Monday, May 7, 2012

What is Imagination?

          Imagination is defined as the “formation of a mental image of something that is neither perceived as real nor present to the senses” (American 677).  It refers to a mental image and the tendency to be able to form such images.  “Imagination can be used as a means to creatively confront and deal with reality, widely believed to be the invention of unrealistic ideas or notions” (Sasson).  “Imagination is the one weapon in the war against reality” (de Gaultier).  A person is always at war with others and/or themselves.  The mind can twist and create willingly what it desires.  The one who controls the path of the imaginative mind is the master of his mind. He chooses the path, the distance, and the outcome of the imagined events.  Many people fear those who let the imagination roam through endless time and space, not stopping until release and freedom are obtained.  Albert Einstein once said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”  He infers that the human imagination is capable of comprehending the entire world, perhaps even the universe.  Knowledge is important and needed, but the mind is what controls knowledge.  Without imagination, however, there would be no dreams to lead to the discovery of new knowledge.  The imagination plays an important role in the process of creating a new world that is inside another; however, observation is also needed to succeed and control the boundaries of the imagination (Brookes 12).  Reality is not always what the masses believe it to be. It has two sides the imagination controls which may either bring a person destruction or release from pain. 

What is the true reality of the world?  Vithu Jevaloganathan said, “The identity of one changes with how one perceives reality.”  The world revolves around the idea that there is one believable reality, and it is the only way to live.  Not many people are willing to challenge this idea by branching out into the depths of imaginative thought.  A man can choose to conform to the dull and accustomed reality of the everyday world, or he can choose to be transformed by exploring what the mind has to offer.  The imagination of a new reality can be threatening or comforting.  A person can get lost in the mind and be fooled by the imagination.  People who live life as if in a make-believe world are often labeled as “daydreamers.”  A popular song of the late 1960’s characterized such individuals as “daydream believers” (“Birds”).  People that choose to live life through daydreams often lose sight of reality and may become irresponsible idealists.  The imagined world and life becomes one’s reality and truth.  A man can lose himself to a false reality.  Napoleon Bonaparte said, “Imagination rules the world!”  If allowed to do so, one’s mind can twist the truth into a myth, creating a new, safe and happy world of the mind which seems to be the only truth.  On the other hand, the imagination is capable of transforming a wicked reality of unstable thoughts and emotions into an imagined reality of safety and security.

          Man often wants to live through his dreams because it is safer than the real world.  Nevertheless, no man can escape having to come back to harshness of the realities around him.  John Lennon wrote, 
“. . . Imagine there's no countries,
it isn't hard to do
No need to kill or die for
and no religions too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace. . .”
He imagined a world with no separation and pain but of one with only peace and love.  He allowed his imagination to bring him hope for a better future and reality.  Man cannot let the truth and destruction of the circumstances around him destroy his hope, but attempts to escape into the dreams of peace.  The man who becomes a dreamer finds a new beginning, life, and hope.  No longer does he have to endure a day, wishing for it to end, so he can sleep and dream in order to have a means of escape.  He can relax and see reality as a learning ground to grow stronger and create new thoughts and dreams.  He can then achieve the purpose of using the imagination to his advantage.  The imagination can then become the reality and be as comforting as a dream.  

Perhaps imagination cannot be trusted.  It may entrap a man and make him believe his imagined life is reality, and the rest of the world is living in an alternate reality.  If one allows imagination to take root in such a way that the dream becomes one’s actuality, then truth is blurred into one existence and one thought with the imagination.  The truth and the fiction become indistinguishable from one another.  Alternately, perhaps imagination is the greatest tool of the human brain for coping with the harsh realities of life.  Comforting memory and thought embellished by the imagination provide comfort and happiness, even peace of mind.  The person who learns to use his imagination properly, under control, as a tool of creativity may have the ability to change not only his own life but also to change the world.  Imagination assists in building a man’s belief system, and his beliefs will provide the catalyst for his actions.  Ultimately, imagination is the compass by which one’s destiny can be charted.

Works Cited
“Imagination.” The American Heritage College Dictionary. 3rd ed. 1997. Print. Pp 677.
“Imagination.” N.p, 2011. Web. 8 April 2011.
Lincoln, Wanda and Suid, Murry. “Imagination.” The Teacher’s Quotation Book. New York:  White Plains, 1986. Print. pp 67
Sasson, Remez. “The Power of Imagination.”, 2001-2011. Web. 8 April 2011.

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