In my recent talks with you I have been trying to warn you of the “virtual reality” games you have been playing with your intellect, or your subconscious mind. I have tried to warn all of you of the dangers you encounter when you immerse yourselves in your imagination. Unfortunately, modern preachers and teachers and positive thinkers extol and encourage the immersion of the soul, or consciousness, in the imagination, but I must warn you no to fall for their ballyhoo.
Take your choice. You are free to choose the truth that agrees wit your inclination, but if you want to see clearly with your mind’s eye- not your physical eye and not with images that can be recalled to replace, or take over, for reality-you must be free from imagination. That does not mean that thoughts and imaginings are inherently bad in themselves. Don’t get me wrong.
Creativity comes from your ability to use imagination, but I am concerned with your tendency to use your imagination to dress yourself up in it. The starship enterprise has a computerized chamber, a holodeck, that creates a virtual reality for the crew to vacation in. The crew actually believes, according to the script, that they are where they are not. The computer is able to create the actual feel, the smell, the sounds, the sights of whatever reality it has been ordered to conjure up for the user.
Now, that idea is not too farfetched, because your mind is able to do the same thing. You are able to call forth from it all kinds of scenes. For instance one of the techniques of the hypnotist is to get the subject to imagine a beautiful scene, one that he has already experienced so that he can enter into it. The technique is valuable in pain control as well. If you can project yourself into a pleasant experience, you can lose awareness of the body’s unpleasant condition. So it is quite possible for you to imagine that you are somewhere else, feeling very relaxed, no longer conscious of the cares and guilt’s and anxieties of everyday life. You can use your imagination to escape reality by constructing an almost-reality more to your liking.
The practice is a dangerous one because of its inherent appeal to the lose or the person motivated primarily by pleasure. The more you fail in life, the greater will be your tendency to escape into your imagination where you will construct your own paradise, or paradigm, and create a virtual reality of your own. You thus become more dependent on your ability to escape, and you develop favorite images for your entertainment.
We all have a problem with the misuse of our imagination. I didn’t say you shouldn’t use your imagination at all. For instance, I hope you can use it to assist you with hearing my message, but the misuse of imagination has plagued mankind ever since his fall on earth. If the universe could be said to be the mind of God, and whatever his mind creates, a concept not too difficult for you to entertain because you take the same godly role when you daydream or dip into your imagination, when you use your imagination to escape, as the Enterprise crew did in order to escape the drudgery of everyday work on the spaceship, you might be doing exactly the same thing God does as you play god.
“there is but one cause of
your problem: Pride.”
If you live in reality, if you are not lost in your head, you see your own nothingness. You experience your smallness. You see that you are hardly even a squeak in the song of creation, and you know that you ought to be subject to that something greater than you. But pride does not incline you in that direction-at least, not for a season from the day it is born. It is inclined to be its own person, its own man, as in the garden of Eden when the serpent advised Eve to eat of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil in order to become like a god.
Of course, the Lord had already warned his firstborn that if they ate of it they would surely die. But the serpent assured Eve that God lied in order to retain exclusive rights to the godship. It was not too hard for the first couple to believe the serpent’s assurance that eating of the forbidden fruit would make gods of them, and how can a god die? With knowledge they could create their own reality.
Isn’t that what we do—or what we think we do? But our reality turns into a nightmare, in case you didn’t know. It starts with a descent into the unconscious, escaping the reality of something greater than yourself into the self-created reality of being greater than all else. You escape from the humility of lesser into the pride of being greater. That transformation is possible only in the process of denial in which you escape from the reality that God has created the entire universe-the magic, the mystery, the marvel, the awe of it-that produces such an overwhelming humbling in the created being.
By escaping into the constructs of your own imagination, you can create your own reality. You can see yourself being worshipped, loved, adored. You can live there as judge, jury, and executioner.
There is only one cause of all human problems, but there are many manifestations of that one cause. If you want to look at it scientifically, it starts with the smallest particle. Call it what you like, “quark” being the current term. In my new book I call it an “origitron,” because it sits on the border of time and timelessness. And it is everything else. If you look at the atom, it is simply a system of numbers. Well, it’s more than that, of course. The hydrogen atom has one electron revolving around a nucleus. Oxygen has fourteen. The difference between one thing and another lies simply in the number and arrangement of these minute particles-all the same, whether it’s a hydrogen atom or an oxygen atom, or a gold atom. The difference is in the numbers and arrangements. It’s amazing.
