September 7, 2022

 The difference between regular imagination and the Imaginal is vividness. The images in regular imagination are mental pictures for the most part whereas the experiences in the Imaginal had a much deeper impact. They hit me in the heart, especially, and are usually extraordinarily vivid.


Last night when I was drifting off to sleep, I had a strong image present itself. It was in a cabin in the woods, somewhere in the upper Midwest. It was night and the cabin was mostly dark. A young, voluptuous and stylishly-dressed white woman reclined on a leather couch. She was wearing clothes from the late 1950s or early 1960s. She seemed unconcerned.


Seated in the shadows was a young black woman. She was equally stylish but far from unconcerned. In fact, she was terrified. I got the sense that she and the other woman were performers. Perhaps the white woman was also a prostitute but the black woman was not. I am pretty sure she was a mother.


They were waiting for someone, someone who would most likely kill them - or at least kill the black woman. The atmosphere was tense, filled with dread and expectation. It was almost intolerable.


The scene stayed with me through the night but didn’t evolve until I meditated in the morning. I didn’t witness how the black woman died; I only felt her fear and dread. I do know she died, though, and was stuck. It wasn’t difficult to go into the liminal space to find her because there was so much blackness. Once there, we had to deal with the fear. It was so palpable that it affected me as well. It took work to remember the gift of blackness, the stillness, the non-dual experience of dissolving into loving nothingness. This makes death less frightening and more generative.


There was also sadness and grief, although I wasn’t really equipped to work with that. Those would be up to her and perhaps another friend she had yet to meet.


We exited the blackness to radiant white. It was like the usual crossroads but not bleak. The white was saturated with gold and a man stepped out of the white/gold to welcome her. He was wearing ornate robes of white and gold, had a halo and carried a golden staff. I recognized him as a holy man, possibly even Jesus. He was black like her…and like me, I realized as I looked down at myself. I understood then that I had changed to match her expectations, taking the form of someone she trusted. Clearly, given the nature of her death (which I strongly suspect was at the hands or gun of a white man), she would trust someone who looked like her. I guess this explained why there had been no resistance from her when I met her, only acceptance and a sense of ease.


So, maybe this is a permanent thing? This changing form depending on whom I meet? It certainly seems like it and it definitely smooths the whole process. I felt nothing but happiness seeing her join the holy man who was there to lead her onto the next phase of her journey.


***


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