Joyce Howard



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Excerpt from Rob Brezsny's book Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia:



Your imagination is the single most important asset you possess.

Your imagination is your power to create mental pictures of things that
don't exist yet and that you want to bring into being.

Your imagination is what you use to shape your future.

And so in your own way, you are a prophet. You generate countless
predictions every day. Your imagination is the source, tirelessly churning
out mental pictures of what you'll be doing in the future.

The featured prophecy of the moment may be as simple as a psychic
impression of yourself devouring a fudge brownie at lunch or as
monumental as a daydream of some year building your dream home on a
mountainside in Hawaii.

Your imagination is a treasure when it spins out scenarios that are aligned
with your deepest desires. Indeed, it is an indispensable tool in creating
the life you want; it's what you use to form images of the conditions
you'd like to inhabit and the objects you hope to wield. Nothing manifests
on the material plane unless it first exists as a mental picture.

But for most of us, the imagination is as much a curse as a blessing.
We're often just as likely to use it to conjure up premonitions that are at
odds with our conscious values -- that's the result of having absorbed
toxic programming from the media and from our parents at an early age
and from other influential people in our past.

Fearful fantasies regularly pop up into our awareness, many disguising
themselves as rational thoughts and genuine intuitions. Those fearful
fantasies may hijack our psychic energy, directing it to exhaust itself in
dead-end meditations.

Every time we entertain a vision of being rejected or hurt or frustrated,
every time we rouse and dwell on a memory of a painful experience, we're
basically blasting ourselves with a hex.

Meanwhile, ill-suited longings are also lurking in our unconscious mind,
impelling us to want things that aren't good for us and that we don't
really need. Anytime we surrender to the allure of these false and trivial
and counterproductive desires, our imagination is practicing a form of
black magic.

This is the unsavory aspect of the imagination that the Zen Buddhists
deride as the "monkey mind." The monkey mind is the part of our mental
apparatus that's filled with pictures that endlessly zip around with the
energy of an agitated monkey. If we can stop locating our sense of self in
the endless surge of the monkey mind's slapdash fantasies, only then
might we be able to be here now and want what we actually have.

But whether our imagination is in service to our noble desires or in the
thrall of compulsive fears and inappropriate yearnings, there is one
constant: The prophecies of our imagination can be pretty accurate. Many
of our visions of the future do come to pass. The situations we expect to
occur and the experiences we rehearse and dwell on are at least
sometimes reflected back to us as events that confirm our expectations.

Does that mean that our mental projections create the future? Let's
consider that possibility. What if it's at least partially true that what we
expect will happen does tend to materialize?

Well, here's the logical conclusion: It's downright stupid and self-
destructive to keep infecting our imaginations with pictures of loss and
failure, doom and gloom, fear and loathing. The far more sensible
approach is to expect blessings and joy and peace and fulfillment and
understanding and meaningfulness.

And that's the reason why I'm so reverent in composing my messages for
you. If I'm to be one of the influences you invite into the intimate
sanctuary where you nurse your self-fulfilling prophecies, I really want to
be gentle with you. It's why I avoid invoking worry and doubt, and instead
nudge you in the direction of passion, integrity, happiness, and

And that's exactly the approach I'd like you to take. I want you to pay
ultimate respect to yourself. Understand your power as a potent prophet
of your own life. Flush away the images running around your imagination
that are not in harmony with your life goals. Create images that
encourage you to be your best. Cultivate feelings and ideas and
imaginations that are in alignment with your highest ideals and deepest

Copyright 2004-2014 by Joyce Howard.  All rights reserved.