I remind you that I write BEAMS, not just a blog. Because my goal for this writing endeavor is very specific; it is specifically designed to lift, elevate and enrich that which I find worthy and good about the human spirit. And in that light; this BEAM is about the topic of imagination.
Imagination! What to think about it?; Don’t look in the dictionary.. Look in the forgotten or yet to be discovered corners of your soul. There could be mountainous treasures of meaning and beauty that you have only begun to tap.
In this world of the celebration of logic; this topic sometimes loses its vitality. A soul who lost his way once told me; man is nothing but a “Binary Mechanism.” How boring. How trite. How trivial. In truth, the Imaginary World can make the real world better. How dull and flat is a man or woman who has reduced life to an equation.
Many of us when we grew up were introduced to Peter Pan, who reminded us all; that life should be a never ending, childhood adventure. He flew us to Never Never land, where magical things happened and we remained forever young. But then we got mashed. Life smashed us. Reality reared its sometimes ugly head and blasted many of us with pain and tragedy that closed the portals of Never, Never land to us.
Yet still many of us have dared the perilous journey back to Never, Never Land; refusing to believe that life can be reduced to the principles of pain & heart ache.
The thing that keeps many from the healthy journey back into the realm of pretend is a false concept of reality. There was a movie made in 1990 called Mr. Destiny. This movie dealt with this false concept of reality. In it, Unhappy Larry Burrows sees what his life could’ve been like, had he made that winning home run as a teenager. James Belushi plays this role incredibly showing the frustration that many of us feel. Life did not work out quite like we planned. The magical scenario’s we had envisioned for ourselves did not work out for many of us. Yet, the whole point of the movie is that there is more magic in the mundane of our current existence than we realize. We can never attract more of “the good life,” until we appreciate the life that we have.
It is certainly no secret that I am focusing much of my thought these days on the subject of Sales. But not just Sales generically. Specifically, I am focusing on the topic of “fulfillment” in our careers. Until we see the magic that did not get away from us. The magic that we still have today. The magic that will never leave us, (unless we get cold and bitter) Until we see this perpetually present magic; we can never find the highest fulfillment in our lives.
Life is not a way off somewhere or a yet to be discovered someday, proposition. It is a miracle to be experienced NOW! Until you bring the miracle into your present; it will always be beyond you and you are in danger of it being swallowed up by the Nothing (explained later). God grants us one moment to live. The present. And He wants to help us live it with vitality and zeal. But we must see like Larry Burrows did in the movie: that Now is the miracle moment to live . Now is the magical someday!
Shelley has this imagination thing going on. She’s got it. She proves it can be done, even with a background of adversity. And we can have this electrifying power too, if we will remember; to let it have us.
I was writing her recently and I asked her? Do you ever feel like you have a rainbow exploding on the inside of you. I knew the answer, before I asked. Like myself, she entertains the magic of the muse. The magic of mirth.. Life is too short not to find joy. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, rediscover Laughing for laughing’s sake. Tell a joke; so your life wont be one. Dream, play, have passion, be alive. You can be practical doing it. In fact it will make your practicality more sustainable, to be energized with the effervescence of imagination.
Recently, I wrote my friend Scout Deana Meadows @loveubotox and told her to share a book with her grandchildren. “If you give a mouse a cookie, He’s going to want a glass of milk.” OK. OK. I confess, I made my wife read me the book and all its companion pieces.. LOL but really… I still know there is a child inside me somewhere. I remember to feed him good stuff. // Never lose touch with your child heart. This is not childish. It is healthy and constructive.
I love Sci-Fi. I draw the line at the gross, sordid, sour, morbid & so dark it is dank. I like healthy imagination. So I make it a practice to enjoy it. (Avatar, Now there’s an example. Remember Star Wars?) Ok, You get the point. Some fantasies can help us better envision incredible truths and beauty. Some way out thoughts can make you well, ….way in.. Way in to a better way to live. I think we should Pretend our way to a new world. Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream and his dream became a living reality. Dreaming can be an unparalleled way to bring wonder and blessing into our lives.
