IMAGINATION AT WORK
by Jon Rappoport
January 17, 2012
You can read this article as fantasy, metaphor, crooked analogy, speculation…or something more. Many people will decide it’s an impossible fantasy. I can only say that, to me, it’s the next step in everything I’ve been writing for the past five years.
The essential question I tackle here is: how powerful is imagination?
What can it really do? What unobserved effects has it been creating since the dawn of time? How far-reaching are these effects?
Is it possible that imagination naturally leads to an unprecedented revolution in the very make-up and composition of the universe?
At the outset, I want it clearly understood that nothing I write here is meant to excuse people for doing nothing, for just hanging around hoping for miraculous deliverance. Imagination is an active force, not a passive one, and it is an individual attribute.
I want to tip my hat to my friend, artist Rick Dubov. Rick and I have been doing Magic Theater dialogues recently, and a few of the central ideas in this piece surfaced in those dialogues. I had been keeping them to myself, and finally aired them, and we took off from there.
Universe may not be what we think it is. It may be much LESS, in a way, than we think it is. It may be a fixation, by which we falsely define ourselves. More importantly, what if imagination has been having an enormous and direct (unseen) effect on universe “since the beginning?”
Over the past 15 years, it has occurred to me many times that imagination has been creating holes in the very universe we all accept as permanent and eternal.
Contrary to accepted science, these holes don’t suddenly cause horrific consequences, because although this universe is quite real, it is also an illusion, and as such it simply remains in place, even if pieces of its space have been deleted. Yes, I know, quite far out.
Okay. Here we go.
New York, over the decades, has seen artists migrating to lower-income neighborhoods, moving into lofts, and opening galleries.
The largest of these journeys moved from Greenwich Village to Soho to Chelsea. Presently, in the Chelsea area, bounded roughly by 29th St., 17th St., 10 Ave., and 11th Ave., there are 350 art galleries.
It is certainly the densest concentration of galleries in the world.
These operations change their shows every 4-6 weeks, so the sheer amount of art moving through their doors is staggering.
Every time an art migration sets up shop, neighborhood property values rise, new retail operations open, and untold numbers of visitors appear.
In other words, the surroundings adjust to creative pioneers.
Or to put it another way, the environment adapts itself to imagination (art).
What if this pattern exists on a much, much broader level?
Painting, and in fact all the arts, invent their own spaces, times, and energies.
Up until now, we have, for the most part, been satisfied to say that works of imagination are decoration for, or additions to, the already existing space, time, and energy of this universe.
Because, as citizens of what is considered to be a more or less eternal continuum, we assume and claim to know that the energy, space, and time of the cosmos are primary, monopolistic, and all-encompassing.
I suggest something quite different:
The whole force of imagination and creative invention makes significant and deep changes in the so-called primary space, time, and energy of the universe.
Far from being mere decoration or “additive insertion,” the result of imagination in action is radical and real.
One might say it punches holes in the fabric of space, in the space/time/energy continuum.
That we have not seen these holes (unless we want to interpret inferences of black holes and wormholes as evidence) does not mean they don’t exist.
Our tendency is to deny anything before our eyes that doesn’t integrate with our interior picture of what reality must be.
We could take this principle further: even if we create new realities that supersede the familiar and the “eternal,” we quickly deny the implications of what we’ve invented.
As artists, we’re blind to the most radical effects of our own art.
Millions and millions of artists working over long periods of time establish new beachheads of time, space, and energy, against which the background of “old” physical space, time, and energy begins to fade and dissolve.
The so-called eternality of the continuum opens up gaps and loses its solidity in places.
Dean Radin, in his classic work, The Conscious Universe, argues that the totality of well-designed published laboratory studies of paranormal phenomena reveal a success rate greater than probability. In other words, statistical odds don’t rule the day. Something else is happening.
For example, a volunteer sits in front of a large glass case, which contains a funnel down which small balls are released. The balls end up falling into spaced holes to the left or right of vertical center. The apparatus is designed to yield the statistical probability: a 50-50 spread of balls (half to the left of center, half to the right.) The volunteer is told to try to influence the pattern of balls so they will move to the right or left.
A comprehensive analysis of the published literature indicates volunteers do, in fact, exert an overall paranormal influence beyond the 50-50 expectation.
What paranormal researchers so far fail to see is that this act of “influencing” is actually an action of imagination.
Imagination changes the laws of the space/time/energy continuum.
Art, which is a far more intense action of imagination than “mentally influencing balls,” does the same thing.
We aren’t living in a continuum-universe bounded by unalterable laws. This universe, from the most important point of view, is a default structure that exists AFTER the power of imagination has been subtracted.
And when it is added, the continuum changes.
One of the most radical changes would be a “fading effect,” as new realities (spaces, times, and energies) are invented in great profusion and with great power.
Consider New York City itself. If you transported a human from 1700, when the city was simply two rivers and forests, to 2011, his state of utter bewilderment would be overwhelming, as he stood in the middle of Times Square at night. He might actually think space and time themselves had been transformed.
Presently, millions of people believe that an observer affects matter at a sub-atomic level merely by the act of observing. This belief, however, is a version of re-arranging deck chairs. It doesn’t posit that new energy, space, and time are superseding and replacing the old. It clings to the old idea of universe.
It is patently obvious that, since the dawn of art, artists have been creating and introducing new energy into reality. The law of the conservation of energy is applicable, if at all, only in a narrow range that excludes the power of imagination. Well, if new energy can be created, why not new space and time?
