I have always wondered what it is like to see in 3D. Being blind in one eye has made forever see in just two. Playing basketball, tennis, hiking, during so many times in my life, I have always try to imagine what it must be like to see in 3D.
I heard a program about a person who for her entire life saw only in two dimensions, then by awaking her imagination and the help of a development doctor she was able to seeingseeing in three dimensions. Her view of the world opened up so much after learning to see in 3D. Part of the process in learning to imagine the ability before.
What fascinated me was the power of imagination. We are imagination poor with all of our high tech movies. We don’t have to imagine a hurricane or a war, Hollywood can do it for us. Special effects can make a man fly, a space ship go past the speed of light, but it cripples us when it comes to a constructive use of imagination. Imagination is used to drive us away from reality. The fact the movies can so easily create the illusion of returning from the dead makes us less impressed by the Gospel.
The true power if imagination is it can be used to drive us toward reality and others. Jesus command about treating others as you would have treat you, is an ethic based on imagination. I have to imagine what would like for the other in order to act. I imagine what it must be like to be a pregnant young mother with your husband in the hospital and you sick with two sick children. I have a friend in this exact situation and I imagine her distress. It makes more compassionate.
Usually, imagination, the bring forth in the mind what is not there, is thought of as escapist form of avoiding reality, frivolous and apart from the serious part of life. We have created another word for imagination to try to handle the more serious form, visualize. To visualize is to imagine but to do it for what is important. What to succeed, we tell ourselves to first visualize it. But it is still to imagine.
Imagination is a skill that needs to always be exercised, or like under-worked muscles, it atrophies. It is a spiritual disciple to imagine life of God incarnate, Jesus. It transforms us.