This description from Michael Crichton’s novel, Sphere, surpasses all the psychological and scientific descriptions of the imaginative function. Think about the profound truth in his writing:
On your planet you have an animal called a bear. It is a large animal, sometimes larger than you, and it is clever and has ingenuity, and it has a brain as large as yours. But the bear differs from you in one important way. It cannot perform the activity you call imagining. It cannot make mental images of how reality might be. It cannot envision what you called the past and what you called the future.
The ability to imagine is the largest part of what you call intelligence. You think the ability to imagine is merely a useful step on the way to solving the problem or making something happen. But imagining it is what makes it happen.
This is the gift of your species and this is the danger, because you do not choose to control your imaginings. You imagine wonderful things and you imagine terrible things, and you take no responsibility for the choice. You say you have inside you both the power of good and the power of evil, the angel and the devil, but in truth you have just one thing inside you – the ability to imagine. Pg. 348.
For tools to activate creative imagination see Chapter 9 of my book, Through the Dark Forest.
© Carolyn Conger 2014