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What Would Imagination Teach Us?

By Step Jones, August 1, 2005 Recent Articles

We have spoken about choice and change in our lives, and we have talked about the people and experiences around us that make a difference in how we live our lives. We have talked about dreams, and being careful of those that would steal our dreams from us, either for their own satisfaction or (as they see it) to protect us from ourselves. Though we don’t want protection from ourselves, often we take the their advice.

What is imagination? Aristotle would say that the imagination is something that helps us between what we know, and what kind of action we are going to take to achieve an end. So to Aristotle imagination is action: we imagine our action to reach end and we take it.

For many philosophers, imagination can get in the way of a purely rational philosophy. “Don’t be off daydreaming- come back to earth and do what your job is now.” “There is no time for those silly daydreams you have that will never come true.”

Some philosophers have decided that the imagination is a characteristic that is unique to a certain set of people, like writers or actors or others in the arts that work from their knowledge and experience something new.

Imagination is usually considered the power of being able to form images that are not directly from experience. Imagination could be sensations that we may have. Where would these imaginations come from? How do we get them, and why do we get them? What can we do with these imaginations?

Imagination to many is a negative. “I must have imagined it,” is a common form of saying that “I must be wrong.” So many people would consider imagination to be something that would be false or wrong or something that will not help you in life. In their view it is daydreaming, it is wishing, it is trying to “hit the lottery” without a full stable of facts and necessary thoughts to make something a reality. It is just a dream, a figment of our imagination. I am being childish in the imagination that some day I will be the prince or princess.

The truth and the imagination must be the opposite of each other in our world of reality. Is it important for you to be realistic, to be reasonable in what you want to achieve?

No matter how many people dis the imagination, everyone agrees that there is one. And what can you do with your imagination? Do you believe it to be false? An awful lot of people would say “Get your head out of the clouds and come back to reality, be responsible for the now.”

May I ask a question? Be responsible to whom? Shouldn’t you be responsible to yourself first? What better way to become what you want than to have a dream and imagine your future? You are dreaming about your future now. Is it drab, is it little, is it what you want to have, or is it what someone else wants you to have?

The first part of imagination is the dream. We have dreams- some are dreams that we want fulfilled, some are dreams that will never take place. How do we determine what dreams we shall live and what dreams we shall give up? I think some sensibility can take place at the personal level on this subject. The former President of the United States, Jimmy Carter, in his now infamous Playboy interview said that he lusted in his heart. Of course that got all of the coverage and was taken out of context like most things blown to sensationalism. What he was talking about, like many people in the world, is that they may look at a person and ask themselves what they think about having sex with that person. We can imagine that, and if we do that it doesn’t mean that we would act out this imagination because of the strong values that make up our person. There are some things in the imagination that should stay in our imagination and not be acted out in real life. Yet there are also many things that should be acted on.

What is in our imagination that can be real for us, and can be made to be what we want?

Is it possible that dreams can become a reality? We have to decide what it is that we really want, because we have already decided something (whether it was right for us or not). So is that what we really want, or should we go back to the imagination and try our luck again. Do we ever have to stop using the imagination to help us move our life forward?

All dreams are possible, but some of us have so many that we must pick and choose. And some of us have so few that if we do care to make a dream a reality what chance does it really have with us? In the spring in the Midwest we would plant the garden, and as we got it ready for planting we would sow the seeds. Now we didn’t just put one seed in one hole, we put several, and out of the several came one plant. Why would you only plant one seed and not many? Your dreams are like that. So many of you have only one or two dreams, why not have many so that the ones that germinate you can care for and love so that they grow and flourish in your garden of life?

Why would some of us have this fertile imagination, and some of us not? Why is it that some of us can imagine and create more than dreams? We create reality from the imagination in our mind.

It is important to understand that dreams are the things that come to us first if we are to go any further in the dream to move toward reality and achievement.

First we have the dream of what we want, and then we have to use the imagination to determine how we are going to make the dream a reality.

Our imagination takes a dream and gives it roots in the mind. A dream is an unconscious thought or thoughts that we have, and as we have these unconscious thoughts, some will manifest into our conscious mind, and as the thoughts come into our conscious mind we have to use the whole mind, conscious and unconscious, in the process of imagination to direct us to make our dream a reality.

Our imagination brings together the two minds that we possess, the unconscious and conscious mind, so that we can build dreams. And through this process of imagination we use our entire mind to make reality happen.

Through imagination comes a plan that we are conscious of and we can then see building the dream in our mind. This gives us the ability to determine our future because we are imagining that future and how we will construct our dreams.

Imagination is a very special trait that human beings have. We have the ability to connect parts of the brain so that we can build and create new things never before contemplated.

I have dreamt of this article and then I have seen it in my imagination. I used my conscious and unconscious mind to build this article and make it be what I wanted it to be. Something to help people understand the power they have and how to use this power. I have dreamt passages of this article and have used my imagination to see where the dreams will take me.

I have fueled my imagination with education, developed my imagination by weeding out what I thought the poor thoughts were and moved ahead with the good and what is better for me. Ever looking, ever seeing in my mind how the ideas grow into concepts.

