In my hand was a lightsaber. I was flashing it around and making that cool swishing sound-effect that lightsabers make. I was a Jedi…
Suddenly, in the distance an ominous figure appears and hurries to me. I can see from the dark shape and cold-featured mask, that I have just manifested Darth Vader and he’s coming to kick my butt. So I do what every self-respecting Jedi does. I run away.
Or in other words, I woke up from my dream. But before I did, I had one sudden insight. I realised that I had manifested Darth in my lucid dream with an ‘act of association’.
Dream Worlds and how to manifest Darth Vader
Dreams are usually weird and fulls of random people, occurrences and acts. But in this dream, I became aware that Darth Vader’s manifestation was not completely random. Even though I did not manifest him on purpose in my dream. He had been manifested because of my act of waving a lightsaber around. As I mentioned before, it was due to a ‘act of association’.
It worked like this: There are a lot of different characters in the Star Wars Universe, but if you think of lightsabers, the most obvious association is Darth Vader. Luke Skywalker has his epic battle using his lightsaber against Darth Vader. In my dream, I was playing with a lightsaber and my dream universe picked up on that and created the figure most associated with it, which was Darth.
The Law of Manifestation
And this made me think about the ‘law of manifestation’ and of the various ways it may work. Of course, this is a dream and in the dream world, anything can be manifested (particulary if we control our dreams with lucid dreaming). In the real world, if I pretended to be a Jedi Knight, Darth Vader is not going to suddenly turn up.
However, I assume that this is where the theory of synchronicities come in. So even though the physical being Darth Vader doesn’t turn up, it is quite possible for me to encounter other Darth Vader paraphernalia. For example, I may come across someone wearing a Darth Vader mask, or I may see a poster for a new Star Wars movie.
And in fact, in a local charity shop, that I pass by every day, there is a kids book in the display window called “Darth Vader and Son’. But seeing how popular Star Wars and Darth Vader is these days, then I could either interpret these as coincidences or as synchronicities. It is up to me, how I want to interpret this data. And that has been my attitude these last ten years to the concept of the ‘Law of Manifestation’.
The Secret – Pah…
Personally, I really didn’t go for all that ‘The Secret’ hype a few years ago. It just all seemed so American, too slick and hyped up. This idea that you can manifest absolutely anything you want – new car, money, women and so on, seems too easy and too sensational.
I mean I tried and tried to manifest a meeting with J-Lo, but it just didn’t happen. And I’m still waiting on Lady Gaga.
My wife advised me to read a book by Ester and Abraham Hicks and I bought it and read it, but something about it just didn’t click with me. On the other hand, when I recently read through a book by David Spangler, his writings really made sense and seemed more grounded. I would highly recommend this book.
And then there is real life
I think we’re all aware that life isn’t all glossy like in The Secret and full of everyday miracles and you can manifest everything you want. Actually, life is full of lots of messy stuff. People being sick, dysfunctional families and all sort of life-dramas. We don’t see these undercurrent stories when we meet someone in daily life. We only see the mask. But many people have something going on behind that mask. It’s part of life.
For a few years, I worked in a hospice setting doing acupuncture. At that time, I was working with people dying of terminal illnesses, or living with life-limiting illnesses. Or I would support their family members. Some of the patients were in wheelchairs and unable to use any part of their body. They were completely dependent on carers. When I met some of these brave people, all this Law of Attraction gloss just seemed fake to me.
Peeling away the kitsch
Perhaps, because it has been marketed so sophisticatedly and hyped up, it all seems so fake.
But I recognise that there is something of real value in it behind all the hype. In this article, I will talk about one of the ways that I think manifestation works, by creating ‘acts of association’ in our lives.
My life frustrations
Just like everyone else who reads books like The Secret, I have frustrations and unmet wants in my life. There are circumstances in my life I was unhappy with.
For example, we needed to a bigger place to live in. London is going through a property bubble and there is no affordable housing for younger couples with children. I was stretched to my limit just to pay for the small private place I had. And just like other people, I was tired of living paycheck to paycheck and working all the time, just to see my money go on taxes, rent, bills and groceries, with nothing for the future or for other purposes. This didn’t seem a life I wanted. Basically I was stuck.
