Real love is that which lifts one's nature above the ordinary and fills the soul with compassion. It is impersonal: a rounding out of the character under the inspiration of a lofty and spiritual kind of thought; a bringing of one's noblest possibilities into action through self-sacrifice for the sake of another. One who has loved in this way will know something, for example, of the power of imagination. We take nothing into our minds but it either expands there in its strength and beauty, or it deteriorates into vileness and decay. He who loves ideally, idealizes the object of his love; and if this be done seriously and wisely -- the faults and weaknesses of the one so idealized at the same time recognized and withstood -- it is a process that makes love creative. The idealization tends to become ever more actual, and the common stuff of human life is glorified.
I hold that the imagination has a wonderful and creative power. If we let it soar in the world of spiritual and creative thought -- and are not afraid to let it soar -- it can create what truly seem to be miraculous things. Yet the imagination, like all things, is dual. Along lower lines it is as disintegrative in its power as it is creative and constructive on higher lines.
You touch a mystic law when you create in imagination the picture of mighty things, for you open a door to new powers within yourself. Something in the way of potent energies is awakened and called into life and strength both without you and within. If you aspire, visualize your aspirations. Make a mind-picture of your spiritual ideals, a picture of the spiritual life as you know it to be, and carry that picture with you day by day. Cherish it as a companion. Carry it with you for breakfast, dinner, and supper, and before you know it a new life has been born. Before you know it the ideal has become the real and you have taken your place as a creator, truly, in the great, divine scheme of life.