Imagination LO31036

From: Marysa de Veer (
Date: 03/29/04

Replying to LO31004 --

Creativity and Imagination LO31004

Dear At,

You write: "What is the actual relationship between creativity and
imagination? Is there any sense in seeking for this relationship?"

Recently, I read a quote. This lead my mind into a journey of my
imagination, the route of which is as follows, and the details of which
are below. Train of thought on imagination, my imagination - Jung^“s
ryzome theory..>I had a vase of purple tulips, and when outside the
supermarket, suddenly had the thought of tulips on a globe which grew up
and flowered out and bowed down and wilted and died..>this resulted in a
pastel drawings..>research into purple tulip symbolism on Google..>an
arrangement of tulips on the bed of the scanner, the dead and the
live..>another pastel..>looking at the flowers of the scanner, the live
orange ones appear to be in the arms of the dead ones and both look
beautiful..>the old moon in the arms of the new moon..>new life in the
arms of death..>pythagoras theory blending with the stigmata theory ^÷
another pastel of flowers created out of my imagination.

the inspiring quote "Life has always seemed to me like a plant that
lives on its rhizome. Its true life is invisible, hidden in the
rhizome. The part that appears above the ground lasts only a single
summer. Then it withers away - an ephemeral apparition. When we think
of the unending growth and decay of life and civilizations, we cannot
escape the impression of absolute nullity. Yet I have never lost the
sense of something that lives and endures beneath the eternal flux.
What we see is blossom, which passes. The rhizome remains" Jung

image: My vase of February tulips - I see a life cycle of a tulip -
the tulip grows, then flowers, then bows it's flowery head, drops it's
petals and dies into the earth and the bulb/rhizome regrows.

drawing: I draw a pastel of a circle of tulips at different growth
stages and life stages - the drawing by my unpracticed hand looks
interesting - purple and looking upwards -

a scan: of dead flowers embracing live flowers - it looks like a

questions: This leads me to ask the question of what is the symbolism
of tulips?

Answers from Goggle: Even though the stigma rests over the female part
of the flower, its three prongs are aligned along the centers of the
male petals, thereby suggesting that maleness is its principle
attribute. Furthermore, when the flower begins to wilt and die, the
stigma bleeds drops of nectar, thus emphasizing its oneness with the
Son of God who bled and died on the cross. All in all, there is a
strong suggestion that the stigma types the Trinity: the Father, Son
and Holy Ghost; the three-in-one...and...The tulip, and other upwards
facing flower cups, are seen to represent "The Woman" of Genesis
prophecy through their opening and upwards reaching for filling with
divine grace, light, wisdom and power. As such the tulip can thus be
seen in the Bible Garden, or in the gardens of our hearts, to
represent, and to bring to mind for our reflection the many biblical
women who are types of "The Woman" - the Blessed Virgin Mary - such as
Eve, Sara, Rebecca, Rachel, Deborah, Judith, Jael, Esther, and Miriam
- each prefiguring one or more of her attributes...

Within this framework and a recent conversation about Pythagorus, I
ask myself another question: Is there an ancient link between the
tripartite soul and the Trinity? -- any answers?

Back to imagination.."The whirling, kneaded, mangled figures and masks
in my paintings and drawings are the emissions of the steam which has
built up my psyche," writes Koya. "My thoughts and works are analogous
to the modern surrealism of the West in purely external sense only. I
owe no ideology or philosophy to post-World War I Dadaism or to the
disintegration of old social order. Nor do I owe my style and mode to
Dali. My works are purely my own individual expressions of my own
strictly personal perceptions." "You know," says Koya, "experience is
itself a matter of choice. Like food, we digest, internalise, and
retain our experiences. The choice of food and the experience is
entirely ours. As an artist, I unconsciously attract prompters that
have come to live within me. I am afraid my creations will
automatically reflect my tormented thoughts deep within. These
thoughts, once processed through my works, acquire characteristics of
universal representation of tormented humanity... Call it surrealism
or not, my works do echo the cry of an injured, universal spirit"
MUTTHU Koya surrealist artist

