Chapter Twenty


last updated 1.12.23

Imagination is a perfect example of the working relationship between heart and mind. The inception of a new idea is an allusive process. It is not like pure logic which is a job solely for the mind. If I were to ask you "What is 85 plus 10?" you wouldn't imagine the answer. You would only have to retrieve the mathematical knowledge that you were taught as a child to arrive at the correct number. You'd remember that our numeric system is based on intervals of ten so ten plus anything will be the same single digit plus the next numeric value of ten in this case, 95. Pretty straightforward.

Other "problems" require more than just rational thought. They require you to reach into an unknown area of your mind and search around like looking for something in a dark room. This is not an act of simply remembering a fact. It is an act of discovering something new within yourself that you've never thought before, but you're somehow aware that it might exist. This mental task requires effort and concentration. You are actually hunting for this new idea. This is, also, something that you get better at with practice. The more you use your imagination the more imaginative you become almost like if you were in that dark room where you couldn't see anything. The more you search around the more familiar you become with its layout making it easier to find things. Tragically, the opposite is true, as well, which is why, at this point in human history, we as a species for those living in modern society are becoming dumber. Rather than use our minds for a lot of our daily mental tasks, most people are, now, relying on a small computerized device, their "smartphone", which is an ironically hilarious name to give it. It's almost like someone is deliberately poking fun at how dumb they think we are knowing what our dependence on it will do to our minds. Rather than search around in that dark room of yours which can be enormously big the greater your capacity for intelligence is, you don't even go into it. You've closed the door and are choosing to walk over to a different door in the form of a little touchscreen controlled by someone other than you and knock on it for all your answers. This isn't good. You've been warned.

Why don't you stop using your phone so much? Maybe it's because you're always in such a hurry and you believe the device saves you a lot of time. Maybe fear prevents you from putting it down because then you wouldn't be able to contact your loved ones immediately whenever you want or need even though we got along just fine without these devices less than 10 years ago. Maybe you can't stop using it because you're addicted to it. Only you can decide what the real reason is, but the one thing you cannot decide is what it's doing to your ability to think and especially imagine. It is a small computer and can only teach you how to think like a small computer which is what it's doing every time you look to it for help. Don't underestimate that amazing phenomenon life has given you, the human brain. Combine it with your heart and your life will be on a whole other level. You can't serve two gods. One is fine with you neglecting the other. The other would never want you to neglect anything. You decide.

There are countless examples of our imagination everywhere we look. From planes to escalators, from pogo sticks to windmills someone somewhere thought of an idea and created something new for the world. If something like it never existed prior to this moment, where did this idea come from? The Wright brothers may have envied a bird soaring in the sky and became determined to fly like an eagle so maybe their idea was derived from nature, but they still had to rely on their imagination to solve all the problems they faced in the realm of physics and mechanics to build something strong enough to carry a person, yet light enough to float through air. There are often natural equivalents to many of our inventions. Surfboards may have come from Hawaiian people watching dolphins and sea lions riding the waves along their beaches. A rock rolling down a hill may have spawned the idea for the first wheel which could be argued is a logical solution not an imaginative one. Necessity is probably our greatest inspiration, but creativity is what fuels our imagination.

Where did the first guitar come from? It evolved from earlier string instruments of the chordophone family. Evolution is a form of Mother Nature's imagination within us and all around us. Where did the black and white colors of an orca whale evolve from or the patterns of orange, black and white on a Bengal tiger? When it comes to plants and animals all of these visions are breathtaking and beyond our comprehension and certainly our invention. Yes, biologists can give us data and research on how they came into existence over the course of thousands of years, but who's holding the brush for this artwork? Where does it come from? Where do we come from? I didn't mean for this to become a tangent into existentialism, but the point is that even though we can rationally explain the origins of anything in hindsight from a mountain bike to a manatee they still had to be born from something beyond us. This is where our imagination resides.

The problem that I am challenging every young person in this country, or on the planet, to come up with an answer to which they must use their imagination for is "What is a better economic value system than our current concept of money?" The purpose of this challenge is for us and future generations to connect true value with the artificial idea our present economic system is based on. We have to transition from this artificial system to a true and sustainable one if we and our planet are going to survive as a species and an ecosystem. We must prevent the opportunity for manipulation that our present artificial monetary concept allows. True value cannot be manipulated. By its very nature it eliminates the "middle-person" who corrupts an assigned value system. We must rid ourselves of assigned value and rely on the stability of true value commodities. A better reason to find the answer to this question is not because if we don't we are going to devour this planet thus preventing life, including our own, to continue to live on it, but because it challenges us to grow, evolve and become better than who we are, right now. It is to achieve our fullest potential. This is the challenge we can, all, choose to meet everyday of our lives, to be our best. If we or someone succeeds in finding this true value system, the result will not only save us and the world, but it will usher us into a new realm of existence that will be so beautiful and amazing that you may not be able to imagine it, but this is where the miracle of life comes from. It's where you come from. Be the miracle that you already are. Fulfill it.