24 June 2005


Happy Birthday, Carol!

"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

It's hard to argue with Einstein, the quintessential benevolent Genius, so The Jenius won't try. I will, however, point out that Albert was not entirely correct.

Imagination, as a driving force, is unlimited, whereas knowledge, however broad, is always limited. What you don't know you can discover if your imagination--your creativity--can lead you to discover a path to that knowledge. In that sense, Einstein was on the mark.

But what happens when imagination is completely unfettered, totally free to roam without direction or guidance? Exploration, fantasy, whimsy, self-expression... but seldom knowledge. Yes, the unbound imagination can eventually uncover or stumble over knowledge, but as My words convey, in an accidental manner moreso than a deliberate one.

The best example is that of children, whose unbridled imaginations are fiercely displayed, to the chagrin and even fear of many adults. If We are so certain that imagination is more powerful than knowledge (empiricists obviously excluded) then why do We rein in, stifle and even crush the imagination of children? Because We also know that imagination without guidance, without rules for its use--in short, without knowledge--leads one astray.

For imagination to exceed knowledge's power it must first accept the strictures of knowledge: cause and effect, identity, correlation, deductive and inductive reasoning, comparisons, data manipulation, corollaries, theorems, rules and laws. It is by knowing these strictures first, then having still the power to cast them aside to seek new ground, is where imagination reaches its Einsteinian potential.

Imagination leavened with knowledge, not battered by it; knowledge as tools, not sledgehammers. In the hands of imagination, a modicum of knowledge can become a torrent. But when imagination is crushed like an awful, hideous bug, crushed by the pathetic fears of "authority figures" who cower in the darkness of their own feeble minds, then a modicum of knowledge remains just that: a teeny bit.

To embrace the full value of knowledge requires embracing the fullest expression of the imagination. Striving to seek the first while suppressing the second is the act of a sick mind. Or of a sick system, masquerading as "education."

Imagine "education" that fails to properly develop one's potential...

No need to imagine it, unfortunately.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

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