Imagination, Fantasy, Work Memory, and the Truth about History
“Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” - Matthew 11: 11
Tonight, I like to prepare the environment first. I beg therefore the brothers and sisters to pay attention...
We will talk tonight about imagination and fantasy, about positive memory and mechanical memory, etc.
Obviously, it is convenient to make a full differentiation between voluntarily directed imagination and mechanical imagination.
Unquestionably, directed imagination is cognizant imagination. For the wise, to imagine is to see. Cognizant imagination is the "translucent"; it reflects the firmament, the mysteries of life and death, the Being, the reality...
Mechanical imagination is different: it is made up of the remains of memory, it is fantasy, and it is convenient to investigate it deeply.
Obviously, with their fantasy or mechanical imagination people do not see themselves as they are, but according to their fantasy form.
There are several forms of it: unquestionably, one of them consists, precisely, in that of not seeing oneself as oneself, as one is. Few are those who have the value of seen themselves, in its crude reality.
I am absolutely sure that those present here have never seen themselves as they are. Their mechanical imagination makes them mistake a cat for a hare; in their mechanical imagination or fantasy, they see themselves in a way that does not coincide with reality.
If I really told each one of you, those present here, how you are, certainly, what is your specific psychological characteristic, I am absolutely sure that you would feel wounded. It is clear that all of you have a wrong concept about yourselves, you have never seen yourselves. Your fantasy forms make you look like you are not.
Speaking in an allegorical and sympathetic way, I will only try to make a psychological exploration, roughly, without citing names or surnames, using symbolic names so that everyone here present understands and listens...
What would we say, for example, of “Cicero”? What a great orator! Lapidarist in his “diatribes”, intelligent (who would deny?), grandiloquent like no other, terrific lapidary. But are we sure that everything in him is benevolence? Let us reflect... If we were to speak the seriousness of his faults, he would feel hurt; if we pointed it out, he would protest violently. He never murdered "Popea" (we left that task to "Nero"); but yes, Cicero with a “wooden knife”, made the heart of his “Popea” bleed, but he, in no way, would feel really alluded to. He has always felt magnanimous, good-natured, and that is his fantastic characteristic: seeing himself mistakenly, through the prism of extraordinary benevolence; that's obvious...
And what would we say, for example, of those who, longing for the light of the spirit, failed at their base? Don't they say that "Icarus" rose to the heavens on wings of wax, that they melted and then he was precipitated into the abyss? However, he does not think (of himself) that way. He assumes that he is faithful in the ranks; he is sure that he is on the right path; that he is noble than any ...
Continuing like this, along this path, what would "Icarus" have left after falling into the Averno? Do not they say that "Ganymede" went up to Olympus to drink wine? But Ganymede can also be thrown to the bottom of the cliff...
That disciple (let us now call him "Justinian", as symbolism), how many times has he justified himself? He is convinced that he is doing very well. Perhaps, in recent times, he has improved somewhat, but has he not complained at certain times? Has he not complained at the altar of sacrifice? But he feels undefeated; he is sure that he has never complained. He will say that he has always done everything for the great cause, without ever failing...
In the name of truth (and although it may seem a little difficult here), there are few who have seen themselves just as they are...
"Aristotle", again and again, in his philosophy, is convinced that his wisdom is formidable. To be cruel? He has never felt that. Consort? Magnificent as no one; he has made people suffer, but he remains convinced that he has never done anything wrong; he is sure he is magnificent, benevolent, sweet, etc.
In the name of the truth, I could tell you this: that there is only one person who has seen (himself) as he is; nothing more than one among all of those present here. One! The others, all of them, have a fantastic image of themselves; their form of mechanical imagination turns them to see themselves not as they are, but as they apparently are.
So, my dear brothers and sisters, I invite you to reflect. Think about if you have ever really seen yourselves as you are.
