Recently a short paragraph in some reading material I’m studying gave me a bit of a jolt. I thought about it, and several days and several walks in the park later, I came up with some ideas about why I’m on the path I’m on. The mental meanderings I went through were thought-provoking.
Paraphrased, the paragraph said that the creative activity of the imagination is the first organizing influence that operates on and within the energies of a person who wants to move to higher ground (to the Higher Self). That’s what it said – the organizing influence that works on your energies to move you to a higher place in your consciousness is the creative imagination.
What? Okay, wait. What? This took me a while to digest. When I first thought about this idea, I thought about the imagination and what it means to me. My ideas included daydreaming, imagery and visualization. And then there is the imagination that runs on and on, making mountains out of molehills. These are all aspects of the imagination, but considering the creative activity of the imagination as an organizing influence, as something that affects spirituality – that was a new concept.
I thought of the famous quote of Einstein’s: “IMAGINATION IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN KNOWLEDGE.” A poster with Einstein’s bushy head and these words hung in my classroom for many, many years. I believe this completely, without question. But as I walked along, I thought, “Okay, I feel this is true. But why is it true?”
What I came up with is that knowledge is what we already know; it is, in a sense, in the past. We can find it in books, in past experiences, on Google. Knowledge is what’s already been found or learned. And it’s fixed in time; after a while what we know may not even be true any more.
Imagination, on the other hand, looks to what we don’t know. It’s what creates, what brings into being that which we don’t already know. And that gave me a clue as to why imagination is a key to the Higher Self.
I began to think about my Higher Self. More specifically, I thought about what it would be composed of, what it would look or act like. I’ve always felt an intuitive sense of this, but really, what would my Higher Self be like if I met her? Am I ever my higher self? How close am I – or is anyone else – to meeting the Higher Self?
I thought first about what my Higher Mind would be like. For one thing, I decided that it would view all things symbolically. The principal of “as above, so below” would be the basis for its functioning. So everything I see would be viewed only as a manifestation – a symbol, so to speak – of something higher. No matter if it be a person, an animal, a rock or tree – I would see beyond the physicality of it, and know that the light of Spirit is within it. I would know that the outer presence is simply the embodiment of that light, but it’s the light that counts. I would know this completely and with total certainty as a given, not simply intellectually. Everything I encounter is a meeting with spirit, or essence. (This reminded me of the title of a book I read awhile ago: That Which Transpires behind That Which Appears.)
Then I thought of my emotional component. What would that be like? The word love came to mind, but not the love of romance, or even the love of a parent for a child, or the affection of one friend for another. I imagined it would be more like total, unconditional acceptance, knowing; more of a doing than a feeling.
I’ve often said that if I could treat every human I meet with the same acceptance I show for every dog or cat or other creature, I would be a saint. When I go on my morning walk I greet each person I see, but each dog is greeted with delight and such joy – as if they were all long lost friends. And the interesting thing is that dogs I’ve never met instantly come up to me. Once in a while they try to follow me home. There is something in my whole openness about animals and nature that says, “You are perfect and I see you that way.” Now, why can’t I do that with people? Notice, I said, “do that” – not feel that. It’s something of a conundrum, to be able to greet an animal with no restraint, no armor, no facade, yet the species I’m most like poses more a of a problem.
Well, what if I did that with people? What if I actually delighted in every person I met? Just to know how wonderful they are. That would be an aspect of my higher emotional state. I would see them clearly, without any of my own “stuff” – or theirs – to get in the way of our relationship. In fact, though I could use any emotion I chose at any time, I would not have any emotional baggage, if I were my higher self.
If someone said something mean, cruel or unkind, or I saw something happen that was not right – what then? I walked around a little, thinking about this. It was puzzling – how would my higher emotional self respond to really dreadful behavior? There are a lot of people in the world who do unkind, cruel things; there is a lot of greed, anger and violence in the world.
