~”Pure Imagination” from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
A couple weeks ago I was having dinner with a friend and I told him about an audio book I was listening to, a biography of C. S. Lewis.
“Wasn’t that guy on a lot of drugs?” he asked.
“No, I think you’re thinking of Lewis Carroll, the guy who wrote ‘Alice in Wonderland’. C. S. Lewis wrote ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’.” I pointed out.
“Right, well both of them must have been on drugs. There’s no way they could have imagined those stories without drugs. There’s just no way.”
I pointed out that neither of these men were under any sort of influence when they conceived of these stories-it was pure imagination. It didn’t matter to my friend that I told him the real stories behind these men and the creation of their stories; he refused to believe that they could have done it without some sort of psychedelic aid. This baffled and bothered me, and I later went to my journal to try to write out why this was so. Why is it that people believe that creative genius’ like that of Carroll and Lewis could only create masterpieces like “Alice in Wonderland” and “The Chronicles of Narnia” with the aid of drugs?
Perhaps some people feel that the only way they can ‘tap into’ or ‘release’ their creative side is by taking drugs. Otherwise their own mind’s own rationality limits their creative impulses. Perhaps the left side of their brain is holding the right side captive, and drugs are the only way they know how to release it. Being a very right-brained person myself, I’ll admit that I don’t know how a person whose life is dominated by the left side of their brain might think, but I’ll at least recognize that our ways of viewing the world will offer different perspectives. While I see magic and adventure, my friend sees rational explanations and linear logic. While different, both perceptions are completely acceptable. Why is it then, that a world viewed through lenses of creativity and whimsy, isn’t viewed as achievable with only the power of one’s imagination?
For those of you who aren’t familiar with how the timeless children’s classics of “Alice in Wonderland” and “The Chronicles of Narnia” came about, I offer you the non-drug-enhanced truth: