The Reality of Imagination
The need for empirical proof; ‘how do you know’, eliminates human imagination, because imagination cannot be known to exist as a substance and therefore cannot be empirically proven. What it possibly means is that ‘ideas’ that cannot have been experienced before or are not associated with sensory impressions, even prior to possible positive evaluation, are considered to be invalid. This causes the separation of science and ethics and is selective because it does not allow ‘all’ or ‘everything’ that can be known. Modern businesses such as the oil and gas industry focus on facts and figures through empiricism and science. Before investments are made, testing oil wells to prove that it will be economically responsible and profitable, relies on empirical and scientific data. If then an intuitive or imaginative conscience – for example – would interfere with a focus on making money as the prime intention, a tendency to allow only for empirically and scientifically proven facts, could prevent ethical contemplation. A cost – benefit ratio that would show more benefit than cost, would be acceptable, even if possible negative long term effects, could be imaginable, but cannot yet be calculated (for example: use of toxic chemicals – fracking industry).
Because empiricism relies on natural laws only, moral law could be disregarded. Negative, costly operational or environmental effects, even when they could be known prior, could be ignored as was shown in the case studies.
With empiricism as the basis for modern education, such ideas that come from outside the establishment programming have become inadmissible. They are often seen as outside threats endangering self-referring circles of discourse, closed feedback loops, which assumes that the foundations of schooling are empirical and only experts as established by their credentials are considered viable authorities (Joseph, Peter, 2012).
Bertrand Russell spoke about rejecting unfamiliar possibilities. Science and metaphysics were indeed not allowed in empirical deductions. Hume spoke of the imperfect condition of the sciences.
The quest by Descartes to reach certainty by the rational reasoning capacity of man was attacked by empiricism, and can be felt in all activities of people today. The exclusion of mind, spirit, inner knowing, feeling or imagination, had and still has, great impact on the daily lives of people. Current HSE and CSR policies are written on mechanistic and empirical standards, but if this analysis is valid, these can only be based on selected arguments, not allowing the ‘wholeness’ of which Einstein or Capra spoke. Empiricism allows for a certain disallowance of human consciousness. When the prime intention is not purely human (all dimensional), but three dimensional, often seeking its reward in economic or bodily gain expressed in sensory gratification, it requires suspension of Carl Gustav Jung and William Blakes ‘zoa’s’. Ignoring one’s conscience is therefore needed.
Physical deduction or quantifiable measurement resulted in a mechanistic or materialistic world concept. Empiricists and Mechanists seem to cling to an imaginary circumference as if God is bounding the universe with a pair of compasses. An early analysis; ‘the limitation of knowledge is self-perpetuating when boundaries are accepted’, can also be based on the work of the artist and poet William Blake and later Carl Gustav Jung. They expressed the value of these so-called Zoa’s or human functions, translated from Greek, meaning ‘living ones’: Imagination, Intuition, Feeling and Sensation.
In her biography of William Blake (1970), Kathleen Raine describes his art and poetry whose value became known after his death.
The universe of imagination is unlimited and only seems chaotic by one’s limited perception. Empiricism forces man to limit his consciousness and subconscious perception or inner knowing that does not allow boundaries. Therefore it is obstructing to an infinite and boundlessly evolving state that is not easily understood by limited dimensional awareness and thought.
William Blake shows that Urizen (Reason) acts like a God, holding a pair of compasses. In The First Book of Urizen (1794) he becomes the self-deluded and anxious demiurge (creator), engaged in the enormous labours of imposing his ratio of the five empirical senses (sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch).
Katleen Raine, the scholar biographer of William Blake says in one of her last documentary interviews named ‘God is the Imagination’ that Blake called for a re-internalization, a reopening or return to a world of eternity, an inner, spiritual world in which a materialistic culture or civilization had been denied and excluded. Blake determined man as a spiritual being and challenged reason. Reason had been throned as divinity in the times of Notre Dame Paris and the French Revolution, which led to human hubris and blindness to the simple rules of life. Reason and rationality were used for an industrial revolution, rather than a personal or individual revolution towards freedom. This so-called ‘Mechanism’, or The Clockwork Universe, was partly based on Descartes theory of mechanism, which means that all of nature can be explained by the mechanical motion of all substances. All motion of bodies is due to mechanical impact, like the mechanical workings of a clock (Lavine T.Z, 1984).
William Blake saw that this mechanism was used to control man and said that all the arts of life changed to the arts of death according to his poem Albion, which was the ancient synonym for Britain. Kathleen Rain explained in a metaphor that the hourglass was condemned because its simple workmanship was like the workmanship of the plowman. ‘And the waterwheel, which raises water into systems broken and burned with fire because its workmanship, was that of a shepherd. And in their stead intricate wheels invented, wheel without wheel to perplex youth in their outgoings and to bind to labors in Albion of day and night the myriads of eternity. That they may grind and polish brass and iron hour after hour, laborious tasks kept ignorant of its use. They might spend their days of wisdom in sorrow for drudgery to obtain a scanty pittance of bread, blind to all the simple rules of life.’
William Blake was ridiculed in his day. His work was deemed non-academic and therefore not compatible to mechanistic standards that are still being followed today (Raine, Kathleen, 2003).