Imagination is our best and worst enemy; it is our hotline to God, but we often like to call up Lucifer!
Life is a moment of actuality in the infinite ocean of potentialities. Our experience at any given moment is a cross section of a totality that includes within itself all possibilities of manifestation in potential form. This may sound too metaphysical, but to a physicist it is very physical, and true, because it is exactly the way things are in the quantum world: a quantum object, say an electron, is represented by a wave function in which all of the possible states of the electron are encoded such that the electron is at once everywhere and nowhere. The electron manifests this or that feature depending on how this wave function interacts with the environment.
The things of the quantum world don’t possess consciousness, so what they manifest is entirely at the mercy of chance and the environment. But for us humans, our wave function, i.e. the mind, provides us special access to a half-decent preview of what is to come. Through the power of imagination we can swipe through snapshots of what some of these potentialities look and feel like. What’s more is that this feature provides more than just day-dreams and entertainments. We can, if we choose to, let these future snapshots or visions motivate us to make, or not to make, certain decisions in the now so to reorient ourselves toward the realization of those potentialities.
Imagination is the mind’s GPS for navigating through the unknown
What is really happening is that by means of our imagination we initiate a communication with a desirable future self that can tell us, if we ask, what to do in order to move toward the realization of a world in which that potential self dwells. We can use imagination like a hotline by which we can call up a potential version of ourselves and ask him/her for guidance and even specific directions for how to get there. That future self always comes and saves us if we stay on the line enough, which is the same thing as keeping that vision alive and steady before the mind’s eye.
However, this can go both ways: I can use my imagination to call up disturbed versions of myself, and if I stay on that line enough I will end up disturbed like them. So, choose your imaginary friends wisely.
All this had nothing to do with religion or spirituality but it awfully reminds me of prayer. I am not the praying type but I have always been cautious in dismissing it without due inspection. After all, prayer has been around for thousands of years; if it didn’t promise what it advertised to mankind, it wouldn’t have made it so far. So there’s something there, and I am convinced that has to do with the peculiar way the human reality is reflected in the structure of existence whereby our creative consciousness, i.e. imagination, can move freely across time and space and tap into and awaken future potentialities that could retroactively influence and change the present moment in favor of the realization of those very potentialities.
Imagination is self-actualization
Imagination is the means of creation and self-realization. Viewed psychologically, imagination is the unconscious’s way of bringing itself to consciousness, of potentiality actualizing itself. We have taken it for granted but if you think about it, imagination is the most potent superpower in the universe, and handling it well is the utmost responsibility.
So, wherever you are at this moment and whatever you’re doing now, is either something you had once imagined, or the universe’s default substitute for what you failed to imagine. If you keep imagining a reality and acting as if it were truly yours, which means acting in alignment with it and reorganizing the now to look more and more like that imagined reality, then the universe has no choice but to give it to you. It’s just the way the universe operates. So, keep imagining…