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We will then resume dictation. (Pause.) Your beliefs generate emotion. It is somewhat fashionable to place feelings above conscious thoughts, the idea being that emotions are more basic and natural than conscious reasoning is. The two actually go together but your conscious thinking largely determines your emotions, and not the other way around. Your beliefs generate the appropriate emotion that is implied. A long period of inner depression does not just come upon you. Your emotions do not betray you. Instead, over a period of time you have been consciously entertaining negative beliefs that then generated the strong feelings of despondency.
(Pause at 10:22.) Here the belief itself will generate the negative emotions that will, indeed, bring about a physical or emotional illness. The imagination will follow, painting dire mental pictures of a particular condition. Before long physical data bears out the negative belief; negative in that it is far less desirable than a concept of health.
One belief, of course, can be dependent upon many others, each generating its own emotion and imaginative reality. The belief in illness itself depends upon a belief in human unworthiness, guilt and imperfection, for example.
Your emotions and your imagination both follow your belief. When the belief vanishes then the same emotional context is no longer entertained, and your imagination turns in other directions. Beliefs automatically mobilize your emotional and imaginative powers.
Few beliefs are intellectual alone. When you are examining the contents of your conscious mind, you must learn, or recognize, the emotional and imaginative connotations that are connected with a given idea. There are various ways of altering the belief by substituting its opposite. [...] You generate the emotion opposite the one that arises from the belief you want to change, and you turn your imagination in the opposite direction from the one dictated by the belief. At the same time you consciously assure yourself that the unsatisfactory belief is an idea about reality and not an aspect of reality itself.
(9:46.) Largely, but not completely, your imagination follows your beliefs, as do your emotions. [...] It will stop when the hurt stops, and the emotion behind the cry will automatically change into another. But if the child discovers that a prolonged cry after the event gets extra attention and consideration, then it will begin to extend the emotion.
Your beliefs automatically attract the appropriate emotions. They reinforce themselves through imagination; and at the risk of repeating myself, because this is so important: Imagination and feeling follow your beliefs. [...]
The only way out of it is to become aware of your beliefs, aware of your own conscious thought, and to change your beliefs so that you bring them more in line with the kind of reality you want to experience. Imagination and emotion will then automatically come into play to reinforce the new beliefs.
[...] Imagination and emotion are your great allies. [...] You can see why it is so important that you examine all of your beliefs about yourself and the nature of your reality; and one belief, if you let it, will lead you to another.
[...] Your emotions trigger your memories, and they organize your associations. Your emotions are generated through your beliefs. They attach themselves so that certain beliefs and emotions seem almost synonymous.
[...] You might wonder if your aunt will take an anticipated journey to Europe next year, and that thought might give birth to images of an imagined future. All of these thoughts and images will be colored by the emotions that are connected to the letter, and to all of the events with which you and your aunt have been involved.
[...] At the same time, such beliefs convince them that the self is evil. These beliefs must be weeded out. [...] The psyche’s organizations are broader, and in their way more rational than most of your conscious beliefs about the self.
You must therefore understand and examine your beliefs, realize that they form your experience, and consciously change those that do not give the effects you want. In such an examination you will be aware of many excellent beliefs that work for you. [...] See how they were followed by your imagination and emotions. [...]
[...] To do this you have, hopefully, begun to examine your beliefs. [...] I told you (in the 619th session) to imagine a game in which you see yourself acting in line with the new desired belief. [...]
You have many of the beliefs of your culture, though you have broken apart from many. You still allow your imagination to follow your negative beliefs, thus you (me, RFB) are often unable to encourage Ruburt actively, as he is often unable to encourage himself.
[...] As I told you, the reasons behind the body beliefs have largely vanished. You are left with beliefs about the body. These, denied the core beliefs that gave them birth, would naturally begin to weaken but could linger for some time, generally speaking, unless they were recognized as beliefs.
Your imaginations and emotions must be utilized constructively, and not to prolong the effects. [...]
(10:28.) Now: (Long pause.) Mankind is a species (long pause) that specializes in the use of the imagination, and without the imagination language would be unnecessary. Man from his particular vantage point imagines images and events that are not before his eyes. The applied use of the imagination is one of the most distinguishing marks of your species, and the imagination is your connection between the inner worlds of reality and the exterior world of your experience. It connects your emotions and your reason. [...]
The fact remains that when you assess your fellows, you put a far greater stress upon intellectual achievement than emotional achievement. Some of you may even question what emotional achievement is, but it is highly important spiritually and biologically. Some people, who would rate quite high on any hypothetical emotional-achievement test, might very possibly under certain conditions be labeled as retarded, according to the dictates of your society. The species is at least embarked upon its journey toward emotional achievement, as it is upon the development of its intellectual capacities, and ultimately the two must go hand in hand.
[...] And again, the survival of the species in those terms is basically dependent upon its belief in the meaningfulness of its existence. (Emphatically:) These new cults and groups, however—these new cults and groups, therefore—therefore—are following the paths of genetic wisdom, opening up new areas of speculation and belief. And if some of their present beliefs are ludicrous in the light of the intellect’s reason, in the end—because [such groups] are following the dictates of value fulfillment, however feebly—they are significant. [...]
(10:05.) The inner mechanics of emotions and beliefs are complicated, but these are individuals who feel that physical life has failed them. [...] They think in black and white, and conflicts between their emotions, and their beliefs about their emotions, lead them to seek some kind of shelter in a rigid belief system that will give them rules to go by. [...]
The organization of your feelings, beliefs, and intents directs the focus about which your physical reality is built. [...] If you believe in the sinfulness of the world, for instance, then you will search out from normal sense data those facts that confirm your belief. But beyond that, at other levels you also organize your mental world in such a way that you attract to yourself events that — again — will confirm your beliefs.
[...] You are usually told that your emotions or beliefs or system of values have nothing to do with the unfortunate circumstances that beset you.
[...] Your emotions will fill in the patterns with light. Your imagination will forge these together.
The imagination has always dealt with creativity, and as man began to settle upon a kind of consciousness that dealt with cause and effect, he no longer physically perceived the products of his imagination directly in the old manner. He realized in those earlier times that illness, for instance, was initially as much the result of the imagination as health was, for he experienced far more directly the brilliant character of his own imagination. The lines between imaginative and physical experience have blurred for you, and of course they have also become tempered by other beliefs and the experiences that those beliefs then engender.
[...] He felt that nature expressed for him the vast power of his own emotions. He projected himself out into nature, into the heavens, and imagined there were great personified forms that later turned into the gods of Olympus, for example. [...]
[...] It is far more complicated — and yet early man, for example, became aware of the fact that no man was injured without that event first being imagined to one extent or another. Therefore, imagined healings were utilized, in which a physical illness was imaginatively cured — and in those days the cures worked.