Imagination, your ability to have fresh innovative ideas pop into your mind which you can meditate on, develop and even create.

Imagination - another human singularity you possess in your mind at the origin of many projects.

Imagination – another human singularity you possess in your mind, at the origin of many projects.

Imagination, that’s today’s topic, but keep in mind, it’s within the larger theme of the singularity of humankind–what makes humans just that, human. Imagination and dreams–thoughts about possibilities–are singular to humans. In the animal kingdom, only fictitious Disney cartoon animals can dream and imagine a better future.
(Audit of the Universe, chapter 10.5)

We’re laying the pieces of the puzzle on the table and turning them right-side up. Here’s a puzzle piece question: What is humankind? You know that’s a key piece. And we saw the Smithsonian Institution‘s response from standing upright to changing the world.

A more thorough definition of humankind must include and even focus on the non-physical nature: MindMind is the base of everything human. Imagination is a cornerstone fundamental element of the mind and therefore is one of the key defining elements of who you and I, we humans, are.

A definition of humankind must focus on their non-physical nature: Mind. Mind is the base of everything human. Imagination is a cornerstone element of the mind defining who you and I, we humans, are. Click To Tweet

Imagination starts at a very young age. In my bedroom, I imagined I was a steward in a plane, later I had the idea–that’s practical imagination–for a business. As a teenager I dreamed–that’s projective imagination–of joining the Canadian Navy because I loved the ocean. I did have a business but never came near the Navy–some dreams come true, some imaginations become unfulfilled memories. What are your imaginings?

Anytime a writer begins to throw words on a page, they’re imagining. Anytime a painter begins to dip their brush in paint, they’re imagining. Anytime a designer begins to sketch lines on a serviette in a restaurant, they’re imagining.

Our consumer society is literally filled with imagined merchandise. The created results of ideas and concepts that started in someone’s conceptualizing mind. Whether you take shoes, handbags, hairdo’s, jewelry, furniture, gardens, architecture, cars, books, vacations, adventures, entertainment, the list never ends. In our world today we have more physical and non-physical ‘things’ than ever before in the history of humankind.

Each one of these products or issues was first a figment of their creator’s imagination, a flash of insight, a daydream or maybe even a night-dream. Imagination is where everything starts. No imagination and we’re mindless, just like animals.

Each one of these products or issues was first a figment of their creator's imagination, a flash of insight, a daydream or maybe even a night-dream. Imagination is where everything starts. Click To Tweet

One of our daily activities, eating, is also one of the most imaginative when it comes to creating new tastes. Potato chips and yogurt continually surprise us with their unconventional flavors. I’ll have to find the reference but I believe I read that they’re imagining and creating 3 new flavors each day. That’s prolific imagination. In France ‘cuisine’ is the name of the game. Not only the millions and millions of different mixtures of starchy foods, vegetables, spices, meats, fish, but also with the artistic way they’re present on a plate. Think of the sheer number of recipes available. Some, like wedding cakes, are such works of art you feel bad cutting them into mouth-watering slices. Each one of these gastronomic delights ignited in the imaginative mind of someone wanting something a little more exotic.

Humans are the only beings that not only possess imagination but who can take whatever they’ve imagined and, through creativity, turn it into reality.

Did you know there are more varieties of tea than of wine? Henrietta Lovell had a novel tea tasting experience in China in 2004. She imagined her future in tea, returns to London and abandoned her job in finance to become the Rare Tea Lady. Imagination (and hard work) pushed her through people who didn’t believe in her idea. Today she provides her own brews direct from the fields of Asia and Africa to the finest restaurants in New York and Paris. The power of imagination ignites life.

Ron Suskind’s 3 year son, Owen, slipped into sudden sheer silence. He is autistic and became obsessed with Disney cartoons. Imagine a therapy. Imagine How to help. Imagine how to bring your son into ‘this’ real world. He did. His best-seller book, Life Animated, explains how, for years, he and his wife imitated Disney characters to which Owen responded. Through imagined characters with imaginative play therapy, Owen now imagines becoming an artist for Disney. Imagination helps others with their lives.

The world of song-writing is ripe with imagination. There are even songs about imagination. You know this one by John Lennon. Listen, read the lyrics … and imagine.

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today… Aha-ah…

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace… You…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world… You…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

Imagine … by John Lennon.

Imagination takes on every tone imaginable. Now, read the words of ‘Demons,’ a song by Imagine Dragons. Their name is an anagram for a phrase only known to members of the group, Given the lyrics you can imagine where this is going.

When the days are cold
And the cards all fold
And the saints we see
Are all made of gold

When your dreams all fail
And the ones we hail
Are the worst of all
And the blood’s run stale

I want to hide the truth
I want to shelter you
But with the beast inside
There’s nowhere we can hide

No matter what we breed
We still are made of greed
This is my kingdom come
This is my kingdom come

When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide
Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

When the curtain’s call
Is the last of all
When the lights fade out
All the sinners crawl

So they dug your grave
And the masquerade
Will come calling out
At the mess you made

Don’t want to let you down
But I am hell bound
Though this is all for you
Don’t want to hide the truth

No matter what we breed
We still are made of greed
This is my kingdom come
This is my kingdom come

When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide
Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

They say it’s what you make
I say it’s up to fate
It’s woven in my soul
I ned to let you go

Your eyes, they shine so bright
I want to save their light
I can’t escape this now
Unless you show me how

When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide
Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

Songwriters: Joshua Francis Mosser / Alex Grant / Benjamin Arthur McKee / Daniel Coulter Reynold / Daniel Wayne Sermon
Demons lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

This is very dark imagination… very dark indeed. I will not get into it here but just think of the words Jesus prayed in Matthew 6.10 ‘Thy kingdom come’ and compare it. Imagine Dragons has a completely opposite view of the kingdom. Their imagination has nothing to do with that of John Lennon. I point this out because imagination can go both ways and everything in-between. That’s because of humankind’s double nature. It can enlighten and it can darken.

Vivid imagination acted on, leads to resourcefulness, creativity and fulfillment. That’s the story of humankind. Our minds are overflowing with ways we think things–everything–can and should be done. Imagination is an-entire-book-subject and maybe someone has already written it. One man, Jay Walker, has collected it. He has created the Library of Human Imagination with an amazing array of artifacts to illustrate this singularity of humankind.

 

This trait of imagination inhabits every human being worldwide, regardless of race or creed. This is another of those singular characteristics that identifies WHAT humankind is. The real question is: WHY are we endowed with imagination? And the real answer is forthcoming in upcoming blog posts and the future book Origin of the Universe. Stay tuned.
 
This blog post is an excerpt from chapter 10.5 of the book Audit of the Universe.

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