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IMAGINATION MAY BE MORE IMPORTANT THAN KNOWLEDGE PART 1 OF 2

IMAGINATION MAY BE MORE IMPORTANT THAN KNOWLEDGE PART 1 OF 2

By Murray Hunter     University Mataysia Perlis

Murray Hunter

Imagination is the ability to form mental images, phonological passages, analogies, or narratives of something that is not perceived through our senses. Imagination is a manifestation of our memory and enables us to scrutinize our past and construct hypothetical future scenarios that do not yet, but could exist. Imagination also gives us the ability to see things from other points of view and empathize with others.

Imagination extends our experience and thoughts, enabling a personal construction of a world view that lowers our sense of uncertainty. In this way our imagination fills in the gaps within our knowledge enabling us to create mental maps that make meaning out of the ambiguities of situations we face where information is lacking, which is an important function of our memory management. Imagination enables us to create new meanings from cognitive cues or stimuli within the environment, which on occasions can lead to new insights.

Our knowledge and personal goals are embedded within our imagination which is at the heart of our existence, a cognitive quality that we would not be human without. Imagination is the means novelists use to create their stories. Imagination is the essence of marketing opportunity that conjures up images and entices fantasy to consumers, allowing them to feel what it would be like to live at Sanctuary Cove in Northern Queensland, Australia, receiving a Citibank loan, driving a Mercedes 500 SLK around town, or holidaying in Bali. Imagination decomposes what already is, replacing it with what could be, and is the source of hope fear, enlightenment, and aspirations.

Imagination is not a totally conscious process. New knowledge may incubate subconsciously when a person has surplus attention to focus on recombining memory and external stimuli into new meanings. Most people tend to spend a great deal of time while they are awake “daydreaming”. This may be enough to activate our default network, a web of autobiographical mental imagery, which may provide new connections and perspectives about a problem we have been concerned with.

Unguided imagination through dreaming and “daydreaming” enables the gathering of information from different parts of our memory, which may not be easy to access consciously. This information may come from a within a narrow domain or a much wider field. The more imagination takes account of the wider field, experience, and prior knowledge, the more likely these ideas created through imagination will have some originality – through complex knowledge restructuring. Creative insight occurs mostly as the result of triggers and slow incubation periods that lead to a revelation.

It is through the imagery of analogies that many breakthroughs in science have been achieved. Einstein developed his insight for the theory of relativity through imagining what would happen if he travelled at the speed of light, Faraday claimed to have visualized force lines from electric and magnetic fields from a wood fire giving insight into the theory of electromagnetic fields and kekulé reported that he gained insight into the shape of the benzene molecule after he imagined a snake coiled up in a circle.

We will conclude part 2 of this lesson in tomorrow’s study session, by describing the 8 multidimensional concepts of Imagination.

 

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  3. Got to love the imagination..without it, what we ever do? One of the many mysteries God has blessed us with!

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