I think the failure of imagination occurs after ineffable encounters with the Divine, when we try to shoehorn that experience into existing language and concepts, subjugating it to our own ego and intellect. If instead we accept the tenuousness of an initial knowing (in the sense of gnosis
), and let go of our compulsion to process, contextualize or communicate the experience definitively, then we can rest lightly in nondiscursive awareness…and in fact deepen it over time. We could say that imagination is involved here, as close kin to the willing suspension of conclusiveness; to be curious and open regarding spiritual perception-cognition demands a frame of mind not unlike imagination. What is possible? What is not possible? The creative mind can tolerate ambiguity, possibility and uncertainty here, whereas the mechanistic mind cannot. However, the term “imagination” hints at perceptions and constructions well beyond the intuitive - even into the realm of apophenia and self-delusion - so I would shy away from using that word. Instead, I might say such failure is one of genuine openness, willingness and humility when exploring nondiscursive, contentless or contextless states.
(From Quora question: https://www.quora.com/Is-mankinds-overall-failure-to-know-God-actually-a-failure-of-imagination
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