Here is a poem that I wrote this morning:
Most dear to us is what we can imagine
more dear than all we sense or think about
for though “real life” will often call us out
it’s in our soul our treasures are most seen.
There are those who say, imagination pure
is merely plunder from the world of sense
but image grapples with the unknown future
while sense can only come in the past tense.
A dream surpasses trodden ground we know.
We walk on earth yet live in sky and so,
within, it is just as without; and sky
is wide and long and malleable as it’s high.
Just so are all the fantasies we dream
that flow more amply than a mountain stream
and do not only tumble over falls
but rise and fly with every bird that calls.
[Poem slightly modified by the author from the audio version]
So in this poem I’m setting out something of the connection between our embeddedness in this world and the escape of our soul that flies like a bird.
The philosopher Fernando Pessoa, whom I like very much, wrote that there are, as it were, two persons in each person: There is an original, that is, in his opinion, the true person; the one that we are, as it were, born with, which is the person of dreams, the person who comes into being at the beginning of life, before anything of the concrete world is much known about. And then by great struggle we construct a second being that relates to the realities, as we call them, of this world.
The French philosopher Edgar Moran takes up the same theme and says that there is a polarity within us between two states: a state poetique and a state prosaique. The prosaic state is concerned with logic and engagement with practicalities while the poetic is the realm of imagination which can be expressed in poetry. Poetry, of course, to some extent, partakes of both these states, and, in fact, is a kind of bridge relating the one to the other, but with a certain precedence given to the state poetique hence the name. In ordinary day to day discourse, we may be inclined sometimes to use such terms as “It’s just imagination” as though imagination is secondary. And we also use phrases like “Get real!” Our modern world is very much concerned with getting real and practicality though, of course, it doesn’t always make such a great job of it. In fact, our culture has lost a lot by relegating the poetic state to a secondary role. Perhaps some of our mission in life should be to restore that side of ourselves that is most strongly expressed in dance, song, poetry, metaphor, for these are the springs from which our future life derives. Of course, we need to review our past life and from it to derive sense and reason, but it’s in the future that we shall live and unless we cultivate that part of us that lives, and that lives in the future, we shall lose a great deal,
Thank you very much
Namo Amida Bu