Another pastel of a tulip - - the background of my mind coming to the
foreground to create something that is not in my consciousness and
becomes an entity through the interpretation that I give the tulip...a
creation in it's own right that appears to have it's own resonance and
does not ask any further questions. Unlike Mutthu, my tulip does not
appear to reflect a tormented thought deep within, it seems to reflect
a dancing colourful joy of reds, oranges and more colours - it has
been drawn with the intent to draw it as it is but seems to have come
out as an abstract drawing of the essence, of me? of the tulip? or
maybe a mixture of both -

- perhaps to define the word imagination in words and to articulate
may appear to lose it's true interpretation, because how can you truly
articulate the word imagination particularly in the form of art - it
seems not to have words, when something that we don't know we possess
comes down through us in words and drawings, it can be said to be
imagination but has no real definition.. Webster's on Google have a
host of possible interpretations, all of which appear to have equal
validity. My concise Oxford dictionary states "Imagination: mental
faculty forming images of external objects not present to the senses;
fancy creative faculty of the mind" and on "create: Bring into
existence, give rise to"

"Today I am convinced that creativity has a dual nature. It is
concrete-physical and it is abstract-spiritual. Herein lies for me the
actual difference between creativity and imagination. Imagination is
purely abstract-spiritual. However, finding the actual relationship
between them is much more difficult. At present I think that the
imagination is a phenomenon which emerge from the creative activities
of a human. In other words, "to imagine is to create" just like "to
learn is to create". At

For me imagination draws on outside information, mingles with internal
emotions, interchanges with personal life, blends with learning,
enters the subconscious which distills what wants to pour forth which
results in an emergence of a creative flow within the framework of
ones skills and abilities. Margaret Boden in her book 'The Creative
Mind' 1990 suggests that creative thought arises from the
transformation of conceptual spaces which for her is much like a
cognitive domain, intelligence or faculty. Transformation of one of
these involves the introduction of new knowledge or new ways of
processing knowledge that is already contained within the domains.
Arthur Koestler in 1964 argued that human creativity arises from 'the
sudden, interlocking of two previously unrelated skills or matrices of
thought" "the five Elementary
Sustainers of Creativity which are * thoughts-exchanging (dialogue) *
game-playing * exemplar-exploring * problem-solving *
art-expressing..For me the human condition is the fact that we can
imagine so that we end up with the "world-inside-me" interacting with
the "world-outside-me". Without imagination our mental faculties like
loving, believing, learning or creating collapse. Without imagination
our talking, playing, exploring, solving and articulating will dwindle
into that of animals. Without imagination we will not be able to
distinguish between the past and the future. Without imagination we will
not know of such a thing as new year's resolutions. Is it possible to
have a LO while curbing the imagination of its members?

Imagination appears to be a safety device in our evolution in
protecting us in the triumph of our imagination over adversity as is
demonstrated here where the poor chimney sweeper is able through the
power of his mind to elevate himself to a higher plane of happiness
despite his unfortunate circumstances:

William Blake - The Chimney Sweeper
A little black thing among the snow:
Crying weep, weep, in notes of woe!
Where are thy father & mother? say?
They are both gone up to the church to pray.
Because I was happy upon the heath.
And smil'd among the winters snow:
They clothed me in the clothes of death.
And taught me to sing the notes of woe.
And because I am happy. & dance & sing.
They think they have done me no injury:
And are gone to praise God & his Priest & King,
Who made up a heaven of our misery.

William Blake explores how the power of our imagination not only has
the capacity to create but to trap itself in it's own imagination by
creating fictional scenarios such as the image of law and reason over
personal freedom. He sees that weaker forces such as political powers
and religious powers have dominated stronger forces so 'priests rather
than spirit' and 'law rather than reason'.

"Two bridges or two regions of overlapping between the
concrete-physical and abstract-spiritual worlds" At Blake affirms the
need to see the imagination, the body, change, becoming and energy as
the original and powerful sources of life, which the weaker force of
reason must accuse of being secondary in order to construct itself as
original. Blake argues that the cause of this is when the "cause and
ground of all life ^÷ creativity, imagination, change and energy ^÷ is
misperceived as secondary and derivative."

