My friend John Matthews, in his book The Sidhe (Lorian Association 2004), dialogues with a being from the imaginal realms who has this to say,"The wounding of your world can be dangerous to our state of being also; for our worlds and state of being are connected through the heart of the great web of all beings and all worlds. The place that you call the Otherworld, where both you and I stand in some sense at this moment, is a place through which all creation flows. Thus you might move from one world to another without ever leaving your own place. This form of travelling is easy to master."
John then comments, "This sounds a little like shamanic journeying?" and the innerworld companion replies,"It is similar in that the same area of the mind is accessed when you undertake such travelling. It is really a matter of tuning out the distraction of the senses and allowing the impressions of other states of being to assert themselves. Paradoxically this occurs when you are more attuned to your innermost organs of sense. When you are connected to the circuitry of the web then you are able to enter that state in which you can move freely."........."This is why we have spoken to you of the importance of your imagination. This may become a vehicle for infinite travel and perception once it has been fully awakened and properly trained."
This view of the imagination places it at the heart of our experience of the universe and deeply connected to our senses, perceptions and awareness. As an experiment try relating to it not as an internal film but just as an organ of perception and movement in the way suggested.
Attune to the Web by paying attention to the senses beginning with touch and adding hearing,seeing, smelling and tasting. Let the senses open your awareness and refresh your experience of the unfolding moment. As you hold all five senses together if you relax and surrender into the experience you will notice a shift of awareness; an embodied sense of innerness; the gnosis or deep knowing. This can be experienced as a flowing river or sinking into a deep pool, or as fire and energy, a crystalline solidity or a just sense of expansion or any combination of these.
Whatever the tone of the shift the essence however is this sense of movement, travel and deepened perception. This ultimately brings us to the place where all of creation is flowing through us but before that there is a sense of greater connectedness and participation. The task then is to take ourselves seriously and not dismiss our sensed life with the fatal words,"It was just my imagination." If we can stay with our experience we then travel in the company of Alice, Frodo and even Harry Potter and through our travels will learn the power of our magic and it capacity to heal our hearts and worlds.
I will leave the last word with John's companion,
"Sit down and begin to attune yourself to the Web.......Soon you will become aware that there are those present who are not quite within sight but who wish to become manifest......Sometimes they may appear like animals at others like beings you may consider mythic.But you will recognise them from their intent which will be felt in your consciousness like a gentle heat that passes between you. These beings mean only good towards you and may not lie if asked their purpose. With them you may travel to many places within the Otherworld, which is, as you measure space, almost without limit. Once you are aware of these beings you may begin the process of exploring-as your nature will dictate to you- and in uncovering more of the hidden links between yourselves and the Web."