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.)

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Hi as another example id like to add music,and probably in a few ways,even down to a listener putting on music for different reasons,people choose "the music of there day" by how they feel at the time,then even at there lowest level people invest there ego and feelings into that music as it plays,maybe its through the duality of doing that that some insight can come in them moments,anything with a different view point can have enlightening moments and insights.

writing songs is deeper again,as ideas come from "no-where" and the artist skill is to bring it into story "into character" while keeping "the authenticity of that magical twist that worked so well as it twisted out of "the void" .Then there is the fact that "the songs story" whether thats a love story or other subjects seem to require deeper answers and a greater understanding of the subjects,considering id have to say that writing love songs since i was age11 in 1975,has been a study in love for all them years,one could say we use music to imagin into and musicans can throw music into imagination

2 approaches into nature,,,lets say one with alot of ego and reasons for being there,,the other came to wander the woods and let nature take it course, to enjoy nature,,,for me that "letting go with nature" is like allowing your  Imaginal Mind to lead me out of "the normal mind" into a more peaceful zone which may not be silent mind so therfore i feel is closer to being in your The Imaginal Mind and therfore on the verge of discovery or is it undiscovery

Love is also a great example,and probably the most obvious The Imaginal Mind" will have its way with us lol wether its preconceived ideas,or the places love takes us ,but through the various view pionts if ther is any higher self getting through,then the selfless love that can i think only come from our higherself can learn and progress,

maybe i just think that Imaginal Mind is one a the few things between even our higherself and the nothingness that is everything,but im not sure what order things like that are having not read any books and although i also wouldant know all the workings my higherself but your  Imaginal Mind cuts into it ..note.. a case of unselfish love or an act of compassion

   hoping im on the case here i feel you mean spiritual or the higher use of imagination,therfore idea or creation from scratch can bring something that pionts in the right direction,since imaginations doorway leads inwards (or is it upwards lol)   Stu

Music, Art, Nature - all are cool examples of where imagination with an Imaginal eye can yield great clues into one's inner side (Higher Self). I really think they are useful to gain insight to allow the Intuitive mind to also develop. I like these a lot.

whether a rose (in music or art or nature) evokes the emotional insight of Love is a good example of the Imaginal thinking process. It also can symbolizes the Heart as well (another symbolic image).

Yes, I agree with you. Your music experiences would be a good thread to follow. That is a long time writing songs about Love. The symbols (sound evoking images of feelings) to trigger Imaginal thinking processes must be plentiful!

Thanks John,, BLOGS --yes i think music and love are so close to source for me i feel they are coming from it,it was looking for websites that may look deeper into love so i could ask about what i have learnt and is coming up these days to a deeper understanding, the problem was 99% of things on the net about love are too shallow and distracting,and the spiritual stuff is oftern to abstract  or myth or not so practical,then i found a post Female vs Male Spirituality by Katinka Hesselink, and realized  she was a theosophist and yes these people fill that gap best for me,but her comments close after only a month lol, her site led me here :-)  another thread of hers that is here is (What is your most basic belief?) thinking about that has given me an earlyer childhood memory than id ever remberd before my first day at pre-school and a shocking memory of the most powerful force pouring even shooting out of me as i went in to join in,and then i knew her answer ,,my most basic belief from even before i learnt anything was "that i love"  i somehow know that that force was love,this memory is so strong i can sort of see it like its waves of the sea pouring and twisting out all around me, and something tells me that thats how we are before we learn diferant

So then i knew ill have to join and write a blog or two lol about love since at the moment the subject is coming up all over my life in many diferant ways and since i am also being asked by younger people,so i feel its a duty to test any thery im volunteering to them,with people who may understand and help me gather it together,since i already know its a dangerous subject to mislead people.

So yes ill be writing a blog on love as soon as i get some of the pieces together in my head as my head is abit messy,or ill wofel on too much,,as far as music that like love, is more a noval than a thread  haha   Stu

Well, any insight on images (Imagination, Imaginal, Magical) on Love would be good to know !

I am not sure people can stand waiting for a Blog series of essays :)

we look forward to your insights!

Musical Imagery is something I was hoping you would share some insights on (if you have any you wish to share). We never get enough Music here...  just musings.  <g>

I agree, fun to think about.

Re: images of love -

How about something like the plates in Walter Russell's "The Physics of Love"

walter russell the physics of love

For Music, -

Not sure, why but I've always had the images from "Music of the Whole Earth" stuck in my head. - Musical analogies presented in lots of visually interesting ways.

Or the notebooks of Paul Klee: "The Thinking Eye" and "The Nature of Nature."

The history of musical notation I think is very interesting, as are the ideas of artists like John Cage. I also love the Beatles, play guitar too,  so ...

Films of Oscar Fischinger, radionics, music visualization, pattern-making in musical form and structure, Sonics, generation of timbre, Cymatics.

There are lots of other interesting examples of "vision/music" too, IMO, if you want me to keep on going ... personal hobby of mine.

I actually kind of consider "music/vision" as more or less the same thing, but experienced perhaps a bit differently.

