Many view imagination as a phase of childhood for which one outgrows as they age and shed like a skin as they enter adulthood and the so-called "real world". Yet as many of the most famous artists, musicians, actors, scientists, philanthropists, and other successful areas of society assert that imagination is crucial to their abilities that resulted in their fame within our civilization. We can consider therefore that the loss of imagination is similar to the ignorance of illiteracy. The inability to imagine is as damaging to society as illiteracy. The loss of the mental faculties used in imagination within an entire population risks mass destabilization from similar incompetencies and ineptitudes generated from ignorance and stupidity or lack of education.
The mechanisms of the mind required for imagination harbor the abilities to see problems and solutions from different angles, expand conscious perception and the conception of time and space; and the faculties typically associated with the concept of empathy, the ability to imagine from a perspective beyond one's own conscious subjective experience.These mental arenas seem to disappear in current paradigms as one's life experiences, typically childhood and young adulthood, shape a person's mind into an underconnected and underactive brain network. The underactivity typically leads to poor decision making, inabilities to adapt, superficial focus, among many other distinct, though broad, psychological traits. The subtleties of this mental downgrades are always occurring. The stresses of life, the lack of creative outlets, the repetition of habit, etc all degrades the mental strength of the imagination.
While actively recognizing the self inflicted stress and negative behavior inflicted upon everyone by culture, through raising our offspring in wiser and improved manners is a main solution. We also have to actively work to repair ourselves if one loses the ability to expand their imagination. It is a difficult task but not an impossible one. Civilization is proof that imagine made manifest is a force close to being on par with nature. Let us not simply replicate this force of nature, by harnessing imagination for self interest; but let us also recognize its wisdom with respect, and use our imagination responsibly.