Historians, for example, what have they written? Fantasies and nothing else! What do they say about Nero? “That he was an homosexual” and that “he got married, well, with another homosexual." Where did historians get that? Did they witness it perhaps? In the name of the truth, I have to tell you that I was reincarnated at the time of Nero and he was not homosexual at all. Many times I saw him go out through the gates of old Rome, sitting on his litter, on the shoulders of his slaves (a man with a broad forehead and robust herculean body)... But historians do not affirm that; they emphasize the idea of a horrible, abominable “humpback”. Instead of seeing him surrounded (as many believe) by homosexual people, it is the opposite: I always knew him surrounded by his many women. I lived in the time of Nero, and I testify to that. Historians have falsified reality regarding this man.
Are not they perhaps accusing Marie Antoinette of being a “prostitute”, “adulteress” and I do not know what else? No one ignores that a great scandal was made about the queen's necklace, jewelry that she had given to help others. But from that to her having been unfaithful to Louis XVI, there is a great distance. We put her to the test in the superior worlds and she turned out to be terribly chaste, with the right to wear the "white robe".
I saw her passing through Paris, heading for her scaffold: heroic with her forehead very high. She owed nothing, she had nothing to fear. She gave her life for France; they have never known how appreciate her, what she really is worth.
Much has been written in history, but it is distorted. History is not worth studying. They are hardly right even about the dates, the only useful thing they have, and that, not always, because it would be absurd for us to accept the date of the year 1325 or something like that, as the beginning of the founding of the Anahuac empire, so that in the year 1500 and so many, such an empire disappears under the boot of Hernán Cortés and his henchmen.
Do you think that in two centuries a powerful civilization, like that of the great Tenochtitlán, would have risen, if it took whole generations to build a single pyramid? Do you believe that a powerful civilization, as one of these, is going to rise in two centuries?
Historians also adulterate dates, falsify them. That's why, when it comes to history, you have to be very careful...
Distinguish between mechanical memory and the memory of esoteric-gnostic work. Mechanical memory leads one to wrong conclusions. Are you sure you really remember your life as it was? I am not asking you about your past lives, but about the present one. Impossible: there are things that appear disfigured in mechanical memory!
If one, as a child, even if one was born in a middle class, has lived at least in a clean, tidy house; one has enjoyed bread, clothing and shelter, one has seen a few coins, it may happen that at the turn of time and the years, one keeps something deformed in his mechanical memory. Because as children, a few bills seem like millions; Some small fences, around the patio or the bedroom, can seem colossal to us, because our body is small. So, it would not be strange that when we grow up we say: “as a child, as a infant, I lived in such a way... My house was magnificently arranged, with great walls, fixed ceilings. What beds, what a beautiful table, how much money!” It is a mechanical, childish and absurd memory.
So, the only real memory is work memory.
If through the retrospective exercise we intend to remember childhood, we would see that the house (of middle-class children) was not the palace that we previously thought it was, but a humble abode, then, of a hard-working and sincere father; that those "fabulous sums" that surrounded us, were just, yes, a few "coins" to pay the rent of the house and buy the "newspaper"...
Mechanical memory is more or less false; and if not, let's look at the case of the famous psychological "tests"... If a group of you go on an excursion to Yucatan and see exactly the same monuments and the same stones, when you return here, each one of you will give a different version. What does that prove? That mechanical memory is unfaithful, it doesn't work.
You know how many times the same thing happens to you. You have told some story, you have told this to some friend; this one, in turn, has told it to another, but when he told it, he already added more or took a little away; It is no longer the same story, it is already disfigured... And that other, in turn, tells it to another, and then the story continues to become more disfigured, and in the long run, not even you yourselves know the story. It has been so disfigured that it bears no resemblance to what you narrated.
This is mechanical memory: it doesn't work. And it is that fantasy exists in mechanical memory (mechanical memory and fantasy are closely associated).
How then to control fantasy? There is but one way to control it: through work memory. If mechanical memory, for example, makes us see our life as it was not and as it has not been, through work memory we dismember our life and we come to discover it just as it is.
So, what does this mean? That the memory that we keep after performing the work, allows us to control fantasy, eliminate it, and eliminate it radically.
