By Harold Boulette
“Imagination is the soul’s eye; … By its intervention we heal diseases, modify the seasons, warn off death, … Imagination determines the shape of the child in the mother’s womb and decides the destiny of men; it lends wings to contagion and directs the arms of warfare. Are you exposed in battle? Believe yourself to be invulnerable like Achilles, and you will be so, says Paracelsus. Fear attracts bullets, but they are repelled by courage.” ~Elephas Levi
I don’t think I would say that imagination is the soul’s eye, yet Mr. Levi makes a good point. Very often the only way the spiritual worlds and the spiritual beings can communicate with us is through imagination. What artists may think of as a muse is really just a Light Being or angel trying to communicate with them. As a spiritual student, I know that many hints of spiritual truths can be found hidden in movie plots and dialog, in song lyrics, in poetry and books, and even in paintings and sculpture. This may happen even though the artist is not a spiritual person, but the artist opens his imagination up and a spiritual being fills it with hints of truth.
Levi says disease is cured by imagination. This is very often, though not always, true. What he is talking about here is belief more than imagination, but then beliefs often are part of our imagination even though we may not think of them that way. It is a sad not of the materialism that has captured most of our world that we see ads everywhere telling us how effective a drug is in treating a disease, or more accurately, treating some symptoms of the disease. What is usually left out is that in the trials of many of these drugs, the placebo given to a test group is often as effective in many people as the real drug. Why? Because the person taking it believes it is a real drug and believes that drugs can cure. If the person believes he got the placebo, it probably won’t work, even if he is wrong and he got the real drug. And if the person is,one who doesn’t believe in using drugs at all, but in healing with nature, neither the placebo or the real drug will work on her.
Another way that imagination is involved in healing is in something called “visualization”. In visualization, we send specific thoughts to the mind and they are often effective. Studies done of this where athletes were taught to visualize themselves having a perfect game, perfect dive, swim or skate saw therir actual performances improve. Likewise, disease victims who visualize something like their white blood cells as white knights fighting off the barbarian hoards of germs, see rapid improvement. Of course, visualizing something impossible like growing wings and flying to Mars isn’t going to work. It has to be possible.
In the rest of the quote, we are getting more specific and talking about fears and how our imaginary boogie men effect out lives. The mother who fears she will have a sickly or deformed child is ore likely to have one that the mother who sees herself giving birth to a very healthy baby. Yes, such things as drinking, smoking and diet have an effect, but not as much as one’s fears and beliefs. There has even been evide3nce in recent studies that show that defective genes that are supposedly passed on to offspring can actually be modified by dietary improvements and, of course, by right thinking, by imagining that defective DNA being minimized or replaced with genes that promote health rather than disease. Will you really be invulnerable in battle if you believe you are? Probably not, but the soldier who does not fear that he will be killed is a more effective fighter and therefore more likely to live. But it is not just soldiers, we all make foolish decisions when we let our fears and imaginary boogie men control us instead of taking control of those fears and eliminating them.
One thing virtually all successful people have in common is that they see themselves as successful in their imaginations long before it actually happens on a physical level. On the other hand, those who fail often have doubts and fears; they imagine themselves failing and they do. This is not always true, but most of the time it is. If you see yourself as successful at something, and you make proper steps to make it happen, you will almost certainly be successful. If you see yourself as a healthy person, you will not get sick nearly as often as the person who thinks she is weak and sickly.
Not covered in the quote, but even more important, is how imagination can work for or against you in your quest for spiritual growth. Obviously, if you believe there is no such thing as the soul or the worlds of spirit, your imagination will most likely never reveal the to you. And since it never shows itself to you, your belief that it doesn’t exist becomes stronger. If you fear the spiritual because it means you have to be responsible for your actions, you will not likely achieve much. If you are overly fearful that you will be attacked by demons while in a relaxed state during meditation or spiritual techniques, you are actually inviting those demons to you! Fear of the thing actually attracts it to you like a magnet.
So recognize that imagination is a powerful thing and use it effectively, not like some foolish child trying to juggle hammers. Instead of letting your imagination run amok, treat it like a garden in which you plant what you want to grow. If you want abundance, plant thoughts of how you will enjoy it and how you deserve it, not thoughts of how you fear poverty. If you want to be healthier, see yourself engaging in healthy activities, rather then dwelling on your illnesses and weaknesses. If you want to awaken and grow your spiritual faculties, imagine what great things spiritual wisdom (gnosis) will allow you to do, rather than fearing the limits of the world of matter. See yourself free of doubts and questions because Gnosis is truth, always. See yourself free from the control of political and economic control because you serve God. Your field of imagination can be a plot of weeds and brambles, a minefield, or a beautiful garden. The choice is yours.
A shorter version of this article previously appeared on the Solar Wind blog.