*This post is the beginning of a series of reflections on the connection between The New Thought Movement and how to ethically manifest magic in our lives.
To manifest is to make real. To turn a thought into something tangible or experiential. It is the central component to the philosophies of the New Thought Movement. Even if you think you don’t know about this movement, you do. It is the water we swim in in the U.S.
The New Thought movement is uniquely American. It was born here and thrives here. It isn't as "new" as it once was, but it has saturated our society. If you’ve watched an inspirational video that preaches “mind over matter” or if you’re reading a self-help book that promotes changing your thoughts to change your life, then you know New Thought.
I know this movement innately because it is the lineage passed down to me by the matriarchs in my family. My great grandmother and grandmother were Christian Scientists and my mother raised me in Religious Science. As a fourth generation believer and practitioner of these ideals, to question the efficacy and ethics of such a “science” seems sacrilegious.
But the more I have uncovered hidden history and dissected the dogma handed down, pieces of white privilege, colonialism, and spiritual bypassing emerged.
What to do with this knowledge? Share it, of course!
In seminary, I dove deep into studying trauma, indigenous wisdom, and metaphysics from philosophers of physics instead of New Thought ministers. What I uncovered is that this thread of religion isn’t wrong– but it isn't right. It’s not right when manifesting material wealth matters more than equity. Not when expansion must win over conservation of finite resources.
I am not writing this to prove that manifesting is wrong, immoral, or something to be banished. Rather, my hope is to relay and re-teach lessons of manifestation in a healthy manner.
The truth, that is now widely acknowledged in many places except most New Thought institutions, is that the intersections of privilege, identity, and power matter in all contexts– especially when it comes to upward mobility and manifesting your dream life. Not all of us are beginning the race at the same starting line.
Join me as I deep dive into several threads of this crucial consciousness through writing. And please check out The ReMembering and ReEnchanting podcast episode entitled Untangling ‘Manifesting’ that sparked this re-emergence of these musings in our collective.