An Elemental Reverie on the World,s Stuff

Gaston Bachelard was a poet, philosopher who sought a more intimate revelation and expression of human experience. He wrote about the “Imaginal” a creative energy that is an integral part of our nature but due to the influence of what we have come to collectively value we have lost touch with it. It can be once again revealed to be fundamental to our human sense of being. Poetry is a way to unravel what blocks our deeper awareness and when the “Imaginal” is no longer ignored we are freed from aimless wandering and a sense of incompleteness. It is related to “knowing” of a different quality than we have been taught to think of it. Henri Corbin referred to it as being essential to “gnosis”, which he wrote about it being a salvational, redemptive knowledge, because it has the virtue of bringing about an inner transformation. In contrast to all theoretical learning, it is “knowledge that changes and transforms the knowing subject”. He explores the idea that gnosis points our awareness to a place that has been missed between the traditional categories of “belief” and “reason.” Belief (or faith) is usually associated with the emotional function, and reason means ordinary reason or the thinking function. In Corbin’s view, what is overlooked here is that “between believing and knowing there is something that we can refer to other than these two conventional processes connoting “inner vision.” Corbin suggests that in awareness we can become conscious of something of our being that “cosmologically corresponds to an “intermediate and mediating world forgotten by the official philosophy and theology of our times: the mundus imaginalis, the imaginal world. Corbin’s mundus imaginalis is the necessary mediatrix (theologically conceived as Deus revelatus, revealed God) between the hidden God (Deus absconditus) and man’s world. It is the world of the soul or psyche.”

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