In the autumn of 1942, Viktor Frankl and his family were imprisoned by the Nazis. Frankl (1905-1997) was a Jewish psychologist and neurologist. During his imprisonment and his torture, Frankl discovered a wonderful thing: “If a prisoner felt that he could no longer endure the realities of camp life, he found a way out in his mental life – an invaluable opportunity to dwell in the spiritual domain, the one that the torturers were unable to destroy. Spiritual life strengthened the prisoner, helped him adapt, and thereby improved his chances of survival.”
Frankl discovered that spiritual life and imagination enabled a prisoner to adapt and survive. While being tortured, Frankl used to imagine himself lecturing about his discovery. This helped him sustain longer periods of torture with less pain. He also helped his inmates survive torture and pain by teaching them this method.
Imagination is one of the most wonderful blessings given to us. Many people use it unconsciously in order to escape boredom. How many times have you caught yourselves daydreaming in class or at work? How many times have you strayed away mentally during a conversation and had to ask the speaker to repeat it all over again?
When you escape inside your mind, you go to worlds that you know don’t exist but you go there anyway. You can create what’s not there, manipulate reality the way you want it, and even break the rules with no consequences whatsoever. Sometimes, the imagination becomes so life-like that you even startle yourself back to reality.
We have tried countless times to control our imagination. We have never succeeded. We usually try resisting the temptation to escape into this wonderful world but, sooner or later, we catch ourselves straying towards it. We are always using our imagination even when we’re trying not to. We use our imagination when we talk with one another or when we read an article or a book. Each word becomes a thought in the unlimited ocean of imagination.
Charles Dickens, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, J K Rowling, Jules Verne, and Aldous Huxley are but a minuscule drop of water in the ocean of those who did not try to control their imaginations. These timelessly successful people followed their imaginations which took them to marvelous worlds. They have also been kind enough to take us with them through their captivating books. They brought us treasures from their worlds so that we experience the power of the gift called imagination.
“So God created man in his own image (Genesis 1:27)” This short verse has been food for the thoughts and imaginations of many but, are we really in the image of God? Are we Gods ourselves? Or are we just small thoughts in the imagination of God? All I can assure is that we truly are Gods…in imagination.
Originally posted on November 2, 2007 @ 1:29 am