Photo by Cliff of the sea on western coast of Ireland
Fortunately, whatever is in our thoughts and imaginations is invisible and essentially secret to the world. For, you see, we all have an imagination and most of us don't understand that we could and can actually control it. Regardless of what our wild and crazy imagination is doing, bad or good, it is really we ourselves who are allowing it to go where it goes. It's just following and embellishing whatever we allow our minds to dwell on. The imagination takes its ques from that and goes with it.
Here is how it works. For example, if I see something I yearn to own, like that sea-do I have seen others use on the beach, my mind will linger on my desire for that "toy!" I can see how everyone on the beach is impressed with the guy who had one the other weekend and my mind imagines me owning one to, cutting corners on the water, offering rides to the jealous onlookers or family members. I just would like to be admired for once and so I feel like I must have it. Next, while he's showing off zooming around I begin thinking how I might obtain one of these things and my imagination begins to dream up ways to get it. I think of many possible ways, working extra hours, possibly even
using money from that savings account that is dedicated for something else etc. Maybe it would be cheaper to get a second hand one and I begin to picture doing the research, going through my mind how I might obtain this sea-do I have come to believe I must have.
If my mind is not very moral, that imagination will include ideas and scenes of how I could get it in other more creative possibly sneaky and or even illegal means.
That's what our imagination will do. Working out of the right brain, It will go with and enhance and dream in mental images and videos (in techno color by the way) about whatever our mind desires and dwells on. This allows the imagination permission to work and enhance the reasons why and how we'd like to really own, see, do and experience.
Meanwhile, it's all a secret. We would not want that projected on the wall anywhere. No one knows about what we think about and imagine in our minds. We can be the nicest people on the outside but inside our minds, and our imaginations go with whatever it is we like and allow our mind to dwell on.
The problem is that eventually what we think about, good or bad, will come out. Even if we don't say anything knowingly we will slip up. Our opinions, views, attitudes and words under stress will give us away. Even our body language can give us away. If, for example I had gone to the owner of this sea-do and had a beer with him, hung out with him and watched him closely while he was doing his thing in the water, my wife, family, friends would certainly know I'd suddenly become interested in him and that machine. My desire for that "toy" would not be a secret for long.
These days the news is full of terrible things people do which the
police later discover had been planned and imagined by the perpetrator often for a long time before the event. Suddenly he acted in a very unusual way like what happened this week, a man standing up in a theater, pulling out a gun and just shooting indiscriminately, killing and wounding innocent people in their theater seats.
So here's the million dollar question. How do we control our minds and imaginations so more good things are thought about and done rather than bad things?
Well, first, we do have some help. We have civil laws that keep us from doing some of the bad things we unfortunately sometimes imagine. We know we could be put in jail if we did what we actually imagined.
Also, we have social guidelines, written and unwritten. We might see someone at a function that we don't like and imagine giving them a piece of our mind, but we can't do it because it would be socially embarrassing, so we control ourselves and keep silent. We may still do something like ignore them or use some other subtle or not so subtle social actions that will communicate our true feelings for them. But on the whole these things are there so we can live together in this world. These things do help us control our minds and so we know what's acceptable and what is not.
But, are the law with it's threat of arrest and social niceties enough? My answer is "no." We need more and we will address that next time.
artist and because I found a great book entitled: "Imagination
Redeemed: Glorifying God with a Neglected Part of your Mind." by Gene Edward Vieth Jr. and Mathew P. Ristuccia.
I am curious, because as an artist who will be teaching art this next school year, I'm interested in it's application to the arts.
This book has sparked my interest and admiration for how our minds work and the wonderful gift of imagination. I found it fascinating how this aspect of our mind has been so ignored or unknown. There is very little written about our imaginations and it's working in the right brain.
Also, I had no really good thought-out way of describing how we could actually go about "controlling our imaginations." Or that we could even control it.
My writings now are making me work out these and many other things and I am learning sooo much. I just wanted to take you along with me in my discoveries.