I first read this 10 years or so ago, and I was tripped up by the writing style of this particular excerpt. I didn't know exactly what Seth was saying. Well, I'm sure I've known off and on, but didn't have a complete understanding. I reread it recently and suddenly felt like I finally completely understood it.
Much has been written saying that if imagination and willpower are in conflict, imagination will win. Now I tell you, if you examine yourself you will find (deeper and louder) that imagination and willpower are never — underlined twice — in conflict. Your beliefs may conflict, but your imagination will always follow your willpower and your conscious thoughts and beliefs.
If this is not apparent to you, then it is because you have not as yet completely examined your beliefs. Let us take a simple example: You are overweight. You have tried diets to no avail. You tell yourself that you want to lose weight. You follow what I have said so far. You change the belief. You say, “Because I believe I am overweight, I am, so I will think of myself at my ideal weight.”
But you find that you still overeat. In your mind’s eye you still see yourself as overweight, imagine the goodies and snacks, and in your terms “give in” to your imagination — and you think that willpower is useless and conscious thought powerless.
But pretend that you go beyond this point. In sheer desperation you say, “All right, I will examine my beliefs further!” Now this is a hypothetical case so you may find one of innumerable beliefs. You may, for instance, find that you believe you are not worthy, and hence should not look attractive. Or that health means physical weight and it is dangerous to be slim.
Or you may find that you feel — and believe that you are — so vulnerable that you need the weight so people will think twice before they shove you around. In all of these cases the ideas will be conscious. You have entertained them often and your imagination and emotions are in league with them, and not in conflict.
Roberts, Jane (2011-09-30). The Nature of Personal Reality: Specific, Practical Techniques for Solving Everyday Problems and Enriching the Life You Know (A Seth Book) (Kindle Locations 1826-1841). Amber-Allen Publishing. Kindle Edition.
Seth is saying that if you work on your beliefs, but find yourself imagining what you don't want throughout your day rather than what you do, then you have not sufficiently changed your beliefs! This is one of the most basic concepts of the Seth material, and it's a little embarrassing that I forgot it at some point.
If you change your belief in an area sufficiently, your imagination and emotions are going to kick in automatically. You'll have daydreams that feel good to you.
There is light then that you do not see with physical eyes, as there is sound that you do not hear with your ears. These combine to mentally form the physical image that you know, so you must work from the inside out. Your beliefs are your palette, using the analogy of a painting again.
Your thoughts give the general outline of the reality that you physically experience. Your emotions will fill in the patterns with light. Your imagination will forge these together.
Roberts, Jane (2011-09-30). The Nature of Personal Reality: Specific, Practical Techniques for Solving Everyday Problems and Enriching the Life You Know (A Seth Book) (Kindle Locations 2183-2187). Amber-Allen Publishing. Kindle Edition.
Your thoughts and emotions and imagination are doing the grunt work of creation, they need to be activated. Your beliefs will allow these to flow, as beliefs generate your thoughts and emotions (not vice-versa!). Sure you can work hard at forcing certain thoughts and emotions (and indeed this technique combined with the awareness that beliefs seem like facts but aren't necessarily true, are changeable, and are not a part of you is one excellent technique for changing beliefs) but you're going to be swimming upstream if you haven't looked at your beliefs. A simple belief change can make the thought/emotion exercises suddenly effortless, near-automatic, and pleasurable!
Your beliefs are your palette, your source colors. Applying them to the painting of reality involves thought, imagination, and emotion.