Resource Sheet 6 – Imagine That!

By Malcolm Dow, and

Those with an interest in exploring and understanding how the human brain operates, and the relationship between brain and mind, generally operate with an overriding assumption – that the human mind is alone, isolated from all other minds except for communication processes relying on the five physical senses – sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste, and the ability to speak, write, draw, gesticulate, etcetera.

Some enthusiasts also posit extra-sensory perceptions, human to human, human to animal, and sometimes human to other entities. Such investigations are not held in high regard by the general scientific and medical community, I believe largely because of their assumptions that other entities do not exist, and that all processes are determined entirely by operation of the physical brain.

Leaving out, for now, speculative ideas like ESP, five physical senses would be enough for simple communication and interaction. However, this neglects the possibility that a considerable amount of human interaction is of a much more direct, though largely unconscious nature. Such neglect is one result of another common assumption – that human beings do not have a spirit that is not merely a function of the mind or the brain.

Let us put all of that aside for now and examine a hypothetical scenario. Just suppose that:

  • humans have a spirit,
  • there exist other entities that have, or are, spirits, and,
  • spirit can communicate directly to spirits.

The question I now want to ask is: what type of faculty within a human being would be needed for such spirit to spirit communication to take place?

Because a spirit does not have a physical form, the physical senses are not likely to be of much use. Rather, I suspect that some form of direct transfer of information would be more likely. In other words, what one entity “sends” to the other would simply “appear” within the receiving entity’s mind.

Note, I am not talking about what is usually called ESP. Most of the explanations that I have seen for ESP ability assume some form of brain to brain transfer, perhaps by means of electromagnetic waves. This is analogous to normal human thinking being enhanced by some form of radio system controlled by the mind, allowing the thoughts to be transmitted to another person. What I am considering here is a more basic ability, but it might also provide a better explanation for what has been thought to be ESP phenomena as well.

Most understandings of the nature of spirit allow it to be unconstrained in some degree by time and space, so a physical transmission medium would not be essential. Rather, two spirits might simultaneously occupy a single conceptual space for the duration of their interaction. Again, here “space” is not necessarily physical relativistic space. If it is actually physical space then an alternative possibility is that spirits might have access to relativistic dimensions apart from the normal Einsteinian space, such as are commonly drawn on in current attempts by physicists to reconcile quantum mechanics and general relativity. This is a subject I will write more about another time.

Let us now go back to our question of the nature of the faculty the human mind would need to support spirit to spirit communication and to provide a spirit/mind/brain interface. From the perspective of a person receiving such a communication, the “message” would simply appear in the mind as a thought, picture, memory or emotion, or by the impression of a sound, smell or physical sensation as the body responds to the information.

Similarly, transmission would occur by simply thinking, visualizing, feeling, etcetera, the content to be communicated. Interestingly, visualization has become a popular technique among some New Age and humanist groups in the attempt to try to change reality. Such use and abuse of visualization is something else I will write more about later, but suffice it to say that even in its misuse the principles remain the same, only the motive or the intended recipient has changed.

The human mind already has a faculty that appears to fulfill all of the functions described above. It is called the imagination.

For some kinds of communication, e.g. thoughts, words and visions, the imagination is already able to place the information into the mind, with one of the only difficulties being for the mind to know where the thought, etc. came from. For things like physical or emotional feelings, the imagination needs to affect the body. However, such an ability is already well established, as evidenced by the abreaction of the body when a past trauma is remembered, or the rising up of fear, hatred or love when we learn of something happening to someone else, even in a fictional context such as a novel or a movie. We can even conjure up in our imagination details of something that never happened and feel what would be appropriate emotions or sensations as if it was a real event. Psychosomatic illness and many phobias are cases in point.

So, the human imagination provides all of the faculties that are needed for spirit to spirit communication, and I am convinced that this is an important function of the imagination, perhaps even its primary purpose. Yes, it is the faculty by which we create original ideas, but that is not surprising if creativity is actually a function of the human spirit, not the mind alone.

If humans are created in the image of God, who is infinitely creative (in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth with a word), and given that God, by definition, is a Spirit, then it surely follows that spirits create!

In one sense, spirit to spirit communication could be considered as a creative process, whereby one spiritual being creates a “message” directly in the imagination of another spiritual being.

Those of us who believe we have heard God’s voice, who have prophesied, seen a vision or “picture”, or received words of knowledge or wisdom, know that it just appears in the mind out of nowhere, and it takes experience to discern that we did not just imagine it or ‘make it up”.

So, when someone says, “You didn’t really hear God (or see an angel or demon, or have a vision), you just imagined it,” then they are partly right. You did imagine it, but that does not mean it didn’t really happen. It is extremely difficult for someone steeped in a tradition of intellectualism to grasp the possibility that the mind is not supreme.

If the role of imagination is as I have described above, then many otherwise esoteric subjects lose some of their mystique. In particular, consider prayer. True prayer is revealed to be an intimate, two-way communication between two persons, rather than the hit or miss, impersonal, ritualistic uttering of formulaic words so often practiced in and out of the church. Spiritual gifts such as prophecy, word of wisdom, word of knowledge, and interpretation of tongues become a natural outworking of the ability of the human spirit to listen to the Spirit of God. You can learn more about the practicalities of this at where you will find a complete course on hearing God’s voice, prayer, intercession, spiritual gifts, and more.

Even some human to human interactions become easier to understand, such as the bond of love between husband and wife, and the knowledge we often have on first meeting someone that they are, or are not, a person with whom we wish to have a relationship.

Given all of the above, we can see how important it is to develop and nurture our imaginative and creative abilities. Is it any wonder that children, until they become burdened with the knowledge and responsibilities of adult life, are so much more spiritually in tune with God and creation. This is especially so if they have not yet been told that they should put aside their childish fantasies and “grow up”.

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