The Art of Imagination

IMAGINE Volume 2: 05/11/22

Welcome to the highly-anticipated second issue of IMAGINE, the digital magazine of the art and culture of the human imagination. Unveiled in Surrealist style in Paris on May 11th, 2022, for Salvador Dali’s birthday, IMAGINE Vol. 2 once again brings together many of the world’s most imaginative people to speak on the power and importance of the creative imagination.

With Dalí as one of the great Icons of Imagination, what better place to launch IMAGINE Vol. 2 than at the legendary Café de Flore, one of the oldest coffeehouses in Paris where the “Surrealist Revolution” began? That’s exactly what IMAGINE did at our Midnight in Paris Launch Party in The City of Lights, which has not only been named the world’s most creative city, but which IMAGINE is crowning, City of Imagination.

In a revolution against a society ruled by rational thought, the Surrealists tapped into the “superior reality” of the subconscious and unconscious. Influenced by the theories of Sigmund Freud, Surrealism as defined by André Breton was “psychic automatism”, a process that encouraged a freeing of the mind from rational and utilitarian values and constraints as well as moral and aesthetic judgement.

In the same Avant-Arts spirit, IMAGINE Vol. 2 represents the next stage of the Imagination Revolution it formally launched with its inaugural issue on the first Imagination Day, October 9th, 2021, in honor of John Lennon’s birthday.

As a manifesto and Declaration of Imagination, IMAGINE is a call to imagine and re-imagine the role that imagination can play in creating a better world and enhancing the quality of our lives. What is imagination to you? What does it mean to imagine? Why is imagination important? How are you applying imagination in your life and work? How does imagination help us become better people and live better lives? The 150 new contributors to IMAGINE have addressed these Questions and more.

