Future Creative Learning and the Power of the Imaginal

Learning as Future

  1. The Cosmology of Futures.
  2. Imaginal Capacities for Exploring Futures.
  3. Futures Literacies and Future Creative Learning.

1. The Cosmology of Futures

To begin, first a brief exploration about the ‘cosmology of futures’ from a living system’s perspective. Quantum physics tells us that information can appear in various states — dualized as ‘either-or’, or in a superposition state of ‘both-and’ (Currivan, 2017). Research from the fields of consciousness studies suggests that the manner in which we perceive and communicate information — whether dualized as ‘this or that’, or unified as ‘both-and’ — reflects the states of consciousness that we are in (Penrose, et al. 2017; Smitsman and Houston, 2021).

The presence of the future exists within us as a holotropic (wholeness) attractor for attracting us forward into the further realization and development of the multiple potentialities that our life and consciousness afford.

We can experience this holotropic attractor of our future potentials as our desire to keep learning, growing, and developing; and a sense of looking forward towards the possibilities that the future may afford us. Children naturally explore their future potentials as part of their developmental process.

2. Imaginal Capacities for Exploring Futures

Living systems are also imaginal systems, which is the basis for how living systems are able to transform and renew themselves. Life is not deterministic and cannot be programmed. Accordingly, the imaginal is not just something that is unique to humans, life itself is imaginal! Our imaginal capacity is precisely what distinguishes living systems from machines and robots, and even artificial intelligence. Consciousness, as physicist Sir Roger Penrose explains, is not just algorithmic or computational (Penrose, 2020). Instead, it is a process that leads to understanding, which enables us to make choices in ways that are not deterministic, which can also result in the most unexpected outcomes.

Imaginal consciousness is a nonlocal state of consciousness that connects us directly with the infinite potentials of the unified field of consciousness for accessing the deeper transformative powers of life.

People experience this as a sense of flow, higher or cosmic coherence, unity, deep intuition, lucid dreams, depth perception, altered states, synchronicity, alchemy, and awareness of the simultaneous co-arising nature of reality and simultaneity of past-present-future from timelessness.

Imaginal Practice for Journeying into the Future of Learning

During the r3.0 BP9 Working Group session of April 5th, 2021, I facilitated the following imaginal exercise for envisioning together the future of education of a more evolved civilization. This practice serves to enter you into, and imaginally explore, these future potentials from within you.

3. Futures Literacies and Future Creative Learning

The informational understanding of the presence of futures is radically different from seeing futures as something that do not yet exist or can only be anticipated. Future exists now, yet in an informational state of potentiality that is nonlocal.

  • The necessity for change conditions, and;
  • Imaginal engagement of our future potentials as future possibilities.

Developing Future Creative Capacities

Now more than ever we need to develop our future creative capacities in order to stop repeating the painful lessons and patterns of the past. We know very well how to design a world that doesn’t work, a world that is not regenerative. We also know very well how to create wars, divisions, and destroy our habitats. Let’s truly learn from all we have set in motion, and change the experiment to learning how to co-create a thrivable and regenerative world that does work for all. However, to achieve this major shift we have to become the required people first.

We cannot just design our way into the future. We first need to learn how to embody and become the future consciousness of a regenerative and thrivable world.

Living systems are naturally future creative by enabling emergence and by creating possibilities for new life-based possibilities. We too are living systems, and we often forget that from the onset of our human life we have been learning rapidly and in ways that allowed us to manifest and develop our future potentials. Human learning and development are naturally future creative, if not stifled by education, economic expectations, and cultural dogmas. From birth onwards, children learn to explore, engage, and evolve the potentials of past, present, and future information within themselves and their environment (Smitsman and Smitsman, 2020).

  • Enact and embody the consciousness states of your future potentials — You can only activate a future potential from the consciousness state of that future potential, and not from old patterns or modes of consciousness. Just like the imaginal cells of the butterfly start to form through the butterfly consciousness of a winged creature, and not the caterpillar modes of a crawly creature.
  • Become an imaginal cell for a regenerative and thriving world — Look for ways that you can link up with other imaginal cells to form the imaginal organs and systems of our future becoming.
  • Become aware of what you in-form with your intention and attention — By shifting your intention and attention you can shift the way information flows and manifests within and around you. Invest in the future of a thrivable world by applying the power of your intention and attention wisely and consciously.
  • Actualize regeneration and thrivability by embodying this in your life — Become the world you wish to live in. Explore how you can embody the future potentials for regeneration and thrivability and activate this within the systems and cultures you form part of.
  • Shift your stance to shift your experience of reality — Your stance is a combination of your attitude, posture, and ways of being and relating in the world. When you shift your stance you literally change the flow of information within and around you, which also shifts what you attract and engage from the field of possibilities. New stances create new futures.

Resilience as a future creative capacity for thrivability fitness

There is one further ecosystemic concept worth exploring as part of Learning as Future and that is the concept of resilience. The more formal definitions of resilience tend to focus on the capacity of a system to bounce back (or return to an earlier state) by recovering from internal or external shock. We propose a developmental understanding of resilience from a future creative perspective.

Resilience as a developmental capacity makes us more innovative and creative to work with shock as transformative potential.

Accordingly, survival preparedness is best to be developed within the larger context of thrivability fitness. Education for thrivability fitness prepares people to work with collapse and death in life-affirming and thus regenerative directions. Namely, by exploring the opportunities that collapse and death afford for generating new systemic patterns that are more conducive for life to thrive. The saying that “to live more fully we need to die a little each day”, is fitting in this context.

  1. Facilitating death and transition — Support people to understand and trust in the necessary role and purpose of death for enabling new cycles of life. Initiate an honest and supportive inquiry about what needs to die from within ourselves and in our human worlds in order to become regenerative and stop the ecosystemic collapse that we are causing. Facilitate learning conversations for how we can die with dignity and transition between the various stages of death and new cycles of life.
  2. Facilitating regeneration and healing — Support people to understand the vital conditions for regeneration and healing, and how we are each born with innate healing capacities. Apply the 13 qualities of life for exploring how we can regenerate our human consciousness to become as life, and for how we can apply this ecological awareness for the regeneration and healing of the ecosystems and cultures that play an essential role for our planetary wellbeing, health, and prosperity.
  3. Facilitating birth and emergence — Support people to understand how new life comes into being, from conception to birth and onwards. Facilitate learning that develops our awareness of emergence, and our nurturing capacities for assisting new life to come into form and enter our world. This can apply to new human life as well as to conception and the birth of new ideas, projects, or any other living beings who require our help to come into the world. Apply the actualization process of the 5 stages of future becoming for ‘midwifing’ and nurturing the birth and emergence of new future possibilities that can evolve our systems and cultures towards thrivability.

Other articles in this series


Currivan, J. (2017). The Cosmic Hologram: In-formation at the Center of Creation. Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions/Bear & Company.



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