To think and to imagine are inseparable twin cities of the mind. There is quite a varied list of meanings for these two words.
Merriam-Webster defines the transitive and intransitive verb for ‘think’ to include definitions like ponder, consider, anticipate, remember, meditate, reason, and suspect.
Roget’s Super Thesaurus, 4th edition adds these synonyms: contemplate, concentrate, analyze, reflect, conceive, evaluate and more.
This is the first definition of ‘imagination’ from Merriam-Webster: “The act or power of forming a mental image of something not present to the senses or never-before wholly perceived in reality.”
Roget’s synonyms include: the mind’s-eye, mental imagery, fabrication, visualization illusion, reverie, dream world, figment, fancy, creativity, enterprise and inventiveness.
This is quite a varied list of the processes of the mind. Have you ever considered that you can’t get out of bed in the morning without first thinking or imagining it? Everything you do or attempt to do takes place in the mind first.
Norman Vincent Peale believed imagination was “The true magic carpet.” Others of you may smile at the words of journalist, Ambrose Bierce. “A warehouse of facts, with poet and liar in joint ownership.”
That brings us to a major vehicle of sharing the thought processes of imagination, the written word. Can you imagine our modern world without iPhone, Facebook, Instagram, and the other social media platforms? The list continues with books, digital or otherwise, newspapers, magazines, and libraries of information in the printed word on just about every topic in the world.
Imagination is creative visualization in the mind of a writer who transforms his images and thoughts into words. Unlimited worlds, characters, stories, feelings, and events differ in as many ways as humans can conceive. These words have the power to illuminate, educate, incite, damn, or kill.
I love television and movies and write in these genres, also. There is value in any way of communicating. But because you can see the images, your imagination doesn’t have to work to create the pictures. The purpose of this medium is to make you experience and feel people, places and events.
Who didn’t see what happened at the Oscars with a mistake in the distribution of the written word?
I believe imagination is a gift inherent in humans. Can anyone write anything in any medium, fiction or non-fiction without thought and imagination?
Michael Corballis, Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the University of Auckland explains that since we can’t talk to animals, we can’t ask them about their imaginative abilities. Therefore, the biggest difference between our species lies with the human capacity to share stories and mythologies through language.
May writers of all genres use their thoughts and imaginations with words to uplift, to teach, and to create a more exciting, more tolerant, more loving, and safer world.