What Burning Man and Bananas Taught Me About Manifestation
A friend told me about a great shirt they saw someone wearing at Burning Man that said:
“NO YOU DIDN’T MANIFEST THIS BANANA. I PACKED IT.”
What makes that shirt funny is a couple of things that are true. First, Burning Man is often associated with the stereotypical New Age “spiritual” person who overly (and often incorrectly) uses the word manifestation (case in point, the 2020 viral meme “shut up I’m manifesting”).
The shirt is also funny because of the way in which the mundane and practical component of the statement collapses all magical thinking in one fell swoop.
So — is The Secret, magical thinking and manifestation all just hokus pokus?
Having been an avid Law of Attraction junkie myself for many years who has experienced countless inexplicably magical moments of synchronicity and unexpected prosperity, my answer is no. Though I do believe there is a distinction that would help us ground the concept.
Let’s examine Google’s definition of manifestation: the action or fact of showing an abstract idea.
Those of you who frequent Burning Man experience this definition in bizarrely profound ways all the time. There you are, in your dusty tutu, somewhere in the middle of the Nevada desert, thinking of how amazing it would be to have a banana, and suddenly a perfect stranger walks up to you and offers you one.
So how do we explain this kind of phenomenon? Is it pure coincidence, or is there something else going on?
I want to propose that we start thinking about these occurrences as the result of magnetism rather than manifestation.
Bear with me as we zoom out for a moment.
The Earth is surrounded by a magnetic field, generated by the movement of the planet’s liquid core, which essentially makes it one huge magnet.
Scientific research is beginning to catch up to the ancient teachings that human bodies create magnetic fields as well, which can also be called “auric” fields, and are responsible for drawing in or repelling specific things.
So, in the Burning Man example, whoever “manifested” the banana they desired “out of thin…