(THIS IS A GUEST BLOG FROM PEOPLE DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATE - JUDY JOHNSON)
Is it possible to see a better world into being?
The answer for the Brahma Kumaris is a resounding 'YES'. Our philosophy and spiritual practice is based on the understanding that, as spiritual beings, we have the ability and power to transform the world. Seeing the best in ourselves and others, consistently over time, we will transform our individual consciousness. Then the practical collective expression of our better selves will create a better world to live in.
We come to the idea of seeing, with the experience of our physical eyes. They see colour and texture in the form of light and dark rippling across the surface of shapes that move. The physical eyes allow us to see what is in front of us. However, the inner eye and a vivid imagination can create worlds which feel so real they transport us into new experiences.
Seeing into being describes the power of the human mind
to create through use of the imagination.
Inner seeing is, in fact, a prerequisite to bringing something into being. Most good ideas start as a picture in the mind. An architectural framework is built with the imagination long before physical hands are able to replicate the image in the outer world. The world’s greatest inventions began as drawings, sometimes on physical paper, sometimes in the mind of the inventor.
Seeing a picture in the inner world of the mind's eye can be pleasing and comforting. It may lead me to sit quietly and reflect on what I see. Or it may serve as a call to action, inspiring me to bring the idea into being in the world outside my mind. Sometimes a mental picture has such traction that it demands creation, instigating a person to act even when the idea does not seem possible.
Visualization is a powerful tool used by sports psychologists and athletes as a way to break through habits of thought. Having performed at a certain level of accomplishment (speed, distance, height, etc.) an athlete begins to believe this is the limit of their potential. Engaging the power of the imagination to create a picture of higher performance activates the will to stretch beyond the known threshold. By visualizing personal success in a race, the physiology of an athlete's body is compelled to respond.
In the same way leadership and life coaches ask us to imagine our ideal scenario for success as a way to help us strive to create it. Then they help us design and commit to daily practices that will form new habits, ultimately resulting in the practical expression of our ideal. In this way, visualization is an intentional use of the mind and imagination as a tool to translate seeing into being.
If I can see it I can create it
If I cannot see it, I will not be able to create it
As human beings we share ideas with each other through language, art, theatre, visual expression and music. Ideas paint pictures in our minds. These pictures become our living reality as they frame and shape the world we create.
Let’s try something. Imagine a green field stretching to the horizon. Speckles of bright yellow, pink and purple wild flowers are splashed across the green. The sky is blue. The sun rises above the horizon, bathing the sky with the orange and red of a sunrise announcing a new day. Dew drops sparkle like diamonds on the field. You touch the grass with your bare feet and wriggle your toes in the coolness. The air smells like the new growth of spring. You turn towards the sun and enjoy the warmth as it spreads across your face. The earth is fresh, the world is new. Around you there are people walking into the field, joining you to greet the new day. Their faces are radiant with happiness, their eyes smile gently with love. The world is at peace.
Can you picture it? How does this scene make you feel?
Perhaps we are seeing the same thing? Or perhaps your field is bigger than mine, or smells slightly more earthy. You have probably filled in the details from your memories of other fields, sunny days, and dew drops, your own memories of nature as you have known it in its most pure and pristine form. And you may be feeling the way you do in nature.
I am imagining this scene while sitting in a cafe in Canada in March of 2016. I can see snow outside the window, a contrast to the sunny field. I do not know what you are seeing with your physical eyes as you read this. Perhaps you are in a crowded city, or you are reading this in a country too hot and arid to have green fields. Yet, although separated by time and space, we are seeing the same thing with our minds. This simple picture has been transmitted from me to you, a telepathy of sorts, once considered magic, impossible to prove, and yet, here we are, seeing the same thing. The idea from my mind has travelled through time and space to take shape in your mind. The idea came as a picture and created a feeling.
The purpose of this experiment is to show, dear reader, that seeing is very powerful. Pictures and ideas are contagious and can stimulate memories, bringing an experience into being. Ideas for changing our world begin in the mind. Big ideas for creating a better world must capture the heart as well as the imagination, awakening a longing to change, a longing to step beyond the known comfort zone into something new. Where do these ideas come from? How do they get traction?
The good things in life, the things we long for - love, peace and happiness - have no pictures. We cannot see love; rather it is an experience, a feeling. The same is true for peace and happiness. However, we associate our deepest, sweetest feelings with pictures of the people or scenes where we experienced them. The feelings and associated pictures are stored as memories. They are awakened when we see something that reminds us of them. Once we remember, the mind opens to a new way of seeing: with feelings, with heart. When we remember something familiar but forgotten, the longing to experience it again creates the traction required for action. We re-create the known.
People are consistently drawn to beauty, simplicity and order, drawn to kind, respectful, accepting environments. We are inspired by goodness, humility and the innocence of children. At this time the human heart is longing for the experience of kindness, acceptance, respect and peace. And we share a common picture in the mind’s eye of what it can look like. When asked to describe their idea of heaven or a better world, most people (including those who do not believe in heaven) describe a similar place. It has a lovely clean environment, everyone is treated with respect, everyone is safe and cared for and we all live in peace.
What is encouraging about the consistency of people’s response is that, from the perspective of rebirth or reincarnation, we have all been there. Everyone has a memory of a beautiful time within them, stored as feelings and images buried in the subconscious and carried across the centuries.
Our longings are expressions of our deepest memories, of what we see from our past. They draw us to replicate the conditions in which we first experienced them, driving our desire to create a better world. Therefore, in order to see a new world into being, we need to create more experiences of goodness, innocence and kindness in the world as it is. Then, over time, we will begin to see and believe in the possibility of a new world.
Let’s go back to the field. Only this time imagine you are stepping up into a field of higher consciousness, a field where it is possible for minds to connect and beautiful memories to be seen in full expression. As you arrive, imagine that there are thousands who, like you in this moment, are imagining a beautiful world. The power of our combined concentrated thoughts bends around time and space, surrounding the world with a blanket of generative energy.
As you lift your awareness above and beyond the threshold of daily living, consider the possibility that there is an even higher energy field, drawing you up beyond the limits of what you consider possible and empowering you to create the blueprint of feelings and pictures buried in your memory.
Although the pictures may not be clear, the longing to create a better world is growing. When we give pictures to these feelings we begin the practical process of bringing them into being without waiting for evidence of their possibility. It is only by creating evidence that something truly new - beyond the known and accepted - can be brought into being.
A beautiful world will come from our collective positive dreams.
Join me in the field.
Judy Johnson has been active in the field of experiential learning, leadership development and organizational effectiveness for 35 years. She acts as a facilitator, consultant and coach to managers, directors and teams in health care, government, private and community based organizations in N. America, Europe, Latin America and Asia. She holds a Bachelor of Social Work and a Masters of Adult Education.
Judy is known for her insight and her ability to go into the depth of a subject in a light & entertaining way. She uses a balance of reflective, creative and interactive activities to assist individuals and groups to use their natural wisdom, talents and inner power to create and sustain constructive forward momentum in their organizations.
She is the author of several books including a young adult spiritual adventure novel (Seven Secrets of the Universe) and is a mother. She studies Raja Yoga meditation and currently coordinates the activities of the Brahma Kumaris Meditation Centre in Halifax, Canada.