I am an “Alice-o-phile”. I adore Alice in
and have forever and ever. My basement stairwell is
painted as a Rabbit Hole and I have a collection of Alice art and
copies of Alice because early on, I understood the message of Alice
in Wonderland
and Alice Through the Looking Glass
at an archetypal level.

Alice is our escort into
the many absurd notions, ideas, politics and policies, beliefs and
attitudes that underlie society and the way we see “reality”. And oh
how long and absurd this list is of beliefs we are so convinced are
true, important, real, and urgent. Why just the other day, I overheard
a woman at the gym say to her friend, “I’ve got to hurry. If I don’t
get this report in to my colleagues, the business deal we’ve been
working on will be toast.”

“That’s absurd,” I
. “If that report were so important – if you were so important
to the business deal – what on earth are you doing at the gym?” Silly,
silly girl – and now, I thought, she is going to rush away from the gym
in a state of “It’s all about ME-ness”. An “Alice moment”, if there
ever was one – and there are plenty in my because I see so much
“through the Looking Glass”. (Seeing through the Looking Glass
requires that you reverse what you’re looking at, viewing everything
through its opposite. If something appears complicated, see it as
simple. People always look for “something”. Note this classic line
from A through the LG: “I wish I could see nothing as well as you can.”

We live in a world that is completely in
love with going in the wrong direction. For example, we live in a
society that completely trusts the rational mind to structure and order
“reality”. (For starters, just look at what the rational mind has
produced: wars, weapons, bio-destructive forces, environmental
disasters, politics of deceit, religious corruption, false gods and
bogus religious myths, bizarre notions of what’s real and what isn’t –
like the doctrine of creationism in this, the 21st century, though
civilization is much older than 21 centuries.) The absurdity of what
we believe to be true and yet, how we behave as a “civilized” people is
incomprehensible – much less how we go about negotiating our
definition of being civilized. But enough of that…you get the picture.

Let’s jump back into Lewis Carroll and his magic. He
delighted in satirizing the love affair that members of Victorian
society had with themselves and, in particular, their addiction to
snobbery. He looked at what the class could not bear to examine
about themselves, which was, in essence, their own lavish lifestyles,
attitudes, and well maintained prejudices about the way the world was
and simply had to remain in order to keep them happy. But it is
precisely this addiction to one’s personal enclosed comfort zone that
positions a person to become exactly what he or she believes an elite
lifestyle and privilege protects a person from becoming: close-minded,
irrational, unyielding, unrealistic, and completely out of touch with
the world at large. To say this another way: The more a person has to
lose in life, the less likely that person is to welcome change or to
embrace the vast world of the imagination.

and political revolutions have always been initiated at the grass roots
level because those at the “top” have the most to lose. They see no
reason for society to change, because from where they are sitting (Wall
Street), everything looks just fine. Those who can envision energy
technology, for instance, and have urged the auto and other industries
for decades now to invest in energy technologies, have done so for
several reasons, among them these two: First, they can see the
handwriting on the decline of the oil-based economic wall. That is, we
have to move in the direction of alternative fuels. But secondly, these
visionaries simply can imagine the impossible. These are the people
who are not afraid to take a risk and go where others have not yet gone
in thought, in action, and yes, in investment in financial resources.

Carl Jung adored the realm of the imagination. He may well
be the master explorer of our age of this domain. For him, the
imagination contained the passageways to the psyche and the inner
voices of our archetypes. Active imagination was an essential tool that
he introduced, establishing a form of between the
conscious and unconscious self. Right there we have something to
imagine as impossible: opening a portal of communication between your
conscious and unconscious self. That may be getting ahead of yourself a
bit, but such a mega-thought does qualify for imagining the
impossible, if you have never, in fact, considered undertaking such an

Imagining the impossible – what a delicious
and positively enchanting notion. And yet, the realm of the
imagination is a fully and completely threatening place to suggest to a
person who fears the loss of the familiar. As children, the world of
the imagination is an acceptable playground because children are not
yet rational creatures and a child’s imagination is considered cute –
to an . Children are supposed to have imaginations – for a
while. Technically speaking, if one can say such a thing, the psychic
boundaries of children are still porous; therefore, they are subject to
the “hallucinations” of the imagination. These include, for example,
imaginary playmates and perhaps seeing the occasional fairy or sprite.
Dark spirits may even show up. But a child is likely to be told that
these nonphysical visitors are not “real”, they are merely “imaginary”.
Thus, early on the lines in the sand are clearly drawn: What comes
from the mind is “real”; what comes from the imagination is, well,
imaginary. Not real. A poof of a thing, no more than a whimsical
passing thought form.

