manifesting the id or the new monkey’s paw


at a party last night, i was talking to a one of the hosts in a general chit chat fashion and she mentioned that she’s going on paid stress leave for the next six weeks. Her situation was horrible enough that she had to leave town but she seemed to be dealing with it really well and in a very positive way. Then she said something that got me thinking,

“It’s ok because I pretty much manifested this situation. I’d been really needing a break from work for a long time and now I get six weeks.”

It’s a common new-age hippie thing to believe that one’s desires is “manifested” into the real world, that the universe succumbs to one’s wishes ultimately providing every person with what they need.

I think it is all complete balderdash but I’ve learnt not to question their assertions about manifestation because it seems to be mostly harmless and designed to give one a comforting illusion of control over what to your general disenfranchised hippie is ultimately a chaotic and frightening world.

That’s what I thought anyway until my host talked about what had happened and how she had manifested it. If it’s possible for one’s conscious desires to interpreted by some kind of universal demi-urge and delivered in a perverted way as in the famous tale “the monkey’s paw”, then this whole manifesting thing is not at all comforting. In fact, it’s quite horrible. If I was a new-age hippie who believed in manifestation, I’d try very hard not to manifest anything at all.

But they still do believe in manifesting and I was trying to understand how when I recalled other conversations I’ve had with new-age hippies and never quite thought about. (I generally assume a benevelont half smile and nod gently at the appropriate times when these and other similar topics of conversations come up.)

The way new-age hippies get around the possibility of a universal demi-urge with an evil sense of humour is to believe that it resides within. When something horrible happens to you even if you’ve been trying to manifest something good, then it’s all the fault of the id, of your unconscious or semi-conscious desires.

Thinking about it now, it seems like an admirably closed and unfalsifiable system.

Of course, I’ve never quite worked out how babies dying of Aids in Africa manifested that reality on themselves, how victims of Chernobyl managed to create their little hell of radiation poisoning, how chinese women forced to undergo abortion by the authorities managed to pervert the universe into carrying out their secret wishes, how farmers in Australia have manifested a drought that’s destroying their livelihood.

But I can guess it’s to do with the proper way of manifesting, one that no doubt requires extensive training and weekend workshops.

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