A Question with Jach’s Reply from an Online Conference
Q. I wonder if you would talk about imagination and the Imaginal Realm; about the different forms and functions of imagination (making it up vs. letting it be) and what ‘imagination imagining itself’ means? Thank you!
There are several questions here, so I will begin with different forms of imagination. [s] I think about how Lazaris looks at three types. First, there is ‘just imagination,’ which is the form most often acknowledged in our consensus reality. And it is as the label suggests … it’s just images that we hold or that we imagine.
Such imagination can be chaotic or it can be random. As with any form of imagination, it can be fuel for negative ego or for the less admirable parts of ourselves. [s] Among the types of imagination, it is the easiest one for our negative egos to work with. It takes little effort and even less imagination to burden us with chaotic and random images. [s]
Even so, such imagination can have merit. Sometimes such random ‘just imagination’ images can be a catalyst for deeper thought or exploration. Often it’s not, but it could be. If it is, such deeper exploration could be valuable — it could have merit. Also, these sorts of images could be as whispers, encouraging us to turn to a more sophisticated form of imagination.
The second kind of imagination that Lazaris mentions is Active Imagination. This is also a psychological term. And I think that it is this imagination that is the fuel for most creativity. What begins as random or chaotic images (just imagination) can take form. That form can have direction. And when the random takes on form, the imagination shifts to become potentially an active imagination.
Being active, it can lead us somewhere. [s] It is the stuff of fantasy, which does have value on its own. And out of fantasy, it is the stuff of fantasia (or fantasy that carries a message or a deeper meaning, valuable to us). I think this active imagination is also the raw material of dreaming, and then of visioning. Those among us who are highly creative, for example, may begin their process with just imagination, but they do not settle for those random images. They organize the images; they bring a sense of order to the randomness. And that’s active imagination.
Now, the third type that Lazaris mentions is a Living Imagination. This is the imagination that involves passion and compassion. It engages the body as well as the mind — it engages soul and spirit, as well. It is full of images, as are the other two types, but these images have the capacity to inspire. These images have the capacity to engage our souls and spirits. [s]
I see these three types working in a non-linear fashion. We begin with just imagination and then move forward to an active imagination. We do this as kids and are often chided for it … we are often told that our imaginations are just too active. Many people, doing as they are told, stop there. The creative people hold on to that active imagination, despite what they are told. And somewhere along the line, we slip beyond the boundary of active imagination and enter the realm of a living imagination. Sometimes we retreat, unaware or ill-equipped to deal with it.
As metaphysicians, however, we have learned to work with that Living Imagination and feel much more comfortable there. [s] And it seems that a Living Imagination is inclusive of the other types. You can find ‘just images’ there, and you can find an active imagination with direction. And you can find much more. We can find the stuff of magic. [s] And this brings me to the Imaginal Realm, which exists beyond the boundary of our imagination.
It exists beyond the boundary of a Living Imagination, I think. The ‘just imagination’ type and the Active Imagination type of imaginations don’t seem sophisticated enough to reach the Imaginal. Perhaps that is my limitation. [s] In the Imaginal, there is also imagination. But it is not of our conscious creation. We can bring our ‘just imagination’ and our active as well as living imaginations into that realm, but there is a different kind of imagination there. It’s one that is not imagined by us, the lesser or the more. It is an imagination that is imagined by itself. It doesn’t need us. [g]
Well, what does that really mean? I think that is something we have to imagine for ourselves. [s] I could go on, I suppose. But I hope this reply is helpful. Thanks for asking.