First we had Simone Weil advising us to beware of imagination’s superglue at work patching up the rips in the ‘me’-cocoon. Then Teresa Dunyati-Long, warning us not to get stuck in the imagination because its pretty pics and stories are sourced, by default, from the past, from memory. So?
The movement of thought which we label ‘imagination’, and which we tend to value very highly, turns out to be an unhelpful tool if we are serious about what it might mean to know unconditional freedom. The problem is that it’s so easy to – yes – imagine what freedom will be like, what it will mean. Or happiness, enlightenment – whatever. But as everyone knows, painted cakes don’t satisfy hunger. And our stories, richly illustrated and annotated, are just painted cakes. Yummy, not. Thing is, we love our stories. So much so that we starve for the very thing we hunger.
When it comes to Truth-being, even for one minute, we know how impossible it seems, at first, to simply … be It. Right now, just this, here. The movement of thought is faster than our ability to see it coming, and before one knows it – literally – it’s off spinning pictures, labels, formulae, strategies about Truth-being. It’s the magic carpet zooming in and whisking one off to … fantasy land. Again.
Sooner or later it’s understood that the very thing we idolize as being our major tool for awakening – for freedom from the manic boredom of our lives – is its arch enemy.
Don’t get me wrong, imagination is a cool tool. It serves our lives in untold exciting ways. It just depends on what we want. Do we want endless entertainment? Fine, perfect tool. But if we’re after the godly goodie spoken of by all the sages and saints who have walked before us – the changeless peace that “passeth all understanding,” it is useless, and worse. It’s the super-spawner of countless red herrings.
Check it out for yourself: Whatever can be imagined, however potent or paralyzing, sublime or depraved, makes no difference whatsoever to the Truth-being that is aware of it. Did Einstein’s e=mc leave one tiny trace?
Not one iota of change. Ever. This unlit light remains unsullied, unaffected, undivided. Just so.