“And this gray spirit yearning in desire/To follow knowledge like a sinking star,/Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.”–Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “Ulysses”
Very much the possibilities in context, process, and choices at all times. Very much who considers, contemplates, and responds to these, personally or individually. And so you are back to the person gazing, pondering, reacting to whatever. And I think the imagination of that person, finally, the capacity to imagine and empathize. (I will just add that you can’t empathize without imagination or exercises/’exorcises’ of imagination.) What makes life so interesting is the individual’s processing of the information of possibilities (e.g., life, love, language, nature), what can or might be done, what patterns, understandings, and insights that emerge, and finally whether that individual can articulate or express those (sometimes creatively, sometimes practically).
So, possibilities–an infinite number thereof with the interesting, fascinating aspect of a human imagination and sensibility responding to those, and then what happens as a result–a play, a dance, a love affair, a new career, an enhanced relationship, a developing talent, a facility to do and accomplish certain unique things. Quite wide open really. And again, back to possibilities. Possibilities hidden, inherent, untapped, never previously explored, or articulated, possibly even shared.
And the imagination, as Walt Whitman put it–“I am large, I contain multitudes”–an idea echoed by Northrop Frye in The Educated Imagination about the human imagination ‘swallowing’, subsuming everything, or at least as many possibilities as it desires or wishes, and being able to share–through teaching, through creativity, through example with others. An internalization followed by an outward expression and sharing thereof. Much like the gifts of others assimilated, then reciprocated or broadcast, expressed and shared with others. The egoic-based trip initially, the individual process, the personal journey then turned outward toward the world and others.
I was thinking earlier this morning about being a human silo, a depository of life’s information and knowledge, understandings and insights–how this potential is ultimately ‘tappable’ like, metaphorically, any other kind of natural (we are of nature) resource.
People talk of great minds, genius, dreamers or visions, but it is very much true. Imagination-centered, rather platonically incidentally, a kind of pureness and primariness of response and agency. It is that that creates or facilitates–a readiness, a capacity and confidence, to assume and express the universe, Prufrockily,
And so it is that the educated (as Frye put it) or the enhanced and developed imagination–an ultimate form or organ of consciousness facilitates ‘the way’ to all possibilities, to deal with all and any changes, challenges, limits, limitations, or difficulties. It is the transcendent and most ascendant aspect of the human being, coupled with conscious or unconscious will to survive and strive for (very Tennyson’s “Ulysses”)–Imagination, Will (including choices) and Spirit as One. In that possibility alone , the most integrated possible form of individual, person, and human life.