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This nOde last updated December 17th, 2004 and is permanently morphing...
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1.a. The formation of a mental image of something that is neither perceived as real nor present to the senses. b. The mental image so formed. c. The ability or tendency to form such images.
2.The ability to confront and deal with reality by using the creative power of the mind; resourcefulness: handled the problems with great imagination.
3.A traditional or widely held belief or opinion.
4.Archaic. a. An unrealistic idea or notion; a fancy. b. A plan or scheme.
- imag´ina´tional adjective
Synonyms: imagination, fancy, fantasy. These nouns refer to the power of the mind to form images, especially of what is not present to the senses. Imagination is the most broadly applicable: The actor rehearsed the lines in his imagination. The glorious music haunts my imagination. "In the world of words, the imagination is one of the forces of nature" (Wallace Stevens). Fancy especially suggests mental invention that is whimsical, capricious, or playful and that is characteristically well removed from reality: "which . . . claims to be founded not on fancy . . . but on Fact" (Arthur P. Stanley). Is world peace only the fancy of idealists? Fantasy is applied principally to the product of imagination given free rein and especially to elaborate or extravagant fancy: The sitting room was a kind of Victorian fantasy, full of cabbage roses, fringe, and tassels. "The poet is in command of his fantasy, while it is exactly the mark of the neurotic that he is possessed by his fantasy" (Lionel Trilling).
It is often said that men are ruled by their imaginations;
but it would be truer to say they are governed by the weakness of their
Walter Bagehot (1826-77), English economist, critic. The English Constitution, ch. 2 (1867).
Obviously the facts are never
just coming at you but are incorporated by an imagination that is formed
by your previous experience. Memories
of the past are not memories of facts but memories of your imaginings of
Philip Roth (b. 1933), U.S. novelist. The Facts, opening letter to Zuckerman (1988).
The imaginations which people
have of one another are the solid facts of society.
Charles Horton Cooley (1864-1929), U.S. sociologist. Human Nature and the Social Order, ch. 3 (1902).
To regard the imagination as metaphysics
is to think of it as part of life, and to think of it as part of life is
to realize the extent of artifice. We live in the mind.
Wallace Stevens (1879-1955), U.S. poet. The Necessary Angel, "Imagination as Value" (1949; repr. 1951).
i think one of the most important facets overlooked about an aesthetic is the room it gives you for interaction and interplay. the most attractive and enticing of things is that which doesn't thrust itself in your face, but lets you become actively interested. this is why secrecy works. the things that repel me are the things flyered and advertised and marketed with the intention of wanting attention. the truly great things are kept hidden and secret. this is the true definition of the "occult". it lets imagination breathe. - @Om* 9/2/00
i take the idea of manifesting imagination literally. if we can imagine it, then it's actually existing right now - we are actually looking into the possible. if there are multiple universes with multiple potential realities, then what we actually visualize already exists. it's not a vacuum we are imagining. when we imagine and visualize, we are actually punching holes into this other realm to take a look at what is going on on the other side. if enough holes are punched (by enough central nervous systems), then that particular reality seeps through, eventually pouring out into our own realty and manifesting. it's the process of dissolving boundaries. things thought "impossible" are sealed concepts, until a few people dare to think otherwise. once you realize that it's reachable, more and more people join in, gathering critical mass, and making it happen. but it starts with one. one insane person who has a vision. networking accelerates this type of process. news is heard in a flash, ideas get checked and re-checked, compared, compiled, discussed, and implemented. the impossible things are happening more quickly because we hear and see about them more often and at greater speed than ever before. think about it. moore's law, cloning, instant communication in the noosphere, we can now teleport laser beams, what next? i'm waiting for real teleportation, immortality, and abolishing scarcity. those things are "impossible", right? - @Om* 6/17/02
a lot of my focus has been on what is traditionally called "science fiction". i prefer the term "speculative fiction", in a sense that what can be imagined, can be done. not all right away, but gradually. when something impacts us, when something takes a hold of our minds as a child and drives us to emotional excitement, we grow up with further education to actually create and implement our inspiration into "reality". the hyperdrive WILL happen. FTL travel WILL occur. we want it, and we want it bad enough. when we believe it is possible, we make it happen. that is how the 4minute barrier for running the mile, once thought impossible, is now shattered after Roger Bannister made the impossible possible. we will have nanotech, quantum computers, etc. the question is when. a week or a thousand years? it all depends on how many of the right people with the right knowledge, get together, compare notes, and build or meditate whatever is required for this to happen. how fast can we collectively organize information and learn to bootstrap ourselves into transcendence? in the brief recent technological history, we have simply willed into existence: electricity, wireless communication, global communication, space exploration, etc. shattering the egos of skeptics who thought of this stuff as "nonsense" and "impractical". in a short span of a hundred odd years the genre of sci-fi has been in existence (starting with Mary Shelley's _Frankenstein_), the impossible has become real. we sent humans to the moon, there is life elsewhere off this planet, we can dive miles underwater. the only things left are a signal of intelligence from somewhere else and the ultimate quest of alchemy - immortality. if we believe and apply, we can do it. if it's shrugged off as impossible and a waste of time, then negative imagination breeds negative results. it's our choice.
