When someone starts picturing something unusual we say “oh, what an imagination”. Imagination is what is commonly known as creation of images or ideas that have not existed before.
In my personal opinion there is no such a thing as imagination: I belive that everything already exists somehow somewhere…I can back up this idea either with Socrates’s Allegory of The Cave or with the modern string theory -no matter what I take, it is obvious to me that there is noting in the world that has not been existing somewhere yet.
Let’s take horror films, all these dreadful images are nothing else than already existing beings. They definitely exist in our collective subconscious (the prove is that in many different cultures these images are similar), and the collective subconscious is a reality. This reality hunts us in our dreams or drunkard/under drugs state. And this is not imagination, this is pretty real. A good example – Hieronymus Bosch. or just any horror film 🙂
The futuristic images are also real – they pop up from our collective supraconsious, which is another interesting realm.
When we say an artist has a great imagination, we are speaking about a person with a strong connection to one of these spheres (Subconscious or Supraconsious) where he/she literary sees these beings or these “worlds” and thus brings it out to our “reality”.
Only very few artists have access to the so called Superconsious, which is the essence of all things, like the Plato’ s World of Ideas, the ideal world, the true one. Such images (William Blake) are extremely powerful and inspiring, whilst the ones from Subconscious or Supraconsious are somewhat sly and sticky…
Thus, there is nothing to imagine for everything already exists. Imagination is not about inventing. It is about getting to one or another state of consciousness.
Don’t you think so?
(image by me)