[A]cts of the imagination are exactly that: acts. They are neural acts with activations that can be detected.*
A writer can fit a whole world inside a book. Really. You can go there. […] You can look out of another person’s eyes, think their thoughts, care about what they care about. […] Books give you worlds of infinite possibility. […] Somewhere there is a book just for you. It will fit your mind like a glove fits your hand. And it’s waiting.**
I sometime suggest to those I work with that they create their “dream home,” a house representing all that matters most to them.
Mine includes a library-lounge – walls of books are magical to me, a co-creating kitchen – in which we could cook up things together, a city-square-cafe front-yard – in which I can sit and read and watch the world and have conversations, and an into-the-woods-and-hills back garden – to escape and be in nature.
There’ll never be such a physical place for me but this is my home. As I reflected on these things some more, I realised how they express my values.
Learning new things, conversations with amazing people, cooking things up together and wandering through nature are the things I value most of all.
These values are my home and I need to come home to them each day.
You may like to imagine your dream home.
Imagining can employ both our visual and motor areas of the brain, the same areas we would be using if we actually doing the things imagined. This is interesting. I can remember reading how practising certain movements in our minds has some benefit and I wonder whether myelin is being wrapped around the synaptic connections in our brains. Perhaps someone reading this has some more information. Imagination is something and something important.
Steven Covey‘s thinking is that to imagine something is the first creation. We then move to the second creation and live out values every day.
“I think everyone is just trying to get home,” said the mole.^
(*From Shane O’Mara’s In Praise of Walking.)
(**Neil Gaiman’s letter to young readers in Maria Popova and Claudia Bedrick’s A Velocity of Being.)
(^From Charlie Mackesy’s The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse.)