it's almost like an automatic process. we are making things that are deemed "impractical" by making them cool, and programming the next generation of genetic offspring to want it. and we want it. the species wants it. the species collective mind wants to heal the planet, eliminate war and poverty, and provide rich, valuable experiences for all organisms involved in the system. we want it desperately. now all we need to do is believe that we can do the impossible, and stop being so damn snobbish and cynical about our own egos.
i believe that anything we can envision or imagine is already real, if the 4th dimension is no longer a prison. it has, or will, happen. that is why the art of non-cheesy positivity in thinking and living is important. what we feel and perceive now resonates and eventually manifests into reality. let's focus on eliminating pain, not wasting time on trauma and aim for a utopia. those who want spiritually apocalyptic, dystopian noir cyberpunk, and scientific dogma can waste their time proving to the world that they are right. in the meantime i will wish for, and work towards, my own paradise. - @Om* 7/16/00
Given a certain psychoanalytic definition of the imagination, this is true. We can see this now. What Mesmer was doing in a psychoanalytic context was that he was exploiting the mechanisms of hypnotism and suggestion, manipulating the effects that powerfully charismatic people can have on people who are willing to let themselves be controlled. In that sense, animal magnetism is imaginative. But it is interesting if you think about it: they think it is the imagination, yet it produced effects and healed people. Why would you not then pursue this imagination? But that wouldn't fit into the paradigms of Enlightenment medicine at that time, so it is brushed off. One of the things that I am trying to emphasize is that we can't ever really completely detach the imagination from the real. Even if the imagination is something we can never quite define and as a conceptual idea or psychological category remains very problematic (which is certainly true in aesthetics), nonetheless, the role of the imaginal in healing and in the health of the body always carries on. We see this same battle being played out today over questions of alternative medicine.
- Erik Davis - _Spiritual Telegraphs and the Technology of Communication_ lecture
Michael Talbot - _The Holographic Universe_
According to Bohm,
"In a universe in which all things are infinitely
interconnected, all consciousnesses are also interconnected. Despite appearances,
we are beings without borders. Deep down the consciousness of mankind is
one." (p. 60) The holographic theory, according to the author, can explain
many psychological phenomena. Some of these include psychic phenomena,
the ability to see "auras", psychosis, the power of the mind to heal using
visualization techniques, effects of placebos on healing, lucid dreaming
states of consciousness. The power of the mind is awesome and remains
untapped. The author believes that by understanding the holographic model
we can learn to access these powers. "In the implicate order, as in the
brain itself, imagination and reality
are ultimately indistinguishable, and it should therefore come as no surprise
to us that images in the mind can ultimately manifest as realities in the
I would prefer to believe that the human imagination is the holographic organ of the human body, and that we don't "imagine" anything... we simply see things so far away that there is no possibility of validating or invalidating their existence...
- Terence McKenna - _Beyond Psychology 2 with Sasha Shulgin_ MP3 (32k)(29:17)
"The Future exists first in imagination,
then in will, then in reality."
Anton Wilson - _Prometheus
We have started to glimpse an end-point in our technical artifacts, which are on a threshold of becoming one with our media. To be mediated is now to be electronically mediated, and this has created two primary effects; an enormous speed-up in activity (akin to the organism's central nervous system) and a collapse in the perception of space (nothing is really far away anymore). Thus was the global village born, and thus Virilio can aptly pronounce, "Speed equals light." In an unforseen development of Einstein's work, we see ourselves converted into energy spent upon communication.
