Ray Fenech

Ray Fenech

On Imagination

When I was still a very young boy, I remember my parents were always telling me to stop imagining things. I was told that I was spending too much time in the clouds and that on returning to reality, I would end up being hurt. Hardly did any of those elders realise that it was often the other way round - I had already been hurt by reality and imagination served to give me the necessary refuge I needed to survive. But there is more to imagination than that...

    Without imagination, mental and spiritual death is unavoidable. Endeavour, ambition and enterprise are non-existent in a person who has no imagination. Imagination can act as a guide to an unknown destination. Poet John Keats in a letter to Benjamin Bailey (November 1817) wrote: "I am certain of nothing but of the holiness of the heart's affections and the truth of imagination - What the imagination seizes as Beauty must be truth ...."

    It is very wrong to misuse this valuable capability by transforming it into a prophet of doom whereby a person tends to foresee all the obstacles instead of looking on the bright side of things. On the other hand one must not forget that imagination is a good servant but a bad master.

    Most famous personalities could have never become famous without using their imaginations. Poet William Blake goes a step further stating that, "Imagination is not a state: it is the Human Existence itself." In other words, he is saying that imagination is man's true identity.

    Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote: "The primary imagination I hold to be the living power and prime agent of all human perception, and as a repetition in the finite mind of the eternal act of creation in the infinite I AM."

    Imagination, fancy or day dreaming are among the most important survival tools of mankind. Unfortunately, there is very little time left for the exercising of our imaginations. Life is like a rat race and there is little time for one to muse. This is a drawback because man is missing out on an essential part of his well being, which can help him not only improve the quality of life, but more importantly keep the human spirit inside him alert and alive.