Imagination vs. Fantasy

  • Imagination vs. Fantasy

    Posted by Tom Huntington on October 18, 2022 at 8:12 pm

    <i style=”font-weight: bold;”>Imagination vs. Fantasy . . . selected quotes from TMWT Chapter 19

    The imagination of nature is far, far greater than the imagination of a human. – Richard Feyman

    INSIGHT: LANGUAGE AND SLEEP (pg. 760)

    In The Master and his Emissary, I argued that it is fallacious to suppose that we need language in order to be able to think, and that indeed in some aspects of mental life, language can act as an impediment. Anthropologist Ellen Dissanayake argues that those who belong to pre-modern cultures think in pictures, as well as using direct perception and sensory memory, patterns of smell, light and sound intuitively, in ways that we have lost. . . . Dissanayake comments:

    Perhaps in all of us, thought and memory are more pictorial than verbal … try an experiment of thinking, say, of a beloved person far away or of remembering an incident from the past. Do words come to mind first? If we are tracking an animal or preparing a meal, do we think in words or do we use some kind of non-verbal spatial and pictorial mentation?

    When it comes to problem-solving, visual thinking is far more important than verbal: but, for this very reason, during problem-solving visual perception can get in the w of visual imagery. This may be one of the reasons that we close our eyes when working on a problem: closing the eyes to sight really does increase insight.

    IMAGINATION AND THE CO-CREATION OF THE WORLD (Pg. 767-768)

    From the left hemisphere’s point of view, imagination, like metaphor and myth, is a species of lying: from the right hemisphere’s point of view, it is, like metaphor and myth, necessary for access to truth. True human creativity is inseparable from the use of the imagination; I suspect that one of the reasons we found that more creative subjects rely more heavily on the right hemisphere, and less creative ones on the left hemisphere, was that the first group were truly imaginative, while the second were not. And imagination is inextricably bound up with reality, in a way that its bedfellow, fantasy, is not. Fantasy is projected, full-blown, from the workings of our mind. In imagination, rather, we experience intimations of matters that are glimpsed, but only partly seen; our conscious minds obscure them. They resist explicit formulation, because thereby they become something else. This tentative, but rapt, attraction toward something that is not cognised, but at some deep level re-cognised, is not the work of fantasy, but of imagination. Imagination is far from certain, of course; but the biggest mistake we could make would be never to trust it – never to believe in it – for fear of being mistaken. For truth requires imagination. It alone can put us in touch with aspects of reality to which our habits of thought have rendered us blind. It leads not to an escape from reality, but a sudden seeing into its depths, so that reality is for the first time truly present, with all its import, whether that occur in the context of what we call science or what we call art.

    >>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<

    This paragraph is so full and potent for me on the topic Imagination vs. Fantasy that I’v “poet-ized” it or reformatted it into a “poem-like format”

    >>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<

    From the left hemisphere’s
    point of view,
    imagination,
    like metaphor and myth,
    is a species of lying

    From the right hemisphere’s
    point of view,
    [imagination] is,
    like metaphor and myth,
    necessary for access to truth.

    True human creativity
    is inseparable
    from the use
    of the imagination.

    I suspect that one of the reasons
    we found that more creative subjects
    rely more heavily on the right hemisphere,
    and less creative ones on the left hemisphere,
    was that the first group
    were truly imaginative,
    while the second
    were not.

    [I]magination is inextricably
    bound up with reality,
    in a way that its bedfellow,
    fantasy,
    is not.

    Fantasy is projected,
    full-blown,
    from the workings
    of our mind.

    In imagination, rather,
    we experience
    intimations of matters
    that are glimpsed,
    but only partly seen;
    our conscious minds
    obscure them.

    This tentative,
    but rapt,
    attraction
    toward something
    that is not cognised,
    but at some deep level
    re-cognised,
    is not the work of fantasy,
    but of imagination.

    Imagination
    is far from certain,
    of course;
    but the biggest mistake
    we could make
    would be never
    to trust it
    never to believe in it
    for fear
    of being
    mistaken.

