The steps Imagine, Will, Act can be formulated as Imagine, Will, Plan, Act to conform to my four-level model of creative process in/through the human psyche.
I designed a preliminary diagram [paradigm] of the stages of the creative act, put on four levels:
This concerns primarily the work of Roberto Assagioli. The six stages of active will have been described by me in a previous blog posting. Here, I have conceived a model, consisting of four layers nested as shown in the picture with a preliminary mapping of the six stages. The picture shows the interpenetration of levels. It is not a layered cake! It can be interpreted as follows: the human being desires something (evoked by some thought); this is the first stage, where also imagination takes place. It is internal to the human psyche, interacting with the world of ideas, thoughts, etc. The way I have formulated this, means that in this diagram I do not discriminate between lofty aspirations that reach the higher strata of the mind-world (higher manas) and more personal desires which reach only to lower strata. The levels would have to be subdivided further, as for example, layer One into, say, seven sublayers. That is nice for further research. Note how the diagram conforms to Kabbalistic thought with its four worlds (Archetypic containing "seed models", Intellectual (intuitive-communicative), Formative, Action). There are multiple representations of these worlds possible. Maybe I go into that in another posting, but curious minds can study my edition of Alan Bain's work on the Kabbalah.
The second layer shows communication, networking, deliberation, valuing and choice. This is partly an interaction level with the "outside world", the social environment in a broad sense. It also entails a valuation and decision process. Feedbacks and input from the environment play a role here.
This has been described in my previous note on Assagioli. For all the levels subsequent to level (or layer) one, there is an overflowing of forces from one level to the next. The levels interpenetrate!
The positive choice (go for it, do it!) concerns the fiat of will. Fiat means "let there be..".
This fiat activates [motivates] organizing vital forces [pranas!] which flow as it were to the next (third) layer and phase of the creative process: planning, organization, etc., which have to do with making scripts or blueprints (structuring the executive act). It is very easy to recognize this phase: we all have had ideas for which we made plans. If you have some sensitivity, you will have observed the flow of energy that comes with the planning. Managers often display a lot of vital energy, busy as they are with organization.
Form giving and structuring or planning events require flexibility of mind. "Steer and follow", so to speak. One has to see the opportunities that exist or rise and gather the means necessary for accomplishing one's goals. That starts already on the second level, where one has to weigh the pros and cons of the cherished ideas, and is becoming urgent and actual in this phase.
The fourth layer concerns the steering (control) of execution. Supervision of tasks to do is needed.
This phase combines the previously prepared and planned parts and stages of the execution.
Feedbacks arise where corrections in execution are deemed necessary.
This phase combines the influences of all the previous levels. Resistence and inertia on this level (as well as in the planning/organization phase), due to many factors, can cause a lot of headaches. Flexibility is needed. If you can't do something in one way, try another way. Learn to see different possibilities to do something and realize your goals. If one realizes a goal (or part of a purpose), one will get some satisfaction out of that. If it doesn't work out quite the way one has expected, there probably is a lesson to be learned. Karma is always operating on the levels described.
The sensori-motor part of the execution is not dealt with in the Assagioli description. It could be added to the diagram as a sublevel of the fourth level. I will not deal with that here, since it is not essential to the diagram. The mapping of functional brain-areas is a complicated business anyway, and subject to modifications
That ends part four of this series. More research is needed as to (a wider) applicability of this paradigm or model. If you feel you can contribute to this research, please let me know.