“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world”.
The word ‘imagine’ means to form mental images of things not present to the senses and it requires a picture or image. It also means to conceive of or to form a purpose. The definition of imagination is parallel to how faith is described in Scripture: “Faith is the assurance the confirmation of the things we hope for, being the proof of things we do not see and the conviction of their reality; faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses” (Hebrews 11:1, The Amplified Bible).
God designed our imagination as a way to access the unseen realm.
We often think of imagination as unrealistic, unimportant, childish, impractical and not sensible to real-life matters. However, imagination is a function of the right brain and includes characteristics such as flexibility, artistry, fantasy, visualization, intuition, empathy, and sensitivity among others.
What is the role of right brain functions in our personal experience? The key word is imagination. Imagination becomes a plan which when followed becomes reality. Imagination is the template for what is to come. An architect creates and designs a picture of what is to come and the vision of what a building or landscape will look like. Often times you will see a “coming soon” sign in front of a vacant space with the picture on the sign of what the finished product will look like. Our brain works the same way. We are the architects of our life.
Imagination is the pathway to envisioning our future, which contains within it the ability to see farther than the physical eye can look.
What do you imagine doing?
Imagination allows a person to not remain stuck in the analytical, rational, logical mind which is part of the left hemisphere. The left brain can only use the information it already has from the senses and perceptions of our circumstances to foresee the future. When left to itself, the brain automatically uses left hemisphere functions to form reality. Therefore, without the functions of the right hemisphere engaged, it is not possible to see beyond situations and circumstances that are fear-based and/or appear to be impossible or unattainable. The integration of the left and right brain is necessary to achieve happiness, fulfillment, and the ability to live effectively. This means it is necessary to engage imagination, fantasy, and visualization to go beyond what your left brain knows into what your heart truly desires.
It is exciting to realize that we can change our brains simply by imagining. From a neuroscientific point of view, imaging an act and doing it are not so different. “Brain scans show that in action and imagination many of the same parts of the brain are activated. For example, when people close their eyes to visualize the letter a, the primary visual cortex lights up just as it would if they were actually looking at the letter a. Imagining an act engages the same motor and sensory programs that are involved in doing it” (Dr. Norman Doidge—The Brain that Changes Itself).
The more you take the time to imagine what you desire, the closer you are to allowing it to become your reality!