Whither reality?

Movies are not supposed to be a reflection of reality as it is. But neither is it meant to present reality as it ideally should be. Movies engage us in the imaginative world of unreality, where the point of the film creates an experience for us that we can then take with us into our world. This is another lesson I learned from my daughter today about the magic of film.

What she is really saying as I understand it is this: Film is not an imitation of life but rather holds out a message for life. It is the manifestation of the imagination’s portrayal of some aspect of our experience. It makes an impression and stimulates us to turn this concretized and externalized imagination around in our hands – to look at it, feel its texture, take a stand towards it and respond to it.

Imagination employed in a different way can view reality as we see it as something unreal. Before you suspect me of being hallucinatory, allow me to explain. What we see is only how things are right now. Our relationships with people at home and at work are not as they should be. Our own behavior is also not how we would like it to be. There is a gap, what Frankl called the “fruitful tension” between the way things are and the way they “ought to be.”

What we experience as reality is unreal in comparison to the realness of our imagination, our attitudes and our vision. With imagination we can change things. We can create a whole new reality. (Batya Yaniger)

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