Thursday, November 17, 2011

Imagination helps us to live artfully in the world

In her post "Imagination as Gospel", Jessica Mendes shares her delight in story telling, especially through film. She mentions 2011 is the 35th anniversary of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and that with a good cinematic story, different scenes become prominent during different viewings. This time, she describes Jack Nicholson commentating the world series baseball game in front of the ward's blank television screen with residents (and viewers) getting caught up in the excitement. She concludes,
"Thomas Moore once said that imagination is more weighty than fact. If we could mine the annals of our consciousness, we might discover experiences there that had little in common with the circumstances of our lives – experiences so vivid they stunned us with their repercussions. So what determines our experience more, I wonder – what we imagine or what actually happens? I am inclined to think it is how we imagine what is happening to us, and how we imagine what will happen.

And that includes our experience of aging. Though the forces that shape our experience are vast and complex, it might be wise to take our imagination a lot more seriously, and in this sense, consider living artfully in a world bent on rationalism."