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[Xmca-l] Re: Imagination or Fantasy (Vedanta)



Hi Henry,

I think that fantasy vs imagination need not be too complex.

One thing about the Vygotsky quote, is that an imagination need not develop into anything. I can say "imagine a red balloon." Then, "Now change it to blue." is there anything concrete about that?

But in order to have an imagination of a red balloon, one has to know what a balloon is, and what red is, and then what blue is. And I suppose one would have to know English too to understand me when I say, "imagine this." All this derives from the apparent world we have already perceived in our personal histories, cultures, etc. They have *developed* through our experiences and perceptions.

I have not heard of the term, "mara" so I can't comment. I know that there is a word for deluded, or infatuation, which is "moha." 

Then there is "maayaa," which refers to the veiling power of the universe, how things can seem to be something else, like a mirage, or an optical illusion, or the setting sun, but this is in terms of the world, not in terms of a persons who perceive the world, since we can both witness an mirage and witness the same illusion. One could say this veiling power is the same for quantum physics, where it seems to be turtles all the way down!

But getting back to imagination as a part of the creative process, fantasy it seems to me is also that, a creative process. But the only way to determine the difference between fantasy and imagination can be considered from two vantage points. From the thinker herself, and from the perspective of another person interacting with the thinker, or someone not the thinker who has access to the object of imagination independently, if that is possible.

But then both could be subject to the fantasy as well, I suppose!

That's why I was saying the thinker would have to have self-awareness of his or her imagination, *that* it is an imagination, whereas the thinker who fantasizes would lack that self-awareness. Of course I do not mean this as a binary option, but relatively. 

For an imagination to happen, there has to be already there concepts as "material" for the imagination, and these come from the world. We can't imagine something we do not know, our of a vacuum. Consider our dreams. 

Consider a horse with a single horn. This can be imagined because I know what a horse is, and I know what a horn is. But if I really believe that there are unicorns, even to the point that I see them in the world, then I would be fantasizing and hallucinating. In that case, I would lack self-awareness to know this is purely my imagination. 

Horses with one horn are an overlapping of two things, which then make up one thing. The "concretizing" of this could be weaving a tapestry with a unicorn and even making up a myth about unicorns with songs and value systems, but this still doesn't make them real. 

But they certainly are wonderful imaginary beasts!

Kind regards,

Annalisa