”Floating Imagination”

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“A man who has no imagination has no wings.”

Imagine an apple floating in front of you. Now see if you can rotate it around in your mind. Look at it from the top, bottom – does it have any blemishes? How clearly can you see it?

Some people see the apple perfectly, like watching a movie, while others have a very poor wavering image. Although it might be hard to believe, a small proportion of otherwise healthy people report having no visual experience at all. In other words, their minds are completely blind – no matter how hard they try they don’t seem to see the apple.

In fact, such individuals are often startled to find that people are not speaking in metaphors when they say, “I picture it in my mind’s eye.” This phenomenon of mind blindness has only recently been given a proper name – congenital aphantasia.

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One of the creators of the Firefox internet browser, Blake Ross, realised his experience of visual imagery was vastly different from most people when he read about a man who lost his ability to imagine after surgery. In a Facebook post, Ross said:

What do you mean ‘lost’ his ability? […] Shouldn’t we be amazed he ever had that ability?

We’ve heard from many people who have experienced a similar epiphany to Ross. They too were astonished to discover that their complete lack of ability to picture visual imagery was different from the norm.

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Visual imagery is involved in many everyday tasks, such as remembering the past, navigation and facial recognition, to name a few. Anecdotal reports from our aphantasic participants indicate that while they are able to remember things from their past, they don’t experience these memories in the same way as someone with strong imagery. They often describe them as a conceptual list of things that occurred rather than a movie reel playing in their mind.


As Ross describes it, he can ruminate on the “concept” of a beach. He knows there are sand and water and other facts about beaches. But he can’t conjure up beaches he’s visited in his mind, nor does he have any capacity to create a mental image of a beach.

Some people have no ability to visually imagine. The idea some people are born wholly unable to imagine is not new. In the late 1800s, British scientist Sir Francis Galton conducted research asking colleagues and the general population to describe the quality of their internal imagery. These studies, however, relied on self-reports, which are subjective in nature. They depend on a person’s ability to assess their own mental processes – called introspection.

But how can I know that what you see in your mind is different to what I see? Perhaps we see the same thing but describe it differently. Perhaps we see different things but describe them the same.

Some researchers have suggested aphantasia may actually be a case of poor introspection; that aphantasics are in fact creating the same images in their mind as perhaps you and I, but it is their description of them that differs. Another idea is that aphantasics create internal images just like everyone else, but are not conscious of them. This means it’s not that their minds are blind, but they lack an internal consciousness of such images.

In a recent study we set out to investigate whether aphantasics are really “blind in the mind” or if they have difficulty introspecting reliably.

Binocular rivalry

To assess visual imagery objectively, without having to rely on someone’s ability to describe what they imagine, we used a technique known as a binocular rivalry – where perception alternates between different images presented one to each eye. To induce this, participants wear 3D red-green glasses, where one eye sees a red image and the other eye a green one. When images are superimposed onto the glasses, we can’t see both images at once, so our brain is constantly switching from the green to the red image.

When people are presented with two completely different superimposed images, a person will be able to see only a red or blue image when wearing 3D glasses – not both at the same time.

But we can influence which of the coloured images someone will see in the binocular rivalry display. One way is by getting them to imagine one of the two images beforehand. For example, if I asked you to imagine a green image, you will be more likely to see the green image once you’ve put on 3D glasses. And the stronger your imagery is the more frequently you will see the image you imagine.

We use how often a person sees the image they imagine as a measure of objective visual imagery. Because we’re not relying on the participant rating the vividness of the image in their mind, but on what they physically see in the binocular rivalry display, it removes the need for subjective introspection.

In our study, we asked self-described aphantasics to imagine either a red circle with horizontal lines or a green circle with vertical lines for six seconds before being presented with a binocular rivalry display while wearing the glasses. They then indicated which image they saw. They repeated this for close to 100 trials.

We found that when the aphantasics tried to form a mental image, their attempted imagined picture had no effect on what they saw in the binocular rivalry illusion. This suggests they don’t have a problem with introspection, but appear to have no visual imagery.

Why some people are mind blind

Research in the general population shows that visual imagery involves a network of brain activity spanning from the frontal cortex all the way to the visual areas at the back of the brain.

