Stay firmly in your path and dare. Be wild two hours a day! – Paul Gauguin
Human beings have been around for hundreds of thousands of years. Even the most ancient cultures can only be traced back a few thousand years, less than one percent of human existence. The impacts of the Industrial Revolution have only been felt for a small fraction of human history, maybe a couple hundreds years. But our bodies and our brains are nearly identical to those of our ancestors from 300,000 years ago. Deep within the most ancient recesses of our minds, we are still wild. And through the human imagination we can free our minds from their “modern” chains and just be human.
The imagination is the quicksilver of the mind. Try to define it and it breaks into a hundred pieces and scatters everywhere. Many definitions of imagination include phrases about summoning mental imagery, but there is so much more. The ability to summon the sensations of the senses when not experiencing them directly is a tap root of reality. Take a moment and think of an animal, any animal. Does your imaginary animal have a color, a smell, a sound? Where do these imagined qualities come from? We all summon any number of imagined experiences all day long. This is humanity’s greatest survival skill.
Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things. – Ray Bradbury. This quote reminded me of Yoda in Star Wars when he said, “Do or do not. There is no try.”. There are tens of thousands of self-help courses, books, and videos explaining how to become less self-conscious and overcome various forms of anxiety. But one fantastic way to be less anxious is to create. Create anything. Pour off all the scummy buildup of the day and enjoy the clarity of mind that comes with using your imagination. The title of this post asks you to be wild two hours a day. That does not mean get crazy and act like an animal, but to release the constraints on your mind that come with modern life, and do the things you love to do.
The world always seems brighter when you’ve just made something that wasn’t there before. – Neil Gaiman This ongoing pandemic continues to impact humanity in so many ways. One of the positive effects of our collective struggle has been the increase in creativity. All of us have had to adapt our daily lives to face down this deadly threat. Whether it is pandemic beards and haircuts, or making odd tik-tok videos and Zoom meetings, the human imagination has been one of our greatest saviors. To brighten the day, millions have returned to: old hobbies, arts, crafts, music, dance. Self-expression has eased the mental anguish of hundreds of millions of people.
Scientists say that human language did not evolve until 50-70,000 years ago. Perhaps that is why when people are in the zone; experiencing flow states; meditating or improvising – there are no words. Great moments of the imagination come when the inner voice is silent. Logic, reason, and analysis are left behind, when we roam the wild lands of the imagination. Be wild and set your imagination free – Today. Peace