Imagine That

I’m going to teach you a quick lesson in human makeup. God created humans as three-part beings, somewhat fashioned after his three-part being–The Trinity, Father, Son and Spirit–3 persons, yet one God; one God, yet 3 persons. Humans are created with a spirit, a soul, and a body. Think of a bullseye or a target with a circle in the center and then two concentric circles surrounding it. The inner circle is our spirit, the next circle is our soul, and the third, outer circle, is our body.

Our spirit is that part of us that “connects” us with God; it is the God-conscious part of us at the very “heart” of our being. Our soul is that part of us comprising our minds and our personalities. The soul is “seated” in the brain, so to speak, but it is not merely the brain. Our body . . . well, you know what that is. There you have it: humans have been created by God with a body, a soul, and a spirit. Three, yet one; one, yet three. Indivisible, yet separate “components” of our being.

The soul—the mind—is comprised of our consciousness and our subconsciousness. Those “parts” of our mind are not really parts but are more like separate “processes” by which our minds function. Again, our brain is the “seat” of those processes, but the processes are more than the physical brain itself. The word, soul, in the New Testament comes from the Greek word, psuche,” from which we get the English word, psyche, meaning the mind and personality—that part of us which is studied by psychiatrists and psychologists.

Our tremendous ability to imagine—our imagination—is part of the processes of both our conscious and subconscious minds, but, in a sense, it transcends both those processes—sort of a “higher” creative process.

There you have it: a quick lesson in human composition and makeup, including the processes of the soul (mind). If you’re interested in knowing more about how God created us as three-part beings, I invite you to read another teaching on this web site titled Whole In One.

The Alien Visitor

Now . . . let’s put our imaginations to use. Imagine you have just met a very friendly, extremely intelligent alien who has landed here from a far distant galaxy. You and the alien are conversing with one another. The alien tells you he and his species have been orbiting our planet for centuries, studying all the various species here. He tells you this story.

“There is a species on your planet called a bear. Although generally larger than you humans, bears have brains similar in size and composition to yours. Yet humans perform many functions with their brains that bears cannot perform. One of the functions human brains perform is that of imagination. Humans can imagine; bears cannot.  Yet older humans think imagining is something that only children should do as they play their games with one another and with imaginary characters.  That is a serious mistake most adult humans make—you limit to children your capacity to imagine. You feel that for adults to use their imagination is not intelligent, not wise, not ‘grown up,’ not ‘professional.’ Yet your capacity to imagine is one of your greatest gifts from the Creator.”

Imagination is not something foreign to adult mental processes. For change, growth, and development, imagination is your greatest ‘tool.’ Yet you use it so seldom, feeling it’s not something adults should do. Use your imagination more in all you do,” encouraged the alien!  

Walt Disney died before Disney World opened in Florida. I’ve been told that during the opening ceremonies someone remarked, “It’s too bad Walt didn’t live to see this.” A listener responded, “Oh, but he did ‘see’ it; that’s why it’s here!”

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “We become like that which we think about the most.” One young male reading that, remarked, “I hope that’s not true; I don’t want to turn into a girl!” What do those anecdotes mean? Here are some insights into your mind’s amazing creative thinking and imagining processes.

I’m sure you understand the elementary concept that before you are able to create, invent, or construct something, you must first picture or imagine the object in your mind. You must pre-envision in your thoughts and imagination what will happen. For example, as I “create” these sentences and input them to my computer, I am first thinking—or picturing—them in my mind; my thoughts create the words first—just an atomic fraction of a second before my fingers strike the keys on the keyboard.

All your behavior first occurs in your mind—in your thought processes. You’ve probably heard or read the statement: “If you can conceive it and believe it (in your thoughts or imagination), you can achieve it!” That’s the process I am explaining. Exactly how do your thoughts become outward realities? How does your inner thinking, believing, and imagining become something tangible and real in your outer world?

Creating, Building, Constructing, Inventing

Think of the words “foresee” or “foresight.” They mean to see something in one’s mind—before it happens. Thus, the word “foresee.” Creators, inventors, builders, artists—all believe and picture something in their creative imaginations or minds before the thing becomes a tangible, objective reality. They actually “create” objects in their vivid imaginations before their hands begin to create it in the outer world.

