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Constructive Imagination

"Professor Tyndall's thoughts were not limited to physics and allied sciences, but passed into psychology."

"Led as he was to make excursions into the science of mind, he was led into that indeterminate region through which this science passes into the science of being."

"Rightly conceived imagination is the power of mental representation, and is measured by the vividness and truth of this representation."

"This constructive imagination is the highest of human faculties"—Reminiscences of Professor Tyndall, by Herbert Spencer.

Have you looked upon your imagination, your power of mental representation, lightly, esteeming it of little real value? Or have you perhaps feared it as something that would lead you into all sorts of vagaries and mishaps?

Either view is a limited one and had best be exchanged for another yielded by some understanding of what you are and to what you are destined. The Science of Being shows you that your power of mental representation is a God-derived power, and that happiness or misery depend upon your use of it. Imagination can be, is both destructive and constructive; destructive when the power of mental representation is ignorantly used; constructive when it is wisely used.

You want happiness instead of misery, strength instead of weakness, power in place of subjection. The way to get what you want is wise, enlightened use of your power of mental representation.

You are, but except what you are be mentally represented to yourself, you will not gain what you seek.

There is no other way of obtaining health, power, and peace as permanent possessions; and this is why the whole human race is groaning and will continue to groan under a burden of suffering, for as long as the imagination is used according to sense consciousness, woes and miseries will be created. "As a man thinketh"—as we use our power of mental representation, so will our condition be.

What are you in your real being? Have you given sufficient attention to these principles to enable you to grasp your true, eternal nature? To see, by means of logic, that you are the perfect expression of the Absolute? That you are complete and whole as the Idea of the Infinite mind? That all is in you and nothing is outside you? That all lack, all limitation and imperfection is in self-recognition and not in what you are?

If you can get away from sense-consciousness long enough to follow the deductive train of thought, and see what you are according to the sequence of Cause and Effect, in contrast to what you seem to be on the objective plane of existence, you have taken the first step in the right direction. Your next step is mental representation—right use of your imagination. Here is the secret of all success, of all advance in realization.

As a living soul you have first to find and then appropriate your real being. You must grow to -feel it, as well as discern it through the sequence of cause and effect. You will feel it only as you appropriate it, and you will appropriate only as you mentally represent it to yourself. This is constructive imagination—using your power of mental representation according to fundamental and changeless truth.

In other words, think of yourself as you are in your real being, instead of as you seem on the objective plane. To think of yourself as you seem on that plane is to re-present the seeming. To think of yourself as you are ideally, is to re-present that ideal. You will know your {true being only as you re-present it. You will continue to know the seeming if you continue to represent it. To represent the seeming is destructive imagination. To re-present the ideal is constructive imagination.

Though your real being—the God-Idea—is in itself, it is not for you till you re-present it. Though subsistent it will become existent only through your re-presentation.

What are you presenting for your own recognition? You have a sense of pain, and at once you re-present that pain by thinking "Oh! dear me! how my head aches! What shall I do? It aches so hard I cannot hold it up!"

First a sense, then a thought—mental representation—then an established tendency in consciousness. This order keeps sense-consciousness the be-all and end-all of existence. To break this condition mental representation must oppose the sense instead of conform to it. There must be re-presentation, not of the senses, but of the truth. This is your power and opportunity. To re-present the sense is to increase its strength and compel its re-appearance. To re-present the true being, opposing it to the sense, is to increase your recognition of that being and decrease your recognition of the sense.

You compel the appearance of your highest, which waits this compelling at your hands. It is, but it cannot appear till you do your part.

Think a moment, and you will see that existence, daily living, is made up of what we mentally present to ourselves. The thought world is the world we live in while we look upon an exterior world. The sum of our thoughts is the sum of our joys or miseries. The quality of our thoughts is the quality of our sensations. We allow a sense-impression to give quality to—to govern the thought, instead of making our thought change the quality of our impression.

