Fantasy vs Imagination


Here is this month’s article written for Nexus’s Holistic Magazine. This piece is a short analysis of the difference between imagination and fantasy as discussed by “A Course in Miracles” and Law of Attraction theory.

17 thoughts on “Fantasy vs Imagination

  1. You bring up a good point about ACIM that Lisa and I talk about a lot – the semantics are not always clear, especially between words with similar meanings or even the use of the same words that have oh-so different applications to what is being taught by the course. I’ve been imagining 🙂 ways to write about clarifying the semantics.

    • I talked to Lisa about this, too. I’m a wordsmith and I have to say this took me a really long time to grasp. I’m not sure I grasped it right away when i was studing ACIM, but as I read and listened more to Abraham Hicks the difference began to really stand out. Is there another you have been working through? Same word with oh-so different applications?

      • The most common are use of “I” and “mind” in ACIM. It uses both for ego mind or separate identity and for the soul often. Even in a single lesson title it can use them with different meanings. Lisa and I have discussed too how the Course’s teachings, when the reader/student may not see when these different meanings are implied, can easily have a very different understanding.

      • This is also very common in Buddhist and meditation teachings. That we use I/mind/ego almost interchangeably. Then, of course, there is the huge changes in culture and history. My association with “ego” comes form a psychtherpeutic background so has this whole flavor to it, that say a meditator in Sri Lanka may not have at all. Which then always reminds me that at no time to do I ever truly stop being both teacher and student. For in any moment, what you think your role is could absolutely change, as someone points out a point of view you know nothing about. Thanks for chiming in, my friend.

  2. I was just sharing with Julie on our FaceTime session yesterday that you had inspired me to write a blog post on Imagination versus Fantasy after our exchange on your post for Where The Wild Things Are and she told me about this post of yours….now I shall be a copy cat!!!! When I do manage to put it together I will reference this post and hope I can write something at least half as eloquent. I strongly believe that realizing the difference between the two is a key element to detaching from ego based thinking and in our studies of big blue;-). Wonderful wonderful post Noelle!!!

    • Actually, I would love it if you would write your own piece as you planned and I’ll tag it here. I think we could come at this many ways and from different voices and there would be still more room for many more voices on the topic. I think it’s difficult for people to understand so really, please write your piece as you planned. My article for Nexus was spurred off of our conversation, too. This is truly what co-creating and healing the planet is about, I think. Thinkers and writers telling the story of love from many angles, over and over again. Using each other to lift up a collective voice that says you don’t have to remain in your suffered mind and heart. You can feel better. You can heal. You can wake up to the love in your heart.

      • Excellent!! Thank you for the vote of confidence Noelle and I am so happy to be a part of the collective voice with you. I often wonder why ACIM has to be such a maze of confusion, but that seems to be the way with spiritual teachings. We must learn it for ourselves to benefit from the wisdom. Here is to all of us waking up to the love in our heart each and every morning.

  3. Here! Here! Honestly, I loved what I learned from ACIM, but never liked the book. I found it very tedious to read, which, I think is why I like yours and Julie’s posts, because it’s pre-digested down into easy themes. There’s a group in Boulder that is channeling the work, “Steps to Knowledge”. It feels very ACIM, but in more modern language. Abraham Hicks work feels like a further extension and different language, but same message of ACIM. You hear those themes in Ramtha’s work and the Seth books and so on. I see these ideas swirling about the planet and they feed in from many sources. Buddhism, Sufism, poets like Rumi and Hafiz and the work of Tolle. Each person picks up an idea from their own perspective and then shares it. There are so many with new ears learning and thinking and seeing. Each of us has something to contribute to the whole. So bring it on sister girl! I, for one, am ready.

