– Heartwood Path Waypoint 1.117 –
Imagination And World Dreams
Get Creative And Inspired
Remember that you become what you think about. Be wary, therefore, of thoughts of doubt. Eliminate conditioned beliefs regarding the impossibility of planned actions. If you can conceive it, you can create it. Allow yourself to wander freely in your imagination. Exclude nothing in your fantasies. Imaginative meanderings form the unlimited river of life.
To facilitate these worthwhile meanderings, start thinking about how you would answer the following question: “What doubts or negative conditioned beliefs are you now eliminating? You may want to focus here on outmoded patterns of thinking regarding so-called universal principles and unwanted notions of integrity generally (rather than just focusing on unwanted aspects of your individual self). You will have a chance to let go of unworkable aspects of your individual self at the end of the next course. Here, before proceeding, come to understand and know how to use the Sling of the Imagination, pictured below.
I shall present the ancient sling as a metaphorical model used to illustrate what it takes for you to affect the whole. There will be lots of new words, some lofty principles, and some metaphors. Use these literary devises to help you work your way through this section. Read it carefully, perhaps more than once, and you will come to understand a most useful method for making big changes in the world. If you need more help, there are carefully trained guides available who can help you with this or any other part of this series of courses.
The Sling of the Imagination is one of the most important tools for you to use to find happiness, environmental sustainability, or any positive change in society, culture, or the world. We will be using as a metaphor the sling David used in the Bible. Slings are ancient weapons made of many different materials, but all consist of two lengths of cord, fabric, or hide attached to a pouch (see Table 2).
Like David who used a sling to slay Goliath, you too are, metaphorically speaking, armed with a sling—albeit of a different sort. The sling I am talking about is not used to pitch a stone to hurt an individual. It is instead a virtual, metaphorical, symbolic one used to cast forth ideas that shift the whole for the better.
Remembering David’s words that “The Lord saveth not with sword and spear,” and John Lennon’s lyrics “War is over, if you want it” the stone in the pouch of our virtual sling is replaced with personal choice. Like a stone, choice can be used for good or evil. To make sure your use of the sling is positive and productive, consider the following list of principles as you make your own personal choices.
I was one of a couple dozen people who used the unimaginative route while lobbying daily in the weeks prior to the enactment of the second most significant conservation bill in the history of the United States (after the establishment of the National Park System)—the law that preserved over 80 millions acres in Alaska. I was assigned to lobby Midwest congressmen. From these successes I can attest that the so-called Unimaginative route can be used to achieve important public policy victories.
I call the other approach, the one that involves deep “swooshing,” the “Imaginative Route” because it affords important additions that the Unimaginative Route does not, including: 1) it helps to improve the spiritual maturity of the environmentalists in the fashion outlined in this series of courses and so it affects positively not just the final outcomes but also the people making the outcomes happen and 2) it provides a way for more significant and enduring positive change. The symbolic “swoosh”––that is, following the Imaginative Route––represents what actually occurs from thinking-to-experiencing-to-doing. The so-called “swoosh” is actually personal cultivation, the process of maturation.
Actually, the kinds of actions undertaken during the so-called “unimaginative route—” lobbying, grassroots organizing, holding symposia, soliciting media attention—also occur at the end of the Imaginative Route (before the Establishment stage and after the various individual development stages such as letting go, mindfulness, and letting come. In this way, the Imaginative Route includes everything that would happen if one was to choose only the more typical “Unimaginative Route.”
I believe that had activists in the environmental, civil rights, and other progressive movements used the Imaginative Route over the last forty years, the kinds of policy changes adopted during the Seventies and Eighties could have been sustained and we would have a much better world today. The predominant use of the Unimaginative Route meant that the activists in the various progressive movements were unable to counter the setbacks in public policy that occurred during the last decade of the Twentieth Century and the first decade of the Twenty-first Century, including the weakening of the Environmental Protection Agency and the election of congressmen less willing to support the preservation of more wilderness areas.
To secure a magnificent future the Imaginative Route needs to be employed at all levels of organization—from amongst those who work at the United Nations to those who decide how to best think and behave in households and neighborhoods. The Imaginative Route of the Heartwood Path ought not to be used only by professional activists. It needs to also be employed in each household so that nearby improvements can be made and so that individual voters will have the inner world intentions and ethics and the outer world individual and group behaviors and physical systems needed to not only vote for the best candidates but also to monitor and, if necessary, alter government programs. Using the Imaginative Route in the households will also guard against the influence that the mass media has on the purchasing choices of the public. The benefits of following the Imaginative Route of the Heartwood Path will become more widely evident when certain things happen: when, for example, enough readers and eartHearts begin to elect more impeccable politicians; when enough readers and eartHearts begin to make more earth-friendly purchasing choices, and when enough readers and eartHearts consider the environmental impacts of all of their actions.
For the sake of the Earth and all its sentient beings, read on and pass the good news on to others. Much of this good news lies in the revelation that there is an Imaginative Route that encourages people to work on themselves before attempting to change the whole. The value of this important precursor to the establishment of better ideas lies in the following statement: One cannot force others to change, but one can change oneself.
Work on changing yourself, as prescribed in this series of online courses. And tell others of the benefit of using the Sling of the Imagination’s Imaginative Route. A better future awaits as more people undergo the kind of self improvement prescribed here and, thereby, consider themselves eartHearts.