We re-present, or present anew, our sensation as our thought. Our self-idea or self-representation is according to our sense-impression and contrary to truth. Practically, we are our self-idea, whatever we are ideally. Hence, as souls, we will never know, feel, and be our best and highest till our self-idea is like our God-being; till we have re-presented that being to our consciousness.

In being, you are the expression of the Absolute, or God. In self-consciousness you are what you think you are, for you are your own self-idea. You are what you present for your own recognition. You have power to present for it the eternal real, to re-present the God-idea. You are a free agent. You are able to think as you choose and to choose what you will think. You are free to ascend or to remain on the natural plane of sense-impression. You are free to form your self-idea according to sense, or according to logical sequence and necessity. You are free to think from influence or from choice; to re-present the thoughts of an ignorant humanity, or those of an enlightened individualizing soul.

Your presentation to your own recognition is always a representation. You tread the round of sense, thought, and feeling till, through experience, you become able to follow the round of clear vision, thought, and feeling. The one leads down to death, the other up to life eternal. You can re-present sensations continually—you call them physical—or you can re-present what spiritual insight reveals

For you, as a soul, imagination creates. It did not create you, but it creates for you, as, or according to the way, it is used. Never think of the imagination lightly, for it is a mighty power. It makes you the magician. You can summon what you will by means of it. Whatever you command to appear before you will appear, for it is the power of re-presentation. If it is destructive you are the black, if constructive, the white magician.

To be truly constructive it must re-present the true and eternal, or form, as your self-idea, the likeness of the God-Idea. Then you will build "according to the pattern shown you in the mount," making your bodies "the temple of the living God." When imagination forms as your self-idea that which is unlike the true being, re-presenting the sense-beliefs of the human race, you are building that which shall be overthrown till not one stone rests upon another.

You are the son of the carpenter. You are a builder, and build you must. You are building all the time, whether you are conscious of it or not. You are presenting patterns to yourself continually, according to which the building goes on. You are building up a self-consciousness according to pattern. You are making yourself. See to it that your self is like the self which is like unto God. Present this Likeness to your own recognition, thus re-presenting it according to Original Design.

Be thankful for your power of mental representation, and use it reverently and wisely, lest it use you through your ignorance of its nature. "Vain imaginings" are those mental representations, those thought-pictures, which cannot draw the soul forward in an ascent; which tend to keep it down to the plane of sense-impression.

This bundle of sensations which is called man, and whose end is death, is the product of destructive imagination. The incarnated Christ is the product of constructive imagination. Jesus of Nazareth is our example. He builded according to the Divine Likeness. He did not say "I and my physical body are one," but "I and my Father are one." He re-presented his own God-being by making his self-idea in accord with it, thus presenting that being for incarnation.

If you do not understand this last statement, read it slowly three times before you go on.

Our real being is incarnated only as it is re-presented to the soul as its self-idea.

Read that sentence very slowly weighing each word.

The explanation of "Reincarnation," the key that unlocks its measure of truth and locks up its greater measure of error, is found in it. You are a student you know, not merely a superficial reader; were you not you would not seek to trace and prove the principles of the Science of Being. The student does not merely seek to know. He desires to know that he knows; therefore he thinks as he reads.

Go back to the beginning and read this article over again if you are puzzled.

Ideally, or according to the law of Cause and Effect, we are God-like and perfect in being. Practically, or according to self-consciousness, we are very far from God-like and perfect; and this is because, practically, or as a matter of feeling, we are our self-idea.

The great power, which, if you will, you can wield today, is that of constructive imagination. You can build in thought, and if you build according to the true, therefore the eternal pattern, your work will endure. There will be no aches, pains, and miseries in your building for they are not in the pattern. They are on the plane of sense-consciousness and your pattern is not there. You are not there, for you are not held there by your pattern. A temporary sense cannot chain you to its level. You know that you are ascending, for heaven is coming nearer.

How are you thinking? What is your pattern?

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Ursula N. Gestefeld

  • Born April 22, 1845 and died in 1921 (burried at Graceland Cemetery, Chicago).
  • Involved in Christian Science
  • Most famous work is The Woman Who Dares.

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