Therefore, it is convenient to eliminate this mechanical imagination, because in no way does it allow us esoteric progress.
Behold if not, by yourselves, that lady who fixes herself in front of the mirror, who paints her large bags under her eyes, who refines her eyebrows, who puts on enormous eyelashes, well, artificial ones, who dyes her lips with a red color, etc. Behold her dressed in the latest model outfit: and how she looks at herself in the mirror, she is in love with herself! She is convinced that she is gorgeous... If we told her that she is hideously ugly, she would feel hurt at her vanity (and mortally). She has a terrible fantasy, her forms of fantasy makes her look as she is not, her fantasy makes her seem extraordinarily beautiful...
So, everyone has a wrong concept about himself, totally wrong. That's terrible!
One can feel great, capable of dominating the world with sparkling intellectuality (one is convinced of that); but if one saw oneself in one’s crude reality, if one discovered that what one has in one’s own personality is not his own, but someone else's; that the ideas one has are not his own, but that one read them in this or that book; that one is full of terrible moral scourges. But few are those who have the courage to undress before themselves, to see themselves as they are.
Each one has projected some form of one’s fantasy onto oneself, and in this way, as one really is, one has never seen oneself, and that is terrible, frightening...
Continuing here, with these disquisitions, thinking out loud, to share with you, we will say that as long as one does not dissolve those forms of fantasy, one will remain very far from the Being. But as one eliminates more and more all forms of fantasy, the Being will manifest more and more, within ourselves.
When one delves into what life is, deeply, one discovers that, frankly, one has not seen the world as it really is. One has seen it through the forms of one’s own fantasy and nothing else.
Mechanical imagination... how serious is that! because these dreams of fantasy, sometimes, whoever dreams them, remains silent, other times he talks about them and other times he wants to put them into practice.
Obviously, in the third case the issue is serious, because when a dreamer wants to turn his dreams into reality, he commits frightful madness, because it happens that his dreams do not coincide with the mechanics of life and then he ends up doing crazy things... A silent dreamer spends a lot of vital energy but is not that dangerous. The one who talks about his dreams is fanciful, he can infect other psyches, other people, but the third one, the one who wants to turn his dreams into practical facts of life, that one is, well, "finished" in the mind, he is crazy; that is obvious.
Continuing, then, with these disquisitions, we clearly see that the mechanical imagination or fantasy keeps us, therefore, very far from the reality, from the Being, and that is truly unfortunate...
People wander on the streets dreaming, they go in their fantasies; they work, dreaming of their fantasies, they marry dreaming, they live a life dreaming and they die dreaming in the world of the unreality, their fantasy. They never saw themselves, never; they always saw a form of their fantasy.
To take that form of fantasy away from someone else is cruel, terrifyingly cruel, terribly cruel.
There are various forms of fantasy (naturally). Thus, each one of those present here has what we could say a “fantasy I”, a “fantasy-persona” that does not coincide with the reality.
Your fantasy-persona has existed from the beginning, it exists now and will exist tomorrow, and you are convinced that the persona in your fantasy is the reality, and it turns out that it is not (behold the gravious part of this matter).
I repeat: how to control fantasy? There is only one way to control it: by work memory.
If we are sincere with ourselves, we must work to eliminate, from ourselves, the undesirable elements that we have and as we eliminate them, we discover an order in the work. But, who comes to establish that order in the esoteric work? Our Being. The Being establishes that order, and that memory-work allows us to eliminate fantasy from within ourselves.
But it takes great courage to be able to break, let us say, the fantasy “I” that one possesses, one’s own fantasy persona.
You are here, listening to me and I am here, talking to you and I am sure that, for example, our brother Arce is convinced of what he is, and says: “I am Arce, I am a businessman. My way of being is this, and this and that”...
Who could tell Arce that is not Arce? Who could tell him that he is not a businessman? Who would dare to tell him? And would Arce believe it? Could he, perhaps, accept someone's idea that he is not the businessman, that he is not Arce, that he is not what he thinks he is? I'm sure not even Arce himself would accept your statements...
