Imagination is not an illusory, fantastic and unrealistic aspect as some think. Imagination is the ability to mentally represent something that has been experienced – a concrete element, a thought, an emotion, a sensation, and intuition.
In the mental image that is formed beyond the representation of what it refers to, there is also an unconscious emotional part. In the image, there is, therefore, a conscious part and an unconscious part that is integrated into a single whole. The image is the container of the two elements and at the same time the place of their meeting.
The child who draws parents refers to his internal image. This reproduces how he perceived them on an ideational level, how he experiences them on an emotional level, the presence of fears, anguish, pleasure. And also unconscious aspects that he has grasped in their way of being and which are completely unknown to his ego and that of his parents.
Imagination allows you to activate the symbolic capacity
The capacity of – as if – establishes a bridge between concrete reality and the unconscious and which has a fundamental transformative function. Imagination is the possibility of welcoming the stimulations of the unconscious, irrational drives in a conscious context.
The image thus becomes a container of something deeper that wants to appear. In the image
takes a voice that has no voice
form that which has no form
space that which does not give space
rhythm what has no time
matter what has no matter
body what is the only spirit
Archetypes that are collective, innate, and unknowable tendencies also manifest themselves in the form of images. And specifically through a symbolic representation
the fairy is the good mother
the witch is the evil and destructive maternal
the ogre is the bad paternal
the child is the new element
the old the wisdom
and so on.
In fact, the symbol embodies the image of the content that transcends the conscious. It is something mysterious, impossible to define, and understand because it is a unitary reality of conscious and unconscious and has the function of bringing about a profound transformation.
Fairy tales, myths, and religions are in fact rich in symbols because they have the power to activate a radical change in personal and collective history. And because they refer to a broader, universal, and unconscious sense that cannot be fully explained.
The man also produces symbols unconsciously and spontaneously in the form of dreams. Dreams are characterized by symbolic images that correspond to the words of the language of the unconscious. Dreams are the letters that the Self sends us every night to make us understand with its symbolic language who we really are. Where are we going wrong, what we need at that moment, what is the project and the mission we have inside, and how to make it happen.
Nowadays, the image is used in a prevalent way
Because advertising companies and consumer goods producers know well how effective it is in entering immediately and directly into the unconscious. They know that it has more power than written or verbal language and therefore use it to influence behavior when purchasing certain products. Or in setting collective and uniform ways of being that can be easily manipulated.
All subjects with a weak ego and children who do not yet have a formed and autonomous ego are the ones who absorb these messages the most. Children in particular absorb the behaviors and ways of cartoon characters they identify with.
The greater attention paid to the image that children and young people demonstrate does not only depend on their natural predisposition to unconscious contents but is also due to the need for irrational, emotional, and symbolic elements that are lacking in our society.
Our society no longer has any reference to symbols, which have the important function of connecting us with the personal, collective unconscious, and with the spirit. It replaced the symbols in which more people found and recognized themselves, with consumer goods, visibility, social consensus and success, power and control.
People have therefore lost their internal reference. And young people are as if they are looking for compensation in the images against a world that is too overrun by the concrete. From the rational, of a world that rejects and is terrified of problems, pain, and death because it is no longer able to find their meaning and significance.
Educating your children in the imagination, therefore, means giving them the ability to recall inner images from within. And to be able to re-propose them with drawing, painting, sculpture, poetry, story, diary, dance, music, rhythm, song, sound.
Imagination allows him to better defend himself from prefabricated and artificial images that come from the outside, but it also allows him to recognize himself and find his own way.