 Some people can’t see, but still think they can: here’s how the brain controls our vision


Current theories propose that when we imagine something, we try to reactivate the same pattern of activity in our brain as when we saw the image before. And the better we are able to do this, the stronger our visual imagery is. It might be that aphantasic individuals are not able to reactivate these traces enough to experience visual imagery, or that they use a completely different network when they try to complete tasks that involve visual imagery.

It’s thought when we imagine something we try to reactivate the same brain activity as when we saw that thing previously.

But there may be a silver lining to not being able to imagine visually. Overactive visual imagery is thought to play a role in addiction and cravings, as well as the development of anxiety disorders such as PTSD. It may be that the inability to visualise might anchor people in the present and allow them to live more fully in the moment.

Understanding why some people are unable to create these images in mind might allow us to increase their ability to imagine, and also possibly help us to tone down imagery in those for whom it has become overactive.

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”Bringing Your Imagination To Reality ”

 

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”The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.”
Albert Einstein

Sometimes the most real things in the world are the things you can’t see.

Successful people use the power of visualization; their motto is visualized and materialize — from imagination to reality. Even Albert Einstein says:

”Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.”

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Creative visualization is a mental technique that uses the imagination to make your goals and dreams come to life. You can improve your life and attract to your success, health and prosperity. It is a power that can:

  • transform your habitat
  • improve your lifestyle
  • create events to take shape
  • attract money and possessions
  • bring you an abundance of work
  • connect you to the right people
  • invite love into your life
  • increase health and happiness.

Creative visualization uses the power of the mind, which is the potential behind every success.

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The Power of Visualization: -Have you ever experienced daydreaming, where you just let your mind escape from the task at hand? Most of the time you daydream about what could be. Well, this is similar to visualization –the only difference is that daydreaming just happens; it is you allowing your unconscious mind to do whatever it wants. Visualization is more of a conscious action, with structure and intention. The secret to a successful visualization is to fuel your image with all your five senses to make your image come to life, where you are fully entrenched in your feelings. Visualization plays a crucial role in most of the processes that you can use to influence and reprogram the way your unconscious mind thinks because its primary language is images.

Research shows that thoughts produce the same mental instructions as actions; mental images impact many processes in your brains, such as attention, perception, planning and memory. In other words, the brain sees no difference between the thought of an action and a real action. When you perform an action, some specific neural pathways are being stimulated and specific chemicals are being produced. The same physiological changes happen when you visualize yourself performing that action.

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Mind and Body Connection:- The mind and body connection is the link between thoughts and behaviours that allow you to use visualization to improve every aspect of your life. That’s why visualization is so important in practising manifestation, where you can create whatever you dream about in your mind.

With practice, you can achieve what your mind can conceive. If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought again. You may not consciously have taken this on, but your unconscious mind is awake 24/7 and is always eavesdropping on your internal dialogue.

It already talks about the mind and the body in parallel universes. Anything that happens in the mental universe must leave tracks in the physical one. The cells in your body react to everything your mind says; your immune system will be brought down if negative thoughts take over your introspection.

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Begin With the End in Mind:- Stephen Covey talks about beginning with the end in mind to start with a clear understanding of your destination. It means to know where you are going so that you better understand where you are now and so that the steps you take are always in the right direction.

Successful visualization is to have the end in mind; you should visualize the end goal and not the process. The end goal should be pictured in as many details as possible, including all the senses:

What am I seeing?

What am I hearing?

What am I feeling?

What can I smell?

What can I taste?

The stronger the feelings, or the sensation of your visualization – the stronger your belief.

Repeat, Repeat, Repeat… :-Your unconscious mind will accept the thoughts that you repeatedly practice, and over time it will accept them changing your mindset accordingly. This is how you create new habits or transform old habits and actions. Allow yourself to repeat 21 days consecutively, without missing one day!!

This creates new neural pathways, new circuits in your brain and brings you into contact with new people, situations and circumstances. Thoughts are enriched with a creative power that designs your life and attracts to you what you think about.

This doesn’t mean that all your thoughts will come to fruition, only the ones that are fueled by emotion, the thoughts that are focused, well defined and repeated. By changing your thoughts and mental images, you change your reality and reshape your world.

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Associate with Your Image:- When you constantly focus on an image in your mind, every cell in your body is involved in that image. You vibrate and resonate with everything that is in harmony with that frequency, both on a physical and non-physical level. This frequency moves you towards the image; it moves everything that is needed towards you, for the creation of the desired image.

