We have all been fooled into believing in people who are entirely imaginary-made-up prisoners in a hypothetical panopticon. But the point isn't whether or not you believe in imaginary people; it's whether or not you want to. "I think I'll stick with reality, " I said, handing Cassidy back her phone. She stared at it, and then me, disappointed. "I'd think you of all people would want to escape." "Imaginary prisoners are still prisoners.
Once you realize that the world is your own projection, you are free of it. You need not free yourself of a world that does not exist, except in your own imagination! However is the picture, beautiful or ugly, you are painting it and you are not bound by it. Realize that there is nobody to force it on you, that it is due to the habit of taking the imaginary to be real. See the imaginary as imaginary and be free of fear.
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
Gods, religions and national boundaries are absolutely imaginary. They don't tend to exist. As soon as you pull back half a mile and look down at the Earth there are no national boundaries. There aren't even national boundaries when you get down and walk around. They're just imaginary lines we draw on maps. I just get fascinated by people who assume that things that are imaginary have no relevance to their lives.
One might think this means that imaginary numbers are just a mathematical game having nothing to do with the real world. From the viewpoint of positivist philosophy, however, one cannot determine what is real. All one can do is find which mathematical models describe the universe we live in. It turns out that a mathematical model involving imaginary time predicts not only effects we have already observed but also effects we have not been able to measure yet nevertheless believe in for other reasons. So what is real and what is imaginary? Is the distinction just in our minds?
You know, they ask me if I were on a desert island and I knew nobody would ever see what I wrote, would I go on writing. My answer is most emphatically yes. I would go on writing for company. Because I'm creating an imaginary-it's always imaginary-world in which I would like to live.
William S. Burroughs
You know, they ask me if I were on a desert island and I knew nobody would ever see what I wrote, would I go on writing. My answer is most emphatically yes. I would go on writing for company. Because I'm creating an imaginary - it's always imaginary - world in which I would like to live. (Interview, The Paris Review)
William S. Burroughs
But do you know this idea of the imaginary homeland? Once you set out from shore on your little boat, once you embark, you'll never truly be at home again. What you've left behind exists only in your memory, and your ideal place becomes some strange imaginary concoction of all you've left behind at every stop.
I would hate to be in high school now. Psychologists talk about the 'imaginary audience' that teens seem to feel they have around them and that makes them think they have to keep up their image all the time. Now with Facebook and MySpace and 24/7 online access, that imaginary audience has become real.
Instead of inventing imaginary friends, I invented whole imaginary worlds. They were elaborate scenarios about spies and adventurers and top secret missions. I crawled along my swing set, searching for escape routes from my maximum-security prison; I biked through the neighborhood, the wind in my hair and a fleet of evildoers on my heels.
You will reply that reality hasn't the slightest need to be of interest. And I'll answer you that reality may avoid the obligation to be interesting, but that hypotheses may not. In the hypothesis you have postulated, chance intervenes largely. Here lies a dead rabbi; I should prefer a purely rabbinical explanation; not the imaginary mischances of an imaginary robber.
Jorge Luis Borges
History has taught us that often lies serve her better than the truth, for man is sluggish and has to be led through the desert for forty years before each step in his development. And he has to be driven through the desert with threats and promises, by imaginary terrors and imaginary consolations, so that he should not sit down prematurely to rest and divert himself by worshipping golden calves.
That this subject [of imaginary magnitudes] has hitherto been considered from the wrong point of view and surrounded by a mysterious obscurity, is to be attributed largely to an ill-adapted notation. If, for example, +1, -1, and the square root of -1 had been called direct, inverse and lateral units, instead of positive, negative and imaginary (or even impossible), such an obscurity would have been out of the question.
Carl Friedrich Gauss
Imaginary obstacles are insurmountable. Real ones aren't. But you can't tell the difference when you have no real information. Fear can create even more imaginary obstacles than ignorance can. That's why the smallest step away from speculation and into reality can be an amazing relief...The Reality Solution means: Do it before you're ready.
In addition to pumping the blood of life within our bodies, we may think of the heart as a belief-to-matter translator. It converts the perceptions of our experiences, beliefs, and imagination into the coded language of waves that communicate with the world beyond our bodies. Perhaps this is what philosopher and poet John Mackenzie meant when he stated, "The distinction between what is real and what is imaginary is not one that can be finely maintained ... all existing thing are ... imaginary."
