SCHOLAR ISLAND

 

Imagination

 

"Imagination grows by exercise and contrary to common belief is more powerful in the mature than in the young."

-W. Somerset Maugham

 

"Man is an imagining being."

-Gaston Bachelard (1884-1962)

 

"The power of imagination makes us infinite."

-John Muir

 

"Imagination disposes of everything; it creates beauty, justice, happiness, which is everything in this world."

-Pascal

 

"Imagination has always had powers of resurrection that no science can match."

-Ingrid Bengis

 

"Let's pretend there's a way of getting through it somehow....Let's pretend the glass has got all soft like gauze, so that we can get through...Why, it's turning into a mist now....It'll be easy to bet through...."

-Lewis Carroll   Through the Looking Glass

 

 

"Imagination, where it is truly creative, is a faculty, not a quality; its seat is in the higher reason, and it is efficient only as the servant of the will. Imagination, as too often understood, is mere fantasy-the image-making power, common to all who have the gift of dreams."

-James Russell Lowell

 

"Imagination is the beginning of creation. We imagine what we desire; we will what we imagine; and at last we create what we will."

-George Bernard Shaw

 

"The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless. Not being able to enlarge the one, let us contact the the other; for it is from their difference that all the evils arise which render us unhappy."

-Jean Jacques Rousseau

 

"I know that this world is a world of imagination and vision."

-William Blake

 

"Fortunately, somewhere between chance and mystery lies imagination, the only thing that protects our freedom, despite the fact that people keep trying to reduce it or kill it off altogether."

-Luis Bunuel (1900-83)

 

"Concern with morality makes every work of the imagination false and stupid."

-Paul Flemin

 

"A spirit and a vision are not, as the modern-philosophy supposes, a cloudy vapour, or a nothing; they are organized and minutely articulated beyond all that the mortal and perishing nature can produce. He who does not imagine in stronger and better lineaments, and in stronger and better light than his perishing eye can see, does not imagine at all."

-William Blake

 

"Let's pretend there's a way of

getting through it

somehow....Let's pretend

the glass has got all soft like gauze, so that we can get

through....Why, it's turning

into a mist now....it'll be

easy to get through...."

-Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass

 

 

"As the magnet selects from a quantity of matter the ferruginous particles, which happen to be scattered through it, without making an impression on other substances; so imaginations, by a similar sympathy, equally inexplicable, draws out from the whole compass of nature such ideas as we have occasion for, without attending to any others."

-Alexander Gerard, An Essay on Taste, 1764

 

"The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless. Not being able to enlarge the one, let us attract the other; for it is from their difference that all the evils arise which render us unhappy."

-Jean Jacques Rousseau

 

   "What do we mean by 'imagination'? There are obviously many degrees of it. Are there different kinds?

   The word 'imagination' usually denotes not much more than the faculty of creating a picture of something in our heads and holding it there while we think about it. Since this is the basis of nearly everything we do, clearly it's very important that our imagination should be strong rather than weak. Education neglects this faculty completely. How is the imagination to be strengthened and trained? A student has imagination, we seem to suppose, much as he has a face, and nothing can be done about it. We use what we've got.

   We do realize that it can vary enormously from one person to the next, and from almost non-existent upwards, of a person who simply cannot think what will happen if he does such and such a thing, we say he has no imagination. he has to work on principles, or orders, or by precedent, and he will always be marked by extreme rigidity, because he is after all moving in the dark. We all know such people, and we all recognize that they are dangerous, since if they have strong temperaments in other respects they end up by destroying their environment and everybody near them. The terrible plan-which substitutes for the faculty they do not possess. And they have the will of desperation: where others see alternative courses, they see only a gulf.

