From Thought to Thing – The 7 Stages of Manifestation

Esoteric eastern philosophy suggests there are seven stages of manifestation which we all go through to realize our highest aspirations.

Whether we’re manifesting a start up, a book, a painting, a relationship, or even just a habit – and whether we’re aware of it or not – we progress through the seven stages, or get stuck at a particular stage. 

We don’t need to follow the seven stages of manifestation – this is perhaps obvious. However, you may find knowing about them useful for giving you a new perspective on the manifestation/creation process. The seven stages theory also helps you to find deeper meaning in that process, if you are into that sort of thing. 

Individually, we are likely to struggle with different aspects of manifesting our wants. Collectively too, we are less equipped with certain stages (due to Western culture biases to do with where and how we should place our efforts and energies).

Let’s find out what the seven stages are.

The 7 stages of manifestation

Because this is eastern philosophy after all, the seven stages of manifestation have a corresponding physical area of the body.

We are going down from the head. 

The first three stages:

7. Figuring out what you want to do and whether you believe you can (head)

6. Establishing a clear vision (eyes)

5. Communicating that vision with others (with the mouth/throat)

The center stage:

4. Giving and receiving, love and collaboration (heart)

The final few stages:

3. Getting shit done; moving past obstacles; managing energy (belly)

2. Passion, fun and pleasure (groin area)

1. Fulfilling on schedule (seat)

Much personal development advice tends to target the top half (setting intentions; visualizing what you want; communicating with others), and two stages of the lower half (exerting willpower; fulfilling on commitments).

The advice for bringing heart to our endeavors (stage 4) or clarifying our desires and wants (stage 2) is somewhat thinner on the ground. But getting in touch with our hearts and getting pleasure from our activities are also skills to cultivate.

From writer and therapist Anodea Judith’s book Creating on Purpose, which features on my list of 35 Life Changing Self-Development Books to Read ASAP, here’s a few suggestions for getting the wheels turning for each of the 7 stages – including the trickier ‘rubber-hits-the-road’ stages.

Stages 7-5 (clarifying, envisaging, communicating)

Everything starts with thought. That is what stage 7 is all about.

Cultivating a better quality of thought is a skill. It involves minimizing distractions, and emptying life of the trivial and meaningless. Good exercises include spending some time in solitude reflecting, and doing a belief self-diagnosis.

Stage 6 is all about using that thought to develop a vision and direction for your life. Having vision is also about feeling connected to your purpose. Again, the relevant exercises are of the contemplative variety, such as visualisation, meditation, and reflection. 

At stage 5, you are beginning to communicate your inner world to the outer world. You are telling your story (not how you got here, but about where you are, and the direction you are going in). It is about bringing integrity to your communications and recognizing your inner self talk. 

Stage 4 (igniting the heart; collaborating)

Stage 4 is to do with igniting the heart in your dream and vision. It is also about looking at who you know that can help you: manifestation requires collaboration and interdependence on others, because we can’t achieve anything alone.

Look at what you are giving and receiving in life. Stage 4 creation is about using your skills to help others – and asking for their help, too. 

Stages 3-1 (enjoying and executing)

Stage 3, which is where we start doing the work to fulfill on our visions, is where a lot of us fall down. That’s because we are needed to persevere to make our ideas manifest. 

Stage 3 is all about willpower and consistently applied energy. It is about looking at how we approach obstacles. We begin with assessing our personal power levels currently. It may involve building more resilience.

At stage 2, we are looking at things like whether we are having fun doing what we are doing. We are figuring out what we need and what we want, and we are focused on how to ask for that from others. 

Stage 1 activities are all about execution. It is where the practical aspects of the manifestation process are taken care of. In a business, this would be things like financial forecasting and in a relationship, this might look like the reality of cohabitation.

Note that unless we have engaged throughout the 7 stages of manifestation, then our actions at stage 1 won’t reflect the clarity and insights from stage 6, or the love and heart of stage 4. In other words, our actions won’t be on point and they won’t bring us fulfillment. 

Applying this philosophy to your life and personal projects

Use the seven stages of creation to assess your personal weak areas with creating whatever you want to create in your life. 

Obviously, to do this, you must have already made the decision not to just ‘go where the wind takes you’. You have to be living intentionally and deliberately. Or this won’t make a lot of sense!


This philosophy can be really practical. It may give you some food for thought about where you might typically be stalling in your projects and life.

Is it a first stage (i.e. belief) issue? Or a middle stage (i.e. heart) issue? Identifying that might help you to take the right action to get unstuck. 

When we go through all of the steps – clearing intentions and beliefs, honing the vision, rooting out negativity and negative voices, cultivating the right relationships, making a plan and doing what’s necessary, calling in what we need and making it fun, and then completing each step in a timely fashion – we will create what we set out to create.

For a more in depth account of creating through the seven stages, including exercises for getting unstuck, I recommend reading Creating on Purpose.