Imagination - this seems such an obvious world for those of us who create things. The world of imagination beckons and we lured by its richness, its delight, its frightening uncertainty, follow. What is imagination? Let's go to the dictionary to find out. I'm opening a real book today, not an unline one. It is The American Heritage, one of my favourites and it says:
i-mag-i-na-tion - n. 1 a. The power of the mind to form a mental image or concept of something that is not real or present.
b. Such power of the mind used creatively.
2. The ability to confront and deal with reality by using the creative power of the mind; resourcefulness.
3. Archaic. a. An unrealistic idea or notion; fancy. b. A plan or scheme.
4. A traditional or widely held belief or opinion.
I'm always more surprised at the meanings of commonly used words in dictionaries. Here is what I am surprised at here - in the first meaning, the phrase 'or present'. I think works of the imagination are often held up to be completely new and fresh but they can be simply that which is not present. Invocations, spells, desires, fears - all imaginary.
In my life as a therapist, this is called 'discounting'. Discounting the current reality is a problem - but not when you mean to. Not when you need to bring in another non-current reality - the reality of 'what if?'. I once saw a one-man show that was entirely built on the word 'possibility' and included vast worlds - past, future and never. I loved it AND all I remember is the man, who's name eludes me, saying the words 'imagination' and 'possibility'. What the heck was it about? Don't know. Can't even seem to find out. Yes, I've tried. But it rests in my imagination as a true world.