Directing the Imagination

Consciousness itself will furnish proofs by its own direction that it is connected with master-currents below the surface.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Although one's imagination is autonomous, it can also be directed to a degree that excludes the agency of the self, as in cases of trauma, where feelings and thoughts are stereo-typic and constricted in ways analogous to a fixed-action pattern. One's imagination is therefore subject to varying degrees of freedom. Imagination can be constricted by trauma or expanded through empathy and aesthetic experience. This chapter will examine these forces that expand or constrict the imagination.

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