Imagination is our most unlimited resource

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 04 Mar 2018 10:34:30




Psychologist Edward Tolman called imagination as ‘Vicarious trial and error learning’. In the real world, we deal with objects that we can manipulate and interact with directly. Vicarious, on the other hand means that we are not dealing with objects directly, but with images of those objects. So, vicarious trial and error learning means that we are not manipulating the world directly. Rather, we are using images to interact with the world.

Children learn through direct interaction with the world. But, most of our learning after childhood occurs through trial and error! That is what allows us to develop so much more rapidly, than lower animals. Lower animals have little or no imagination. Therefore, what they learn about the world is mainly through direct interaction with it. Most of us learn to devalue imagination and through disuse we lose it. We become reality-oriented, logical and rational thus depriving ourselves of a resource for creativity. We all need to accept and love ourselves, no matter how we look.

Not facing your problems now or along the way will only make it easier to lapse back into your old habits for dealing with pain. Remember, that true love begins with yourself. That is the only true solid stuff you can give to other people. Care for them, nurture them, support them and that gives you real strength to love others. Two soldiers in the same Battalion were fighting a war. One evening, when one of them came back, the other was missing. Worried, he made queries about his friend but no positive answers came back to him. He was upset and ran towards the frontline in the middle of the night. Others dissuaded, him but he was determined to find him.

In the morning, those who dissuaded him saw that he was carrying his friend on his shoulders who was dead. Onlookers said that he wasted his time in finding his friend who was dead. But the soldier replied “It was not a waste of time. In fact, I found my friend badly injured but his face frightened and he whispered: “I was waiting for you and I knew that you would come. Saying that, he died in my arms. I am happy that I found him and his words have given me tremendous satisfaction in my life. Friendship is real and not to be forgotten at any cost.” Most of our possessions, spiritual or material are ours simply because we acquired them.

If they are lost, stolen or destroyed, they no longer belong to us. Similarly, when an idea, love, image or possession is taken away from us, we grieve and get lost. It takes a long time to come back to normal to proceed in life. We all deal with the past and future as if it will repeat itself. But living in the present, we should make use of our faculties available and put them to real use, to make the present a happy affair. We should all learn to forget about work now and then, so that the mind is refreshed and recharged. It is like getting-up in the morning fresh and new to start the day. Consider and decide what to do to be productive and the results will amaze us, whatever is its quality and depth. Our jobs could be a great delight and a misery too, depending on our attitude.

Make the present years worthwhile and forget what went wrong yesterday. The secret is to convert the seed of an idea into a definite major purpose to achieve what we desire. No one can be fired with enthusiasm unless the individual is benefitted thereby. Always we should surround ourselves with individuals, who are not competitive to one another.

Wrong thoughts only retard life but pleasant happy thoughts push life to the front to achieve something. One can convert a reality into a glorious experience. Our opinions only affect quality of our lives. Faith enters only the prepared mind and is a royal visitor. While living in this world, accept that there will be snobs, crooks, criminals, prejudiced people and people whom you don’t like. Just grant them their separate reality and don’t correct them. Remember, that there is no way to happiness; happiness is the way. In whatever situation we are, there is something to learn only if we look around and assess what others say. One should stop evaluating happiness on the basis of arriving at destinations.

Instead, see life as a continuous journey with no intermediate stations and stoppages. Don’t evaluate life in terms of achievement, trivial or big, along the way. Whatever you achieve now, you have to plan your next achievement. Look at the whole trip of life as a happy journey. The central idea should be to exploit a situation to our advantage and preserve the good discarding the rest. ■