The Relationship Between Manifestation and Charm

“You’re constantly manifesting at all times. What you need to do is to learn how to continue manifesting that which you want, and stop manifesting that that you don’t want. And you also need to learn, what is the identity of the manifestor? Who is causing the idea to manifest a thing to be a charming idea?”

Thom Knoles

Manifestation has become somewhat of a buzzword in the past 20 years or so. The promise of having your desires met easily and effortlessly is a compelling proposition. 

So much so that often a disproportionate effort is put into a supposed “process” of manifestation, affirmations, visualizations, and so on, than is put into doing the thing that might be required for the manifestation to occur.

Thom sets the record straight in this episode, looking at manifestation through the lens of “charm,” a specific mechanism of desire that we can use as a compass of sorts, but which doesn’t leave us at risk of the disappointment of unmet expectations.

If you’d like to learn more about the subject of charm, we invite you to take Thom’s popular course, The Art of Following Charm. This course will help you to overcome indecisiveness and to understand the nature of your intuition and desires.

You can find out more at That’s

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Episode Highlights


Stop Manifesting What You Don’t Want



Desire in the Manifestation Process



Desire and Fulfillment



Unified Field of Consciousness and Evolution



Preferences and Charm



“I, Me, Mine”



Manifest that S#!^



Who is This “I”?



Charm, Meditation, and Evolution



The Alchemy of Change


Jai Guru Deva


The Relationship Between Manifestation and Charm

[00:45] Stop Manifesting What You Don’t Want

Jai Guru Deva. Thank you for listening to my podcast, the Vedic Worldview. I’m Thom Knoles.

Today we’re going to examine the relationship between “manifesting” and charm. I have a lot to say about this idea of manifesting because it has become a rather overused word as term of art in the worldwide new-age mentality. “I’m going to manifest some stuff. I’m gonna manifest a million bucks, or I’m gonna manifest a lover, or I’m gonna manifest this. I’m gonna manifest that.”

I frequently have people attend my introductory talks who might say something like, “Thom, I’ve gotta learn how to manifest.”

To which I will typically answer, “Actually, you’re constantly manifesting at all times. What you need to do is to learn how to continue manifesting that which you want and stop manifesting that that you don’t want. And you also need to learn, what is the identity of the manifestor. Who is causing the idea to manifest a thing, to be a charming idea?”

So we have to acknowledge that if I feel like I want to manifest something, the “I” who is saying, “I want to manifest a hundred dollars,”— there might be a particular toy that I want that costs a hundred dollars— “and I need to have a hundred dollars, so I’m going to manifest a hundred dollars.

[02:31] Desire in the Manifestation Process

“And all I have to do is put my attention on it and think about it a lot, and consider myself worthy of it. Go through all these mental, and emotional gymnastics about my deserving power. And if I keep my attention on the hundred dollars, the hundred will appear and I’ll be able to get the toy. Or maybe somebody will just show up with the toy, and I wouldn’t even have to bother with the hundred dollars.”

This is one of the ideas that, you know, something akin to this, and perhaps I took some shortcuts in my description of it, seems to be a particular philosophy that has become extremely popular.

“I manifested it. I manifested the toy. I manifested the hundred dollars with which I got the toy. I didn’t manage to manifest the toy, but I manifested something better than the toy, and so on and so forth.” There’s a lot of overthinking that’s going on here.

So from the Vedic perspective, let’s look at what it is that makes it desirable to have the toy or to have the hundred dollars with which you’re going to get the toy in the first place.

Who is the cause of the desire? Perhaps we should say, what. What is it that’s the cause of the desire?

From the Vedic perspective, the process of thinking and one’s connection with “The Universe.” The Universe is not the sugar daddy of someone who simply decides they want something.

[04:12] Desire and Fulfillment

“I want something.” The word “want” is operative here. “I lack something.” The idea that if I get the thing that I’m lacking, the thing that I’m wanting, then I’m going to be a fulfilled person. How long? Five minutes? Five hours? Five days? Who knows?

It won’t be capital F “Fulfillment.” You won’t be living in a state of beatific Fulfillment for the rest of your life, which is the state of enlightenment, because you managed to raise the hundred dollars to buy the hundred dollar toy. You’ll get lower case f, the fulfillment of a specific desire, and then another desire will arise that will also need to be fulfilled by you.