There is but one cause in the universe, one source of it, and everything is everything else. And there is but one cause of your problem: Pride. The pride is what descends into the intellect and tries to be its own god. But instead of becoming a god, it becomes a dog, because down there in the dark recesses of its imagination, the daydream becomes a nightmare, open to invasion by all kinds of forces.
When you are immersed in your imagination, you are setting aside the protection of God, the reality, whose power you are trying to preempt by playing god. The only way you can play god is to not have a God, to live in denial. That denial means that you live in your imagination; for you, there’s no other place possible-no greater truth than the one you fabricated in your imagination. You see yourself loved and worshipped, always right and never wrong.
It’s a touchy subject, so you have to be very brave even to talk to me about it. In doing so, just talking about it bursts your own bubble, and reality starts to come in. You can sit there, listening to the radio, cursing me if you like, or laughing at me, or stay silently holding onto your silly vain imaginings and die in them, for they are indeed the cause of death.
Once you get into your imagination, you can hardly get out. You just don’t know the way. Where’s the button? How did you enter? You don’t know how you entered, but I know you’re there, and your life is a mess, full of wrong decisions. You can make your own right and wrong there, can’t you? You can decide what is good, and you can decide what is evil. What you like is good, and what you don’t like because it doesn’t suit your ego, is bad. So good people who show you what you are and try to wake you up, they’re bad; and the people who support your fantasies, oh, they’re good.
A lot of you know that you are plagued by your doubts and fears and monsters of the id. Some of you are afraid to go to sleep because you sink even deeper into that virtual reality world where monsters and strange demons live.
Am I not correct? Some of you do have strange apparitions that seem real, and you must be very careful. Some of you may even be visited by “angels,” which are really demons transformed by the virtual reality of your imagination. You must be very careful when you wander into the world of the paranormal.
I’m an expert on the subject, have been for a long time and when I would start to talk about demon possession years ago, the newspapers made me out to be crazy, weird. But now it is becoming a normal topic of conversation. Now you can watch “Touched by an Angel,” an excellent program that represents the purest and best use of theater. You seldom see anything quite so well written. It’s quite remarkable for these times. I hadn’t suspected anyone existed who knew as much as I do about the subject.
This probing into the root cause of all our human problems is a very dangerous journey. No other country in the world will allow me to say what I have to say, but no matter how unpopular it may be in other parts of the world, l hope it will not become unpopular in this country. Truth is very painful. It is also very beautiful once you get past the humiliating part of it-of realizing yourself in reality rather than in your virtual reality.
We spend our lives in the virtual reality of our own minds, imagination, and there we are controlled by forces we cannot see. You do not live your own life when you live in your imagination, when you follow your imagination thinking that the ideas presented there are your own. They never are, absolutely, unconditionally, never are.
Let’s take happiness, for instance. It can be found only within you; but where within you? You may seek happiness in your own vivid imagination, but that is a very dangerous place in which to live. Your imagination was not meant to be lived in, any more than your computer is a place to live in. You control your computer according to your will, but when you submerge yourself in your imagination you are living in denial.
In denial, you create a scene, a fantasy, into which you can escape the demands of reality. But in that dangerous world of imagination you escape the only protection you have, which is the Light within you. Lao-Tzu said “Use the light that is within you to regain your natural clearness of sight.” Ah, why not? It makes sense, because the light that you are trying to be, the light that you, ego, are trying to be by assuming the godhead obscures any clear vision of reality. You don’t even know that you are trying to be god. The whole process of dressing up in your imagination and thinking you’re the cat’s meow, the King of Siam, submerging yourself in the virtual reality of your mind, precludes your being able to see that that is what you are doing.
Not only do you not see that you are playing god, thinking that you’re in control because you can’t see otherwise, you also fail to see that you being controlled by other forces, other people, and being used. In exchange for supporting your virtual reality, you acquire an entourage of people who are using you. And you don’t even see it. You think you are loving them and being loved by them. You actually have to give someone the power through money or praise to love you. A woman gives a man her body, and he gives her the idea she’s a queen when she is a whore.
The danger of being stuck in your imagination is that it can lead to psychosis. People who are hopelessly psychotic can’t distinguish reality from the imaginings of their own minds, but all of you are psychotic in varying degrees. I don’t care what role you play in the social hierarchy, you are all immersed in the world of fantasy to some degree. Some of you have partial reality-you can see clearly in some areas and even be able to help others because you are not as lost as they are. But more often than not, they can’t see what you’re talking about. People are so lost that if you try to point reality out to them they can’t hear you.
