Saturday, January 2, 2010

Imagination IV

When we are engulfed by imagination, we lose the sense of reality, hence of quality. It is important to see that it is through reality that we attain quality, and through quality that we attain reality... not at all through imagination! We have so much difficulty in inducing substance that it is always possible to slide into a figurative mode, whereas quality puts us in direct contact with reality. In fact, substance is completely overlooked in today's world; not only do we replace it by relation of reason (i.e . the "universal", One from the multiple, Being as an abstraction) but we don't distinguish relation of reason and real relation. Hence, we cannot discover what realism is, as relation dispenses of distinguishing between realism and idealism.

In the order of Being, if we do not ask the question what is the is of the judgement of existence "this is" (i.e. what is Being), our experiences are always susceptible of being idealized and of being enveloped by our imagination. Why do quantity and imagination often go hand in hand? In my view, it is because quantity has no limits. Incidentally, quantity plays a huge role in psychology. To let oneself be taken down the river of quantity can give us a thrill not unlike that of rafting. In any case, one can well measure the difference between the Freudian and the Aristolian vision... for the former, our sleep and our vegetative life are the peak of the human person, whereas for the latter the peak is the spiritual soul: intelligence and will in act.

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  1. I agree that imagination keeps us from reality and that our undistorted observations or clear perception of substance brings us closer to reality; though, I do think that we can never know reality as it truly is.

    I'm not sure if I'm clear on how quantity plays a huge role in psychology. I assume you mean that in the field of psychology people set out to learn and study all the possible meanings behind particular thoughts, actions, etc. Is that what you meant?

  2. Hi CC. I (the translator) am not 100 per cent certain of what Avatar meant. My take is psychology only looks at conditioning, thus becoming, and quantity (one of ten categories of Being - or 10 folds of intelligence) is the seat of becoming; without quantity there is no becoming.

    Another aspect is that psychology, arguably, hardly differentiates between quality and quantity. For example, psychology considers that intelligence can be measured, and thus does not really proceed from quality (it reduces intelligence to our capacity to deduce).

    Yet, to quote Avatar: "one should strive to order quantity towards quality, and not the other way around..."

  3. Thanks for trying to clarify. I think I need to read more about the 10 categories of Being.

  4. The essential thing, of course, is to face reality and not "know" it. This one can't help doing, one has no choice about, whatever one thinks or imagines. Psychology, like most ologies, goes from the general to the particular, whereas experience and true insight goes from the particular to the universal.

  5. I agree with you Harvey that it is through reality that you that you attain quality, and vice versa. Many mentally challenged persons, suffer because they are englued in imagination. Although, I prefer in this case to use, as the chamans do,the word "invisible world" instead of imagination, because I do see imagination as another dimension or reality.
    I really like your posts about imagination.

  6. It is true that imagination is the biggest enemy of awareness. We probably discovered imagination through games about the same time as we invented or discovered mathematics. Imagination , while its practice is limited to a few, its benefits are enjoyed by all. Who wouldn't like to have that job, that car, that spouse, that new plastic mansion. With its handmaidens, jealousy, status, envy and pride, it offers us a thousand delights, both real and unachievable. We are born into different cultures having similar desires generated by imagination. It is more a matter of being engulfed by imagination than it is conditioning. Becoming is becoming. Avatar is quite right. We have lost the sense of all reality...that brutish, cruel,
    impersonal lack of imagination which is the state of animals. Imagination and quantity go hand in hand because who or what is there to act as judge of quality. Is not quantity what evolution demands to reach its impenetrable ends (if any!) Great post.