There are two kinds of Arctic problems, the imaginary and the real.Of the two, the imaginary are the most real.Vilhjalmur Stefansson: 1945 TheArctic in Fact and Fable.
It is folly to anticipate evils, and madness to create imaginary ones.john adams: (4 August 1796)
Seeks painted trifles and fantastic toys,And eagerly pursues imaginary joys.mark akenside: The Virtuoso (1737), Stanza x.
That any should suffer forever, lingering on in hopeless despair, and rolling amidst infinite torments without the possibility of alleviation and without end; that since God can save men and will save a part, he has not proposed to save all — these are real, not imaginary, difficulties... My whole soul pants for light and relief on these questions. But I get neither; and in the distress and anguish of my own spirit, I confess that I see no light whatever. I see not one ray to disclose to me why sin came into the world; why the earth is strewn with the dying and the dead; and why man must suffer to all eternity. I have never seen a particle of light thrown on these subjects, that has given a moment's ease to my tortured mind... I confess, when I look on a world of sinners and sufferers — upon death-beds and grave-yards — upon the world of woe filled with hosts to suffer for ever: when I see my friends, my family, my people, my fellow citizens when I look upon a whole race, all involved in this sin and danger — and when I see the great mass of them wholly unconcerned, and when I feel that God only can save them, and yet he does not do so, I am stuck dumb. It is all dark, dark, dark to my soul, and I cannot disguise it.albert barnes: Practical Sermons Designed for Vacant Congregations and Families (1841), Sermon VIII : God Is Worthy of Confidence, p. 123.
The only excuse for a novelist, aside from the entertainment and vicarious living his books give the people who read them, is as a sort of second-class historian of the age he lives in. The "reality" he missed by writing about imaginary people, he gains by being able to build a reality more nearly out of his own factual experience than a plain historian or biographer can.john dos passos: "Statement of Belief," Bookman, Sept 1928
To say that a thing is imaginary is not to dispose of it in the realm of mind, for the imagination, or the image making faculty, is a very important part of our mental functioning. An image formed by the imagination is a reality from the point of view of psychology; it is quite true that it has no physical existence, but are we going to limit reality to that which is material? We shall be far out of our reckoning if we do, for mental images are potent things, and although they do not actually exist on the physical plane, they influence it far more than most people suspect.dion fortune: Dion Fortune, Spiritualism and Occultism
Love the battle between chaos and imagination.Remember: Acting is living truthfully in imaginary circumstances.Remember: Acting is the way to live the greatest number of lives.Remember: Acting is the same as real life, lived intentionally.Never forget: The Fruit is out on the end of the limb. Go there.robert fulghum: "Alice-Alice" in Third Wish (2006)
Don't let us make imaginary evils, when you know we have so many real ones to encounter.Oliver Goldsmith: Act I, Scene 1
I always thought of muses as sacrificial lambs, tamping down their own unwieldy creative impulses as they offer themselves for delectation by male geniuses. But Elizabeth Hand suggests in a recent essay that the connection is perilous for both parties: "The threat of one being consumed or obliterated by the other is constant. Yet it is precisely this tension, this tango macabre, that underscores the erotic nature of the relationship between artist and muse, suspended as it is between longing and dread, the yearning to possess and the knowledge that capture is so often destructive of the very object of desire."This tango macabre is the core of Mortal Love, Hand's latest novel. ... Calling Mortal Love "an imaginary tree with roots in the real world," Hand laces the novel with real historical figures like Algernon Swinburne and Lady Wilde (Oscar's folktale-spinning mother) and drops in amusing literary allusions and references to artists like Brian Jones and Kurt Cobain, who have themselves been scorched by the muse. ... The novel succeeds as both a thriller and a meditation on the mysterious nature of inspiration.elizabeth hand: Joy Press, in "Cling Muse" in The Village Voice (20 July 2004)