If you are the manifestor, if you are the author of the desire, these are big ifs. Who is the author of desire of desirability? What is the author of desirability?

From the Vedic perspective, we take the following view: the Unified Field of consciousness, which is the baseline of pure awareness, Being. It is there in all forms, in all structures, and therefore in all humans, that least-excited state, that state which is beyond the sub-nuclear particles. That state that is beyond the quantum field, the unmanifest one indivisible, whole consciousness field that underlies all that is manifest.

[06:04] Unified Field of Consciousness and Evolution

All that is in the relative manifest world issues forth from the one indivisible, whole unmanifest consciousness field, and we’re going to call that the Unified Field of consciousness here. That Unified Field of consciousness has a big story going on. “What’s the big story?”

The story of The Universe, the story of the vast unity of diversity, Universe. All of the myriad stories, the trillions and trillions of storylines that are issuing forth, all of them in a giant braided plot of what we call evolution, moving from states of lesser sophistication and lesser knowledge to states of greater sophistication and greater knowledge.

And one’s individual sense of Being, my individual sense of what I am, my individual sense of me, like all other things, emerges from this one invisible, whole Unified Field of consciousness. My individual story is a story of evolution that is braided into, elaborately braided into, all the other stories of evolution that are issuing forth from the one indivisible whole.

And so then, what is it that causes me to have a cognition that it would be desirable to have a hundred dollar toy? What is the cause of the desirability of that? This is what, we use the word , in the Vedic worldview, the word charm.

What is it that makes it charming to have the hundred dollar toy? What is it about the hundred dollar toy that is evidently going to serve a process of evolution if I lean in the direction of that? Leaning into the preference.

[08:31] Preferences and Charm

The Vedic way that we describe these things, the language that we use, is you acknowledge that a preference has appeared.

A preference doesn’t appear for no reason, and it also doesn’t appear for “a” reason. If that sounds confusing, let me just put it this way. A preference appears for all reasons. There’s not no reason, and there’s not a singular reason. There is no limit to the number of reasons for which a preference appears in the human mind.

A human mind of a meditator is a mind which regularly, twice every day, settles down and experiences the least-excited state of the Unified Field of consciousness.

It experiences oneness with that vast unbounded awareness that is issuing forth into all of the trillions of storylines, trillions of quadrillions of storylines. And your individuality may be needed as an agent of that progressive change that we call evolution.

And it may be that you need to move in the direction of the toy store. It may be that even acquiring the toy is not the most important thing. It may be that the most important thing is that you convey yourself, by whatever means, to the toy store, and while in the parking lot, you will intersect with someone or something that actually fulfills the whole purpose of you getting the desire to have the toy.

[10:15] “I, Me, Mine”

And so, first of all, recognizing the preference and acknowledging it and favoring the preference. “I favor the preference. I acknowledge a desire has come, and I favor it. I move in the direction of acquisition of the desire, and if things don’t go that particular way, then I also have ease the ability to let go of rigid attachment to specific timings and outcomes, knowing that in the larger picture, I’m not the author of this desire. This desire is not “mine.””

I, me, mine is very tied up in this kind of new age way of thinking about the hundred dollar toy or whatever it is you think you want. “I, me, mine, I want this, I need this. I deserve this. Mine, mine.” This whole thing.

Who is this person who’s going by all these names? I, me and mine, all day, all night, all day, all night. I, me, mine, I, me, mine.

George Harrison, from the Beatles, a great devotee of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, my master, wrote a song once entitled I, Me, Mine, based on a lecture that he heard Maharishi give all through the day. I, me, mine. I, me, mine. I, me, mine. All through the night, I, me mine, I, me, mine. Who is that?

What is the cause of this ravenous, insatiable I, me mine who just never seems to be satiated by anything? You get the toy, and then 15 minutes later, you throw it over on the couch, and the consciousness is now thinking, “What’s next?”

[12:14] Manifest that S#!^

From the Vedic perspective, desire is simply a function. Desire, let’s call that charm, is a function that serves the process of evolution. And so, “I am going to move in the direction of, going and getting,” let’s suppose, and I’m making it facile for a particular reason because I want to, “the hundred dollar toy. I’m moving in the direction of this hundred dollar toy.”

Am I manifesting the hundred dollar toy?” No. From the Vedic perspective, it may be that the hundred dollar toy, or the hundred dollars to get the toy, is being manifested by what? Not by me, not by my individuality. By my cosmic Self. The one indivisible, whole consciousness field is in the process of manifesting a thing.

