We’re designed to thrive in situations that have continuity. Where continuity is not present (or where it is hindered), we either rebel or fill in the gaps with our own imagination.
More important however is that when there are gaps, our imagination is almost always triggered to fill them in. And in most cases the gaps are filled in subconsciously because for some reason, we have to make sense of things.
When our imagination is triggered it produces a new reality which runs parallel to the real reality, but our attention becomes drawn to the imagined reality; our attention becomes drawn to an illusion. Illusions are far more convincing than reality because they are made of stuff that makes us tick; they are bourne of our own subconscious mind.
What is advertising? Very often advertisers introduce an idea in our minds that trigger us to fill in the gap. The process of filling in the gap makes us believe that the decision to buy is our own making and it makes sense. Great ads trigger illusions from which we make decisions while simultaneously making us feel as though no one coaxed us into making that decision. Knowing very well that you cannot afford that iphone, you see Samuel L. Jackson talking to Siri and think SHIT I MUST GET THAT.
The idea that your life is potentially better with an iphone, a car or a new house (or that thing that you think you need right now) keeps on growing, when it grows it produces more powerful and compelling illusions. It creates a reality that causes us to act in a way that will most likely make it happen – extra hours at work, theft…
The other side of the coin is equally powerful. When the only films that black South Africans produce are related to theft and crimes and the main stories aired during prime-time news are corroborations thereof, we should not wonder why it is that the first thing White South African think about is crime when nearing a township. They are merely filling in the gaps. Likewise, they will act in a way that most likely prevents their imaginations from manifesting – they won’t invest in businesses or buy property there.
Ideas spur imagination. Imagination is merely an illusion that runs parallel to reality. At times illusions are inseparable or indistinguishable from reality. Be that as it may, illusions are the basis of most decisions. As a matter of fact, when you do make a decision based on what is happening right now, you’re dubbed a reactionary or said to have made a knee-jerk reaction.
Your boss hired you because you planted an idea in his mind that spurred the illusion that drove him to believe you’re the right person for the job – the decision was based on an illusion.
If all decisions are based on an illusion then what is reality? Reality is merely a collage of many people’s wild imaginations.
So it is true, you are what you think. What do you think?