June, 2005
Vol. 4, Number 6
The SNS Press E–Zine presents new perspectives for a better future in society, politics, religion, education, self-awareness and human relations.

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A hopeful approach for the future of international relations.

Redirect teen rebellion towards idealism and self improvement.

Read excerpts from unpublished book: Science, Religion and the Search for God —Bridging the Gap.

Poems of society, the human condition, and spiritual discovery.

Our student activities and curriculum materials instill an environmental, cultural, and global perspective, and integrate various academic disciplines.


This Month's Article


Thought and Imagination: Part 1

Thought and imagination are unique human gifts. We need to learn how to use these gifts for purposes beneficial to humanity. With imagination we can set goals that are not yet reality, we can imagine a better future, we can conceive of ideals, we can find solutions to problems that seem unsolvable, we can be creative, we can write poems and music for celebration, we can inspire. Thinking is how we make what we imagine happen - the means by which we make what we imagine an influence in the material world to enhance physical survival. Imagination and thought are two qualities that need to be used in a balanced and healthy approach to life. Indeed, when they are so used, they will prevent the misuse and perversion of each other.

The philosopher Descartes stated "I think, therefore I am." If thinking provided the only key to human identity, this would be a simple formula for self-knowledge and self-actualization. By thinking one may confirm one's individuality separate from others, and, presumably, the more one is able to think, the more fulfilled one may become. Morality based on thinking creates a rational world view where rules that are logical insure one's sense of security. The result? A legal and well-ordered system with predictable limits and consequences, where survival is guaranteed.

Our world, however, is anything but well-ordered or predictable. When it comes to the conflicting desires of people and of nations, and the whims of nature, we live in a world where anything can happen. A world governed strictly by reason doesn't provide the flexibility for dealing with influences of love, hate, desire, belief, fear, hope, prejudice, aesthetics, excitement, pleasure, idealism or natural disasters. However, these have always been the motivating forces that drive history. These forces present the greatest challenges to human peace and progress. They are not rational, but rather, are the stimuli of imagination.

Imagination, with all its emotional appeal and language of dramatic symbolism is at the root of human success and failure. Imagination, not reason, is how people adapt and move forward in the face of adversity. Imagination can also cause irreconcilable differences between people's goals and perceptions.

Religion has attempted to create order out of our unpredictable world using non-rational or faith-based rules and social myths to insure security and create peace. However, all too often, it's doctrines become as inflexible as a legalistic code. Often religion is the cause of conflicts when faced with other viewpoints and beliefs. Therefore, codes of behavior based strictly on reason or on faith have not succeeded in producing a world that is happy, peaceful, secure and free.

When healthy thought and imagination are used together we see the dynamic results of human creativity, problem-solving, and openness to new ideas. The threat to the world at present is the result of people who fail to accept or find the common ground in diverse viewpoints. The crises in politics and world affairs are the result of people trying to force their ideas and beliefs on others because it makes them feel secure and "right." The sad result is that so many people live in fear, and human survival is endangered. The inability to adapt is the cause for extinction of all biological beings including human beings.

When thought and imagination are not developed in a dynamic and healthy way, they become the causes of manipulation and division. They are used to justify behavior that is selfish and self-centered, and hence, anti-survival. An unhealthy mind becomes calculating and materialistic. An unhealthy imagination becomes the agent of fear and self-righteousness. The result of an unhealthy mind is greed, and the result of an unhealthy imagination is fanaticism. This is the profile of our world today where unhappy and inhuman conditions exist at the roots of human uncertainty and suffering.

Next month: How can we develop a healthy mind and a healthy imagination so that they work together harmoniously to solve problems and promote happiness, tolerance, freedom and universal well-being?

© 2005 Richard Sidy


Selections from "Science, Religion, and the Search for God"
"Can Idealism Solve Problems?"

Archives 2005
Volumn 4
January: "Standing up for Humanity"
February: "The Wake of Disaster" – a poem
March: "Unity in Diversity
April: "Life is Calling"
May: "Entertainment" – a poem
June: "Thought and Imagination" part 1
July: "Thought and Imagination" part 2
August: "Imagination and Healing"
September: "Malice or Neglect? – Lessons of Katrina"
October: "Protecting Children"
November: "Intelligent Design or Evolution?"
December: "Building with one hand, destroying with the other"
Archives 2006
Volumn 5

January: "Conflict, Harmony, and Integrity"
February: "Satyagraha or Soul-force and Political Change"
March: "I Know I'm Not Alone - Wisdom of Michael Franti"
April: "Human Programming and Conflict Part I"
May: "Human Programming and Conflict Part II"
June: "Soccer Diplomacy"
July: "Sustainable Development is Nature's Way
August: "Parallel Universes"
September: "The News is not New"
October: "Legalizing Torture"
November: "Living Without an Enemy"
December: "Fast Food is really Slow Food"

Archives 2007
Volumn 6

January: "State of Fear"
February: Criminal Justice - "The Powerful Over the Weak"
March: "Culture Shock: The Good Life and Survival"
April: "March Madness"
May: "No Child Left Behind" Leaves Many Teachers Behind
June: "Personal Ecology"
July: Criminal Justice - "The Ethic of Custodianship"
August: "Exploring the Mind - part 1"
September: "Exploring the Mind - part 2: The Poetic Mind
October: "How Much Pain Can We Stand?"
November: "When Languages Disappear"
December: "Is it Enough to be Tolerant?"

Archives 2008
Volumn 7

January: "Beyond Ideology: Politics of the Future "
February: "Beyond the Bush Years"
March: "The Imaginary Economy - Part I
April: "The Imaginary Economy - Part II
May: Questions from Prison
June: "iGods and Connectivity"
July: "Energy Independence"
August: "Tribalism and the 2008 Elections
September: "Guilt, Shame and U.S. Justice"
October: "Have We Been Willing Slaves?"
November: "Are We Ready for the Future?"
December: "Are we done learning from pain?"

Archives 2009
Volumn 8

January: "Awakening"
February: "When Sacrifice is no Sacrifice"
March: "The Good New Days"
April: "The Power of Metaphor"
May: "The Conflict of Mythologies"
June: "The Time is Right"
July: "The New Anarchy"
August: "The Art of Living"
September: "Outrage"
October: "Are Women Becoming More Unhappy?

November: "Effect of the manufacturing culture on the American Psyche"
December: Who are the Real Game Changers?

Archives 2010
Volumn 9

January: The Music of Place
February: Earthquakes and Other Awakenings
March: Sense of Place, Sense of Self, Sense of Humanity
April: Why Do People Serve?
May: Decentralizing Food and Energy
June: Beyond Reading and Writing — Ecological literacy
July: Organization or Organism?
August: Fear and Cynicism = “Inter-fear-ance”
September: Are we afraid of our "Better Angels?"
October: Choosing Our Battles
November: Meeting the Need
December: A Living Canvas

Archives 2002: Vol. 1, Numbers 1-12
Read past articles including:
Hope for the Future
Six Part Series on Science and Religion
First Three Parts of the Series on Leadership
Archives 2003: Vol. 2, Numbers 1-12
Read past articles including:
Series on Leadership continued
Avoiding Dictatorship in a Free Society

Art and Politics
Living the Good Life

Teaching Teens
World Peace in Less Than a Month?
Archives 2004: Vol. 3, Numbers 1-12
Read past articles including:
Seven Part Series on Global Consciousness
Is "Liberal" a Dirty Word?
Can Idealism Solve Problems?
Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All
Poetry Diplomacy Science and Religion Teen Help
Archives 2002 Archives 2003 Archives 2004
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