AN INTERVIEW WITH JACK TRUE
FEBRUARY 27, 2011. This interview took place in the fall of 1988. As you can tell, if you’ve been reading the prior interviews, Jack and I tended to jump from one theme to another. Part of the reason was we’d already covered so much ground together, we could anticipate where things were heading.
Q (Rappoport): In all our conversations, we always seem to come around to the subject of imagination.
A (Jack True): Well, you convinced me, finally, it was of the greatest importance. I was always working with it, but I needed to think more about the wider implications.
Q: Such as imagination creates reality?
A: Yes. So there are an infinite number of possible realities. That perspective gives you a different view of the world.
Q: In your work, do you ever approach the issue of power directly?
A: Early in my career, I tried that, but it didn’t work.
Q: Why not?
A: Because my patients were shy about that or afraid.
Q: Even under hypnosis?
Q: That’s interesting.
A: I thought so. It taught me something. People tend to have a taboo about the whole thing. They go through all sorts of contortions about power. I could see that clearly.
Q: What kind of contortions?
A: Well, it’s like pin the tail on the donkey or musical chairs. Where you put power. To whom or what do you attribute it? See, people know power exists. But it’s not something they admit they want. So they go around in a very circuitous route to pin it somewhere else. The sky has power. Wind has power. The Earth has power.
Q: In recent culture, the word power has taken on a distinctly negative meaning. It’s been conclusively associated with corruption, oppression, and criminal activity.
A: Pop psychology gives the word a slightly different twist, as in “personal power.” The context is often “taking back your power,” which assumes that, somewhere along the line, someone else had control over you—and now you’re recapturing it. But at best, this diluted vision implies that, from now on, you’ll be be able to make your own decisions. That’s pretty weak.
Q: Power means you can DO. It means you are able. From a Latin root.
A: Let’s go far out. Suppose you want to do something that is thought to be impossible? Suppose you want to read a person’s thoughts from ten miles away? Or you want to move an object on your desk with your mind? Suppose you want to levitate. There is a general consensus that these paranormal feats of power are impossible. In fact, the consensus weaves together with the fabric of the space-time continuum. One aspect is dependent on the other. Consider the image of two mirrors standing across from each other. The reflections bounce back and forth. One feeds the other. In the same way, the general consensus that levitation is impossible nourishes the “rule of the physical continuum” which states that unaided human levitation is verboten. Let’s shift the focus. Let’s say there is a manuscript in a museum. It has been dated at 4300 BC. For over a century, scholars, linguists, and cryptologists have tried to understand the rows of symbols—and they have utterly failed. They haven’t made a single inroad. Now you look at it. You stand in front of it and look at it for an hour. Do you think your imagination will swing into gear? Damn right it will. You’ll start imagining all sorts of “paranormal” possibilities—even though you can’t name them or describe them. Your imagination will go to places that aren’t pedestrian. This is what happens with a mystery. The mind, the imagination begins to write script, and the script is about realities that are beyond what we ordinarily think about. The imagination is waiting in the bushes, for an opportunity to come out and stretch and get beyond this humdrum continuum. That’s a natural tendency, which we keep under wraps.
Q: To understand power, you need imagination.
A: Otherwise, you just think about power in terms you already understand. You repeat yourself. You become bored.
Q: You use the word boredom a lot.
A: That’s because it’s the bottom line on the accounting book called Reality. That’s what you finally get to. Reality bores. Power is about exceeding reality. When you stop and think about it, why didn’t humans imbue their gods with no power at all? Why should gods have power at all? They could be farmers tilling the soil or stone masons. The gods have power because human imagination gives it to them. And that happens because humans need to imagine power somewhere. They’re afraid to give it to themselves, so they invent the gods. This is another deflection of the truth on to spaces where it’s “safe” to attribute power. The taboo is: we have power.
Q: In modern times, we have comic books and super-heroes. Superman. Batman. In ancient Greece, another super-hero,
Prometheus, stole fire from the gods and gave it to man. Fire is energy. Energy is a function of imagination. Prometheus stole awareness of creative power and gave it to humans. Power starts with imagining power.
A: But Superman doesn’t try to figure out a way to give his kind of power to humans. That never happens. Several years ago, I met with a man who was trying to start a school. He had this idea. He’d cram grades one through twelve into eight years, and the other four would be nothing but art. All day, all the time. Students doing art. All the arts.
Q: What happened?
A: He could never raise the money. People were afraid of what he was talking about. Immersion in the arts to the point where a reality shift would take place in the minds of the kids. I mean, that’s what he talked about, so his potential investors dried up. They disappeared into the fog. Art is about walking right up the ladder of power. An artist has power. Even if there is no consensus about that. Consensus is the last thing that happens.
Q: Energy is a function of imagination. We’ve talked about that before.
A: I’d liken it to a very dark night. You’re wandering around. You don’t know exactly where you are. Then you see a glint of light ahead. Suddenly, you feel an injection of energy. You feel it. THAT’S the way to get out. When you imagine something new, and you feel it, you get that shot of energy. It’s a potentially endless supply. The old nonsense about entropy [dissipating energy] is a wrong concept.
Q: Why not another kind of theory: there are multiple universes pouring energy and receiving energy from one another. The process just keeps going.
A: If there’s one thing we don’t have a lack of, it’s energy.
Q: So is that how you approach the issue of power with patients?
A: Energy through imagination. And when a person experiences enough energy, he begins to know he has power.
Q: In traditional alchemy, in their cross, the four ends represented the four elements of nature [earth, air, fire, water]. Where the two sticks meet, in the center—that’s called Quintessence. This the quality that can resolve the conflict among the four elements. The Quintessence is imagination.
A: It would be, because it is the thing that gets you beyond the four elements. It puts you out there beyond the inhibiting rules of nature. This whole resurrection of the nature religion that started in the 1960s—it was supposed to be about resolution and peace, but–
Q: The factor they left out of the equation was imagination. They substituted drugs for imagination.
A: I had a patient who, in a light trance, would invent dream after dream. That’s what I had him do. He must have fabricated fifty dreams altogether, over the over a period of a few months. In every one of those dreams, he put in a power source. Some god or entity that had great power. And then one day, he got a different kind of message. From the sheer invention of these dreams, he was getting a whole lot of energy. He was feeling that. Then it began to dawn on him that he had power. And from then on, the character of the dreams he invented was different. And in his life, he knew he had power.