- written by Jessica McKenzie
Manifesting is the ability to bring something physical into your life through the practice of attraction and belief.
Philosophy is “the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence.” - Definition from Oxford Languages.
Manifestation is becoming increasingly popular with the generations of today, and it is becoming more and more commonly practiced wherever we may turn. Manifestation is traditionally used to be able to change your life, and to guide you into living the life that you so very deserve to live - your best life. It is used to bring something physical to you whether that may be a new career, money, a new home, partner, marriage or pet! We manifest through the art of believing and using our thoughts and energy to create our own personal reality.
Philosophy is used to try and explain multiple areas and corners of the life and world that we are living in - in every aspect possible. Some of these theories that we read and learn about can be perceived as beliefs that we turn into our own reality, but others can be seen as stories that we use to try and understand the magical makings of the world that we have been blessed to be a part of.
But is there a link between the two? Are there any theories out there that could contribute to the history and the beliefs of manifesting?
I bring to you Plato (I’m sure that you have heard of this great philosopher but if you haven’t - meet Plato!). Plato was a student of the immense philosopher, Socrates, and he created many, many works that we still read and learn about today. Socrates was an incredible thinker - he analysed everything that he could and he tried to provide the unanswerable with the answerable. However, it wasn’t a pretty ending for the philosopher. Socrates was jailed and sentenced to death for apparently ‘corrupting the youth’. He would wander around asking people questions in the hopes of searching for relatable answers, but this didn’t really play in his favour!
One of Plato’s works that I want to highlight and put into comparison with manifesting is his ‘World of the Forms’ and ‘Allegory of the Cave’ from his book ‘The Republic’. Both of these scriptures are powerfully analysing and really give us a clearer insight into the thinking and making of the world that we perceive. Is this world that we are residing in real? Is there more to what we are living with? Is there another world that can be seen as more beautiful with a better perception of what true beauty and knowledge really is? Can we get more guidance from a more beautiful life from somewhere else? Well the answer is yes, quite possibly actually.
Let me tell you a little bit more about ‘The World of the Forms’.
For Plato, there were two worlds - the Physical World and the Spiritual World. The Physical World is the world that we live in. We know what is around us, there are multiple aspects of the same thing, we are aware and we have great knowledge of how the world works. The Spiritual World is a world like no other. It is a world where only the highest of truth really lies, where the greatest knowledge possible known to man sits and the most beautiful possessions that anybody could ever dream of are kept. Why can’t we access this incredible realm? Why can only a few people only have an insight into what this looks like? Because it takes thinking, that’s why.
If you really want it and really want to access it, anybody can and to their own extent, access this world. It takes thinking, belief and practice… Just like the art of manifesting. If you want to attract something so badly, then you can achieve it. You just have to believe in yourself.
Let’s move on to the ‘Allegory of the Cave’.
This allegory by Plato is a dialogue between his brother Glaucon and his late teacher, Socrates. The two are discussing the two worlds - the Physical World and the Spiritual World in a conversation so back and forth that it all starts to make sense. Like any philosophical readings, ‘The Allegory of the Cave’ can have different interpretations to those who stumble across it, but I want to show you how it can be totally relatable to manifesting.
There are a group of people living inside of an extraordinarily large cave. They have never been outside of this cave and are kept in there as prisoners. They are shackled completely by their hands and feet, and made to face a wall. It is all that they have known their entire life and quite possible all that they will ever know. Unknowingly, there are things happening behind them. There is a giant walkway that covers the entire stretch of the cave with an opening at both ends. Along this walkway, people walk on a daily basis carrying statues. Behind this walkway there is a huge roaring fire, that allows the shadows of the statues to be portrayed onto the wall in front of the prisoners. The prisoners name these shadows and get excited when a new one comes along. They frequently have discussions about them, what they do and what they are used for.
