This is a question I have asked myself many times over the last 15 years and it’s something that a lot of my coaching students and friends have directly and indirectly asked me about as well.
A lot of people today use words and phrases like “I manifested this” or “I attracted this” or “I created this”, or even more often “I didn’t manifest this” or “I didn’t attract this” or “I didn’t create this!”.
But what do such phrases actually mean?
Well, what I’ve realized recently is that while a lot of people use language where they talk about “manifesting” or “attracting” or “creating” things, events or situations in their lives – a lot of times this language means totally different things to different people.
From my observations, people tend to go through five levels of understanding / meaning when it comes to “manifesting”.
Level 1 – The Newtonian Perspective
People who view the world through a Level 1 lens or perspective see the universe as an objective, separate entity that exists “out there”, separate from them or anyone else.
In this Level 1 perspective, the universe is a collection of galaxies, stars and planetary systems all separate from one another.
Every human on the planet, every animal, plant, and object is viewed as completely separate entities.
When people who are at this level of thinking talk about “manifesting things”, they refer to a set of action steps that they have taken – or that someone else has taken at their request – which produce a specific result in their lives.
From their perspective, they see “manifesting” as the result of taking action towards a goal or outcome they desire.
For example, if someone at this level says “I manifested a new car!”, what they really mean is that they went out there and took more action, and made more money and then they went to a car dealership and they purchased a new car.
People who view the world from this perspective live by a mantra of “Just do it!” or “Take more action!” They do not believe that anything “out there” happens, or manifests for anyone, unless a person physically does something by taking physical action to accomplish that thing.
People at this level typically don’t waste their time with things like meditation, or visualization, because they view time as a limited resource and things like meditation or visualization just waste time that could be better spent taking more action.
When people at this level say that they “manifested something” or “attracted something” what they really mean is that they went out there, took action and they accomplished a goal they desired by taking physical action based on a logical sequence of events that took them from point A to point B.
People at this level of thinking do not believe it is possible to manifest anything just by thinking about it. They believe that unless a person actually takes physical action towards something, nothing will happen.
People at this level see the world through the five senses, and do not believe in anything that cannot be proven through the current paradigms used in science.
We could say that for people at this level, the traditional Newtonian scientific method is their religion.
Level 2 – 6th Sense Introduction
The next level of thinking some people evolve to is almost identical to the 1st Level I just described, but with a small twist of the 6th Sense.
What do I mean by this?
Well, people at this second level of thinking believe in the exact same things as people at the 1st level, but they also make room for a small amount of “unexplained phenomenon” – such as the 6th sense.
The reason this usually happens is because once in a while when a person is trying to manifest something from the 1st Level perspective (of taking action) – there are times when it appears as if certain things end up manifesting without any effort on their part in the physical universe.
For example, a person might put together a dream board and they might put a picture of a certain thing that they want to manifest in their lives on that dream board. Several days later someone who they haven’t shared this desire with may visit them and give them that exact object as a gift, even though the person didn’t tell anyone about wanting this specific item.
When this happens once or twice, people at Level 1 thinking tend to just dismiss it as a co-incidence, but when these types of events happen more than once or when the probability of co-incidence is just too great to have happened – people tend to start to evolve to the 2nd level of thinking where they start factoring in a little bit of “unexplained phenomenon” into the equation.
For example, people might start to believe that the human mind has some form of psychic ability where once in a while – from time to time – we can actually pickup on the thoughts that another person is thinking subconsciously.
This then accounts for all the situations where we want to manifest something (using Level 1 techniques of taking action), an then we are pleasantly surprised by an event where someone “mysteriously” gives us what we want even though we didn’t tell them that we wanted that thing etc.
For example I might be watching TV and see a commercial for cinnamon buns, and I might think to myself “Man, I haven’t had cinnamon buns for a long time. I’d love to have one.“ I may think that, but I might not say anything to anyone about it.
