Imagination is everything. It is the preview to life’s coming attractions~ Albert Einstein
When we give our children everything they want, we rob them of the opportunity to cultivate the treasure that was already planted within them.
Science and Imagination
The value of our imagination is often undermined by the logic of science.
Albert Einstein was a scientist, who to this day has set an indisputable precedence for the theory of physics.
According to the Collins dictionary, physics is the scientific study of forces, such as heat, light, sound, pressure, gravity and electricity and the way they affect objects.
Wikipedia describes physics as one of the most fundamental scientific disciplines, where the’ main goal is to understand how the universe behaves.
Einstein didn’t say that “Imagination may possibly be something”. He said “It is Everything”!
There were unctions or premonitions that revealed concepts to him, before his theories were ever validated by science. Was it special knowledge, or did he will it into being? I believe it was both.
Imagination versus Knowledge
“Imagination is more important than knowledge“~ Albert Einstein
First recorded by The Saturday Evening Post in a 1929 interview, Einsteins’s discussion surrounding the interview was written as follows.
Einstein “I believe in intuitions and inspirations. I sometimes feel that I am right. I do not know that I am. When two expeditions of scientists, financed by the Royal Academy, went forth to test my theory of relativity, I was convinced that their conclusions would tally with my hypothesis. I was not surprised when the eclipse of May 29, 1919, confirmed my intuitions. I would have been surprised if I had been wrong.”
Interviewer “Then you trust more to your imagination than to your knowledge?”
Einstein“I am enough of the artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”
Knowledge and Choice
Access to both choice and knowledge has multiplied exponentially, particularly in this age of advanced innovation and technology.
No longer is a beer just a beer or milk, simply milk. Unless we have explored the vast array of choice, settling for the flavour or variation that resonates with us, we can’t move forward. (if the immediate goal is to choose the perfect beverage).
The pressure to follow our most appropriate, as well as personalised path, can be quite daunting. Before we’ve decided which beverage to drink, along comes a waiter with the food menu.
Experience will often guide choice, but with all of the many options facing us each day, a quick decision on intuition is valuable against time pressures.
For many of us, we’d be happy if someone else, (someone we trusted) made certain decisions for us.
Sadly, the necessity to cultivate a healthy imagination is threatened by these modern distractions, separating us from our true identity.
Who can we trust in our best interest, that isn’t simply trying to sell us their own version of “salvation” or beer or agenda?
Has the lack of this blissful cognitive exercise, given way to a more anxious society?
Where would Einstein have directed his imagination in order to tap into this realm of groundbreaking intuition? Was it a place, untapped by cultural influences,… well away from all the noise?
A place that resonated with his true identity and traits unique to him.
In living through this “great epoch,” it is difficult to reconcile oneself to the fact that one belongs to that mad, degenerate species that boasts of its free will. How I wish that somewhere there existed an island for those who are wise and of good will! In such a place even I should be an ardent patriot! ~Albert Einstein
Ref: Letter to Paul Ehrenfest, early December 1914. Collected Papers of Albert Einstein, Vol. 8, Doc. 39. Quoted in The New Quotable Einstein by Alice Calaprice (2005), p. 3
Was there an arrogant overtone in Einsteins words? It’s easy to misinterpret someone, who stands firm in his own convictions, when we can’t relate. The cost of individuality in a world that often sells a cookie cutter mentality is often great and yet so too are the reaping of rewards, eventually.
Boundaries of Choice
If I were to offer a child the choice of cereal or toast for breakfast, I would be setting a precedence for them to exercise this choice within a certain safe boundary. Age appropriation, knowledge and experience could determine those boundaries.
A sense of freedom and confidence is lovingly instilled, as well as a manageable lesson of choice and consequence. They will have calmly made their own decision, setting up for themselves the next lesson of choice, arriving at lunch time.
The loving parent of a toddler, should rarely ask “What do you want to eat for breakfast?” This is too comprehensive a range for the young mind to ponder. Confusion is an unsettling enemy to peace.
Our Blind Spot
When Einstein referred to our species as mad and degenerate, he was implying the blind spot in our prideful nature.
To observe the character of this blind spot, we could best relate to the child like tantrum, when for example he or she refuses to eat something healthy.
The child exercises free will with the only dialogue and experience it knows. “No! My want Lolly!”
Children are short sighted, simply because they haven’t experienced or conceived the consequences from a life time of breakfasts, laced with artificial flavouring, though decorated in the colours of a rainbow and wrapped in exciting packaging.
Science has proven that the frontal lobe of a child’s brain, that perceives consequence, doesn’t fully develop until the age of 25 at least.
A loving parent should factor this understanding into their own responsibility as appropriate guidance. Such life altering decisions, may later result in greater regret.
We would far better equip them by teaching them the fruits of patience, than allowing their innocent will and whim to navigate overwhelming choice all on their own.
Demonstrating our own boundaries, regarding societal pressures and impulsive decisions, will hopefully lead by example.
When the child grows up
“Our entire much-praised technological progress, and civilization generally, could be compared to an axe in the hand of a pathological criminal”.
