The Force of the Imagination

IMG_0291I believe in nothing but the holiness of the heart’s affection and the truth of the imagination. – John Keats

A hundred years ago, Ireland gained independence from Britain through a bloody revolution. A year ago the people of Scotland were allowed to vote on whether or not they wanted sovereign rule or remain part of the UK. I was very much heartened by this evidence of dramatic change for the good.

While it tempting to focus on the all the discord and war in the world today, I think it’s important to turn our attention on what is working and look at how we can peacefully transform systems that really are not working for the good of the whole.

I have been thinking about how important it is to combine this effort with the use of the expanded awareness of the imagination to envision what we desire the changes to look like. Imagination after all is a force that can take us places we have never been before.

Barbara Marx Hubbard, the 84 years young founder of the Foundation for Conscious Evolution, thinks groups like the Occupy movement and the Umbrella movement calling for change in Hong Kong, “are planting seeds of the evolution of democracy itself, a democracy that expresses the hopes and aspirations of the people, for the common good.” These grassroots movements are questioning the existing structures that are all top down hierarchies: like corporations, organized religions, and nations states. It’s obvious that these systems are in need to repair and restructuring, the question is do we want to allow the changes to occur by default or do we want to hold a vision for the new earth and create from there.

In her recent newsletter Barbara Marx Hubbard, quoted Buckminster Fuller, the great “design science” evolutionary and futurist as saying that “we have the technology, resources and know-how to make of this world a 100% physical success for all people, without destroying our environment.” We need to come up with better designs for social systems, governing, economics, health care, transportation. How do we create better designs.

This leads me back to the imagination; this incredible ability we all have to be alchemists, to create something from apparently nothing. We start playing around with an idea and let our subconscious mind or imagination run and different possibilities come to us after we have let it go and are out for a walk, in the shower, washing the dishes, driving to the store or staring out the window. From this place we can come up with creative solutions and new structures that are inaccessible to the rational mind. As Einstein said, “Logic will get you from A to B and imagination will take you everywhere.” Use of our imagination fuels innovation.

Each one of us can contribute our unique gifts to this visioning and help to create the world we really would like to live in. To begin we start holding an image of what we want that world to look like. For a bit of inspiration I’ve included the lyrics to the John Lennon song Imagine, which I think carries the Spirit of the changes that the heart of the movements calling for positive change are asking for.

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

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 may say that 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 may say that 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

– John Lennon

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