Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere – Albert Einstein
I discounted this one a couple of times. Yes, nice enough but not much to write about. But I love a challenge and in fact he sums up everything that my posts (which involve the exploration of my mind to access experiences, learnings and beliefs in order to come to new insights) are all about.
First I notice that he says logic will ‘get’ you from A to B but then says imagination will ‘take’. Subtle difference and I am sure the words were chosen carefully. All the best quotes are chosen carefully. Usually a few choice words, probably edited and rewritten many times to explain exactly what the author is trying to get across. The complete opposite of my blog posts, much as I always think I will go back and edit them one day in order to come across as less ‘out there’ and more intelligent.
Anyway I digress. This quote brings up some images for me. Imagine crossing a ravine. You are starting very high up and you need to get to another point very high up. Logic says use the bridge. It will be straight, secure, the shortest distance and get you easily from A to B. But imagine there is no bridge but you still want to get to B. You would have to make your way down into the wild bush and find a way to cross the river at the bottom maybe and climb back up the other side. This is where you have to use your imagination, and I use mine! On your way down you come across beautiful creatures, incredible plants clinging to a steep hill and maybe even people to meet and connect with. Getting across the water might involve having those people help you out, or swimming past more amazing creatures and plants, or learning to construct a boat or raft from fallen branches etc. Climbing up the other side you might discover more wondrous sights and maybe even another direction which you would like to explore, such that you never even get to where you thought you wanted to go, to B. Using your imagination was forced on you in this case, because you couldn’t just take the logic bridge but maybe there are other places in your life where you could choose your imagination over logic. It won’t always be met with approval as my friend discovered when she wove a fantastic tale as an answer to a question on a biology field trip when I was 16. Amanda was met with incredulity by the rest of the class, because she dared to go completely off the beaten track (but I was so thrilled) and unfortunately she ignited the ire of the teacher who interpreted it as disrespect and not imagination! She has now become a BBC producer and it all makes perfect sense now. Why on earth each of us picked Biology as A level, where you only get to pick 3 subjects with which to compete to get into university, I will never know!! To me it seemed interesting enough and easy as it just involved rote learning, but with my digressing ways I didn’t do very well!
Oops, digressing again. By my digressing, I suppose I am using imagination to get from A to B. I could look at the quotes, go Oh yes, that means that and be done with it, taking in very little along the way, or I can use my imagination and build on what is secretly stored within me (and each of us) to learn something. I figure these quoters/masters must know what they are talking about! And I love when my imagination and digressing leads me to insights or a slightly different understanding of the quote itself. I may think I agree with it and then completely disagree. Or I might change my mind tomorrow. Either way, I am forming my own beliefs, working out what’s right for me to believe in order to navigate this world of being human and I am enjoying the journey of life so far!
Another image that comes to mind is a piece of rubber, like a piece of balloon. You can pull it taut because it stretches and it will be very straight, from A to B, shortest distance. OR you can put your mouth to it and blow as hard as you can and hopefully it will expand into another shape, create something larger that wasn’t there a minute ago, out of something that seemed to be a straight piece of rubber. I guess the difference is the potential of the rubber to do that, to grow and expand with the same ingredients – air and rubber. In a way I am ‘blowing up’ these quotes.
So what else has potential in our lives, to be ‘blown up’? I am sure there are many more plants out there with secret properties for cures etc that we have not discovered yet. If we could use all our brains, we might see auras and energies or things that affect us which we only know about subconsciously and maybe only act on ‘by intuition’.
Back to Einstein. I love that this quote is by him because I ignorantly thought of him as some narrow minded geek scientist working on paper with numbers etc and going exactly from A to B. I say geek fondly because maths was my favourite subject at school and together with my thick glasses I was also the class geek. I didn’t think Albert would be taking in X, Y and Z as he used his imagination. You hear of Nobel prize winners finding their aha moment in something as random as those people who spin/wobble plates on sticks. I like to think that I might have something to contribute to curing cancer due to my imagination if only they let me at some part of it that I could understand. I would go ‘Ah yes, that reminds me of a small child I once saw drawing in an unusual way and perhaps you could apply this to that?’ Who knows? We will never find out. How can we use the imagination of the world to solve all these things? Think of the potential out there. I am convinced there is many a rickshaw driver in India who could probably cure cancer or solve world hunger.
Back to getting and taking. Get means nothing really in fact it’s a word I think writers are supposed to avoid. Not very descriptive. I need to get there. It is just a means to an end. But imagination takes you, like taking you on a journey, far more exciting. And in this case imagination is leading you like you have to follow it. How often do we let ourselves do that? Follow our imagination, day dream, make up fantastical stories and outcomes, find our dreams?
I’ve had another idea. The 7% of the brain that we use is that taut piece of rubber and the 93% is what we use when we blow that piece of rubber into a big circle. How flexible you can allow your piece of rubber to be will determine how much of your mind you can use and explore. Sounds fun. Albert was definitely onto something. Thanks for the unexpected quote Albert. I might need to go and learn some more about you!