Samuel Johnson and the Power of Imagination
“The task of an author is, either to teach what is known, or to recommend know truths by his manner of adorning them; either to let new light in upon the mind, and open new scenes to the prospect, or to vary the dress and situations of common objects, so as to give them fresh grace and more powerful attractions, to spread such flowers over the regions through which the intellect has already made its progress, as may tempt it to return, and take a second view of things hastily passed over or negligently regarded.” (Samuel Johnson)
The power of imagination is like a bird that takes the human consciousness into the realm of truth and individual wisdom. The truth of imagination is an individual truth; its value to humanity depends on its ability “to let new light upon the mind,” as Johnson had said it, and also upon the human heart which is the fountain that the bird of imagination feeds upon. The power of imagination has flown away or its wings cut down by the writers of today. In the name of political supremacy or racial superiority, we have let ourselves become stranded on the desert of emptiness, without wings to return us to our own individual existence.