We are stuck in habits of materialist, reductionist, abstract thinking that have been inculcated from all directions of our culture; and which are sustained by all public discourse.
Furthermore, we cannot really use conscious 'will power' in this task, because conscious will is rooted in the same world of habit which we are trying to escape. With conscious will power; we are in the paradoxical situation of deploying exactly that which we are simultaneously trying to change!
To break the evil habits of our mainstream, mundane thinking; we need to be able to think actively, and from our real (divine) selves. We cannot just let our thoughts happen; but we cannot use will power.
And I believe we cannot achieve that active thinking by increments, we cannot attain metaphysical transformation by generalizing from earlier and specific successes.
(This is why Rudolf Steiner's meditation exercises seem to be useless at generating active primary thinking - since they rely upon the mistaken assumption that the general can be built-up stepwise from the specific.)
How then might we 'strengthen' (as Owen Barfield terms it) our primary thinking, and develop the capability of using it more often and more fully?
The answer is by what Coleridge called "imagination" - if that term is properly understood; which is also what Tolkien called "subcreation". And this is by the act of creating in thinking - i.e. in primary thinking - which is creating in the non-material, spiritual, realm.
All material is spiritual - because matter comes-from spirit; so creation in the material realm - i.e. creating stuff like poetry, music, painting, scientific or philosophical theorizing - is potentially valid.
Such activities are potentially good for developing 'imagination' so long as they are active and innerly-driven. But these are minority activities - and such material manifestations of creativity are secondary.
The Real Thing about creating goes on in thinking: thinking is primary, when it comes to the kind of imagination/ subcreation we need.
Unconscious creativity (e.g. that of a child, or someone who creates something valued by accident, or without trying) is Not what we want and need - if we are to break the materialist mind-set.
No - to develop the imagination; requires that creation be conscious, active, chosen.
And such creation happens first in thinking.
Whether or not thinking later results in a poem, song, new theory or whatever - is secondary and inessential.
The value in creating comes from the thinking - even if that thinking is unspoken, unexpressed.
Indeed, the expression of creativity is always secondary; and - necessarily - incomplete, distorted and inferior to the original and primary thinking that led to it.
Thus; whether inner creativity of thinking is recognized by 'other people', or is accorded praise and status - is inessential. "Great" poets or painters may in fact be less primarily creative than one who has never even spoken about his inner states of primary thinking.
So, imagination, creation, in the realm of primary thinking; is what is needed to develop the desired true and good alternative to the false and evil thinking-habits of this time and place.
And such creation can only come from the thinker being aligned with God and divine creation; and can only happen when the thinker is motivated by love.
This is another reason why it cannot be achieved by conscious will power - when the Good-alignment is absent, and/or motives are selfish or manipulative - then primary thinking just does not happen; and a kind of pseudo-creativity is the result.
It might be said that plenty of people are 'already doing this kind of inner-creating without realizing they are doing it'. But that does not suffice.
We need to be clear that anyone who does not realize he is doing it, is actually not doing it!
This is clear from the fact that such unconsciously creating people remain trapped in the habit-prison of mundane materialist thinking - often barely aware of the fact.
Our core task here-and-now is to become conscious about many things which used to be unconscious.
We need to become conscious that we are indeed in a socially-imposed thought-prison of mundane materialist thinking; conscious that we want to escape this prison; and consciously decide to develop our primary thinking - our inner and spiritual creativity.