To watch a 5-year-old child playing is to witness the interplay of imagination becoming creativity in its most endearing form of action. In the multidimensional world of children a different reality emerges: the pet cat becomes a princess in need of a new party dress; water and dirt are not a mixture of mud but magic pancake batter to be cooked and shared with Amy’s dollies; an old bicycle transforms into a beautiful white stallion that Johnny gallops off on to Egypt; and the generic toy car becomes a 1920’s Roadster that the dashing hero drives on the Autobahn. This innocent, imaginative, open view of the world through a child’s eyes is flexible and mutable. Life and play are the same process of imagination and creativity flowing into the limitless freedom of being.
Young children live in these merging realms of imagination and physical reality. Theirs is a world of existence minus the limiting boundaries of disconnection. No gates or borders separate these two realms. Rather, they sit together, melding and flowing in and out of one another, a multifaceted existence in the same space of Being called Life.
Sadly, as we grow older, this open and imaginative view of the world diminishes. Our thought patterns grow more rigid as do our attitudes towards ourselves and others. We become more immersed in the solid reality of the physical world and our patterns of processing it. Society, government, and other forms of structure lay a framework of appropriate beliefs, behavior, and life choices that we often adhere to without question.
The childhood world of connectedness and multifaceted reality becomes separated by what we know or believe to be true. We are taught rules, boundaries, and expectations in such a way as to delineate the one as true and the other as false. We are taught to differentiate between the imagination inside of us and the reality outside of us. Life becomes a precarious dance of opposing forces.
The curious “I don’t know but I want to” of childhood is replaced with adult certitude and concretized lines. Our life and world begin to shrink incrementally until we are boxed in. We become locked in a cage version of reality we hope will keep us safe and solid. But that, more often, leads us to a sense of suffocation, depression, and isolated despair.
So, what about our capacity for change? What about the human potential for growth, discovery, and originality? What about the child self that still whispers to us that anything is possible? Is that inner self strong enough to lead us past our fears and into a more open life experience? Can we find again the freedom and joy of childhood hours in our adult years?
Human existence, society, and life as we know it turn on the constantly flowing process of imagination and creativity. If we look closely at the world around us we may just find that anything is possible and that the miraculous and amazing is constantly happening every day!
We live in a multilayered, multifaceted universal existence whether we recognize it or not. We lose touch with that as we grow into adulthood, but that is more as a result of perception than truth. And perception is a changeable facet of our awareness.
The Covid-19 Pandemic is a good example of the interconnected, invisible reality in which we all live and participate. The simplicity of the food chain is another. A seed becomes a plant and then becomes dinner — sustenance and life for us. Or, consider the cooperative process of breathing between humans and trees and the unseen flowing exchange of oxygen with carbon dioxide that keeps us alive.
We may feel a sense of isolation and fear. We may psychologically believe we are independent and alone. We may see ourselves as lost in a cruel and hostile world, but the truth of our childhood innocence and understanding is confirmed in the simplicity of unity and coexistence with the planet. Our capacity to openheartedly and willingly shift perspective, to change our perception and attitudes, is the key to renewed discovery and creative expansion.
If we can step back from the normal dichotomy, put our judgements on the shelf for a few minutes, and give up our need for duality then a different world reveals itself to us. A world filled with amazing creativity and unlimited potential and possibility.
Every item we use on a daily basis, every road we travel, each building we enter, the television or phone we watch, the games, the toys, the cars and bars … all of these were once an image in someone’s mind. An image that flowed with the internal action of imagination, moved into the internal action of creativity, transformed into the external action of creativity; and, finally, became manifest as the external action of something real in the world. Each and every thing we know was once a possibility, an imaginative intention in another person’s mind. If the arts are “the branches of creativity,” then imagination is the tree, and possibility the ground, from which these branches grow.
Love & Blessings,
The second issue of Serenity Café explores the realms of Imagination and Possibility. We meet some amazing people whose lives have been transformed by both. We share their journeys and learn how they are utilizing that transformation to gift others in their communities and the world. Visit https://theserenitycafe.wordpress.com/shop/ to order your copy of issue number two.
- Interview with Showcase Poet: Amanda Lee
- The Art of Healing: Chronic Stress
- Showcase Artist: Kevon Dooley
- Trinkets: A Poem by Amanda Lee
- Jack Thompson: Out on Assignment 1.2