Concretizing Imagination

Concretizing Imagination: Container, Structure, and Reality

By George A. Boyd ©2022

Q: I seem to be very good at getting ideas, but I don’t seem to follow through with them to produce anything practical. I have an active imagination, but I don’t seem to be able to move from the act of creating a vision of what I want to generate a product or service that expresses that inspiration I received. Any suggestions?

A: To concretize imagination, you need three things: (1) a container, (2) a structure, and (3) reality.

A container is a means of expression. If you have an artistic idea, you have a business as a professional artist that enables you to market your art to others. If you are a psychic, you have a business in which you perform readings or do channeling, for which people will pay you. If you are an entrepreneur, you have a business that enables to market your product(s) or service(s).

Structure is the way you package your products or services. As a writer, you write poems, essays, short stories, screenplays, or novels—you present it in an agreed upon format. If you are a scientist, you write your research papers in a format that scientific journals require. If you are a psychic, you deliver readings in an orderly way within a time parameter—you might do a half-hour in-depth tarot card reading for someone to explore and answer their questions. If you are a therapist, you utilize validated therapeutic modalities to treat a client-specified issue in a time-delineated session.

Reality involves first evaluating the viability of your product or service, actually delivering it, and then monitoring the results you get. For example, if you write an article, you might evaluate whether or not this article is suitable for publication, where you might publish it, and to whom you need to send it. Then you send the article, and you get the results of your query: the publisher will either accept it or not.

Reality has a number of benchmarks that you need to meet to determine whether you can offer your product or service—and make it real:

  1. Reality often requires education and training for you to deliver a service to others. You have to know how to do it correctly and effectively. You have to know what not to do to avoid your customer or client suing you—or to not harm or deceive them. You may have to learn additional skills to augment the delivery of your service, such as sales, marketing, or running a business to provide your service to the public.
  2. Reality means you have to make decisions as to whether anyone will want your product or service, what it will take to create this product or service—and then, if you decide to go ahead with producing your product or providing your service—you will test to see if it produces positive results for your clients or customers and is economically feasible to continue offering it.
  3. Reality demands that you actually enact your idea. It is not enough to simply dream a thing: you must actually do it.
  4. Reality necessitates that you look at results honestly and dispassionately. If you say you want to be a tarot card reader, and you actually start doing readings, you will notice if (a) people are buying them, (b) your customers are satisfied with the guidance they receive, and (c) your psychic reading enterprise is generating sufficient income to warrant you continuing it.
  5. Reality sometimes calls for letting go of non-viable or unworkable ideas. If they don’t solve a problem or provide a solution; if they don’t produce the results you promise; or if people are not buying the product or service you provide and you’re not making the income you expected—you might have to walk away from it.
  6. Reality sometimes compels you to change or transform to make your idea real. Your idea might be viable and has the potential for success, but you need to change to be the person who can deliver it.
  7. Reality obliges you to make a commitment—sometimes a long-term one—to see your idea to fruition. Dreams do not materialize miraculously out of thin air; you have to work at them to make them real.

Those of you who may wish to tap into your creative process may benefit from our webinar series, “On Creativity,” which is available in our Public webinar series. You can preview the webinars of this series in your member dashboard on our website, and purchase the entire series for a discount—or select individual webinars of your interest from that series.

The Personal Fulcrum of Creation

By George A. Boyd ©2022

Q: Why is it that certain people seem to achieve a lot with their lives, when others struggle? Does this have to do with karma? Does this have something to do with their psychological make up?

A: People operate out of mental platforms or mindsets. If they do not inhabit the mindset where they create their own destiny through their volition, they may not act on their goals and dreams, and so you will not see much achievement. These eight platforms are:

