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by Steve Serr

Adults are often chided by other adults for behaving like children when they are given to imagination. Reality, it is said, is real, not imaginary. This is really quite humorous, because as it turns out, it is impossible to be an adult viewing reality from anything except an imagination! If we have different conceptions of reality it is because our ideas filter and sort the reality that we claim to see.

An atheist might contend that we continue to feel this driving need to posit an idea of God or Gods, despite the world that we see around us. But that is dependent on how we determine what it is that we see. A ‘believer’ is often heard exclaiming how they see ‘God in everything around them’. You might say that in one case, God is defined into the equation, and in the other, defined out. One sees no God, the other sees God, and you can’t really say they are seeing the same thing, because as observers, they are creating the very reality that they claim to apprehend.

Take the words to John Lennon’s song, Imagine

     “Imagine there's no Heaven
      It's easy if you try
      No hell below us
      Above us only sky…

It has long occurred to me that it wouldn’t really take much to see a miraculous event take place. Hardly a finger would have to be raised to see a world at peace, in awe of life, compassionately celebrating the miracle of existence itself. Lennon’s iconic song expands on this idea;

     “Imagine there's no countries
      It isn't hard to do
      Nothing to kill or die for
      And no religion too
      Imagine all the people
      Living life in peace

What John Lennon was saying - and I guess I am singing along with it - is that it doesn’t really take much more than a different way of seeing, to make a different reality. Moreover, he was encouraging others to take heart, and see, for by doing so, that the world would change as a consequence.

In the pursuit of a better world, we are encouraged to consider how we can perceive the human self as not a discrete item, and not separate from the other humans and the rest of the world. We are reminded by contemporary biology to rethink how we think about a cell, and how it is becoming increasingly untenable to perceive a cell separate from the ‘field’ within which it really cannot be separated. Its very constitution requires it.

This is the nature of the human self, when considered in an ecosophical manner; indivisible from the world in which it walks, talks, thinks and perceives. Is it true, as Lennon states that all it takes is a joining?

     “I hope someday you'll join us
      And the world will be as one

My sense is that what is meant by ‘joining’ is not enlisting in some organization, but rather seeing with a similar perspective, a similar world. As Lennon says,

     “You may say that I'm a dreamer
      But I'm not the only one

Perhaps it is not imagination per se that adults criticize when they refer to one of us as living as a child ‘in an imaginary world’, but rather, not living in the same imaginary world as themselves.

I can imagine a rewrite of this song, done with less of John Lennon’s emphasis on human community (small ‘c’), but with an expanded sense of community into the ecosophic Community (capital ‘C’). Here is brotherhood, not of humanity, not just of all the people, but of Gaia: all the world itself.

In this case, the world truly would,

     ‘be as one’.

© copyright 2010, Steve Serr