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The Mentorship Program

 Background Reading



 

The Visionary Channel of the Imagination

 Henry Reed, Ph.D.

The visualizing of any desire as may be held by an individual will come to pass, with the individual acting in the manner as the desire is held.  Edgar Cayce 311-6

 

For anyone with great imagination, of course, is intuitive; though oft may be called by others only imagination--when it is the movement of influences upon the very active forces of the individual entity.  Edgar Cayce 1744-1

 

Oft is the entity capable of seeing, hearing, that which to others does not appear to exist.  Do not attempt to belittle or dissuade the entity from those impressions that are coming through from that called imaginative or subconscious force in self.  Rather reason with, counsel with, as to the proper application of the source of that felt, heard, seen, experienced, and its usefulness as to conditions that arise in the experience of a body.  Edgar Cayce 1911-1 (about a seven year old girl)

 

 

   Thundering horsemen, angels, a black sun and a moon of blood, creatures with six wings, seven-headed dragons, all these and more dramatic images came to John the Beloved as he sat in meditation.  Theres perhaps no more startling example of channeling in the Bible than Johns Revelation.  As if the heavens opened to him, John was given a vision of things to come.

   Cayce interpreted the Revelation as an accurate portrayal of the what happens in the endocrine system as every cell in the body develops awareness of the Christ Consciousness.  Although Johns vision is full of imaginative, symbolic imagery, its nevertheless accurate and educational.  The images reveal an important truth.  The imagination proves itself to be a very important channel of revelation.

   Its easy to equate the imagination with imaginary.  By imaginary we usually mean not real.  Often we say, Im just imagining it when we mean, Its not true!  Im just making it up!  To realize the full potential of our channeling ability, however, we must discover that the imagination is a very important connection to a dimension of life thats very real.  Through the imagination we can perceive whats otherwise unseen, what Cayce calls the invisible forces of creation.  The imagination is a channel of not only of psychic sensitivity, but also of inspiration and visionary perception.

   Understanding the reality of the imagination may require some imaginative effort on your part.  What Cayce revealed about the imagination is contradicts our usual way of imagining the difference between whats real and whats only imaginary.  This chapter may require extra study.

 

The Boy Who Saw True

 

   When Edgar Cayce was a young child, he had many invisible playmates to keep him company during his time out in nature.  He learned that no one else could see these little people, except his mother and one neighbor girl.  In addition to these ethereal inhabitants of the flowers and streams, the young Cayce once met another visionary companion.

   According to the account given in Thomas Sugrues biography, There is a River, Cayce was thirteen years old at the time.  We know about the encounter because he discussed it with his mother afterwards.  He was out in his lean-to retreat, where he read the Bible.  He looked up and thought his mother had come to bring him home.  But as she began to speak, the music of her voice and the wings on her back told him she was someone he didnt know.  She said she had come in answer to his prayers and would grant his most favored wish.  Thinking of Jesuss disciples, he said that he wanted to be able to help people, especially sick children.  Later events proved that his wish had been granted.

   Although we usually think of Cayce as operating as a trance psychic, his ability to see presences that were invisible to others indicated that he had psychic vision in his waking state as well.  Just how powerful a channel visionary perception can be became evident in 1952, when the metaphysical writer Cyril Scott presented to the public a most unusual book.  Its the private journal of a young British boy, who kept a diary from the time he could write until he was about twenty years old.  In the boys later years, his wife urged him to publish it as a book.  He agreed on the condition that it be published anonymously several years after his death under the title, The Boy Who Saw True. What this boy saw with his visionary imagination, in fact, echoes much of what we learn in this book about the perspective of the Cayce readings.  

 

Figure 1 : The Visionary Imagination

 

   The boys journal is full of both the ridiculous and the sublime, written with the kind of innocent candor that children can express so well.  Sightings of Jesus are mixed in with childish discussions of such topics as moles and passing gas in church.