I would spend all my time think about what I was missing, and considering how I could make it happen. But it was kind of like banging a square shape into a round hole. In the end, it just became all too frustrating.
Yet, I suppose, that is the life I had been manifesting up till now.
Suck it up
Most people will say thats life, just suck it up. This is normal… right?
But then I would see other people with different types of lives. Lives where they are pursuing their interests and their passions. Lives where their income is so high, it enables them to pursue lots of different life experiences. Yes, there are plenty of people like this in London.
And then I thought, well why them, and not me? And I answered: sure there are differences in our life circumstances, which make this more doable for them, but essentially, it could be me also.
Manifesting Darth Vader with acts of association
So what has this got to do with manifesting Darth Vader?
That dream made me consider the Law of Attraction again, but a little more deeper. I considered the possibility that we can manifest things – not by focusing directly on the thing we want, but by surrounding ourselves with things that are associated with the object of intention. Or in other words, by introducing into our lives, ‘acts of association’ with the desired objective.
For example, the lightsaber is an object that is highly associated with Darth Vader. So in my dream, it was natural that he would show up. But in daily life, manifestations are not always immediate or so direct.
So in the physical world, We have to think a little more thoughtfully about the act of association. We also have to be patient for it to take effect in our lives, once we have introduced the new act of association… Very patient.
For example, if you have an illness, the object is to get healthy. People will usually see a doctor and get tests and receive a treatment. Some conditions like bacterial infections can be pretty much treated with a course of antibiotics and the problem goes away. But other problems aren’t treated so easily. Perhaps some symptoms can be suppressed, so a person can continue functioning in society.
In this condition, your direct objective is to get healthy. But no matter how hard you may think of it, it doesn’t come.
I know this feeling. In my twenties I had a disease called ulcerative colitis, that hit me strong. Yet, after my symptoms were suppressed were steroids, I never felt my body operated at the same level of efficiency as years earlier. I remembered what it was like to have a healthy body and I wanted it back.
‘Acts of Association’ – which choice feels right to you
In this situation, to bring health, by focusing on acts of association. I had to consider what are the acts that a healthy person does? What about unhealthy acts?
Healthy ‘acts of association’
So I made changes to my life. In effect, I introduced an act of association. I introduced pro-active healthy living practices and dropped a lot of unhealthy living practices.
For example, I read cookbooks on healing gut disease. I actually bought a steamer and steamed salmon and ate it with lemon, whilst listening to classical music to aid digestion. (even though at the time, I had long hair at the time and had been listening to bands like Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Faith No More – quite a contrast).
I read about how carrots are really beneficial for your gut lining, and so I ate so much boiled or steamed carrots, my skin actually started to turn a light shade of orange.
And just to put it in perspective – the only thing I knew how to cook up till then was an English Breakfast. That is fried egg, fried bacon, fried sausage and toast. Really, fatty, greasy and unhealthy. Or I might eat leftover Chinese take-out from the night before (looking back it was no wonder, I got sick).
And I realised that these were all big acts of association of how to be an unhealthy person. So instead I decided I wanted to live the life of a healthy person, so I adopted the eating habits of one.
And then years later, all these healthy living life changes and bits of knowledge I absorbed back then, has now become my work. It is stuff, I can share with clients today.
Refusing acts of association that didn’t feel congruent to me
At the time of my diagnosis, My nurse gave me information about an organisation related to my disease. It was a kind of charity designed to create a community of people with colitis. I decided to become a member and got the newsletters and read through their forums. But it just made me feel depressed and I wanted to throw it all away. So I did.
I didn’t want to hear from people who were suffering from this disease, who wanted to talk about how life is hard with it and no one understands their difficulties.
Nor did I want to read articles about potential ‘new cures’ and drugs as though, my whole life was dependent on some scientist in a lab. Drugs didn’t interest me at all.
And I especially didn’t want to hear from doctors or nurses that ‘diet has nothing to do with the disease’. Of course it does. Seriously, what do they learn in doctor school? Perhaps it’s changed now.
Just to add – support organisations do great work
This is not to say, that support groups, like the one I mentioned above are all about associating with being sick. Not at all. They have a very important function and help many people. This was just my own personal feeling and personality trait. I am the kind of person, that if I was an alcoholic, I would more likely find my own solution to quitting and would avoid groups like AA, even though they can be very effective in getting people to quit drinking. It is my own preference.
