This Blog Is About

This blog is about---You! Each and every post is about you. Use it to challenge your usual patterns, as a tool for self-discovery, to stimulate your thinking, to learn about yourself and to answer your questions about others.

Monday, October 11, 2010


         Use your imagination to further your growth

 In the classic 1950 film, Harvey, James Stewart-the star of the movie-has an imaginary friend, a six foot tall rabbit named Harvey.  While it seems unusual and amusing to see an adult character with such a vivid imagination, it is, actually our imagination that leads to the invention of most of the ordinary devices and objects that we use on a daily basis.

Today I attended a presentation at the Herrick Hospital, Berkeley, Ca. Grand Rounds by Alison Gopnik, professor of psychology, UC Berkeley.  One of the results of her ground-breaking research into infant and early childhood development is that imaginary companions, the fictional beings that children create, have a purpose.  She states that 70% of young children have them, worldwide.  In other words, while some cultures discourage this activity, some tolerate it and some have a benevolent attitude toward it, most children do it, regardless.  So, she concludes that it must emerge naturally from the young developing human.

It seems that the more pretend play a child does, the more able they are to understand others.  So, by either imagining a character or acting out a character, the child is learning about how a different personality might experience things.  Therefore, a topic I have explored several times in posts to this blog, compassion and empathy, have their roots in imaginary childhood play.
By the way, even a three year old knows the difference between imaginary and real and, if pressed, will say so.  Still, there seems to be an innate value on exploring and making use of the imaginary world in early life.

As an adult individual, interested in your own internal workings and personal growth, there are ways that your imagination can help you:  You can always ask yourself, "What if... "
Also, if you pay attention and remember your dreams you can work with them using your imagination.  For example, you can ask yourself what any object, place, or person in the dream would say, given the chance.  Or you can imagine what would have happened next in the dream had it continued from where it left off.  All of these answers will be created in your own mind, thus, they are emanating from your own psyche.
You may learn something about yourself that you were not conscious of before, by using these techniques!  (Oh, and have some fun.)

No comments:

Post a Comment