Greater use of the Imaginative Route in the Sling of Imagination leads one deeper into awareness of the larger wholes that make up the universe, and to a realization of one’s connection to wholeness which, in turn, leads to more effective actions that can affect the whole. Use the Sling of the Imagination to create an explosive critical mass of radical change. In Part 3 or this series of courses you will discover how you and a few others can become or use epidemic agents to create positive ecological, relational, and social improvement.
“Swooshing” the Sling of Imagination begins at the top of the arc, before the cord of the sling begins to descend. Metaphorically, before the sling begins its power-generating “swoosh,” at the upper point before beginning to gain momentum, is the point where one has historical ways of making sense of things and preconceived notions. Once the sling begins to descend (in what is labeled the Cauldron of Awareness on the accompanying graphic model), new notions are tested, new identities are identified, and the need to remain static gives way to the forward momentum of the metaphorical “swoosh” of the Sling of Imagination. Control is no longer a matter of staying put. Toward the bottom of the metaphorical arc (in what is labeled the Vessel of Mindfulness), one actually in the real world lets go of outmoded ways to thinking and identifying, becomes present with the moment, makes choices to serve the evolution of life towards perfect wholeness (with related but differentiated parts) and lets come a larger field of change. As the symbolic arc of the sling moves upward prior to release (in what is labeled the Crucible of Realization) one actually goes through various steps (described in a later course) toward the realization of an emerging future. Release occurs at the moment the future emerges. Its course is determined not just by the nature (the depth) of the metaphorical “swoosh”; but, more accurately and beautifully, through the actual inner nature of the slinger.
To repeat: the symbolic swoosh resembles what actually occurs from thinking-to-experiencing-to-doing. The so-called “swoosh” is actually personal cultivation, the process of maturation. As a result of this maturation we learn that the Mother Earth is our ultimate teacher and that we must love one another or die.
Midway between our old ways of thinking and better ways of acting is the mid-point of the metaphorical “swoosh”—the Vessel of Mindfulness on the accompanying chart. Here, the slinger of imagination in reality laments and witnesses what amounts to her own elegy. This is the experience of one’s own requiem. Without a deep” swoosh” through the Imaginative Route of the Sling of Imagination the slinger––the one using the Imaginative Route–– is likely to fail to let her old self die. If this happens, one will return to one’s previous life. But if the slinger metaphorically “swooshes” through the act of suspending one’s old ways of thinking, through re-directing one’s thoughts to the preservation of the whole, and through letting go so one can let new approaches come, then the metaphorical forward momentum of the virtual arc of the sling in reality is the killing of one’s old life and the propelling of one towards a new heaven and a new earth—a joyous and sustainable future.
The funeral song “heard” in the metaphorical Vessel of Mindfulness at the bottom of the arc of the sling (which is actually the process of deep self-examination) actually transforms one’s self and one’s will: one’s self becomes more whole and one’s will serves the whole.
Rather than the rock used against Goliath, the object in the metaphorical Sling of Imagination is actually Personal Choice (remembering the sayings: “God saveth not with sword and spear” and “war is over, if you want it”).
If the choice is to, metaphorically, “swoosh’ deeply—(which in reality means to practice fervent mindfulness and self examination) then after the metaphorical requiem comes a kind of actual mental focusing in the Cauldron of Realization. This metaphorical cauldron allows one to beautifully envision what is seeking to emerge. Envisioning occurs as the metaphorical arc of the sling begins to ascend prior to release.
After focusing, one then creates smaller versions of the prospect one is seeking—building, in effect, prototypes, where refinements can occur on a scale that is manageable.
Once the prototypes are enacted and revised after evaluations and feedback in the Crucible of Realization, the new becomes embodied, institutionalized, and the metaphorical projectile which is, in reality, choice proceeds on its new and improved course.
It takes a powerful use of the Imaginative Route in the Sling of Imagination—a deep look at Self—to battle the immune system that fights off change and rejects the unfamiliar.
These principles, like all principles, are good to know before one starts any quest. Do not yet attempt a full “swoosh” towards the Cauldron of Awareness—a full look at your individual self. That will happen in Book Two. Here, metaphorically speaking, stop and hold the sling up high—hold the sling steady prior through the Imaginative Route. During this pause is the easiest time to prepare oneself for the later suspension of habitual streams of thoughts. Later, putting a stop to one’s thinking is recommended because thoughts tend to have us more than we have them. Being had by our thoughts—our constant flow of trivial thoughts—is dehumanizing, distracting, and prevents us from taking careful aim at our best future course. Worthy of greater elaboration, the Cauldron of Awareness Stage is covered in the next course.
If this is not a day when you prefer to spend time in nature without an agenda, do the following activity:
HumaNatureConnect Activity: Being Inspired. With pen and journal in hand, go to an attractive natural area and, in a spirit of appreciation, look around you to find something that is attractive to you. Once you find an aspect of nature that is attractive to you continuously for at least ten seconds, use the optimal functioning you receive along with your continued attraction (which can be thought of as your consent to do this activity with the help of the attractive natural being) to list in your journal some activities that make you feel inspired. From this list, determine who in the world is making a living doing such things. Plan how you will model their behavior, making sure you add your own individuality to the work. In making your determination, listen mainly to the words from within. Words from without are likely to encourage you to conform rather than to contribute.
Natural Systems Reflection Process
For best results, write down your impressions of this activity in your journal using as many of the following components as you see fit, afterwards, share your interpretations with others.
The Heartwood Path Exchange:
Swap Your Ideas, Impressions, Photos, And News With Others
Your input is vital. Enjoy sharing!
Heartwood Path Axioms: