What Is Imagination?

When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge.
Tuli Kupferberg, poet

Philosophers like to distinguish memory from imagination.

We perceive sounds, smells, tastes, and experiences. We can close our eyes and recall these same sounds, smells, tastes, and experiences. We can remember what we ate yesterday, how we felt the first time we kissed someone, what bioluminescent ocean waves look and sound like.

We call this faculty of the mind “memory.”
We remember the past.

What about the future?

We know we can take past experiences and change them to picture something we haven’t experienced. I can have memories of touching a hot stove, blistering my finger, and also watching a campfire burn.

However, I can imagine putting my hand in a campfire and feeling and seeing my hand burn. It does not matter that I have never experienced actually putting my hand in a campfire. I can picture it. I can imagine it.

We call this faculty of the mind “imagination.”
We can picture what is not real.
Or what we have not yet experienced.

We can imagine bioluminescent ocean waves that are green or yellow, or waves with images of colorful birds in them. We can imagine the ocean waves falling up in curious spirals with the sounds of trumpets and flutes coming out of the shooting spray, and the smell of peaches in the spray.

Even though we have never seen
or heard such things combined.

So imagination is not limited to images or mere memory. All senses can be put into play. And make no mistake, imagination is play. Daydreaming is playful. And the more we know how our mind works, the more we can take advantage of playful daydreaming.

What happens when a girl first sees someone dance on stage and begins imagining that she is the dancer? How is it that creative drive provides the energy for the girl to beg her parents for dance lessons, and in a few years she is dancing onstage herself?

What happens when a boy sees firefighters in a fire truck and begins imagining that he is a firefighter? How is it that creative drive provides the energy for the boy to read all about firefighters, to discover what he needs to be a firefighter, and then someday to find himself bravely running into burning buildings?

How is it that some people build a multimillion dollar business, and when that business fails, they sink into depression? Yet others who fail building a multimillion dollar business turn around and build another one, and another?

Once you have an understanding of how the mind works, and how imagination creates your world, you will have the keys to create and change your life.

from Creating Your Life: What You Should’ve Learned as a Teen, Book 1

01-Creating-res100

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s