A. Imagined Realism
"My art deals with imagination as subject and as object. The paintings are bits and pieces of my imagination, combined and painted. Starting with a basic concept, I imagine the reality, and then sort of assemble what I 'see'. I don't see the entire image in advance as some artists do. Instead, I imagine a place, and a feeling, or furniture, or plants in a landscape, textures on grass, etc.
"Ultimately, and by example, I try to convey through my art that we're all creating reality all the time using imagination. For example, if you think about beauty you tend to attract beauty, be it people, things or places. First you think it, whatever the thought is (you choose to request something 'good' if you're smart) then you receive it (in the form of reality at a later time). Be patient. Watch. Be ready to receive."
B. About Imagination
Imagination is accepted as the innate ability and process to invent partial or complete personal realms within the mind from elements derived from sense perceptions of the shared world. The term is technically used in psychology for the process of reviving in the mind percepts of objects formerly given in sense perception. Since this use of the term conflicts with that of ordinary language, some psychologists have preferred to describe this process as "imaging" or "imagery" or to speak of it as "reproductive" as opposed to "productive" or "constructive" imagination. Imagined images are seen with the "mind's eye".
Fifth Avenue Terrace exemplifies Jonsson's "innate ability and process to invent partial or complete realms within the mind from elements derived from sense perceptions of the shared world".
One hypothesis for the evolution of human imagination is that it allowed conscious beings to solve problems (and hence increase an individual's fitness) by use of mental simulation (no 't').
1. DESCRIPTION OF IMAGINATION
The common use of the term [imagination] is: the process of forming in the mind new images which have not been previously experienced, or at least only partially or in different combinations. Some typical examples are Fairy tales and Fiction.
A form of verisimilitude often invoked in fantasy and science fiction invites readers to pretend such stories are true by referring to objects of the mind such as fictional books or years that do not exist apart from an imaginary world. Imagination in this sense, not being limited to the acquisition of exact knowledge by the requirements of practical necessity, is, up to a certain point, free from objective restraints.
The ability to imagine one's self in another person's place is very important to social relations and understanding.
In various spheres, however, even imagination is in practice limited: thus a man whose imaginations do violence to the elementary laws of thought, or to the necessary principles of practical possibility, or to the reasonable probabilities of a given case is regarded as insane.
The same limitations beset imagination in the field of scientific hypothesis. Progress in scientific research is due largely to provisional explanations which are constructed by imagination, but such hypotheses must be framed in relation to previously ascertained facts and in accordance with the principles of the particular science.
2. IMAGINATION vs. BELIEF
Imagination differs fundamentally from belief because the subject understands that what is personally invented by the mind does not necessarily impact the course of action taken in the apparently shared world while beliefs are part of what one holds as truths about both the shared and personal worlds.
The play of imagination, apart from the obvious limitations (e.g. of avoiding explicit self-contradiction), is conditioned only by the general trend of the mind at a given moment.
Belief, on the other hand, is immediately related to practical activity: it is perfectly possible to imagine myself a millionaire, but unless I believe it I do not, therefore, act as such. Belief endeavours to conform to the subjects experienced conditions or faith in the possibility of those conditions; whereas imagination as such is specifically free. The dividing line between imagination and belief varies widely indifferent stages of technological development. Thus someone from a primitive culture who is ill frames an ideal reconstruction of the causes of his illness, and attributes it to the hostile magic of an enemy based on faith and tradition rather than science. In ignorance of the science of pathology the subject is satisfied with this explanation, and actually believes in it, sometimes to the point of death, due to what is known as the nocebo effect.
It follows that the learned distinction between imagination and belief depends in practice on religion, tradition, and culture.
3. IMAGINATION AS A 'REALITY'
The world as experienced is actually an interpretation of data apparently arriving from the senses, as such it is perceived as real by contrast to most thoughts and imaginings. This difference is only one of degree and can be altered by several historic causes, namely changes to brain chemistry, hypnosis or other altered states of consciousness, meditation, many hallucinogenic drugs, and electricity applied directly to specific parts of the brain.
The difference between imagined and perceived reality can be so imperceptable as to cause acute states of psychosis. Many mental illnesses can be attributed to this inability to distinguish between the sensed and the internally created worlds. Some cultures and traditions even view the apparently shared world as an illusion of the mind as with the buddhist maya or go to the opposite extreme and accept the imagined and dreamed realms as of equal validity to the apparently shared world as the Australlian Aborines do with their concept of dreamtime.
Imagination, because of having freedom from external limitations, can often become a source of real pleasure and pain. A person of vivid imagination often suffers acutely from the imagined perils besetting friends, relatives, or even strangers such as celebrities.
Imagination can also produce some symptoms of real illnesses. In some cases, they can seem so "real" that specific physical manifestations occur such as rashes and bruises appearing on the skin, as though imagination had passed into belief or the events imagined were actually in progress. See, for example, psychosomatic illness and Folie a deux.
4. IMAGINATION PRECEDING REALITY
When two existing perceptions are combined within the mind the resultant third perception refered to as its synthesis and on occasion a fourth called the antithesis, can often become the inspiration for a new invention or technique.
Imagination precedes reality in The Sound when "two existing perceptions are combined within the mind..."
Thanks to various great online sources, including Wikipedia, for the more obscure details of this article.
All images and text © Eric Jonsson 1985-2020 All rights reserved.
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