August, 2005
Vol. 4, Number 8
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Read excerpts from unpublished book: Science, Religion and the Search for God —Bridging the Gap.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


Imagination and Healing

Read June article: "Thought and Imagination" Part 1
Read July article: "Thought and Imagination" Part 2

A friend of mine said with a happy sigh, "Life looks different when you're feeling good!" She had just emerged from the painful fog of a week-long migraine. In discussing "Imagination and Healing" this month, the focus is not on medical conditions or illness per se, but rather on the role of imagination in creating the mental state where "life looks different when you're feeling good!" While many conditions that cause suffering require medical science to resolve, both the medical profession and alternative healers recognize that psychological approaches may help the patient aid in the healing process and help them to manage pain. This often involves creative imagination and visualization exercises.

What causes many to feel bad, no matter what their physical state, are fears, guilt, depression, dissatisfaction, pessimism and boredom. These create an unhealthy life where negativity and doubt consume happiness and spoil relationships. This negativity creates the environment for illness. So, the first step of day-to-day health is to heal the "viruses" that breed negativity.

The conditions of fear and guilt are major sources of nagging unhappiness and anxiety. They prevent freedom and joy in life. Imagination can help to heal these ailments. First, one must realize that the roots of these conditions are in the past. Doing this helps one see the chains preventing one to move on to a better future. Imagination differs from the psychoanalytic model which dwells on the past to find out "why." Imagination, on the other hand, says, "past is past, time to find an alternative." Imagination, says, "that was me 'x' number of years ago, what does the current me want? The 'old me' was the creation of others and my environment, the 'new me' will be my creation." With imagination we release the hold of the past on us. We forgive others and ourselves, accept responsibility where it is due and pay our debts. Then we can proceed to imagine that the things preventing us from moving forward are dissolving and being replaced by positive alternatives.

Fear causes one's life to be re-active - acting automatically in unwanted ways whenever the push-button of a pre-programmed situation and response is activated. Imagination produces a pro-active life. One sets goals and tries to reach them. One tries new responses to old situations based on how one imagines one's "new self" would act. Guilt is allowing others to control you or allowing past mistakes to control you. Imagination is to liberate yourself and be an independent person. The past is for our education; it is for helping us shape our values to produce a better future. One cannot have a future if one is not free from the limitations of the past.

Dissatisfaction, depression*, pessimism and boredom are the results of feeling psychologically trapped, alone and unfulfilled. One cannot be free of these unless one wants to be. These can become a self-perpetuating, unhealthy lifestyle. Imagination creates the desire to escape the trap and to make a change in one's life. It may start with the make-over of one's physical appearance and surroundings. Then, one may think about goals and dreams, and start taking steps to develop interests, skills and relationships that will help reach them. Imagination is a powerful way to break habits or habitual ways of behaving. To break a habit, imagine life without it and keep that image in the forefront. To change habitual behavior, use imagination to try new things and new ways of relating to others. For example, approach a person who you fear or dislike with joy and confidence. Find something positive about them and compliment them (sincerely), give them something or do them a favor (joyfully).

Imagination and its use as a tool in healing is a huge topic with many possibilities and implications. The purpose here is to point out that health is the overall environment in which we live day-to-day. This includes our physical surroundings, our relationships, and our personal outlook on life. Too many of us live with accumulations of past "trash" preventing us to live life to the fullest of our potential and to have the positive outlook that creates happiness for ourselves and others. This impacts our physical health as well. We may use our imagination (for free!) to assist us to visualize and create a better life.


* Some kinds of depression are caused by chemical imbalance and must be treated by a physician. The type referred to here is self-imposed lethargy, negative self-image, self-pity, etc.

© 2005 Richard Sidy


"Thought and Imagination" Part 1
"Thought and Imagination" Part 2
"Can Idealism Solve Problems?"
Global Consciousness IV : The Sense of Beauty

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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