Are we losing our imagination?

Are we losing our imagination?

I had a dream. And when I woke up, the images were still there in a very concrete way. Unfortunately, that does not happen very often. Sometimes you only remember vaguely or not at all. Because the images were so intense, it made me think.


Everyone is talking about AI at the moment. Artificial intelligence makes us believe that only the computer can create great images. It is fed by an incredible amount of material and therefore must be able to create insanely great new things from it, we assume.

We tend to forget how powerful our own thoughts are. I felt that in my dream. I was in a house in Portugal. Just for a few hours I went there by car because I had a job interview or something. I was driving on a bridge over a wide river and I saw a beach out the window on the left. The sand was bright yellow and it was hazy. I called my wife to tell her I'd be home later because I'd like to take a quick stop at the beach in the evening while I'm in Portugal.

So everything was very confused as it is in dreams. But I remember the house where I had my appointment in great detail. There were three narrow elevators in the center of the building. The architecture was Art Deco style. The hallway was slightly round and every time the elevator stopped it would ding. The amazing thing was that you still had to climb three flights of stairs to get from the elevator to the offices. I found this convenient because you wouldn't be disturbed by the dinging of the elevator at night. Another one of those dream things. Everything was a bit of a mess.


But isn't it wonderful when the brain can drift off and create its own worlds? Not just trying to process the evil in the world at night, but telling positive stories in a movie-like style. I enjoyed that very much. And maybe that's why I went to a beautiful bay in this Portuguese town afterwards and discovered a perfect photo location.

Normally, I would then be disappointed when I wake up and realize it was all a dream. This time, however, I was grateful. Grateful because I kept the beautiful images in my head and even now I remember them.

What can we do to train our brain to form images? I would say we simply need to read more.

Nowadays with the constant presence of screens, we are brutally exposed to one-sided visual stimuli. The extent of it is really crazy. And when you see that young children are often silenced by smartphones and exposed to moving images at a very young age, this scares me.

Future generations will probably have trouble coming up with imaginative images on their own. They will simply have forgotten how to do it. That's why I recommend reading novels. This is not meant to be a raised forefinger, but also a reminder to myself.

Read more books

I don't read enough, and when I read I'm not talking about things like this blog article, I'm talking about real novels that immerse you in a story and where your brain creates images to go with the plot. When was the last time you read a novel?