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Imagination gone wrong

So here is my question for the day…or week..or perhaps year.

Is anyone else deeply troubled by the tendency of our imagination to lead us astray? Let me explain. There are so many times where I imagine a certain event or situation (attending a social event, visiting a foreign land, transitioning to a new job, getting married… or whatever) going a certain way. I suppose you might say I have certain expectations of how a situation will play out. I have a certain image that pops into my head as to what it’s going to be like to be in that situation. The thing is, this is not a mental process I control. It simply happens. Tell someone about your trip to Paris or attending a rock concert and they will automatically have a conception of what it was like to be there even if they have never been to Paris or attended a rock concert. The problem is that these conceptions–these mental images–are often mere idealizations–mere indulgent fantasies–that turn out to be mistaken. And I find that troubling. You can psychoanalyze this all you want (maybe I just need to know what the future situations will be like because I have a longing for security or whatever) but it is nonetheless troubling, especially when you notice it happening in the most insignificant areas of your life.

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