One day, one of the prisoner’s shackles becomes loose and he is free. He is free from the cave, from his boundaries and if he wants to he can escape. He turns around and he has the shock of his life. He is met with the walkway, the people walking along it carrying the statues and he is faced with the roaring fire which equates to the reasoning as to why they have been able to see just a fraction of what they have seen all of their lives. So what does the prisoner do? Just like anybody would, he makes his way up the walkway and through the entrance of the cave to the opening that not him or his fellow prisoners have ever been blessed with noticing before.
Once he steps outside, he becomes blinded because naturally his eyes are not accustomed to the sunlight. But once this settles, he notices something. He notices how serene and beautiful the outside world is. He is graced with the pure sounds of nature and overwhelmed with the impact of true knowledge, he suddenly realises that the life that he has been living is a complete lie. The fire inside the cave is the imitation of true knowledge as this is what the sun is there to do, the statues and the people walking across the walkway are only imitations of what the outside world can deliver.
Upon his return to the cave, the prisoner cannot wait to tell his fellow inmates what he has just experienced and witnessed. Of course, they don’t believe him as they have never seen this themselves. So what do they suggest? What do they long for? They want him sentenced to death because they believe within themselves that he is creating a mass lie. They decided to team up with ignorance and forget what had just happened, and continue to live their lives shackled in a cave and bound down to the falsity and lies that their world had to offer - in complete unknown sadness and misery.
The reason that I wanted to describe Plato’s ‘Allegory of the Cave’ to you is because there are so many similarities in here to manifesting and being able to live the true life that you truly deserve. So let’s start at the beginning.
The large cave that Plato talks about is to resemble our world and the prisoners inside of the cave are meant to echo us humans. So in comparison to manifesting, the cave shows us a gloomy life that we are not happy living in and we have been bound to that life because we either don’t have the freedom to be set free into something more beautiful, or we don’t know how.
The fire and the walkway are displayed by Plato as what we see in our everyday lives, and what we have been accustomed to. Comparing this to manifesting is exactly the same, as what we see in our lives is all we have ever known and will know unless we are able to change it for ourselves.
The freed prisoner is depicted by Plato as Socrates and his path to thinking and physical freedom. In comparison to manifesting, this shows an individual on their journey into creating a beautiful life and attracting the things that they most want to experience and gain for themselves. Whether that be that brand new car or building a new house, we all have to embark on the journey to true knowledge through the art of believing and practicing to get there.
The outside world (Spiritual World) is the true world, but when we compare this to manifesting, it is the end goal. It is everything that we have worked for and hoped for and what we have gained. We have reached it, attained it and grasped it with both hands and all of our hard work has paid off. We got there and because we now know how to reach the final destination and what it has to offer, we can continue to use the art of manifesting in every aspect and corner of our lives.
The freed prisoner returning to the cave and telling everyone about what he has experienced could be shown as us… us humans finally perfecting manifesting and getting that gorgeous new sports car, but no one believing that we got it through manifesting. Other people being so accustomed to their daily routines and cycles that they can’t break, because they are too afraid to embark on a new journey for themselves… And being too scared to believe that it could actually work for them.
So is there a link between philosophy and manifesting? There absolutely is, and there is definitely more where this has come from.
So, are you going to be those prisoners shackled up and stuck in a world that they are so unhappy in? Being shown things that are false and being provided with false knowledge? Or are you going to be that freed prisoner, embarking on a new journey to reach YOUR end goal and attracting the most beautiful things that life has to offer?
I know which one I would choose - what about you?
Written by Jess McKenzie
After studying Philosophy, Religion and Ethics for 7 years, Jess graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with a Ba(Hons) in Philosophy. Now working in the field of Social Media, Jess has manifested the highest and most key aspects of her life from going to University, her current career, her living situation and taking part in pageants. Jess enjoys finding the links between Philosophy and everyday life to paranormal explorations, whilst always thinking about the deeper rooted meanings to the life that we are living and turning obstacles in our lives to beautiful journeys.