   Of the person who imagines vividly what will happen if he acts in a certain way, and then turns out to be wrong, we say that he is dealing with an unpredictable situation or else, just as likely, he has an inaccurate imagination. Lively, maybe but inaccurate. There is no innate law that makes a very real-seeming picture of things an accurate picture. That person will be a great nuisance, and as destructive as the other, because he will be full of confident schemes and solutions, which will seem to him foolproof, but which will simply be false, because somehow his sense of reality is defective. In other words, his ordinary perception of reality, by which the imagination regulates all its images, overlooks too much, or misinterprets too much. Many disturbances can account for some of this, but simple sloppiness of attention accounts for most of it.

   Those two classes of people contain the majority of us for much of the time. The third class of people is quite rare. Or our own moments of belonging to that class are rare. Imagination which is both accurate and strong is so rare, that when somebody appears in possession of it they are regarded as something more than human. We see that with the few great generals. Normally, it occurs patchily. It is usually no more than patchy because accurate perceptions are rarely more than patchy. We have only to make the simplest test on ourselves to reconfirm this. And where our perceptions are blind, our speculations  are pure invention.

   This basic type of imagination, with its delicate wiring of perceptions, is our most valuable piece of practical equipment. It is the control panel for everything we think and do, so it ought to be education's first concern. Yet whoever spent half an hour in any classroom trying to strengthen it in any way? Even in the sciences, where accurate perception is recognizably crucial, is this faculty ever deliberately trained?"

Ted Hughes (Poet Laureate of England)

 

"Without this playing with fantasy no creative work has ever yet come to birth. The debt we owe to the play of imagination is incalculable."

Carl Jung

 

"The great instrument of moral good is the imagination."

-Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)

 

"Only in men's imagination does every truth find an effective and undeniable existence. Imagination, not invention, is the supreme master of art as of life."

-Joseph Conrad (1857-1924)

 

   in a book called illusions by Richard Bach, the main character finds that when Jesus reportedly said that all one needs is faith the size of a mustard seed to move mountains he actually only used the word faith because at the time there wasn't a word for imagination. it is imagination applied to our daily lives and use of language that brings about interesting futures. hip-hop, as is, is mainly concerned with depicting a rough street life devoid of hope or an upscale designer life devoid of reflection and in doing so dictates its own outcome. if biggie's album had not been entitled ready to die would he still be alive today? did his vocalized profession dictate his destination? the fact that we were ready to hear about how he was ready to die increased the sound vibration of his recitation through playing it on a million radios and televisions at once, to the point where it affected our reality and his.

word is bond.

"these are the words that I manifest"

-guru

Saul Williams

*writer does not use capital letters  Ed*

Sound Unbound edited by paul d-miller aka DJ Spooky

*

 

   "Reality has always been too small for human imagination. The impulse to create an "interactive fantasy machine: is only the most recent manifestation of the age-old desire to make our fantasies palpable-our insatiable need to exercise our imagination, judgment, and spirit in worlds, situations, and personae that are different from those of our everyday lives. Perhaps the most important feature of human intelligence is the ability to internalize the process of trial and error. When a man considers how to climb a tree, imagination serves as a laboratory for "virtual" experiments in physics, biomechanics, and physiology. In matters of justice, art, or philosophy, imagination is the laboratory of the spirit."

-Brenda Laurel

 

"The imagination then, I consider either as primary, or secondary, The primary imagination. I hold to be the living Power and prime Agent of all human Perception, and as a repetition in  the finite mind of the eternal act of creation in the infinite I AM. The secondary Imagination I consider as an echo of the former, co-existing with the conscious will, yet still as identical with the primary in the kind of its agency, and differing only in degree, and in the mode of its operation. It dissolves, diffuses, dissipates, in order to recreate; or where this process is rendered impossible, yet still at all events it struggles to idealize and to unify. It is essentially vital, even as all objects (as objects) are essentially fixed and dead."

-Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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Book: "Imaginings, Vol. 1 An Anthology of Visionary Literature: After the Myths Went Home" by Stefan Rudnicki ed.

Book: "The Origins of Knowledge and Imagination" by Jacob Bronowski

Book: Virtual Reality  by Howard Rheingold

 

2006

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