Imagination is Essential for Survival

Steven Nouriani, PhD, MFT

We seem to be at a point in the evolution of consciousness where some of our old ideas and our old ways of being are no longer sufficient for survival and we will have to rely more on our imagination to cope with the challenges ahead. The recent unprecedent fires in both the northern and southern California regions along with so many significant unusual catastrophic climate related disasters especially in the past year, all together signal the arrival of a new era and a new critical as well as urgent time in history.  We humans have a significant role not only in the cause of climate change and the progression of catastrophic climate related disasters around the earth, but we also equally can play a vital role in diminishing the impact of global warming and the related disasters that are occurring around us with potential destructive effects on all life on earth.

One of the impacts of the recent fires in California was that everyone around the San Francisco Bay area, from the north Bay all the way to the South Bay regions were adversely affected by a severe smoke for more than a week.  The smoke from the fires at times was so thick that many people chose to only come outside wearing masks to protect their health. The thick smoke which covered the entire north Bay region, symbolically connected us all to one another. Everyone talked about how awful it was. Whether or nor we knew someone who had lost their house or loved ones, we were all adversely affected to different degrees and we were all suffering consciously or unconsciously at various levels, either physically, emotionally/psychologically or spiritually. Symbolically, the smoke was a powerful reminder to all of us that we were all connected, that we were all affected and, yes, that we were all related as One people, regardless of gender, age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and religious or political affiliations.  Perhaps, this new awareness of our connection to one another as One people, signifies the emergence of a new consciousness that we are all One, that we are all connected, and that we all need to work together through creative new ways to save the planet and all the living beings that are threatened of gradual extinction. This emerging new consciousness calls for the healing of the 4000-year old split between spirit and matter, the old split between body and the mind, the historic split between East and West, and the many various splits that lead to many kinds of polarizations and arbitrarily divide us apart. Continued explorations in the various psycho-spiritual realms of imagination are necessary so that we can better understand how these various levels interact with our minds, bodies and souls. Further explorations in this area are not only vital for the continued development of consciousness, but are also necessary for our survival as species in a world that is dangerously split off from both body and mind/spirit. We need to follow the leads of all those pioneers who have come before us in the fields of Science and Humanities and further explore the frontiers of imagination both in its depths in the body and at its heights at the levels of the mind and spirit, to arrive at new ways of relating to one another and the environment around us, because our future depends on it in every imaginable way.

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