Revolutionary feminism embraces men who are able to change, who are capable of responding mutually in a subject-to-subject encounter where desire and fulfillment are in no way linked to coercive subjugation. This feminist vision of the sexual imaginary is the space few men seem able to enter.bell hooks: Outlaw Culture - Resisting Representations (1994) ISBN 0-415-90811-6
Understand then all of you, especially the young, that to want to impose an imaginary state of government on others by violence is not only a vulgar superstition, but even a criminal work. Understand that this work, far from assuring the well-being of humanity is only a lie, a more or less unconscious hypocrisy, camouflaging the lowest passions we posses.Leo Tolstoy, passage written for for The Law of Love and the Law of Violence (1908), released in 1917, as quoted in Equality in Liberty and Justice (2001) by Antony Flew, p. 89
The philosophy of anarchism is included in the word " Liberty "; yet it is comprehensive enough to include all things else that are conducive to progress . No barriers whatever to [[human] progression, to thought , or investigation are placed by anarchism; nothing is considered so true or so certain, that future discoveries may not prove it false; therefore, it has but one infallible, unchangeable motto, " Freedom ." Freedom to discover any truth , freedom to develop, to live naturally and fully. Other schools of thought are composed of crystallized ideas :;principles that are caught and impaled between the planks of long platforms, and considered too sacred to be disturbed by a close investigation. In all other "issues" there is always a limit; some imaginary boundary line beyond which the searching mind dare not penetrate, lest some pet idea melt into a myth . But anarchism is the usher of science the master of ceremonies to all forms of truth . It would remove all barriers between the human being and natural development.Lucy Parsons, in The Principles of Anarchism
I don't get that -- people going to war over religion. I don't know, I could see going to war over justice or democracy or even revenge. But if you're going to war over religion, now you're just killing people in an argument over who has the better imaginary friend.richard jeni: CC Presents: Richard Jeni, aired 5 May 2002.
Rebellion against technology and civilization is real rebellion, a real attack on the values of the existing system. But the green anarchists, anarcho-primitivists, and so forth (The "GA Movement") have fallen under such heavy influence from the left that their rebellion against civilization has to great extent been neutralized. Instead of rebelling against the values of civilization, they have adopted many civilized values themselves and have constructed an imaginary picture of primitive societies that embodies these civilized values.theodore kaczynski: Letter to M. K.
His supposed mythomania is in direct relation to his tremendous imagination. That is to say, he is as much of a liar as the poets or as the children who have not yet been turned into idiots by school or mothers. I have heard him tell all kinds of lies: from the most innocent, to the most complicated stories about people whom his imagination combined in a fantastic situation or actions, always with a great sense of humor and a marvelous critical sense; but I have never heard him say a single stupid or banal lie. Lying, or playing at lying, he unmasks many people, he learns the interior mechanism of others, who are much more ingenuously liars than he, and the most curious thing about the supposed lies of Diego, is that in the long and short of it, those who are involved in the imaginary combination become angry, not because of the lie, but because of the truth contained in the lie, that always comes to the surface.frida kahlo: On Diego Rivera, in "Portrait of Diego" [Retrato de Diego] (22 January 1949), first published in Hoy (Mexico City) and posthumously (17 July 1955) in Novedades (Mexico City): "México en la Cultura"
"'Queer' derives its force precisely through the repeated invocation by which it has become linked to accusation, pathologization, insult. This is an invocation by which a social bond among homophobic communities is formed through time. The interpellation echoes past interpellations, and binds the speakers, as if they spoke in unison across time. In this sense, it is always an imaginary chorus that taunts 'queer'".Butler, Judith (1993). Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of "Sex", p.226. New York: Routledge.
