Our right brain hemisphere generates faculties that are often associated with creativity. Although they are related, they are not synonym of creativity. Inspiration may be a component of creativity, but creativity is a broader concept. Inspiration is the ability to come up with an idea emerging from out of the blue, an idea that may not have existed before and will impress the large majority. Inspiration is the ability to tap into the higher self for common good.

The same principle applies to imagination, where it is a component of creativity, but not the creativity itself. Imagination is the ability to generate a diversified range of ideas, regardless if they are relevant or not. Thus, imagination is a pure right brain faculty, one we tend to put aside for the sake of conformity and societal decorum. Fear of being judged or fear of irrelevance will deter many individuals and organisations to experiment brainstorming session on regular basis. It’s a pity, because brainstorming is a natural reflex and, as for meditation, we need more of that kind of exercise to balance out our brain hemispheres since we are almost all too much on the left brain mode.

Imagination may appear as a clear concept for most of us, especially those who are artistic in nature. However, making the distinction between inspiration and imagination may not be as easy. Let’s see what it is about. Here are 6 ways to distinguish imagination from inspiration:

1- Imagination is detachment from sequential-structural thoughts process;

Imagination is all about ideas and creations themselves, not about their utility or necessity. It is the release of our hold onto unidimensional way of thinking, what we call conformity.

We need to think like machine during an important portion of our daily existence in order to survive the 21st century environment. So we tend to analyse too much. Moreover, we tend sometimes to generate exclusively rational, sequential, structural, intellectual thoughts. We are so interconnected by the telecom-internet grid and influenced by the machine-like corporate decorum behavior, that we unlearn to create and express our identity. We have to exercise what stimulates imagination and enhance the capacity to generate your own creative thoughts, because those are therapies to counterbalance the current lobotomisation of mankind.

Inspiration involves both cognitive and creative thoughts at the same time. Inspiration is painting on a white canvas or writing on a white page.

2- Imagination requires a pre-existing catalyst idea or an established frame;

Imagination will take place in a context where seeds are planted for a creative thought to emerge. It may also arise from an unfinished or extensive thought process. Imagination needs a spark. Imagination does not come from out of nowhere. Unlike inspiration which is the ultimate weapon against blank page syndrome, imagination is like painting on a canvas with predefined lines on it, and coming up with an unexpected and unseen  result reflecting the painter’s personality.

Jamming music may be associated with the right brain, since no one knows how it starts and what it will look like. Jazz musicians play without partition, but come up with their rhythm and style, although their performance is inspired from the divine source, and to a certain extend from the crowd. Inspiration comes from imagination. Jazz musicians have all been jam players before.

3- Imagination is the ability to brainstorm;

Imagination is purely and simply the ability to come up with ANY possible idea or creative thought, yet unexplored. We say reality is stranger than fiction. Because fiction is inspired by unheard of reality. Imagination is unheard of multiple parallel realities.

Brainstorm is the exercise of uncovering the unseen and the integration of what seems a priori impossible into the realm of possible. It is the process of thinking the unthinkable, without fear, judgement, or blockage. It is purely the observation of all possibility from outside.

Realisation is to pick one of those unthinkable ideas and bring it to fruition, to reality…

Inspiration would be the ability to make a realisation enjoyable for everyone, in a way tainted with high vibrations, stimulating collective consciousness expansion.

4- Imagination is the capacity to tap into your right brain alone;

Imagination is the capacity to put aside the left brain and to make the most of your right brain alone. The result may sound intriguing, maybe silly for a judgemental person, but makes plenty of sense for a non judgemental person.

Judgement is a sign of incapacity to detach from the left brain influence. So let’s not worry about judgement when we express our imagination. We do not control the way we impress others, but we can control the way we are affected by their impression. Expression of imagination is a therapy to free from fear and let go the self.

Inspiration does not involve that judgemental risk factor since it is an approval from both left brainer and right brainer sides about highly impressive creativity.

5- Imagination is triggered by the right brain only

Imagination is nothing else than unprocessed thoughts in their pristine state. What may look like an absolute naive fantasy, may be detected by brainstorming session animator as a potential great idea. We should never underestimate the power of imagination.

An accomplished and balanced person will frequently brainstorm in solo and retain ideas that resonate, leaving aside all the rest. The exercise of writing on paper all imaginary thoughts is an introspection technique and a must for those who want to reach self actualisation.

Successful people are those who spare their time and energy, those who live on auto pilot, where both brain hemispheres are connected and working perfectly in cohesion, with minimal effort. To be able to do that, it is critical to sharpen the right brain hemisphere. Right brain training starts early in life and will pay back later. It is a long term investment.

Those who neglect their right brain evolution end up lacking intuition, creativity and adaptability, seeking control on short term only, living an insecure lifestyle. In short, they will limit their expansion abilities, while those who trained their right brain will master more easily the elevation of their game as they evolve in life. Imagination must be embraced as a therapy to heal left brain excess.

6- Imaginary does not necessarily mean original

Imagination is considered the black sheep of all creative faculties. It is right brain extremism. Therefore, we do not suggest solely living off of right brain thoughts. People who live in their imaginary world end up misunderstood, marginalized, isolated, ostracized, labelled as incoherent or mentally ill. Today’s world is so demanding that it is crucial to have a minimum of balance between both right and left brain hemispheres.

Imagination is not always sexy and beautiful. While inspiration is a synonym of originality with the glamorous higher self connection, plain imagination is often ridicule and viewed as cool only by its creator. It is important to maintain a constant interaction with the real world. Imagination must be a tool, not a cesspool…

By: Christian Theberge

This article is also available in French at the following link:


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