“Imagination is more important than knowledge,” is a famous quote of Albert Einstein. There are only a couple of words in this line, but if we think logically, it encloses the whole world. Imagination is a bequest of life and is indeed far more significant than knowledge. If we have the capability of imagining things, we can craft our world.
Imagination is not significant just for us as individuals but also for the community in general. It can also be interpreted as the fundamental element of theology and can be better articulated through contemplation. There have been great philosophers in the past who imagined the unattainable, and today our societies have certain values that are very relevant.
Simultaneously to be very dominant, imagination is also very risky. It all depends on the direction towards which we orient our imagination. Just like in the case of fire, if it becomes uncontrollable, it spells havocs, but if it is harnessed properly, it contributes to the development and wellbeing of the people. So our imagination should be oriented towards the positive or constructive direction rather than the negative or destructive one.
On the one hand, where positive approach in imagination improves life values, standards and progress, the negative approach is bound to lead the individuals towards fake things and feelings such as panic, intolerance, nervousness, etc. In the negative imagination, people lose their interface with the truth.
All the inventions and developments that have today become inseparable parts of our lives are results of positive imagination only. Some people imagined these things and converted them into reality. Human beings owe the transformation from Stone Age to being civilized to positive imagination. This is what positive imagination can do.
Knowledge is also important because simply by imagining things, one cannot convert them into reality. An intellectual mind is required for such tasks. But without imagination, knowledge would be of no use. We would be stagnant as far as development is concerned.
Like for instance, if Thomas Alva Edison were aware of the light (current) generating system but didn’t have the foresight to make useful things, then today we would not have the so important thing called bulb. Imagination is the foundation of contentment and pleasure in our lives. It provides us with lots of amusement, leisure and above all makes us more lively and humane.
Knowledge can be gained from various textbooks and lectures, but what about innovation? Unless we combine innovation and knowledge, there is no point in studying. Innovation comes from imagination, and imagination cannot be learned at schools or colleges. To put it more strongly, imagination is a revolution – in a good sense – and dominant, whereas knowledge is merely an attained instrument.
It is always good to acquire knowledge, but having the ability to imagine is far more important and inevitable. By acquiring knowledge, we learn things, but my imagination, we learn how to comprehend the things that we have learned. This comprehension further increases our knowledge.
Above all, the knowledge that we acquire is again a result of imagination. We don’t get knowledge out of knowledge but out of imagination that guides us to knowledge. So imagination is a sort of concierge to knowledge. We cannot gain knowledge unless we have imagination. So imagination is more important than knowledge.