The bulk of the world’s knowledge is an imaginary construction.helen keller: The Five-sensed World (1910)
The phenomena of Mesmerism could be salvaged by physicians adopting a more rational and scientific approach, while avoiding the worst excesses of its metaphysical speculations. Moreover, in a discussion of similar ideas propounded by the philosopher Francis Bacon, he specifically recommends that physicians, like Braid, should develop a ‘doctrine of the bond between mind and body’ (i.e., Braid’s “psycho-physiology”). Moreover, Stewart urges enquiry into ‘the effect of fixing and concentrating the attention, in giving to ideal [i.e., imaginary] objects the power of realities over the belief.Dugald Stewart, in “The Original Philosophy of Hypnotherapy (from The Discovery of Hypnosis)”
You know, whenever women make imaginary female kingdoms in literature, they are always very permissive, to use the jargon word, and easy and generous and self-indulgent, like the relationships between women when there are no men around. They make each other presents, and they have little feasts, and nobody punishes anyone else. This is the female way of going along when there are no men about or when men are not in the ascendant.doris lessing: New York Times Book Review (30 March 1980), p. 24
If you are a preacher of mercy, do not preach an imaginary but the true mercy. If the mercy is true, you must therefore bear the true, not an imaginary sin. God does not save those who are only imaginary sinners. Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong (sin boldly), but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides. We, however, says Peter (2. Peter 3:13) are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth where justice will reign.Martin Luther: Letter 99, Paragraph 13. Erika Bullmann Flores, Tr. from: Dr. Martin Luther's Saemmtliche SchriftenDr. Johann Georg Walch Ed. (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, N.D.), Vol. 15, cols. 2585-2590. 
I am putting real plums into an imaginary cake.mary mccarthy: Commenting on her novel The Group. New York Herald Tribune (5 January 1964)
I had won notable victories on paper and the map with the aid of greaseproof pencils and a typewriter. In the course of this very campaign, if one may dignify the disaster thus, I had seen French generals create imaginary "masses of manoeuvre" with strokes of the crayon and dispose of hostile concentrations, that unahappily were on the ground as well as on the map, with sweeps of the eraser. Who was I to criticise them, hero as I was of a hundred "Chinagraph wars" of make-believe?frederick e. morgan: Peace and War: A Soldier's Life (1961), p. 138
[Calvin] is a combination of a six year old boy and wise old sage. His imagination takes him to places in another dimension. Enter Hobbes. Hobbes is the consummate best friend, albeit imaginary. Hobbes is a stuffed tiger to everyone but Calvin. To Calvin, Hobbes is an entity. The relationship between Calvin and Hobbes is a perfect fit. Hobbes is the active listener, the clarifier, and in some ways, Calvin's conscience. Together, they ponder the universe, the meaning of life, the reasons for bullies, and whether or not there are monsters under the bed.p. iv (Who Are Calvin and Hobbes?)
'Tis surprising to see how rapidly a panic will sometimes run through a country. All nations and ages have been subject to them. Britain has trembled like an ague at the report of a French fleet of flat-bottomed boats; and in the fourteenth [sic (actually the fifteenth)] century the whole English army, after ravaging the kingdom of France, was driven back like men petrified with fear; and this brave exploit was performed by a few broken forces collected and headed by a woman, Joan of Arc. Would that heaven might inspire some Jersey maid to spirit up her countrymen, and save her fair fellow sufferers from ravage and ravishment! Yet panics, in some cases, have their uses; they produce as much good as hurt. Their duration is always short; the mind soon grows through them, and acquires a firmer habit than before. But their peculiar advantage is, that they are the touchstones of sincerity and hypocrisy, and bring things and men to light, which might otherwise have lain forever undiscovered. In fact, they have the same effect on secret traitors, which an imaginary apparition would have upon a private murderer. They sift out the hidden thoughts of man, and hold them up in public to the world. Many a disguised Tory has lately shown his head, that shall penitentially solemnize with curses the day on which Howe arrived upon the Delaware.thomas paine: The Crisis No. I
I have laid the stick that connects people together. Now it is up to you, your generation and the generations to come, to build upon that stick a bridge that will ensure the free sharing of information and teaching between the two peoples until the day we become united again as a single people, as we were once before; before men separated us with their imaginary political boundaries of today's Polynesia and Micronesia.mau piailug: From Baybayan, Chad Kalepa (2010-07-29). "Piailug's greatest lesson is that we are a single people". Honolulu Star-Advertiser