   Without realizing it, he has psychic eyes.  He sees gnomes playing in trees that make him laugh.  He cries over the death of a loved one, yet he sees the dead as alive.  He wonders about this paradox himself and figures its because of the crying that goes with saying goodbye.  He complains about grownups who tell him not to lie, but get angry and deny it when he sees the truth and says it.

   This boy had the ability to see peoples thoughts.  They appeared to him as images surrounding the person.  For sometime, he thought this was a normal ability that every one had.  He tells the story of a woman who visited his house. He saw a strange looking man above her shoulder.  He asked her, Why have you got an old gentleman sticking to you?  She jumped in astonishment at the remark.  He described him for her, and when he mentioned a red mark (a scar) on his cheek, she involuntarily replied, Why that was Mr.-- and looked at him uncomfortably. A few days later she questioned him about it, and that was when he discovered that not everyone saw these visions.  He was also able to tell her about her past based on the images he saw around her.

   Cayce would have us understand that thoughts are things.  Theyre alive, they affect those around us.  Thoughts are one element of the unseen forces and can be seen through the imagination.  Were connected to one another through the subconscious mind.  This particular boy, and hes certainly not unique in this capacity, experienced this connection through the imagination.  His imagination saw true.

   The boy was perpetually sick as a child, had to drop out of school and had a home tutor.  His tutor took an interest in what the boy saw after the boy told him what he saw about the tutors past.  From then on, when the tutor would visit, the boy would tell the tutor what the spirits he saw were saying.  The tutor would write down these remarks, then go over them with the boy for his lesson that day.

   On several occasions, the boy saw Jesus standing at the foot of his bed.  On one evening he wrote, His lights were so lovely, all gold and pink and blue and green and yellow like the rainbow we saw through the window that time.  He looked as if he wanted to comfort me for the horrid day I had....This is the third time Ive seen him, but I wish hed come oftener.

   On one of these visits, Jesus promised to visit the boy one day when the tutor was present, because he wanted to tell the boy some things that the tutor would have to explain to him.  The first time the three of them met, Jesus explained to the boy that he wasnt really Jesus, but was someone who had been the boys teacher through many lives, that he was called an Elder Brother.  The tutor had a background in Eastern Philosophy and was able to explain to the boy what the teacher had meant.  The boy remarked that the voice of this spirit teacher was certainly more gentle than the preacher in church.

   Once while listening to music the boy had a very realistic daydream of himself sitting in a cave, being attended to by a servant, or a student.  He writes that his Elder Brother explained to him that these were memories.  On other occasions, a student of the Elder Brother appeared to him.  He explained that he was asleep in another part of world, thousands of miles away, coming to visit in his astral body.  This student explained that the boy also traveled in sleep and sometimes they met.

   The Cayce readings describe exactly the same type of communication between people while they sleep.  Many of our dreams are actual visits with others.

   On occasion, the boy would see his dead grandfather.  Sometimes his grandfather provided helpful advice.  The boy asked his Elder Brother why his grandfather didnt know, however, about living many lifetimes.  The Elder Brother replied, Imagine not that those who shed the mortal body become possessed of all knowledge.  If you go to a strange country and dwell in a town, do you on that account acquire knowledge of and belief in all the religions and philosophies of that country?

   Cayce often remarked that people dont become any smarter after they die, except to discover that there is life after death.

   The Elder Brother had many other teachings.  Considering the complexity of the topics, they were remarkable for their simplicity.  His explanation of karma is similar to the non-judgmental approach given in the Cayce readings.  The Elder Brother said, The ordinary man on earth usually saddles himself with business ties, social ties, family ties,and a thousand duties and responsibilities which he cant get out of, and which tie him to a given place. He may take a yearly holiday, but sooner or later he has to return to resume his business activities, pay and collect his debts, and fulfill all this other obligations.  Having in the first place created all those responsibilities, he has to go through with them whether he likes it or not.  He explained that the soul has to return to teach itself wisdom through having experiences.

