Imagination: Creating Possibility in the Unthinkable

Cindy Reinhardt
3 min readOct 18, 2023
Autumn Mountain Morning

The imagination is capable of kindness that the mind often lacks … it does not engage in things in a cold, clear-cut way but always searches for the hidden words that wait at the edge of things. The mind tends to see things in a singularly simple, divided way: there is good and bad, ugly and beautiful. The imagination, in contrast, extends a greater hospitality to whatever is awkward, paradoxical or contradictory. … The imagination is always more loyal to the deeper unity of everything. It has patience with contradiction because there it glimpses new possibilities. And the imagination is the great friend of possibility. …this is what beauty is: possibility that enlarges and delights the heart. John O’Donohue Beauty-The Invisible Embrace

In the midst of the unthinkable, of horrors and hatred, of rancor and disrespect, turning from mind to heart offers a doorway of passage into a field of brighter possibilities.

Earlier this week I was given an opportunity to imagine the future, my future, three years out. The conversation inspired me to reflect more deeply on what a world of unity, peace, compassion, and integrity look like. How would we/I be in our responses to today’s multiple crises and violence? How would our leaders BE and what choices would they make in a world truly committed to peace? How might we shift?

The following day Charles Eisenstein shared his thoughts on those very questions (click here to watch). His answer in short: forgiveness, shifting from blame and revenge to forgiveness and seeking to understand. Not an easy or simple path, as any of us who have been ‘wronged’ and sought to forgive another know from our experience. Yet might we dare to allow our hearts to dream what our minds will surely declare is ‘impossible’?

In the midst of the unthinkable, of horrors and hatred, of rancor and disrespect, turning from mind to heart offers a doorway of passage into a field of brighter possibilities. Can we imagine a different future than where the arc of history seems headed? Dare we dream and endeavor to bring such dreams into reality, creating sacred spaces and fields of possibility?

I’m reminded of Rumi’s wise words:

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
There is a field. I’ll meet you there.

Even in the comfort and relative safety of home it is not always easy to imagine such a bright future. Life’s daily details and our habitual keeping up with today’s dramas, horrors, and predictions of the next scary thing may trap us in dead-end, worn out thinking and lead us to forget our power to imagine and call forth a different future.

Yet imagine a new world we must. Seeking those whose ideals resonate with ours and joining them in community to call forth and create the new. Creating new pathways and ways of being and doing right where we are.

Moment to moment we choose where to focus our attention, where to devote our precious life energy. What might be possible if, beyond our compassion and empathy, our sorrow and grief, we tapped into the kindness of the imagination to dream a future where we’ve grown our capacity to listen (deeply listen) to one another along with our willingness to engage in this way. Where we have the capacity to forgive past deeds (our own as well as those of others) and to imagine and create a new world together. And then to trust that such a world is possible even when that seems not so and despite history’s evidence to the contrary. How much beauty can we imagine?

To be sure, I have work to do. Let’s dance!

Cindy explores the practical application of mysticism, reflects on life, writes, takes long walks with canine companion Zadie Byrd, and stewards a small property at 8000 feet in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Southern Colorado. In the midst of the changing environment of a chaotic world, each week Cindy invites Muse to explore how to navigate these uncharted waters and how to live a life aligned with our highest values in her blog at www.cindyreinhardt.com/blog

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Cindy Reinhardt

Life is learning to navigate on the planet. Experimenting is key! Master Coach-Writer-Mystic-Dog Lover-Nature Lover.