Just like our debut, submissions poured in for IMAGINE’s second issue from visionaries across many fields and disciplines, and altogether the response was tremendous with generous contributions from a wide-range of creative people, including: John McLaughlin, world-renowned guitarist and pioneer of jazz fusion; Felipe Fernández-Armesto, professor of history and author of books such as Ideas That Changed the World; Annie Haslam, legendary British vocalist with the group, Renaissance, as well as a painter; Karim Rashid, famous industrial designer; Nora Bateson, President of International Bateson Institute; Bernardo Kastrup, philosopher and author with Essentia Foundation; Jim Davies, cognitive scientist and author of the book, Imagination; Grimanesa Amorós, large-scale light sculpture artist; Jill Purce, esteemed author and voice teacher; Clara Ponty, pianist, singer, composer, and daughter of legendary violinist, Jean-Luc Ponty; Philip Ball, science writer and author of books such as The Modern Myths: Adventures in the Machinery of the Popular Imagination; Thomas Moore, author of the New York Times number one bestselling book, Care of the Soul, and twenty-eight others; Dennis Patrick Slattery, Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Mythological Studies Program at Pacifica Graduate Institute; Mark Johnson, Founder of Playing For Change, a non-profit inspiring and connecting the world through music; Toby Amies, filmmaker of The Man Whose Mind Exploded and the forthcoming, In the Court of the Crimson King, about the legendary progressive rock group, King Crimson; Martina Hoffmann, visionary symbolist painter and self-declared creatrix of inner landscape and other worldly vistas; Dean Radin, Chief Scientist of Institute of Noetic Sciences and Associated Distinguished Professor at California Institute of Integral Studies; Tiffany Shlain, filmmaker, author, and co-founder of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences; Daniel Merriam, romantically surreal visual artist; Sophia Psarra, Professor of Architecture and Spatial Design at The Bartlett School of Architecture and author of books such as Venice Variations: Tracing the Architectural Imagination, Architecture and Narrative The Formation of Space and Cultural Meaning; Patrick Harpur, author of books such as The Philosophers’ Secret Fire: A History of the Imagination; Richard Bright, Founder of Interalia Magazine; Bob Holroyd, renowned British electronic musician; Katarina Andjelkovic, theorist, architect, researcher, and painter; Ben Goossens, Belgian surrealist photo montage artist; Joan Hanley is an artist and teacher who makes paintings in a 200-year-old mill in Harrisville, NH that are exhibited and collected around the world; Jeff McBride, Grandmaster of Magic; Lucia Capacchione, art therapist, workshop leader and best-selling author of 13 books; Joe Raiola, producer of the Annual John Lennon Tribute in NYC; Patti Dobrowolski, Visual Thinker, Change Activator and 4x TEDx Speaker; Louise Livingstone, author, teacher and Co-Founder of The Center for Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred; Gary Gute, Director of UNIFlowLab at the University of Northern Iowa; Duncan Wardle, founder of ID8 and former Head of Innovation and Creativity at Disney; Sean Kelly, Professor of Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness at the California Institute of Integral Studies; Kristina Dryža, archetypal consultant, author, speaker, and dancer; Ayaan Ali Bangash, Indian classical sarod player; Fred Schwaller, neuroscientist, writer, science communicator, and artist; Fiona Joy, Australian vocalist and pianist; Girija Kaimal, Associate Professor and Interim Chair of the Department of Creative Arts Therapies at Drexel University and President of the American Art Therapy Association; Rebecca Kamen, sculptor and lecturer on the intersections of art and science; Milena Ivanova, philosopher of science and author of Duhem and Holism and co-editor of The Aesthetics of Science: Beauty, Imagination and Understanding; Rob Hopkins, champion of the collective imagination and author of From What Is to What If; Garry Kennard, Director of Art and Mind; Tony Currie, Creative Director of Imagination Global, an award-winning brand experience agency and design company; Guy Lafranchi, founder of GLAD, a Swiss architecture and design studio; Tim Freke, religious philosopher, recognized authority on the spiritual traditions and author of 35 books; Carol S. Pearson, author, educator and former President of Pacifica Graduate University; Aftab Omer, sociologist, psychologist, futurist and the president of Meridian University; Martin Reeves, Chairman of the BCG Henderson Institute and co-author of The Imagination Machine; Pepe Deluxé, innovative Finnish electronic music group; Mary Attwood, art historian, author, lecturer, teacher, and C-Founder of The Center for Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred; Jake Baddeley, fine art painter and sculptor working in the contemporary symbolism genre; Michael T. Stuart, Associate Professor at the Institute for Philosophy of Mind and Cognition at the NYCU who works