Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

The Spectrum of Imaginative-ness

Originally posted on September 28, 2014

Imagination is a basic function of human mind, a definite human potentiality. Most folks hardly exercise it, because we’re taught to get real as we head off to school. Of late, we’ve come to value creativity, and imaginative-ness is a component.

Imaginativeness operates in many dimensions, as does mind: Spirituality, dreams, the arts, every day life. It represents the subjunctive tense: This is the types of words that imply possibility rather than actualities, words such as would, could, might, should, and the all-important “if.”

In literature, much fiction is plausibly real, but it gets stretched. There’s ghost stories, tall stories, fantasy, stories about the distant past, the future, about kings and knights in shiny armor, dragons and monsters. Fantasy stories may include magical powers, wizards, and other mythical beasts. Stretched further, fiction can go into silliness.

It’s important to recognize this spectrum and it makes life jucier to play with the full spectrum. It’s okay to be silly if you know you’re doing it. It’s okay to put on others just a little, but it’s mean to lead ‘em on too much. Then it’s not fun. You want them to know you’re exaggerating or telling a bit of a tall tale.

In my class this Fall I touch on the meaning of elves and fairies. I’ll write further about how we can use these myths in our life. For now, let me just plant a seed: It’s okay to know you’re making these stories up, and that they’re not literally true; but they may be sorta-kinda true, and they work to help you over the next hurdle.

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