The Imaginal Mind (imagination) is a great tool for theosophists. To start off, one of the attributes is the ability to see two (or more) sides of the same thing at the same time. One of the most common practical uses is in the study of religious writings. Here one has the written word, more literal or exoteric, and the hidden/obscured esoteric insightful reading i.e. mystical interpretation.
So, let’s look at one example. One of my favorite authors uses the Christian writings by Paul. To deal with this I will follow Elaine Pagels in her book “The Gnostic Paul.” She first divides out the Pastoral letters of Paul as not useful (not really Gnostic). This leaves the remainder which are Gnostic writings by Paul. Specifically, the Gnostic writings are: Romans, 1-2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, and Hebrews. Pagels states that Paul has two audiences at once in his writings. The first is the exoteric which looks at Jesus as “born of the flesh, crucified and suffered” while the other, esoteric, is spiritual or “according to the spirit and born of the spirit.” Look at one example from Rom 2.28-29 (to the elect/esoteric reader):
“For a person is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is true circumcision something external and physical. Rather, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly, and real circumcision is a matter of the heart - It is spiritual and not literal. Such a person receives praise not from others, but from God.“
The imaginal must interpret it, not the literal. Examples in her book are plentiful. Paul also carefully uses terms such as “called” vs. “elect.” The called are outward followers, the elect are the Gnostic followers.
Stepping outside the Bible, one sees the duality in “things” all around us. The Imaginal Mind must interpret correctly to see the spiritual beyond the external.
So, what other examples are there? Sharing insights and examples can only be helpful. Questions are always good too. (Images, words, sayings, actions etc.)
I am guilty of not reading everyone's response on this thread, so please forgive me if I am off base. In my opinion for what it is worth, imagination creates images from ones meta-senses (self) that may or may not have factual basis or ability to resolve and face difficulties alluded by illusions. Imagining creates ideas and those ideas build through thought forms manifesting ideas into formulate images; like the art of prophecy.
What is more important than imagination? Would it be intention? Perhaps the Bible was an imaginative idea created by the art of prophecy with the intent to create events before the events occurred.
I like your way of looking at it. I'll have to think more on it.
the following is really a good line of yours that I like:
"Perhaps the Bible was an imaginative idea created by the art of prophecy with the intent to create events before the events occurred."
Imagination is often the tool used to obtain knowledge/insight of the higher realms based on/from experience (both physical and mental observations) obtained from the lower realms/mind. True fantasy, though, is just junk and not the use of 'Imagination' referred to in Theosophy. Theosophy uses an 'Active Imagination' to help understand the higher realms.
Perhaps, god/God/Allah was an imaginative idea and therefore, ALL are created in THAT Image. I am not sure if 'Active Imagination' is true imagination or pure communication. Higher realms into the Akashic? I am not sure if one can even imagine the records.
well -- *imagining* the Akashic Records is what most theosophists do. They have never been able to read, find, experience etc. any of them anyway.
Imagination is only possible by having energy. If energy source is low imagination is weak. However, one cannot have experience without having sense to process information. There has been a mass high j****** of senses, but where are all the senses going and who is high j****** them? Are the Akashic records really imagined or are they sensed? Who has the energy to imagine senses beyond the 5 senses? Personally speaking, I do not think imagination is a tool until aware of the source of its driving force.
The Bible, perhaps a force that may have been used as source for control over the senses to undermine masses. Majority are equipped with their normal 5 senses. However, when it comes to reading the Bible are they able to use their sense's to read the symbolic terminology that it is shrouded in e.g.the word garden used in the Bible could be signifying to a 'yard'. To plant a garden one must need a yard to plant it. Even then would one have the sense to make out that a yard is an indication to measurement (3 feet or 36 inches)!? Also, a yard is a space that has limitations and boundaries incorporated by a yard keeper...
Am I making sense?
"I do not think imagination is a tool until aware of the source of its driving force. "
Most people think Intuition and Imagination work together. In Traditional Theosophy (dating back over 1000 years ago) it is the tool to figure out what is going on in the world, how it relates to God, the Holy Spirit, Christ etc.
Your Bible example seems a bit off to me. I think of Biblical stories, Psalms etc (mostly Old Testament) as more allegorical. To see/recognize the allegories take imagination to figure them out. It is part of intuition. That is just one way of looking at it. Different people will see different things depending on what they want to know (MHO).
The imaginal mind is thoughtform that belongs mostly to the astral realm. I like to think of it as something we use everyday and that affect us all the time, but at the same time a temple inside the mind of an individual that most regard as a private sphere for both what we can imagine and things a bit outside the comfortzone. Intuition and abstract thinking though I like to think of as something higher. And maybe that is more what you refer to when talking about seeing two sides of something.
I appreciate what you convey about "Imaginal Mind" or what might also be called imaginative thinking. As you characterized, the "ability to two sides of the same thing at the same time. "This could be in myriad directions, scientific, artistic, musical, philosophical, etc. Blavatsky expressed this all through her Secret Doctrine, as with her realization of fundamental Reality as abstract motion and abstract space, root/roots of consciousness and matter. In the broadest perspective, she panoramas Be-ness and evolutionary becoming as simultaneously true in the manvantara or great cosmic cycle. Poets cultivate this, obviously, as Goethe in his poem on the Gingko leaf picturing himself as one and double at once, like the leaf. Or Basho: "Under bright moonlight / The four gates and the four sects/ Are only oneness." Or Whitman in his "Song of Myself" identifying all identities as one Identity or Self. Emily Dickinson says "Captivity is consciousness, /So's liberty." As Above, So Below. But logic can't do this or get this. It's a very different function of mind. Maybe our onward evolution of consciousness will develop logic with imaginal mind, beyond polarity and disunity.