Saturday, December 17, 2016

Is There a Limit? // Thoughts on Imagination and Creativity

You have a unique opportunity here, because you get to read almost a whole journal entry of mine, with very few edits (and they are only to make it sound or look better).  Treasure it, because I assure you, this is a rare opportunity.  I wrote this on December 12, 2016.

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You know, it's commonly said that, "there is no limit to your imagination."  Well, I disagree.  I think there is a limit, simply because of the fact that we are human!  God has no limits - none at all!  He is an infinite God, and everything about Him is infinite.  But we humans?  I would venture so far as to say that we are limited in every way!  While on this earth, there is nothing we can do that does not have a limit of some sort.

The thing is, when we tell ourselves (or anyone) that there is, in fact, a limit to our imagination, it stifles our creativity!  How funny is that?  Now, I say that there is a limit to our imagination, and I do believe that (or else I wouldn't say it!), but I believe it is perfectly impossible to reach the limit of our imagination!  That's not to say it's not there, though.  We are finite creatures, and therefore everything about us is finite.  But you know what's crazy?  When you stretch your imagination, it's as if that limit moves further away!  The further you reach, the further it moves!  That's part of why we'll never reach the limit!  In the same way, if you believe the limit is close by, most likely your creativity will be stifled, and that limit is going to feel awful close!
Finger painting is seriously SO much fun.
So what about those people who feel like they don't have any creativity?  What if there are some people who actually have reached the limit to their imagination?  Well, I just gotta be blunt here, and say that if you've reached the limit to your imagination, then, uh, ya must be dead.  See, I don't think those people exist.  Sure, if you think you don't have imagination, that you're not creative, then sure as heck it's gonna feel like it!  But did you ever think about the fact that you kind of need imagination to SURVIVE?

I don't really know what I'm talking about here, actually, since I've never known a day without imagination, but I imagine (ha), if your imagination got no use, you'd just kind of slump over and die.  Right?  RIGHT?  What is it that allows you to enjoy a good book (or any book at all)?  It's your imagination.  What is it that makes music enjoyable to listen to?  It's your imagination.  What is it that gets and keeps any job?  It's your imagination!  If you have the ability to think thoughts of any kind, you are using your imagination.  Our imagination is so heavily wrapped up in everything we do!  Yes, we use our imagination in different ways many times, but there ain't ONE person who ain't got an imagination, and everyone who has an imagination uses it.
This is from a recent blog post, but I just really like the picture.  :)
And have you noticed how I've switched between imagination and creativity a lot?  The two are inseparable!  You cannot have one without the other!  Honestly, I didn't completely buy into all this "everyone is creative" thing before writing about this, but now, it makes perfect sense.  For some reason, even though I said it, I didn't quite believe, in the back of my mind, that everyone is creative.

But I would have never believed that there was a single person without an imagination.  That's craziness!  Now I see that the two are almost one and the same!  I guess it took me this long to understand that, because in my mind, creativity was always related to artsy sort of stuff, or anything left brainedish (it is the left side that's artsy, right?) (...right?...).  I know perfectly easily that imagination is not, but for some reason creativity is was.  So imagination is like a conversion factor!  (Is that right?)
This is the "conversion factor" I wrote in my journal!
I wonder, why does it always seem to be artists/artsy types who stress that "everyone is creative"?  Why doesn't everyone?  I guess because it's ingrained in everyone's heads that creativity is always specifically related to art [or anything involving making, or working with your hands].  I subconsciously thought that, but now that I know better, it seems common sense that it's not the case.  I'm pretty sure it's well known that everyone has an imagination.

Sooo, this whole rant, starting with my belief that there is a limit to our imaginations, was inspired by a sentence* in the 7th paragraph of the 8th chapter of Knowing God by J.I. Packer, which my Sunday school class is reading.

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*The sentence, and those following, that inspired that rant are as follows:
"Our personal life is a finite thing: it is limited in every direction, in space, in time, in knowledge, in power.  But God is not so limited.  He is eternal, infinite and almighty."
I took this photograph on a fairly recent, beautiful morning.  God's creation is AMAZING!
I had the idea to copy this into a blog post while I was writing it in my journal, so that's why my writing style sort of accidentally switched from journal style to blog post style near the beginning.  (Yes, there is a slight difference between the two, in that rather than talking to myself, or to my journal, I'm talking to other people in a blog post.)

What are your thoughts on imagination and creativity?  Do you think there is a limit?

14 comments:

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    1. Huh, Made me think. Good stuff, thanks for sharing!

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    2. Oh, I'm glad! you're welcome, and thanks for leaving a comment, Caleb!

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  2. Ooh, very nice, Maggie. And true, as well.

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  3. Psssstt...it's generally the right brain that's associated with creativity and artsiness...That aside, great post, Maggie! I agree entirely :)

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    1. Hehe, I was wondering... Haha, thank you Clara!

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  4. WOW. This is so thoughtful. You have me thinking. I think you are right about these too things being super related to each other. "Sure, if you think you don't have imagination, that you're not creative, then sure as heck it's gonna feel like it! " Haha this made me smile and is so spot on. It's like saying your bored. Well maybe if you stop thinking something is boring it wont be as boring

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    1. Oh, I'm so glad it was thought-provoking for you! Haha and glad it made you smile. That's a really interesting thought, about being bored! I'll have to think about that! Thanks so much for the comment, Vanessa!

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  5. This was a great read, Maggie. So now perhaps I can read that book, we have it, Knowing God.Thank you for your encouragement.

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    1. Thanks, Libby! It's a good book, you should read it. :) Thanks for commenting!

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  6. Ooh, I liked reading this insight into your thoughts! Thanks for sharing! I've never thought about the link between imagination and creativity before, but it makes a lot of sense. I'll be using it next time someone tells me they're not creative! :)

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    1. I'm so glad it was worth sharing my heart. :) I hadn't thought about it much before either, if any, but yes, it does makes sense! Oh good, please do! I must remember it too! Thank you for commenting, Jessica!

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