What Is The Link Between Guided Imagery, Your Intellect, And Your Imagination?


What Is The Link Between Guided Imagery, Your Intellect, And Your Imagination?
By Max Highstein

Accessing the imagination is the key to creative problem solving, and it can also be very valuable in healing. The biggest limitation to using our imagination creatively is the intellect. Guided imagery helps us to slip past the intellect and use our imagination to solve problems, work creatively, and heal from within.

The intellect is something like a small computer. It can take the data it has been fed, and come up with various combinations of that data, and feed it back. It’s helpful for doing things like filling out forms, balancing a check book, and telemarketing. The intellect can only play a small part when it comes to real creativity, and tapping into the rich inner resources we all carry with us. For that, we need imagination, and the inspiration to use it.

Most adults have a complicated relationship to our imagination. We have fun using it on the rare occasions we allow ourselves to. But at some point during childhood or adolescence we figured out that with the possible exception of the theater, society tends to frown upon “make believe” as a way of being in the world.

That tends to be anathema for the imagination, so we stop using it. At that point, the imagination gets relegated to a backseat in our consciousness, and the intellect pretty much takes over. We actually begin to devote inner resources to keeping the imagination in check, so it doesn’t leak out at inappropriate times. The farther we get from the natural state in which the imagination is used on an ongoing basis (childhood) the harder it becomes to access.

But in order to come up with new solutions to new problems, and in order to shift our attitude inside to one that’s most conducive to healing, the imagination is required. Suddenly, we’re trying to use something we’ve told ourselves to avoid, and we’re stuck. In general the more intellect-focused a person is, the harder time they will have using their imagination.

Guided imagery is a workaround for the problem. A typical guided meditation asks us to relax – to set aside the intellect for a while. The soothing voice and soft music in the background tend to create a sense of safety that lets the intellect quiet down a bit. The images suggested in a guided meditation program (a gentle breeze, clouds, a mountain stream, etc.) tend to be triggers for our imagination to take off.

Max Highstein is the author of a wide variety of guided imagery recordings appreciated by folks the world over for over 25 years. To enjoy samples and free examples, visit his web site The Healing Waterfall at this link for a guided meditation.


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