THE WISDOM OF IMAGINATION
Let's start with a prayer: Father/Mother/God we give thanks that you are always with us. We give thanks for your unconditional love. We give thanks for all that you have given us. We give thanks that we are created in your image and likeness. Help us today to be open to wisdom, to recognizing and using our imagination and persisting with our will. Help us to see past our little mind into the greater I AM of ourselves. Help us to be open to learn and to grow. Thank you, Father. Amen
Today is our final day to look at "Words of the Wise." For this series, I selected "power" words and explored what others had to say about them -- of course, throwing in my 2, 3, 4 or even 5 cents worth as well, and incorporating some of your favorite quotes.
We've looked at:
The Wisdom of Being - We are Spiritual Beings having a Human Experience
The Wisdom of Knowing - Four-point test of knowing; Spiritual Truths to Know; and how to get to knowing.
The Wisdom of Healing - A blue print of Divine Perfection resides at our core.
The Wisdom of Succeeding - Serving and succeeding are two sides of the same coin.
Today, we will take look at our final Wisdom Word - Imagination.
Linton Bergsen writes in his book Purposeful Vision: "Imagination creates a vision for us to see what could be."a
And in Joel 2:28 it says: "I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions."b
Charles Fillmore wrote in the Revealing Word: "The use of the will is very important in making demonstrations. One must be very persistent since persistence is essential to demonstration. Truth builds the perfect body, and the will must resolutely lay hold and keep hold of the word of Truth until the word becomes flesh."c
Three interwoven, key concepts that make up the Wisdom of Imagination:
Our Imagination to set our Vision;
Which is a Vision Toward Spirit; and
Our Will to hold the Vision.
Let's look at each of these concepts and see how they are interwoven. And, then we'll spend a few moments making it very, very personal.
I enjoy looking at the etymology or origin of words. The word "imago" is used in entomology, the science of insects, to denote the final, perfect form of a specimen. Its deeper meaning is "the natural shape or the picture of perfection." The suffix - "nation" comes from a Latin root word meaning, "to be born." So, literally our imagination is the power to birth the natural shape of things or the picture of perfection.
We don't always use our imagination that way, do we? In fact, Mark Twain once said, "I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened."d
The rest of them only happen in our imagination! How about if we used our imagination in a different way?
Charles Fillmore writes in Jesus Christ Heals: "Spirit is the dynamic force that releases the pent-up energies within man. The energies have been imprisoned in the cells, and when released are again restored to action in the body by the chemistry of creative Mind. The perfection of this regeneration is in proportion to the understanding and industry of the individual."e
What is the "pent up" energy? Simply Spirit's urge to continually create.
Everything that has ever been done on this earth plane, great or small, first had its place in the human imagination. Shakespeare describes the creative process in a poet like this: "As imagination bodies forth the forms of things unknown, the poet's pen turns them to shape and gives to airy nothing a local habitation and a name."f
It is a fact that imagination takes hold of what seems to be "airy nothing," making something from it. But the Truth is that there is really no such thing as an "airy nothing." There is a Universal energy everywhere present which is sensitive to our thoughts.
Our imagination calls this Universal Energy into action; our imagination is a dynamic force that can be put to amazing use. Thomas Troward has said: "Having seen and felt the end, you have secured the means to the realization of the end."g
One of Steven Covey's Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is "Begin with the End in Mind."h When you have seen and felt something in consciousness, you have set into operation the means through which it can be achieved. You have activated "the Law."
Fillmore Study Bible: "Love is the drawing power, the magnet that attracts to the soul the invisible forces of Being, which the other faculties build into the Christ Temple."i
Fable of the prince and the statue. The prince had been born with a deformed back, and he could never stand upright like even the most humble of his subjects. This caused him much mental anguish. He called upon the most skillful sculptor and requested him to make a statue of himself representative in every detail, except with a straight back, as he might have been.
When the work was completed, instead of being placed before the palace gate where all could see it, the prince directed that it should stand in a secret nook in the garden where only he would see it.
So it was, forgotten by all except the prince, who every morning and evening stole away from his schedule to look upon it. Each time he did so something seemed to go out of the statue into him.
Days, months, even years passed, then strange reports went around the land that the princes back was no longer crooked. Then one day he stood next to the statue and before his people, quite straight, his head noble, in fact the physical specimen his likeness had proclaimed him to be. You see, through the statue, the prince had spent his period in imagining, looking backward, as it were, on his goal of healing, believing it was already done and then, it was done.
So, our imagination is a powerful tool. Again, I ask a question I posed a moment ago -- how are we using it? Use it for more than just having.
Glenn Clark in his book, The Soul's Sincere Desire writes: "The Lost Art of Jesus is seeing in parables-looking at Reality through the lens of the imagination-and then letting this parable, or imaginative way of looking at Reality, bring to pass that thing which is spoken of as a miracle (take one's stance)."j
2. Vision Toward Spirit
2. Vision Toward Spirit
Remember, we use our Imagination to set our Vision -- which is a Vision toward Spirit!
Joel 2:28 it says: "I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions."k
Did you know that we are really like a Koi fish - Japanese carp? If you put a koi in a small fishbowl, it will grow to be 2 to 3 inches long. If you put it in a larger tank or small pond, it will grow to 6 to 10 inches long. If it lives in a bigger pond, it will grow to a foot and a half. But if it lives its life in a large lake, it will grow to 3 feet long.
Why? Because it is the size of its vision. In a small bowl, he can see very little. In a bigger bowl he can see more. In a big lake, his vision is big, so he grows.
Power of the visioning process - When we vision, we align in consciousness with our divine purpose, which is to love and to express a greater degree of life. Then we open ourselves to catch a sense of how that expression is supposed to occur through us.
