On stories and imagination

From Paul Tripp:

“With all the explanation in the world, you will never ever successfully remove mystery and confusion from your life.”

Imagination is “not the ability to conjure up what is unreal…rather the ability to see what is real but unseen.”

“What fills the eyes of your imagination will determine how you deal with the world of seen realities.”

From Daniel Dennett (via Matt Snyder):

Sometimes when people are learning a new card game they are advised by their teacher to lay all their cards faceup on the table, so everybody can see what the others are holding. This is an excellent way of teaching the tactics of the game. It provides a temporary crutch for the imagination — you actually get to see what each person would normally be hiding, so you get to base yoru reasoning on the facts. You don’t have to keep track of them in your head, since you can just look down on the table whenever you need a reminder. This helps you build up skill in visualizing where the cards must be when they are hidden. What works at the card table can’t be done in real life. We can’t get people to divulge all their secrets during a practice session of life, but we can get practice “off line” by telling and listening to stories, narrated by an agent who sees all the cards of the fictional or historic characters.

I found these thoughts to be interesting. In particular, I appreciated the idea that stories are like practice sessions for life. Of course, that means that a good story-teller is a wise one….

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