Gaston Bachelard: The Hand of Work and Play

Gaston An essay by Joanne Stroud, Ph.D

Bachelard has an almost reverential attitude toward the imagination. He would agree with Blake’s statement that “The imagination is not a state; it is human existence itself.” He considers the imagination not only the source of pleasure and satisfaction, but also more importantly the primary source that stirs and vitalizes our actions. Often the mind, which is needed for accomplishing goals, and imagination are at odds with each other. “Satisfying the mind so often means doing violence to the imagination,” he argues. He urges us to give imagination full play, to allow ourselves to enjoy the jolt of joy that imagination stimulates before plotting how to effectuate any plans. We are most happily productive when physical action, work, and the images of reverie coincide. Then we can mold the world to our inner model. We can get a grip on it.

Bachelard has come up in several contexts all at once in connection with my Psyche and Cyberspace explorations and he seems somone worth knowing. This essay is a lovely start,

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