A conversation with Patrick Harpur on the subject of Imagination and Vision; Blake and Tradition, followed by a Q&A with the author.
Patrick Harpur is the author of The Philosophers’ Secret Fire: A history of the Imagination (‘Sublime’ – The Guardian, ‘Casual brilliance’ – the Independent), Daimonic Reality: A Field Guide to the Otherworld and the novel, Mercurius: The Marriage of Heaven and Earth (‘The most explicit account of the alchemical art ever published’ – The Literary Review).
Patrick Harpur in interview
‘Blake was able, in the crucible of imagination, to forge us back into unity with the world.’
‘For the way we see the world can restore its soul, and the way the world is ensouled can restore our vision.’
‘The only concern of the Primary Imagination, wrote another poet, W.H. Auden, is with sacred beings and events. They cannot be anticipated, he says — they must be encountered.’
‘Even those of us who hold a high Romantic view of imagination find it hard to picture what it was, for instance, to the melancholic magus, Marsilio Ficino, whose famous academy was the beating heart of Florence, as Florence was the heart of the Renaissance. For him, as for his Neoplatonic mentors, the cosmos was the realm of imagination itself through which the stars like archetypes — like gods — moved, moving us with the emanations of their vis imaginativa, imaginative power.’