“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” (Einstein)
In the history of western thought, the imagination has been seen as performing such a wide range of different functions that it is doubtful as to whether we should understand it as a single faculty of mind.
To be imaginative is not to be creative – to be creative is to craft ideas from one’s imaginings. To be creative, to have ideas, one has to have imagination – but it is only a necessary capability, not a sufficient one for creativity. To create, to ideate, is to have productive imaginings.
We can imagine everything and anything – but the operative word is can. We have the skill but we must also have the will, and we need to be strong willed if we are to fully and usefully exploit this most amazing of our human gifts.
To exploit it to its fullest we must liberate our imaginative capacity from the many cognitive shackles that have slowly ensnared it since our childhood – reflexivity is the foundation of wisdom and the first step to creativity.
“Imagination is not a … power added to consciousness, but it is the whole of consciousness as it realises its freedom” (Sartre)