Imagination Is Closer To Truth Than You Think

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Quote:Natalia Vorontsova talks to Dr Tom Cheetham about active imagination, consciousness and life-changing experiences in the context of the philosophy and theology of Henry Corbin, Ibn Arabi and Surhawardi. Tom offers a unique perspective on post-materialist science, having come full circle from scientific materialism through Jungian psychology and Sufi mysticism to the realization that science is not an obstacle to accessing the transcendent. It's a thought-provoking conversation about the nature of reality and what it means to be human. You can find out more about Tom's work at

00:00  Intro: Accessing reality through imagination.

03:58 Corbin saved my soul! From scientific materialism to philosophy of Henry Corbin.

Can we do natural sciences outside of materialist reductive paradigm? 

18:10 Transformative experiences. Crazy stuff? Angels, paranormal, UFOs.

Are emotions just chemistry, and love not important? What's imagination for?

Literalism and fundamentalism. Literalizing - a mode of imagining. It's just love?

54:39 Access to the sacred: imaginal vs. imaginary. Mundus Imaginalis - the imaginal realm.

01:06:30 It's all imagination down and up! Corbin's Neoplatonic cosmology in the 21st century.

01:17:43 Where's our consciousness? Relationship: brain - mind/soul/consciousness.

What if our world queerer than we can suppose? Consciousness & language.

01:25:37 Sacred plant medicine experiences. Matter-mind, substance-meaning.

01:28:18 Success in sciences: mixed blessing? Learnings from indigenous cultures.

Science tells the truth? Our connection with arts, music, literature.

Corbin's theology: human-angel relationship. Can we retrieve the imagination?

Should we keep or abolish Corbin's cosmology?

01:56:15 Nature of reality: metaphysics of Corbin, Ibn Arabi and Suhrawardi.

Does materialism destroy the world? On the richness of being: living is glory!

02:16:40 I didn't choose Corbin, he chose me! Recommended literature.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell

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