Later on that night, a friend might pop by for a visit and they bring cinnamon buns over and when I ask them about why they felt compelled to bring over cinnamon buns, they might just say “I don’t know…I was at the store and I thought you might want cinnamon buns so I got them.”
People at this level of thinking still believe that the universe is made up of “objects”, all separate from each other – floating through space. However, they start to see these weird patterns where things sometimes manifest in their lives just by them thinking about them, so they start to believe that perhaps human beings might have some kind of “psychic connection” to one another and that explains why sometimes we can manifest things without doing anything or telling anyone about those things.
In most cases though, people at Level 2 thinking still focus 99% of their efforts on manifesting things through physical action as in Level 1. Once in a while they experience a “miracle” where something manifests without action, but they rationalize that by thinking that another person must have “read their mind” somehow and knew what they wanted.
At this Level of thinking – however – everything is still manifested through ACTION, it just may be that the action steps required to manifest may be completed by someone else who picked up on your desire through some sort of 6th sense.
People at Level 2 still believe very much in a religion of Science – but they may believe that there are some things (ie. 6th sense) that science hasn’t yet explained, and attribute any “miracles” they perceive in their lives as just something we haven’t yet scientifically proven (at least with conventional, high-school level of science).
Level 3 – Mass Consciousness Rules All
The next level of thinking happens when people start to see examples of things manifesting in their lives that were NOT created through physical action taken by them – OR – by other people “reading their minds”.
For example, imagine if you wanted to manifest a new car because you hated your current car and you sat down and visualized owning a brand new car and then 15 minutes later a bolt of lightning hit a tree outside of your house and the tree cracked in half and fell on top of your existing car.
And imagine that the insurance company wrote off the car and gave you enough money for it for you to be able to purchase a brand new car.
Well, in such a situation you couldn’t attribute this weird event to a person reading your mind (your desire to want a new car) and then somehow manifesting that scenario by taking action on your behalf – because it was a bolt of lightning that caused the situation to happen, not a person.
This may not be the best example, but essentially at this third level of understanding “manifestation”, people start to awaken to the idea that somehow just by thinking about things or desiring things, we are able to actually affect inanimate objects as well – not just other people.
It’s almost as if it’s not just other human beings “listening” to our desires through some sort of “6th sense” – it’s more like the entire universe appears to be listening to our thoughts and desires.
That doesn’t mean that the entire universe re-arranges itself to give us what we want, instantly with no effort – but from time to time we experience events that simply can’t be explained by any other theory except that somehow “The Universe” heard our desire.
Some people may call “The Universe” by a name like God, or some other force outside of themselves, but regardless what label they give this force, people at this level believe that there is something greater than themselves that is “listening” or “controlling” things behind the scenes and it has power over everything in the Universe.
Scientists tend to use the name “consciousness” to refer to this force, because they don’t like using words like “God” or “The Universe” since they have religious connotations.
At this third level of thinking, people start to think that there is a form of “mass consciousness” that connects all beings together, and all particles and events in the universe and whatever this “mass consciousness” is – it is alive and listening.
When people try to manifest something at this level, what they believe is happening is that they are placing an “order” into “mass consciousness” and hoping that this mass consciousness will respond by manifesting what they want.
Some people believe it is actually the 7 billion or so people on this planet that make up the mass consciousness in a sort of “hive mind”, and the sum of all the desires of this “hive mind” is what manifests as our reality.
Meaning, it’s almost like a democratic voting system where I place my “vote” into the hive mind by asking for what I want at an energetic level – and assuming that the collective mind of the other 7 billion people aligns with my desires then I will get what I want.
However, if the collective hive mind is not in alignment with my personal desires then I will not manifest what I want in my life – except possibly by force or independent physical action.
At this level of thinking, people tend to focus on trying to change the world, or to change the thinking of the world — to more closely match their thinking. By doing this, they hope to accomplish getting their personal desires met.
One difference between Level 3 thinking versus Level 2 thinking is that at Level 3, we are no longer bound by the so called “laws of physics”.
