Thoughts on Imagination
By V.H. Frater Resurgam (Edmund William Berridge)
The uninitiated interpret Imagination as something ‘imaginary’ in the popular sense of the word; i.e. something unreal. But imagination is a reality.
When a man imagines he actually creates a form on the Astral or even on some higher plane; and this form is as real and objective to intelligent beings on that plane, as our earthly surroundings are to us.
This form, which Imagination creates may have only a transient existence, productive of no important results; or it may be vitalised and then used for good or evil.
To practice magic, both the Imagination and the Will must be called into action, they are co-equal in the work. Nay more, the Imagination must precede the Will in order to produce the greatest possible effect.
The Will unaided can send forth a current, and that current cannot be wholly inoperative; yet its effect is vague and indefinite, because the Will unaided sends forth nothing but the current or force.
The Imagination unaided can create an image and this image must have an existence of varying duration; yet it can do nothing of importance, unless vitalised and directed by the Will.
When, however, the two are conjoined – when the Imagination creates an image – and the Will directs and uses that image, marvellous magical effects may be obtained.
The following instances may serve to illustrate the operation of magical projection, which I have practised myself, and partly taught.
But here a caution is necessary – though this method became known to me by study and reflection before I was initiated into the G.D. (Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn), so I only deemed it safe to entrust the process to two others, who I knew could be trusted.
It must never be forgotten that an occult process, which may be used for good may also be used for evil. A black magician possessed of this knowledge might strengthen himself thereby, and protect himself from the danger of the recoil of his own evil actions on the occult plane, and so become energised for further evil. Added to which – one knowledge leads to another, and a single clue may lead to further important discoveries.
The more I reflect on the matter, the more I feel convinced that this knowledge should not pass beyond our Order.
A few years ago, I noticed that invariably after a prolonged interview with a certain person, I felt exhausted.
At first, I thought it only the natural result of a long conversation with a prosy, fldgetty, old gentleman; but later it dawned upon me, that being a man of exhausted nervous vitality, he was really preying upon me. I don’t suppose that he was at all externally conscious that he possessed a vampire organisation, for he was a benevolent kind-hearted man, who would have shrunk in horror from such a suggestion.
Nevertheless, he was, in his inner personality an intentional vampire, for he acknowledged that he was about to marry a young wife in order, if possible, to recuperate his exhausted system.
The next time, therefore, that he was announced, I closed myself to him, before he was admitted. I imagined that I had formed myself a complete investiture of odic fluid, surrounding me on all sides, but not touching me, and impenetrable to any hostile currents.
This magical process was immediately and permanently successful – I never had to repeat it.
A lady, hoping to develop herself spiritually had allowed herself to become passively mediumistic, and her health began to fail.
On one occasion, feeling very weak, she asked me to mesmerise her. I availed myself of this opportunity, and while apparently only making mesmeric passes over her I occultly surrounded her with a protective aura as in my own case. The result was successful, she improved in strength, and, as a well-known student of occultism observed to me, ‘she looked more human’; and with all this, her mediumistic experiences ceased. Had she followed my advice, and held herself positive; I believe she would have fully recovered her health and strength; but she again drifted back into her former condition of passive mediumship, her health broke down, and after a lingering illness, she died.
I had not been initiated into the G.D. then, or should have afterwards used the Banishing Pentagram for my own protection. About two weeks after, I had a vivid dream that I was endeavouring to evoke an elemental, which attacked me, causing a sudden choking in the throat, and an electric shock in the body. The dream had an astrological meaning; and at the same time I believe it had a physical basis and that same vampirising spirit which had been preying on its victim, determined to attack me, in revenge for having thwarted its designs.
A lady asked my occult aid against a man whom she often met, whose presence invariably made her exhausted and ill.
He had bad health, and I judged it to be another case of vampirising.
I obtained a description of this man, but without telling the process, or when I would undertake it.
First, I imagined they stood facing each other; then I interposed a shield of defence. I then formed round her a complete investiture of odic fluid. (The phrase ‘odic fluid’ is derived from nineteenth-centry mesmerism. It is roughly equivalent to the Astral Light of Levi and the Akasha of the Theosophists. Francis King). I also made the ordinary Invoking Pentagram upon her for protection. The injurious effects which she had formerly experienced never returned and she remained ever completely passive to him.
A lady told me of a man who exercised a peculiar fascination over her; she was always thinking of him, although she did not care for him.
As I had received some intimation that he had some acquaintance with Voodoo magic I determined to sever the chain. I imagined they stood facing each other and that he had thrown out currents of odic fluid, which had entangled her in their meshes. Then I imagined a sword in my hand with which I severed them, and then with a torch burnt up the ends of the filaments still floating round her.
The unnatural fascination soon ceased and in a few months, their acquaintance came to an end.
A man complained to me, that some years ago, he was constantly having another man make use of a peculiarly profane expression, which ever after haunted him, obtruding itself into his mind at the most inopportune times.
It seemed to me that the words constituted what the Oriental occultists call a mantram; that is, a word or phrase which can produce occult effects by setting up vibrations in the akasa.
I judged that some elemental had been vitalised thereby, and had attached itself to a sensitive. I advised him the next time the phrase troubled him – first to imagine he saw before him some horrible creature as the embodiment of the profanity itself – next to hold this creature firmly before him, and then to send forth an occult dynamite shell, penetrating into the elemental, and then exploding and blowing it to atoms.
When I next saw him he said that he had not succeeded in disintegrating the elemental, but that he had driven it away, and was now very little troubled by it.
One further caution may be made in conclusion.
While it is always lawful, and often advisable, to consult with some higher Adept before commencing any important magical work; yet, in every other direction, absolute secrecy must be maintained until the work be done. If it be talked about to others it tends to decentralise it, and so dissipate the force, besides running the risk of meeting with inharmonious currents from their minds.
If it be mentioned to the one on whose behalf the work is done, it tends to disturb his equilibrium by causing a state of nervous expectancy, which is unfavourable for the reception of the Occult good intended.
By V.H. Frater N.O.M. (William Wynn Westcott)
The paper now read by our V.H. Frater Resurgam seems to me to require a preliminary chapter of introductory and more simple matter.
His remarks are valuable, and his instances are such as you may yet each possibly attain to the performance of; they are a credit to himself.
I can only add a few notes.
Imagination must be distinguished from Fancy – from mere roving thoughts, or empty visions: By it we now mean an orderly and intentional mental process, and result.
Imagination is the Creative Faculty of the human mind, the plastic energy – the Formative Power.
In the language of Esoteric Theosophists, the power of the Imagination to create thought forms is called KRIYA SAKTI, that is the mysterious power of thought which enables it to produce external phenomenal, perceptible results by its own inherent energy when fertilised by the Will.
It is an ancient Hermetic dogma that any idea can be made to manifest externally if only, by culture, the art of concentration be obtained; just similarly is an external result produced by a current of Will Force.
The Qabalah taught that man, by his creative power through Will and Thought, was more Divine than Angels; for he can create – they cannot. He is a step nearer the Demiurgos, the Creative Deity – even now that he is encased in matter – nearer than the Angelic Hosts although each Angel is a Spirit only – and not tainted with matter.
Even the orthodox conception of an Angel is that of a being who executes commands and not of one who originates, creates, and acts ‘de novo.’