~ S P E C I A L ~ F E A T U R E ~

On Imagination

an excerpt from the book

How to Transform Personal and Environmental Toxins

by Sandra Ingerman


Medicine for the Earth

The excerpt, below, is from the book Medicine for the Earth by scientist-turned-shaman Sandra Ingerman. The author of Soul Retrieval, a bestselling book on personal transformation, Ingerman's new book asks if there is a way to focus our individual spiritual practices on group problems and magnify the results. Specifically, the book is concerned with "transmuting" toxins to alleviate damage to the environment.

Ingerman holds a bachelor's degree in biology and advanced degrees in counseling. Her book combines a high level of scholarship with personal and group efforts to practice alchemy. Ingerman's journey includes an analysis of numerous "miracles" involving water, from Moses using magic words to part the Red Sea to Brazilian shamans practicing rainmaking to eastern yogis using holy water to heal afflictions. The book concludes with scientifically- controlled experiments in cleaning polluted water.

The excerpt below is from the chapter on Imagination. It is a bold, personal statement about the need to visualize the outcome of transmutation -- heaven on earth -- and concludes with a passionate call for us to "dream lucidly in our waking state." It's a very moving riff by one of the world's outspoken spiritualists.

More information about author Sandra Ingerman and the book, Medicine for the Earth, follows the excerpt. If you want to hear another strong personal statement from Ingerman, check out the two-minute iPod-ready video for this book at the following URL:


On Imagination

by Sandra Ingerman

I have written Medicine for the Earth for those of you who are seeking a better life by seeking a true spiritual path. I am attempting to teach a very powerful means for people to heal themselves, others, and the planet, rather than trying to show how to use spiritual principles to gain material objects and wealth or to manipulate the universe to achieve power over others.

I am addressing people who have discovered that material objects or wealth do not create happiness and who instead are seeking good for their souls by finding true meaning in life and bringing passion and creativity into their daily lives.

In writing about the power of the imagination, I am asking people to reach for their highest potential and use their imagination to create better conditions for healing life on the planet. We need to imagine a planet with clean air to breathe and clean water to drink, not how to buy a new expensive car. It is fine to use your imagination to manifest material things, but it will anchor you to here, preventing you from experiencing the divine union necessary to heal ourselves and transmute environmental pollution.

To do this, we must change our consciousness and examine the difference between using our imagination to serve small, egoic desires and utilizing it to serve our highest potential and humanity.

To align with what is for the highest good for ourselves and the planet, we use our own imaginative creative energies along with asking, "Thy will be done." In this way we partner with the power of the universe and avoid making the mistake of thinking our own ego knows what is best for all concerned.

There are specific traps to watch out for in working with creative powers. As you work more with your imagination and creative powers, you can avoid being trapped by egoic desires through aligning your own vision with the spiritual powers of the universe. In this way you work in harmony with the powers that be and avoid accidentally misusing your power. Further, in working on your own spirituality and use of spiritual power, you must simultaneously examine your own emotional state and psychological development so that you do not use your spiritual gifts and knowledge in a negative manner. The well-known black magician Aleister Crowley (1875-1947), for example, had a clear understanding of the connection between the microcosm and the macrocosm but used his understanding and knowledge for only selfish purposes and to control others around him. Aleister Crowley paid quite the price for this, living a miserable life and suffering a terrible death.

I am on a path to bring heaven to earth. To accomplish this goal, I encourage everyone to use spiritual methods that create the miracles to heal all beings on the earth, and to always reach for your highest potential. This is what will feed your soul and will create the happiness you are looking for. There is no greater food for the soul than to benefit all of life. Imagine if we all gathered our spiritual forces together to heal our communities and environment.

The dilemma of knowing when to ask "Thy will be done" and when to use our active imagination comes down to who is making the decision. The confusion usually occurs when it is our ego talking. If you find yourself pursuing material goals, then your ego is making the choices, and to avoid problems you might be better off requesting, "Thy will be done."

There is another aspect of the issue of creating from an egoic state that must be addressed. We are part of the whole and therefore not separate from the forces of nature. You can create what you believe, but you must also acknowledge and work in harmony with the laws of nature. In Part IV of Medicine for the Earth, we will see how we do not have power over alignment with the power of the universe. The key is harmony with yourself as well as with spiritual and natural forces when using your imagination to create.

Part of our fall from grace is feeling separate from source, while the other part is feeling separate from our spirit. When we ask our spirit to say what it wants, the answer will always involve love. It only requests acts of kindness and love.

In Welcome Home: Following Your Soul's Journey Home, I describe a spiritual teaching I once received from Isis about discovering joy in life:

'So my advice to you and to the people who live around you is to step back from your life. Use your imagination to envision what you would like your life to be like. Try to imagine what joy and happiness feel like. Reach back to at least one experience in which you felt happy. What situations and experiences do you think would help you regain those feelings? Trust yourself and have faith that you can create this feeling again in your life.'

