Imagination is the capacity to connect existing elements into something new, that has not yet been conceived. It is an activity that involves the whole person: whereas much

of it is undertaken by the mind, also the feelings, the soul and the body are involved, although not always to the same extent. For example, spatial imagination, or the ability to think creatively in terms of space, involves principally the mind and the body, but it may also engage the soul, as does James Turrell’s art (see Chapter 5, Section 3), and feelings, for example feelings of liberation and elation as many designers of bridges affirm. Imagination actively works in an imaginative space, one outside of the physical or socially constructed spaces in which people spend most of their adult lives. It may engage with the intersubjective spaces, by using non-sensory elements taken from them. It may also lead to the creation of a representation of the imagined in the intersubjective spaces, in the form of a work of art, an invention, text, music, product, design, choreography, etc. Imaginative thinking may also result in the discovery of new elements or characteristics within the intersubjective spaces, by a radical re-interpretation of them, leading to a new view of how they work, or by the lifting out of certain of their aspects and reconnecting them in imaginative space and realizing some hitherto unknown qualities or patterns. Imagination does not rely primarily on sensory experience, although it often may refer to it. For example, imaginative dancing can be an imaginative activity, undertaken foremost by the embodied aspect of the person; the body creates images that are non-visual and the movements and kinetics may then follow these images. This can of course include mental and emotional activity, and that of the soul, if the dance is providing inspiration (see Chapter 2). Such imaginative dancing, as any creative activity, may take place in the imaginative space only; it does not have to be realized within the intersubjective spaces. Similarly, imagining how it would feel to be in another person’s shoes is mainly based on emotions but does not relate directly to any of the surroundings of the one who is imagining it. However, it may lead to compassion and the acting on it, for example, by helping that person or joining her in her everyday work. Imagining may be spontaneous, as in dreaming, or intentional, as in the performance of a storyteller in front of an audience. It can be lucid, when the person knows that he or she is imagining, or unaware, when the boundaries between the imagined and intersubjective spaces are blurred, for example in a state of ecstasy or intoxication. It can also be both at the same time, as in play, or roleplaying games,2 when the subjects purposefully act on the imagined sphere in the intersubjective ones, and intentionally blur the boundaries between them, but only during the play or the game. Imagination lifts out the person from the sensory context, the intersubjective spaces, and into a different if often not unrelated one, thus offering another perspective on or insight in matters of life, be it great or small. So Vincent Van Gogh was able to see that the stars were not all white, Albert Einstein could realize that time is relative, and the craftsman knows how to make the surface of the frying pan completely smooth and resilient at the same time. Imaginative activity is an experience, as much as sensory activity can be, but it is less obviously straightforward to share. In order to become that, it has to be transferred into elements of the intersubjective spaces, realized by the creation of sensory representations. Imagination is, perhaps, the force that drives humanity to reach out for more than is currently the realistic path to take.