Imagination: From where does it cometh?

Firstly, let’s ask this question. What is imagination? 

Here you will find the definition from  I do encourage you to read the comments here too.  Real people’s opinions and ideas are important for reflecting on individual differences on this subject. And here is the Oxford dictionary definition

Through the span of time as thinkers and creators humans have always questioned the origins of our imagination.

You can find an article about Plato’s View of the Imagination here. For those of you who have never heard of him, Plato was a Greek philosopher and was a student of Socrates. And Plato himself was a teacher to Aristotle. These were great thinkers of their times. They were captivated by and questioned all things.

Even the great William penned his thoughts about imagination.

“And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.”

― William Shakespeare

Some of you won’t know of Jean-Paul Sartre. He was born in 1905.  Jean-Paul was an philosopher, a writer of books and screenplays, but he also had a deep interest in politics. He was also a literacy critic. Jean-Paul was awarded a Nobel Prize in Literature, but declined it.


The Psychology of the Imagination(alternate title of The Imaginary)


Jean-Paul Sartre wrote, Psychology of the Imagination. This book has been referred to or analysed in numerous academic articles for years. You’ll find a short snippet of an article titled Defining Imagination: Sartre between Husserl and Janet here

So what is imagination? Is it simply the power of the mind to conjure and create through thought, contriving, fantasising or scheming up ideas? Or is it perhaps our own personal escapism, a biological design to distract us from our everyday worries or intrigue us to question all things further. Perhaps it’s not personal at all, some think it to be collective and others think it’s both, personal and collective. I’m sure all of the great thinkers of the world use their imagination to its full potential.

Where does imagination come from? Well, scientifically speaking some scientists suggests the source of imagination is connected to the pineal gland in the brain. To be truthful the breadth of this topic is wide indeed, the historical discussions alone have spanned over centuries. No matter what a person’s opinion may be on the source of our imagination it has played a significant role in shaping the world of today. Maybe in the future our understanding of mental states may be solved and one day these discoveries will help us to understand ourselves and others much better.

 Until then, be brave and bold in your chosen field of creativity.  And never be afraid to explore new techniques.  🙂



Leave a Reply