The Imagination = Fountain of Youth
“Logic will get you from point A to point B, but imagination will take you everywhere” – Albert Einstein.
I’ve been thinking about the importance of imagination not just as a writer and reader but also as a survival tool. And I wonder how and when this faculty first appeared. Of course, when discussing imagination, creativity is not far behind, for the two are handmaidens. The imagination needs our creative abilities in order to be realized, and to be fully creative, one needs imagination.
Kant, apparently, believed that the “faculty which takes pleasure in the contemplation of both beautiful and sublime objects is that which forms images” (The Critique of Judgment). Forming images is one aspect of inventiveness. Images have many components, usually based on something that we can name in the inner or outer world, like tree or bird or dragonfly. These entities then not only name something we can visualize, but they also can be metaphors or symbols that signify something more. In this sense, imagination really is an image-nation, inhabiting its own sphere.
The ability to dream and fantasize and discover has its foundations in our imaginative faculty. Think of how bland and one-dimensional this world would be if we couldn’t envision something more, something that hasn’t been considered before.
This is what inspires me to write. Writing offers me an opportunity to exercise my own imagination and create something totally new in the process. I feel all of my novels are a celebration of the imagination and where it can take us. For me, it is the fountain of youth. As long as we can imagine, we are young in spirit and able to transcend even this decaying body.