Posted by: Stephen Paul | January 12, 2008

Vision, faith, and creation

I continue to explore how we can restore the “lost” parts of our souls in order to heal our separation from the earth, each other, and ourselves. My exploration has taken me to some very interesting places. In my blogs last week, I described discoveries I made while reading books on shamanism. I learned that shamans have existed on every continent, dating back thousands of years, serving as the pipeline between Spirit and man. They have journeyed into the spirit realm (the nonordinary world) to acquire knowledge and power and to heal others. Part of the healing work they do is to retrieve soul parts lost as a result of traumas.

While reading Sandra Ingerman’s book on shamanism and soul retrieval I came across a fleeting reference to a book called The Magic of Believing written by a man named Claude Bristol in 1948. I picked up the book at the library. Claude Bristol was an inquisitive journalist, a very successful businessman, a world traveller, and a noted speaker. He culled what he perceived to be the common creative elements from world philosophies and spiritual traditions and summarized them in the simplist, nondogmatic form in his small, yet fascinating book. 

Bristol quotes Buddha as having said, “All that we are is the result of what we have thought.” Bristol advocated combining imagining–primarily through visualization–with absolute faith to create what you desire to experience in the world. He thought this fundamental practice could be applied to everything from getting a new and better job to creating world peace.

Bristol quoted Paracelsus who said, “The human spirit is so great a thing that no man can express it; could we rightly comprehend the mind of man nothing would be impossible to us upon the earth. Through faith the imagination is invigorated and completed, for it really happens that every doubt mars its perfection. Faith must strengthen the imagination, for faith establishes the will.”


If our traumatic experiences have caused us to forget who we are and what we really want out of life, or have made us doubt and lose faith, how we can we possibly create what we are here to create? We have to undo the effects of those traumatic experiences, restore the elements of our essence we have withdrawn from the world, and reclaim the faith robbed by our doubts. First, we must remember…and then, using that newfound vision and faith, we must create again.


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