It is true that one must travel south to get to Rome only if one is currently north of Rome. Such is the nature of truth.
There are two ways to deal with any problem, and for that there are two types of people. Those who believe there are two types of people in the world — and those who don’t! Just kidding! There are those people who believe one should change themselves, and there are those people who believe one should change the world.
Let’s say I have two problems. One of my problems is that I’m upset that Donald Trump is President of the United States (it’s just an example), and another of my problems is that I’m thirsty. To fix these problems I have two options: I can change the world or I can change myself. Both these methods have the same effect; both these methods will fix the problem.
Which way is Rome, east or west? Actually either direction will get you to Rome. But one is faster. Which one is faster? It depends on where you are now.
In each of my above two examples, I have two options. I could attempt to remove Donald Trump as President, but doing so would be extremely difficult — easier to change myself. I could also sit under a tree meditating until I overcome the human need for sustenance… or you know what? I could just get a glass of water!
Receiving the magical power of not needing water is not better than drinking a glass of water! If anything it would be an insult to the universe, a rejection of its gift of free water. Moral: getting the energy of a thing without physical form is NOT better than going after the physical manifestation, the form. Desiring only to change yourself is a rejection of the physical world, a rejection of the masculine energy.
These two methods are yin and yang, feminine and masculine. To change yourself is feminine, to change the environment is masculine. Either way works, both are equal… but at any point in time, one of them is closer to the destination. In any circumstance you have multiple options for how to get what it is that you want, and the way that you go depends on the situation.
Some people believe you should be soft and nice to get what you want. Some people believe you should be hard and direct to get what you want. You know what? It depends on who you are talking to.
Everything in life can be viewed as a journey from Point A (where you are now) to Point B (what you want.) To get to a destination you need to know what you want and where you are now. If you lie to yourself about where you are now, for example if you tell yourself you are happy and confident, but in truth you are not, then you will never get there because you’ll always be walking the wrong way. Advice you receive from others or give to yourself will be wrong, because the path to Rome is different depending on where you are starting from! What you need to know is two-sided: (1) where you are now, and (2) where you intend to be.
Importantly, the result obtained by traveling east or west is the same result. Changing yourself is not better than changing the world, or vice-versa. The two result in identical outcomes. But one way is faster.
Not only is the result the same but often the physical manifestation is the same, in feeling and in observable reality. The final step home is the same no matter if you approached from the east or west. What do I mean by this?
Well… do you get something if you give it up… or do you give it up if you get it? There is a common belief in the spiritual community that you get something if you let go of it. But this is not strictly true. It is true, but the opposite is also true: if you get something, you let go of it. You do not want what you have, you can only want what you don’t have. Even the meaning of the word ‘want’ means to be ‘in want’, i.e. to be lacking something.
People are told to give up something to get it. But I don’t believe this is what happens. What I have observed is that the giving up of the thing is the last step before getting it. That you cannot try to give something up, but rather you just-so-happen to decide to give it up right before you were inevitably going to receive it. And that the reason you find the power to give it up at that moment is because you’re already receiving the energy of that thing; it’s entry into your personal reality allows you to finally let go, and then a short while later it manifests physically.
For example, many people are looking for love, and the more they try to get it the further away it seems. At some point they then give up looking, and then they get it. Or the same thing described from the other perspective is: when the love starts coming into their life, they stop trying to find it. It’s almost the same thing, but the idea that you get by giving up is missing one important piece of the puzzle.
The actual method of getting the thing, bringing both perspectives together into one, is this: you either (depending on your metaphor) pay for the thing with the opposite feeling (i.e. if you want love you pay with loneliness) or you demonstrate to the universe what it is you want by trying to get it (same thing), and you keep doing this until the universe accepts your payment/intention, and gives you the thing. The more you want, the longer it takes. When you finally receive it, it doesn’t come all at once but builds up, so it begins as just feeling better, hence you stop searching for it and tell yourself that you’re now OK without it. But in truth the reason why you’re OK with not having it is because you’re actually receiving the energy of it already and that’s making you feel better and no longer ‘want’ it (because you now have it.) Then when the energy of it is built up enough the physical manifestation of it (e.g. the love-giving person) appears.
Or to go even deeper: what you’re doing is building up the energy of the thing that you want in the same way that you build muscles or learn to ride a bike. You practice. There are two stages to practicing: the actual practice and then the break. If you lift weights 24/7 then you will not build muscle. To build muscle you lift weights, then have a break, then do it again the next day. Same with learning to ride a bike, or learning guitar, or anything! You practice for a bit, then go to sleep, and wake up the next day somehow better than you were on the previous day. The break is an important part of the process — the new muscles are built during that time, you can’t build muscles whilst using muscles.
To stick with the love example… you seek, then stop seeking, then seek, then stop seeking. The seeking is the exercising of the energy; you are learning to be loved. The breaks then bring that energy you spent back to you, which you then use to try again. If you try to only seek without breaks then the universe will force you to take breaks by making you feel hopeless to the point that you give up — this is because it’s trying to help you and show you the way, and its your resistance to that which is hurting you, the universe is keeping you on the right path. So if you resist letting go then the universe hits you until you let go, so better to accept that rather than resist it. After practicing in this to-and-fro fashion, you become better and better at receiving love energy until it’s so strong that it manifests as another human being. If you are happy with that you then need only to maintain your current state, which is much easier than the training. E.g. once you’ve learned to play guitar you only need to practice every now and again to keep up current your level.
