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Power of Imagination

Education, Innovations and Democracy


Agnieszka Rothert

The purpose of this book is to encourage the use and exploration of imagination, intuition and insight as essential ingredients for scientific, educational and civic endeavors. This groundbreaking book is a kind of intellectual provocation, but also an antidote for our current crises in education. It is a dizzying, transdisciplinary and morphing romp through fields as disparate as complexity theory, quantum physics, neuroscience, political sciences as well as the innovative uses of games.

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Part II Around the Corner


Narrative, Creation and Fun

The release of imagination and the creation of new concepts is a process of self-organization of thought. More complex forms of creativity are of course a different kind of brain activity. What is interesting, innovative and “brilliant” ideas appear in the unconscious mind where thoughts wander freely. The process of creative thinking in the human brain begins with disorganization, creating links between looming shapes of objects, symbols, words, or saved experiences that have not been combined previously. Self-organization, which gives birth to something completely new and original, emerges from this disorganized entanglement.86

Therefore, I succumbed myself to a free play of associations of a narrative character, and I found myself in a situation slightly similar to the one when Alice falls down the rabbit hole. She has plenty of time to watch the walls of the dark well with curiosity. They were filled with cupboards and book-shelves where jars and books were standing. Alice feels partly as if she were in a library, partly as in a cupboard. She also notices maps and pictures. There is also a jar of orange marmalade—unfortunately empty.87

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