    • Understanding what appears to me now as a simple concept has taken years for me to figure out. I would say on the front end its very difficult to understand the subtly in meaning. Now, when my mind wanders down negative tracks I catch it much faster and often laugh. “Whoa now…. Where ya goin’ with that brain? Did you really just spend ten minutes of your life making up scenarios off things that annoyed you in a staff meeting you almost fell asleep in?” I question myself a lot about what I choose to entertain. It’s amazing how much of it is not true, can’t be proven, has no real meaning to me, won’t improve anything for thinking it, or worse, actually makes me feel bad about myself by thinking it. The Greatest myth humanity has ever purported is that we are mostly sane as a species except for a few, when it is really the opposite. We are mainly insane except for a few. Most of us have in our heads a Shakespearan chorus chattering away about the day’s events made up of mostly chihuahuas.

      • Are we capable of controlling what we choose to entertain? I can train myself to behave or react differently, but I don’t know if I can change my emotional blueprint. (maybe if I could get a frontal lobotomy, and don’t think I haven’t thought about it….)

        If we’re to train ourselves, isn’t that an attempt to suppress our natural or raw emotions? Or at a minimum change who we are or who we appear to be to others? I’m told I should be comfortable in my own skin and in being myself, but sometimes “being myself” means being overly critical, sarcastic, generally unpleasant, or maybe… insane. 😉

        Here’s where it gets Inception-level confusing: the fact that we’re entertaining the thought of not entertaining these thoughts conflicts with the very idea of not entertaining these kind of thoughts.

        My head hurts.

      • Reading your note gave me quite the laugh. You have asked the essential questions of the mystics, with the exception of one. “Who is having this entire discussion in my head? Who is watching the thoughts that float through and pondering if I should think them?” Yes, it is very circuitous, but we make it harder than it probably has to be.

        Can we choose what we think about? Yes. We are raised in such a reactive environment that we come to think that we are just figures that respond, rather that actual creators of the reality we are in. All the world’s great leaders teach this from Buddha and Jesus to Eckhart Tolle and Louise Hay. It is the point of meditation to some degree. To come to the point where you detach your emotional reaction to the various thoughts that ramble on through. People think meditation is about not thinking. It isn’t. It’s about not reacting to what you think. If we attach no emotion to our thought it just keeps moving out. For example, I see a guy wearing a red shirt. I have no attachment or reaction to man or red shirt, so the thought keeps going. I see a photograph for some animal shelter with a neglected animal and my reaction is immediate. I have emotional attachment to the idea of cruelty to animals. That reaction says that thought is now a player in my thinking and in my entire reality. Our life is built on what we respond to. Before the reaction it’s just a poster on a billboard. After the reaction it’s a storyline I now own and operate on. It doesn’t just affect the moment I see the billboard, but my stress or agitation begins to fuel my thinking about the suffering of all animals which spreads to the suffering of all people, my own suffering and those I love. It sets off a cascade of sorts. We have many of these cascade-type reations happening all the time. The guy that comes home and kicks his dog wasn’t angry or upset with the dog in that moment. He started that ball rolling hours, days and maybe even years earlier, We tend to think I have a feeling and then I have thoughts about that feeling, but actually it’s the other way around. I have a thought and react to that thought with a feeling. The greater the feeling, the greater power that thought has to influence our life.

        The thing is, we don’t see how much we’re building these huge streams of suffering. Leap frogging about, because we don’t take responsibility for our thoughts and reactions to them. We are not mindful to the small thoughts that rocket through as we react to various events in our life. We only know that we are upset and see life happening to us, rather than from us.

        All emotions are, are a GPS system. That’s it. They tell you what you are generating in terms of a life. So if your thoughts lean toward criticism and you feel the tension of wanting to criticize and the feelings of guilt after criticisizing someone in a way that doesn’t feel good to you, those feelings are telling you that you are out of alignment with your better nature. Which, for the record, actually does exist. You didn’t come into this world unpleasant, sarcastic or critical. Those are all learned behaviors. Your emotions, especially the ones that feel bad when you engage in those behaviors are just telling you what you are doing, so that you can choose differently.

        Fantastic questions. I am sure you weren’t expecting such a long response.

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