At first glance, there appears to be two types of imagination. There is the deliberate, intended imagination created by a concerted effort; real time problem solving. For example if I say, ‘imagine a better world’, you must focus your thoughts inwardly and see what you can come up with. And the other type is spontaneous, unintended imagination that can arrive without any prior warning. Such images come from without… the ‘eureka’ moments. This is the alternative method of problem solving. To sleep on it… and see what the morrow will bring.
This spontaneous, creative imagery filters through the world of art. The artist is considered to be a medium for these external magical influences… giving them expression and form in the mundane world. An artist is like a shaman.
Where do these spontaneous images come from? Do they come from the ‘other side’, from the gods… from spirit? Or are they created within the mind, just like the first type of images? These images are not random and tend to have subjective relevance. Christians see visions of Christ and the virgin Mary; whereas Buddhists might have visions of Gautam.
Both scientists and artists are motivated by an awareness of the existing contradictions of prevailing thought. These contradictions are uncomfortable, mentally and emotionally. One wrestles with this conflict, headstrong and intent on finding a solution… struggling with all one’s will. And still conflict persists. As one problem is dodged, two more lie in wait; when the head is cut off from the hydra, two heads grow in its place.
The only freedom, that requires no effort, is to just see the conflict… since the problem is the only thing that exists; the solution does not exist separately. In seeing therefore, there can be no search for a solution; meaning there is no will, no thought. The will must come to an end. This is the seed that must die for new life to emerge, imbued with the same character and will that presided over its conception.
“You fool! When you sow a seed, it does not come alive until it dies first.”
~ 1 Corinthians 15:36
Through seeing, the right question can be articulated… to give conscious form to the conflict. Like a culture that is grown to reveal the cause of an infection, the conflict must be articulated so that it may also mature. Nature bridges all philosophical contradictions in time.
These are not the vain questions of academics, but the earnest questions of a child standing bare before the world. It is as if one sends out a silent plea to the universe and, given a little time, the answer is returned. Eureka! The chicken comes home to roost.
“He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
~ Mathew 18:2-4
The root cause of imagination is therefore always the same, it is just a matter of time for it to respond to the stimulus of a given dilemma… be it a second or a month. How does the process of ending conflict via imagination actually work? Well we have seen that it is not really a process, just an inevitable response to seeing the conflict. Seeing allows us to articulate the right question, without any emotional investment in the answer, and this sets is what the ball rolling.
“When we have arrived at the question, the answer is already near.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
The fact that there is a time delay between seeing and resolving the conflict is nevertheless interesting. It tells us that the act of seeing sets in motion a force that that does not let up until the matter is brought to a conclusion. During this time the new ‘life form’ grows and matures, finally bearing the fruit of knowledge. This is the EGREGORE thought form. It exists as an independent entity residing within the psychological space of the host, while the host is free to go about his regular business.
When the conflict is brought under the gaze of our attention, which is the act of seeing, we are seeing it through our own eyes… we realize it with ‘real eyes’. Beyond the established ideas and doctrines… impressed upon us by society, religion, medical dogma, and so on. In real eyes-ing the conflict, the separated observer, which is the illusion of individuated self, disappears; the seed dies… and like a newborn son a fledgling egregore thought form is brought forth. This seed that was imbued with the will to grow, like all living things are, carries with it the ‘sins of the father’… the conflict that it must strive to resolve, not by analysis but by being itself the vehicle of knowledge. The seed becomes a plant, and the plant then bears fruit. The question is no more… the egregore has fulfilled its purpose.
“The All is Mind; The Universe is Mental.”
~ The Kybalion
When we consider the words CONTEMPLATION and MEDITATION we can see they also refer to this process of illumination.
CON-TEMPL-ATE is the bringing together, the unification of thought. When you are investing attention in a solution, then there is a separation of problem and solution… therefore a divergence of thought. So contemplation means looking at the problem only… seeing the dilemma, the contradiction, without being distracted by a solution. Contemplation is what replaces understanding with seeing.
MEDI-T-ATE implies through the middle. We are not referring to the meditation practices that include visualization, breathing, chakras, etc. Those are (at best) results oriented activities. Meditation is the sublime moment that the fruit falls to the ground, releasing its knowledge as awareness.
Contemplation is therefore the sane response to a dilemma, and meditation is the spontaneous disappearance of the dilemma. Meditation is an extension of contemplation. Between the two is when the seed dies, and a new life emerges. This new life is the metaphorical Son of God, Horus, Jesus, and with countless other names. It is the frontal cortex. The middle way. It is the number 3, the apex of the triangle, the banisher of duality, and the deliverer from evil.
“Meditation is like the breeze that comes in when you leave the window open; but if you deliberately keep it open, deliberately invite it to come, it will never appear.”
~ J Krishnamurti