Ecological Imagination - the key to saving civilisation?
Cultivating the imagination to create future ecological societies
Much like technology, imagination is a powerful tool by which we can create beauty, healing, health, advancement, and regeneration. Equally, it is a medium through which we may create destruction, harm to ourselves, others, and the planet. How important is the imagination in creating future ecological societies, and what would the world look like without it?
With all its faults and successes, the world we currently inhabit is one we created through the imagination. Thus, it is within our reach to create another. A world that invokes an Ecological imagination, reconnecting us to the source of our lives. Our mother Earth; Gaia.
Many mediums exist by which we can re-establish this connection. Authentic, morally oriented science, artistic endeavour, and spiritual practice to name a few. Through these, we can discover a well spring of resource from within. One that guides us in creating a world harmonious with nature.
The subtle form of imagination imbues it with a capacity for limitlessness; an infinite potential. The problem of limitlessness becomes clear when bringing imagination down to Earth, as the planet's limited resource must then be accounted for. Through the utilisation of Circular models, such as Kate Raworth’s Doughnut Economics, we can contain the imagination within a system that disciplines its expansions and ideas.
Doughnut Economics is an example of how imagination can transform our governing systems. A transcendence of the false myth that what is currently accepted is the most effective model. Rob Hopkins, a key thinker in the UK green scene and founder of the Transition town movement, has published a book (From what is to what if) exploring the vital importance of imagination in rethinking social structures.
“Imagination is a function of Mind, a play of subtle form that takes place within Consciousness.”
So where does imagination come from, and how can we cultivate it?
Modern cultures disconnection from the natural world has led to a loss of our innate equilibrium. By finding equanimity, uniting our Head and Heart, we can utilise the powerful force of imagination for regenerative and harmonious means.
The source of creativity and our imaginative mind arises from the 'Quantum potential' of the Universe, the inner realms; David Bohms’s implicate order, or 'the void' in Buddhism. This creates the interconnected web of life in which we are all enmeshed, giving rise to imagination and the observable Universe.
When we connect to this underlying Universal reality, the mind gains insight, clarity, meaning, and a moral orientation that allows for harmonious ideas to pass through it. With this, can often come the initiative to actualise these ideas. In so doing, we can take our rightful place in service to each other and as Guardians of Earth.
The entire cosmos is imbued with Divine imagination. It is the dreaming mind of Spirit that exists prior to all we perceive and experience in the phenomenal world. Nothing can exist without this imagination.
"The debt we owe to the play of imagination is incalculable"
– C. G. Jung
Everything in this world, every species, human face, flower and tree, has first been dreamt in the cosmic imagination. Equally, we owe gratitude to the imagination for achievements and innovations in Human culture. The integrity and harmony of Earths ecology, and the greater Universal ecology is a vision of perfection that speaks to us. As human beings we are gifted the capability of imagination, which originates in this underlying harmony.
The need for regenerative, healing, and sustainable systems has never been more vital. Collectively we have the capacity to draw on the Imagination, creating a future ecological society in which all Earthlings can thrive.
With nature as teacher, ecological imagination demonstrates how we can organise ourselves as a species. Inspiration and guidance surround us. To meet the challenge of our generation is to align ourselves with Earth and Cosmos, ascending to the way of life we are being called to partake in.