Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Pictorial Imagination the new Propositional Thinking

From my favorite daily email, The Daily Asterisk (at Culture Is Not Optional)

The literalism that surrounds us has so steeped our minds in the logic of proposition statements that we've lost our ability to hear anything addressed to the logic of the imagination. Consequently, we miss the point of almost everything Jesus has to say--because it's the logic of images that makes his parables tick. He doesn't give them so that the flickering lights of reason will burn brighter in our heads. He tells them to put out all the lights we have so that in the darkening of mere intellect we can see the images of the true Light who, by his incarnate presence, is the light of every human being. ...Only the logic of the imagination can fathom the parables--or the Bible itself, for that matter.

Robert Farrar Capon
The Fingerprints of God

For people who don't like emergent, or are trying to understand emergent with some frustration - this quote says the hard to grasp, hard to communicate thing that kind of stands between "us and them" mentally/imaginatively - that there is a whole way of thinking in the modern era that we had been locked into, and now we see glimpses of this new way of thinking that is so fundamentally different, that you can't judge the one by the criteria of the other.

ie. when "emergent critical" thinkers try to understand and judge emergent by their, what one might call, "modern intellectual process" they will always find frustration and deem emergent as coming up short. No problem, I can take it. But these constant requests/demands that we explain ourselves to them are always going to fall into this rut, short of the following; Hopefully some of our folks can find ways to bridge that gap, as this post is also attempting to do. But ultimately, they are going to have to do some cross-cultural type thinking themselves and attempt to imagine in a new way. I do believe that will begin to happen.

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