A friend of mine once told me “I, Magi Nation”. It was a revelation to her that, just as people claim membership in the Creek Nation or the Navajo or the Hopi Nations, we might, as humans, claim membership in the Magi Nation. Who are the Magi? (Besides key characters in the Nativity story). The term goes back to sixth century BC, and comes out of Zoroastrianism, a Persian religion. It refers to those who were versed in magic and esoteric wisdom, especially versed in astrology and alchemy. In later centuries they were simply referred to as wise men.
In other words, the root of imagination, magi, is all about discovery of wisdom through non-rational means. As we explore the quality of imagination, we are invited to take the road less traveled in our society, the path of inner experience that can yield seemingly magical results. The world of imagination parallels the material world in that all of our physical senses have imaginary counterparts. But it departs from that material realm in that we don’t have the limitations in the imaginal realm that we experience in ordinary states. Think about the popular movie “The Matrix”. In that movie, Neo wakes up from the trance of common reality known as the matrix and discovers what is possible. Fictional? Perhaps. Or maybe it’s prophetic. Think about the inventions that were once portrayed in science fiction movies that we now take for granted—like smart phones. Writers plug into imagination and in so doing perhaps they discover possibilities that are simply awaiting our discovery—which can only happen through a sneak preview of imagination.
In the realm of imagination, we are able to preview a world that seems impossible in the world we’re familiar with. We can access powers that seem unrealistic. It is very much like The Matrix. I worked with a client recently who was concerned about a child she loves who is living in Nicaragua under less than ideal circumstances. I invited my client to create a sanctuary for the child, to fill it with her love and protection, to surround it with angels, and then call the child energetically to find the refuge. My client is a highly sensitive person and she was able to do this. She felt great peace as she was present with the child on the imaginal plane. She started to become agitated and as we tuned into that there was something in her hand that felt nasty to her. I rubbed essential oils on her palm as I told her to surround her hand with light and the bad sensation dissolved. She realized she had pulled an attachment of negative energy from the child and then dissolved it in the light of love. It was a powerful experience and gave her a way to commune with her young friend and help her through a difficult life experience.
For those who are not at home in the imaginal realm, this experience probably sounds far-fetched. It certainly is. We fetched this possibility from a far land—the land of the imagination. You can remain cynical or you can make the journey yourself to the far land and create there the life you desire. If you are willing to spend time in the land of imagination, and invest your emotional energy in what you imagine, the results will appear like magic!
Rev. Jane Meyers Hiatt’s talk on 7/27/2014: Imagination | The Season of Spiritual Literacy