The imaginal realm is known in Islamic philosophy as alam al-mithal, the imaginal world. According to Avicenna, the imagination mediated between, and thus unified, human reason and divine being. This mediating quality manifested in two directions: on the one hand, reason, rising above itself, could attain to the level of active imagination, an activity shared with the lower hierarchies of the divine realm. On the other hand, in order to manifest the concrete forms of the world, divinity created a range of intermediate beings, the angelic co-creators of the universe. According to philosophers of this tradition, the trained imagination can access a "nonspatial fabric" which mediates between the empirical/sensory and the cognititional/spiritual realms.
Through Averroes, mainstream Islamic philosophy lost its relationship to the active imagination. The Sufi movement in Persia, as exemplified by Ibn Arabi, continued to explore contemplative approaches to the imaginal realm.
Read more about this topic: Active Imagination
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“It is characteristic of the epistemological tradition to present us with partial scenarios and then to demand whole or categorical answers as it were.”
—Avrum Stroll (b. 1921)