I look at the ideas in my imagination and see that they are not perfect and try to understand that the truth changes and to look through the prism of the imagination to discern what is wise and what is not. To move forward and give myself new fuel every day by doing and being that thing that my imagination wants- that is how I want to live my life.

Is it the lust for gold, pleasure, ideas, good, evil, kindness, caring, or all of the other wants of the human experience and growth?

Do I need to beware the imagination and that what I use it for will someday be mine, because the imagination used is powerful and a mover of human spirit?

It is indeed. It will move you to new places of which you are not aware, and can take you places that you wish to find and explore.

The imagination is a powerful tool for you to use to become highly equipped for your success in life.

How much more rich is a plan that uses imagination to fuel that plan into reality and success? What can stop your imagination from creating the life that you want? Not using your imagination and putting it away, dismissing it as thoughts that are not reasonable or responsible.

Once you have your imagined a thought, how do you make it a reality, something that will come to life?

We take our imaginations and we choose the jewels that we want. And just like a jeweler we carefully polish them in our mind as the things that we want in our life. We take bodies and relax them completely, from our little toes to the top of our heads, feeling the hair relax on our heads.

I mean it- you want to relax every part of the body and think of nothing. See just the night in your mind as you relax your feet, then your legs and so on. (Tip: For more on relaxation technique, check out the Weekly Challenge “Reduce Stress By Taking a Time Out”)

When you feel your body totally relaxing you want to then work on your breathing so it is deep and relaxed along with your body. Now is the time to see and hear and feel your dream becoming a reality.

See the dream that you want in this completely relaxed state as the life you are having now. Feel, hear and see, visualize your future as if it is happening now. Use the power of your imagination to create the present that you want.

You are what you think.

You are what you think.

You are using this technique that I just described whether you know it or not.

Think about it: What you are thinking now is going to be your present and future. How can it not be? If you are thinking poor, what are you going to be? If you are thinking rich, what are you going to be? If whatever you are thinking is what you are going to be, why not use a technique that will help you get to where you want to be faster by thinking of what you really want.

You are going to be what you think, so if your thinking is “X” then that is what you are going to be.

If you think powerful positive thoughts once a day, where will you be in a year? If you think powerful positive thoughts twice a day, where would you be in a year? If you thought powerful positive thoughts three times a day where would you be, instead of keeping with the negative self-talk that is going though your mind over 50% of the time.

That is right, you beat yourself up about all of the negative things that happen to you, instead of focusing on what you want to be in the future.

You see you are doing it to yourself right now- whatever you believe right now becomes your future. You are using your imagination right now. It may not be the best use of your imagination, but you are still using it to create your future and your present.

Why would you want to do this to yourself? Why would use your imagination to become anything less than great?

Because you know no other way. No one taught you any differently, no one taught you that your body, mind and soul are just like a powerful engine that needs to be tuned to run above and beyond the maximum that you can.

So what are you going to do- continue to run your machine the way that you want to, or just let it run around in circles, programming your machine to run ordinary, instead of extraordinary?

You need to use your imagination to do what you are going to do anyway. You are going to end up being what you think, so why not use that to make your life what you want it to be. Don’t you want the power over your own life?

You are using your imagination right now. I did it this morning out for my walk/jog, thinking about the good and the bad and the ugly in my life, and controlling these thoughts so that the important ones would be the ones that I would be working on today and tomorrow. I don’t believe in the devil, but if there was one it would be the doubt and fear you have inside of you that is just an imagination.

There are many real things that we have to face, but we don’t have to face them until they arrive.

Do we worry about things that we don’t have to, do we fear things that never happen?

I think we should take some time and think about things that may happen and how we are going to react to these things in the future.

We know that people we love are going to die. How are we going to react to this situation in our lives? I think that is something that we should imagine so that when something happens we are prepared to deal with it. And this is quite different than worrying about whether something is going to be going wrong or right in our lives. There are things that we need to be prepared for emotionally that we can use our imagination to get ready for in life.

Chances are we may get fired from a job, so we might want to imagine how we are going to react if something bad like that happens. But to take it further and imagine we are going to get fired is not good, because chances are you will be fired.

I had a friend who could get a job in a New York second, and his mental model was that jobs were easy to get, so he would also get fired after a short time, so that he could continue to use his mental model that jobs were easy to get, so no big deal if you lost one. This did not endear him to his employers, yet within a few days he would have a new job.

What cycles do we put ourselves into? What patterns do we have because our imagination has seen that this is how we are going to live our life.

What unnecessary stress do we put ourselves through because we imagined that something was going to happen that didn’t? What emotional upheavals have we gone though because of our imaginations?

It is important to control our imaginations through visualization techniques, like the one I shared with you earlier, or, if you have another one, use that technique. It does not matter as long as you use one.

Make a date with your imagination; make sure you have plenty of seeds in that field of imagination that you are growing. Use your imagination constructively for you, seeing new things that you thought perhaps were not possible as now being possible. Turn your imaginations into goals that you would like to accomplish, and then a plan will develop to help you get there.

It is exciting to imagine a new you and know that you can make a lot of things happen for yourself.

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