The answer came to me in the word respond. I believe the emotional part of me would respond, rather than react. I would not feel that emotional pang, or tug; no rise of reacting anger or hurt would occur. Instead, I would be able to listen, to observer, to understand. Perhaps I would have words or actions that could soothe. But the entire emotional transaction would not involve my getting caught up in being right, in demanding someone behave, etc. First of all, I would know that underneath, this person is still the reflection of the Whole, and therefore there is a light somewhere in there. (Okay, maybe the light is really, really dim, or maybe it’s blocked by the darkness of the person…but there is some spark, I’m sure.)
Then I thought of the physical part of me. What would that be like? I believe my mental and emotional states would be in alignment to the point where my physical body would follow suit – as above, so below. I would be able to communicate to my body through my love for each and every cell, each organ, and I would be able to heal myself. Now, I know this is possible; I believe it and I have done it. I haven’t been able to do it in all instances, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. I just have to know my body a little better, and operate from that knowing place.
So then I went back to the imagination. What does all this have to do with organizing my energies for the journey to my Higher Self? How does this actually work?
And I realized that it was working all this time, to help me see a future self. All the time that I was winding through my questions, I was continually posing the question that invariably evokes the imagination: what if?
Here I was, asking myself, “What if?” and projecting what would happen if…. And of course, I took myself on a journey of “what if…?” and came up with a compact synopsis of my Higher Self. This whole exploration was organized by my imagination. Believe me, I will be looking at this for a looong time, so it’s really just the beginning.
Then another phrase came to mind: acting AS IF. Some people call this “fake it ‘til you make it” but I don’t think this is quite the same thing. Acting AS IF is a conscious choosing of how you will be, and following through with it. It takes will, something I struggle with on moment to moment basis.
For me that rounded out the picture – higher mind, love and will. If I could call upon these three, act as if I were already my Higher Self, I would eventually see results. My imagination would have organized my energies so that I could act as if I were my best self.
I already see results with animals and plants – I just have to get to the point where I can respond to humans – and to myself – the same way. I’m working on it – it’s slow going, but it’s better than not going at all…
HERE’S A STORY SOMEONE SENT ME IN AN E-MAIL YEARS AGO – I THINK IT FITS IN HERE. If it doesn’t seem to fit, at least it’s a cute story.
There once was a little boy who wanted to meet God. He knew it was a long trip to where God was, so he packed his suitcase with Twinkies and a six-pack of root beer, and he started his journey.
When he had gone about three blocks, he met an old woman. She was sitting in the park, just staring at some pigeons. The boy sat down next to her, and opened his suitcase. He was about to drink from his root beer when he noticed that the old lady looked hungry, so he offered her a Twinkie.
She gratefully accepted it and smiled at him. Her smile was so pretty that he wanted to see it again, and so he offered her a root beer. Once again, she smiled at him. The boy was delighted! They sat there all afternoon, eating and smiling, but they never said a word. As it grew dark, the boy realized how tired he was, and he got up to leave. But before he had gone more than a few steps, he turned around, ran back to the old woman, and gave her a hug. She gave him her biggest smile ever.
When the boy opened the door to his own house a short time later, his mother was surprised by the look on his face. She asked him, “What did you do today that made you so happy?” He replied, “Oh, I had lunch with God.”
Before his mother could respond, he said, “You know what? She’s got the most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen!”
Meanwhile, the old woman, also radiant with joy, returned to her home. Her son was stunned by the look of pure joy and peace on her face. He asked, “Mother, what did you do today that made you so happy?”
“Oh,” she answered, “I ate Twinkies in the park with God.” Before her son could respond, she added, “You know, he’s a lot younger than I expected.”
How much do we see – in a flower, a person, something or someone we see every day? Do we see beyond the anger or the pain, to that which is beyond it, behind it, within it? Do we see the light that’s there? Maybe we just need to look a little deeper, or look at it as if it’s already there.