Leaving paths behind
Ultimately, I wanted to find the solution and fix the problem naturally and without drugs.
I felt that if I kept reading their material of this organisation or attend their support groups, I would only lock the illness even more into me. Hence, I would only bring the association of being sick more firmer into my life.
I didn’t want that. I wanted to fix this problem naturally and also proactively. So that was the journey I undertook. I created a different act of association and I manifested a different life script for myself.
We are making our current life, step by step
In Part 1, I discussed my dream where the manifestation of Darth Vader from the simple ‘act of association’ of my dream character holding a lightsaber, led me to consider that perhaps we are manifesting our actual physical reality every moment in time.
Who you are, and what you are doing now, is a direct or indirect result of every decision you have taken up to now.
But where does this fit into health? Some diseases we have no control of, right?
Some, yes. For example, genetic diseases we are born with or circumstances or accidents that have occurred to us and are out of our control. For example, if your mother received thalidomide when she was pregnant from the doctor, which we now know causes birth defects. Or perhaps, if someone worked with asbestos, which we now know can lead to COPD or Lung cancer.
But more often than not, we do have some control
But sometimes, there are factors that have occurred, where we do have control over. For example, if you stick too long in a abusive relationship. Or if you work too long in a job that you absolutely hate and which gives you lots of stress, ulcers and makes you take it out on your family.
It is recognised that stress inhibits the immune system and increases blood pressure. Is it so hard to imagine that being in this kind of situation for many years could result in disease later in your middle-age years?
For example, if you do a job you really really hate for years, where you think to yourself on a daily basis: “My life is unfulfilled, I hate my boss, I hate my co-workers. I am trapped. I am a zombie, I feel like a zombie…” and so on, what happens here is that you really will become a zombie.
Yes, you will.
Your skin will turn pale, you will start to shuffle and moan and groan throughout your daily life, easily snapping at people or other drivers around you for small insignificant acts. Your conversation will become mundane, lacking imagination and you’ll be easily manipulated by advertisers and the media into chasing material goods as a substitute for happiness, kind of like how zombie hordes chase after living humans for sustenance.
And zombies aren’t particular healthy. In fact, they’re dead. So you may find your health suffers too. This is creating the act of association of a zombie.
So if in your dream, you pulled out a lightsaber. Bad move. You’d probably get Darth Vader leading a group of Nazi zombies – kind of like those cheesy 1980’s horror movies.
You chose your current life
Your job today is a manifestation of every decision and step you have taken in your life before. Perhaps your path was straightforward. You knew you wanted to be a doctor so you studied hard at every level and picked up all your relevant qualifications. Then you became one. Great. (Just be aware that diet is definitely a factor in disease whatever the studies conclude).
But a lot of people land into careers and jobs in a backwards, tumbling-kind of way. I heard of a guy who was in prison for years. Then when he got out, he set up a successful building renovation business, making him a very rich man. His path to his business was certainly not clear and measured. But perhaps, if we looked closely at his actual life experiences, we may find that the seeds for this eventual business success was being planted and acted upon in many different ways all along his journey.
My own example
If I stop and evaluate, my own life I can see that my path today is the result of lots of choices, circumstances and mind-sets I have made over the years.
For example, In my early twenties, I became very sick with the disease, ulcerative colitis, that I discussed in part 1.
I dropped out of university. I fell behind my peers and I felt lost. My life had no direction.
If I had been fine with that, (as a lot of people in my hometown were), then there would have been no problem. But I had more ambition, and this lack of purpose really frustrated me.
Small and seemingly, insignificant acts I did years before – led me to who I am today
So, I made some small acts in my life to change my life script. I created new acts of association. But these were not big acts. They were all small and seemingly insignificant acts. Yet, each act was like a seed, with the potential to grow into a big tree.
I started reading a lot more. One of the first things I read at that time was The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. That was a big life changer for me. It made me think more deeply about the purpose of my life. I read all his other books. Then I actually visited a local library for the first time and picked out all sorts of books about health, spirituality and I consumed them. One of them was the book ‘The Road Less Travelled’. Another life-changing book.
