Question: When we imagine something, is that a mental process?

Sri Chinmoy: Imagination is not mental hallucination. Hallucinations come from the subconscious plane. This subconscious plane can be in the mind, it can be in the vital or it can be in the gross physical. But when you imagine, there already reality exists. There would have been no scientific discoveries if there had been no imagination. Imagination itself is a reality, but you have to be in the flow of imagination.

There is a world of imagination. Either you enter into that world or you let the world enter into you. Some people sit and try to imagine so many things. But all the time they are using the mind. That is not imagination. Only make yourself receptive and then just fly and fly. But don’t think of going north or south or east or west. Feel that you are in an airplane and that you have just left the ground. Then take the plane in any direction. Do not say, “If I go north, then the plane will crash.” Just throw yourself into the flow of some reality. Feel that there is a flow going on, like a river, and just throw yourself into it. That is real imagination. In false imagination, all the time you are limiting yourself. “If I imagine this way, then the world will appreciate me, adore me.” That is false imagination. But if you just throw yourself into the flow, then that is sincere imagination.

Imagination and creation cannot be separated, but you have to know the difference between real imagination and false imagination. Real imagination is a continuous flow. It is flowing, flowing, and you can take as much as you want. But false imagination is when you are trying to grab something, trying to shape something in your own way.