Mankind was not originally created with imagination and fantasy, because fantasy is essentially “non-existent vision” (Met. Hierotheos, 2010, The illness and cure of the soul), whereas imagination is the opposite of pure prayer without distraction. Both imagination and fantasy are products, phenomena, of the Fall of our First Parents. As such, progress in our spiritual life – toward illumination and deification – is achieved by ridding ourselves of their influences.
Four kinds of imagination
- Associated with carnal sins, this kind of imagination is designed to capture the nous, through fantasy;
- Reverie, day-dreaming;
- Created fantasy, associated with cultural development. This kind of imagination is enticing;
- Attempting to understand God and the heavens rationally, by speculation.
All need to be purified, preferably through stillness and quietude, in order for the nous to be ready to be illuminated, because sin originates in the imagination.