Samael Aun Weor: What would you say, Arce?
Arce: Venerable, before your teaching, there is no doubt...
Samael Aun Weor: But what if one of us here breaks that fantastic “I” that you think that is, that you are sure that he is? Thus, he tears it apart and says "that is not you." It may be that you tell me: "Well, whatever you say, master, I agree"... But who knows if, already apart, face to face with the interlocutor, you think differently? The safest thing is that you would answer to so-and-so: “well, that is a concept of yours. I am Arce, and I am what I am” ... That's obvious, isn't it? This is how you have always known yourself, right?
Arce: Yes Master...
Samael Aun Weor: Well, well, I tell you that the one you have always known, the one you think he is, does not exist; that's a fantasy of yours. That's hard work, accepting what I'm telling you, it becomes terrifyingly difficult. But later, when you psychologically explore yourself, you will realize that you had a wrong concept of yourself.
And so it happens, then, with each one of us present here: you have never seen yourselves, you have always seen a form of fantasy in yourselves. That is to say, each of those present here has a fantasy “I”, a fantasy-persona that is not the reality.
Now, there are terrible moments (I am telling you this), very rare, too rare, when one manages to see, for an instant, one’s own ridiculousness. In a matter of seconds, of moments, in which one is able to perceive one’s own fantasy “I”, one’s fantasy-persona. When that happens, a very deep moral pain is felt, but then the "little games" of the mind come, the way to right the wrong, and in the end one consoles oneself in fifty thousand manners and forgets the matter, and the world continues, walking as usual... These awakenings are rare, very rare; but all of us, at some time, all of us, have felt them...
It is worthwhile for us, then, to be honest with ourselves; it is simply a matter of self-knowledge, if we really want to make manifest the Being that we carry within. If we really long that, one day, the reality and nothing but the reality will remain within us, without any atom of fantasy, we need to be sincere and have the courage to tear ourselves apart, to break this fantasy “I”, this fantasy-persona that does not exist, that others know that it does not exist, but that one believes that it does exist.
Sure, you need to use the scalpel of self-criticism; otherwise, it would not be possible; all of us need not a superficial but an in-depth self-criticism.
If we proceed like this, we will be able to break the fantasy “I”, we will be able to destroy it, reduce it to ashes, to cosmic dust. With what objective? With the objective of discovering the Being.
The fantasy “I” eclipses the Being, keeps one so fascinated in oneself, in what one is not, in what is not the reality, that “I” does not allow one to discover the Being (the Being that is in oneself, in one's own profoundities)...
Do not forget my dear brothers and sisters that the "kingdom of heaven" is within ourselves and that it has different levels. Likewise, the "kingdom of the earth" is here, within us; and the highest level of the "human of the earth" is smaller, it does not even reach, it does not even touch the shoe's latchet of the feet of the smallest of those who live in the "kingdom of heaven".
"Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying:
“The voice of him that cries in (במדבר bemidbar – metzach-מצח - the mind) the wilderness, prepare ye the way of יהוה Iod-Havah, make straight (in Arabia ב-ערבה) a highway for our Elohim.” - Isaiah 40: 3
And the same John (in Malkuth, the kingdom of the earth) had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey...."
"I indeed baptize (in Yesod) you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and (in Hod) with fire:" - Matthew 3: 2-4, 11
"I baptize (in Yesod) with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose." - John 1: 27
But, how can we get out of the different levels of the earth, to even enter the lower level of the "kingdom of heaven" (in the first scale of the "kingdom of heaven", which is within us, and not outside of us), take that step from the “kingdom of earth” to the “kingdom of heaven”
The kingdom of the earth has different levels: the most grotesque, the highest, much higher, the most refined; but the most refined of the levels of the earth, it is not the “kingdom of heaven”.
To pass from the highest scale of the “kingdom of the earth”, or of the “kingdoms of the earth” to the lowest level of the “kingdom of heaven”, a change, a transformation is needed, it is necessary to be reborn from the water and of the spirit, it is necessary to unfold in two: in the terretrial personality and the psychological human, the interior human.
