THEOSOPHY, Vol. 17, No. 9, July, 1929
(Pages 399-400; Size: 6K)
IN THE HUMAN WORKSHOP
SOME STATEMENTS OF H.P.B.
THE mind is dual in its potentiality: it is physical and metaphysical. The higher part of the mind is connected with the spiritual soul or Buddhi, the lower with the animal soul, the Kama principle. There are persons who never think with the higher faculties of their mind at all; those who do so are the minority and are thus, in a way, beyond, if not above, the average human kind. These will think even upon ordinary matters on that higher plane. This difference depends simply on the innate power of the mind to think on the higher or on the lower plane, with the astral or with the physical brain.
The person who is endowed with this faculty of thinking about even the most trifling things from the higher plane of thought has, by virtue of that gift which he possesses, a plastic power of formation, so to say, in his very imagination. Whatever such a person may think about, his thought will be so far more intense than the thought of an ordinary person, that by this very intensity it obtains the power of creation. The plastic power of the imagination is much stronger in some persons than in others. The rays of thought have the same potentiality for producing forms in the astral atmosphere as the sunrays have with regard to a lens. Every thought so evolved with energy from the brain, creates a shape.
Occultism teaches that no form can be given to anything, either by nature or by man, whose ideal type does not already exist on the subjective plane. More than this; that no such form or shape can possibly enter man's consciousness, or evolve in his imagination, which does not exist in prototype, at least as an approximation.
The mysterious power of thought enables it to produce external, perceptible, phenomenal results by its own inherent energy. Despite materialistic skepticism, man does possess such a power. The ancients held that any idea will manifest itself externally if one's attention is deeply concentrated upon it. As the creator, breaking up the chaotic mass of dead, inactive matter, shaped it into form, so man, if he knew his powers, could, to a degree, do the same.
When psychology and physiology become worthy of the name of sciences, Europeans will be convinced of the weird and formidable potency existing in the human will and imagination, whether exercised consciously or otherwise. The power of the imagination upon our physical condition is evinced in many familiar ways. In medicine, the intelligent physician does not hesitate to accord to it a curative or morbific potency greater than his pills and potions. Fear often kills; and grief has such a power over the subtile fluids of the body as not only to derange the internal organs but even to turn the hair white.
It would be highly unphilosophical to say that animals are not endowed with imagination; and, while it might be considered the acme of metaphysical speculation to even formulate the idea that members of the vegetable kingdom have an instinct and even rudimentary imagination of their own, yet the idea is not without its advocates. If great physicists are unable to bridge the chasm between mind and matter, and define the powers of the imagination, how much greater must be the mystery about what takes place in the brain of a dumb animal.
Would to goodness the men of science exercised their "scientific imagination" a little more and their dogmatic and cold negations a little less. Instead of stating that God made man after his own image, we ought in truth to say that "man imagines God after his image."
In the course of Evolution, when the physical triumphed over, and nearly crushed under its weight, spiritual and mental evolutions, the great gift of Kriyasakti, the mysterious power of thought, remained the heirloom of only a few elect men in every age. Spirit strove vainly to manifest itself in its fulness in purely organic forms, and the faculty, which had been a natural attribute in the early humanity of the Third Race, became one of the class regarded as simply phenomenal, and scientifically impossible.
What is imagination? Psychologists tell us that it is the plastic or creative power of the soul. Imagination, Pythagoras maintained to be the remembrance of precedent spiritual, mental, and physical states. It is one of the strongest elements in human nature. It "is the great spring of human activity, and the principal source of human improvement. Destroy the faculty, and the condition of men will become as stationary as that of brutes". It is the best guide of our blind senses, without which the latter could never lead us beyond matter and its illusions. The greatest discoveries of modern science are due to the imaginative faculty of the discoverers.
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