Thursday, February 11, 2010

What Is Imagination and How Do You Use It?

What is imagination? Is it useful and if so, how do you use it and/or can it be a hindrance?
In a brief discussion dedicated to imagination (De Anima iii 3), Aristotle identifies it as “that in virtue of which an image occurs in us” (De Anima iii 3, 428aa1-2), where this is evidently given a broad range of application to the activities involved in thoughts, dreams, and memories.   Both Husserl  and Sartre theorized imagination as picture consciousness, and Sartre wrote two books on the imagination early in his career, defining imagination as the synthesis of our knowledge of  and our intention, and imaginary objects as a "melange of past impressions and recent knowledge" (The Imaginary 90)
Dr. Carl G. Jung said, “All the works of man have their origin in creative fantasy. What right have we then to depreciate imagination.”  His psychology emphasized Active Imagination as a method for visualizing unconscious issues by letting them act themselves out.   Active Imagination personifies the "parts" of us that are talking -- to create more clarity or even resolution that might not be possible with ordinary linear problem-solving. 
Cognitive psychology focused on mental imagery in the 1970s. Great claims continue to be made, by some, for the healing powers of guided imagery, whereby clients (or patients) are encouraged to visualize particular scenes or scenarios thought to have therapeutic value (e.g., Rossman, 2000). Guided imagery techniques have been claimed to be effective for purposes ranging from chronic pain relief (e.g., Fontaine, 2000) to breast enlargement and global spiritual renewal (Willard, 1977; Ekstein, 2001)  Currently, Noetic Science (the study of how thoughts interact with the physical world) continues these studies. 
Imagination is not limited to only seeing pictures in the mind, it includes all the five senses and the feelings.  Imagination makes it possible to experience a whole world inside the mind. It gives the ability to look at any situation from a different point of view, and enables one to mentally explore the past and the future.  Is imagination the common thread that unites creative endeavors?
According to the Dictionary of Philosophy of Mind : “despite being a familiar word of everyday language, imagination is a very complex, contested, and evaluatively loaded concept. It, like many cognate terms, often appears to have radically different senses and connotations when used in different contexts.” 
What do YOU think?


Esoman said...

According to the fourth way, imagination is of two kinds, Active and Passive. Active imagination (positive) would be what we use to create structures and artistic endeavours, as in the case of architectural engineering and works of art. This creates force.

Passive imagination is the negative aspect, and eats force rather than creates it. This would be found in the category of daydreams, fantasies and fears.

Gurdjieff used a esoteric parable / fable, in his description of the creation of imagination. Which goes something like this;

"In the early stages of creation it was found by the powers that be, that the seeding of the earth with the human spirit, was advancing and developing too quickly. Thus causing trouble for the whole of creation. They called forth the chief engineer and disclosed the problem and its ramifications. The chief engineer after pondering the problem, said that he could arrange it. Thus the power of imagination was born and sown on the earth. From that point on mankind would have difficulty distinguishing reality, from imagination, and all was put back in order again."

The interesting thing is, passive imagination can become active in conjunction with the primal triad. A reversal of forces happens. Then a dream can become reality. The majority of the time though, it just eats force from its victim.


Yeliz said...

I agree..I think ─░magination is the one of strings of our mental and physical world,what would be if our imaginations did nt exists..

Dennis said...

Imagination is future reality. It's the beginning of ideas and inventions. However, we have to ability to use it - write a book, build it, share it, etc. We could even hold it in our mind, where it will eventually die with us.

Jack said...

Imagination Usually the making of mental pictures; but this is actually merely fancy; imagination is "one of the plastic powers of the higher Soul, the memory of preceding incarnations, which, however, disfigured by the lower Manas, yet rests always on a ground of truth" (TG 153). Imagination is therefore a creative power which, used in conjunction with will, calls forth not only creative forces, but likewise their productions. Thus it can be used for spiritualization and also for the materialization of images conceived in the mind; to bring about the results we desire, whether good or evil. It may become our master, chaining us to the illusions we have created; when, however, we can direct this power and resist its suggestions of fancy, it becomes a powerful instrument in shaping our lives and destiny.

Nabil said...

I wonder if the world is what it is, because we imagine it to be so.
In other words, does the world exists on its own as we see it, or do we create the way we know it?
I think the latter is probably true, thanks to our imagination.

Jack said...

All the characters in the movie, "Matrix", were within one individual. Neo, and Agent Smith; Union, and Resistance. Trinity carried Neo as far as she could, Neo assured the Source he would be victorious over Agent Smith. Once this promise was kept, the automatrix, as well as the matrix, were at peace. Hey! I'm only using my imagination, don't shoot me. : ) I'm only giving my impression of this movie being about one man. Successful Initiation. Fulfilled all objectives, Mission success.