  1. Catatonia – In this mindset, you are frozen: you cannot move. You give up completely. At this stage, others must care for you.
  2. Delusion – At this level, you believe there are unseen, malevolent forces that sabotage your life. You feel that these unseen forces control you and command you to do things, even if you don’t want to do them. This is the stage of psychosis.
  3. Terror – At this stage, worry torments you, and you think about the catastrophic things that could go wrong with any choice you make. You envision frightening scenarios. If your worry and fear are compelling enough, you may be afraid to venture out of your home. At this stage, anxiety permeates your life, and any decision is terrifying.
  4. Narcissistic entitlement – When you operate from this platform, you believe that others exist only to satisfy your every wish and desire. They exist only to ensure your happiness. If they do not immediately satisfy your demands, you abandon or betray them—their utility only exists for them to serve you. If they fail to do that, you send them out of your life, and may revile them.
  5. Dissatisfaction – When you function in this mindset, you are unhappy with your life and the world around you. However, you don’t take responsibility to make the changes that will bring you greater happiness or will bring positive changes to the world. Instead, you blame others and act out your anger upon them.
  6. Fantasy – When you act from this level, you have hope and enthusiasm that your dreams could actually come true. But you resort to magical thinking at this level. You may pray to whatever Higher Power you believe in; use vision boards to visualize exactly what you desire; burn candles; and participate in rituals that are supposed to bring you luck, merit, and good fortune. You might gamble or play the lottery, believing this will bring you the money you desire. You invest in get rich schemes that are supposed to bring you quick wealth, only to be disappointed again and again. Those who are overweight may try a series of diets and get thin quick schemes. The issue here is that you don’t make it happen: you hope and believe it will appear magically.
  7. Planning – When you occupy this platform, you become obsessed with goal setting and making meticulous plans. The drawback with stage is that you may not enact your plans, and achieve little. Your challenge here is to find out what holds you back from taking action, and carrying out your plans.
  8. Choosing – Here you discover your Self, and experience that your volition actually carries out the plans you make and reaches the goals you set. At this stage you are empowered. You take full responsibility to make things happen. You don’t make excuses; you get results. In this mindset of self-awareness and personal empowerment, you create your destiny.

The breakthrough that is needed here is for people to discover their Self and operate from this empowered mindset. If people don’t go to the place where they can make things happen, things don’t change and they don’t achieve much on their lives.

In Mudrashram®, we teach you Centering Techniques in our intermediate meditation classes—the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program—to directly focus you on the Self to help you realize it, and in time, to act from this platform.

Psychotherapy aims to gradually rehabilitate your ability to function from this empowered core of your personality.

Coaching expects you to operate from this level, and holds you accountable to achieve the results that you can only do from this place of choice.

It may be that there is a karmic element that influences the mindset from which they operate. You may view this like a curtain of darkness that veils the Self. When you begin to focus on the Self, and allow it to work with the elements in this field of darkness that shroud it, you can begin to retract this covering. As more and more of the elements of this field of darkness fall away, you gain greater integration and personal effectiveness.

There is no magic in this process. There is not a pill you can take, an incantation or mantra you can say, or a special magic formula that will make these dark elements disappear. You need to work on each element in turn until you solve its riddle, and it finishes.

Operating as your empowered Self is your birthright. May you find your way to reclaim it!

Activating Will and Fulfilling Your Word

By George A. Boyd ©2022

Q: I often say I will do something, and then, when the time comes for me to carry it out, I don’t do what I say. How can I fulfill my word and not be such a flake?

A: This is a matter of connecting with your will, and then, ensuring you do what you say you would do. Many people intend to do something, but they don’t follow up on what they tell others, because they are not backing up what they have promised through will-empowered action.

The language that you tell yourself what you are going to do often gives a clue as to whether or not you are actually going to do it. For example, statements that don’t directly connect to action include:

“I’d like to do that. That sounds like fun.”

“I wish I could do that.”

“I want to do that.”

“I could do that.”

“I would do that if [some condition] is present.”

“I might do that.”

“I intend to do that.”

“I plan to do that [without specific time frame].”

“I resolve to do that.”

On the other hand, statements that link to the will include:

“I must do this and I will do it, whatever it takes.”

“I will do this, without fail.”

“I shall do this.”

“I have planned this for date and time certain, and I will ensure it is completed.”

“I am committed to carry out this action at the date and time specified.”

“It is a matter of honor… of keeping my integrity…to ensure this is done.”

“You can count on me that it will be done.”

