"Manifestation" is a cry for help.
Some notes on manifestation + an early draft of an article about spiritual psychosis.
Read the final article here.
The most brazen expression of this paradigm is expressed in the digital sideshow attraction of “Reality Shifting,” which is the practice of “transferring” oneself to another timeline, often fictional. But mass delusions—this sense that you can speak your reality into existence—is everywhere in our digital-first world, where, to quote Matias Viegener in the book I’m Very Into You, we exist only in words, “less in the spirit of total revelation than total text.”
The strange thing about a world subsumed by the digital is that we’re simultaneously in a perpetual state of surveillance and have complete agency over our self-definitions. This doesn’t only apply to hot-button culture war issues like the continued debate over gender identity or sensational stories like that of Rachel Dolezal, an NAACP chapter president who, in 2015, was exposed as being a white woman masquerading as black. It happens in more ordinary ways, too.
Take, for example, smaller-scale digital communities. One striking feature of early writings about early digital communities like the WELL, or Multi-User Dungeons, was that people could declare themselves as anything, and everyone would accept the terms of their narrative universe. For example, if you self-identified as sexy, everyone would respect that: you’re sexy. There was some unspoken, shared sense that “in-game” (online) reality had different rules than the physical world.