Starting this article, I am conflicted on which direction I should go? I have two separate and compelling ideas for this heading: one is a challenge to imagine a government without politics… the other is an exploration of the degradation of the process of imagination in America, and the need of it to create a human future.
What to do?
Hmmmm, why can’t I start with one and lead into the other…. Let’s give it a try…
Imagination is more important that knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. — Albert Einstein The ability to imagine might be humanities single most important survival trait, yet it is the one thing our cultural framework actively seeks to educate out of us… I do not want to spend this time defending this premise. It would be a rabbit hole that we could spend hours going down and never get to the positive points that need making. I will leave it at this: without imagination all of the science, technology, engineering, and math are tools left on the table.
It is far too simple to say “bring arts back into the mix”, another tool to be left on the table, without changing our thinking around developing the ability to imagine. I said earlier “America”, but this is a global issue that has been going on for thousands of years. America just codified it with our Prussian approach to compulsory education.
John Taylor Gatto, The Underground History of American Education.
I do not think that education is “bad”, though our approach to it is horrible on almost every level. We ignore the science of human development to achieve goals set by industrialists from the past century. Those goals were to develop compliant workers with enough education to provide a foundation for industrial growth. It succeeded beyond anyone's wildest expectation. It became a system of its own, and has also corrupted the higher education of the wealthy industrialists that had planned a master class. Yes, the people we think of as the leaders of industry are just as incapable of imagining as the rest of us, If they were able to use imagination, they would see that the end result of this path is destruction, and that it is rushing up on us like a freight train. If they were able to imagine, we might even have flying cars by now…
I recommend watching Fritz Lang's, Metropolis from 1927, or the redone (musical score) version by Giorgio Moroder in (appropriately) 1984. To truly grasp the depth of how our culture developed so far from our humanity you need to be willing to challenge what you think of as the norm, and see things in a different way. A good starting point is reading Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. This book is required reading for the workshop series provided by Resilient Ecosystems.
There is a war being waged in which we all are losing, losing our humanity, our lives, and our ability to live on this planet. Time is running out for us if we do not learn out to reengage our imaginations and embrace our humanity. It is not going to happen without conscious effort and the pain of change. The question you must ask, while looking into your eyes in the mirror is: What am I willing to do to save my children? Yes, it is our children, not some vague future generation, that will face this extinction level crisis. I know… you can’t imagine it…
So… that is part one, the degradation of human imagination, and why we don’t have flying cars yet!
I want one!!!
Can you Imagine? Imagine a row of dominos falling, the pattern is complex, and chaos ensues where they fall. This is a great example of the cascading affect of the coming disasters. We are “programmed” to think that a switch will flip at some future point and that crisis will happen then. Crisis is happening now, and we need to change our thinking NOW!
Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. ~George Santayana Continuing the subject broached above, out thinking is influenced by corporate owned media, politically and corporate driven divisiveness, and propaganda. This falls on fertile ground plowed by our education system and a cultural framework formed, not by our humanity, but by the need for a few to control the many. Think of our cultural framework as an organic computer, it is programmed by thousands of inputs per second by all of us. If we have been manipulated to input programming to support the “taker” model for thousands of years…we get a taker based cultural framework. The problem is that we need a humanity based framework, and to get this we need to become aware of the taker input, and rewrite it. Guess what, we need imagination to accomplish this…
Here is your first imaginary task: Imagine what a democratic government might look like without a political element? There is no single right answer, other than to get by the initial kneejerk response.
I will leave this here, because anything else I might add will influence your process. Good luck and grand imagining!
My two cents
Mark Boatwright-Frost Executive Director of Resilient Ecosystems, champion of community resilience. It is all about coming together and finding commonality, build capacity and thrive