Cognition – Imagination – Improving Imagination

Friday, June 6th, 2008 at 8:00 am.
by pre.

Imagine for a moment that your imagination was better than it currently is. What kinds of things are you able to do with your new improved imaginative powers? Can you see yourself able to see yourself more clearly because of that improvement? Will improving your imagination increase your understanding of how your understanding would be improved?

Your understanding of the world is based deeply in your imagination. It allows you to model the world, and to change that model’s details, the particulars, and see the consequences. It makes questions like “should I buy this sandwich?” meaningful because it enables to you compare two worlds, one where you have a sandwich but you don’t have a pound, and one where you don’t have a sandwich but at least you still have your money. You can imagine living in both of those worlds and see which you prefer.

It lets you combine ideas in your mind, and thus invent new ones. Imagine combining wheels and baskets: You just ‘invented’ the shopping trolley. Imagination is at the heart of invention, of planning, of thinking.

Imagination helps us see possible solutions to problems, as your imagination improves so does your understanding of obstacles, and ability to create solutions, to generate new ideas.

A first-rate imagination enables you to project yourself into a detailed world, which in turn enables you to describe it vividly, to enrapture those listening to you and capture their imaginations, help them to see what you can see, it’s infectious and mind-changing.

Improving Your Imagination

When you want to improve your abilities, the most obvious thing you can do to do so is to practice that ability. Spend ten minutes a day doing it, and pretty much whatever “it” is, you’ll find you’ve improved, you’re better at it.

So how do you practice using your imagination? By imagining things! By seeing what would happen if the world were slightly different. By concentrating on the details in your vision of that world, seeing them colourful and bright and loud and animated. Describing them to yourself in exciting, evocative language. By imagining solutions to problems in that world, thinking up new experiments to try in it.

You can also use this world to plant suggestions to yourself, help your brain understand and focus on the relevent parts of the act of imagination, help it to see what should be growing.

This Month’s mp3

We give an example of this kind of imagination-improving meditation in this month’s mp3 file. It encourages you to relax, get into as suggestible a state as you can, before vividly imaging yourself sliding out of your body so that you can see yourself lying back, relaxing.

Next it suggests that you improve your imagination by imagining yourself literally operating on your brain. Think up a way to open the top of your skull, and then watch yourself doing that. Imagine a way to locate the imagination areas of your brain and watch yourself doing that. Then think up a way to encourage those parts of your brain to grow, before vividly and animatedly watching that happen before you. Finally, imagining yourself closing up the wound and sliding back into your own body to feel the warm glowing growth of your imagination. To try and imagine how it feels to have that improved imagination.

Each time you try the meditation, think up new tools, new methods, new techniques for doing each of the tasks involved in growing that brain, remember that if you can imagine how it feels to have improved your imagination, you just have to practice feeling like that in order to have actually done it.