   The boy asked how a soul might come to not have to return for another life. The Elder Brother explained that besides paying off debts and not doing any more evil, one needed to learn to do good for its own sake, like the way an artist labors in love at his work, with no expectation for reward.

   Echoing Cayce, he told the boy, Strong desires act somewhat like a boomerang; you hurl them forth into time in the shape of desires, and they come back to you in the shape of fulfillments.  He explained that incompleted strong desires bring you back to the planet to fulfill them.  Fame, for example, isnt in itself bad, but the attachment to fame, or what we might call dependency, creates bondage.  True happiness is found within, he said.

   The Elder Brother introduced the boy to another teacher, who was called a Lama.  The Lamas teachings were also quite similar to what we have learned from Cayce:  No matter the color of the light shining through the colored glass, the sun is the same...and so it is with the one SELF shining through a myriad individual selves, which are as but the coloured windows through which the sun of the SELF doth shine.

   The boy grew up to become a successful businessman and had continued contact with the Elder Brother for the duration of his life.  In his afterword to the book, the editor notes that people who have studied the boys account have speculated that the Elder Brother, the boys imaginary teacher, spoke like an evolved master.

   The important thing to note, however, is that the boy didnt channel this wisdom by going into trance.  In a normal state of consciousness, through the powers of imaginative vision, the boy experienced his lessons like normal conversations with a teacher.

   How can the imagination be such a channel of psychic sensitivity?  As we attempt to understand this apparent paradox, we will see that the imagination is our one organ of perception that does tune to the infinite.  Its the aspect of our mind that is itself most closely akin to the invisible forces of creation.

 

Creation in the Imagination of God

 

   To understand the relationship between the imagination and the creative forces, Cayce would have us first reflect upon the Biblical statement that were created in the image of God.  One way to interpret this statement is to say that we look like God.  Cayce explains that our being like God doesnt mean that our body has a physical appearance that resembles God.  Instead it means that, as souls, were functioning models of God.  One basic way we function like God is that, like God, we create through our imagination.

   In fact, that its Gods imagination thats the source of Creation is another interpretation to being created in the image of God.  Its an interpretation that Cayce would have us ponder.  Out of the mind of God came images.  Those images are us, the souls that we are.  Can you imagine it?

   Tune up your own imaginative powers and try to get a feeling for what it might be like to be a figment in the imagination of God--a figment to which God gives free rein--free will.

   It might help if you were to contemplate for a moment what its like to have something in your imagination.  Imagine an animal, a dog, for example, standing in front of you.  Give the animal free will to do as it pleases.  Dont control it.  Giving it life without controlling its not that easy.  Try it.  It will give you more respect for Gods channeling ability.

   As you watch the dog in your imagination, notice if the dog knows that its a figment, a creation, of your imagination.  Try to make mental contact with the dog.  Can the dog become aware of you?  Can it become aware of the fact that youre creating it?  How might this come about without your forcing the issue, without your taking away the dogs free will?

   To make it more interesting, allow this dog to continue to exist in your imagination for the next week.  Let it do as it pleases.  See what it does.  Perhaps it will discover something that you find interesting, perhaps it will alert you to a danger that you were unaware of.  If you can give the dog free will to explore as it chooses, chances are that it will do something that will surprise you, that will extend the range of your awareness.  Believe it or not, Cayce indicates that we can play a similar role for God.  Our conscious minds, and their inquisitive contact with the sensory world of materiality, function as an organ of Gods perception and self-discovery.

   In his later years, Carl Jung had a dream that gave him a feeling for what it was like to be created in the imagination of God.  He tells the dream in his autobiography, Memories, Dreams and Reflections.  In his dream he enters a temple where he discovers a very old, ancient man whos meditating.  And he realizes in the dream that this as this ancient one meditates images are arising in the mans imagination.  Jung himself is a dream of this ancient one.

 

The Creative Power of Visualization

 

   We use the word, imagination, as we do the word, dream, in several different ways.  Besides meaning a region of inner experience, to think new thoughts or sense the realms of possibility, it also refers to inventing and creating.  When Martin Luther King, Jr. announced, I have a dream! he meant dream in the visionary sense of being able to imagine a possibility so vividly that he felt called to help it achieve realization in the physical world.

