We have just published Lifewide Magazine #23. This one explores ‘the work of imagination’ an idea that emerged from the experience I described in my previous post. But it took another circumstance to be acted upon. At this point I need to introduce my new Co-Editor Dr Doug Cole. We had been discussing ideas for the next issue of the magazine for some time but neither of us was overly enthusiastic about the topic we had chosen. I shared my idea for the magazine and sent him a copy of ‘my day in the life of my imagination’ story and he responded positively to my suggestion. During the week that followed we combined our imaginations and a number of ideas emerged until we felt we had a form that might work. This process itself was one of imagining possibilities – possible themes and contributors, possible ways of engaging our community, and imagining what purpose it would serve and what the end product might look like.
There followed several weeks of hard work in turning imaginings into doings as we composed and circulated notices (open invitations to contribute) and invited specific individuals who we would like to contribute. As always, imaginings do not always translate into accomplishments and the process was a bit messy. But two months later we had both the form and the content. In fact we had so much content that I was forced to coin a new term ‘bookazine’ – content of a book in the style of a magazine.
Put simply, the work of imagination is essential to being human. Just imagine a world without imagination. Humans would only develop culturally and technologically in line with what they stumbled across as they lived out their lives. They would not be able to think of things that did not yet exist, nor would they be able to connect up the dots and fill in the missing pieces in their world to understand how things fitted together, nor would they be able to go backwards in time to think about their experiences and draw from them deeper meanings. Humans would not develop and pass on wisdom that comes from their experience and reflecting on what it means without imagination and human civilisations would not be able to ‘advance’ or survive catastrophe without it. We would not have our religions, our art or our science, or stand any chance of tackling the wicked global problems that we encounter – the latest one of which is the pandemic and its social and economic consequences.
At a much humbler scale, the magazine and what it contains is the work of many imaginations and it represents a collective attempt to comprehend and make sense of the this wonderful facility that has evolved over billions of years through the growth and replication of life. The magazine is free to download from the Lifewide Education website.