As beings formed in the image of a Creator, we have an innate ability to imagine and to create from those imaginings. For those of us with a strong imaginative bent, it comes as natural as breathing.
One of history’s revolutionary thinkers, Albert Einstein, stated that “imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” Imagination fills in the gaps of knowledge, so to speak. It looks at problems and invents potential solutions, it looks at circumstances and envisions previously unseen possibilities. Were it not for the creative imaginations of many famous individuals we would lack many of the inventions that ease our lives today. Yet in their own eras, these inventors often met with scorn.
In our day, imagination is embraced in some spheres, while others remain on the periphery, viewed as frivolous or a distraction from the important matters of life. On occasion, I’ve observed that perspective when it comes to applying imagination to fiction. There are people who don’t understand the purpose of fiction in any form, much less fantasy and the construction of imagined realms.
While I believe there’s ample evidence of the value and impact of fantasy, must we justify the use of imagination, of creation and sub-creation? Must our use of imagination be approved by a checklist that shows the value of our endeavors? Isn’t it enough that it brings joy to craft worlds and realms from flashes of insight or the remnants of dreams? In the end, we create because we were fashioned to…and if reason must be given, that’s more than reason enough.
Your thoughts? Have you encountered those who question the reading or writing of fantasy? Who can’t understand the appeal of imaginative realms? How do you respond?