   People of such imagination are no idle daydreamers.  They are active channels for their visions.  Their innovative images come to life in new products and services as well as revolutionary theories and social structures.  Where would we be without the active imagination of Thomas Jefferson, the Wright brothers, Thomas Edison, Einstein, Ghandi and countless others?  Although the activity of the imagination often upsets the social order of the status quo, its a powerful force in shaping the world.

   Without imagination, we are lost.  Confronting insurmountable national or world problems, we seek leaders with vision, not only to invent solutions, but also to guide us in their implementation.  In our personal lives, we use our own imagination in no less an actively creative way.

   We have already studied the power of the mind to create reality.  In chapter four we learned that Mind is the Builder, that what we think, we become. Through its pattern making ability, the mind channels spiritual energy into physical manifestation.  Cayce sometimes used the term, the imaginative forces to describe the power of the minds patterning process.  If you look at the circumstances of your life today, notice how much you can recognize as being the product of something you previously had held in your imagination.

   The act of visualization--holding the product of the imagination firmly in mind and acting as if it will materialize--harnesses and shapes the imaginative forces to create in physical reality.  Through visionary daydreaming, the imagination seeks out new, creative patterns of possibility.  Through visualization, the imagination acts as a channel for their creation in fact.

   In the years since Cayce revealed to us this possibility, social scientists have confirmed the importance of a persons self-image in shaping behavior and the self-fulfilling influence of expectations in shaping the outcome of ones efforts.  Medical science has now confirmed that we can, indeed, use mental imagery to control the workings of the body.  Experiments have shown that the power of vizualization extends down to even the level of the single, individual cell!

   What is this active power of the visualized image?  Cayce tells us that imagery is the language of the subconscious mind, that portion of the mind that rules the body and steers most of our actions.  Imagery is the process of experiencing in patterns rather than in linear, logical thought.  Mental images, whether felt, seen, or thought, exert their power through their holistic pattern of meaning.  Logical thought has the power to refine our awareness in a sharply focused manner.  Images have the power to move us, their patterns working on us in many ways simultaneously.

   Try, for example, to tell your mouth to become wet.  Say to yourself, salivate! over and over.  See how much response you get.  Now try using an image.  Imagine holding half a lemon in your hand.  Imagine squeezing it until beads of juice appear on its surface.  Bring that lemon to your mouth and suck the juice.  If you can imagine it, youll see what I mean.  Your mouth gets very wet!  While a thought only makes you think, an image touches and affects your whole being.

   Today, every teacher of some system for how to be a success preaches the power of positive imagery.  Respected corporate advisers, such as Dr. Charles Garfield, author of Peak Performers: The New Heroes of American Business echo Cayces advice about setting an ideal, visualizing a goal, then acting as if it were coming to pass.  Imagination creates reality.

   The boy who saw true could predict peoples future simply by examining the forms and figures hovering around the persons head.  He was seeing their thought forms, etheric patterns of activity in the imaginative forces that were at work creating the persons future.  Its in this realm of etheric forces that the imagination is a channel of creation.

 

The Etheric Field of the Imaginative Forces

 

   Theres nothing as powerful as an idea whose time has come.  Thoughts are things.  Imagination is reality.  Such statements turn our world inside out. They suggest that the world of the mind is more real than the world of physical objects.  In Cayces view of the world (and most spiritual traditions share this view), the physical world is but a fleeting shadow, an effect, an end product, of the minds patterned projection of spiritual energy.  Recall Cayces formula for channeling creation, Spirit is the Life, Mind is the Builder, the Physical is the Result.

