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Reclaiming the “imaginal”

In a time where neo-liberalism and science dictate how we are allowed to think, feel, speak, and move, our phenomenological realities have become restricted to the materialist, the evidence-based, the usefull, the efficient, and the appropriate. It has alienated us from alternative sources of knowledge, including (based on Braud, 1998):

  • proprioceptive and kinaesthetic information about one’s inner world, 
  • bodily knowings
  • tacit knowings
  • intuitions
  • a mode of knowing through being or becoming the object of one’s enquiry
  • meditation & deep contemplation
  • knowledge through silence and emptiness
  • knowledge through various altered states of consciousness
  • accessing one’s dreams
  • using all faculties of the imagination

Without access to these sources of knowledge, we can’t see reality but through the reductive lenses of the dominant external and internalised power structures. By limiting our access to this knowledge and judging it as not valid, contemporary neoliberal-scientific society suppresses the “imaginal”. 

The “imaginal” refers to an experiential world at the interstices between the empirical reality that comes to us through the senses, and the imaginary world that is a projection of our fantasy. In the middle lies a razor edge of real imagination, a potential expressions of a deep connection with reality that goes beyond the sensorial. It is the birthplace of dreams, visions, mystical experiences, collective experiential fields, and intuition. Prior to sense-making, expressed in a language of symbols and images, it gives access to true insights in ourselves and the world. Simultaneously real and unreal, fact and fiction.

In this research line we investigate how we can reclaim the “imaginal”. Our research questions are:

  • What spaces and techniques support access to the imaginal? 
  • What practices facilitate the expression of the imaginal in daily life? 
  • How does an imaginal life look like, when the imaginal and the realist start coinciding?
  • Does the imaginal enable selfless expression (e.g. speaking in tongues, authentic movement, pratibhā or intuitive wisdom)

If you are interested in joining, please get in touch: info@houseofthebeloved.eu