One of my favorite scenes in the delightful movie, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is Gene Wilder as Wonka singing Leslie Bricusse’s song “Pure Imagination.” In particular, the lyric, “Anything you want to, do it. Want to change the world? There’s nothing to it” reminds the children, their parents and us of life’s vast possibilities and opportunities.
Lately, though, I hear a lot people dismiss their imagination. It’s easy to do these days with so much information and thousands of Instagrams of everything from hair styling to home decorating. If we can’t choose for ourselves what we like or what we want, we can check what everyone else is saying on Twitter or posting on Facebook and Pinterest.
If we misunderstand imagination, we think it’s silly, childish daydreaming. We say dismissive things such as, “That’ll never happen.” Or we tie ourselves up in knots of worry, centered in fear, rather than faith. Some people even have stopped imagining that their opinions about their own lives matter, such as choosing not to vote for the candidate of their choice. Others worry more about what everyone else thinks than what they think themselves and then wonder why they’re so challenged to make any decisions.
We forget – or maybe we never learned – that imagination is actually a divine spiritual faculty. And in this season when we celebrate harvests, we can consider what dreams, desires, goals or ambitions are waiting to be nurtured within us. We can consider which of these we’ve neglected or negated because they didn’t meet someone else’s standards – whatever those are.
Often, we believe we have to search outside ourselves to harvest our creative fruits. Yet, the truth is, what we seek we merely need to recognize and awaken. To do this, we must be willing, faithfully, to see not what is, but what can be. This is the supreme quality of creativity. I call this contemplative process In-Visioning because it requires that we go within ourselves, rather than consider what other people are thinking, saying and doing.
And, despite what some new age gurus might have us believe, our creative process doesn’t unfold through magical thinking. Magical thinking believes that if we want something, such as a new car, we find a picture of it and paste it on a vision board. If we stare at it long enough and hard enough, we’ll manifest that exact car in our lives. But this is working the process backward. Because our need is likely for transportation, not necessarily a classic Mustang.
When we try to put something outside of ourselves inside, instead of releasing what’s already within us, we force the creative process. Having faith and trust in what can be means we don’t push or force anything. Instead, we faithfully use our imagination to In-Vision – see within – what we want to harvest and express.
Want to change the world? Your world? Turn within, In-Vision, and know your harvest is at hand.
© 2015 – Rev. Jennifer L. Sacks – All rights reserved.