As I travel around the world giving workshops and lecturing, I notice that people have a preoccupation with negative prophecies. However, I believe that the so-called Armageddon is here now and has been for quite some time. We are now experiencing fires, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, tidal waves, disease, drought, famine, and pestilence. Further, I am curious about why people get so excited when they speak about doom and gloom to come when natural disasters have occurred throughout recorded history.

I believe this is the result of knowing that our lives are empty and lack meaning. We want something to change this. We don't want to take responsibility for making those changes, but instead want something -- even a disaster -- outside of our control to force our lives to change.

But do we really need tragedy to change? Unfortunately, sometimes learning through tragedy is how human beings grow. While tragedy is not essential for change, when we experience a tragedy in our lives, we value life more; learn the great importance of health and come to appreciate what we have; reprioritize what is important to us; and discover how to live in the present, because that is all we have.

However, many of us focus on negative prophecy because we don't want to take responsibility for changing our lives. Caroline Casey says in Making the Gods Work, "It is better to create prophecy than to live prediction." As my good friend Coreen says: "What future are we voting for?"

Moreover, in visioning a new future, it's important not only to vision our future as we want it, but also to realize that our future is created by our present. To manifest visions of the future, we must shape and sculpt our present accordingly; we must sow the seeds of the plants we wish to reap.

As I have already stated, shamans around the world have a saying: "We are dreaming the wrong dream." Many spiritual traditions and philosophers view this world as the world of illusion.

I, too, believe that we are all dreaming here. And what we need to learn to do is dream lucidly in our waking state. Let's dream together a pure, clean planet of beauty, where we can live in harmony with ourselves, the rest of life, and nature. Let's all dream about perceiving heaven on earth now.

About the Author

Sandra Ingerman

Sandra Ingerman, MA, is the author of Soul Retrieval: Mending the Fragmented Self, Welcome Home: Following Your Soul's Journey Home, A Fall to Grace, Medicine for the Earth: How to Transform Personal and Environmental Toxins, and Shamanic Journeying: A Beginner's Guide. She is the author of The Soul Retrieval Journey, The Beginner's Guide to Shamanic Journeying and Miracles for the Earth lecture programs produced by Sounds True http://store.yahoo.com/soundstruestore/ingermans.html

Sandra teaches workshops internationally on shamanic journeying, healing, and reversing environmental pollution using spiritual methods. She has trained and founded an international alliance of Medicine for the Earth teachers and shamanic teachers. Sandra is recognized for bridging ancient cross-cultural healing methods into our modern culture addressing the needs of our times.

Sandra is a licensed Marriage and Family therapist and Professional Mental Health Counselor. She is also a board certified expert on traumatic stress as well as certified in acute traumatic stress management.

To find a local Medicine for the Earth teacher in your area please visit the website http://www.medicinefortheearth.com

To read a monthly column written by Sandra called The Transmutation News, please visit the website http://www.shamanicvisions.com/ingerman.html

To view or download a two-minute video of Sandra Ingerman introducing Medicine for the Earth, please visit the website: http://www.authorviews.com/authors/ingerman/video.php

About the Book

Medicine for the Earth


How to Transform Personal and Environmental Toxins
by Sandra Ingerman
published by Three Rivers Press
ISBN 0-609-80517-7, 291 pages, softcover, $14.00
Available through this site or directly from:

"Ingerman is a gifted healer, visionary, scholar, and teacher. This book is urgently needed."
Dossey, M.D.,
author of Reinventing Medicine
and Healing Words

"A masterpiece of alchemy with practical ways to transform and heal our lives and the earth."
-- Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D.,
author of Shaman, Healer, Sage
and Dance of the Four Winds

"In this beautifully written book, Sandra Ingerman shows us how to work with our spirit allies to restore the health and vitality of degraded natural environments. A major contribution to the integration of shamanic procedures with radical ecology."
-- Ralph Metzner, Ph.D.,
author of Green Psychology

From cross-cultural legends recounting shamanic cures to the biblical accounts of the parting of the Red Sea and Jesus multiplying the loaves and fishes, many spiritual traditions are rich in stories about seemingly inexplicable transformations of the natural world. The ancient healing art of transmutation, in which toxic substances are transformed into "safe" substances, is mentioned in all the world's great spiritual traditions, including Hinduism and Taoism. And while many have tapped this body of work to heal the self, it has yet to be used to heal our environment.

For twenty years, Sandra Ingerman has studied alternative ways to reverse environmental pollution. In this book, Ingerman takes us on a remarkable journey through the history of transmutation, teaching us how we can use this forgotten technique to change ourselves and our environment. She provides us with creative visualizations, ceremonies, rituals, and chants derived from ancient healing practices that produce miraculous, scientifically proven results. In one dramatic illustration of what can be accomplished when consciousness and awareness fuel our actions, Ingerman describes her own success in transforming the nature of chemically polluted water.

Copyright ©2006 by Sandra Ingerman. All Rights Reserved. Please feel free to duplicate or distribute this file as long as the contents are not changed and this copyright notice is intact. Thank you.