It seems like there's this equation between manifestation and work. It starts with a desire for something, a negative that must have an equal positive on the other side of the equation. To fill it up, we have to come up with the equal amount on the other side.
To get to the desired outcome, you have to start with what you fundamentally have going for you right now, no matter where you are or what your circumstances are. You always have You, in whatever condition you're in. Obviously, what you are right now lacks the thing you want, the person, experience, or thing. We have to add something to what you have right now to come up with the stuff you want. You obviously can't just have it, or you already would, right? So there's going to be something that has to occur to get you the stuff you want. The thing we add to ourselves to get the stuff we want is always some form of Work. So the basic equation for getting what you want in life is:
You + Work = Stuff you want.
There's more to it though. You also have to have the opportunity to get what you want. Opportunity is that series of coincidences that lead to the ability to do the work to get what you want. The greater the opportunity, or chances to get what you want, the less work you need. Ever notice that gambling is referred to as a "game of chance"? And gamblers who win are said to be lucky? Opportunity is, in many ways, another word for chance, or luck. Fortune, as it's called. Also known as Fate.
Say you want a roast beast. For some, it's no problem because there are places selling all kinds of roast beast right down the street, or they have roast beast just sitting in their fridge. But for others, their circumstances aren't that good, they may live somewhere that has cultural taboos against eating roast beast. They may have had the misfortune of being indoctrinated as a child that roast beast is a sin, yet they find themselves jonesing for some steak. Or maybe they're just too poor to afford roast beast. It's their circumstances, their fate, if you will, that determines how much work it's going to take to get that roast beast.
So the equation is sort of:
You + Work + Fate = Stuff you want.
And then there's time. Time is a part of the equation too. The bigger the thing is you want, generally, the longer it takes to get it. You have to work hard longer when you get the opportunity if what you want is really expensive, for instance. So it's:
You + Work + Fate + Time = Stuff you want.
That's the basic equation for manifesting things in this world. You want something, you work for it for as long as it takes with the opportunities you have at hand until you can have what you want. Any time you increase the value of anything left of the equal sign, you decrease the other factors. If you want something and it will take 60 days to earn enough with your current circumstances, you can decrease the time by increasing the work, or by increasing the opportunity. You can engineer a meeting with someone who can get you what you want with less work and time.
In the Corpus Hermeticum, it talks about the Seven Planetary Governors, and their more-material reflections in the microcosm. Another name for these entities were the Fates. They were the spirits who control the manifestation of things in the material world through their powers and affinities. They spin the threads that get woven into the tapestry of the space-time fabric of the universe. If String Theory were right, they would be the string manufacturers, in a way.
We Work with the Governors of Fate. Magicians create opportunities for ourselves to get ahead through our relationships with the spirits of the world around us and the worlds above (or below) us. We increase the Fate factor to decrease the Time and Work required to manifest the Stuff we want in our lives. Whether we're conjuring spirits to understand the occult virtues of stones, or to sink the ships of our competitors to increase our profit on rice investments, we are working with Fate to obtain our desired outcome, decreasing the work and time requirements to get the stuff we want.
Yet doing magic is also work. To get really good at Working with the Fates, you have to go through a lot of training, initiations, and transformations. The nice thing is that the more you do, the more these changes occur naturally, as your sphere harmonizes through the properties of resonance to the vibrations of the spirits themselves. This too causes manifestations in our lives, and we change.
We become different people with different perspectives. We become wiser, and thus quieter people. We become more comfortable in the knowledge of ourselves, and thus cease to lie to ourselves and others about who we are, and what we did. We see that what we do is exactly what we are, and as we see that, what we do changes.
And most of these changes suck major dick to go through. In a bad way. Most of the processes of the Great Work begin with some form of dissolution, calcination, or something that if it were done to you personally would probably kill you. Can you imagine burning yourself slowly until your skin turned black, then white as it became ash, eventually becoming nothing but a red powder? I mean, literally. Not a FUN experience, yo.
And that's what happens metaphorically, most times. I don't think people like to think about it, but I'll bet that cocoon coming off the butterfly hurts like a motherfucker. Maybe that's just me because I'm a stubborn old bull, though, maybe it comes easier to other people.
But I doubt it.
Because the basic equation remains. You + Work + Fate + Time = Stuff You Want.
Heh, when you think about it, as You goes through the Work, Time, and Fate to arrive at Stuff, it's also changing and increasing in value. So at the end of getting Stuff you Want, "You" is actually "You + The Experience of What You Went Through" so next time you Want Stuff, the value of You has increased, so the required values of everything else to get to Stuff you Want are decreased. Bonus!