Now granted the mind has
“poofs” all the time, ideas that run through it this way and that, but
because such thoughts come from the mind, these are not the same type
of “imaginary” thoughts because…well…because they can perhaps wear the
label of “practical” or “provable” or “conventional”. A value is made
apparent very quickly to baby humans: If you are going to delve into
the impossible, just make sure it’s the “practical impossible” and that
your ideas can problems or increase production or profits
somewhere. Having ideas just for the fun of having ideas is well,
impractical! A waste of imaginary income – not that a person imagines
or visualizes income….well, perhaps people do. But do such thoughts
really qualify for “imagining” or just wishing? That question leads us
to this most important question: Do people really know how to fall
down the Rabbit Hole? It’s an art, after all, and not an accident.

Art of Falling Down The Rabbit Hole

I’m an expert
on falling down the Rabbit Hole. I live in the world of the imagination
and the impossible. I rely upon the imagination to fill me with ideas
on a continual basis. If I lived in the ordinary world, I would
disintegrate in short order because the ordinary world is a place
filled with reasons why ideas can’t succeed and with the wounds of
failure and painful memories of the past that keep reminding people that
they should live fearful lives instead of inspiring ones. In fact,
even while writing this, a friend called for a business-related matter
but in warming up to our meeting, he asked what I was doing. I told him I
was writing a piece based on Alice in Wonderland. He
asked if I liked the movie. I said, “Not really, and I suspect Lewis
Carroll would not have cared for it either. Alice was meant to be
enchanted in Wonderland and not be disappointed by characters who were
defeated by an angry Red Queen.” He asked me why I loved Alice so much
and I carried on and on about my many reasons and even brought the
wisdom of Alice into the nonsense of the politics of Washington – which
was not all that difficult. But after all that, he said, “I have an
idea,” and off we went into the realm of the imagination, into the world
of what is to be created, ideas just for a chance to

Falling down the Rabbit Hole requires the
capacity to “let go” and allow your imagination to take flight, giving
form and vision to possibilities and impossibilities – before you let
your mind tell you they are absurd, ridiculous, too expensive, and then
that final blow, “What will people say?” What do you care what people
say? I never have – and that is the great secret of the Rabbit Hole.
You simply have to get over your fear of what other people think. For
what possible reasons do you care what other people think?

Now to be clear – I am speaking of creative ideas, not of
running out on my responsibilities, incurring huge debts, shooting up
drugs, or deciding on a life of theft. So let’s be realistic about
what I am speaking about when I speak about not caring about what other
people think. I still have my head on straight and my feet firmly
planted on the ground – but not my imagination. That part of me is
given full reign to go off to places known and unknown to me. My
target is the realm of ideas, original thought, creativity, and
accessing the deep resources of your soul from which springs your
“charism” or your “unique creative grace.” Visionaries and creative
geniuses know this inner sanctuary, as do great poets, writers, and
pioneers of science and medicine. This is where Emily Dickenson dwelled
as well as Shakespeare, Mozart, Bach, Einstein, Thomas Jefferson and
Benjamin Franklin. They all fell down their unique Rabbit Holes. They
imagined worlds that did not yet exist and their lives became devoted
to incarnating those worlds. I have no doubt that they imagined far
more than six impossible things before breakfast every morning.

It’s easy to tell who has what it takes to sojourn down
their Rabbit Holes. Within seconds of conversing with people, they say
something that reveals whether they are courageous or frightened, or
whether they essentially travel backwards all the time. They soon
reveal whether they have the stamina of spirit to explore the unknown
in their life or whether most of their decisions are aimed at keeping
everything the same as it always has been. Backward travelers will
never be able to find their Rabbit Holes. They have to be content with
reading Lewis Carroll and simply wishing their life could be different.
They will find it difficult to penetrate into the realm of the
imagination, as there is a profound difference between wishing and

Wishing Versus The Power of The Imagination

Wishing has little, if any, real power. It’s musing at
best and a passing thought or fancy in its weakest form. A wish is a
temporary enchantment that lacks the backbone and substance to attract
creative life force or power.

Imagination, on the
other hand, takes effort, energy, and generates a substantial amount of
emotional and psychic response once you make contact with a great
idea. Merging with a unique vision is the same as having an unfamiliar
download of grace rush through your system. In an instant, it
penetrates into your intellect, your emotions, your mind, your
vocabulary; your archetypal dynamics adjust themselves to new symbolic
content – shifting your understanding of the cosmos. You can feel the
power of that idea – that vision – take hold of you as it runs through
your blood like a new drug, making its way into your neurology. And
then it’s locked into your psyche. It’s yours. The download is complete
and you are on a high that is unexplainable to anyone who has never
been swept away by the thrill of contact with the realm of original
thought. This is a love affair unlike anything on earth because it
isn’t of the earth. But it soon will be – that becomes your task as
the vessel of the imagination.

