The Imagination Essay, Research Paper
The human mind is considered by scientists to be the most complicated structure in the universe. Weighing a mere four pounds, the brain and how it functions is still not entirely understood. Indeed, very little progress has been made on the workings of the human brain. Aside from neurons and pathways, however, is the deeper mystery of consciousness. Scientists are still trying to unravel the nature of consciousness. From this arises the nature of imagination. Humans have the capacity to imagine and to dream. It is what differentiates us from other species. The imagination allows humans to solve complex problems and discover new ideas. Inventions are the end result of the imagination. Humans also have the capacity for creativity in regards to imagination. The sociologists that attempt to understand behaviour often look to the creative products of the imagination. Indeed, it appears the human imagination is what drives humanity forward.
I think, therefore I am. is a quote by Sir Francis Bacon that is most often given as a reply when humans debate the question of consciousness. Leaving the technical aspects aside completely, one can analyze the meaning of consciousness and its derivitive, the human imagination. At nearly all times of the day, people will daydream, ponder, and imagine scenarios in their minds. This constant stream of imagination most likely serves the purpose of satisfying the mind s hunger for thought. When asked, most people would respond that rarely does a few seconds pass before another thought comes into their minds. This constant barrage of thought is critical to the imagination. The human thirst for knowledge and advancement is a result of the imagination. Humans endeavour to become better. Humans satisfy curiosity by inventiveness. Humans must have an outlet to pour the results of their imagination. Whether it be an invention of sorts, or a product of artistic creativity, humans create as a result of the imagination.
Society would become stagnant without imagination. It took humanity thousands of years to reach this level of civilization. Indeed, civilizations have risen and fallen, so experimentation must also be a part of the imagination. Humans have an idea, then test that idea for feasibility. Even in the face of difficulty, humans have overcome immense obstacles to complete their tasks. Take, for example, the evolution of computers. This was an idea that took nearly six hundred years in the making. The human imagination grew from the simple idea of a water-wheel, to the advent of punch cards, and finally to the silicon chip of today. What started as a simple set of instructions to keep track of numbers eventually evolved into the modern computer. Yet this was not a linear invention. The water-wheel was obviously used for a different purpose. But through innovation and imagination, humans were able to apply that technology to fulfill multiple roles. The advent of the punch card was a product of that innovation. Most often, the imagination goes on a tangent, and what was originally envisioned ultimately ended up serving a different purpose. Akin to the imagination, an invention or product goes through multitudes of versions and adjustments until the product is right.
Naturally, imagination is not limited to the advancement of society or exclusive to inventions. Humans, it appears, also have the need for creativity. Humans require a way of expressing themselves, either emotionally or physically. Feelings, however, are often hard to describe to others. Artists, musicians, and actors create a product that convey his or her feelings. Musicians will create music. Artists will paint. Society needs and craves creativity. The human imagination is an outlet that satisfies this need. Imagination is pervasive in human cultures. Modern society satiates its need for creativity by television. Commercial advertisements are full of ideas that are vying for the viewer s attention. Propaganda is thrown around like a wet towel. This constant influx of information and ideas is fuelled by the imagination. Humans are always promoting new ideas, new ways of thought.
The imagination is perhaps the most powerful tool of the human mind. It allows us to progress as a society and as an individual. It is also a cause of human conflict and wars. The saying that an idea is powerful is not far from the truth. The imagination can be used to advance humanity, or regress it. Fortunately, history has thus far dictated that the imagination tends to promote better ideas and understanding among people. What is essential is that the imagination must strike a balance between scientific advancement and the creative outlet.