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[Xmca-l] Re: Imagination or Fantasy



Henry,
Can we (mark) fantasy on one side as clearly distinguish able from the imaginal on the other side a priori??
 OR
 do we require the community of interpreters (stepping back) and then re(combining) with the cultural imaginary and then deciding what aspects of the imaginal to call (fantasy)?
I am exploring the margins here.

Example:
This week American Experience on PBS produced a documentary on the Pilgrims
What aspects of their dream were fantasy and what aspects imaginal and prescient?
Bradford their leader for 20 years composed the (text) that was a (re)combination of Bradford's stepping back process.
But what was left out is as revealing as what was included.
This book was lost for over a 100 years and then became a canonical text in which future generations (re)imagined the American origin story.
Now is it clear we have moved away from fantasy to the side of the imaginal?.
I am inclined to imagine the imaginal underlying all this process. Stepping back is imaginal, fantasy is imaginal, the community of interpreters is imaginal. Marking what is on one side and what on the other side is imaginal.
Yet, to say (all is flux) is not useful and so we create structures and functions and disciplines and human sciences (in order to) regulate ourselves and  create shared meaning.
I would add this is all (true) and it is useful to imagine structures, systems, models, theories as this stepping back process and re(engagement) with our structures models, etc.
All this is also imaginal and we live into these structures, models, and expressions in order to regulate ourselves.
What opens out if we acknowledge the imaginal at work in our social constrctions/imaginary.
Precisely, as mike mentioned what opens under dewey's archway is (felt Sens).
Sens in French is more that (sense). It includes direction and orientation through living into the image. THIS requires stepping back and reflecting on structures, systems, and their origins to add the felt dimension to this imaginal process of living into the image.
I will add this reflection (itself) is a tradition.
Larry



-----Original Message-----
From: "HENRY SHONERD" <hshonerd@gmail.com>
Sent: ‎2015-‎12-‎07 4:01 PM
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Imagination or Fantasy

Annalis,
I think the following from your post relates to something that I have been thinking about imagination and fantasy since Ed Wall started the thread:

“...the mind can "as-if" overlap onto the world. I'd say this is imagination. It could also be fantasy, but that seems to have a different affective stance than imagination. Imagination still possesses that self-awareness that it is imagined. Fantasy seems to not have that in its extreme manifestation, thereby taking what is imagined in place of the external world.”

For me fantasy lacks grounding. Ed Wall quoted Vygotsky:

> “It is characteristic for imagination that it does not stop at this path, that for it, the abstract is only an intermediate link, only a stage on the path of development, only a pass in the process of its movement to the concrete. From our point of view, imagination is a transforming, creative activity directed from a given concrete toward a new concrete.”

It seems to me that Imagination gets back to a new concrete and that fantasy does not, because, as you say, it takes “what is imagined in place of the real world”. 

I think this can apply to both individuals and groups. And I wonder if it would be valid to take another concept from the “Vedic paradigm” that you reference, and that is the idea of “mara”, a state of mind that takes illusion for reality. 

I have attached an RFP that I have had on my desktop for over a year that offers grants for  “…for research and interventions projects on the measurement and improvement of imagination.” The diagram at the end of the RFP, and the overall tone of the RFP, seems to me to be infused with the commodification that you highlight in your post. Tellingly, “representation” is a term constantly used in the RFP. It also seems fair to say that the RFP construes imaginative and creative mind work as individual work, rather than something that needs involvement in collaborative projects. 

To me, this idea of measuring the habits, shall we say, of individuals has as much chance of creatively addressing problems of the world as current efforts to improve education by testing our way to the top. It’s mara, or so it seems to me.

Henry