Photo by Cliff Derksen
apologetic hard working staff. By the way the documentary was very
enlightening. Then we went to St. Vital mall and watched a very "imaginative" movie, "The Ant Man". Fantastic. After that, out for dinner.
Best of all, we could just spend time together discussing all kinds of subjects including my wife's present project on forgiveness and mine on imagination. Very invigorating and informative to say the least.
Back to the subject at hand, our imagination.
First an outline of where we've been so far on this subject for the last four blogs. In the first one called "Imagination" we established the reality that we do take imagination for granted. That we all have it, use it all the time and that it's not just for artists, visual or otherwise.
Then came "Imagination is With Us." where we talked about how we cannot dis-engage it. Media for example knows it and will use that against us. How do we protect ourselves?
Next was "Imagination Directed." Here we learned that our imagination goes with our mindset. What we accept and dwell on in our minds is where the imagination goes, explores and what it will enlarge on. So if our minds are good, the imagination will be better. If our minds dwell on the bad, questionable or even immoral, that's were the imagination will goes. Question: Are the two things, civil law and social graces enough to control our minds and imaginations to live life as it should be lived? I suggested "no."
Then lastly in "Imagination and the Banality of Evil" we examined how evil can be part of our "culture" be it in our nation, our workplace, our families, homes, relationships, denominations, whatever. How this can "numb" or "deceive" us into going with what might not be morally right at all. How it makes us stop "thinking" and imagining the wrong, accepting what's evil because it's the culture (banality of evil activity) of the place we are in.
Today I just want to add that we essentially cannot control, and, yes we can sort of control our imaginations. Wow, was that ever an example of clarity eh? I know, you think Cliff has gone off his rocker. Maybe, but work with me here. First, the desires of our hearts and minds will give our imaginations a general guide to what's ok for it to dwell on and think about. More about that later.
Secondly, now for that what "we essentially cannot control" part. As we move about in our day we take in a lot of stuff through or senses. When we see or sense something our imagination can flash a idea at us with what we might immediately know is immoral, wrong and bad. This flash is uncontrollable and happens to all of us. But...it is what we do with that "flash" that makes the difference. If we mentally snuff it out, erase, deflect our eyes, delete it, even physically move ourselves from further temptation if we must, our imagination will respect that and it will be gone. It's such choices we must make every day.
Back to the first part. The basic desires of our hearts and minds will be the key to keeping our imaginations free, easy and filled with quality material. What am I doing to keep that part right? What we must do is be proactive about developing a well rounded, growing, clean and maturing mindset. Now this is a huge statement. It's talking about the quality of our inner minds and beings.
What we are dealing with here is our philosophy of life that goes beyond what we spoke of earlier, obeying the law or social niceties. This is about basic issues of faith, belief, integrity, forgiveness, love and so on. It's about realizing that we cannot do life alone. About realizing that we cannot run our own lives because we are not smart or creative enough. It's about realizing we need help from our creator God who made us and knows us and can be present to lovingly guide us better than we could ever do. This is no one's choice but our own.
In 1984 I experienced the tragedy and trauma of the murder of my oldest daughter. How have I survived this? How have my wife and I been able to stay together through this experience? All I can say is that it has to do with one fact, I have been able to receive and pass on the gift of forgiveness offered to me. This gift has cleared my mind from cycling, anger, bitterness, and fear. It has helped me see my vulnerability and need for help. It has given my mind peace and has saved my life. This has been a huge part in the journey of healing my mind, giveing my imagination freedom and creativity beyond what I ever haven known.
With this, I continue work at training my mind to know God's ways and voice guiding me with his Holy Spirit in awareness and sensitivity to always see the traps, temptations and snags of wrongness, regardless of the culture I'm in. That I will have the courage and imagination to respond accordingly. That I will never stop thinking and learning. That my mind will not put up any barriers of self interest and crazy desires, limiting my imagination to show me the truth of what's happening around me.
This from a stumbling traveler is my prayer.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”