Yes there is a danger of being too way off. As a minister; I used to regularly warn people: “You can be so spiritually minded that you are not earthly good.” The problem we all had with Santa-Claus was that we found out he is not real. And life isn’t just a magic wand that sprinkles us with ferry dust and Poof! We get whatever we want. S0me look at it that way and this is as unhealthy as a lack of imagination. I call it Santa-Clausism. Life does not have to be Santa-Clausism where we believe and failure of the belief system leads us to disappointment and disillusionment.
When I was a boy, the most terrifying movie was Frankenstein. No matter where you were, he would find you. And if he found you, you were in big trouble. Many today act as if they believe their life is in the presence of Frankenstein. That a living ghoul follows them and makes their life a terror. So there is an unhealthy imagination. Often people have this kind of imagination and do not even know it. So, Beware the Danger of Frankensteinism // You can have Healthy or Unhealthy Dreams. Make sure that your private thought life of imagination is a fruitful, wholesome, bright & beneficial place.
Many people of faith seem to be confused about imagination. They are either afraid to have it; somehow thinking that imagining will undermine their faith. Or they get so wrapped up in it that their faith does not exceed their imagination. Faith is not Imagination or is it??? I will not answer this question for you. You must answer it yourself daily. I will help you though. One of the most famous arguments for the existence of God was premised by Anselm of Canterbury. Anselm fathered the Ontological Argument; with this thought: “God is that being other than which nothing greater can be conceived.” That’s as close to an answer to the mystery of faiths intermingling with imagination; as I will give you.
I remember being in religious circles that would not let you use the word magic. Because of what the word was derived from. Fooey. Motive is what matters. God will not judge hearts based on meaningless superstitions. Belief in the right kind of magic avoids the hollowness of shallowness. You do not have to be around someone with a twinkle in their eye, a song on their lips and a poem in their heart very long to figure that they are on to something incredible.
Imagination can be fantasy or it can be fuel for a new reality. I do not believe in conjuring or visioning of life in the sense of conjury. I will leave my life and its results in the hands of God. But I will give Him my performance and service in trying to make a new reality. And I will give Him a clean heart of healthy, clear, and clean creativity to use in trying to make a new reality. I will plant good seeds and trust God for how the plant grows.
If the greatest mind of reason the world has ever known thought it good to imagine; I would say we are on solid ground who do so. Consider the following:
“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” ― Albert Einstein
“Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.” ― Albert Einstein
The greatest surrealist of all time defined reality in the following interesting terms:
“Everything you can imagine is real.” ― Pablo Picasso
In closing this BEAM, I am reminded of a fantastic movie from 1984 that I will never forget. It was called “Never Ending Story.” The plot describes the fantasy world of Fantasia. And then it goes on to weave a story in which imagination is being threatened by a force called “The Nothing.” “The Nothing” was a void of darkness that consumed everything it touched. This is a real danger today that threatens our world. More than that, it threatens each of of us individually and very personally.
The only way to beat the Nothing is to fight it with the Something of a wonderfully healthy and creative imagination. It seems fitting to close this BEAM, with a quote from one of my favorite books of all time, by a deceased author. A deceased author who found that his inner dream was the way to live fully. And though he is gone from our temporal realm; for many of us who read his books; He lives on.. He lives on, Every time we find the joys of creative pondering & musing in our hearts, as he did.
“I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death.”
― Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten
I love this post. And not just because of the honour you’ve given me, because it resounds with such astonishing veracity. Well, all except the Santa Claus part! I still believe. I still make snow angels. I still slide down bannisters. I sing and dance everywhre I go. I choose to live in joy and beleive in joy and wonder.
Even in those times of adversity, I think a part of me never left neverland… and when I found my way back to that part… wow! What magic ensues.
There is magic in ever moment when we open our eyes to it through our child’s eyes… life is such a wondrous gift to be lived out loud in joy and laughter.
God bless you Slam… (there I said it!) You’re a beautiful soul that touches so many lives and reminds people what truly matters.
Lot of love to you. xox
P.S. I’ve been struggling with finishing a post and yours has given me the fuel I needed. Thank you.
Shelley, I was just contemplating words I like from your thoughtful comment! Honour, Veracity, singing & dancing, believing in joy & wonder, magical gifts through a childs eyes, living out loud with joy & laughter and lots of love. Your reply is a beautiful continuation of the thought of the BEAM. Like you are a beautiful continuation of what is good & wonderful …… Thank you & Keep it up!