WITH the inception of the new year 2022 at hand, sundry wishes and high hopes sprout aplenty, ranging from the most trivial to the grandiose or even the bizarre ones.
Yes, as everyone would admit, the new year offers us no hope that things will come smooth sailing and easy. But, truth to tell likewise, it’s but our natural inclination to crave or hope for better things than not.
But, curiously so, be it new year or not, is it plausible for us to realize or manifest our deep wishes and prayers? How?
Barbadian author Neville Goddard, in his classic 1944 book, “Feeling Is The Secret”, laid the early foundations on the formula for realizing or manifesting desires.
Goddard firstly contends that consciousness, which is divided into the conscious and subconscious parts, is the cause as well as the substance of the entire world – and that knowledge of the law of consciousness and the method of operating this law will enable you to accomplish all your desires in life.
“The conscious is personal and selective, the subconscious is impersonal and non-selective. The conscious is the realm of the effect, the subconscious is the realm of the cause. The conscious generates ideas and impresses those ideas on the subconscious,” Goddard wrote.
Goddard further points out that control of the subconscious is accomplished through control of your ideas and feelings.
“Ideas are impressed on the subconscious through the medium of feeling (underscoring mine). No idea can be impressed on the subconscious until it is felt, be it good, bad or indifferent, it must be expressed. Feeling is the one and only medium through which ideas are conveyed to the subconscious.
“Think feelingly only of the state you desire to realize. Feeling the reality of the state sought and living and acting on the conviction is the way of all seeming miracles,” Goddard argued.
But, how could one harness the subconscious to manifest his/her wishes or desires?
Through “sleep and prayer”, Goddard averred.
“It is in sleep and in prayer, a state akin to sleep, that man enters the subconscious to make his impressions and receive his instructions. In these states, the conscious and subconscious are creatively joined,” wrote Goddard.
Thus, for Goddard, it is imperative that “you should always feel your wish fulfilled before you drop off to sleep”, and likewise “to pray successfully, you must yield to the wish or feel the wish fulfilled”.
On similar vein, Goddard’s 1940’s “formula for manifesting desires” finds resonance to the contemporary New York Times’ best-selling author, Gregg Braden, in his recent book “The Wisdom Codes” (Hay House, 2020).
Braden, who has been known for bridging science and spirituality, claims that prayers and chants – from the Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Native American, and many other traditions – can have powerful effect on our physical health as well as in realizing our desire, reasoning out that prayer words “direct how our neurons fire and wire together to create neural networks”.
Braden based his claim on a 1991 study: “In 1991, scientists made a discovery that caught them off guard. The study was published in the journal Neurocardiology. Researchers identified approximately 40,000 specialized cells in the human heart that they called sensory neuritis, brain-like cells located in the heart. This means the heart can think, remember, make decisions, feel, and sense independently of the brain. Today science recognizes that when create what is called coherence between the heart and the brain, they become a single, potent system.”
And how can prayer be effective in manifesting our wishes or desires?
Braden retorts that it is “not so much with the words but the feeling (underscoring mine) or significance we give to these words that sets into action the cascade of chemical events that allows the alignment of circumstances that can meet prayer.”
“The feeling is the prayer, the feeling is the affirmation,”Braden points out, adding that “prayer embodies a state of unity or harmony, not distinction or separation, between God and the person praying.”
Interestingly enough, I find this concept of “unity (not dualism or separation) in prayer” of Gregg Braden beautifully conforming to the profound thoughts on “contemplative prayer” of the modern-day mystic and author, Franciscan friar, Fr. Richard Rohr.
Fr. Rohr, who is the founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico and author of numerous books on Christian mysticism, demonstrates that authentic prayer, as originally taught by Jesus, is “living in constant undivided, not dualistic, union with God and everything around you, and so whatever you do is prayer.”
Fr. Rohr further avers that “prayer is not simply making announcements to God and tell God what you need” but rather, it is experiencing or embracing God’s supernatural PRESENCE in us (“God IN and WITH us”, so to speak), in our surroundings, in our thoughts and actions, in our relationship with others, in everything.
In sum I’d like to infer thus, that through authentic PRAYER – we think, imagine, believe, feel, and enjoy the indwelling of God (or “of the Spirit” as St. Paul says in Romans 8:26-27) and thereby “say to a mountain to move from here to there” (Matthew 17:20), and manifest all our dreams and desires.