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Special notes regarding verification|
Even when some answers come through with the seeming certainty of the "Word of God," it's a human instrument receiving them, just as subject as any other information instrument, process or content to the Laws of Entropy. Thus, to the extent that there are significant stakes at issue in the answers you get, even if these interior processes do tend to be more accurate than other information processes, it behooves you to check their validity against other indicators, just as you would for information from any other source.
Perhaps this deserves even further comment. Politicians speak in certainties even when they have only the vaguest clue, in order to get other people to follow their lead. Most organized religions exhort their followers to absolute beliefbut it's interesting to note that the two greatest doubters in the tradition of the Bible, Gideon and Thomas, were rewarded, not punished, for having doubted.
You may remember the story of "Gideon and his brave three hundred." One day Gideon got the word from God, we are told, to rise up and overthrow the Mideonites who had established sway over Israel for generations. "How can I tell," asked Gideon, "that it's your word, Lord, that I'm hearing and not my own imagination?"
The answer came back, to set out a sheep fleece that night and check it in the morning. So Gideon did. In the morning, the fleece was dry, while the grass was soaked with dew. "Well, Lord, that's very interesting, but...."
The answer came back, to set that fleece out again and to check the results in the morning. So he did. In the morning, the fleece was soaking wet with dew while the grass all around was bone dry. So he acted on the rest of his message and was rewarded with a most extraordinary victory....
Likewise, by the other story, if "Doubting Thomas" hadn't put his hands in Jesus's wounds, Christianity could not have spread nearly so rapidly nor so far. For his doubts, Thomas was rewarded with sainthood, not punished.
Thus even in Biblical tradition, the basis of most of the established religions which exhort unswerving belief, the most outstanding instances of doubt are rewarded, not punished. All our human-instrumented information needs to be verified, whatever its apparent source. By now, with the bloodstained pages of history lying all about, we don't need to continue imposing our unverified certainties on each other. Check things out as you go.
Compare the fields of human endeavor which have advanced in the lastthousand yearsnotably empirical science and technologywith those which have not, notably politics and religion. To progress, we have to be willing to risk our beliefs and put matters to test.
So please don't hesitate to ask your inner processes, "How can I tell if I'm understanding the right answer here?" or "How best can I test this to make sure it is so?" And be alert to opportunities to check out your answers by other means as well, including conventionally gathered empirical and scientific data.
Over the years, easily 90% or more of everything I've been taught has been contradicted by direct observation. I suspect that at least a majority of what you or anyone has been taught is likewise contrary to what direct observation will show. Frankly, I trust what I can see for myself far better than I trust what I've been taught or "what everyone knows." How certain are you about all that you've been taught?
Once verified, though, please note: An answer is not a solution until it is acted upon, and put into effect!
The easiest thing for many in the creativity field to do is settle for some
easy generality as answer, and leave matters there. Your challenge is to
move beyond such easy generality to action plans and action specifics and
an immediate Step One from among those specifics and beyond.
Other "Triggers" besides the Garden
There are many ways to get a "running start" in describing the kinds of scenery which help to bring on the experience of visual and other sensory mental images. Likewise, each of these can serve as "neutral" or safe ground so that you don't have to start right on top of your problem, but some distance away from it. Instead of a wall, door or other screening device, however, you need to use the sheer rush and speed of your description to sweep you on in to where the answer is on display, before your internal editor has a chance to catch on that he's been bypassed once again.
So, with any of these, you would pose some issue or question you would truly, even passionately, desire to get the answer to, write it down as with the garden/wall experience, then set the whole issue aside and go into any pleasant non-confronting place like garden, wilderness, park, whatever, with some further space screened from view that can serve as an answer space.
Or use any device that can serve in imagination to get you from here to "there," where the answer is on display for you. That can be a car, a plane, an elevator (which has the advantage of both the physical sense of movement and of being partly automated so you don't "have to pay attention to driving.")
Or you can imagine becoming a dry leaf or dandelion fluff swept up by the wind, around corners of buildings and racing you along enormous landscapes to....wherever. In any case, use whatever space or device to "get up a running-start" in rapidly describing faster than your editor can keep up with, so your inner vision can carry you into some surprising perceptions beyond the pale of your editor's initial acceptance.
You can easily think of hundreds of other such devices for "triggering" a flow of images and experiences, and for shaping or partially shaping contexts without directing the images themselves. These are often especially attractive experiences, and it would be easy to just run these without actually solving issues and problems. However, with each of these triggers, do keep in mind to:
Pose and write down a significant question or problem or issue beforehand, so that the experience can show you its solution;This isn't just exercise and skills-building. This is your outstanding opportunity to take up real issues and problems and solve them, as many as you care to. And if in doubt as to what problem to set out to solve, ask your visual thinking faculties what problem you should solve now!
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