You may have been surprised to find resolve on the disempowered list. Why is this? A resolution is a decision to take action, but volition must be sustained to ensure that the action you resolve is carried out for as long as is necessary to (a) turn it into a habit and made a regular part of your routine, or (b) perform the chain of actions required to achieve a goal is carried out and the objective is attained.

If you are having problems keeping your word, it is important that you learn to tap into your volition and act from this dynamic, change-creating force. One of the ways you can actively connect with your will is to change the language you use when you promise someone something. Examples of changing your internal dialog include:

Instead of saying, “Oh I’d like that… it sounds like fun,” you can say, “I will be there, without fail.”

Instead of saying, “I want this,” you can say “I will obtain this through [explain exactly what you will do] by [when you plan to achieve it].

Instead of saying, “I intend to do this,” you can say “I will do this, without fail.”

If you can reliably activate your will, you will change your life and achieve the realistic goals you set. Try this and see how this changes your life.

The Spectrum of Earning Your Income

By George A. Boyd ©2021

People often limit their possibilities for earning their income, and will take any gig to survive. There are a variety of approaches that might allow you to earn money in ways you might not have thought about. Here is the spectrum of how people earn their living:

Get any job to survive – this is the fallback for most of us… much of my working life was spent gigging it in the early ‘70s and middle ‘80s.

Prepare for work and work in that profession – this is the time-honored tradition of going to vocational school or college, getting your certificate, diploma, or degree, and then working in your field. This works when the economy is functioning well; this becomes a challenge during a recession. It becomes extra stressful when you are carrying a lot of student debt you used to earn that certificate, degree, or diploma.

I used this approach to get my first career-related job as a drug counselor: I earned my bachelors degree in Psychology and a certificate in Alcohol Drug Counseling. Was there a downside of this? Yes, I didn’t start my career until about halfway through my regular working years.

Entrepreneurship – this is starting your own business and selling a product or service. Even while I was employed at my more regular jobs after 1983, I was running my own little company to earn extra money.

If you are successful at this way of earning your money, you can become wealthy—and not just little extra cash, as I did. I’m beginning to believe now that the key to this is targeted marketing and sales.

Trusting in God and living a life of surrender and service – In this scenario, you allow Providence to take care of your needs.

This was the approach I used during the Summer of Love in 1967, when I “crashed” in different people’s houses and “panhandled” for some change to get my favorite, fish and chips. [This was in my pre-vegetarian period.]

I have some friends who have traveled across the country and the world giving lectures, and sleeping where people invite them—and sometimes in their van—and accepting whatever donations people gave them, using this strategy. This is not for the faint of heart—you need to have a lot of faith and chutzpah to make this work.

Using your creative or athletic genius to earn money – you can use this if you are particularly gifted in your art or athletic prowess. You are hired on a sports team or your acting and public speaking skill lands you a job as an actor or media celebrity. This also includes the writers, artists, and musicians, who gather a large following. When you are successful in this type, you can earn a lot of money.

I have written and published 18 books. For me, this has not been my ticket to great wealth.

Climbing the mountain of the world – You can rise to the top of corporations and politics through getting in touch with the people, whose circle of influence gives you the inside track to promotion and power. Those who work this approach in corporations and government gain access to the positions of great wealth. If you notice what C-suite officers make, you will see this can earn you a lot of money.

This never appealed to me. Plus, the professions in which I worked didn’t have ladders to great wealth.

Selling your way to the top – While many sales people are essentially gig workers, there are those that rise in their companies to become managers can make a great living. Real estate agents and brokers, big-ticket item sales people, and stockbrokers can make a lot of money.

I never was attracted to sales positions. In my weak foray into multi-level marketing at the behest and with the support of my friends, I never got anywhere: I got to a screaming five people under me. I didn’t even make enough to pay for my monthly blue green algae supplements this company was hawking.

Earning money through expressing your Soul’s mission – To tap this level, you need to be in touch with your Soul, and it has to have something it wants to share with the world. This happens when your Soul has a purpose, and it lets you know about it. If this operates in you, your career choices are, well, settled. You do what your Soul wants 24/7.

Since 2010, when I boldly stepped away from my job as an academic vocational counselor—yes, Virginia, I was actually working in my career for 19 years—I have been doing my Soul’s work full time. I have been doing metavisional readings, meditation consultations, meditation teaching and meditation teacher training, webinars, and coaching.

