Imagination by Jan Engels-Smith
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”
Often when I teach I find myself moving into an altered state of consciousness and realize that I am beginning to channel my allies that are invested in communicating a message to my students. I then listen intently to what comes out of my mouth and learn, as do my students, the meaning of the message. One of these teachings came through recently. In our gateway class at LightSong Through the Rabbit Hole: Explore and Experience the Shamanic Journey and Energy Medicine, we teach how to journey and meet two of our allies in the spirit world. A basic tenet of this experience is to convey how to move into an altered state of consciousness that is actually using different parts of the brain. I have written on the topic of left brain-right brain on various occasions. In a brief description here, I am using the description from my spiritual allies and it is not necessarily limited to the scientific explanation.
The left side of the brain processes information sequentially and is considered the source of analytical thought. This part of our brain recognizes parts that make up a whole. It looks for an anticipated organization that “makes sense” in the way that we have been trained to think. In processing verbal information, this part of the brain recognizes that one stimulus comes from another, and verbal perception and generation depends on the awareness of a sequence in which sounds or stimuli occur. A left-brain dominant individual might have trouble “making sense” of right-brain thinking.
How then does right-brain thinking occur? The right brain hemisphere specializes in combining the parts to produce a whole. Unlike the left, the right hemisphere organizes things simultaneously and perceives holistically. It specializes in a method of thought that recognizes and constructs patterns and is most efficient at visual and spatial processing. This is our source for processing non-verbal stimuli. We are born right-brain dominant. Dreamers, artists, musicians, and visionaries are often right-brain dominant because what left-brain thinkers see as “non-sense,” right-brain thinkers understand as an alternative way of “making sense.”
Modern Western societies, especially since the time of Isaac Newton and Rene Descartes, have developed a highly analytical and mechanistic approach to understanding the world. They have sought a natural and rational explanation for existence that is highly dependent on observable and scientific phenomena that leaves little room for accepting the possibility of supernatural causality. Spirituality has a lesser status, as such, in left-brain dominant societies.
The Nature of Left Brain Thinking:
- Dominate in our society
- Sequential ordering
- Grounded in logic
- Cause and effect dependent
- Linear and defined by past/future thinking
- Seat of the ego and judgement
- Governed by rationality
- Restricted by language
- Limited possibilities
The Nature of the Right Brain
- Unlimited possibilities
- Non-dependent on linear time lines
- Open to possibilities
- Promotes unity in all things
- Capable of nonrational thought
- Senses beyond the limitations of language
- Source of creativity
- Home to the emotions of love and compassion
- Less valued in modern Western culture
We are all familiar with the term clairvoyance which derives from the French clair meaning “clear” and voyance meaning “vision.” It is extrasensory in that it implies gaining knowledge beyond the restrictions of the five senses. The right brain lends itself to the developing of many forms of increasing clarity that can be obtained through openness and practice. For example, consider the following clarifications of one’s mind:
- Clairvoyant—clear vision
- Clairaudient—clear hearing
- Clairsentient—clear feeling
- Claircogent—clear knowing
- Clairolfactory—clear smelling
- Clairtangency—clear touching
- Clairgustancy—clear tasting
- Clairempathy—clear emotion
The shamanic journey involves the full employment of the brain. In classes on journeying, I emphasize that the experience is using a part of the brain that is not utilized much in our left brain society. Journeying allows you to become more whole brained. Moving into this unexplored area of the brain can be feel odd and untrustworthy to the egoic mind, but we can acquire greater and greater clarity in all of our senses and develop an expansiveness of thought that is not limited by the constraints of the analytical brain. By developing our powers of insight and creativity, we can broaden our vision of the truth of the universe and understand more fully who we are and who we can be.
We live in a time where most people seem to live in fight or flight state of reality, which means you don’t feel safe or capable or don’t have time to feel connected. People are functioning in a survival state of existence. During fight or flight, it is impossible to access your natural abilities, your inner truth, or to move out of the grip or the ego in the left brain that functions in high gear around survival. We also live in a time of fantastic verbiage and movies that visually explore the use of superpowers and virtually realities; however, this seems to be restricted to a group of Marvel characters that have these superpowers and the rest of us are left dependent on their intervention into our life. As I was speaking to my class I heard myself say, “You too have a Super Power—one of the greatest on the planet. It is hidden in plain sight and has laid dormant inside of you. This superpower is your imagination. The Imagination is the key that unlocks the door into the right brain and into the creation of a new reality.”
The imagination has been denigrated into a meaning of falsity, unreal, or made up. The spirits then went on to explain how the imagination allows us to see into parallel realities of existence, through the veils, and informs us as to what is there.
The imagination can kick start a journey propelling us into this alternative reality that the right brain has access to with all of its functions of the clairs, the non-existence of physical law, the essence of NOW and total and full empowerment of self, to just name a few of the powers we can acquire. The imagination has roots and expressions in daydreaming, another superpower of the human mind which has also been belittled and vilified especially by teachers as their students would lose focus on their lectures.
Years ago, I was training a group of people to prepare for their vision quest, which is prayer intensive. The participants are literally supposed to constantly pray as they sit for days and nights in the wilderness “crying for a vision.” The spirits in their guidance to me said, “Tell the questers not to pray.” I was shocked and puzzled at the message I had just received. The spirits went on to explain that people are notoriously poor at praying. Many prayers are filled with fear, doubt, begging, uncertainty, and many of the low frequency feelings that prevent the prayer from manifesting. Instead, I was told, have the questers DAYDREAM. A daydream is filled with empowerment, visions of grandeur, unlimited possibilities, unlimited potential, magical thinking and of course imagination. It brings about feelings of joy, happiness, awe, appreciation and gratitude and excitement! These are the feeling that manifest the reality that you wish to produce.
I realize now that imagination is a superpower, daydreaming is a superpower and I can use these understandings not only when I teach journeying to students but in my own life during my prayers and meditation and most of all when I am interacting with my grandchildren! Kids today understand the language of superpower. They easily engage in developing the superpower of imagination. Try it out with the little ones and explore and celebrate where they take this ability. Let’s create a new generation of beings that revel in and acclaim imagination. Let them loose to release what has been captured and hidden in plain site within humans since the beginning of time.
Realize that imagination is a creation energy. It is a human power and has been used to create everything from a rocket ship to calculus to a hairpin. It is obvious that man-made objects were conceptualized from someone’s imagination. But what of the stars, galaxies, and lifeforms? Could these too be from someone’s imagination. The New Earth already exists in its exquisite form of collaboration, unification, health, and wellbeing for all things. We can bring it into manifestation through our imagination by imagining a world that lies within our reach if we have the prescience to envision and accept it.