Rationality and Imagination

I love this quote from the Rambam in Moreh Nevuchim, “guide for the perplexed”, Chapter 2, No. 37

The intellectual influx, flowing on the rational faculty alone, and not in the imaginative faculty—this is the condition of the class of men of science engaged in philosophical speculation.

On the other hand, the influx impinging on both the rational and imaginative faculties—is characteristic of the class of the prophets.

And again, the flow reaching the imaginative faculty alone, while the rational is deficient—characterises the class of politicians, legislators, magicians, soothsayers, clairvoyants, and wonder workers. Seeing as they are not men of science, they all belong to the third class

The Rambam was criticised, among other things, for writing this Guide, and it is not permitted to be read in many “enlightened” Yeshivos today. My view is that each generation needs a new edition of the Guide for the Perplexed.

Author: pitputim

I've enjoyed being a computer science professor in Melbourne, Australia, as well as band leader/singer for the Schnapps Band. My high schooling was in Chabad and I continued at Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh in Israel and later in life at Machon L'Hora'ah, Yeshivas Halichos Olam.

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