At Level 3, the belief starts to be that YES there are law of physics such as gravity for example, that we are bound and limited by —- HOWEVER, those rules are only in effect because the mass consciousness hive mind believes them to be true.
The idea is that the concept of gravity is a useful and beneficial BELIEF for the 7 billion people on this planet, so we’re not just going to break gravity by individually wanting to manifest that.
However, if we could somehow convince all 7 billion people on this planet that we can defy gravity – then we would manifest a reality where gravity doesn’t even exist anymore. In this way, NO rule of physics is greater than the beliefs of Mass Consciousness.
In fact, every rule of physics, is simply a construct of mass consciousness – and at this level of thinking – people believe that they are a PART of mass consciousness, but typically their thinking is that they are just a small fraction of it and in “effect” by the overall thinking of the hive mind.
This is why people at this level tend to pick missions in life and spend a lot of time and energy trying to change the world, change the thinking of the world, and are always focusing on fixing all that is broken “out there”.
When they want to manifest something in life, their thinking usually points them towards “How do I align my desires with the whole world?” and they tend to ask for things in life that they think will make the world a better place for everyone. Their thinking is “I will get what I want in life, as long as what I want is for the benefit of everyone else as well.”
The things they tend to manifest in their lives tend to reflect that idea. They find it very easy to manifest stuff that is good for everyone, but any desires they have which they perceive to be a bit “selfish” – they tend to have a lot of trouble manifesting.
Level 4 – The Mirror
At Level 4, people start to realize that changing the entire world – or “hive mind of mass consciousness” is very exhausting work!
They start to think…man, it’s so hard to change other people! Nobody wants to change! So how can I manifest my dreams and desires if I need to change the whole world first?! There has to be an easier way.
And typically they start to look in the mirror.
They start to look at themselves.
Instead of trying to go “out there” and change the planet, change the government, change the people, change all this “stuff out there” – they start to really focus on just changing themselves.
They start to ask themselves – “Well, what do *I* really want? Forget the world, and the planet, and all this stuff going on out there… Forget trying to make everyone ‘out there’ happy… What do *I* want? What would make ME happy?”
And at this point, they start to make small but important changes in themselves.
When they realize that they constantly manifest relationships with people who treat them like crap, they start looking inside and asking themselves “Why am I manifesting this? Why do I treat myself like crap?” or “Where in my life am I treating myself like crap?”
And what they very quickly start to realize is that there is nobody “out there”. There is no “mass consciousness” that is “out there” affecting them. They start to realize that as soon as they change themselves, seemingly the entire world “out there” changes automatically.
The world “out there” essentially becomes a mirror. If I look in the mirror and I see myself standing there – without a hat on – and I want the person in the mirror to be wearing a hat, what do I have to do?
Well, that’s simple… I just have to put a hat on myself – and the person in the mirror will automatically be wearing a hat!
So, people at this 4th level of manifesting reality start to really go INSIDE for answers.
When they want to manifest a new car, for example, they go INSIDE for that. They start looking for internal conflicts, or limiting beliefs INSIDE themselves that are holding them back from having a new car.
They work on their own energy, their own conscious and subconscious beliefs, their vibration, the alignment of their Chakras, their physical vitality, the foods they put INSIDE their body, etc. as things to focus on when wanting to manifest what they want.
At this level people start to realize that the more they change their INNER landscape, the more the reality OUT THERE seems to change instantly and effortlessly.
Taking physical action “out there” is completely pointless without proper INNER alignment first.
This is a very powerful level of awareness and many people manifest amazing things at this level.
Level 5 – I am
At Level 4 people realize that everything boils down to “INNER WORK”.
You want to manifest a new car? Focus on your beliefs, your vibration, your energy levels, your thoughts, your alignment with your higher self, your physical vitality, your mind etc. If you get those things all aligned, then things “OUT THERE” will take care of themselves, almost as if by magic – and usually with very little or no physical effort (action) required on your part.