 

Visualization is simply — take five minutes out of your day to manifest. Close your eyes and imagine exactly what you would be looking at if the dream you have were already realized. Imagine being inside of yourself, looking out through your eyes at the ideal result. Remember to make your image come to life, use all your senses and be vivid with your colours and exactly what you want to be as part of your picture.

If you make this part of your daily routine, you will be amazed at how much improvement you will see in your life. Visualization is also a great way to identify what is going on in your unconscious mind – your outside world is a mirror image of the inside and the hidden mental world.

Have fun with your visualization, let your creative juices flow and work with your conscious mind to create the magic in your life – seeing is believing.

”Imagination Is The Soil That Brings A Dream To Life”

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”Imagination is the soil that brings a dream to life.”

What is your dream? Will you achieve your dream in your lifetime? I’m certain that you desire to. I’m sure you hope you will. But will you actually do it? What odds would you give yourself? One in five? One in a hundred? One in a million? How can you tell whether your chances are good or whether your dream will always remain exactly that—a dream? And are you willing to put it to the test?

Most people I know have a dream. In fact, I’ve asked hundreds, if not thousands, of people about their dream. Some willingly describe it with great detail and enthusiasm. Others are reluctant to talk about it. They seem embarrassed to say it out loud. These people have never tested their dream. They don’t know if others will laugh at them. They’re not sure if they’re aiming too high or too low. They don’t know if their dream is something they can really achieve or if they’re destined to fail.

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Most people have no idea how to achieve their dreams. What they possess is a vague notion that there is something they would like to do someday or someone they would like to become. But they don’t know how to get from here to there. If that describes you, then you’ll be glad to know that there really is hope.

When you were a kid in school, do you remember a teacher doing a review before a test and saying something like, “Pay attention now, because this is going to be on the test”? I do. The encouraging teachers who wanted to see their students succeed said things like that all the time. They wanted us to be prepared so we could do well. They put us to the test, but they set us up for success.

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My desire is to be like one of those encouraging teachers to you. I want to prepare you to put your dream to the test so you can actually achieve it. How? I believe that if you know the right questions to ask yourself, and if you can answer these questions in an affirmative way, you will have an excellent chance of being able to achieve your dreams. The more questions you can answer positively, the greater the likelihood of success!

Here is my definition of a dream that can be put to the test and will pass: A dream is an inspiring picture of the future that energizes your mind, will and emotions, empowering you to do everything you can to achieve it. A dream worth pursuing is a picture and blueprint of a person’s purpose and potential. , “A dream is the seed of possibility planted in the soul of a human being, which calls him to pursue a unique path to the realization of his purpose.”

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What Do You Have in Mind

Dreams are valuable commodities. They propel us forward. They give us energy. They make us enthusiastic. Everyone ought to have a dream. But what if you’re not sure whether you have a dream you want to pursue? Let’s face it. Many people were not encouraged to dream. Others have dreams but lose hope and set them aside.

I want you to know that there’s good news. You can find or recapture your dreams. And they can be big dreams, not that all dreams have to be huge to be worth pursuing. They just need to be bigger than you are.  “Dreams come to a size too big so we can grow into them.”

If you’ve given up hope, lost sight of your dream or never connected with something that you think is worth dreaming and working toward, perhaps it would help you to learn about the five most common reasons why people have trouble identifying their dream:

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  • Some people have been discouraged from dreaming by others. Many people have had their dreams knocked right out of them! The world is filled with dream crushers and idea killers.
  • Some people are hindered by past disappointments and hurt. Disappointment is the gap that exists between expectation and reality. All of us have encountered that gap. When something goes wrong, we say, “I’ll never do that again!” What a mistake, especially when it comes to our dreams! Failure is the price we must pay to achieve success.
  • Some people get in the habit of settling for average. Columnist Maureen Dowd says, “The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.” Dreams require a person to stretch, to go beyond average. You can’t reach for a dream and remain safely mediocre at the same time. The two are incompatible.
  • Some people lack the confidence needed to pursue their dreams. Humor columnist Erma Bombeck observed, “It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else.” It takes confidence to talk about a dream and even more to pursue it. And sometimes confidence separates the people who dream and pursue those dreams from those who don’t.
  • Some people lack the imagination to dream. How do people discover their dreams? By dreaming! That may sound overly simplistic, but that’s where it starts. Imagination is the soil that brings a dream to life.