Sunday, March 7, 2010

Moral Training for a Healthy Imagination

IT’S A LITTLE HARD TO DETERMINE, but we wonder—and often—what will bring us that extra pinch of life, peace, relief or joy, particularly when the world crowds us in. For instance, when Sunday approaches and then disappears from view as we enter our Mondays. Back to work it is for us! What happened to that time off?

We can all fall too easily for the life of ‘just keeping up’ as any true peace is eked out of us and we flop hopelessly in front of the television each night (or whatever else you do to relax) exhausted.

This life saps our imaginations. We live to keep up and there’s no room for the child within us—yes, we’re still kids at heart!—to reinvigorate or re-inspire themselves or us!

But moral training can help in at least two ways; firstly, as we train in moral living we free up time and opportunity to live more peacefully and congruently with the true nature of life, and secondly, we inspire within the imagination more pure “childlike” thoughts—of healthy, effective, positive play. Moral training (or living) is a space-giver.

There seems to be a belief in certain circles that our childhood has given way to adulthood and certainly on many levels this belief is a reality. But the essence of God is to give us back our imaginations, our creativity and our innovation—as the very drivers of fun in life; the very mechanism of success. He wants us to take life less seriously so far as we are personally concerned; but more serious we are to take issues of life pertaining to others.

Imaginations never go away. It’s true. In a moment we can be back to playing as a kid in an adult world (with accountability and responsibility and all that stuff!) and still be making a worthwhile contribution. Indeed, the perfect blend of adult and child brings the necessary mix of action in the world that’s non-threatening, open, alive, spontaneous and effective.

But, none of this happens without a good, healthy, vibrant imagination. It’s up to us to engender this; it won’t be external circumstances or another person on the face of the earth that’ll do it.

The way to this warehouse of imaginative power is through virtue—the moral store that we can buy from freely. It’s a decision to be honest, kinder, more loving and giving as much as ensuring we control our appetite for those enchanting things we naturally desire (and sometimes too much).

Google the ‘fruits of the Spirit,’ sometime.

Space and time are abstract concepts. Why be swallowed whole by the encroaching world when we can choose to escape it at the proper time using the right i.e. moral way?

This escape gains us time, energy, enthusiasm and perspective. And the best thing, it costs us no amount of guilt or shame. Escaping in immoral ways always involves either guilt or shame or both.

Get out in the open. Breathe the fresh air of the Spirit.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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