What is the role of affirmations in manifestation? Well, I went through an "affirmations" phase myself. I discovered that for me personally, repeating the words didn't do any good unless I actually believed them.
The idea behind affirmations is a good one I think, but for me it felt like after a while I was telling myself a lie. So I just gave up on the whole idea and began meditating instead.
I think that words aren't as important as your actual signal to the universe, and you can alter that signal without the words. I was thinking about the role of language at work today. We can use language to express one idea while really thinking another; in this sense, language is merely an adjunct and sometimes an actual impediment to true communication. We can then fool ourselves by thinking words in our head (or saying them) in a sort of hopeful attitude that somehow the words will change our fundamental vibration. I went through most of my life this way!
Another great way to change your fundamental attitudes (and thus your vibrational signal to the universe) is to make a Mind Movie or listen to audio tapes with affirmations on them. This way, you don't have to keep repeating affirmations all the time; you record exactly what you want to manifest, and then just play it back. The repetition helps to orient your thoughts and intentions toward what is wanted. I found that I had a habit of repeating my affirmations by rote, which did me no good at all, and these methods work much better for me.
Implicit in the idea of change, or manifestation, is the present reality from which we are launching our new desire. I have found that the lighter I can feel about what I want, the faster it comes.
I'm a firm believer in what Gregg Braden says, that getting the feeling of what you want to manifest is the most important part of the manifestation process.
I've found that if I can get that feeling without 'working on the manifestation', things go smoother. For me, that feeling of 'doing work on my creation' was coming from the consideration that it wasn't happening, so I had to push on it a little more. Which of course made it not happen even more.
So I guess I'd say that affirmations are great if they help you to actually alter your tone. And you can always tell what your tone is on the subject by consulting how you are feeling about it. Your feelings are the truest measure of your actual vibration on any subject.
Kenneth James Michael MacLean