An Exploration of Psychology Shaped Through a Tradition
Don't get me wrong, this is a neat video and everything, but it's probably time for a new post...
I think imagination has a huge role in hope. After all, hope by definition leaves room for the unknown. If we have something, we cannot "hope" for it. Thus we create hope and idealize it or have an "image" about what it looks like. Whether or not this "hope" is founded in reality (i.e. there is potential this hope can be actualized) is a different question. We can hope all we want that it will rain candy tomorrow, and that hope can be just as valuable to get us through to the next day, but that doesn't mean it will happen. What I wonder is if there is a qualitative difference between hope in something that has a foundation or correlation to reality and that which doesn't. Does the human capacity to believe irrational things and convince ourselves of ludicrous notions affect our idea of hope? If we are aware of our own imaginative influence on our hope, does that replace this "hope" with skepticism? How can we (or should we even) come to appreciate that our imagination plays an important role in our hope for the future? Does this include Christian hope? Many may not have seen that a savior who dies on a cross can cover everyone's sins and reconnect us with this "father God" was a viable thing to hope in because it would seem too abstract, too far from ever being able to have a founded basis. That being the case, where is the line in being cautious in placing one's hope on things that do not have evidence (hard proof, logical arguments to correspond with, etc.) and taking that leap of faith? Is faith just a way of staking one's bets that their hope is real? And if not everything has evidentiary support (like there really is a loving God who wants to know me personally), how do we not convince ourselves that putting hope in that is futile or childish? I suppose that is where the "faith like a child" aspect comes in. Isn't that dangerous though? How do we know our imaginations have not run amuck and we are just hoping for something we want (i.e. Future of an Illusion type of thing)? So the question is, how much evidence/reality-based correlates do we need to have an appropriate hope/faith?
and along those lines (i.e. I am the same anon. as above)... I think perhaps whispering hope is whispering the catalyst that sparks another's imagination of what could be. To whisper that there is a different path, there is a new day, there is potential in you, that is whispering hope. Hope and the future, though, is a tricky thing. Hope can definitely lead to greater futures, or it could be the downfall of a man. If someone has hope that things will get better, they may act on that hope and indeed create their future to fulfill that hope. On the other hand, someone may hope that things will get better, and believe so much that they will change, that they don't take any steps to bring it into fruition. This "hope" in a sense became a crutch. But the same can be said of a lack of hope. A person may say there is no chance things will change, so I might as well not even try. Or a person could take that hopelessness and rebel against it to create something of their lives and themselves. I think that speaks to the fact that what is important it the interaction between hope and personality (a big amount of locus of control issues) and that leading to the future. Thus we have hope + personal outlook = future. So, hope + person-who-hopes-magical-God-will-fix-everything (external-locus) = no change whereas hope + active-person-who-uses-hope-to-be-a-springboard (i.e. internal-locus)= great change. But then again, that could go back to our imagination and what we view hope as. Or rather what we are hoping for (the object of our hope), if we have hope that things will change on their own versus hope that we can make things change--- but that really just points out how our internal dynamics and personalities shape our hope (our imagination is shaped by our personality/locus of control, thus leading us to envision our hope as the first of the latter type). So this really just became a chicken or the egg type of question. Which came first? Do we create hope out of nothing, or does hope (not created) change because of who we are (we affect it, but do not create it).
pardon my lengthy diatribe, but I have been thinking more on this topic of "hope". I think that "hope" and "fear" are the same thing, but towards different ends. Hope is anticipation/expectation of something positive, while fear is the anticipation/expectation of something negative. They are of the same quality/nature (anticipation/expectation) but the end result expected is different. In this way, it is easier to see how both fear and hope can be irrational, and both fear and hope can either motivate behavior or stimulate inaction. This goes back to imagination- that is the key between hope and fear. If we imagine something we want/wish for in the end, it is hope. If we imagine something we don't want in the end, it become fear.
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