The controlling force of the capacity of the imagination to trap itself
is demonstrated in the following poem by Aimee Cesaire:
"Prospero, you are the master of illusion.
Lying is your trademark.
And you have lied so much to me
(lied about the world, lied about me)
that you have ended by imposing on me
an image of myself.
Underdeveloped, you brand me, inferior,
that's the way you have forced me to see myself.
I detest that image! What's more, it's a lie!
But now I know you, you old cancer,
and I know myself as well.
1969 adaptation of The Tempest (Une TempÍte)"

"So what is imagination? For me it is to create a world in the spirit
any time as complex (or even more) as the physical world. It is like
making a movie. But nobody else has seen or will ever see any such
movies. It is something which is intrinsically personal. Yet a writer
will use his/her imagination to write a book. Someone else who then
reads that book, will use his/her imagination to create self a mental
movie. The movie of the writer and the movie of the reader will have
some similarities, but they never be the same." At

Restrictions that are put on the imagination by ones mind can be
demonstrated in more mundane human experiences such as 'writers block'
in the case of authors and the 'the canvas staring blankly back at the
artist' in the case of the artist ^÷ strikes me that imagination
disappears when it is wanted and streams in other times uninvited in
fear for example ^÷ ever been in a plane and start to imagine funny
sounds coming from the engines and then watched the movie of your
imagination unfolding into all manner of unwanted plane crashes and
the like scenarios. I have had just such experiences.

"Yes, imagination is the eye of the mind. With it even the
unimaginable can be seen, leaving the body far behind. This gives the
mind the wings to roam the universe from the inside of an atom to a
far distant galaxy. Ultimate meaning emerge from what the body barely
can detect with most powerful measuring instruments. All Creation then
becomes the canvas on which imagination paints what the Creator had
intended." At

And, yet, notwithstanding the ability of the imagination to create
it's own barriers, to me, it is maybe the last free part of the world,
it is a wilderness and landscape rich with unexplored territory.
Imagination can take us to far flung places, and feed our souls.

"At the beginning of this year there was a great controversy here in
South Africa of how schools prepared pupils for life and some for
university. No one even mentioned imagination. I think the problem is
far bigger than being merely an educational problem. It is the problem
of imagination disappearing from society. Why? Is it because
imagination is commercialized so much that little is left over for
imagination? Is it because the information explosion is eroding
personal knowledge? Is it because creativity is confused with
imagination? I think that questions such as these point to
contributing factors. But I also think that the root of the problem is
something much worse. We are losing our sense of living together as a
community. Humankind is a flocking species like the vast majority of
other kinds of mammals. When the art and practise of a learning
organisation cannot help us to become sensitive once again to living
together as a community, then we are in for deep trouble. We need our
imaginations to live together as a community. I ought to imagine you
spiritual world and you ought to tell me how close I am. But are we
doing it?" At

I can only hazard a guess from my personal experience of my son's
schools where Learning is designed to meet Offsted standards set by
the government that do not reflect the quality of the teaching staff,
merely how hard they push the children. Nor does it pay homage to the
loving teacher of the struggling child. These walls of bureaucracy
prevent authentic learning. As to imagination and creativity, these
are pushed to the background to make way for reading, writing and
maths, leaving other essentialities seriously lacking and all for the
sake of a spread sheet that tells of the schools so called excellent
academic performance. That and our lack of sense of 'neighbour' in
that we seem to live in walls which prevent us from acting as a
community - that is generalising somewhat - there are is still a
community spirit to those that seek it, and in my case being a dog
owner, links me in with the local community in the most simple sense
by walking in the woods - this links me into nature too and to a
spirituality in a nice loop :-)

My son, was asked to draw a picture at Christmas the rule being that
it was to be ridiculous. He drew from his imagination an enormous
snowman precariously balanced between two rooftops, smiling with a
cigarette hanging out of his mouth - the power of the child to imagine
the unimaginable ...

with best wishes

Marysa de Veer


"Marysa de Veer" <>

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