My individuality is needed in order to intersect with that that is already manifesting. My individuality is needed in order to cross paths with that, which is already manifesting. Let’s get rid of this idea, “I’m manifesting this thing.”

My wife brought home a hilarious coffee mug from Los Angeles, the home of manifesting, the world headquarters of people who manifest stuff. And the coffee mug has, and please excuse my explicit and graphic language, but the coffee mug has, written on the side of it, “Manifest that shit!”

This is obviously tongue-in-cheek and meant to be teasing Los Angelenos, who can frequently be heard talking this way. “I’m going to go manifest something. I’m gonna manifest this. I’m going to manifest.”

[14:21] Who is This “I”?

Who is this “I”? Little individual, squishy, blobby nervous system filled with 70 trillion cells that will only be here for a fraction of a century. And you know, “I, my little, individual concept of what I am living inside the squishy body, I’m going to cause The Universe to bring into being whatever it is I happen to be thinking about because it’s me that wants it.”

“The Universe is my sugar daddy” mentality is expressed in the language of that coffee mug.

So we have to rehabilitate this whole idea, and the way it’s rehabilitated is that when, spontaneously, we find an idea charming, this is my bigger Self, my Unified Field Self, otherwise known as The Universe, but when we say The Universe, I’m separating it from me and making it something different to me, this is my own vast unbounded inner Self, giving rise to an expression that your individuality, my individuality, may be needed to intersect with something that is coming into being. And that’s going to cause it to be charming for me to move in the direction of that thing. And so off I go.

I don’t hesitate. I move in the direction of that which I find charming, and trusting, knowing, that in the larger picture, this is The Universe’s desire, and my individuality is simply serving that process as an agent of progressive change.

[16:17] Charm, Meditation, and Evolution

I’m allowing myself to move in that direction. I don’t need to know why. I don’t need to know all the details. I’m just finding it charming, and particularly if it’s persistently charming, it’s Nature saying, “Come on, let’s get on with it and get you over there, and get you to have that experience.” And so we don’t have to take individual responsibility for it.

People frequently will ask me, “Well, Thom, if that’s the case, then some heroin addict lying around on a street corner waiting for their next hit of smack, or trying to figure out how they can steal something and sell it to get the money to get their next heroin hit, they’re following charm. What’s the difference?”

The difference is, someone who is experiencing, twice every day, on a regular, strategic, systematic basis, experiencing oneness with the home of all the laws of Nature. This is a meditator we’re talking about, who is experiencing oneness with that home of all the laws of Nature, and allowing themself to become the means whereby Nature moves the storylines.

Whereby one’s own individuality is a means whereby Nature uses the individuality to get particular things done in the evolutionary story, causing the individual to feel the desirability of an action. This is charm. Causing the individual to feel the desirability of an action.

[17:59] The Alchemy of Change

This is not at play in the heroin addict who’s lying on the street corner craving their next hit. That person, if they were to have the great good fortune of being exposed to Vedic Meditation, would quickly lose their habituation to some drug of abuse, and also would begin living a life where their individuality had become an agent of evolutionary process.

And so, when we talk about following charm, this is not a workable lifestyle format for people who do not know how to transcend individuality.

People who do not know yet how to close their eyes twice every day and step beyond individuality and experience oneness with Totality, they shouldn’t be following charm.

People who don’t know how to practice Vedic Meditation should follow scriptures. They should follow advice. They should follow logic. They should follow intellectual construct. All the things that we see people doing anyway, to whatever extent, and with the best hopes for getting some kind of good outcomes in life.

But when we know how to step beyond thought entirely and experience those moments of oneness with Totality, then something new happens. The alchemy of the change of experience from being merely an individual to being an individual whose individuality is in the employ of cosmic intelligence, this comes into play.

So this is what I have to say about the relationship between charm and manifesting. That which is already manifesting, by virtue of cosmic intelligence bringing it into being, is made charming to the mind of someone whose individuality is supposed to intersect with it. This is the relationship.

Jai Guru Deva.

If you’d like to learn more about the subject of charm, we invite you to take Thom’s popular course, The Art of Following Charm. This course will help you to overcome indecisiveness and to understand the nature of your intuition and desires.

You can find out more at That’s

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