on scientific imagination; Marcomé, Canadian singer, songwriter, and recording artist who has worked with artists such as Diana Krall, Cirque du Soleil, Branford Marsalis, Daniel Lanois, Pat Metheny and Yes; Grant Dudson, Director of Events and Operations at Chorus Agency; Snatam Kaur, American singer, songwriter, and author who performs new age Indian devotional music; Shauna Gilligan, Novelist and short story writer; Zorana Ivcevic Pringle, Senior Research Scientist and Director of the Creativity and Emotions lab at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, and Associate Editor of Psychology of Aesthetics and Creativity; Dina Glouberman, psychotherapist, coach, and author of the book, ImageWork: The Complete Guide to Working with Transformational Imagery; Paul Halpern, Professor of Physics at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and author of books such as, Flashes of Creation: George Gamow, Fred Hoyle, and the Great Big Bang Debate; Jeremy Lent, author of books such as The Web of Meaning: Integrating Science and Traditional Wisdom to Find Our Place in the Universe; Jerome Glenn, Co-Founder and CEO of The Millennium Project connecting futurists around the world to improve global foresight; Jennifer Wagner-Lawlor, Professor of Women’s Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and President of The Society for Utopian Studies at Penn State University; Paul Levy, pioneer in the field of spiritual emergence and the author of the book, The Quantum Revelation: A Radical Synthesis of Science and Spirituality; Pippa Goldschmidt, writer who explores the hidden lives of scientists and their work; Rana Florida, Chief Executive Officer of the Creative Class Group, and the author of Upgrade—Taking Your Work and Life From Ordinary to Extraordinary; Mario Gonzalez Lares, researcher and scholar of the life and work of Salvador Dalí; Marilyn Schlitz, social scientist who has conducted clinical, laboratory and field-based research into consciousness, human transformation, and healing; Pat B. Allen, artist, art therapist, and author of books such as Art Is a Spiritual Path and Art Is a Way of Knowing; Phoebe Barnard, Co-Founder and CEO of the Stable Planet Alliance and Professor at University of Washington’s Center for Environmental Politics and School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Science; Richard Barone, recording artist, performer, producer, and author; Eddie Saint-Jean, visual artist, photographer, and filmmaker working in moving image and photography influenced by Freudian theories of the Uncanny; Dennis Pottenger, depth psychologist, award-winning literary journalist, and author of the book, Alchemy, Jung, and Remedios Varo: Cultural Complexes and the Redemptive Power of the Abjected Feminine; Daniel Christian Wahl, consultant and educator in regenerative development, whole systems design and transformative innovation, and author of Designing Regenerative Cultures; ADT AYALA ART STUDIO, a collaboration between contemporary artist and painter, Marta Adt, and filmmaker/producer, Ciro Ayala; Debashish Banerji, Haridas Chaudhuri Professor of Indian Philosophies and Cultures, Doshi Professor of Asian Art, and Dept. Chair, East-West Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies; Graham Boyd, co-author (with economist Jack Reardon) of Rebuild: The Economy, Leadership, and You; Tom Cochrane, senior lecturer in philosophy at Flinders University, Adelaide, and author of books such as The Aesthetic Value of the World; Peter O’Neill, Founder and Director of the Imagine! Belfast Festival of Ideas & Politics; Tony Martignetti, Chief Inspiration Officer at Inspired Purpose Coaching and author of the book, Climbing the Right Mountain: Navigating the Journey to An Inspired Life; Sahlan Momo, artist, publisher, and philanthropist; Alina Siegfried, storyteller, narrative strategist, social innovator, systems change advocate, spoken word artist, and author A Future Untold: The Power of Story to Transform the World and Ourselves; Gabrielle Donnelly, writer, educator, scholar-practitioner, and Associate Professor of Community Development at Acadia University; Jr Korpa, multidimensional artist whose works mix photography and painting; Dan Lockton, Assistant Professor, Future Everyday, Department of Industrial Design, Eindhoven University of Technology, and Director of Imaginaries Lab in Amsterdam; Nadia Choucha, writer and lecturer on art and magic and author of the book, Surrealism & the Occult: Shamanism, Magic, Alchemy, and the Birth of an Artistic Movement; Saint Disruption, a musical collaborative founded by Jeff Firewalker Schmitt and John Medeski who have recently released a soulful rendition of John Lennon’s Imagine; France Garrido, surrealist-inspired visual artist and Board Member of the Society for Art of Imagination working with artist and Society founder, Brigid Marlin; Elena Lanham, writer and researcher currently working on a two-volume book which deals with suprahuman cognitive and creative capabilities; and R.U. Sirius, writer, lyricist, vocalist, former EIC of Mondo 2000 Magazine, and author and co-author of multiple books.

