Thursday, July 19, 2007
YOGA OF THE HEART IN RELATION TO ART
THE YOGA OF THE IMAGINATION.
There is a yoga of the heart. The heart is not just a physical organ, but is an imaginative concept, where the opposites that we relate to the human personality and self understanding, are integrated. It is in the heart that we find the coming together of the mind and the body, the intellectual or rational, and the psychic world of intuition and feeling. In the Biblical tradition, the heart is associated very much with the imagination.
The concept of the heart is found in many spiritual traditions. In India the heart, or Hirdaya, is the space within which consciousness is present.
The psycho-somatic concept of the heart, can be identified with the dimension of experience that the philosopher Henry Corbin called the imaginal. Corbin made a distinction between the imaginal and the imaginary. The imaginary belongs to what is often referred to as the fantasy, that is a virtual world that is essentially unreal. But the imaginal is a way of apprehending reality, through a faculty of image-making that is essentially evocative, and creative.
The poet and theoretician Coleridge conceived of an essential difference between the imagination and fantasy. For him, fantasy is concerned with the memory, and is a re-creation of impressions that have been received in the past. The imagination, is concerned with the future, and has a prophetic dimension.