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Evidence of Things Not Seen

vintage bee skep salt and pepper shakers with  honey  jar - recent package from my mom!


Cultivating our children's imagination is one of the most important jobs of the teacher and I know Charlotte Mason would agree.  She said, 


 "Imagination is, like faith, the evidence of things not seen." 
(Imagination in Childhood, Parents' Review, Vol. 27.3.1916)   

She also said that 
"Education, like faith, is the evidence of things not seen."
(Vol. 6.39)  

You can deduce a few things from that, I think.

At the upcoming CMI conference, I will be presenting "The Well-balanced Mind - The Imagination Factor". I am looking forward to meeting some of you and taking the time to really explore this.

 Here are a few wonderful worthy bits about imagination that didn't make it into my talk but definitely are now in my commonplace book.

C.S. Lewis - 

Lewis felt very strongly that children's imaginations should be nourished and encouraged to grow.  When asked about the practical use of fantasy for a child, he "agreed that practical things were first class, but that although fantasy might not help a boy to build a boat, it would help him immensely if he should ever find himself on a sinking ship." (from The Taste for the Other:  The Social and Ethical Thought of C.S. Lewis)


Eugene Peterson - 

How are people transformed by fiction?

I think that their imaginations are transformed.  When you're reading a novel, you're following a plot and character development.  The best writers leave a lot to your imagination.  The task of a writer is to get participation from the reader, and you can't do that by telling them everything.  The Bible is that kind of literature.  There's very little explanation - almost no explanation, no definitions.  And the writers of Scripture were also, as they were telling these stories, aware of all the other voices that were in the air - Moses Isaiah, Daniel, Jesus, Paul.

Our school curriculum teaches you how to study.  You learn facts.  But they don't do much to help you read in an imaginative way to help you enter the story.  That's what novlists do.  So I think a basic immersion in fiction is almost a prerequisite to reading the Bible, to preaching sermons, to teaching classes.  Poetry does the same thing, but it takes a different route to do it. (from an interview here)


beautiful lilacs this year
Percy Bysshe Shelley - 

The great secret of morals is Love; or a going out of our own nature, and an identification of ourselves with the beautiful which exists in thought, action, or person, not our own.  A man to be greatly good, must imagine intensely and comprehensively; he must put himself in the place of another andof many others.  The great instrument of moral good is the imagination: and poetry administers to the effect by acting upon the cause. (from A Defense of Poetry)

From joy to joy,
Nancy

7 comments:

  1. Excellent! Thanks for the link to Peterson article. See you next week!

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    1. I can't wait to see you, too! I think you originally sent me that Peterson quote - so a belated HT to you, dear friend. You have probably been my #1 resource for great imagination quotes!

      From joy to joy,
      Nancy

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  2. Great post! I'm currently reading "How to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child" by Anthony Esolen, and if you haven't read it, I highly recommend it! I read a review that said the book was "wickedly funny," and that is true. But it's also very thought provoking and intelligent and so timely. Your post brought it to mind.

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    1. Thanks, Pamela. Indeed, we discuss portions of that book in my talk! It is a GREAT read on this subject - I agree. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing with us.

      From joy to joy,
      Nancy

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  3. What a wonderful quote from CS Lewis; I've also been reading the Esolen book this year.

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  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  5. Would so love to be there and explore the imagination factor with you. I've been rolling over the "aid of Imagination" in mathematics per CM and think I would find your talk helpful. Maybe in a few weeks?

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