Fast forward five years and I am massaging another man’s feet
At the time then, I had no inclination that I was ever going to study complementary therapies, although one of my favourite books, strangely enough was the Hale Clinic Guide to Complementary Therapies. I dipped in and out of it reading about all the different types of complementary therapies. Since then, I have visited the Hale clinic’s bookshop many times in London.
However, to a young man in the countryside, all that kind of stuff was a bit girly. Yet it is those early steps that led to me massaging a man’s feet years later, in a classroom, when I trained for my Reflexology qualification. A very unusual experience for me back then, but not anymore.
Then I learnt to stick needles into myself and then other people, when I studied acupuncture. I suppose that’s even stranger. Yet, I could consider that one of the steps that led me there was reading Paulo Coelho’s book years before. Why – because it set off the beginning of a catalysis – a desire to have more meaning to my life. Small acts of association have wide-reaching potential consequences.
Unintended & unexpected consequences of earlier ‘acts of association’
So if I look at it this way, all those books I read around 15 years ago, made the manifestation of my current life possible. A path, that honestly is full of challenges (and frankly not enough money as I would like), but has definitely been interesting.
And with hindsight, if I had carried out any other acts, that could be associated with a sick person.
For example, I could have chosen to put my health completely in the hands of my doctor’s drugs and then kept smoking, drinking and partying, as I had done before getting sick. I could have not bothered to learn more about health and my disease. If I had taken that course – those acts of association, well then I may be still there right now in that old life, feeling very unfulfilled.
What are your acts of association?
Before I go to Part 3, I ask you to consider all those small and seemingly insignificant or even largely significant acts that you have taken all these years to become the person you are today. How many of those acts were purposely taken? How many just seemed to happen to you? How many were good acts of association and how many led to bad experiences?
In life, everything has a reason and a purpose as well as a cause and consequence. What have been your road turnings and sign posts to get you to your life today?
Manifesting a new path
I have previously discussed the idea of choosing your life script. I think this is the starting point.
We may feel stuck in an unwanted situation, feeling as though we are tumbling and falling, with no control of where we are falling to. The situation wants to chew us up and run us through its course. You are not alone in feeling this. It happens so often in life and in some ways, it is part of our life script.
In this situation, the one thing we always have some control over is our – ‘choice of mind’.
By choice of mind, I don’t mean that we can suddenly escape the situation, or magically create money or quit the jobs we hate, especially if we have a mortgage, kids, debts and the economy is bad.
What I mean by ‘choice of mind’ is that we have the power to choose if this is the life we want to manifest from hereon in. Or do we want something else?
If we want to manifest a different life, then it starts with the mind. The mind is the starting point.
Then with the mind, we formulate what it is we would like to experience and then in physical reality, we take actual steps to bring it about. We do this by introducing new acts of association. The steps can be small. Very small. But every act sends a ripple into our new reality.
Creating new ‘acts of association’ in career
I know of someone who wants to get out of a job he hates. It sucks the life out of him, But he has family and bills. So what can he do?
Well, in his case, he is slowly transitioning out of it. He trained in a practical skill in his spare time by doing a part-time course. He set up a website for his potential business. He even applied for jobs in his new field. He still works the job he hates and is not able to make the full transition, but his mind and energy is moving in a new direction. It is only a matter of time till it happens. Then I think he will have some more challenges to go through, but the good thing is he will be able to live a more fulfilling life.
In his case, all these acts of association – the applying for the short course, the website and the applying for jobs are the equivalent of waving the lightsaber around. But in his case, I think Obi wan Kenobi will turn up to point him in the right direction of a new kind of work and life. And perhaps Yoda too later on.
Creating new ‘acts of association’ in health
The same goes with health. Whatever the state, there are choices of how we approach a disease. I had a family member who had a diagnosis of cancer. Though it was a more serious type this person was relatively young and had a good sense of ikigai (life purpose) through his career which had great meaning to him.
However, he had seriously destructive life habits. He was a heavy smoker, daily drinker and ate excessively rich and fatty foods. He went to the doctor and paid for the best expert in the field and literarily said to the doctor: “OK, now fix me”.
So then he took all the drugs, suffered all the side effects and continued his unhealthy lifestyle as best as he could. But it didn’t work. Sadly he died too early in life.
Can we manifest better health with ‘acts of association’?
