BY the time we are 20, most of us are rather certain that our bodies and the world are real in the sense that our experience appears to show an external world, and us, as bodies living within it. But in fact, we live in our imagination, our concepts and interpretations regarding the nature of objects in the external world, and also with respect to the nature of processes in our inner world.
This will be very difficult concept for many people to grasp. But the way we experience external worlds, relationships, and our internal world is extremely fluid. Essentially no two people share the same experience because of varying backgrounds and educations. But as a society we share a common Weltgeist regarding the reality of objects in the external world and the natures of our own subjective phenomena such as dream, sleep, being this, emotions, internal energies, happiness, bliss and energies.
I call this world that we really live in, an imaginal world. By imaginal world I mean we really live inside of a “space” that is superimposed on our basic experience of our own beingness, or sense of being which I have just defined below. This beingness is our ground state, or Grundlage, upon which all experiences appear whether of the internal world or the external world. The sense of beingness is the same for all. It is a state of pure awareness with no objects grabbing one’s attention. One just rests in the peacefulness and wonder of the state of existence that has no world, no body, no objects. Not that those objects are not present within our consciousness, but awareness of beingness has not yet arisen. So it is a state before awareness has attended to any object, inner or outer, that makes up our imaginal world.
By imaginal, I mean that all experience one has is conditioned by mind, concepts, and experience, including the experience of all inner phenomena, such as kinesthesia, muscle movement, emotions, joy, bliss, energies, thoughts, and moods. The same holds true for all our experiences of the external world. Everything in our external world is conditioned by our beliefs about it and our knowledge about it, whether that be a knowledge of carpentry, cosmology, atomic physics or quantum mechanics.
That is, we perceive through an ever-changing cloud of concepts, desires, wants, experience, and theories, as well as through societal conventions and accepted behaviors and constraints which we call morality.
Now, almost everyone accepts their imaginal world to be real, if not obviously fluid in many circumstances. That is, our perceptions of reality are taken at face value. However, the real student of this imaginal world, of this fantasy world, takes none of this reality as necessarily being real. For this person, our experience of the tree is not real, our experience of depression is not real, our experience of elation is not real, our experience of inner energies and bliss is not real, our experience of stomach pain is not real, and in one fundamental sense, no experience, no process, and no object is real. Why? Because the patient observer of the imaginal world witnesses its utter fluidity and changeability, a characteristic that the casual observer and believer in the world and our inner states is unaware of. The deep observer is aware that our inner states, concepts, understandings, and experience are constantly changing, changing, changing and he sees through the maps that our mind creates within the fantasy process of creating maps.
For the freed man or woman, nothing in any world is real, it is all subject to change, either by changing an internal belief system, or using fantasy processes ourselves to change the fantasy objects within our imaginal world.
Such fantasy manipulation or transformation can occur through verbal psychotherapy, or by being in the presence of a spiritual teachers energy field, through hypnosis, through cognitive reframing of a situation and seeing it from a different perspective, by fantasy energy work such as Quantum Touch, where various chakras and energy conduction tubes are imaginatively created and manipulated to raise energies and infuse living tissue with various kinds of energies or colors to imaginatively transform unhealthy tissues into healthy tissues. It is all fantasy work in a fantasy world, that really seems to affect outcomes in the outer world and also in inner transformations.
The same goes true for spiritual transformation, wherein a guru speaks of objects outside of your experience or your world, such as Brahman, the absolute, the witness, Shiva, Shakti, kundalini, and provides visualization and breathing exercises where you can experience various energy states within yourself, leading to a kundalini-style awakening, or just a close relationship with the Shakti like a magician.
The Bhaktic guru poses a different model for you to understand and be in, wherein he tells you to love him or your beloved with all your might, all your heart, all your body and all your spirit. Through this process you become one pointed, and love deepens into a great surrender and worship of the other which automatically awakens and aligns all the energy centers in the body whether it be a chakra system or just disjointed energy complexes which become unified and one pointed. In this one-pointed state, one enters samadhi wherein the fantasy nature of the external and internal realities are clearly seen.
In this state, the I am, or beingness is totally joined seeing that all experiences lie on top of this I am, this beingness, and all these experiences, this imaginal world, disappears at night when you sleep, only to become alive again as dream sequences in your imaginal space.
Thus you clearly see upon this awakening, that the waking world has the same imaginal quality as the dream world, and both are equally subject to continuous change under the control of the life force, also defined below, or by manipulation by the guru who understands the fantasy processes of the world and of himself, and knows how to make adjustments within himself and his students so that they come to the same realization as he about the effervescent and changing nature of everything, and thereby acquiring a certain mastery over the change, so that he or she can manage change, can manage and create enlightenment in others. In this way, the student becomes a magician, a mage of the imaginal world.