IOW, I think there are mystical dimensions to both of them, that bring them close to being considerable as transformations of one another, in a sense ...

To me this includes both raw, direct experience, as well as how we individually infer meaning and then attempt to communicate or describe it somehow to one another.

That "description" - whether considered in visual, aural or meaningful dimensions, expresses a characteristic creative aspect: personal, volitional, participating.

The act of expression also causes simultaneous arising of apparent and observable, subjective individuality participating.

There is a mystical creative dimension to be considered in just that.

Plus all the different forms of subjective identification we can consequently have about ourselves and others expressed with terms like musician, artist, creator.

Instinct and talent. combined with ideation and feeling: Express forms of intention through skill and means. Causing manifestation of apprehendible, sharable forms of human experience and value.

Arts in Culture.

Hi  lo Mark had to reply,,,you got me lol,,Massive beatles fan since i was 10,,by 11 i was a musican and ive never wanted to be anything else,and its very interesting in that obiously it was my higherself leading me to something id evolve doing,2 things i always say since,,i never got the fame and acceptance i wanted, but that was "the carrot" i did get "the music",,and i learnt music only gives and exspecting more than it gives is rather silly and selfish,but i was a kid,the beatles themselfes had the same thing when they saw Elvis,,  the other thing is i say "the beatles saved my hands",,,you see i was born with a very rare genetic disorder,which meant my ligarments are shorter,which has been np but for my hands,they only half opened and twisted to one side,so what an amazing thing to learn guitar (should of been a piano lol for both hands) it opened my left hand  as it was early enough in my life to change it (age11+) my right hand is fixed 2/3 open and the main joints dont move (that would be my main hand now at best without music)   So ever since my left hand is now my main hand,i even mouse left handed and 1 finger type but carnt use my pionting finger as its bent and misses and doesant like the feel of typing (i think its over senceative somehow ,,bit of a mess you may think (hands not my grammar lol)  yes people are amazed how well i play,but its will power we use to do things like this,and the fact i put like 2-12 a day for most of my life into it,i was even put onto the sick (dont have to work) so everythin in my life moved over for it,,but it was never about fame at all,i live in a very rural place,,the best thing i learnt to tell you is THAT DISABILITIES ARE ONLY IN PEOPLES HEADS  had to put that in caps lol

music must be a real tool for evolution though,the way "we" listen and that brings thoughts which we meditate on,,with the feeling the music carries us onward,again with that imagin mind,the thoughts can stop and the musical jorney carry on too,I have  even had the unievrse want to play music with me from the other side,like the unievrse saying "lets jam" but i was 17 and id eaten a few magic mushrooms,which is another topic again no dout,but i can say they taurt me alot and it was only a teenage thing i did in the 70"s early 80"s while i was a teen, 2 things off the top of my head that time gave me that i changed forever,,i didant like losing my competitive nature was massive,but not since i was 17 i now find joy in someone elses good fortune :-) ,,the  other is at age15 walking into a restaurant,it hit me how we eat so many lives all the time,and it really upset me that no one cared,i went outside and cried for ages,ever since im awaer of that as good as everyday and one prof is when i was age 15  i was 5 foot 11+ (6 feet in shoes) yet only 9 stone in weight,its never changed,apart from just coming to age50  im now 9 and a quater, yes im oftern hungery and can tell you oftern its like my body sings to me when i eat,its a tingeling warmth but something says its singing, my shame is i do eat some birds and fish,or my doctor says ill live in hospital since i go less than 8 stone without,my mum was told shed die without as she doesant get enough protine from veg,maybe its abit of that and the fact i was poor and us solo men dont do a proper job at feeding ourself,anyway i feel my thoughts i always have when i eat them are better than having no thoughts,i end up near forcing myself to eat them,,,,oh ther is alot coming up,  this forum does seem very dead,,looks like im going to fill it up with questions and subjects  please feel free to boot me into the void of nothingness ,in fact lets get on with it,,anyone coming ?   haha

I think there are lots of reasons why people make music or create, that have nothing to do with fame or fortune.

Some people are soul surfers or shamans, not necessarily in it for the competition. or the commerce.

Music is fire connecting heaven and earth.

That said, I also think there are lots of new and different ways to connect and get heard, especially nowadays and that new technologies and online tools are creating changes in how people can make, share, experience and interact with music and those who make it.

For example:

Now go eat something! You're too skinny, young man!

It's been said that all sounds are fragments of OM. ( i.e. Nada, Vach, Logoic Word)

OM pronounced is a four syllable word:  A, U, M and the silence that surrounds and supports it, out of which it comes, back into which it resolves, moving like a great breath.

Here is an example of one of my attempts.


Here is a type of visual "sound" generator


Mark - thanks for the good info. It will take some time to look at :)

Replying to Mead's "imaginal"
I use “exoteric” as a c/Contrast to “esoteric,”  or vice versa, in the same way I would refer to monad as a c/Contrast to Monad, but I don’t think of the x/X as exoteric, per se, in that I think of it as a reference to an o/Overview (or an "esoteric perspective"), rather than as a reification or the “rather literal” interpretation.


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