The Law and the Promise
"The Nature of Visionary Fancy, or Imagination, is very little known, & the External nature & permanence of its ever Existent Images is consider'd as less permanent than the things of Vegetative & Generative Nature; yet the Oak dies as well as the Lettuce, but Its Eternal image & Individuality never dies, but renews by its seed; just so the Imaginative Image returns by the seed of Contemplative Thought." — Blake
The images of our imagination are the realities of which any physical manifestation is only the shadow.
If we are faithful to vision, the image will create for itself the only physical manifestation of itself it has a right to make.
We speak of the "reality" of a thing when we mean its material substance. That is exactly what an imaginist means by its "unreality" or shadow.
Imagining is spiritual sensation.
Enter into the feeling of your wish fulfilled. Through spiritual sensation — through your use of imaginal sight, sound, scent, taste and touch — you will give to your image the sensory vividness necessary to produce that image in your outer or shadow world.
Here is the story of one who was faithful to his vision. F.B. being a true imaginist, remembered what he had heard in his imagination. Thus he writes:
"A friend who knows my passionate fondness for opera tried to get Kirsten Flagstad's complete recording of Tristan and Isolde for me at Christmas. In over a dozen record stores he was told the same thing: 'RCA Victor is not reissuing this recording and there have been no copies available since June. On December 27th,
I determined to prove your principle again by getting the album I desired so intensely. Lying down in my living room, I mentally walked into a record shop I patronize and asked the one salesman whose face and voice I could recall, 'Do you have Flagstad's complete Isolde?' He replied, 'Yes, I have.'
"That ended the scene and I repeated it until it was 'real' to me.
"Late that afternoon, I went to that record shop to physically enact the scene. Not one detail supplied by the senses had encouraged me to believe I could walk out of that shop with those records. I had been told last September by the same salesman in the same shop the same story my friend had received there before Christmas.
Approaching the salesman I had seen in imagination that morning, I said, 'Do you have Flagstad's complete Isolde?' He replied, 'No, we haven't.' Without saying anything audible to him, I said inwardly, 'That's not what I heard you say!'
"As I turned to leave the shop, I noticed on a top shelf what I thought to be an advertisement of this set of records and remarked to the salesman, 'If you don't have the merchandise, you shouldn't advertise it.' 'That's right', he replied, and as he reached up to take it down, discovered it to be a complete album, with all five records! The scene wasn't played exactly as I had constructed it, but the result confirmed what my imagined scene implied. How can I thank you?" ...F.B.
After reading F.B.'s letter, we must agree with Anthony Eden that "An assumption, though false, if persisted in, will harden into fact." F.B.'s fancy, fusing with the sense-field of the record shop, enriched aspects of it and made them 'his' — what he perceived.
Our future is our imagining in its creative march. F.B. used his imagination for a conscious purpose representing life as he desired it to be and thereby affecting life instead of merely reflecting it. So sure was he that his imaginal drama was the reality — and the physical act but a shadow — that when the salesman said "No, we haven't", F.B. mentally said, "That's not what I heard you say!" He not only remembered what he had heard, but he was still remembering it. Imagining the wish fulfilled is the seeking that finds, the asking that receives, the knocking to which is opened. He saw and heard what he desired to see and hear; and would not take "No, we haven't" for an answer.
The imaginist dreams while awake. He is not the servant of his Vision, but the master of the direction of his attention. Imaginative constancy controls perception of events in space-time. Unfortunately, most men are...
"Ever changing, like a joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy..."
[Percy Bysshe Shelley, "To the Moon"]
Mrs. G.R., too, had imaginatively heard what she wanted to physically hear and knew the outer world must confirm it. This is her story:
"Some time ago we advertised our home for sale which was necessary for us to buy a larger property on which we had placed a deposit. Several people would have bought our home immediately but we were obliged to explain that we could not close any deal until we learned whether or not our offer for the property we wanted had been accepted. At this time, a broker called and literally begged us to allow him to show our home to a client of his who was eager for this location and would be glad to pay even more than we were asking. We explained our situation to the broker and to his client; they both stated they did not mind waiting for our deal to be consummated.
"The broker asked us to sign a paper which he said was not binding in any way but would give him first chance at the sale if our other deal went through. We signed the paper and later learned that in California Real Estate law nothing could have been more binding. A few days later our deal for the new property fell through so we notified this broker and his verbal response was, 'Well, just forget it'. Two weeks later he filed suit against us for fifteen hundred dollars commission. Trial date was set and we asked for a jury trial.
"Our attorney assured us he would do all he could, but that the law on this particular point was so stringent that he could not see any possibility of our winning the case.
"When time for the trial arrived, my husband was in the hospital and could not appear with me in our defense. I had no witnesses; but the broker brought three attorneys and a number of witnesses into court against us. Our attorney now told me we had not the slightest chance to win.