However, the challenge with Level 4 thinking is that even though you’ve stopped looking “out there” (Level 1,2,3) as the path towards getting what you want, and replaced it with “in here” as the limitation holding you back – you are still limiting yourself.
Meaning, for example, a person at Level 4 might think “I will manifest the car I want as soon as I can get past my limiting beliefs.” or “I will manifest the car I want as soon as I change my vibration to attract/manifest the car I want.”
Essentially, the “gatekeepers” between where you are now and where you want to be (ie. driving your new car) is your limiting beliefs, or your higher self, or your mind, or your subconscious, or your vibration, or your energy levels, or the clogged Chakras you have, or something like that.
At Level 4, people become “Inner Warriors”. They develop an ever increasing repertoire of “Inner Tools” that work on their body, mind, spirit, conscious and subconscious mind etc.
All of this “Inner Work” is wonderful and typically produces a lot of amazing results for people.
However, after a while people start to realize that all these “inner gatekeepers” are all the same – or at the very least they are very similar.
And at Level 5, people start to realize that even the gatekeepers themselves are our own constructs.
Meaning, at Level 4, if I want to manifest a new car – I might think to myself “Okay, to get this car I have to get rid of this limiting belief called X which is holding me back from manifesting the car.”
So in such an example, there is ME, the “INNER GATEKEEPER” (which happens to be a limiting belief I labeled as X in this example), and then there is the NEW CAR — 3 separate entities in my Level 4 mind.
At level 4 thinking, I think that in order for ME to get the NEW CAR I must first overcome the limiting belief.
So I might employ a “limiting belief change” modality such as affirmations or PSYCH-K or EFT or some other “tool” I have in my toolbox to try to overcome that belief. And of course this might work really well!
However, at Level 5 we start to realize that ME and THE GATEKEEPER and the NEW CAR are all actually ONE.
So instead of creating a gatekeeper like “limiting beliefs” – for example – or “vibrational misalignment” – which keeps ME from having what I want, which is the NEW CAR, I may instead choose to just not even play that game.
I may choose to just manifest the car without the need for creating and then overcoming a limitation.
I am not saying this is easy to do – or that people at Level 5 can do it at will, all the time in every situation.
What I am saying though is that in certain situations, people at Level 5 just manifest stuff virtually INSTANTLY without having to overcome anything “out there” or “in here”. They just create a desire for something and somehow it just manifests for them, virtually instantly, and virtually effortlessly.
I have observed that people tend to fall into these five levels of thinking when it comes to “manifesting” things in their lives.
Often times people will use the same language, but they will mean totally different things when talking about manifesting.
People at Level 1 for example tend to focus their time and energy on taking physical action steps when trying to manifest things, while people at Level 4 for example will spend a lot more time working on themselves.
That doesn’t mean that people at Level 4 always use Level 4 thinking when trying to manifest. In fact, the majority of people think at different levels at different times and for different things.
For example, one person might use Level 4 thinking when working on their health, but may resort to Level 1 thinking/strategies/perspectives when trying to manifest a new car.
Just because a person understand the possibility of Level 4 thinking doesn’t mean they always apply that way of thinking all the time.
Often times people at Level 4 will work on themselves in certain areas of their life, and in other areas they will focus more on trying to fix the problem “out there”.
For example, they might try to resolve financial issues by working on themselves on the inside (Level 4 thinking) – but when it comes to relationships, they might focus all their energy trying to change the people “out there” ( Level 1-3 thinking).
I think it’s interesting to consider these different levels of thinking when talking to people about “manifesting” things in life, and to also consider how we are approaching situations in our own lives when wanting to manifest something.
What level of thinking do you typically default to when trying to manifest something in your life?
Personally I think I spend the majority of my time at Level 3 and Level 4. More recently a lot more time at Level 4 than 3, and once in a while I jump into Level 5 thinking from time to time but I haven’t spent a lot of time there yet.