Information versus imagination

“I will not die an unlived life,
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
more accessible,
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise…”*
(Dawna Markova)

‘This is always one of the great tensions in an awakened or spiritual life, to find the rhythm of its unique language, perception and belonging.’**
(John O’Donohue)

Life feels more like a journey than a destination.  The unfinished business of understanding (expressing), as John O’Donohue has it, the thing that is our particular way of seeing, imagining, and connecting.  Life is energy and in these three things we are embedding energy in a unique way:

‘The key word here is energy.  All life is energy; without energy there is no life.  Passion is the power of positive spiritual energy.’^

Ken Robinson is touching here on the game-changer.  We think that if we only had more – information, money, time – then we could change the game.  All the time, we have our imagination, as The Wander Society puts it:

“Your imagination is being wasted.”^^

Nassim Taleb declares in his typically ascerbic but clearer-sighted way:

‘The problem with information is not that is it diverting and generally useless, but that it is toxic.

[…]

people often think that it will be the best batch of news that will really make a difference to their understanding of thing.’*^

It’s not that information is useless per se but more information is of little value if we cannot imaginatively use what we already have – which may be more than enough to get or to stay moving.

Which brings us to O’Donohue’s point about belonging.  The people we connect with can make a big difference.  Erwin McManus quotes an African saying:

“If you want to go fast, go alone.  If you want to go far, go together.”^*

The endless number of permutations of people can make astonishing things happen with all their information and imagination.

(*Dawna Markova, quoted in the Northumbria Community‘s Morning Prayer.)
(**From John O’Donohue’s Anam Cara.)
(^From Ken Robinson’s Finding Your Element.)
(^^The Wander Society, quoted in Keri Smith’s The Wander Society.)
(*^From Nassim Taleb’s Fooled by Randomness.)
(^*From Erwin McManus’ The Last Arrow.)

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