Sunday, April 09, 2006

Visualization, Imagination, and Control


No, imagery is not necessarily the "language" of deeper levels of Mind, such as soul, or, deeper, Spirit. As the name indicates, it can also be the tool of mere imagination, which can be partially or even completely conscious.

Even dreams can be highly influenced by the superficial conscious mind-- although they are more likely to emanate from the preconscious or personal unconscious. A very few arise from as deeply as soulmind, and, with extreme rarity, have been recorded as floating up from the deepest level of all-- Coremind, Lovemind, or Spirit.

Some believe that if they "image" clearly and long enough, they can create anything. If someone tells you this, ask her to produce a ten-carat diamond in her hands simply by imaging it. Guaranteed that she will not be able to do so. She will likely argue that such a "manifestation" would take much time. (If so, offer her however many years that she might need for the experiment.) Or, she might argue even that it could be done, but she personally does not have the power. If so, it is her job, since the burden of proof is upon her, to take you to someone-- anyone-- who can do this. Again, she will fail, for there is no person outside fantasy, imagination, or fairy-tale, who can actually perform this task.

For example, a cult-leader named Sai Baba has conned anumber of desperate people into believing that he can make gold coins appear out of thin air. This is anything but original or even smart, for this exact claim has been made, but never proved, for various gurus and cultists around the world, for centuries. Any one of them can, at any time, come into a lab and forever disperse all doubt; none ever has. (Actually, this is a "magic" trick learned by twelve-year-old beginners in magic.) If Sai Baba could do this, he would not continually humiliate himself by always asking-- and often begging-- for money from deluded followers. (He has also been seriously and repeatedly accused of sexual improprieties with young boys.)

People feel incredibly desperate to believe what they want. And what they want to believe is that they are in control of every element of their lives. Or, if not, someone else is (angels, et's, "masters," etc.)

But the perspective of Taoist mysticism is so much more grown-up. It abandons fairy-tales and wishful thinking and faces the real world in courage. It says, "Recognize that you do not control everything, that your ego is not God. Then, learn to live with it. Learn to dance with the cosmos, and find peace. Those who resist the cosmos as it is always create misery." This the superstitious do by trying to convince themselves of falsehoods ("my personal mind can control everything") or by denying obvious reality.

It is a sweet and very attractive illusion that you can have ("create") whatever you want simply by imaging, visualization, affirmations, or formulas. It requires no work, no change of personality, no struggle with profound and complex worldviews. It is the way of the pre-schooler, and that is why it is so popular on a planet such as earth.

Only one problem: It does not work. As long as you are insulated from real life, you can convince yourself of illusion. But when life hands you a lemon-- or a hand-grenade, then you are forced to leave behind pretty fairy-tales and come to grips with detachment, trust in the Flow, and real wisdom.

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