Original thought
implodes someone who won’t do what’s required to be a container and
vessel of that which others cannot see or comprehend. You have to be
someone who can handle being misunderstood or keeping your own creative
company or handling a vision others cannot understand. You have to be
strong enough to believe alone – and for a long time – in what others
cannot imagine. Many people have been able to do that, but most people
cannot stand alone in the demanding realm of the imagination. So they
live in the lesser world of fantasies and musings.

if you really could fall down the Rabbit Hole? Would you? Doesn’t it
tempt you even a little – or perhaps more than a little? Wouldn’t you
love to let yourself go and tumble into your own great unknown – the
unknown that is your own unimagined life that you could imagine if you
fell down the Rabbit Hole? You know you would.

could tell yourself this is just a game, so let’s just say this is just
a game. Okay – falling down the Rabbit Hole is just a game. (But
what if it isn’t? I had to say that – I just had to.)

down your Rabbit Hole requires that you dwell in the world of your
imagination. But really dwell in it. Nurture it. And here’s the
challenging part: You have to do what your creativity calls for, in
order to bring forth the ideas you are imagining. They won’t just fall
from the sky. Books, for example, don’t write themselves. Great
discoveries in medicine just don’t happen. Poets actually sweat over
their poems even though they’ve been completely saturated with the grace
of imagination. You must understand that you form a working
partnership with your imagination. Consider that one never forms a
working partnership with a wish – how absurd is that? Fairy tales
always lead a person to believe that a “wish” alone does all the work.
Now really – a wish and a bunch of fairies – and people believe this
more than they believe in mystical consciousness. And you talk about
absurd????? Anyway – on to the impossible – which is utterly possible.

in Six Impossible Things Per Day

This could be the
most fun exercise I have ever given you, by the way. Do NOT answer
these questions rapidly. Answering rapidly is an indication that you do
not want to give reflective thought to these questions which – let me
point out – you have never been asked before. Therefore, you can’t
possibly know the correct response right off the top of your head.
These questions require reflection. And they are questions in search of
responses versus “answers”.

1) Define what’s
impossible versus what’s possible for you. You’ve said to yourself,
“That’s impossible.” What were you talking about when you said that
and why was “that” – whatever that was – impossible? Too risky? Too
much money? Would you risk looking foolish?
2) What’s the key
difference between what you see as possible versus impossible? In
particular, you are to carry this description all the way to the point
of including “consequences”. That is, what would be the consequences
of the things in your life that you declared were impossible – because
in identifying the consequences, you are naming what you are really
afraid of experiencing?
3) Everyone travels backwards because
everyone has a history. The object now is to determine this: How often
each day do you travel backwards in time? All day? Most of the day?
4) Are most of your decisions aimed at keeping your
life as it is or introducing change? What is your rationale for your
decisions: Safety or new experiences and adventure?
5) Do you tend
to dismiss the creative ideas of others, looking for why new ideas of
suggestions won’t work as opposed to why they could work?
6) Is
there some part of your life that you would like to move forward that
would be assisted by believing in six impossible things?

Six Impossible Things

Start anywhere. Or you can
build all six impossible ideas around a strategy, all supporting the
desire to through something. Imagine something in your life that
you would like to be other than the way it is. Imagine something
absurd, for instance, or you doing something you have never done
before. For example, imagine yourself wearing something you’ve always
wanted to wear, or imagine yourself speaking to a neighbor that you
really do want to meet, or imagine yourself climbing a tree.

Here’s the real point of this exercise: Holding these
imaginings is symbolic of the White Queen in Alice – pure new thought.
Consider the Red Queen the aggressive part of your mind that will come
to do battle with pure thought, pure imaginings, pure creativity. The
Red Queen will always try to destroy a creative gift as the Red Queen
represents the opposition of the collective unconscious as well as your
world and your own inner saboteur, so you must meet that
force on your inner battlefield. If you can grasp that, then you can
understand that the object of imagining the impossible is a
multileveled discipline that introduces you to the power of your
imagination and creativity as well as to your inner saboteur.

But imagining is ultimately not enough. You have to do
more than just imagine. You have to act on something that you imagine.
You have to bring it forth and give it life. The “impossible”
requires vigilance and dedicated attention and constant courageous
choices as well as a willingness to allow your life to change in
“impossible” directions – directions transcendent of north, south,
east, and west. Imagine that.

How often should you
make a list of six impossible things? That all depends on how daring
you are and how bold an imagination you have. In this regard, there
are no rules. You decide. My list is endless.

go for it. Enter the realm of impossibilities. One of the most
delicious lines Emily Dickenson ever wrote was: Dwell in
impossibilities. She obviously resided down the Rabbit Hole. It’s no
wonder she is my favorite poetess.


© 2009 Myss.com – Caroline Myss is a New
York Times best-selling author whose books include
the Spirit
Don’t Heal and How They Can
, Sacred
, and Entering
Healing Beyond the Bounds of Reason
, will be
published by Hay House in October 2009.

Listen to Caroline
every week on www.HayHouseRadio.com