One day at a time.

One day at a time.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Keep Daydreaming, Doctors Advise (And This Minister)

It seems Einstein was wrong.  Well, at least on one accord.  Einstein is often attributed as saying “necessity is the mother of invention.”  Not so, some historians and sociologists tell us.  Recent thought (see New Yorker Article by Adam Gopnik) suggests that invention and advancement also come from times when societies have institutional dreamers.  That is, when a culture promotes exploration for the simple sake of exploration.  When our basic needs were met, it is not out of necessity but rather daydreaming when great inventions and creations arose. 


Take flying-- a home grown invention in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.  The Wright brothers often credited their final first successful aeroplane with an early toy they had played with in childhood.  This toy helicopter would eventually lead them to discover one of the single greatest inventions of the 20th century.  The aeroplane would forever change travel, international relations, and our relationship to the great expanse of sky.


From a simple siesta in the afternoon to rocking porch traditions, dreaming flows throughout many cultures.  It turns out it's not just simple resting, but an active way to form vision for the world and renew the spirit.  An interesting article was passed along to me by a newcomer at our church.  Worth checking out.  Written by Robert Lee Hotz, this article argues that daydreaming helps develop and nurture neural connections leading to great insight.  See Effect of Daydreaming on the brain article


If we look out across great inventors and thinkers from Dante to Martin Luther King, Jr,. we find that their visions, which changed the world, were born in a life of dreaming and exploring.  Dream they tell us.  Dream bigger than your heart’s desire and your mind’s limitation.  Dream the impossible.  Dream beyond this world.  And then from those dreams what may come is just the vision to transform the world.  


So, go look at those clouds!