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Does the Imagination Age Make Synaesthesia More Attractive?


The term “Imagination Age” has captured my attention at a technology conference I attended last two days. Some people believe that the period of economy has gone from the Agricultural Age, to the Industrial Age, to now the Information Age, and is transitioning into the Imagination Age. With so much information readily available, the primary creator of economic value for the next period will be Imagination.

I think imagination has been a driving force behind the progression of every period in the human history. By calling the next period the Imagination Age will give more focus on the importance of imagination, but it should not underestimate the significant role it has already played for thousands of years.

Many scientists, writers and leaders recognised this importance a long time ago, and have expressed through their quotes:

“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”
“Logic will take you from A to B, imagination will take you everywhere.”
“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”
― Albert Einstein

“Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.”
― Oscar Wilde

“Imagination does not become great until human beings, given the courage and the strength, use it to create.”
― Maria Montessori

“Reason is intelligence taking exercise. Imagination is intelligence with an erection.”
― Victor Hugo

“Imagination governs the world.”
― Napoleon

“Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.”
― Jonathan Swift

Einstein’s another famous quote has beautifully crafted the difference between an intuitive mind and a rational mind. “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”

If our society is now at a turning point of recognising and promoting individuals who have real imagination, my prediction is that synaesthesia will attract more and more attention.

Scientists put a lot of emphasis on researching neural basis behind synaesthesia. They probably have overlooked one of the key contributors, i.e., imagination. My personal experience is that my Object Personification Synaesthesia was a direct outcome of my childhood imagination. I often notice personification synaesthesia and imagination come hand in hand. Being imaginative appears to be a common characteristic amongst synaesthetes.

One of Skye’s “bad” habits is thinking too much while walking. While we were in Paris on the way to visit Notre Dame, he kept walking into people.

“What the hell are you thinking now?!!” My husband finally had enough.
“I am trying to figure out what I can do to save the world if World War III happens?” Skye replied in his serious tone.
“I can tell you how.” Thomas said in matter-of-fact.
“Really?” Skye’s eyes were popping out.
“Just ignore it.” That was the simple answer offered by Thomas.

Skye’s science teacher at school said to him that it would be wonderful if he could become a doctor one day.
“Can’t I be a bit more successful?” Skye was unsatisfied at what he heard.
“What can be more successful than being a doctor?” The teacher was surprised.
“The King.”
“The King of what?”
“The King of Gahooulia, my invented country.”

Skye is very certain that his dream will come true. He will be the King of his own country and have his own palace. He felt sorry that I had to update my resume as his occupation will not require him to have a CV.

“Mum, everyone in my country will be kind to each other. There will be no bullying. Everyone lives a happy life. Oh by the way, being the king is actually my part time job. I will have lots of other jobs at my leisure time. I will help to solve a few hard Maths problems, find a cure for cancer, invent a time machine for us to live forever, give concerts to public ….” He gave me a big list of things he wanted to do.

When Skye was little, my husband once asked me if his son indeed came from another planet as Skye’s “crazy” ideas often puzzled him. I gave him a straightforward answer. “Oh yes, of course he is from another planet. I am so glad about that.” Years have gone by, we are all used to those “crazy” ideas. Everything seems normal now to us.

If the Imagination Age is to turn virtual reality and dreams into reality, I will be living forever as the mother of Gahooulian King. Who can say no?

(I dedicate this blog to my beautiful boy Skye who turned 11 this week, and whose imagination entertains us, and occasionally challenges the way we look at the life we are leading ……)

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