One of the elements in human creativity is the ability to speculate about the accuracy of your own beliefs. History is filled with examples of creative people who questioned cultural – and their own – belief systems with wonderful and beneficial results. History is also replete with examples where belief systems have generated havoc.
Today, it seems that religious and political beliefs have been turned into weaponry, justification for conflict, catalysts of separation, divisiveness and the potential destruction of life itself due to "global warming."
We find our human species divided. Our beliefs separate us from each other, from ourselves, and from our natural environment. Perhaps the time has come for us to question some of our own, tightly held beliefs.
One psychological exercise designed to loosen our grip on our own belief systems, is to play the game of "What if…?" The one rule of the game is to let your thinking go anywhere it wants to go, in response to the question, "What if…?" Read on and let’s play it.
What if …all our beliefs are illusions we have created to make our experience more manageable?
What if…Christians would stop killing other Christians or Muslims would stop killing Muslims?
What if…all political systems were synthesized into one human organization?
What if…Americans grew all the food they were able to grow and gave away any excess beyond the nutritional needs of Americans?
What if…the entire universe were a single energy unit?
What if…animals thought, planned ahead and communicated?
What if…material gain is not the highest goal for human endeavor?
What if…light didn’t travel at all, but was a constant?
What if…all life is an expression of the same energy?
What if…loving was not a good idea for parents to show their children?
What if…the moon really affected the moods of people?
What if…time and space were figments of our perceptual imagining?
What if…past, present and future all happen in this immediate instant?
What if…"extra sensory" perceptive skills were real and in all of us?
What if…consciousness is the only "real thing?"
What if…we were all expressions of a collective unconscious?
What if…the implications of the answers to these questions were all true?
What if…all questions, including this one, are false?
What if…the scientific method always leads to falsehood?
What if…spirituality is the only reality?
What if…computers are dumb?
What if…sex is all there is to life?
What if…disease was in the mind of the ill?
What if…illness was in the twist of the DNA molecule?
What if…feelings, thoughts and values were illusory?
What if…we stop playing this game?
Perhaps this little game will generate creative new ideas. Perhaps it will give creative thinkers the confidence to doubt their own beliefs and risk leaping into the psychological void of the unknown. Perhaps we will create a "whole new world" for ourselves and any future generations. Perhaps a new wave of human activity will be implemented. What if…?