Nurturing Imagination: Seeking new soils and cultivating gardens of the mind in which to dream a better future
While the possible objects for an imaginative archaeology of information are vast – ranging from trickster tales to mystical conceptions of the Logos to divination – the first steps are the garnering of one’s personal capacity to see, imagine, and visualize in a trance or dream state, or ultimately, a technognostic state (Davis: 1998), where everything becomes but a ‘dream within a dream’, that the boundaries of reality fade and the world of the shaman, of new reality-making becomes possible.
The power to evoke images in one’s mind – to see and believe something that is very different from what one normally sees and believes, or what one thinks one should see and believe – is a process of coming to new knowledge. When one’s view of how things happen is temporarily challenged and suspended, a doorway opens – a doorway where anything seems possible. The shaman is someone who lives permanently in a state of wonder, and tries to understand these things without fear. With understanding comes knowledge, and with knowledge, power.” Manie Eagar, from his paper: The Shaman Reborn in Cyberspace,
Reuniting human creative capacity with with the craft and the art of life will restore natural imagination as a wisdom skill.
Dr Tina Seelig, Stanford Creativity Expert, writes that “without imaginers who engage with the world and envision alternatives, there won’t be compelling opportunities to address.
Nurturing imagination is a practical wisdom skill. Did you know that the majority of tech leaders send their children to Waldorf schools and limit their time using machine technologies?
Here is how Proust applied his imagination: “The document [timetable for trains] was not consulted for practical advice; the departure time of the Saint-Lazare train was of no immediate importance to a man who found no reason to leave Paris in the last eight years of his life. Rather, this timetable was read and enjoyed as though it were a gripping novel about country life, because the mere names of provincial train stations provided Proust’s imagination with enough material to elaborate entire worlds, to picture domestic dramas in rural villages, shenanigans in local government, and life out in the fields.” How Proust Can Change Your Life (Vintage International)
“It became clear that play in the high Andes involves a learning process that is more creative and profound than it is in a society where prefabricated toys are readily available. Most importantly, play activities lead directly to an understanding of the tasks that must be mastered in adult life.”
“Within the home, children play with virtually everything they can find.”
“Outside the house, children’s playgrounds extend as fas as their eyes can see.”
“But children are not satisfied to merely detect interesting shapes within the cosmos. They need to touch and manipulate the products of their imagination. So from a young age they start the manufacture from the raw materials nature provides not only toys but miniature homesteads and irrigated fields within complex landscapes.” Inge Bolin: Growing up in a culture of Respect: Childrearing in Highland Peru.
In machine technology cultures, computer games stimulate the mind’s natural capacities to release the required medicine in the right way for the person.
When we nurture our imagination, we enhance the patterns and harmonies of complex responsive processes woven within inter-dependent action. This enables the spontaneous emergence of novel new mindsets and behaviours towards wholeness.
Immersive, creative participation based on our primordial sense of play-to-learn, helps us thrive, cooperate, strategize, work across teams and cultures, learn multiple states of living, and opportunities to identify and cultivate entire new networks of data – including those available in the natural worlds, such as oceans, soils and sky.
Learning and mastering games from other societies will become as important to us as investing in adventure bucket-list endeavours – becoming popular for iconic Digital-Self-Inspiration and understanding new types of economics, governance and skills for the future of work.
“Play is a voluntary activity or occupation executed within certain limits of time and space, according to rules freely accepted but absolutely binding, having its aim in itself and accompanied by a feeling of tension, joy and the consciousness that is “different” from “ordinary life”. Thus defined, the concept seemed capable of embracing everything we call “play” in animals, children and grown-ups: games of strength and skill, inventing games, guessing games, games of chance, exhibitions and performances of all kinds. We ventures to call the category “play” one of the most fundamental in life.” Johan Huizinga from his book: Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture
Photo Tulip Festival, Netherlands, April 2019