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22.1 We will talk much more of imagining now, and you may, at first, be resistant to this instruction. To imagine is too often associated with daydreaming, fiction, or make-believe, and these functions are all prescribed to be for certain parts of your life and for certain times that you deem appropriate. Please assure yourself, as I assure you, that now is an appropriate time, an essential time, for such activity. Your thoughts regarding imagining and imagination will change with your change in perspective on use. You will no longer be using your imagination but letting your imagination be of service to you.
22.2 We will be letting images serve as learning devices. They will enhance our use of language so that our language becomes one for both head and heart. We will begin by discussing the concept of intersection and look at it as a passing-through that establishes a partnership or relationship. While we have previously discussed relationship as not being one thing or the other but a third something, we have not as yet discussed how this relationship is provided in form. Now we will do so.
22.3 A prime image of this idea is provided by the axis. A line passes through a circle and the circle revolves around the line, or axis. Imagine a globe spinning around its axis. You know that the globe is representative of the Earth. What you less frequently picture is the relationship between the globe and the axis, even though you realize the axis allows the globe to spin.
22.4 A second and equally worthy image is that of a needle passing through material. Of itself, it can hold two pieces of material together. With the addition of thread passed through the eye of the needle, it can bind many parts in many different configurations.
22.5 A needle can also pass through something like an onion, piercing many layers. While such a piercing has no intrinsic value in terms of purpose, it provides an image of a straight line passing through not one, but many layers of another substance.
22.6 Intersection is often seen as a division between rather than as a relationship among. The illustrations used here, however, concentrate upon a passing through rather than upon an idea of division, and they help to show that even what is divided by intersection remains whole.
22.7 The image of intersection is simply meant to represent the point where the world intersects with you—where your path crosses that of others, where you encounter situations in your daily life, where you experience those things that cause you to feel or believe in a certain way—and it is at this point of intersection that not only relationship, but partnership is found. The partnership of axis to globe, and of needle and thread to material, is easily seen. In these two examples, the partnership creates something that did not previously exist by providing a function and a purpose for each. In the case of the needle and the onion, partnership is less apparent because function and purpose are not apparent. Partnership is thus equated with productive intersection rather than intersection itself.
22.8 Meaning is similarly interpreted. Intersections that create function and purpose are deemed meaningful. Intersections that seem to have no function or purpose are deemed meaningless. The act of passing through is, of itself, seen as of little consequence.
22.9 Yet it is the passing through that creates the intersection. Everything within your world and your day must pass through you in order to gain reality. While you might think of this as everything outside of yourself, please, when thinking of this, use the words I have provided: everything within your world. In the act of pass-through you assign meaning to everything within your world. The meaning you assign becomes the reality of the object you have assigned meaning to. You have seen your purpose as one of assigning meaning to that which intersects with you in a given way that you deem as purposeful. Yet it is in the passing through that meaning occurs of itself.
22.10 Further, it is the part of you through which everything within your world passes and your awareness of it that determines the meaning you give it. You are much more like unto the layers of the onion than the globe, with everything within your world needing to pass through layers with a seeming lack of purpose for the passing through.
22.11 You might think of the axis for a moment as a funnel through which eternity is poured and a whole heart as that which can allow free pass-through of all that is provided.
22.12 In contrast, the layered approach to intersection causes you to feel as if external forces are bombarding you. These forces must pass through one or another of your five senses—which you might think of collectively as layers—and are allowed no other access. These forces must then be directed. Often great effort is expended keeping these forces from piercing your heart, the center of yourself. You instead deflect them, using your mind, which might be considered another layer, to send them to various compartments—or, continuing with the onion theme, to one of the various layers of yourself. These layers protect your heart, and a great percentage of them are involved with denial, with creating places where things enter and simply sit. These “things” are not really things, but are all that you have found no meaning for. Since your function is seen as assigning meaning rather than receiving meaning, that which you consider meaningless sits, and that which you consider beyond meaning sits. You might imagine yourself as the creator of an unfinished dictionary, and all that is sitting as that to which you have determined you will, at some later date, get around to assigning meaning.