What mental processes occur between the time of your first inner thoughts and your final outer behavior? Modern science doesn’t know all there is to know about your brain and mind (the two are not exactly the same), but scientists have disclosed much fascinating information about how your inner beliefs become outward realities—how internal believing and imagining become external realities in time and space.  Waking or sleeping, there are three primary processes which continually occur in your mind: 1. the conscious process, 2. the subconscious process and 3. the creative subconscious process (the imagination). These are not physical areas or compartments of your brain or mind; they are processes.

Many more processes continually occur in your brain, but these are the three principal, internal mental processes which are active around the clock. I won’t write about your conscious process; that’s self-evident.  Nor will I write about many things that first occur in your spirit before they work their way out into your mind. You can read about that process in another teaching on our web site titled Change Your Mind.

The basic function of your creative subconscious process (your imagination) is to create powerful images (imaginings) or pictures in your mind and then transmit them to your subconscious process for storage as memory. Think of the modern CD or “thumb drive” process–or the processes on your smart phone. Your creative subconscious process is a combined “camera” and “projector” which both “makes” the pictures in your mind and then “plays” them for viewing. Your subconscious process can be likened to the storage shelves in your home where you store your CD’s for later viewing. These are not still photos, but, rather, are running images or pictures in motion you constantly play and view in your mind.  

Where do your mental videos come from? How do they get in your mind? Most of them originate in the external world around you and are input to your mental processes via your five senses. But many of your mental videos also originate in your brain and mind when your creative subconscious process is being—well, creative: comparing and contrasting different images, superimposing them upon one another, realigning them with one another, and serendipitously combining and relating various internal pictures with each other. Someone has said true creativity is the mental ability to relate the seemingly unrelated and connect the seemingly unconnected. Your creative subconscious process is truly creative. It has no limits except those you choose to impose upon it. It is not limited by time nor space.

All these electrochemical and biochemical thought processes are continually occurring in your brain and mind with the speed of light. In that regard, think about this: is it possible that the speed of your thought processes is actually faster than the speed of light!? You can learn to harness and control in positive and constructive ways many of your mind’s creative thought processes.

“Create” A New You

For example, you can input to your creative subconscious process new pictures of you being a patient person instead of an impatient person, and then learn how to imprint and hold those new images until your self image actually begins to change you into a patient person in your real world, outward behavior. Change your thoughts (and attitudes) and you will change yourself. Essentially, you can learn to create a new, inner CD of you being patient rather than impatient.

All meaningful and lasting change begins on the inside—in your creative thought processes (your imagination)—and then works its way to the outside in the form of new attitudes, actions, and behavior. Actually, the most meaningful and lasting changes occur first in your spirit and then work their way out from there—but that’s another lesson. It is incorrect to say that if we change our outward behavior, that will change us inside. That’s not quite true; all meaningful and lasting change occurs on the inside and then works its way out into our outward behavior.

As mentioned earlier, if you’re interested in learning more about changes in your spirit working their way to the outside, I invite to turn to another teaching on this web site entitled “Change Your Mind.”  It generally takes from three to five weeks to begin to displace old thinking processes and form new ones through a daily process of repetitive inner viewing and new self-talk. You must first believe you can change. Then you must visualize (imagine) yourself as changed, creatively picturing yourself in actual situations where you can see and feel how you will be as the new, changed you. You must believe and creatively picture yourself as changed in actual, real life scenarios.

For example, in your creative imagination visualize yourself standing in a long line of customers in front of a slow working bank teller. See yourself standing there with a smile on your face, thinking pleasant thoughts about God, about yourself, your family and your friends—possibly even chatting warmly with a friend ahead of you in line. Picture yourself finally reaching the teller and smiling as you extend a warm, friendly greeting. Feel how quickly the time spent waiting in line seemed to pass. How long will it take to visualize (imagine) such a scene? Perhaps fifteen to twenty seconds three or four times each day—while you’re relaxed and can really concentrate on your visualization.

Did you know there are some special cells in your brain, the limbic system, which color every internal image with emotion? The stronger the emotion you attach to the new image, the quicker and more lasting changes you can make.  Continuing with our example of the new, patient you, as you internally picture your new image, let yourself strongly feel how you believe you will feel as a predominantly patient person.

