Story type: Essay
“Marconi has imagination without being a dreamer.”
Thus Mr. Serviss gave an explanation of material achievement and material success on big lines.
WITHOUT imagination a man may prosper relatively. He may live comfortably and die contented.
But at best such a man will only follow in beaten paths. He will only do what others have done before him.
He will not receive any of the great rewards which humanity offers to those whose IMAGINATION opens for the benefit of all new fields of thought, of successful material effort. —-
In material achievement there are two elements–executive force (which may be sub-divided into an indefinite number of classifications) and the great creative power, IMAGINATION.
Imagination enabled Marconi to see the possibility of sending electric messages without wires.
Had he been a dreamer, had he allowed his imagination to wander on indefinitely into notions of talking to other planets, the power of his imagination might have been in vain.
His imagination enabled him to SEE the possibility, and the lack of the dreamer’s quality enabled him to REALIZE it.
There were many men centuries ago who, in an abstract kind of way, knew that the earth was round. Their imaginations led them to the discovery of facts–and long before Galileo’s recantation many men knew vaguely the truth of what he taught.
It took Galileo, a man of great imagination, not a dreamer, to demonstrate his truth to all the world.
It took Columbus, with imagination and courage, but none of the dreamer about him, to sail around the world to America and prove practically what is now known to every child.
Wherever you see great material success on a new line, you see imagination without dreaming. It took real power of imagination in Rockefeller to conceive and execute the construction of the Standard Oil monopoly.
It took the financial imagination of Morgan to conceive the idea of taking $500,000,000 worth of steel mills and welding them into the Steel Trust–no dreamer could have done this thing.
Many a dreamer had foreseen the steam engine, the steamboat and other great inventions, without result. At the right moment a man of imagination like Fulton came along and did the actual work that the dreamer could not do.
If you want to succeed in the world, cultivate your imagination. And if you want your children to succeed encourage them in the development of their imaginations.
But let your imaginings and the imaginings of your children stop this side of dreamland.
Your brain’s activity is divided into the conscious and sub-conscious departments. The conscious side of your mentality puts you into communication with the world, enables you to meet and to cope with conditions and individuals.
If you are to succeed materially the conscious mind must control, direct and limit the activities of the sub-conscious mind with which the imagination does its work.
If your sub-conscious brain, in the departments of abstract thought, imagination and dreaming, be allowed to run away with the practical side, you may be a very great man in the far-distant future, but you may be sure that you will not succeed now. —-
THE EARTH’S GREATEST MEN ARE DREAMERS.
The world never recognizes these dreamers. The successful man admits limitations. He accepts conditions as they are. He uses his imagination only as long as it can carry him to individual success and comfort.
But the very greatest spirits among men are the spirits of dreamers.
These are the men who refuse to acknowledge any limitations save the limitations of absolute truth and of absolute possibility.
When nine-tenths of human beings were slaves, these dreamers refused to recognize slavery, and they died for their belief. Every man who led a great moral reform ahead of his time was a dreamer. And these dreamers, whose lives are scattered through history, each a tragedy and each a milestone on the path of civilization, did for civilization what a frontiersman does for a new country.
Jesus Christ was a dreamer. He saw the truth and preached it, although it meant death, and He knew that it meant death. The brotherhood that He preached nineteen hundred years ago has not yet been realized, but it WILL be realized in His name, and His teachings and His death will be eternal factors in its realization.
Slowly through the centuries the men of imagination who do not dream are working and striving, each doing his little part to realize the prophecies of the Great Dreamer.
Each compared to Him is as a tiny tallow dip compared to the noonday sun, but each is necessary.
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