And if this creative capability exists, and if its influence is strong enough, why shouldn’t art (imagination) begin to replace that other work of art called universe?
Why shouldn’t the overall force of art wake us up to the fact that the universe isn’t primary and never has been?
The old Tibetan magicians practiced creative exercises in which they imagined personae, and the announced objective of these techniques was the realization that UNIVERSE IS A PRODUCT OF MIND.
The magic was, in fact, the capacity of an individual to delete pieces of universe or spontaneously invent space/time/energy that had never existed before.
For some years now, Dean Radin and his colleagues have been conducting experiments with random number generators, placed at various positions around the planet. These devices continuously spit out random sequences of numbers. Radin has discovered that, just before momentous events (such as 9/11), the quality and degree of randomness produced by the machines significantly alters.
This has been taken to confirm collective precognition. Realizing that something shocking is about to happen, the consciousness of billions of people exerts an effect that is registered by these machines. A coherence previously not present comes into being.
That is a general hypothesis. Let’s consider translating it into another obvious format: billions of people, sensing a momentous event on the immediate horizon, CREATE AN ENERGY THAT HAS NEVER EXISTED, and this energy affects the random number generators.
New energy is created (imagined), and the environment adjusts to it.
A most profound transition is underway. How long it will take to become visible to everyone is speculation. But the outcome is: the work of art called universe will no longer be primary and “eternal.” Instead, imagination will engender millions and billions of works of art that supersede it.
Think of this transition in pedestrian terms—a painting that has hung in a room in a museum for centuries will be replaced by a series of new paintings.
My assertion is: this process, millimeter by millimeter, has been happening since “the beginning.” The idea of it was too radical to consider. It is no longer too radical.
The idea that, no matter how much we imagine and create, universe will always be universe, is just that: an idea. It has no intrinsic power, except for the power we attribute to it.
Lately, as I’ve engaged in a number of Magic Theater dialogues (see my blog archive here for many articles on the Magic Theater), I’ve begun to consider that the dialogues are, in fact, works of art that punch holes in universe.
The overwhelming sentiment among the populace is dedicated to rejecting the notion of such effects. Their whole program is a pledge of allegiance to normality. In other words, every situation, at bottom, is assessed by the proposition that universe is the ultimate reality, forever the same.
And yet, everywhere we look we see the results of imagination and invention. I’m taking it a step further. Universe is also the result of imagination and invention. And just as one style of art, which was acclaimed, in its time, as primary and final, was eventually placed on the shelf in favor of a new emerging style, universe, too, will be put in storage. It can be dragged out for conversations based on low-level consensus, but we will realize that something far more adventurous is in the ever-expanding foreground:
And then nothing will ever be the same.
Actually, it never was the same.
Universe was a children’s book we all read a long time ago. When we need to refer to the sentiments and delights and conflicts and push-pull emotions of that story, we can remember. We can bring it back and enjoy the moment. Otherwise, we’re each launched in expressing the unbounded force of our imaginations.
Until that day, people will staunchly defend universe-as-it-is, with all its rules and restrictions, while they take every opportunity to file into dark theaters and longingly watch fantastic personages break every one of those rules in paranormal fireworks.
I say universe has a beginning and an end, in the same way that a famous novel has its time in the sun and then fades from recognition. It was a long-running play, and then the audience dwindled and the performances closed down.
It was always that way, except that a trick was thrown into the mix. If people could be convinced to bow and scrape at the play, pay deep homage to it, even pray to it, hope for it to grant their wishes—then perhaps it might go on and on forever.
But it won’t.
Because other plays, more and more plays, are being written and performed in profusion.
I suggest that certain anomalies, puzzles, confusions, and mysteries in physics can be worked out by starting from the premise that imagination is superseding the illusory “permanent” effects of universe. And that fades and holes and other phenomena are opening up in universe as a result.
Imagination has no illusions. The universe does.
The primary laws of implicative logic are indeed applicable to the work of art called universe, and to all thought that attempts to operate within that field. But outside it, the force of imagination does not concern itself with those laws, and never did. To imagination, for example, the stricture against logical contradiction is a joke. And there is no pinnacle on which “the one and only work of art” sits. That’s the biggest joke of all.
Imagination hasn’t been powerless all these centuries. It has been changing universe and punching holes in space and introducing new energies and replacing sections of universe and even altering time. It’s been doing all sorts of things—all of which we’ve denied.
Now we are coming of age. And I don’t mean the New Age, in which people try to believe some external force will deliver all their dreams to them. No, I mean an age in which we, by the power of imagination, invent multiverses without limit or end.
The Tibetan magicians (who at one point dominated the spiritual path in their culture, before the priests took over), would probably agree with the main points in this article. For them, the idea that the universe is a product of mind was far more than just a fancy. All their techniques were geared to realizing this profoundly and permanently—and jumping off from the realization to launch what some people would now call paranormal feats. Such feats included deleting pieces of universe and creating space/time/energy of their own. There is, of course, debate about whether these practitioners were actually able to perform such acts.
I would highly recommend John Blofeld’s extraordinary book, The Tantric Mysticism of Tibet, and any of Alexandra David-Neel’s books about her travels through Tibet. Blofeld’s description of what he calls “deity visualization” is a key to understanding the original practices of the Tibetan magicians.
For information about the upcoming Magic Theater workshop in San Diego, in March, email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org