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Imagination

Non-western Traditions

The Sufi tradition of Islam offers an analogue of imagination in the concept of barzakh, referring to "the whole intermediate realm between the spiritual and the corporeal." Since this world of imagination is "closer to the World of Light" than the corporeal world (Chittick, p. 14), it can give valid knowledge of higher reality. In the Buddhist tradition there is no systematic view of imagination; the Sanskrit word for it is prtibha ("poetic genius"), but it is not given much emphasis in Buddhist thought. Hinduism, on the other hand, offers in the Vedic tradition a highly developed view of imagination as both the transcendent power by which the gods create and sustain the harmony of the universe, and the human faculty by which the human artist, priest, or sage recognizes and celebrates this harmony. It is, in short, the imagination that "joins the human spirit with ultimate reality itself" (Mahoney, p. 2).

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Hydrazones to IncompatibilityImagination - Biblical Beginnings, Non-western Traditions, Ancient Greece, Medieval And Renaissance Views, The Enlightenment