intent has a noticeable impact on people’s lives. It is my belief that people manifest stuff all the time, but most of this occurs unconsciously because modern culture tells us that there is no such thing as magic. The so-called common wisdom holds that we’re only allowed to believe in wacky things if that belief is founded in dogma. In other words, if someone a long time ago wrote down their views on God(s), the Heavens or the Apocalypse, and you have no way of knowing if they are correct, it is totally acceptable to take their words as gospel… but the minute you start to think that your own personal experiences support the existence of something beyond the physical plane, you have ventured into Wackytown and should probably consult a psychiatrist.

  Mystical trailblazers such as Richard Bach, Wayne Dyer, Shakti Gawain, and James Redfield all describe Manifestation as an integral part of the human potential. To the great chagrin of many atheists and career skeptics, these sorts of books have not just sold like hotcakes, but have received critical acclaim from philosophers, theologians, quantum physicists, and even Oprah. This success speaks to a growing acceptance of the Theory of Manifestation, even in cultures like the United States where many folks scoff at ideas that smack of "magical thinking."

  It might surprise some people to learn that the Theory of Manifestation is anything but revolutionary; in historical terms, it isn’t even newsworthy.  The force of Intent has gone by many names throughout the ages, cropping up in more cosmologies than I have time to tell.  There are allusions to this power in many of the world’s religions, from the mystical traditions of Judaism and Islam to those of preindustrial peoples.  Focused intention was a cornerstone of the Celtic worldview, and was known as Maya in the pre-Vedic civilization of the Indus valley.  There are even glimmers of it in many martial arts practices, in stories of adepts whose body/mind mastery enables them to defy ordinary rules of cause and effect.   

   The main reason that so people attribute such novelty to the growing appeal of this paradigm is that it's such a stark departure from the norm in our "enlightened" modern culture.  Though organized religion is still quite prevalent, these belief systems mainly shape people’s conception of transcendent topics like the soul or afterlife; for everything else, Scientific Materialism is the law of the land. This world view defines most people’s bedrock assumptions about reality and human ability—assumptions so ingrained in our culture that many people can’t conceive of any alternative.

  Scientific Materialism asserts that human beings only have five senses, and that the only proper way to believe in something beyond that spectrum of perception is to muster up faith in things we can never experience firsthand—an uphill battle in such a dauntingly mundane Universe. This world view exerts such a stranglehold over social constructions of the human potential that it's nothing short of miraculous for so many people in modern civilization to conclude that "magic" is real after all. It’s almost enough to make the skeptics wonder if people raised in this empirical environment might have actually experienced firsthand phenomena which led them to conclude that manifestation is real.


Next: Magic Happens

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