Imagining Imagination

Seven hundred years ago, the poet Rumi had a prophetic vision:

“Things are reversed from what they should be in this place

you live now.

One who should be hung on the scaffold is made emperor.

People stand and clap.

Tombs with ornamental plaster, self-conceit everywhere.

Palm trees made of wax, wax leaves and fruit, wax dirt.”



Centuries ago, Rumi grasped the essence of how many of us have come to feel about our culture today, even anticipating Hollywood sets and a Disneyland-view of nature.

If we’re lucky, this sense of alienation helps precipitate a crisis, which can initiate change. The historian Arnold Toynbee said all civilizations face threats and challenges—it’s the quality of response that makes all the difference. Our globalized civilization faces a number of unprecedented threats. The effectiveness of our response depends on a fundamental human quality—the imagination.

About Dr. David Cawood

Please see for rich background.
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