What you now know is not all there is to know.
The Power of Human Minds Connecting
"Imagination is more important than knowledge"--- my old buddy, Albert Einstein
As far back as I can remember, I have enjoyed a rich fantasy life primed by a vivid imagination and strong natural visual tendency. Perhaps that's why I enjoy writing stuff like The Spirit Coach so much. I also recall being punished throughout public school for not paying attention and "day dreaming" a lot. I was lucky enough to go to school during a time in which art was required at every grade level and unlucky enough to have been taught that every color had to be exactly within the lines and everything should look like what the teacher drew. I was also taught that it was knowledge that was important, and that imagination was useless if not evil. "...for tomorrow, memorize page 12." Yuk!
Well, here it is a whole bunch of years later and I'm reading Einstein who says that was all bulls--t and I'm convinced he was right...as usual. The older I get the more I realize that not only is knowledge subject to intra and cross-cultural interpretation and rapid change, but that in any case it is all too often wrong. The computer industry uses the term GIGO (garbage in-garbage out) to reflect what I see has become a social ill of major proportions. We are so dependant on knowledge in this culture, often without regard to its credibility, that we consider those with overt imagination as "special - unique - unusual - gifted." Just watch a two year old at play and it becomes blatantly apparent that we have forgotten that an imaginative state is the natural human state of being. We are capable of great imaginative exercises long before we attain much knowledge of any kind.
All great new thinking comes not directly from knowledge but from using our imagination to dream and see things not as we know them but as we don't know them. The knowledge can be a guide to creative thought but generally is a hindrance because it creates limitations to our thinking that keeps us seeing only the world we know. Staying safe within our knowledge is great for the ego but usually disastrous to our lives, relationships and our ability to move and grow along a spiritual path of any kind. An active spiritual life is dependant on letting go of the knowledge of the world that wants to explain, define and package everything for rapid and predicable retrieval. The human ability to imagine anything is a miracle of major proportions that everyone is capable of but is almost universally overlooked by each of us. For example, think for a moment about winning the lottery. Notice the changes that take place in your metabolism and awareness as you think about how you would spend several million bucks. Notice the pure joy that you can create buy using your imagination. Who cares that it will probably never happen, it's fun to imagine it!
A great metaphor I came across a few years ago tells the story that we can apply to all facets of our lives and bring our imaginations into play in a wondrous and creative manner for problem solving of any kind. Think of yourself as living inside a box and the problem you're dealing with as the box itself. The only way to solve the problem is to get out of the box and the directions for doing so are printed on the outside of the box. A Zen koan? I don't think so. I think it's an appropriate question that simply forces the imagination into use and therein opens the gates to all creativity. I'd love to hear how you solve the problem.
©Copyright 1998, Kenneth F. Byers, contact 415 239 6929, or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In answer to the question "What do I want to be?", one third grader wrote: "I would like to be myself. I tried to be other things, but I always failed."