Imagination goes deeper. All knowledge is imagination. The very field of philosophy that examines knowledge itself “ontology” is itself the practice of checking imagination for good syntax and nothing more.
All scientific theories are imagination. They become principles when they seem consistent. Basically, when the process for reality checking holds up with them.
Let’s look at involuntary imagination. Your mind will do these things without your permission, and will sometimes do them inappropriately if you have an illness. Your mind ignores things. It can do that because it has a general overlay of “the important things to know” about the world. You don’t have to voluntarily do this. You won’t remember every item on a grocery store shelf for a reason, though they did all register in your sense of sight. But even though your mind ignores things, it’s always doing something even with the stuff it ignores. It checks for consistency. This process, that you don’t have to make yourself do, is called reality checking. It red flags anything that it doesn’t recognize from experience, because it’s potentially dangerous. The things you can ignore will be things that present no immediate danger.
Both ignoring (most people call it “concentrating”) and reality checking are imagination. They use the very same faculties in your mind as the active process you think is all there is to imagination.
Now, let’s look at voluntary or “active” imagination. Whenever you seek to have a deliberate thought, you actually have to use the same part of your mind. You search through your memories for patterns that seem related. Part of this is subconscious, but it can be done deliberately as well, and your reality checking process flags things for shared qualities. It sees how ideas and perceptions are linked. This part of your mind is also often called “the observor”.
Memories too are imagination? Yes. Images encoded in our long term memory. So memory and imagination are linked as well? They are. In fact, studies of the creative process have shown this, and some creative artists have even said it. That when they are trying to write a song it is more like remembering a song they once heard then putting a bunch of arbitrary noises together.
I’ve noticed if I go to the grocery store I may not remember everything I saw, but if someone asks me if I saw a specific item I can usually remember that. Yes. We all have a primary sense that our memories key in on.
I remember images better than words. I remember structures more than images and words. I never forget a crystal, say. My brain is a bit bent so pattern/shape/feeling is all one thing to me. To use brain structure ideas, the part of my brain that is responsible for understanding words has instead been plugged into my senses and emotions. So I get a “feel” for anything. Justice feels like something to me. A clear thought feels like clear lungs or solid footing. This is how I “imagine” things. I “feel” their energy essence.
Ah, I understand. Do you find it as fascinating as it sounds? Yes, I do.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.