EnneagramFourth Way Gurdjieff Ouspensky School Education Concerning the Work Teachings of G. I. Gurdjieff, P. D. Ouspensky, Maurice Nicoll, and their students.
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In its ordinary meaning, the term `imagination' does not allow for the distinction as to whether or not its functioning is under our control. If imagination is under our control, then its uses may be distinguished by such names as visualisation, creative thinking, inventive thinking. But when it comes by itself and controls us so that we are in its power, it is `imagination'.

Imagination may be just ordinary daydreams or, for instance, imagining non-existent powers in oneself. But it is the same thing in that it works without control, it runs by itself.

Negative imagination is imagining all kinds of unpleasant things, torturing oneself, imagining all the things that might happen to you or other people. This is distinct from real fear, an instinctive centre function, which is comparatively very rare. In most cases fear is imaginary---the fear is in you. Material is borrowed from the negative part of the instinctive function, and with the help of imagination, it creates negative emotion.

When trying to explain new experiences, imagination enters because one may feel with with one very good apparatus, and explain with a very clumsy machine which cannot really explain. So one must try to deal with facts, as when imagination starts one is lost.

Then one may be more completely under the power of imagination, imagining that one can decide what to do.

Imagination does not mean conscious or intentional thinking, but imagination without any control or result. The idea is to control imagination. If, instead of that, by certain methods it is transformed into imagination in higher emotional states, one may experience bliss, but it is after all, only sleep on a higher level. And there is no way out.

One must observe the many things that are in one's own imagination to see them. One can imagine that one is making efforts to awake. Only begin with the possible, with one step. Try to do a little and results will show you. There is always a limit. If one tries to do too much, imagination takes hold and one will do nothing. Everything cannot be changed at once. Struggle with imagination does not mean that it can be stopped, because this would require much more energy. One can only attempt to stop it.

In fact, imagination takes up very much energy and turns thinking in a wrong direction. This is why verification is necessary. Imagination causes people to easily accept mechanical influences and they begin to imitate one another so that people can spend their lives studying systems and system words and never come to real things. Without verification it is imagination or simply lying. A large proportion of our ordinary knowledge exists only in imagination. It is necessary that this work be first and foremost practical.

Life can provide a test as to whether personalities are imaginary or not. When life puts you into conditions where you can enjoy what you thought you liked, but instead you find that you do not enjoy it at all, only you imagined that you liked it, then you can see that this personality was imaginary. It does not really exist, but we imagine it exists. It exists in its manifestations, but not as a real part of ourselves.

So we imagine ourselves really. Only we are not what we imagine ourselves to be.

The right use of `imagination' then would be to `imagine', or use creative thinking and visualisation, to `imagine' oneself conscious. How would you act, think, speak and so on?

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