But how could this unfolding into two be produced, how this division into two, take place: an inferior, earthly man, placed in the common and current level, and another in a higher octave, within themselves? How indeed could the separation in us of these two types of humans, resulting in the inferior and the superior, take place? How? Do you think this would be possible, if we continued to be fascinated with this fantastic personality that we believe to be the truth, and it is not?
As long as one is convinced that the way one is living is the true one, the psychological unfolding will not be possible; it will not be possible for the interior human to separate himself from the exterior; it will not be possible, therefore, to penetrate the first rung of the “kingdom of heaven”.
Obviously, fantasy is what has humanity submerged in the state of unconsciousness in which it finds itself. As long as the fantasy exists, the consciousness will remain asleep.
You have to destroy the fantasy. Instead of fantasy we must have cognizant imagination, directed imagination (fantasy is mechanical imagination), and instead of mechanical memory, we must have the memory of the esoteric work, cognizant memory.
The one who, for example, practices the retrospective exercise (to review his life), ends the mechanical memory and establishes within himself the cognizant memory, work memory. The one who through the retrospective exercise can remember his previous lives, ends fantasy and acquires work memory.
So, memory-work and cognizant imagination will allow us to go very far on the path of self-discovery.
So end my words. If any of you have something to ask, they can do so with complete freedom.
Questions and Answers
Student: Master, what could be the best exercises for the development of the cognizant imagination correctly?
Samael Aun Weor: Since cognizant imagination is directed imagination, undoubtedly, then, one must learn to direct the imagination. If, for example, we relax our body and then focus our imagination on something that has life (let's say, on the process of birth and death of all things), we will develop cognizant imagination...
Let us imagine the seed, the seed of a rosebush germinating, how the stem then grows, how it becomes entangled, how it throws out spikes and branches and leaves, flowers...
Let us then think about the process in reverse, in the devolutionary process: how the petals of the rose wither, how the leaves fall and finally, that rosebush is turned into a pile of sticks...
It is a wonderful exercise; with it the development of the imagination is achieved in a positive manner, with it the cognizant imagination is achieved, which is what counts.
How to eliminate fantasy from us, that is, mechanical imagination? Well, simply by dissolving, first of all, the fantasy ego, ending it. We have to start by seeing ourselves as we are, and not as we apparently are, or as we think we are.
It is difficult to see one, as one is. Normally, one sees oneself as one is not, one sees oneself as one thinks one is, according to one’s own fantasy. This is where one has to start in order to break the fantasy.
When one has really seen oneself (as one is), in the most crudest reality, one usually suffers from a terrible disappointment in oneself, a frightful disappointment (how horrible!). Then one has the consolation of wisdom...
If one ends with the mechanical memory and establishes the working memory, well, one eliminates fantasy, because in mechanical memory there is fantasy.
I already mentioned the case of historians. What is the use of studying great works of our history, if they are pure fantasies? Were the historians present at the French Revolution? Did they meet Carlos V of Spain, or what? Did they meet Philip "the beautiful"? I think they write versions disfigured by time, products of fantasy.
If we, instead of mechanical memory (which is pure fantasy), establish work-memory in ourselves, if we work on ourselves, dissolving the undesirable elements that we have, we obviously acquire cognizant memory, work memory.
This cognizant memory or memory of the work is wonderful, because applied to universal history, it would allow us to truly discover, study, let us say, in the akashic records, the harsh reality of the French Revolution or of Marie Antoinette. Or whatever we want? From any page of history in general.
Thus, cognizant memory applied to ourselves takes us very far, and applied to the universe, allows us to study the archives of the akashic records of nature.
Thus, as one eliminates everything that is fantasy in one, the cognizant imagination will become more and more active, and the mechanical imagination or fantasy will disappear, until there is nothing left.
Any other questions brothers and sisters?... Well, since there are no more questions, we will continue now with the other parts of our esoteric work...