And what is being communicated?
- Mark Pesce, inventor ofVRML
Resonance in the Synaptic Field
From the audio version of _True Hallucinations_ Chapter 21: Open Ending
by Terence McKenna
Jung wrote, "Though we know from experience that psychic processes are related to material ones, we are not in a position to say in what this relationship consists, or how it is possible at all. Precisely because the psyche and the physical are mutually dependent it has often been conjectured that they may be identical somewhere beyond our present experience." Of what does this relationship consist? My own hunch, and it is only a hunch, is that an explicitly spatial dimension - of a co-dimension inclusive of our continuum - allows a hologram of other realized forms of organization, far distant, to become visible at certain levels of quantum resonance in the synaptic field. These levels have been damped by selection in favor of more directly relevant lines of information relating to animal survival. Evolution does not reinforce selectively the ability of an organism to perceive at a distance since such an ability has no selective advantage, unless the information it conveys falls upon the receptors of an organism already sophisicated enough in its use of symbols to abstract concepts for later application.
Thus, these quantum resonances carrying intimations of events at a distance only begin to acquire genetic reinforcement once a species has already achieved sufficient sophistication to be called conscious and mind-possessing. The use of hallucinogens can be seen as an attempt at medical engineering which amplifies, for inspection by consciousness, the quantum resonance of the other parts of the spatial continuum holographically at hand. This experience is the vision which the UFOs and psilocybin impart: visions of strange planets, life forms, perspectives and societies, machines, ruins, landscapes. The hierophanies all unfold in a "nunc-stans" that has all space standing in it, like a frozen hologram. Thus, experimentation with hallucinogens by human beings and the rise in endogenously produced hallucinogens as one advances through the primate phylogeny could both be due to a slow focusing on the phenomenon of imagination. Imagination being the deepening involvement of the species with things beheld but not actually existing in the present at hand.
The creative response is to hypothesize that perhaps the imagination is the detection equipment for the morphogenetic field. The brain-mind system is a quantum mechanically delicate enough chemical system that incoming input from the morphogenetic field can push cascades of chemical activity one way or another, so that in the act of daydreaming or psychedelic tripping you're actually scanning the field. If that were the case, what we call the imagination is actually the universallibrary of what is real. This possibility, to me, is very empowering, and I suspect this is the truth you learn at the center of the psychedelic experience, that's so mindboggling you can't really return to ordinary reality with it. If thinking about the heavens as organic, integrated, and animate makes this more probable, I'm all for it.
- Terence McKenna - _The Evolutionary Mind_
The imagination is central to the alchemical opus because it is literally a process that goes on the realm of the imagination taken to be a physical dimension. And I think that we cannot understand the history that lies ahead of us unless we think in terms of a journey into the imagination. We have exhausted the world of three dimensional space. We are polluting it. We are overpopulating it. We are using it up. Somehow the redemption of the human enterprise lies in the dimension of the imagination. And to do that we have to transcend the categories that we inherit from a thousand years of science and christianity and rationalism and we have to re-empower and re-encounter the mind and we can do this psychedelically, we can do this yogically, or we can do it alchemically and hermetically.
- Terence McKenna
OPTIMAL PERSONA: An imagined model
of the ideal person we want to become. The Optimal Persona is the ideal self,
the higher (and continually developing) individual much like Nietzsche's
conception of the Ubermensch but applied to the individual.
[Max More, 1993; same name but different conception from that used by Bruce Sterling in _Islands in the Net_]
"The networked imagination penetrates the mind differently: it works on the connections between minds, and not on the contents of the imagination of private minds. A certain order of synaptic connections, established both by how we use a medium like a computer or an access on-line, and by what we are invited to do with these activities, establishes itself as a norm for our behaviour and our judgement. Connectivity becomes a way of life. We develop network minds."
- Derrick DeKerckhove
"What is proven now was once only imagined. The world of imagination is the world of eternity. It is the divine bosom into which we shall all go after the death of the vegetated body. This world of imagination is infinite and eternal, whereas the world of generation is finite and temporal. There exist in that eternal world the eternal realities of everything which we see reflected in this vegetable glass of nature."
- William Blake
"We do not possess imagination enough to sense what we are missing." - Jean Toomer
Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...
- John Lennon