The text doesn't say as much about the imagination as it does about ecstatic techniques using visualization techniques and yogic-styled breathing exercises. I suspect this is an Americanization of East Asian religious practices in contemporary cultic practice (vis. A final article in Robert Elwood's book on modern spiritual movements in North America - "The Ganges Flows West" ?? ).
The first line of the piece, however, tells the reader that the imagination is spoken about elsewhere in the book it self - which unfortunately is not located online. This initial comment suggests that the previous examination of the "nature of fantasy as the quality of our creative imagination" is useful for distinguishing it from "cosmic imagination." Cosmic imagination is said to 'make the outline of things'; and 'fanciful' imagination "blurs the outlines and makes things all fuzzy."
Cosmic imagination is further characterized as unable to 'see' these outlines unless it makes them by the very act of preventing itself from observing itself. In social terms this implies that the culture placed the images there, but cannot see them for what they are (this requires a later deconstruction). Individually it implies it is something placed by one's own consciousness. But the text is not interested in social or individual contexts in this instance. Instead, it appeals to a 'whole ONE' and it is their goal to "free our conceptions and release our prime imagination so that the student of consciousness can visualize and [sic] then imagine what it would be like to be the ONE whole, which while containing outlines within itself, does not regard them as any big deal." [sic]
the text goes on to appeal to the wisdom of "all our sages". Quoting Christ's comment "Thou art that One," the syncretic nature of the author's spiritual beliefs become evident. In an exceeding quick fashion after referring to Christ, the narrative shift to the claim that "mankind has this capacity to think as light, to think in light, and to identify with the wholeness that light is, before it manifests to our senses." This is indicative of some forms of magical practices found in neo-paganism. Further evidence of this appears later in the text as the author speaks about magic and the imagination. For instance, the author claims with typical new age jargon that "man [sic] has the capacity with every breath to consciously plant an image throughout the inner hologram."
A further characterization of 'prime imagination' is not fanciful, making unreal fantasies, but that thing which we are sure of when we are asked to identify with our bodies, minds, or soul. In other words, it is that little voice inside of us that keep this sense of a coherent ego alive and gives it a sense of historicity.
During a description of the breathing/visualization exercise, the author notes that "whatever you imagine is passing through your subtle astral tubes will eventually take place in the gross body." I take this to mean that what you imagine makes changes in the subtle body - Hillman's soul - which brings changes to the physical body. The text becomes more mystical as it moves on to immediately compare waking consciousness as a dream in the imagination. The text claims that the task is to purify the imagination and it's structural conditions so as to allow communication among no less that seven different 'worlds' of being. This is said to bring the realization that one is only imagining when they think they are awake. This kind of realization is typical of many different mystical systems which in general insist that we are not in the real world when we are in 'normal' waking consciousness. This brings the text to suggest that there is another level to the imagination: experienced when one says something like "I was asleep when I thought I was wide awake".
The text goes on to speak about techniques for 'penetrating the imagination barrier'. It immediately refers to a three-year course which allows for this precise activity. The course is marketed as
"method of "direct perception" offers any individual who will be totally committed to practicing it for three years, the ability to control their own thoughts and imagination at will. The course uses all the images brought to earth by the great seers and prophets of every great religion without indulging in religious sentimentality, self-pity or guilt. "
The method promises to allow one to penetrate through our fanciful imaginations to the primordial imagination allowing us to see "what we really are rather than what we think we are." It is a process of shedding false imagery which is said to distort human reality by the very fanciful assumptions about ourselves and others. Such false images are said to "pollute" images of ourselves and others - so it becomes a question of purity verses impurity. Indeed, this question of purity is revisited as the text goes on to elaborate on how we imagine crystallized light in order to help move the energy produced by the meditation exercise.
The text moves on to more practical issues regarding three meditative/imaginative techniques. The first advocates a) self knowledge(the writing of a spiritual diary outlining all of one's negative imaginations of themselves); b) group consciousness (by asking oneself very challenging questions while in a group context and learning to release the ego which would react to the feedback from the group); and c) breath and consciousness (referring to a 'new science' of radiational paraphysics the method suggests the use of breathing exercise and visualization techniques to 'charge' the primordial imagination of every cell in the body with the idea being worked with. The text goes on to detail the kind of electrical system that science uses to describe the human body. It outlines the approximate voltages and the like in an appeal to an imagined, pseudo-scientific authority. The exercises end with one designed to energize water (for instance, to enable 'washing off ' all the negative energies inside of one self or even to make 'holy water') and eye baths with water to clear the organ of perception -apparently the imagination is only visual for the author.
Copyright © 1997 Marc Fonda. All Rights Reserved.
Last updated: March 5, 1997.