There’s many more great contributors to Volume 2 to discover through our directory, far too many to mention here, but I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge this issues’ Special Features, which includes: D. Paul Schafer’s Culture as a Reality, offering inspiring “Steps Towards a Cultural Age” and a chance to win an autographed copy of his new book, The World as Culture; Clara Ponty’s Songs of the Musical Imagination, presenting some of Clara’s favorite imaginative musical compositions; Sam Torode’s The Revolutionary Vision of Ralph Waldo Emerson, a Tribute to Emerson on his 218th birthday; John Bonsall’s Tribute to Walter Russell on his 151st birthday; Susan Hess Logeais’ Tribute to Stanislav Grof; and Lawrence Axil Comras’ Remembering Michael Gosney, who’s memory IMAGINE Vol. 2 is dedicated to.

150 Imaginative Visions / 150 Days of Imagination

For Vol. 2, IMAGINE is doing something new through our 150 Days of Imagination campaign, which unveils one of IMAGINE Vol. 2’s 150 Imaginative Visions each day from our launch date of Wednesday, May 11th right up to the second-annual Imagination Day on Sunday, October 9th for John Lennon’s 82nd birthday. Each Day of IMAGINE-nation will also celebrate the birthdays of some of greatest Icons of Imagination along with some of the greatest events in the history of creative culture as well.

In other words, the next stage of IMAGINE is being presented in a fashion exactly opposite to our inaugural issue, which opened with 150 Imaginative Visions all together at once. For Vol. 2, the IMAGINE experience is being staged incrementally with the 150 new Visions of our new volume “unveiled” through the release of one per day so as to give each of our contributors their own Day of IMAGINE-nation that spotlights their unique Vision in splendid isolation.

This strategy, bolstered by IMAGINE’s commitment to promote all our contributors through a robust publishing and marketing effort to showcase them on its website and across social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, not only allows for everyone in the IMAGINE community to see, read, acknowledge, appreciate, share, and comment on each and every contributor and contribution, but also nurtures the kind of conversation that is critical in empowering the Collective Imagination that can achieve much more than any one person’s imagination could do on its own.

With all of this said, it is a great pleasure to invite you to enjoy IMAGINE Vol. 2, along with our complete website and its evolving creative content, resources, and designs.

Imaginatively yours,
Mark Riva
Publisher


IMAGINE Volume 1: 10/9/21

Welcome to inaugural issue of IMAGINE, the digital magazine celebrating the art and culture of the human imagination. Launching on the first-annual Imagination Day on October 9, 2021, in honor of John Lennon’s 81st birthday and the 50th anniversary of his song, Imagine, IMAGINE brings together many of the world’s most imaginative people to speak on the power and importance of the creative imagination.

As a manifesto and Declaration of Imagination, IMAGINE is a call to imagine and re-imagine the role that imagination can play in creating a better world and enhancing the quality of our lives. What is imagination to you? What does it mean to imagine? Why is imagination important? How are you applying imagination in your life and work? How does imagination help us become better people and live better lives? IMAGINE collects and presents inspiring answers to these questions and more from today’s global thought leaders.

Submissions poured in from visionaries across many fields, ranging from scholars of the imagination, creativity, and the arts, to philosophers, psychologists, anthropologists, mythologists, neuroscientists, and astrophysicists, to cultural policy experts, science authors, and science fiction writers, to creative artists, social entrepreneurs, museum designers, Disney executives, and Grammy®-winning musicians.

Collectively, they represent some of the most influential names in the world of creativity and imagination coming from all cultures, nationalities, and countries, such as America, Canada, Mexico, England, Scotland, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, India, Malaysia, Australia, Argentina, Russia, and beyond.

This group includes America’s foremost creativity coach, Australia’s leading science writer, one of America’s strongest advocates for lifelong learning, and authors and editors of some of the most important and popular books on creativity and imagination, including editors of The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Imagination and Cambridge Handbook of Creativity, as well as two whose books were released as feature motion pictures.

It also includes Founders, Presidents, and Directors of institutions such as The Heroic Imagination Project, Institute of General Semantics, The New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling, The Centre for Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred, Center for Partnership Systems, World Culture Project, Co-Intelligence Institute, Creative Potential Institute, Existential-Humanistic Institute, Center for Future Consciousness, Chicago Wisdom Project, Philosophical Research Society, Museum of Lost Wonder, Scientific and Medical Network, Arts at CERN, c3: Center for Conscious Creativity, Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination, Laszlo Institute of New Paradigm Research, Imagine If, House of Imagination, Creativity and Education, Turnaround Arts California, Awakening Arts Academy, Orphan Wisdom School, New Wilderness Society, Rumtiden Idea Lab, Mosaic Multicultural Foundation, and The Owen Barfield Estate.

150 Imaginative Visions

Collectively, IMAGINE Vol. 1 is driven by the creative Visions of these exceptional people, 150 in all whom we affectionally call Visionaries. For our debut, we proudly present their Visionary Visions with the goal of encouraging a great conversation that contributes to the Collective Imagination that Dr. Liliana N. Fargo articulates beautifully.

