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Author Topic: Imagination  (Read 34 times)
Steve Hydonus
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« on: Nov 29, 2015 06:22 am »

I have found myself seeing things in the spiritual eye and hearing things with my spiritual ears that I can easily write off as imagination. While it may be important to recognize that we can believe things that are not true because of our imagination... i still feel that the boderline between imagination and true spiritual experience is often not as distinct as one would think.

Imagination vs. true spiritual experience, hard to say isn't it? Is imagination something that is formed in the mind, or is it coming in thru the same spirit (or thought?) channel that a real spiritual experience does? Or is a spiritual experience something that forms in the mind as thought just like imagination?

And who can really tell another how this really works, just because someone has true spiritual experiences and talks a great talk, maybe it is all their own imagination that they believe so hard in, it manifested as something very spiritual?


As you know there are people who claim to talk to God who do some real strange things. Some of them are harmful to other people. In this sense imagination can't be thought of as coming from spirit. Can we consider people who claim they talk to God as having spiritual experiences or are they listening to their imagination? Anyone having a long history of spiritual searching will eventually come into contact with other people who claim they talk to God and that God talks back. Where does thought exist in this whole scheme? Do we just think we know something or do we really know it? Do we just think we heard something from God or is it our mind or some other kind of spirit that tells us such things?

We often have experiences and then the mind cognizes and interprets what they are. The mind is often very confused in this process and tells us that events, circumstances and experiences are much different then for instance the way another person may interpret them.

Imagination plays an important part in creativity and spiritual experience. It is an important part of any creative process. How it takes place and how we tap into it are important functions of exercising this important tool in human evolution and spirituality.
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« Reply #1 on: Nov 30, 2015 12:34 pm »

I remembered Yogananda talked about true visions. That is, visions of saints or other spiritual figures which could be true or a figment of our imagination.

One powerful criterion he suggested: upliftment. A true vision of a saintly figure causes subsequent mental and spiritual upliftment.

It his harder to imagine upliftment since it's an objective state of mind.

If we are so powerful that we can create upliftment by merely imagining it, then it means we already possess a high degree of spiritual advancement.
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« Reply #2 on: Nov 30, 2015 08:02 pm »

Yogananda also warned against hallucinations, which may/may not be true imagination or a true spiritual experience.

One thought I have is, if it were some kind of hallucination where you are seeing ghosts or something, it may be truly spiritual but in a negative or dark sense, meaning it's not just something that's not there (what may be defined as hallucination), but it really does exist in the spiritual world.
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« Reply #3 on: Apr 03, 2016 10:33 am »

Yogananda also warned against hallucinations, which may/may not be true imagination or a true spiritual experience.

One thought I have is, if it were some kind of hallucination where you are seeing ghosts or something, it may be truly spiritual but in a negative or dark sense, meaning it's not just something that's not there (what may be defined as hallucination), but it really does exist in the spiritual world.

Yes.. just because we can not see into another realm does not mean that it has no existence. i think u r hitting on another important point here.

Many people have quite an imagination. At what point does imagination become real? We can imagine music and art and actually make that imagination a reality. Some r better at it then others. There is an element of meditation that uses imagination as well. How would we b inspired to meditate if we did not have imagination and faith that there was something to it beyond all the turmoil of restlessness and persistent thought? We often have to use are imagination to make things a realty.

It is quite likely we have just imagined all this physical reality as well. We may have used r imagination to conjure up a reality that does not really conform to the spiritual reality behind it.
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