Imagining a better world

There was a great inventor, Nikola Tesla. He played a key role in inventing AC electricity; this electric system genuinely revolutionised the material world and is now used across the world. It is said that when Tesla wanted to invent something, he would visualise with his mind’s eye the working model of what he wanted to invent. He did not test by trial and error, he just tried to visualise the working model. For Tesla this capacity for visualisation was very strong and very real. At the turn of the century many thought an AC motor couldn’t be created or AC electricity would be too dangerous. But, Tesla had the faith he could make it work. It is as if he willed the invention into this world.

In the completely different world of poetry, some poets have described an experience of seeing a poem already written down. It is like the poem already exists in another world, there is just a thin veil between this world of matter and a higher world of poetry. The Seer Poet merely brings the poem into our world by his will and poetic invocation.

menaka-guatemala-sun-set

We may be neither poets nor inventors, but there is a lesson that the power of imagination, thought and will can bring things into our reality. All humans have this creative power. At the simplest level, it is often said by the great spiritual Teachers, that our thoughts will create our own reality. As the Buddha said very succinctly.

“All that we are is the result of our thoughts”

If our mind is constantly negative, then our experience of the world will be difficult, confusing and painful. If we harbour and cherish good thoughts, we will experience a much more positive and joyful life.

Limits of positive thinking

It is not just a matter of occasionally having a few positive thoughts “I’d like to be happy” or a desire like “I want a Mercedes Benz.”

It depends on the intensity and focus of our concentrated will and thought. If we practise meditation and concentration and have a relatively discipline mind, it is much easier to bring about a certain experience. If our thoughts are scattered, then we will experience a much more mixed impact. It is like a weighing scale if good thoughts and negative thoughts are of equal weight, our life scale will be in balance, but if we can have a strong, underlying will then we will be more effective.

Underlying emotion

Thoughts can definitely create a certain reality, but it is important to not just give importance to the outer fleeting thoughts that cross our mind. For example, if we deep down expect to be frustrated, that is the dominant energy that we are giving out. Throwing a few positive thoughts on to our underlying negative energy is not enough. We need to try and tackle our deep seed thoughts, the underlying view we have of a life or a particular subject.

Creating Heaven on earth

If we really do have the capacity to create the world we live in – what world would we want to create? Would we imagine a Heaven on earth, where we saw the best in others and lived as one world. Would we create a world of beauty and peace over ugliness and conflict?

Hopefully, we would like to create Heaven on earth, or at least a Heaven in our own mind and life. But, if we are honest, we can see that in our mind, there are many ideas and thoughts which are not working towards this goal of creating a better world. Within our mind, we can harbour jealousy, pride and meanness of spirit. Yet, if we consciously changed our outlook on life and always valued the way of the spirit, we would contribute in our own way to a better world.

To imagine a better world don’t wait for others.

Tesla was a bit of a loner. He didn’t go with the flow. It is hard to imagine now, but many people thought bringing electricity into your homes was a dangerously bad idea. Many people said, that his AC electric system would never work. If Tesla had listened to ‘popular opinion’. He may have stuck with his gas lamp and got a job shovelling coal. But, Tesla was willing to visualise something that had not yet been created. He was a pathfinder in science; he didn’t listen to the naysayers.

When John Keats, wrote his masterpiece Endymion, which has a mantric like quality:

“A thing of beauty is a joy for ever.”

He was, unfortunately, mercilessly criticised by the ‘informed critics’ of the time. 200 years later we praise the genius of Keats, and the proud critics are a mere footnote in history.

We may not have the fate to be an inventor or poet, but if we want to really imagine and visualise a better reality, then we definitely have the capacity, as long as we have faith in a higher power and faith in ourself.

True we cannot change other people and the world. But, we can change how we view the world, and if we can help to create a better world, starting from where we are.

The really important question is what do we wish to see, and what do we wish to create?

Imagination has power.
Imagination is power.
Therefore, be sure to have
A good and elevating imagination.

– Sri Chinmoy [1]

Exercise

Spend five minutes visualising a positive outcome to a particular situation.

For example, if you have a difficult relationship – don’t replay in your mind all the negative interactions. Visualise how it can be resolved to everyone’s benefit. Visualise yourself being calm, detached and loving, and feel this energy spreading to others. It will make a difference.

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