It is all in hindsight now, but was this an uncontrollable consequence? Or could he have manifested a different outcome? What if he had adopted the ‘acts of association’ of a healthy person? Say, he chose to eat more healthily, quit the meats and rich foods. Cut down or better yet – quit the drinking and smoking? And perhaps he started going walking every day to help lose weight and oxygenate his body.
All of these are the kind of acts are that associated with a healthy person. By doing these acts, you manifest the life of a healthy person. Or to make an analogy – you are waving your lightsaber around, but instead Princess Leia turns up. That’s not a bad outcome.
All the acts of drinking daily, smoking heavily, eating rich food and never exercising are the kinds of acts associated with a sick person. So even though you may take the most up-to-date, expensive medical treatment available, it doesn’t matter. Because you will still be manifesting sickness. And if you wave your lightsaber around, for sure, Darth Vader will turn up with the Phantom Menace for back up.
Everyday we are manifesting without being aware of it
So this is the meaning for me of how we manifest things in our lives. There is no magic. We are literally doing it every moment of our life. The life you have today was brought about by associations and decisions you made years before.
In fact most people are just really lousy at manifesting things. They tend to manifest things they hate. Usually they do it by doing and thinking things that are not true to themselves.
For example, they let someone else choose a career or them and then spend the rest of their life doing it and hating every moment. And then they complain about hating their job and life… well of course you do, but you chose it.
And you can choose another.
So in this moment, even if your life sucks, think about the one thing you would like to experience as a part of your life. Then think of what ‘acts of association’ are strongly connected with it. These can be small things like reading a book on the topic, buying a item of clothing related to it, or a simple email to someone in that field – by connecting with someone who is already doing what you want to do.
In fact, I did that last week. I sent an email to Steve Pavlina regarding a playful article I wrote and asking his permission to use it. He was fine with it.
Yet by doing that, I feel I have introduced a minor act of association into my life by taking me one small step closer towards a different kind of life and contacts with more growth orientated people. And all it took was one article and a small email.
The Butterfly effect
These are the small steps, just like the fabled butterfly effect that will eventually lead to bigger, more visible results sometime later. This is what I am currently working on, especially with this new website and blog. With every word and article I post, I feel I am building a new association in my life with the manifestation of a favourable life experience. It is not clear how this will turn out, but I have faith. So stick around and keep reading my posts to see how this life experiment goes.
Create your new acts of association
At the end of Part 2, I asked you to consider your acts of associations, your steps and acts significant or insignificant, that led you to your current life experience.
Well, every moment you are alive, you have the opportunity to consciously create new acts of association. These are new seeds that may grow into something bigger sometime in the future.
A seed need not be anything big. Seeds invariably are very small and insignificant little things, but that have the potential to become mighty hunks of a tree.
It can be a thought or a small act. Some examples are reading a new book, joining a new club for something you wanted to learn but never could before. It may be discovering a new genre of music and throwing yourself into it or trying out a new type of food. It may be exploring different types of work or becoming more fashionable. We are quite lucky in life in that these days we have so many choices, even if our income is low. My ancestors certainly didn’t the choices I have today, so lets take advantage of this gift.
It may even be adopting new healthy practices like meditation or yoga practices like stretching 5 minutes a day or trying out an acupuncture session. Every act will lead to a new life experience.
A quote to end
To end, here is a quote from the Sufi Master Irina Tweedie, which she wrote after she had passed though a very tough spiritual training with her master in India. I think it relates to what I have written:
“The realization that every act, every word, every thought of ours not only influences our environment but mysteriously forms an integral part of the Universe, fits into it as if by necessity, in the very moment we do or say or think it, is an overwhelming and even shattering experience.
If we only knew deeply, absolutely, that our smallest act, our smallest thought, has such far-reaching effects; setting forces in motion; reaching out to the galaxy; how carefully we would act and speak and think. How precious life would become in its integral oneness.”
If you are interested in Irina Tweedie’s book, it is available here on Amazon.
And if you’re interested, my next article will be: ‘How to Manifest Princess Leia and Xena Warrior Princess together, with the Law of Attraction’. (PG-rated). And heck, as an extra bonus, I’ll even throw Buffy the Vampire Slayer in there too.
Or maybe not. But sign up to my mailing-list or ‘follow’ me, just in case I do write it. You wouldn’t want to miss that.
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