   Cayce, Plato, Carl Jung and Rupert Sheldrake, each in different terminology, envisioned a fourth dimension, the realm of the Mind at large, as governing the visible realm, or the physical world.  Patterns in the Mind--images--exert a shaping influence upon energy as energy precipitates into physical form.  The process by which a pattern precipitates an idea into the brain of the conscious mind is the same process that precipitates an idea into the manifest forms of nature.  Cayce called this influence, this force exerted by patterning, the etheric force or the imaginative force.  The reason the imagination is able to see these invisible forces is because the imagination is the activity of those patterning forces.  Its because, as Cayce explains, the perceiver and the perceived have the same ONE source: the imagination!

   This connection, by the way, between imaginative seeing and imaginative creating also exists within the endocrine system of the body.  Recall from chapter five that these glands govern the transformational bridge between mind and matter, between energy as spirit and energy as physical events.  We actually experience this bridge, Cayce points out, through our feelings.  Feelings are sensitive to the spirit as well as being physical sensations.  Cayce further notes that images in the imagination arise first from feelings.  If you dont think you imagine well, begin with sensing feelings!  Recall also from chapter five that Cayce revealed that there was a connection between the activity of the light sensitive pineal gland and the Leyden gland.  This hormonal connection reflects the link between the third eye of visionary seeing and the reproductive creativity of manifestation.  Times of heightened visionary imagination correspond to times of intensified creative feelings.

 

Figure 2

The Boy Who Saw True Envisions a Fairy in the Flowers

 

Figure 3

The Boy Who Saw True Envisions a Man in the Woman's Future 

 

   We can now explain how the boy who saw true used the psychic sensitivity of the imagination to see what he saw in the etheric realm.  Figures 2  and 3 are diagrams of the spiritual, mental and physical realm, and their corresponding superconscious, subconscious and conscious levels of the mind.

   In Figure 2 we see the situation of the boy seeing gnomes or fairies. These so-called beings are the activities, at the etheric level, of the imaginative forces patterning the forms in nature.  The domain of these forces is the subconscious mind.  The subconscious mind of plant life connects with the subconscious mind of the boy.  With his imagination, the boy sees, through the channel of the subconscious mind, the imaginative forces shaping the plants.  His imagination experiences these in the pattern of gnome activity, a personalization of the patterning of the imaginative forces.

   In Figure 3 we see the situation of the boy seeing the thought forms sticking to his visitor.  These thought forms are etheric patterns of the imaginative forces in the visitors subconscious mind.  These patterns are about to be manifested in the visitors physical life, in events that will soon come to pass.  With his imagination, the boy sees, through the channel of the subconscious mind, these thought forms and is able to predict the visitors future.

   If the imagination sees the etheric forces, what do the eyes see?  The imagination isnt an alternative to seeing physical realyity with the eyes. Instead its actually the psychic, intuitive foundation, the receptive and formative background of the ability of the physical eyes to see.  We do our seeing with the minds eye, not the eyeballs.  We cannot see what we cannot first imagine.  Imagination is more basic than seeing.  What our eyes see adds but physical detail to what our imagination has already grasped through intuition.

   Perceptual illusions are good places to experience how our mind affects what we see more than the eyes do.  In the example shown in Figure 4, what you imagine seeing will determine the pattern of information gathering your eyes will follow in perceiving the pen lines.  Where your eye focuses depends upon whether you pattern that information search by imagining that youre looking at a young woman or an old hag.  Which do you imagine seeing?

 

Figure 4 

Which Woman Do You Imagine Seeing?

 

   This illusion, developed by Professor E. G. Boring, of Harvard University, is but one of many examples that psychologists use to demonstrate that perceiving is a creative act.  This surprising equating of seeing and creating is what Cayce means when he says that its the same source that creates manifestations that also experiences them.  Its why the word visionary means both perceptive and creative.  Perceiving and creating reality are soul mates!

   I know its hard to understand.  By the time you finish this chapter and the next, however, you may appreciate more why its worth the effort to try to understand this puzzling relationship between perceiving and creating.  Its this equation of the imagination with reality that explains why, as well see, theres so much overlap between someone channeling a spirit and someone pretending to do so.  Acting as if something were true has the effect of making it true!

