“As the rope which cannot be perceived distinctly in the dark, is changed by imagination into various forms, such as a serpent, or a streak of water, so is the Self, Atma, changed by imagination into various forms. …
“The Self is imagined to take the forms of the life-breaths and numberless other forms; this is the magical glamor of the God, whereby Himself is concealed from view. Those who believe in the Life see Him as Life; … those who believe in the Nature-powers see Him as the Nature powers; those who believe in the forms of matter, see Him as the forms of matter. Those who see the four degrees of consciousness, perceive Him as the four stages of consciousness; … Those who believe in sacrifices, see Him in sacrifices; … Those who think of time, see Him in Time; those who think of space, see Him in space; … those who dwell on thought, think of Him as pure thought; …” ~Mandukya Upanishad
In The Dark
It is hard to see in the dark, and the dark allows our imaginations to run amok. The demons and devils are knows as creatures of the dark mainly because they lack God’s Light, but also because the dark is their playground, especially the dark of ignorance.
We have probably all seen pictures of primitive people worshiping their image of a flying god that was actually a small airplane flying over them for the first time. We have also heard about the Native Americans who actually could not see the ships of Columbus when he landed because their imaginations dis not allow for such huge boats to exist (I wonder what they would thing of a modern cruise ship!)
We see only what we believe is possible, and we see things not as they actually are, but as we think they should be.
True Form Without Imagination
The true form of Self and the true knowledge and form of God is not something comprehensible by the brain-mind limited to knowledge of the physical. The brain-mind can speculate on the spiritual, but it can never actually know them so it uses imagination to form an image of them.
If, for example, I told you that an “unga” was a fruit, how a person who’s only knowledge of fruit was apples would visualize it would be very different from the person who only knew bananas. What’s more, at some later time if they were asked what an “unga” was, the one might say it was similar to an apple, while the other would insist it was like a banana. But a person who was familiar with many kinds of fruits would have little idea what an “unga” was, and ask for more of a description.
In order to see things in their true form, we must have no preconceived notions or imaginary images of that thing. If we see God as an old man sitting on a cloud, it is unlikely that the true God can be revealed to us. If we see our true Self as nothing more than an advanced ape, than that is all we can be and our true Self, or Spiritual Self, will never awaken.
So open up your imagination, open your mind, and most of all, awaken your spirit and soul so that you have the ability to “see” the spiritual, and then you can climb out of the dark pit and the shadows of Plato’s Cave.