ELIAS: “Reality and imagination may as well be synonymous, for without one, there would be no other. We will incorporate our exercise as an illustration. This will also incorporate other parts of this element that we have discussed previously. It will allow you to exercise your visualization and imagination. You have brought a picture of an animal. I am wishing you to place, in front of you, this picture. As I have said, this should not be a pet. In viewing this animal, I am wishing you, first, to imagine this animal’s natural environment. Now, in this environment, imagine yourself to be this animal. Feel what this animal feels. Think what this animal thinks. Connect with what this animal connects with. If it is an animal that hunts, visualize that part of that animal’s consciousness as being incorporated in its reality.
“It is its experience. It is not right or wrong, it is neutral. It is only its experience. If this animal is not a hunting animal, visualize its expression in its reality. Feel its connection to other animals, in similar focus to itself. How does it view its world? What does nature mean to this animal? What does this world mean to this animal?
“Imagine yourself so much a part of this creature that you can feel its coat. If you are possessing an animal that identifies with water, feel what this water feels like against your skin, for your skin is now different. It is that of this creature. Feel this temperature. Imagine this creature’s focus; what is important to it, what it does with its time, how it experiences time, which will be different from how you experience time.
“If this animal is flying, experience its wings, and its lifting above this earth, its communion with its environment. How does this animal commune with its young? How does it interact with others of its species? Now, think of this animal’s communication, for all creatures communicate. (Long pause, while we attempt this visualization)
“This exercise will allow you to see, and experience, and feel another focus in consciousness, other than your own. It will help to widen your perspective. It will also be helpful in bridging your gap, between you and what you view as nature. You feel separated from nature. You are just as much a part of it as this animal you have chosen to commune with, this evening. You are all interconnected. Their consciousness connects with you, and you with all of them, this actually being a wonderfully pleasant exercise that you may repeat, and enjoy every peaceful or exhilarating feeling of communion.
“It is also quite fascinating, the harmony you will experience in focusing your consciousness differently. This is why I have requested for you not to bring a photograph of a pet. You would not connect, and understand the same depth of consciousness, with a familiar animal. In [the] future, in practicing this exercise, you may wish to spend several minutes with each feeling that I have described for you. The more you incorporate your consciousness as not separate, the more you will lose your perception of ‘oranges’ and ‘sections.’ (1)
“Now, I will direct to your pictures of yourselves. For this exercise, we will focus in two different directions, giving you two different perspectives. First, I will instruct you to identify with this picture of yourself, knowing this is you, of course. It looks like you. You remember when this picture was taken. If you think about it, you can even identify feelings at that particular moment. Now, in identifying with you, yourself, we will divert momentarily. This may give you a point of reference, in identification of your essence.
“In remembering John, who originally was not from this country, begin with this thought. You are not originally from this country, in time. I am not speaking to you of geography. We are speaking of time as your country. Originally, you came from a specific country of time, in your essence. As you grew, you left home and ventured out on your own, moving to another country in time. Now, in moving to a new country, you must learn a new language. As you move through each country of time, and move farther from your home, you move from language to language. Eventually, your home language becomes dim, as was the case with John. He is originally from a European country, and spoke, quite fluently, that language as a child. He does not incorporate this language any longer, for he has forgotten. It is not spoken to him continuously. Therefore, he does not remember, just as you have incorporated new languages, and have forgotten your original language.
“At home, your parents, being the greater part of your essence, continue to send you messages and greetings. You receive them, but less and less frequently. You do not respond, for you have forgotten your native tongue. This is how you have incorporated your separation. Just as you, in physical development, separate individually, in growing and becoming independent and exploring, you have separated, for the purpose of exploring and experiencing independently, from your essence. The only difference in this scenario is that John will continue to separate, and not remember his native language. You will come full circle, and reconnect, and will incorporate your original language.
“It may be slightly easier for you to understand your issues of separation in understanding of tolerance, and incorporating more in your consciousness of yourself. View yourself once again. (Pause, while we all look at our pictures) Now, as viewing; Kasha [Bill], change color to Black; Joseph [Jo], change to Oriental; Lawrence [Vicki], change to South American; Elizabeth [Elizabeth], change to Aborigine; Olivia [Ron], change to European; Peter [Julie], change to Italian; Yarr [Jim], change to Indian. In viewing yourself in this picture, now view yourself as being of that orientation.
“See your skin change color. See your features change. Feel the culture incorporated with that focus. Think of the belief systems that are incorporated with that culture. How do you interact with another culture? How do you interact with the present you? Feel your native environment. Are you used to warm temperatures, and disliking of cold? Are you used to cold, and find this heat very distasteful? What is your commerce? How do you interact with your society? What does this person feel like, in this present time, in this country? (Another pause, again to attempt visualization)
“In examining other consciousness, you explore other parts of yourself. You have each felt other focuses, of other dimensions and other cultures. This may serve to widen your awareness of your essence. Your essence incorporates all focuses.
“... This exercise also will serve to instruct your consciousness, presently, in toleration. It is difficult to be intolerant of another individual, if you view this other individual as yourself. Your consciousness is connected. Your essences are connected. There is no separation. We will be hoping that there will be incorporation of these things into your consciousness more readily.
“... This group of exercises are illustrations of imagination, but, as you experience imagination, you will show yourself that you feel what you are focusing on. If you are focusing on an otter, in allowing your imagination to soar, you may physically feel water through its fur. You may physically feel the coolness of the water. You may experience the joy of its playfulness, and its lack of care of the world around it.” [session 20, July 09, 1995]
(1) Paul’s note: Elias uses the metaphor of orange sections to show that there is no separation within consciousness, that it’s all connected. He says that we create the artificial division of sections where none really exist. The same is true with our physical selves and our essence.
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