 

The Psychic, Inspired Imagination

 

   Sometimes, when you give the imagination free reign, it proves to be inspired, or psychic.  You may feel like youre just making it up, creating it yourself.  Yet you may later discover that your imagination was being receptive to patterns outside your personal storehouse of knowledge.  The creativity of the imagination can be shaped by psychic influences.  Whether you look at it as inspired or psychic, in both cases, the imagination can be a channel of patterns originating outside the boundaries of your own experience.  As Cayce pointed out, creativity, psychic, and inspiration have the same source--the soul.

   As you lie next to a tree daydreaming, you assume your thoughts are your own.  Your imagination spins images and stories based on your past experiences and your hopes and fears for the future.  Its your own private world, right? Not exactly.  While daydreaming, your imaginative illusions may often reflect a psychic influence.  Patterns from someone elses thoughts and feelings could well be patterning your own daydream.  ESP researchers have found that one persons thoughts can exert a subliminal influence upon the daydream patterns of another person.  The daydreamer doesnt even suspect it!  Subconscious minds are connected.

   Sometimes, the superconscious mind exerts an inspirational, psychic influence on the imagination.  It happened for me when I was preparing the dream tent for the incubation ceremonies I described in chapter five.  As I set out to erect the tent, it suddenly occurred to me that I had assigned myself the task of creating a shrine.  Out of a simple cloth tent I was to create the vibrations of a sacred sanctuary for people to decorate as their own special place.  How could I expect people to imagine that the tent could be special if I didnt erect it myself in a sacred manner?  I couldnt even imagine how to do that, but somehow I had to make it up.

   I decided that my only option was to enter meditation and attune to the ideal of the holy, sacred shrine.  After coming out of meditation, I engaged in the action equivalent of inspirational writing.  By acting as if my intuitive responses were the actions of an experienced holy person, I allowed myself to channel sacred tent erecting behaviors.  I didnt know what I was doing, but I had to ignore that fact.  I allowed myself to improvise as my imagination dictated.  As evidenced by the special dreams that people had while sleeping in this tent, it seemed that my tent erecting process was truly inspired by the archetypal ideal of the shrine I had hoped to channel.

   A couple of years later, I found other, corroborating evidence of the inspirational dimension to what I had done.  Studying the accounts of Native American rituals involving sacred spaces, I discovered that many of the experiences I had while erecting the tent were extremely similar to traditional rites.  I had enacted, in many details, an archetypal pattern of behaviors having to do with sanctification and purification of a ritual location.  My imagination had proved to be a channel of patterns in the universal mind.  Through a process of pretending and role playing in a meditative frame of mind, my imagination channeled something from beyond my conscious knowledge.

 

Developing Imagination Through Pretending

 

   Many readers may fear that they cant use the channel of the imagination because they cant visualize.  Its a natural concern, but unfounded.  We all visualize.  We cant see without imagery.  What most people mean when they say that they cant visualize is that their images arent as clear or visual as what they see with their eyes.  The solution is easy, if youre willing to accept it: Simply pretend!

   Heres how it works.  Instead of trying to visualize your arm immersed in warm water, for example, pretend that your arm is immersed in warm water.  Take a moment and put your arm on the table, or on the side of the chair.  Then pretend that your arm is resting in a dish of warm water.  What does it feel like to pretend that your arm is in warm water?

   If you study what happens, what mental processes you perform, you will probably be able to confirm what Im about to describe.  Perhaps you feel that your pretending isnt a very vivid experience.  If so, what is it that youre paying attention to that helps you feel that your pretending isnt vivid?

   Children pretend all the time.  Kids dont concern themselves with how vivid their pretending is, or whether its occuring through images or thoughts, or even that their pretending is different than reality.  Theyre too busy playing in their pretend world to notice any of that.  They become absorbed in their pretending.  It becomes real.