“The world is deeply interconnected at the core level in ways we are just becoming to understand. Developing our collective imagination to advance our collective consciousness is essential in the human quests for survival, sustained prosperity and spiritual growth” ~ Dr. Liliana N. Fargo

Mirroring the dynamic of the Collective Imagination, IMAGINE is an ever-changing and evolving adventure that will continuously improve as fresh new ideas and inspiration arises and unfolds. I envision this as an ongoing process where IMAGINE Visionaries are motivated to add to and elaborate on their Visions, incentivized by community comments and the kind of active social engagement that comes with being the premier one-stop for imagination that not only is its own thriving network, but the makings of The Imagination Channel, as well.

Imagination Quest

Voltaire once said: “Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.” IMAGINE invited its contributors and you to plug into a collective effort to shape The State of Imagination by considering and addressing the following questions which reflect One Big Question and One Great Quest.

  • What is imagination to you?
  • What does it mean to imagine?
  • Why is imagination important?
  • How does imagination help us to be better people and live better lives?
  • What is the imagination’s place in the fulfillment, happiness, and enjoyment of life?
  • How does imagination create experiences that are meaningful and transformative?
  • How are you applying imagination in your life and work and how is it enhancing the quality of your life-work?
  • How is imagination a way to see anything in the world with new eyes which helps us generate new insights?
  • How does imagination help us to maintain and increase our ability to adapt to changing conditions and to transform what no longer serves us?
  • How is imagination a part of the process of human growth and development, of self-actualization, self-realization, and ultimate human fulfillment?

These are just a few of the many questions IMAGINE asks and considers. The more answers we can find, the more our ability to see the whole; a big picture scenario for the future, a vision that seeks to vastly expand our ideas of what imagination is, and more important, what it might become.

Gary Tillery: Tribute to John Lennon on his 81st Birthday

In the spirit of IMAGINE’s launch which marks the first-annual Imagination Day on October 9, 2021, in honor of John Lennon’s 81st birthday and the 50th anniversary of his global anthem, Imagine, our debut issue opened with nothing less than a moving Tribute to John Lennon by Gary Tillery, author of The Cynical Idealist: The Spiritual Autobiography of John Lennon, named Official Book of the 2010 John Lennon Tribute.

The Cynical Idealist brings us the first spiritual and intellectual biography of the seminal musical and cultural figure that is John Lennon, a soulful portrait of Lennon’s very being, illuminating the spiritual transformation of a man who influenced the world in a way few others had during the course of the twentieth century.

The world could not ignore something extraordinary in Lennon. What was it that set him apart from his fellow bandmates, causing the media to label him the “intellectual” of the group? What was it about his transformation from member of the Beatles to anti-war activist opposing the reelection of Richard Nixon as president in 1972, documented in the film, The U.S. vs. John Lennon, to the point of attempts by Nixon to deport Lennon from the US to end his anti-war and anti-Nixon campaigns?

At the height of Beatlemania, Lennon declared the band’s popularity had eclipsed that of Jesus Christ. Later, through his own songs such as Imagine, a global anthem of planetary peace and love that transcends labels, dogma, and social expectations, along with the protests and events he and Yoko Ono organized, such as the famous “Give Peace a Chance” rally and concepts such as Nutopiabagism, and bed peace, Lennon became a potential political threat to the American government, and therefore there were many attempts to ‘silence’ him.

Praised and ridiculed in equal measure, investigated by the FBI, hounded by the media and ultimately assassinated, Britain’s “Man of the Decade” ignited a revolution of our consciousness. This extraordinary figure deserved an extraordinary book and, in The Cynical Idealist, Gary Tillery provides us with a fascinating framework for assessing Lennon’s life and works.

An excellent endorsement for The Cynical Idealist comes from Gary Lachman, Rock n’ Roll Hall of Famer, former bassist for Blondie, author of the book, The Lost Knowledge of Imagination, and an IMAGINE Visionary.

