So, I’ve been reading through a treatise on the Haudenosaunee’s concept of imagination (thank you, Rod), and drastically realigning that which I know to that which I think.
For I am a product of Western Civilization – the most deadly form of this virulent disease yet to arise within the planet – and the steeped-in notions are slow to disappear.
The Haudenosaunee, or Mohawk, Nation know that the imagination is not something arising out of the human brain. It is a function, rather, of the entire ecology. The land, sea, air and spirit of Place, enclosing all the life forms, generate the concepts, imagery and vision which we , with our depraved version of mind, are wont to call imagination.
Good poetry immediately arises from this interaction of human mind and place – as does what has come to be termed religion in our present culture.
It’s the land speaking, people.
Whence comes that glow of Love you feel when standing upon the land you have lived with for years? From where arrives that communication from a plant in the hours of your dreams? That clear vision of your father at the moment that he died?
Imagination: and yet, we have denigrated and dismissed this phenomenon as something belonging to the child – as if it needs to be outgrown – or the childishly simple, or the frankly mad. “You’re imagining it” becomes a patronising insult.
You can’t deal with the grown up, can’t take part in society, can’t expect to have your visions taken seriously – because you imagine things.
Rather late in my life, I call Bullshit on this perverted idea. It leads, as night to day, to the concept of Mankind being the Measure of All Things. To the idea that the Sacred springs from an aberration in our own brains – to the form of murderous, insane culture we now live in, where the only Life which has any meaning at all is that which is encased in a human body.
Because, you know, these ideas, these whispering of Spirit, these communications from the huge sea of Life; they cannot be taken seriously. They arise from our own brains, being silly. From the imagination.
Only this is not what we’ve always known. People, driven to near-extinction by the dominant culture – but who are still here , note – know otherwise.
That we’ve silenced the communications from the Rest of Us quite effectively is no longer in doubt. I’m relearning this ability to hear, to envision and to imagine.
Some folks,even in Western Culture, thank all the Gods, have been learning for more years than I have, or perhaps have always known this ability. I’m a piker. But I’m cleaning a little of the wax from out my ears each day.