   Is it possible that you arent allowing yourself to become absorbed in your pretending, but are holding some part of yourself in reserve?  If you devote more of your attention to comparing the quality of your pretending to what you think it should be like, or to how you experience external reality, then you cant expect your pretending to be very vivid.

   Learn a lesson from children and the secret of creativity discussed in the last chapter.  Focus less on the product and more on enjoying the process.  Allow yourself to become aborbed in your pretending and your imaginative channel will grow in vividness and vitality.

   You dont have to be a professional debunker of claims of the paranormal, like the Amazing Randi, to have a laugh over what Im suggesting.  I can hear such a skeptics sarcastic remark, First you suggest that imagination is the same as reality.  Now youre saying that if you cant imagine the reality you want, just pretend that you are!

   I cant expect a materialist perspective to accept the primacy of the mind over physical reality.  Yet theres something in their criticism that does need to be examined.  That is, how we can distinguish between imagination in the service of wish fulfillment and imagination as a psychic channel of inspiration? Its the role of ideals to help us invoke imagination in the service of truth rather than our desires.

  

Role Playing

 

   Heres some pretending weve all done.  Pretend that youre asking your boss for a raise, or youre asking a friend for a favor.  This kind of daydreaming is quite common.  When you have such a daydream, how do you get the other person in your imagination to act?  In our daydreams, we play the role of all the people involved.  In playing a role, we enter through our imagination into the character of another person.  We set ourselves aside and channel the spirit of that character. 

   Roles themselves are something we naturally adopt.  We play the role of friend, worker, spouse, or parent.  When we play such a role, were the channel of that relationship.  We give ourselves in the spirit of the relationship defined by the role.  Sometimes we can be possessed by our roles.  Perhaps youve met a school teacher who treats everyone like a student, or a lawyer who deals with every situation like a courtoom contest.

   Other roles allow us to express things that we didnt even know we had in us.  Have you ever put on a Halloween costume and found yourself getting caught up in the spirit of your character?  Have you ever had the opportunity to put on a Santa Claus costume to discover just how wonderful you can be with children? In the Miracle of Thirty Fourth Street, the man who claimed to be Santa Claus was so convincing in that role that he actually manifested the spirit of Christmas! Actors find that they sometimes play roles that become very inspiring for themselves as well as their audience.  What started as pretending and acting became a channel of a quality of spirit.  Imagination becomes real.

 

The Role of the Higher Self

 

   Roles can be tools to use to enter certain states of awareness.  What would it be like to play the role of your higher self?  Cayces formula for being a channel of our higher selves is to attune to our ideal, set self aside, and let the ideal express itself.  Imagine what it might be like, then, to have the opportunity to play the role of someone who personified the ideals of your higher self.

   The use of masks and costumes among aboriginal peoples around the world testifies to the power of roles as a channel of the spirit of higher values. When we put on the mask, we hide our own face.  It allows us to get out of the way, to forget about our own personality.  When we put on the costume, it allows us to attune to the spirit of the role.  Its like stepping inside of the ideal itself and becoming it.

   In aboriginal rituals, the people might dance while wearing the skins of animals.  They believe that the spirit of that animal descends upon them and takes over the body.  They say that the spirit mounts the dancer.  The use of the word mount has two meanings.  Theres the sexual connotation, of the union of energies.  Theres also the channeling connotation, that the persons body has become a vehicle for the spirit to ride.  The two connotations both reveal that the essence of channeling the spirit of a role is to become one with that role. Its the same principle we learned in studying intuition.  It applies equally well to the use of the imagination as a channel.

   In the dream incubation ceremony described in chapter five, I asked the dreamers to make masks to represent their higher self figures.  When they wore their masks, they attuned to the spirit of the ideal their higher self role represented, and enacted it.  It proved to be an inspiring form of channeling.

   Playing the role of a higher self figure inspires a more superconscious mentality than the persons ordinarily thought processes.  When in the service of an ideal, the imagination serves as a channel of inspiration.