Like most creative people, John Lennon was a complex character… the thinking-man’s Beatle was the first in a cadre of rock stars who used their celebrity as a force for good, anticipating later figures like Bono and Bob Geldof by decades. Lennon’s ambivalent relationship with a number of self help/spiritual fads mirrored the shifting moods of more than one generation, and for teenagers like myself coming of age in the 70’s, he was the conduit for a number of worthy causes: peace, women’s rights, and the painful exploration of the self. Most books on Lennon focus on the skeletons in his closet. This one shows where his heart was.

Gary Tillery reads his Tribute to John Lennon live on Imagination Day!

Gary Tillery’s Tribute is the perfect introduction to IMAGINE, which he generously offered to present as live reading on Imagination Day during our Launch Party on Twitter Spaces at 1:00PM EST on Twitter Spaces! Our one-hour program featured a complete introduction to IMAGINE’s Inaugural Issue and acknowledge and mention the names of the 150 Visionaries and be crowned by Gary’s Lennon Tribute at 1:30PM, the time of his birth in Liverpool.

In the spirit of John and Yoko’s global anthem for peace, Imagine, this segment of the IMAGINE Launch Party is conceived as a global imagining, an invocation-visualization-celebration of The Collective Imagination, an activation of a community of shared imagination that is capable of working together to remake the world in and from our imagination, one which embodies what Yoko meant in saying:

All of us have the responsibility to visualize a better world for ourselves and our children. The truth is what we create. It’s in our hands. Remember, a dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.

Following Gary’s Tribute, we played Imagine, which was followed by one-minute of silence. Then we heard Malcolm Guite, poet, singer-songwriter, Anglican priest, and academic, read his poem, Imagine.

Imagination Day

Find out more about Imagination Day on our Events page, which was celebrated and observed all around the world as a special day where people come together to acknowledge, express, and share the role of imagination in uplifting our lives and making the world a better place. In the spirit of the song Imagine, which Rolling Stone described as John Lennon’s “greatest musical gift to the world,” Imagination Day seeks to inspire people to speak on and speak out about the importance of imagination and imagining as a force for a brighter future for all. Through the efforts and impact of the Imagination Day campaign, we hope to drive home the message that imagination is essential to the well-being of people and planet as a process of empowerment open to everybody.

Through the Imaginal Looking Glass

Through the lens of the Creative Imagination, IMAGINE probes deeply into important topics, subjects, and fields including anthropology, art, astronomy, awe, consciousness, courage, culture, creativity, discovery, education, empathy, heroism, hope, innovation, invention, the future, improvisation, literature, magic, meditation, music, myth, perception, psychology, philosophy, poetry, religion, science, science-fiction, the senses, sound, spirituality, storytelling, thinking, and the unknown. Essentially, The Great Ideas and everything that really matters to us.

Who would have thought that our imagination could be so incredibly inspirational and broadly all-encompassing, yet so eminently practical and useful? Who would have thought that it would have so much to offer that it can both supply the hard-nosed realist with solutionary tools to the problems of today while simultaneously satisfying the most inscrutable questions and deepest yearnings of the human condition.? Who would have thought that the human imagination could do all of this and more while still being so much fun?

I did, for one, and it all started with an idea and a dream. All I did was open my mind’s eye and Imagine. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope you will enjoy this inaugural issue and join us, and IMAGINE too.

Imaginatively yours,
Mark Riva
Publisher

1 Comment

  • Clara Ponty
    7 months ago Reply

    Mark, I’m impressed and inspired by your innovative vision, depth, and joie de vivre. IMAGINE is full of so many interesting and creative people from all over the globe. I find the subject of imagination to be our given birthright and greatest power along with the power of love that I feel is being shortchanged in this day and age. Thank you for all the hard work and passion you’ve put into this essential project, which I believe will inspire many people and lead to positive change. The process of writing my essay, Musical Imagination (http://imaginezine.com/clara-ponty), has given me fresh energy and inspiration to create new music that is not only enhancing my life, but also can serve the collective harmony that makes the world a better place.

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