Imagination is the ability to perceive realities that are not immediately present. It is not about “make believe,” but “make real.” It makes the abstract concrete and provides the “bare facts” with a dimension of meaning they would otherwise lack. It’s what allows us to see a world in a grain of sand – or in anything else – and eternity in an hour. Fundamentally, it’s what makes us human. Without it all the riches in the world are worthless. With it, the humblest quarters are an Aladdin’s cave.

Gary Lachman is the author of twenty-three books on the meeting ground between consciousness, culture, and the western esoteric tradition including Beyond the Robot: The Life and Work of Colin Wilson, and Lost Knowledge of the Imagination.