Hence getting anything is a process, it’s a journey. Whatever you practice, you get better at. Whether that’s badminton, or receiving love, or playing guitar, or making money. It’s all the same process.
Let’s now dive even deeper by tying these two concepts together: either direction works but one is closer, and to get something you practice at having it.
During the process of practicing you will alternate between changing the environment and changing yourself. The reason is because there are multiple gates to pass through, multiple blocks, on your journey from Point A (e.g. no love / being shit at guitar) to Point B (e.g. love / awesome guitar solo). Each gate requires a different approach to pass through. You know that your approach is not working because you get stuck and putting in more effort gives you no more progress. In the guitar example, you’ve been practicing one riff all day but you just can’t get it. Solution: do something else (let go.) But you can’t just stay having let go and then expect to suddenly be awesome next time you pick up the guitar. You let go for a bit, and then the next day you try again. You’ll get a little further… or maybe you’re worse, that’s OK too (progress is often two steps forward, one step back.) You keep trying until trying is no longer getting you anywhere, then stop.
So you alternate between trying (masculine / changing the world) and letting go (feminine / changing yourself.) This is the way, and it applies to literally everything. Eventually the energy builds up enough and it manifests in the physical world.
The manifestation of the thing is so well choreographed that you can never catch the universe red-handed. Things don’t just appear by magic, or actually they do, but they do slowly enough that you don’t call it magic. If you practice being loved, it is you that manifested that person. But that person preexisted and has their own reality. So manifestation or not manifestation? Or who manifested whom? These are all nonsense questions. Your feeling of being loved and the people who love you are the same thing. There is no real separation between your inner world (your feelings) and your outer world (the physical world.) So all manifestations and all inner-changes are also events in the physical world. As you gain energy for something the world is changing around you simultaneously; not before or after, at precisely the same time so you will never be sure if you changed it or it changed you.
This is important because it reveals one aspect of the true nature of reality. The physical world and the spiritual world are the same place. The physical world is the part of the spiritual world that is concrete in the sense that it is stable. It has so much stability that it’s difficult to change it, hence it has a physical form that is measurable and consistent. Your intentions/desires/manifestations bleed into the physical world slowly and the end result is a physical form of the same energy.
For example, the end result of manifesting the magic power of always being able to summon food and water is the physical world always having plentiful food and water. You speak the magic words and the food appears. The magic words are “I’ll have a cheeseburger and a coke please”, which when you utter to the spiritual gatekeeper of the food, known as the waitress, food manifests in front of you! This is manifestation and the only reason that is not obvious is because you’re accustomed to it and understand the goings on behind-the-scenes. Human beings as a group have already overcome this obstacle and most of us have this energy, so we take it for granted. Same with the magical ability to roam around the Earth, we already manifested legs and planes. Well done us! Trees are still working on that.
In conclusion: you can manifest anything by practicing having the energy of it, which you do by trying to get it, with breaks, and reinvesting the energy you do get into it until you’ve gained enough energy for it to manifest physically. When it does manifest physically it will come into your reality discreetly, because it builds up, and like a lobster boiled slowly in a pot: you don’t notice change if it happens slowly.
If what you want is supportive of the direction the universe is already going (the Tao) then it’ll be very cheap (require not much energy) to manifest. If what you want conflicts with the desires of other entities (going against the flow) then it’ll be very expensive (require a lot of time and energy) since you essentially have to pay-off or fight-off those entities whose desires conflict your own (they are working against you.)
Manifesting random sh*t
Anything that you really want is going to be fairly expensive for the simple fact that if it wasn’t you’d have got it already. But manifesting entirely useless things for fun works nicely and is usually quite cheap (unless you really want evidence that it works, in which case you’re not doing it for fun, you’re doing it for serious business and that makes it more expensive.)
My friend Valerie and I put this to the test last week. We decided to manifest something entirely random, and something that would not realistically happen coincidentally. Valerie suggested yellow tires, specifically tires painted yellow. This seemed unrealistic enough; no one in their right mind would paint their tires yellow. We gave it three days because if you leave these things open the universe might take 50 years to do it.
Two days later we’re hanging out together at my house and Valerie wanted some sand to put in a jar for some incense. There’s a building site not far away and building sites have sand, so we wandered over and got the sand. I suggested since we were almost at the top of the hill, that we walk to the top.
There at the top of the hill… two yellow tires. One each; how nice of the universe to be considerate!
Why did it work? In this case we were doing it together, so that increases the effect. Masculine and feminine energy working is much more powerful than only one side, as each have different strengths. The universe was happy for it because it was just for fun and the universe likes fun. No one toes were stepped on, hence there were no entities fighting against it. And most importantly: we’re both super awesome!
That’s all folks!