George Sylvester Viereck



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“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand. ” (Albert Einstein) Do you agree? Candidate Name: Harsh Agarwal Candidate No: 006166—008 Session: May 2013 Subject: Theory of Knowledge Word Count: 1547 Supervisor: Mr. Arpit Sharma Berlin, 1929. The poet and journalist George Sylvester Viereck has charmed an interview out of an initially reluctant superstar physicist[1] .

He asks: “How do you account for your discoveries? Through intuition or inspiration? “Albert Einstein replies: “Both. I sometimes feel I am right, but do not know it. When two expeditions of scientists went to test my theory I was convinced they would confirm my theory. I wasn’t surprised when the results confirmed my intuition, but I would have been surprised had I been wrong. I’m enough of an artist to draw freely on my imagination, which I think is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.

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” Knowledge versus Imagination. Common-sense is more helpful in daily life than daydreaming because that sharpens you as a personality and assists you to make most out of the daily situations, you deal with, and also pushes you to use your brains, which is very important to live life in contemporary times. The foundation of capacity to imagine is build on personal experiences, where you are lacking in experience, the mind imagines the missing components. It follows that, without knowledge one cannot use imaginations.

I would like to put a question here: Without “information in mind” can you utilize the ability to “form images and ideas in the mind”? Here, mind is on a par with imagination, your ability to rationalize that which is real, is dependent on the capacity of the mind ability to conceptualize that which is defined as unreal. Your imagination is like, computer’s “RAM” and knowledge is like the information inside the computer, “Ram”. RAM is Random Access Memory. One bit of information is information but a collection of bits of information, is what we call knowledge.

The location in the human mind where information and knowledge is kept is our imagination. The human mind recreates everything, that is experiences inside of our imaginations and it does this most of the time with the accuracy to how the universe works but the human mind is not limited to what the natural laws of physics observe, we can see a person walking or a bird flying. We can then take this information and combine it in such a way that a person walking can be imagined as a person flying without observing such a condition in nature.

Likewise, I can never experience a bird flying but can have another person explain such a condition and my mind can create such an experience, despite my ever actually seeing with my own eyes a bird flying. Metaphors are plenteous. Knowledge is a stepping stone to imagination; it stands to imagination as honeycomb does to honey, knowledge and imagination are enemies, or independent filaments in the web of our cerebral lives. Until and unless the person doesn’t acquire or is hungry to acquire knowledge, he won’t be able to imagine because that is where the power to manifest in you lies.

If we look at the scenario from the psychological point of view of the person’s developing stage then there we get to unfold the reality of the Albert’s statement. When a baby comes out of the womb and steps into this world, he doesn’t know what clouds are, fruits are, colours are, plants are. He doesn’t know what this whole world is. He imagines his own world, full of fantasies. If we look at it from the perspective of Buddhism religion then the child imagines what he has been through in his last birth or I would say the journey he has travelled through to step on this creation.

Gaining knowledge doesn’t mean that one has to read books, go deep into the resources, surf through Google. It is never prescribed that one has to gain knowledge from certain resources. People do acquire knowledge from various senses, sense of feeling, sense of belonging, sense of humour, sense of love, loneliness, sense of affection, by meeting different people, reading different behaviours, listening to different people, observing things going around and above all knowing yourself. Now it depends upon us that how we put the knowledge inside our brains.

As it is being said by Buddha that, “Peace comes from within, do not seek it without”. So I feel same is the case here with knowledge and imagination. Knowledge comes from within, do not seek it without. If knowledge will come then automatically a person would reach to a stage, where he enters into the world of imagination. So from this it can be concluded that imagination is followed by knowledge. When the baby reaches to a stage, where he starts looking into the play-way books, starts walking on his knees, starts uttering the words out then he learns and gains knowledge.

That knowledge is of course not the whole but partial one. But that partial knowledge builds the further occurrences. There comes a stage when the child joins school, meet poles apart people, see the world, take the outcomes of life into a distinguishable way. The child reaches to a stage where he starts generating knowledge, embark on creating an identity. All this is what comes from the person’s background knowledge. The senses he has felt, the emotions he went through, the struggle he met. So there, imagination pokes into the scene and brings out what was gained and thought.

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