The imaginary child implied by the toys on exhibit in Hong Kong was impossible to reconcile with my actual child. I didn't think I'd like to meet the imaginary child they implied. That child was mad with contradictions. He was a machine-gun-toting, Chopin-playing psychopath with a sugar high and a short attention span.
Monsters' can help us by giving a tangible form to our secret fears. It is less widely appreciated today that 'wonders' such as the unicorn legitimize our hopes. But all imaginary animals, to some degree all animals, are ultimately both monsters and wonders, which assist us by deflecting and absorbing our uncertainties. It is hard to tell 'imaginary animals' from symbolic, exemplary, heraldic, stylized, poetic, literary, or stereotypical ones. What is reality? Until we answer that question with confidence, a sharp differentiation between real animals and imaginary ones will remain elusive. There is some yeti in every ape, and a bit of Pegasus in every horse. Men and women are not only part angel and part demon, as the old cliche goes; they are also part centaur, part werewolf, part mandrake, and part sphinx.
Many of them [people who escaped religion] recounted both the terror and the relief they felt after leaving religion behind. Terror at realizing there was no longer an imaginary friend; relief that no one was looking over their shoulder any more. Several described the experience as similar to that of a child learning to go to sleep without a favorite teddy bear. Others described it as simply growing up or outgrowing the need for the imaginary friends of childhood.
I had a good time that night, too, " Michael said, "but I kept thinking, This is forever. This is forever. You will have this good time again and again, a million times over, until it will be like a play in which you and Laura and a few fugitive lives sit around an imaginary fire and talk and sing songs and love each other and sometimes throw imaginary brands at the eyes blinking beyond the circle of imaginary firelight. And then I thought - and this is where I sounded just like a real philosopher - And even when you admit that you know every line in the play and every song that will be sung, even when you know that this evening spent with friends is pleasant and joyful because you remember it as pleasant and joyful and wouldn't change it for the world, even when you know that anything you feel for these good friends has no more reality than a dream faithfully remembered every night for a thousand years - even then it goes on. Even then it has just begun.
Peter S. Beagle
Religion is the yeast of death cakes. It is the most awful agent on a vulnerable mind. It's the refuge of alienated and lonely people. It's what people had before television. It yokes people together into an imaginary world. It is just people talking to their imaginary friends, at length. I wouldn't mind, but some of the people are world leaders.
Nowadays, people resort to all kinds of activities in order to calm themselves after a stressful event: performing yoga poses in a sauna, leaping off bridges while tied to a bungee, killing imaginary zombies with imaginary weapons, and so forth. But in Miss Penelope Lumley's day, it was universally understood that there is nothing like a nice cup of tea to settle one's nerves in the aftermath of an adventure- a practice many would find well worth reviving.
The poet Marianne Moore famously wrote of 'real toads in imaginary gardens, ' and the labyrinth offers us the possibility of being real creatures in symbolic space... In such spaces as the labyrinth we cross over [between real and imaginary spaces]; we are really travelling, even if the destination is only symbolic.
The poet Marianne Moore famously wrote of 'real toads in imaginary gardens,' and the labyrinth offers us the possibility of being real creatures in symbolic space...In such spaces as the labyrinth we cross over [between real and imaginary spaces]; we are really travelling, even if the destination is only symbolic.
Complete knowledge of the nature of an analytic function must also include insight into its behavior for imaginary values of the arguments. Often the latter is indispensable even for a proper appreciation of the behavior of the function for real arguments. It is therefore essential that the original determination of the function concept be broadened to a domain of magnitudes which includes both the real and the imaginary quantities, on an equal footing, under the single designation complex numbers.
Carl Friedrich Gauss
I'd love to write some porn, but I don't know if I have the right engines. When I was a young man and I was tempted to write porn, imaginary parents would appear over my shoulder and read what I was writing; just about the point that I managed to banish the imaginary parents, real children would lean over my shoulder and read what I was writing.
Art is not ideology. It is completely impossible to explain art on the basis of the homological relation that it is supposed to maintain with the real of history. The aesthetic process decentres the specular relation with which ideology perpetuates its closed infinity. The aesthetic effect is certainly imaginary; but this imaginary is not the reflection of the real, since it is the real of this reflection.
In the 1920s the young English physicist Paul Dirac began trying to understand and describe the space-time evolution of the electron, the first elementary particle discovered by J.J. Thomson in 1897. Dirac was puzzled by an unprecedented property of space-time, discovered by Lorentz in his studies of electromagnetic forces, whereby if space was real, time had to be imaginary, and vice versa. In other words, space and time had to be a 'complex' mixture of two quantities, one real and the other imaginary.