"I turned to my imagination, and this is what I did. Completely disregarding all that had been said by attorneys, witnesses and the judge who seemed to favor the plaintiff, I thought only of the words I wanted to hear. In my imagination, I listened intently and heard the foreman of the jury say, 'We find the defendant not guilty'. I listened until I knew it was true. I closed my mind's ear to everything said in that courtroom and heard only those words, 'We find the defendant not guilty!' The jury deliberated from noon recess until four-thirty that afternoon, and all during those hours I sat in the courtroom and heard those words over and over in my imagination. When the jurors returned, the Judge asked the foreman to stand and give their verdict. The foreman stood up and said, 'We find the defendant NOT guilty'." ...Mrs. G.R.
"If there were dreams to sell
What would you buy?"
[Thomas Lovell Beddoes, "Dream-Pedlary"]
Would you not buy your wish fulfilled? Your dreams are without price and without money. By locking up the jury in her imagination — hearing only what she wanted to hear, she called the jury to unanimity on her behalf. Imagining being the reality of all that exists, with it the lady achieved her wish fulfilled.
Hebbel's statement that "the poet creates from contemplation" is true of imaginists as well.
They know how to utilize their video-audio hallucinations to create reality.
Nothing is so fatal as conformity. We must not allow ourselves to be girt about by the ringed fixity of fact.
Change the image, and thereby change the fact.
R.O. employed the art of seeing and feeling to create her vision in imagination.
"A year ago I took my children to Europe leaving my furnished apartment in the care of my maid. When we returned a few months later to the United States, I found my maid and all my furniture gone. The apartment superintendent stated that the maid had had my furniture moved 'by my request'. There was nothing I could do at the moment, so I took my children and moved into a hotel. I, of course, reported the incident to the police and, also, brought in private detectives on the case. Both organizations investigated every moving company and every storage warehouse in New York City, but to no avail. There seemed to be absolutely no trace of my furniture, nor of my maid.
"Having exhausted all outside sources, I remembered your teaching and decided I would try using my imagination in this matter. So, while seated in my hotel room, I closed my eyes and imagined myself in my own apartment, sitting in my favorite chair and surrounded by all of my personal furnishings. I looked across the living room at the piano on which I kept pictures of my children. I would continue to stare at my piano until the entire room became vividly real to me. I could see my children's pictures and actually feel the upholstery of the chair in which, in my imagination, I sat.
"The next day, as I came out of my bank, I turned to walk in the direction of my vacant apartment instead of toward my hotel. When I reached the corner, I discovered my 'mistake' and was just about to turn back when my attention was drawn to a very familiar pair of ankles. Yes, the ankles belonged to my maid. I walked up to her and took hold of her arm. She was quite frightened, but I assured her all I wanted from her was my furniture. I called a taxi and she took me to the place in which her friends had stored my furnishings. In one day, my imagination had found what an entire big city police force and private investigators could not find in weeks." ...R.O.
This lady knew of the secret of imagining before she called in the police, but imagining — in spite of its importance — was forgotten owing to attention being fixed on facts. However, what reason failed to find by force, imagining found without effort. Nothing merely goes on — including the sense of loss — without its imaginal support.
By imagining that she was seated in her own chair, in her own living room, surrounded by all of her own furnishings, she withdrew the imaginal support she had given to her sense of loss; and by this imaginal change she recovered her lost furniture and re-established her home.
Your imagination is most creative when you imagine things as you desire them to be, building a new experience out of a dream of fancy. To build such a dream of fancy in her imagination, F.G. brought to play all of her senses — sight, sound, touch, smell — even taste. This is her story:
"Since childhood, I have dreamed of visiting far-away places. The West Indies, particularly, fired my fancy, and I would revel in the feeling of actually being there. Dreams are wonderfully inexpensive and as an adult I continued to dream my dreams, for I had no money or time to make them 'come true'. Last year I was taken to the hospital in need of surgery. I had heard your teaching and, while recuperating, had decided to intensify my favorite daydream while I had time on my hands. I actually wrote to the Alcoa Steamship Line asking for free travel folders and pored over them, hour after hour, choosing the ship and the stateroom and the seven ports I desired most to see. I would close my eyes and, in my imagination, would walk up the gangplank of that ship and feel the movement of water as the great liner pushed its way into free ocean. I heard the thud of waves breaking against the sides of the ship, felt the steaming warmth of a tropical sun on my face and smelled and tasted salt in the air as we all sailed through blue waters.
"For one solid week, confined to a hospital bed, I lived the free and happy experience of actually being on that ship. Then, the day before my release from the hospital, I tucked the colored folders away and forgot them. Two months later, I received a telegram from an advertising agency telling me I had won a contest. I remembered having deposited a contest coupon some months before in a neighborhood supermarket but had completely forgotten the act. I had won first prize and — wonder of wonders — it entitled me to a Caribbean cruise sponsored by the Alcoa Steamship Line. But the wonder didn't stop there. The very stateroom I had imaginatively lived in and moved about in while confined to a hospital bed had been assigned to me. And to make an unbelievable story even more unbelievable, I sailed on the one ship I had chosen — which stopped in not one, but all of the seven ports I had desired to visit!" ...F.G.
"To travel is the privilege, not of the rich but of the imaginative." [Stephen Berrien Stanton, "The Essential Life", 1908]