Visioning always begins with a deep sense that we're surrounded by unconditional love. We enter into the conscious awareness that we live, move and have our being in this unconditional love, and we open ourselves up to what that love feels like. Beyond emotional. The feeling tone we develop is of a spiritual nature, and this feeling is the whole foundation of visioning.
We then declare what it is we are doing the vision about. For example, we may ask "How does God see Itself as my life?" We then wait to inwardly hear, see, catch what comes to us, what it looks like, what it feels and sounds like, and we pay close attention to any symbols or metaphors that appear. All of this is done without judgment. We're throwing ourselves open to whatever comes up and we notice what begins to flow through so we can articulate it, write it down, express it, dialogue about it, and be aware of how it feels, not just emotionally but spiritually. In this way, we can begin to articulate God's vision for our life.
Once we begin to get a sense of God's vision for our lives, and are feeling it, we ask the question: "What is it that I have to embody or become in order for this vision to manifest?" As we listen inwardly in a meditative state, we begin to hear from the deep levels of our being what we have to know, what we have to become, what we have to embody and change. Then we write it down and dialogue about it.
"We know metaphysically that we cannot have anything we are not willing to become. It's an impossibility for us to have something in or lives that is not aligned with our consciousness. So we begin to get a picture of how we need to develop and grow and unfold, of how we must change."l (interview with Michael Beckwith)
And then we anchor it with affirmative prayer/treatment -- not that the vision be made manifest -- it's already done -- but that we embody that which we need to embody for the vision to come forth through us.
The process of unfoldment then can be quite subtle. As an example:
Abraham Lincoln had a rich prayer life and is regarded as one of our most spiritual presidents. In his early years, he had intimations that meaningful work lay ahead for him but that he would have to refine his intellect and acquire professional skills if he were to fulfill his destiny.
In his frontier environment, however, few tools or opportunities for professional development were available, and Lincoln feared that his hopes would never be fulfilled. One day a stranger came by with a barrel full of odds and ends and old newspapers, and he offered to sell the lot to Lincoln for a dollar. Realizing the man was needy, Lincoln, with his characteristic kindness, gave him a dollar, although he had no idea how the barrel's contents would be of any use.
When he later cleared out the barrel, he found among the junk an almost complete edition of Blackstone's Commentaries. These books helped Lincoln become a lawyer and eventually enter politics.
This is a story related in Larry Dossey's book, Prayer is Good Medicine. Dossey then goes on to say: "Lincoln did not get zapped during prayer with a sudden revelation of his life's work. Humble ingredients -- a barrel of junk, a stranger down on his luck, a dollar, and Lincoln's innate compassion -- combined unspectacularly to help shape the destiny of a nation and affect millions of people."m
So, we use our Imagination to set our Vision -- a Vision toward Spirit. Where does "Will" come in.
We use our will to hold our vision in place until the creative genius of the inner life transforms the image of limitation and transmutes it into liberty under law.
Charles Fillmore Revealing Word: "The use of the will is very important in making demonstrations. One must be very persistent since persistence is essential to demonstration. Truth builds the perfect body, and the will must resolutely lay hold and keep hold of the word of Truth until the word becomes flesh."n
Charles Fillmore Keep a True Lent: "Man is the power of God in action. The power to control his thinking is the highest gift given to man. There is a universal, creative force that urges man forward to the recognition of the creative power of individual thought."o
We use our will to be determined and persistent, not to force anything to happen.
High school basketball coach who was attempting to motivate his players to preserver through a difficult season. Halfway through the season he stood before the team and said, "Did Michael Jordan ever quit?" The team shouted, "No!"
He yelled, "Well, how about, the Wright Brothers? Did they ever give up?" "No," hollered back the team.
"Did Muhammad Ali ever quit?" Again, the team yelled, "No."
"Did Elmer McAlester ever quit?"
There was a long silence. Finally, one player was bold enough to ask, "Coach, who's Elmer McAlester? We never heard of him."
The coach snapped back, "Of course, you never heard of him -- he quit!"
We use our will to persist until the Law has an opportunity to work out our vision in our lives.
So I would like for you to just relax, close your eyes, and we are going to birth the picture of perfection in your life. Look within yourself to spirit's urge to continually create. Know that there is a universal energy everywhere present which is sensitive to your thoughts.
Just picture in your mind your perfect picture, whether it be health or prosperity or the perfect relationship. Whatever you would like to see in your life, just envision it with love in your heart.
Then open your mind and heart to something even better and allow God's vision for you to be your vision. Know that you are safe and surrounded by unconditional love. Then ask, "How does God see Itself as my life?"
Then ask the question "What is it that I have to embody or become in order for this vision to manifest?"
And we Pray that we will move forward into this vision because we know it is already done.
And next we use our will to cement this into place, to be determined and be persistent, not to force anything to happen but to allow it to happen
And we give thanks that it is so.
"Also, we wrap our world in prayer today, knowing God is greater than whatever we face-greater than illness, loss, injustice, and confusion. God is an ever-flowing stream of love and wisdom, pouring through each of us to anoint our earth with healing, harmony, and wholeness."
aLinton Bergsen Purposeful Vision
cCharles Fillmore Revealing Word
eCharles Fillmore Jesus Christ Heals pg 138
hSteven Covey's Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
iFillmore Study Bible
jGlenn Clark The Soul's Sincere Desire
lMichael Beckwith, Way of the Heart Magazine, Aug.-Oct. 2003
mLarry Dossey Prayer is Good Medicine. P 190
nCharles Fillmore Revealing Word
oCharles Fillmore Keep a True Lent