The Power Of Your Words

While you are believing, picturing and feeling your desired changes, you must also speak as though the desired changes have already occurred; for example, repeatedly tell yourself: “I am a very patient person in waiting situations, and appreciate having the extra time to reflect upon God’s blessings to me!” You see, your attitudes about yourself are formed three dimensionally—by words, which create images, which bring about feelings.

Yes, your words about yourself trigger your internal images of yourself—images which, in turn, cause your limbic system to add to the images strong feelings about your desired changes. Believe it or not, your creative subconscious process is unable to distinguish between a real experience and one which you vividly view in your mind with accompanying strong emotions. Only ten to fifteen seconds of creative imagining while you are relaxed—accompanied by strong feelings from your limbic system—can sometimes have between ten to sixty times the impact of a real experience!

For example, I remember an incident that occurred when I was 18 years old attempting to impress a girl I had a crush on. My attempt failed miserably—in front in front of both the young lady and a number of friends. To this day many years later, if I let that situation “replay” in my mind, it’s as embarrassing and humiliating to me now (sometimes even more so) than when it actually occurred many years ago. My creative imagination and my limbic system act in concert to make that long ago event seem just as real now, many years later.

So, let your creative subconscious (your inner CD imaginings) roll on; let them scroll across the viewing screen of your mind. Who said daydreams are only for children? They’re the stuff Disney Worlds, Mount Rushmores, manned voyages to Mars, and cures for diseases are made from. From those daydreams and pictures in your creative subconscious process come beliefs in new ideas, new concepts, new creations, new inventions, new processes, new services—and even a new you—that you picture, believe and feel in your mind before they work their way out to your external world. All creative breakthroughs are won in the mind and imagination before they occur outwardly!

Maybe you’re not planning to create a Disney World, but you may be picturing a new you, a new business venture, a new invention, or a new service you can provide to others. Whatever you can visualize and believe can help turn your dreams into realities.  Don’t focus upon what you feel you can’t do or upon what you feel are your limitations. Instead, dream and plan for success. Marcus Aurelius, one of Rome’s better Emperors, summed it up in eight short words: “Our life is what our thoughts make it.” Let your life become what you imagine in your creative subconscious processes.

Here’s a real-life, personal example. My wife and I were in the process of relocating to another state. It all started when, after prayer, we came to believe God wanted us to make the move. Once we concluded that, then we began to make note of the general locale to which we felt he wanted us to move. We began to visualize the land and our new home (which we decided to build, rather than purchase a pre-owned home). We began to “picture” the land and house in our creative subconscious processes.

As those inner scenes began to form in our subconscious, we made some reconnaissance trips over to the general locale where we wanted to move. We began to explore for just the exact parcel of land we were already “picturing” on the viewing screens of our minds. We began to “see” exactly what our new home would look like. We pictured ourselves in our new home, dining, sleeping, working, writing, reading, entertaining friends. We took those thoughts to a draftsperson, who drew the house plans based on what we were “seeing” in our creative subconscious thought processes.

Meanwhile (after much frustrating searching—no one said working out the details of God’s will was easy!), we finally located the parcel of land we felt God wanted us to purchase. The location was exactly where we felt he wanted us to be in a quiet little community about 90 miles away from where we then lived.  As all of these things were occurring concerning our new location and new home, the home we had been living in sold very quickly—actually before we advertised it! And just a few days later we wrote up the contract for the parcel of land we purchased. It all has to do with God’s will, God’s timing, AND the use of our creative imaginations.

The real-life processes of clearing the land, preparing the building site, and constructing our new home took six months or more of a lot of hard work by numerous people. BUT, in our minds—in our creative subsconcious processes, it was already done! It was as real in our minds then as the actual land and new home would be in six months. That’s just one example of how my wife and I use our creative imaginations.

If you learn nothing else from this teaching, remember this: All meaningful and lasting change begins on the inside—in your creative thought processes (your imagination)—and then works its way to the outside in the form of your attitudes, actions, and behavior. It may be childlike to use your creative imagination, but it is not childish! It is very adult and grownup, as has been proved through centuries of usage by wise, learned, creative people. Learn to harness and use your God-given imagination to change your life and your world!

Bill Boylan
Revised and Updated February 2023

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