This has not yet brought me fame and fortune, but the joy and satisfaction I feel doing this is priceless.

If you are struggling with working in the gig economy, and taking any job you can get to survive, I would encourage you to do some visualization and imagine what it might be like to be working in one of these alternate tracks.

Sometimes, this little discovery exercise can spark an insight that will lead you uncover to what you were born to do, and you can move your working life to a whole new level—and with it, often increase your income.

How the Ego Generates Behavior

By George A. Boyd ©2021

Q: If the ego is a state of identity, how does it interface with actual behavior?

A: If you carefully analyze the structure of the ego’s identity and how this extends to actual behavior, you find the following layers, from the innermost to the outermost:

  1. Life narrative or story – Your ego is identified with your unique life experience, which spans from your first conscious memory to the present.
  2. Ownership – Your ego’s awareness of what it has or possesses. This includes both wealth and possessions.
  3. Ability – Your ego’s awareness of the skills it has practiced in its life. These are resources that the ego can draw upon, depending on what each situation requires.
  4. Esteem – Your ego’s assessment of how well it is doing in your life. In people who are depressed, esteem will be very low. In people who are narcissistic, esteem will be exaggerated.
  5. Support – Your ego’s assignment of people to zones of intimacy on your life, according to their importance to you. For example, your spouse or partner and your children might occupy the innermost ring; your close friends, the next ring; relatives and friends, the next ring; and co-workers and neighbors, the outer ring. Your rules for disclosure of what you deem sensitive or secret is based on which intimacy zone you have currently assigned them.
  6. Dreams and desires – This is what your ego tells other people what it wants be, to do, and to have. This is the ego’s reservoir of motivation that fuels your actions.
  7. Life organization – These are twelve areas in which you play different roles. [In my book, The Practical Applications of Meditation in Daily Life and Education, I suggest ways that you can inventory what you want to achieve in each of these areas of your life.]
  8. Roles – These are the major activities that you carry out in your life. For example, in the area of home, you might play the role of a homemaker. Your thinking, feeling, and behavior related to this role are integrated into this identity state. In the I Am statement Vipassana meditation, we teach in our Introduction to Meditation class to contemplate the ego, you tap into this level: you note the identity state in which you are currently operating, and what you are thinking and feeling while you are in this identity state. So, for example, if you were contemplating this I am statement for your role of homemaker, you might be thinking about what you need to clean in the house, what laundry needs to be done, and what supplies are getting low that you need to purchase the next time you go shopping; you might be feeling irritated with your teenaged son, who always leaves his bathroom in a mess—and you wind up having to clean it.
  9. Sub-roles – The ego groups each related activity associated with a major role under this main identity, and assigns these sub-roles unique I Am statements. For example, under homemaker, you might have the activity identification, “I am a dishwasher,” “I am a carpet cleaner,” or “I am a floor washer.”
  10. Direction of individual behavior – This is the egoic octave of volition. This carries out the individual behavior required to enact the activities of a sub-role—one action at a time. For your dishwasher sub-role, this might look like: pick up the white cup… clean it with the sponge… rinse it under the sink… place it on the fourth peg on the top shelf of the dishwashing machine… [And then you would repeat this behavioral chain for each item that needs to be washed in the dishwashing machine.]
  11. Translation of behavioral command into neurological interface – Similar to machine language in a computer, behavioral command is translated on the information ether into signals that produce the neural electrical cascade that generates physical action.
  12. Neurological response – with each behavioral command and its subsequent translation into “brain recognizable directions,” you would detect specific areas of the brain light up and neural signals are sent to the appropriate body parts to carry out the specific action. This is the aspect of behavior that we can measure with technology and testing.

Your desire or motivation for action at the egoic level springs from level 6. You adopt the role (level 8), and operate through sub-role (level 9) that contains the behavior you are aim to perform. The egoic octave of volition (level 10) translates this behavior into the individual actions that others can witness you do (level 12).

That’s how your identity can give rise to action: your actual observable behavior is predicated upon your desire. No desire; no action.