    [T]ruth requires imagination.

    [Imagination] alone
    <b style=”background-color: var(–bb-content-background-color); font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; color: var(–bb-body-text-color);”>can put us in touch
    <b style=”background-color: var(–bb-content-background-color); font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; color: var(–bb-body-text-color);”>with aspects of reality
    <b style=”background-color: var(–bb-content-background-color); font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; color: var(–bb-body-text-color);”>to which our habits of thought
    <b style=”background-color: var(–bb-content-background-color); font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; color: var(–bb-body-text-color);”>have rendered us blind.

    [Imagination] leads not to an escape
    from reality,
    but a sudden seeing
    into its depths,
    so that reality is
    for the first time
    truly present,
    with all its import,
    whether that occur
    in the context
    of what we call science
    or
    what we call art.

    >>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<

    This is an example of the kinds of topics, I’d propose, we agree to focus on in The Hemisphere Hypothesis Self-Scientists Testing Team

    Tom Huntington replied 1 month, 1 week ago 2 Members · 3 Replies
  • 3 Replies
  • Tom Huntington

    Member
    October 18, 2022 at 9:00 pm

    Imagining that the site will work easily for me (and maybe for all of us) is not being successful . . . .😅 I’m quite sure fantasy or magic incantations won’t be any more successful 😊

    @chrissie.archbold @maryattwood

    I spent a couple of hours the other day to format and share my idea and invitation for a small group weekly discussion I’m tentatively calling “The Hemisphere Hypothesis Self-Scientist Testing Team” and post links to 3 short videos and despite my efforts, I fell short in being able to succeed in posting the video, so I left note. (And this was after percolating my ideas for such a group since I finished TMWT . . . even before you did all the work for the beautiful new version of the website for Channel McGilchrist)

    And now with this post . . . it took me an hour and a half to post and format in a way that I thought would be most easy for anyone interested to read it quickly . . . only to find it had the formatting in the text (Yikes 😰) But . . . this time I figured out (or hypothesized) that the “show formatting” button must be involved. . . . And then I found “the edit” button and spent another 15-20 minutes to edit and remove the junky looking formatting . . . I was so momentarily pleased with myself to keep making the effort to share my idea and my not giving up 🙂. . . only to get a red flag saying this post could not be edited!!!!

    I know I know I know that the two of you (and maybe more than the two of you) have done such a great job in upgrading Channel McGilchrist to make it more user friendly for members and non-members . . . and I can only half-imagine (with empathy and not fantasy) how much time and effort (and maybe a little frustration now and then 🙏) it must have taken.

    • Peter Foliant

      Member
      October 20, 2022 at 10:46 pm

      Imagination is an interesting topic. I can understand that you would like to “poet-ize” a text that resonates with you. It is trying to express something in the “language” of the right hemisphere.

      I have a very analytical mind and do not grasp or understand poems easily. But in a recent discussion I realised I should try a poetic form instead of a argumentative analytical form. I succeeded in writing a poem based on the contents of the discussion and on imagination. Of course I am an absolute amateur poet, but I liked trying to create the poem anyway. And to my astonishment I got a complement on the poem from the person that was “fighting” analytically before with the other participants in the discussion.

      It is a pity that the site is currently having problems. I wish the team all the best in addressing them.

      • Tom Huntington

        Member
        October 21, 2022 at 10:14 pm

        Hi Peter . . . congratulations on your new poem direction. I can relate. Bravo! I don’t consider myself “a poet” either . . . and yet as a long time student of how to change my brain to be more Right Hemisphere wise and aware and “in charge” . . . I’ve discovered that expressing myself in poems or “poem-like” writing is much more enjoyable than trying to write to convince anyone that my experience or my opinions or my understanding is “the one and only right answer”!

        I created a short poem today about my “We’re the Self-Scientists of Our Brains” opinion iI’ll see if I can share the link . . .

        Nope . . . can’t figure out how to . . . THANKS again Peter for responding.