Imagine … a new way of defining your world
Awaken Forums is pleased to announce the Chrysalis Project initiative to deliver it’s workshops at no cost to the people served by non-profit or community service agencies. If you are a non-profit service organization and would like to have us deliver a workshop to the people you serve please contact us. or Call 850-725-0527
The 'Nature' of the Chrysalis Project - an analogy;
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For while knowledge defines all we currently know and understand, imagination points to all we might yet discover and create.” - Albert Einstein
Hello, my name is Donald Gordon Carty, Welcome. Let’s take a short walk you and I along this path.
Imagination means the formation of a mental image of something that is not perceived as real and is not present to the senses. For instance when I ask you if you are familiar with the metamorphosis of the butterfly, there arises instantly in your mind a picture of a caterpillar, a chrysalis, butterflies as you saw them and of other things that impressed you most; perhaps the leaves of green eaten from your favourite flowers in your garden because of the caterpillars insatiable appetite, a jade green chrysalis hanging on the underside of a leaf, or the figure of some beautifully coloured butterfly fluttering around sipping nectar and pollinating those very same flowers. If you have never been there or seen this, you have no images in your mind; or, if you know of this process and seen this only in photographs or movies, or, what you where taught in school, your imagining power is restricted to that. We can reproduce, faintly or vividly, only that which in some way we have known by means of the sense-experience.
“Awareness is the single most important pre-requisite for successful personal development and spiritual growth, and the single most under-taught skill.”
Personal growth and development may at times require extra-ordinary changes, as, for instance, the change from caterpillar to butterfly. In such a change there is a committal of a living form into a condition that may look almost like death. Most of us are familiar with the metamorphosis of the butterfly. So here is what biologists are telling us about a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. Once the caterpillar sheds its skin for the last time a chrysalis emerges to become a protective shell for the caterpillar inside. Although the chrysalis looks lifeless, near death, the dieing decaying over consumptive body of the caterpillar inside is literally liquefied, turned into a soup. And within this soup there are a number of cells, that scientists actually call ‘imaginal cells.’ Scientists say these cells are dreaming, they are imagining the birth of a butterfly.
“If you change the way you see a thing the thing you see will change”
These 'imaginal cells' are so completely different from the original cells of the caterpillar that it’s immune system perceives them as enemies, a sort of virus and immediately attacks them. The imaginal cells though continue to appear, in even greater numbers, recognizing each other, bonding together, until the new cells are numerous enough to organize into little clusters. The dieing decaying liquefied body of the caterpillar becomes a nutritious soup and the culture medium in which the imaginal cells grow. And one day as more of these clusters of imaginal cells discover and connect with one another, they reach what is called a critical threshold. On that day, from this apparent “death”, beyond the knowledge of the caterpillar, a gene that has lied dormant and asleep, awakens. This gene contains a new information code, a new pattern, and what was once the essence of a caterpillar now becomes the creation of a new form… a butterfly.
“by changing our thinking we change our lives”- William James
Imagination isn’t just the province of artists and great minds. Every one of us is blessed with this amazing capacity for self-renewal, this gift of the mind….Imagination. Through the power of our imaginations we can change our thoughts
If the imaginal cell is a quiet little thought somewhere in the back corner of your mind telling you that you could make extraordinary changes in yourself to become less like the caterpillar and more like the butterfly, then know that many people have done it before you and many more will follow your lead. You will know when you are meant to grow, and change by recognizing the reoccurring theme of those tiny little imaginal cells creating inspirational thoughts within the silence of your mind. These new thoughts, like the imaginal cells within the caterpillar, will come under attack, by your old thinking and understanding of your current self. Your new thoughts, like the imaginal cells within the caterpillar, will continue to appear, as if on faith alone, a faith born of the imagination. And the belief that something greater exists, if not right now, it exists as potential. With this new knowledge, these new thoughts begin to cluster together into new patterns of thinking, creating themes of healing change, themes of growth, and themes of becoming something completely different then who you were before. You will have to claim that which is beautiful within so that you can fly and inspire others to look within at their own imaginal cells.
“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the rest of the world calls butterfly” - Richard Bach
Close your eyes and clear your head of all thoughts. Concentrate your imagination on a single image: You, changed. What you look like. What you sound like. How you act. And of paramount importance, how you feel. This awakens your sense-experience. Through every step of your change journey, never let these images escape your thoughts. The more you imagine your change, the more you will become it. This ideal sense-experience within the imagining creates independent thinking, independent of circumstance, restriction, situation, and your awareness expands allowing this new image to come into expression.
"Imagination is inherent in every mind, though not to the same degree."
A little six year old girl who was in a drawing class was sitting in the back, and the teacher said that this little girl hardly paid attention, and in this drawing lesson she did. And the teacher was fascinated and said to the little girl “what are you drawing, and the little girl said, “I’m drawing a picture of God” and the teacher said, “but nobody knows what God looks like” and the little girl said “they will in a minute”
What is this but imagination in an early and somewhat amusing phase? One could follow this little girl throughout the years to come, and see all the general changes in the life of imagination. In infancy and youth it exercises itself in romance; in the serious years it turns more toward reality, and it is these graver concerns that continue to occupy our attention even now.
At the core of awaken’s workshops – we live in some set of circumstances that we define as “this is the reality” and big parts of it we don’t like. What I encourage you to find, rather, - I let you discover for yourself – this is not the reality this is a reality. Our life is a construct, and living it is a process. If you are ready to commit to a new way of defining your world in the fullness of faith and hope, then you are ready to enter the chrysalis project.
I enjoyed our short walk together. Perhaps we shall once again meet along this path.
Donald Gordon Carty, Thank You.