22.13 The “meaningless” category might include such things as the happenings of your daily routine, chance encounters, illness, or accidents, while in the “beyond meaning” category exists the relationship that broke your heart, grief, poverty, war, the events that seemed to alter your destiny, the search for God. By using the word sit, I mean to imply that these things have not passed through you and in the act of passing through formed a relationship and a partnership with you.
22.14 While passing through would seem to imply an entry and exit point, the relationship developed during the pass-through continues. Just as wind or water passing through an entry and exit point has an impact and a motion, so does what passes through you provide the movement of your journey. What passes through you is transformed by the relationship with you just as surely as you are transformed by the relationship with it.
22.15 When you remove yourself from the self-held position of “meaning-giver,” you let things be what they are and, allowed to be what they are, their meaning is naturally revealed. What this takes is a pass-through approach and a relinquishment of the idea of bringing things to a stop where they can be examined under a microscope quite apart from their relationship to you or to anything else.
22.16 Imagine yourself brought to such a halt and examined apart from everything else within your world. Anyone wanting to learn anything about you would be wiser to observe you as you are within your world. Would you still be the same person in a laboratory? Are you still who you are when another takes you into his or her mind and assigns meaning to you?
22.17 You have made of yourself a laboratory where you bring everything for examination, categorization, testing, and filing away. This is the scenario that separates you from everything else within your world. Everything has meaning only according to what it means to you and not as what it is.
22.18 Obviously two kinds of meaning are being talked about. The first we talked of earlier as the finding of truth. The second is what we are talking of here, the finding of a definition, a personal meaning. Can you see the difference?
22.19 The personal and individual is the “I” we are dispelling. Think a moment of how you tell a story or report on events that have taken place within your life. You personalize. You are likely to report on what a certain set of circumstances meant “to you.” This kind of thinking is thinking with the small “I.” “I saw.” “I felt.” “I thought.” “I did.” The individual, personal, separated self is at the center of all such stories. One quite literally cannot conceive of the story without the “I.” Yet this you must learn to do, and this task is given you as an exercise.
22.20 Begin to imagine life passing through you rather than getting stopped for examination at its intersection with you. Begin to imagine seeing the world without the emphasis on your personal self. Begin to form sentences and eventually to tell stories without the use of the “I” pronoun. This will seem, at first, as if it is depersonalizing the world and making it less intimate. It will seem as if you are shirking some primal responsibility to assign meaning to everything. Rather than resisting this, strive to cease giving meaning. Start quite simply. Go from the broad to the specific. For example, when you walk out your door in the morning you might generally think, “What a lovely day.” What this sentence says is that you have immediately taken in your surroundings and judged them. It is a lovely day “to you.” The day has all or most of the requirements you find pleasing in a day. Replace such a thought with: “The grass is green. The birds are singing. The sun is warm.” Simple reporting.
22.21 When you are asked questions such as, “How was your day?” respond as much as possible without using the word “I” or “my.” Quit referring to people and things in terms of ownership, saying “my boss,” “my husband,” “my car.”
22.22 This removal of the personal “I” is but a first step to returning you to the consciousness of unity, a first step in going beyond meaning as definition to meaning as truth. As odd and impersonal as it will seem at first, I assure you the feeling of impersonality will be replaced quickly with an intimacy with your surroundings that you never felt before.
22.23 This intimacy itself will allow you to see your “self” as an integral part of all that exists within your world rather than as the small and insignificant personal self you generally accept as your “self.” By eliminating the personal, the universal becomes available. As the universal becomes available, you will have no desire for the personal. Even so, you will find that what you consider your individuality or uniqueness is very much intact, but that it is different than you have always imagined it to be. You will find that you fulfill a grand purpose, and have a wonderful part to play in a grand design. You will not feel cheated by losing your separated self. You will feel free.
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