Today we ask that you learn the constructive use of the imagination.
Every human has an imagination. Even the most “boring” individuals have imaginations. Most humans are very good at using their imaginations destructively. Few understand its constructive use.
Your imagination is extremely powerful. With your imagination, you create. You dream up something, and create it. First you create it in your mind. Then, if you keep holding the vision, you create it in external reality.
A potter imagines a pot, and makes a pot. The pot may turn out differently than the potter initially imagined, because creation is a fluid process. But if the potter imagines the pot, and makes an effort to create a pot, a pot will be created.
What happens if someone spends his time mainly imagining terrible things? Say he imagines terrible things happening to himself, his loved ones, and the world.
This does not mean he creates the terrible things — not right away, in any case.
But what happens right away is, he is living in hell. He imagines terrible things, and these things are very real to him, like hallucinations. He suffers terribly, as a result of his imagination — not anything that is happening in reality.
Next, his imagination affects his behavior. If someone is hallucinating, he begins to behave very strangely. He reacts to things that are not real. So he may be very angry or volatile around his loved ones — not because he is reacting to what is real, but because he is reacting to his imagination. His fears may make him turn into an overprotective, overbearing parent, which causes his children to suffer and feel alienated from him. Relationships are destroyed in this way.
His hallucinations may cause him to behave aggressively, even violently, toward people he imagines to be threatening — even if those people are not actually causing harm to him. He may engage in acts of violence. In some cases, people are imprisoned for such acts.
So in such cases, imprisonment would be a “manifestation” of the destructive use of the imagination. But people do not need to be in jail cells to be imprisoned. All you have to do to be imprisoned is to imagine that you are imprisoned.
Many people do imagine that they are imprisoned by their life circumstances. And so, over time, this takes on a reality. The office is a prison. The commute is a prison. Supporting the family is a prison. And people really feel the chains of this imprisonment.
So humans are very good at the destructive use of the imagination. That is why there is a lot of ugliness in the world.
When people are young, they use their imaginations playfully. They paint pictures, and build things with blocks, and create new games. If children are raised in healthy environments, they will continue to use their imaginations positively.
Using the imagination destructively is a learned behavior. Unfortunately, most humans learn this.
All religions, all myths, all stories are birthed out of the human imagination, the great human dream. To the extent that stories reinforce the shared dream of loving the self, others, and reality, then this is a constructive use of the imagination. To the extent that these stories reinforce messages of hatred and separation, they are destructive uses of the imagination.
How are you using your imagination? How were you taught to use your imagination?
Are you consumed by fearful projections? Are you feeling victimized by things that happened to you years ago? Do you obsess over bad things that might happen to you or your loved ones in the future?
These projections make it so the you cannot enjoy the present moment. You might be in a lovely place, you might be on vacation on a tropical beach, but your imagination can even turn this to hell with its projections — so powerful is the imagination.
So just be aware that you are indeed imagining things all the time. Even very “boring” people have wild imaginations. Pay attention to the quality of your imagination. Are you using it destructively, or constructively? Are you hallucinating terrors, or dreaming a beautiful dream?