This weeks Message of Faith submitted by Rev. Joanne Rowden
The Power of Imagination
One of my favorite scriptures comes form the Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” This scripture reminds me that I have the power to choose to “what if up” or “what if down.” The choice is always mine to make.
So many times, my mind gets caught up in the “what if down.” Perhaps this is the result of the negativity bias that Dr. Rick Hansen speaks about in the book, Buddha’s Brain. I’m guessing you might recognize “what if down.” What if that ache I feel is more than just an ache. What if I have the “C” word? What if it’s really bad? What if I am dying? What if my family has to go through my dying? What if…? I can exchange that line of thought for any of the other what if downs by mind wants to take me. What if I fail at what I’m doing? What if there’s not enough money in my checkbook to pay my bills? What if I get evicted? What if my spouse leaves me? What if I don’t have enough money to retire? What if…
It is in these what if down scenario’s that we are engaging the Power of Imagination in a way that is not helpful or healthy. Worry is simply using the Power of Imagination to imagine the worst rather than the best. As I consider all the worrying I have done in my lifetime, I realize that 99% of the things I worried about never came to pass. I am so grateful for that, and I know it would be more helpful to engage my Power of Imagination in useful ways. This is where “what if up” comes in.
What if I was simply grateful for all the blessings in my life? What if I simply opened to what is mine to learn in this situation? What if everything truly was working together for my good? What if I surrendered into this moment? What if I trusted life to work out? What if the loss of this job means that another more fabulous job is already coming my way? What if I already have everything I need to meet this moment in grace? What if I opened my heart to simply being love expressing now? What if I engaged my Power of Imagination to see the life I desire, rather than the one I don’t?
You and I are one with Divine Mind which is filled with infinite Divine Ideas. Buddha’s Brain tells us that although we have a bias toward the negative, we have the power to choose to focus on the possibility rather than the problem. You are a creative being. You don’t need to be more imaginative. You already possess all the imagination you need. You simply need to ask, “where is my imagination focused?” Am I focused on the problem or the possibility? Am I playing “what if down” or “what if up?”
The Power of Imagination is our ability to see and conceptualize Divine Ideas within our mind’s eye. In Unity, we know that we create our world with the thoughts we hold in our mind. The Power of Imagination allows us to focus our thoughts on the images we would like to see out pictured in our lives and in our world. What are you creating with the thoughts you are holding about life; the election; your neighbor; the future of our country; your career; your relationships? If you would like to see a different outcome, you must begin to see things differently. Eric Butterworth would say, “We need to see it right, not set it right.”
The Power of Imagination is where we begin to change the outer. As you see it right, you open to the Divine Idea that will demonstrate the good. If instead you try to set it right, you are already operating from the idea that there is something wrong. Albert Einstein told us that you cannot solve a problem at the same level of consciousness as the problem. First see it right. Then the Divine Idea that will reveal the possibility can be received.
The color of imagination is light blue or sky blue. Remember laying on the grass and staring up at the clouds with a friend? Do you see the dog? Where? Oh yes, I see it too! In this same way, we can share our ideas that arise from imagination and inspire one another to see a world that works for all. From that seeing, we can move forward into action, but first we must see it right.
The third eye, in the middle of your forehead, is the location of the Power of Imagination. Dr. Robert Knapp in his book, Twelve Powers in You, locates the Power of Imagination in the thalamus. The thalamus processes everything we experience with our senses before sending the information to our brain. Our brain does not know the difference between what is real and what is imagined. As you invoke all your senses in your imagination, you increase the power of Imagination.
This week choose “what if up!” Instead of imagining the worst, imagine the best. Begin each day in the “what if up…” of that day. What if I was joyful? What if I was wise in my conversations? What if I was forgiving to my perceived enemy? Whatever you are facing each day, choose to see it from its highest perspective.
Abundant peace and blessings… Rev. Joanne
Rev. Joanne Rowden is the senior minister at Unity Spiritual Center in Westlake, OH. She served as the minister at Unity in Edinboro for 13 years before taking on this new position on November 1, 2014. She lives in Hinckley, OH with her husband.