You may have a daughter who is enamored by some scumbag boyfriend. She is starry-eyed over him because he is playing up to her, making her feel like a queen on a throne, giving her a wonderful image of herself that is so contrary to the one her family has projected that she has developed some inferiority feelings about herself that this boyfriend has homed in on. And he is about to make use of the daughter you love. “Don’t you see how this guy is using you?” you ask your daughter-you see it with the semblance of reality you still possess maybe from experience-but you can’t counteract the exciting effect this young man has on your daughter. Her hormones are raging and her ego is pumped up to high heaven. Her ego is being serviced and she going to have to pay for that with her body. She will find herself embracing her violator, the enemy. It’s always the enemy who causes you to have a blown-up image of yourself.
“Truth is very painful.
It is also very beautiful…”
It’s always the adversary who appeals to your base nature, your ego nature. He fakes love and worship. He pumps you up and helps you to accept yourself. You involve yourself with the emotionality of it. All of us have some angst about the way we live, some anxiety, some insecurity about what we are, and we are looking for emotional security to soothe the pain of our existence, but there is no such thing as emotional security. It’s all the product of imagination.
Emotion creates security feelings, but it also creates insecurity. Whatever gives you security in that sense actually increases your insecurity the morning after the night before because you are more wrong, and as you become more wrong, you become more guilty and more desperate for excitement with which to enhance your vain imaginings.
Imagination can be dangerous even in its positive expression in various fields of creativity. Your imagination gives you an unholy glow, an unwholesome kind of life, and it attracts you to the wrong people who are supportive of that kind of dream world, that trip into fantasy, which does not seem like fantasy. It seems like reality. It’s almost like you’re projecting reality around you. It taints everything around you, so that it has a particular hue, but it is very dangerous. Many of you are in serious trouble because of this.
One can create through one’s imagination, and safely, but it can also be dangerous. Let’s assume that I am talking to you from a clear light, with no pride or imagination involved. As a matter of fact, the information I’m giving you is like brand new; hardly anyone has ever heard of it before. It’s not something you learn from books. I’ve not found any of this sort of thing in books. I’m seeing this from a clear light of reality and I know it’s true. However, you might react to it by falling at my feet and saying, “Mr. Masters, you’re so wonderful! You’ve saved my life!”
Now, if I puff up with the feeling that the information I am giving you is my very own, emanating from my own ego, not from the light of God, suddenly I might find myself being whisked away by that very emotion, sucked into that daydream world, and I will have fallen into that sin of pride so deeply that I can’t get out.
I cannot make the smallest mistake as my words dance on the razor’s edge between the two worlds of imagination and reality lest I lose the knowledge that I have which is from within and above and is shaping my inner self in the likeness of Him, so that when I die I will have something beyond the mortal body. The smallest yielding to pride can plunge me into the world of imagination and cut me off from the source of light with only the memories of what I have said before to fondle as I become shallower and shallower, even to the point of bringing forth crazy stuff from the dark side of me, not even seeing that it is crazy.
Danger exists even for people like me. We don’t start out in our imagination, but we must be constantly on guard against being sucked into it through pride. It is better to exist as a conduit through which invention comes.
The great people of the world did not create of themselves. When Einstein turned to mathematics, leaving behind the simplicity of his childlike realizations toward the end of his life he began to lose his greatness through becoming a mathematical genius. He didn’t come to the formula that made him famous through mathematical theory. He knew it within himself intuitively. Then it took thirty years for the rest of the world to prove he was right.
In the beginning, his revelation was a gift. He just knew what he knew the same way I know things. It may come through the imagination and look as though you were doing the creating, but it is God who does the creating through you, and you must always be mindful of that.
Most artists are mad: people who paint and draw and think of themselves as creators, and come to be worshipped for their marvelous work. I do not appreciate works of art the way other people do. The same with music. As the musicians gather praise and worship, their music deteriorates. They become bizarre in their appearance along with the strangeness of their music. In other words, the process has come down to what you see and hear today.
You who think of yourselves as artists, no matter the medium in which you work, be ever mindful of the one true creator of all that is and seek only to be a clear channel for whatever He has graced you with the talent to impart to others. Be grateful for the talent you were blessed with and use it with humility. Let it flow from pure intuition.