- Reference: Letter to Heinrich Zangger (1917), as quoted in A Sense of the Mysterious: Science and the Human Spirit by Alan Lightman (2005),p. 110, and in Albert Einstein: A Biography by Albrecht Fölsing (1997), p. 399
- Sometimes paraphrased as “Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal.”
In Einsteins world of physics, he could have tripped over this blind spot, unobserved by other scientists. He could have pursued power at the expense of others, or yielded to a “lolly” diet kind of science.
Invitations may have lead to roads following the degraded morale of the masses, yet ultimately he chose to follow his own compass of personal identity and moral good.
Seeing the world of technology for what it was, Einstein likened it to an axe wielding pathological criminal.
Something within the boundaries of his imaginations, gave vision to a path he refused to explore, ultimately rewarding him the discovery of indisputable truth, that few scientists have managed to accomplish long term.
What is the boundary?
In the late 1980s, Einstein’s daughter Lieserl donated 1,400 letters written by her father to the Hebrew University. This particular letter summed up his conclusion to the “Ultimate Universal Force”, demonstrated in full by a life long observation, sealed in revelation and accounts of a father daughter relationship,… or so the story goes. The fact that these particular writings have never been confirmed as Einstein’s, adds to the mystery & the meaning behind such an observation.
If truth was never in constant opposition to the lie, there would be no requirement for the choice and will of our own reasonings and imaginations. The letter reads as follows.
“When I proposed the theory of relativity, very few understood me, and what I will reveal now to transmit to mankind will also collide with the misunderstanding and prejudice in the world.
I ask you to guard the letters as long as necessary, years, decades, until society is advanced enough to accept what I will explain below.
There is an extremely powerful force that, so far, science has not found a formal explanation to. It is a force that includes and governs all others, and is even behind any phenomenon operating in the universe and has not yet been identified by us. This universal force is LOVE.
When scientists looked for a unified theory of the universe they forgot the most powerful unseen force. Love is Light, that enlightens those who give and receive it. Love is gravity, because it makes some people feel attracted to others. Love is power, because it multiplies the best we have, and allows humanity not to be extinguished in their blind selfishness. Love unfolds and reveals. For love we live and die. Love is God and God is Love.
This force explains everything and gives meaning to life. This is the variable that we have ignored for too long, maybe because we are afraid of love because it is the only energy in the universe that man has not learned to drive at will.
To give visibility to love, I made a simple substitution in my most famous equation. If instead of E = mc2, we accept that the energy to heal the world can be obtained through love multiplied by the speed of light squared, we arrive at the conclusion that love is the most powerful force there is, because it has no limits.
After the failure of humanity in the use and control of the other forces of the universe that have turned against us, it is urgent that we nourish ourselves with another kind of energy…
If we want our species to survive, if we are to find meaning in life, if we want to save the world and every sentient being that inhabits it, love is the one and only answer.
Perhaps we are not yet ready to make a bomb of love, a device powerful enough to entirely destroy the hate, selfishness and greed that devastate the planet.
However, each individual carries within them a small but powerful generator of love whose energy is waiting to be released.
When we learn to give and receive this universal energy, dear Lieserl, we will have affirmed that love conquers all, is able to transcend everything and anything, because love is the quintessence of life.
I deeply regret not having been able to express what is in my heart, which has quietly beaten for you all my life. Maybe it’s too late to apologize, but as time is relative, I need to tell you that I love you and thanks to you I have reached the ultimate answer! “.
The Boundary of Love
“we are afraid of love because it is the only energy in the universe that man has not learned to drive at will.”
This explanation of love, expresses to me just how delicate and yet powerful it can be. If you imagine something significant in size, the planet Earth, (for example), having to balance its entire mass and existence on some pivotal point or axis.
Any tilt off balance, would send that mass tumbling into an abyss. Liken then the same theory to our own life balance, with which to compare. Why have we not yet sunk into an abyss? Is mental illness an abyss- kind- of -road best avoided, by a healthier imagination? Perhaps a Creator is very much alive & continuously operating, as a loving parent, to balance out the forces of good versus evil or fear versus love in spite of us or despite our own vulnerable understanding. If love offered the freedom of choice, at what point would we have matured enough , to decide the fate of our own existence?
“We associate negativity to the word “No” or “boundary”, as if it were limiting of our freedom. In excess this may be true, but in a certain kind of divine order, the intention won’t limit freedom. At best it should clarify it.”
`Stephanie V Schult
- 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 New International Version (NIV)
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
The Gift and the Seed
No one else on the entire planet can find it for them. Not the world’s richest dad, nor the most present mother. We may as well cut ourselves the slack now.
The identity of our child is as unique as a thumb print. Seeds become who they are meant to be, regardless of our intervention. The only variable is the quality of soil it is planted in. Each seed is so intricately detailed, that it would take a divine and personal relationship with one’s own Creation and ’ Creator in order to intuitively rest and believe in its’ worth.
The best gift we can give our children is the environment of Love.
Philippians 4:8, NIV: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”