All the world is exactly and entirely as we have imagined it to be.

That sounds so ordinary, but it is not. The “we” I speak of is everybody, all of us together, who are alive and imagining at this moment. If you read the Tame Bear Weblog regularly, you’ll recognize the underlying theme of nonduality, nonseparation or inseparability of all things. Our interior mind consciousness is one and the same with the outer world we perceive. The cyberpunk author William Gibson has referred to the perceived world as a “consensual hallucination,” a visual consensus constructed together by all the minds that comprise its existence at any given moment.

The world is everything we have imagined.

The world we see is a reflection of ourselves.

The world we see is a reflection of ourselves.

When we see a bird flutter by, we imagined it. Not me alone, but we – all our minds conjoined to make all this – the apparent perceived world that we see and inhabit and live and work and play within. Every bit of it is conceived and imagined by conscious awareness. Every bird on the wing, every ripple on the water, every sound uttered that we have given meaning, every quality of color and texture on every surface of the perceived world IS the subtle confluence of all our minds together acting in concert. We do not so much create or manifest reality… we are the reality we perceive. We are the reality we imagine.

A theory known as the “Law of Attraction” is a simplified way of understanding the nondual nature of reality. The theory suggests that we can alter our future by the power of our positive (or negative) thinking, and that we can manifest things into being by the exercise of this thought-power. Proponents of the Law of Attraction say you can improve your financial worth, you can improve your relationships with others, and you can improve your health and well-being through the exercise of positive thought-power. It is already happening, whether you are aware of it or not. Louise Hay describes it this way:

“Every thought I think is creating my future.”

It’s an intoxicating idea. Many people believe it really does work in their lives and can tell convincing stories to bolster their claims. Personally, I believe there really is some truth to it… but that it’s not all about “me.”

It’s not about ME – it’s about WE.

It’s exciting to consider that our thoughts have the power to alter the future, and that we can dwell in a manifested present of our own making. But I believe the reality is that the world we perceive and experience and live in is a world that comes into being moment by moment by all of us collectively exercising our power to imagine it. All of us together are manifesting the world.

One consequence of this collective imagining is that I myself may not always get what I want from the world. The consensual hallucination of the world arises from what all of us imagine, and we do not all imagine the same things.

Another consequence is that wonderful (or terrible) things can appear or happen without I myself ever having imagined it. I cannot possibly imagine everything, but all our imaginings together can manifest events and experiences that are beyond any one person’s capacity to imagine.

The world “out there” IS the world “in here.”

You are that which you see in the world. You are all people, and all things, though you perceive your “self” as separate and apart from all else. The perception is not the reality. The reality is oneness; the perception is separateness. But there is a way to see through the illusory veil of perception and experience the world as it is.

Here are two practices which will help facilitate a nondual experience of all-that-is.

  1. When you look at two separate things in your environment, think of them as conjoined so that they are not two – they are one. One thing. Not two. Two stones next to each other for instance; perhaps their surfaces are touching. Think of them as one thing, not two. Though they may have but the finest connection between them, at that point where they touch, still they are connected and you may think of them as one thing. In the same way, one thing is connected to all other things, and with practice you can mentally dissolve the artificial boundaries we create in our minds between objects and their surroundings, and attain a visceral experience of the oneness of all things.
  2. When you meet a friend or stranger in the market, it is not unnatural to begin to critique them in your mind, to make judgements, to discern what you like or don’t like about that person’s appearance, clothing, or mannerisms. But now you must WAKE UP and think! They are you! The person you see before you is… YOU. This person is some aspect of you, being reflected back to you, and you have mistaken your “self” for a separate consciousness apart from you. Realize that you are one with this person. You are them equally as much as they are you, and together you are intimately one with all-that-is. This second practice also has the power to bring you into an awareness of the oneness of all things.

What we believe has the power to alter the reality we experience.

If you can, consider that less than 500 years ago people still thought the world was flat. Less than 100 years ago everyone said If God had wanted us to fly, he would have given us wings.

Which of our thoughts and beliefs that we accept as true today will people 100 years or 500 years from now consider to be utterly ridiculous? We can scarcely imagine what marvelous things will “turn out” to be true of our world in the future. Why? Because we have not yet imagined them to be true. Imagine, therefore, greater things for our world, because — isn’t it obvious? The world emerges from all that everyone imagines together. In very real measure, the world that surrounds us is everything we imagine it to be.

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1 Comment on The Imagined World

  1. Mark Herpel says:

    Is one of my thoughts, as powerful as the physical action of carrying out that thought?

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