   Channelers who ask their spirit guides whether or not theyre really spirits or a product of the persons imagination often receive the reply that it doesnt matter.  The two alternatives, the spirit guide explains, are the same.

   Cayce would have us understand that when you attune to a certain frame of mind, you draw information from the subconscious and the superconscious that corresponds to that frame of mind.  Whether youre channeling wish fulfillments or inspiration depends upon whether or not the frame of mind corresponds to an ideal or simply a desire.  Role playing your higher self, an ideal frame of mind, can be a valid form of channeling.

 

Channeling Visionary Guidance from the Higher Self

 

   What do you suppose happened when Cayce went into his psychic trance?  On a couple occasions he described what he experienced while entering that special state of consciousness.  His description contained the two types of symbols that formed the scenario of the dream incubation ceremony.  He said that he had visions of going to a special place, the Hall of the Akashic Records.  There he met an old man who handed him a book containing the needed information about the person seeking the reading.

   In one of his psychic readings he described this special place.  He said,

 

the walls are jasper, the ceilings are beryl, the doors are beryl, the floors are pure gold, the light is the Lamb.  The shape is not square, not perpendicular....Much is here that may be given to those that seek to know the mysteries of those influences that go to make up that which impels man in his activity in the earth (5756-12). 

  

   Clearly, it was a very special place.  In contrast to this beautiful description of the Hall of Records, Cayce didnt describe the person who brought him the records beyond calling him an old man.  We may assume that the old man was one of Cayces symbols for his higher self.  Although in the trance state, Cayce described his journey as an elevation of consciousness, Cayces conscious personality experienced it as a symbolic journey to a special place to meet an esteemed benefactor, the Keeper of the Records.

   Having an imaginary journey that proves to be of value wasnt an experience unique to Cayce.  The boy who saw true experienced similar adventures in his daydreams.  You too can learn to receive guidance from such an inspirational daydream.

   You know what its like to have imaginary conversations with your friends, spouse or boss at work.  Why not have one with an inspiring teacher?  In exploring inspirational writing, we discussed how you can have question and answer sessions with your higher self.  You can engage this same process in a daydream.

   Think of a special place where youd like to meet with your higher self figure.  Imagining being in that place will put you in the mood of your ideal. While youre there, basking in the wonderful vibrations of your power spot, imagine seeing your higher self figure approach you.  Experience the persons special qualities and what its like to be in that persons presence.  Pour your heart out to your higher self, expressing whats on your mind.  Then simply listen as your higher self responds.

   If you practice this method, youll find that your imagination will provide you a very convenient channel of guidance.  You can experiment with endless variations of this basic approach.  An excellent resource for imagination techniques is Dr. Mike Samuels book, Seeing with the Minds Eye.

   You can intensify the process by playing music to accompany your daydream. As weve learned earlier, music can create a bridge to connect you with the infinite reaches of the imagination and the superconscious mind.  To learn more about the use of music with the imagination, youll want to read Traveler in Inner Space.  Written by music therapist Carol Bush, it describes what can happen when you add music to your daydreaming and gives many suggestions about particular musical pieces to evoke specific mood states.  What could be more natural than curling up on the couch while your favorite symphony is playing and becoming absorbed in an uplifting daydream.

   Learn to trust in your imagination.  If you can give your imaginal dog a long leash, youll find, like the boy who saw true, that the imagination is a channel of wonderous teachings and guidance. 

   Meditation teaches you to become a channel of the spirit, of inspiration. Through inspirational writing, you learn how to express yourself while in a meditative state of mind.  Working with the creative arts, especially music, you can attune yourself even more gracefully to the superconscious realm.  With your imagination, you have a vehicle that knows no limits.  To intensify your channeling experiences even further, you can learn to use self-hypnosis to become totally absorbed in your ideal state of consciousness.  Now we entering the domain of trance channeling and youre well prepared for this next stage of your adventure learning to channel your higher self.

 

This material is adapted from Henry Reeds Edgar Cayce on Channeling Your Higher Self. It is available as a paperback from Amazon.com: click here!

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