The Law and the Promise
THINGS WHICH DO NOT APPEAR
"...what is seen was made out of things which do not appear." — Heb. 11:3
"Human history, with its forms of governments, its revolutions, its wars, and in fact the rise and fall of nations, could be written in terms of the rise and fall of ideas implanted in the minds of men." — Herbert Hoover
"The secret of imagining is the greatest of all problems to the solution of which the mystic aspires. Supreme power, supreme wisdom, supreme delight lie in the far-off solution of this mystery." — Douglas Fawcett
To refuse to recognize the creative power of man's invisible, imaginal activity, is too great to be argued with. Man, through his imaginal activity, literally "calls into existence the things that do not exist" [Romans 4:17].
By man's imaginal activity, all things are made, and without such activity, "was not anything made that was made" [John 1:3].
Such causal activity could be defined as, an imaginal assemblage of images, which occurring, some physical event invariably takes place. It is for us to assemble the images of happy outcome and then keep from interfering. The event must not be forced but allowed to happen.
If imagination is the only thing that acts, or is, in existing beings of men (as Blake believed), then "we should never be certain that it was not some woman treading in the wine press who began that subtle change in men's minds" [William Butler Yeats].
This grandmother is daily treading the wine press for her little grand-daughter. She writes: "This is one of those things that make my family and friends say, 'we just don't understand it'. Kim is two-and-a-half years old now. I took care of her for a month after she was born and did not see her again until a year ago, and then, only for two weeks. However, during this past year, every day I have taken her on my lap — in my imagination — and cuddled her and talked to her.
"In these imaginal acts, I go over all the wonderful things about Kim: 'God is growing through me; God is loving through me' etc. At first, I would get the response of a very young child. When I started 'God is growing through me' — she would reply, 'Me'. Now — as I start she completes the whole sentence. Another thing that has happened is, as the months have passed, as I take her — in my imagination — on my lap she has grown constantly larger and heavier.
"Kim hasn't even seen a picture of me in this past year. At the most, I could only be a name to her. Now, some time each day, her family tells me, she starts talking about me — to no one in particular — just talking. Sometimes it goes on for an hour; or she goes to the phone and pretends to call. In her monologue are such bits as: 'My Dee Dee loves me. My Dee Dee always comes to see me every day'.
"Even though I know what I have been doing in my imagination, it has caused me, too, 'to wonder much'." ...U.K.
All imaginative men and women are forever casting forth enchantments, and all passive men and women, who have no powerful imaginative lives, are continually passing under the spell of their power.
There is no form in nature, which is not produced by, and sustained by some imaginal activity. Therefore, any change in the imaginal activity must result in a corresponding change in form. To imagine a substitute-image for unwanted or defective content is to create it. If only we persist in our ideal imaginal activity and do not let lesser satisfactions suffice, ours shall be the victory.
"When I read in 'Seedtime and Harvest' the story of the school teacher who, through her imagination, in daily revision, transformed a delinquent pupil into a lovely girl, I decided to 'do' something about a young boy in my husband's school.
"To tell all the problems involved would take pages, for my husband has never had such a difficult child nor such a trying parent situation. The lad was too young to be expelled, yet the teachers refused to have him in their classes. To make matters worse, the mother and grandmother literally 'camped' on the school grounds making trouble for everyone.
"I wanted to help the boy, but, I also, wanted to help my husband. So, nightly, I constructed two scenes in my imagination: one, I 'saw' a perfectly normal, happy child; two, I 'heard' my husband say, 'I can't believe it, dear, but do you know "R." is acting like a normal boy, now, and it is heaven not having those two women around'.
"After two months of persisting in my imaginal play, night after night, my husband came home and said, 'It's like heaven around school' — not exactly the same words but close enough for me. The grandmother had become involved in something that took her out of town and the mother had to accompany her.
"At the same time a new teacher had welcomed the challenge of 'R.' and he was progressing wonderfully well into all I imagined for him." ...G.B.
It is useless to hold standards that we do not apply. Unlike Portia, who said: "I can easier teach twenty what were good to be done, than be one of the twenty to follow mine own teaching." [William Shakespeare, "The Merchant of Venice"]
G.B. followed her own teaching. It is fatally easy to make the acceptance of the imaginal faith a substitute for living by it. "... He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound..." — Isaiah 61:1