We want to start with resistances, those facts that stand in the way of the will. Resistances themselves come in two sorts: found and made.**
We have to have something to live for, to look forward to. We have to have more than existence: we have to have something inspiring.^
Our imaginations need resistance and reality to bring about creations that are critical, transformative and lasting. Imagination makes it possible for us to expand our freedom, develop key abilities and live for a purpose greater than ourselves.
Wallace Stevens writes about how:
‘The imagination loses vitality as it ceases to adhere to what is real. When it adheres to the unreal and intensifies what is unreal, while its first effect may be extraordinary, that effect is the maximum effect it will ever have.’^^
I take this to mean that whilst we only imagine and create more imagining, as in some idea going around and around with in our heads or within a conversation of a group, it may feel great but ultimately that is as good as it gets. But imagination that meets some reality and resistance and seeks to overcome it is imagination that has become coherent.
I borrow the word coherent from David Bohm when he describes coherent and incoherent light:
“Ordinary light is called ‘incoherent,’ which means that it’s going in all sorts of directions, and the light waves are not in phase with each other so they don’t build up. But the laser produces a very intense beam which is coherent. The light waves build up strength because they are all going in the same direction. This beam can do all sorts of things that ordinary light cannot.”*^
Imagination becomes coherent when it actually tries to do something. Tries is an important word. The word coherent for me also means “making sense.” We find meaning – the purpose greater than ourselves – when we turn our imagination loose on reality. It becomes laser-focused.
Avoid the path of least resistance, take your ideas and explore, experiment and prototype with them. Every day.
(*In Star Trek, the Borg announce that resistance is futile.)
(**From Richard Sennett’s The Craftsman.)
(^From gapingvoid’s blog: You can’t take that away from me.)
(^^From Wallace Stevens’ The Necessary Angel.)
(*^David Bohm, quoted in Kelvy Bird’s Generative Scribing.)