The top and bottom of a sphere can pass through, one the other. Only these parts can. Thus, a sphere can turn itself inside out. Consciousness, and subconciousness, added to the former, give one the impression that binary thought is important. I'm still gathering pieces, I know nothing, while I strive to know something. Rather than knowing nothing, its more accurate to say I know very little, yet I think it is important to try to know as much as one may. Spiritual gifts, or attained aspirations in this area, have collateral integuments which cause grief. Funny, as I wrote that last, I remember the same said of gaining much knowledge. Well... what is grief, but simply one more form to acknowledge in the degree of intensity, in accordance to the individuals attachment to such things. Many people will actually chain themselves to a painful emotion, passion, and place a lock on the chain, and throw away the key.

Oh Hephaestus, why do you prod me so?

Mathieu said...

To approach Nabil's idea.

The planetary logos is a part of the solar logos which is a part of the galactic logos etc.
We all live 'within' the planetary logos. So to some extent the world partially is what we think of it.
We as the human race have a drastic influence on the world. Humanity apparently is one of the main centers of the planet, along with, for instance Shamballa, 'where the will of god is known'.

A bit off-topic but here is an excerpt from Benjamin Creme on Shamballa:

"Shamballa is a centre of energy, the major centre in the planet. It corresponds to the crown centre in the head in man, and from it and through it flows the energy we call Will. In fact, all the energies flow through Shamballa, but the specific energy which we call the Shamballa force is the energy of Will or Purpose, which embodies the Purpose or Plan of God; God being that great Being who ensouls this planet, and who is reflected on the physical plane (because Shamballa is a physical centre, in etheric physical matter) as Sanat Kumara, the Eternal Youth."

It could be said that we obviously do not see the world as it really is, we all look at it with a human eye and some fairly basic mental principles.

Nabil said: "In other words, does the world exists on its own as we see it, or do we create the way we know it?"

I personally would say that these two are the same. The way we see the world and how it really is are not two separate things, if that makes any sense. Our scope of perception is limited, but what we see is real, eventho it is not reality as a whole.

I will try to find paragraphs and quotes about imagination but it is fairly common to read about it in A.A.B's books. Another good and easy read would be 'the mental plane' by Lieutenant-Colonel A. E Powell.

Thanks Jack for these ideas, good hindsight. Matrix is such a good movie. After all these years I too get back to its richness and analogical potential every now and then.

Aurora said...

I think the word "imagination" is used for a multitude of perceptual textures and arriving at anything conclusive using that framework might be difficult. Of course there are always many ways to frame speculation and it can be fun!

For example, I can close my eyes and execute an inner "opening" of them that reveals a circular dreaming door before me. I can enter that doorway into a dream domain that is more real than this consensual dreamworld. Sooo, which one is imagination? And why would either be called imagination?

Ron said...

Your preface to the question seems to cover all the aspects of imagination. My only response to the query is a personal observation and a metaphor. I view my imagination as a place of departure, much like an airport. When I am presented with a problem, I sit in the waiting room and wait for my “flight of fancy” The planes and the people leave and return bringing back stories of adventure and discovery. My waiting room observations trigger an impulse to board a plane and search for a solution to my problems. Sometimes the trip is a dead-end but over time each trip yields a “piece of the puzzle.

I don’t know if the puzzle will ever be solved. However, the “flights of fancy” have enriched my life.

Annie said...

Thanks for the thorough perspective on imagination, we could speak volumes on the different aspects you mention. picture consciousness - creative fantasy - synthesis of our knowledge of and our intention - mental imagery - visualizing unconscious issues by letting them act themselves out - thoughts that enact with the physical world - imagination makes it possible to experience a whole world inside of the mind, past and future - creative endeavors

I think we can orient ourselves to use imagination as the primary means for most of our being in the world, it may lead to many psychological problems if at an early age one finds a preference towards this way of relating to reality but not for the reasons one may think. I think a child could easily survive this and possibly become quite adept if our schools and organizations practiced methods to accommodate this way of thinking. Most of the trauma experienced would be a failure to walk the path of the ordained conditioning, but hindsight reveals that the structure did not support what may have been considered a “lefty” by comparison rather than disassociated or dysfunctional.

Why is it that all the great artist or great thinkers found their youth so discomforting - that may be an over generalization but I think there may be enough evidence for that, I have also found a kinship with the gays and lesbians because they were an identified dysfunctional group - more easily distinguished. I think they could even be considered more fortunate because at least they knew what was different.

It may be that those who lacked the balance found life even less displeasing, and it could very well be the cause of their preference and yet I think that what ever pain they had to endure the end result was of benefit to all.

I guess I am using an extreme case but as I said above balancing imagination with reason and logic would have created a more diversified individual and yet I think a certain passion or preoccupation may have been missed.

Jennifer said...

It's hard for me to pass up a meta-experience. I love them so.

"What is imagination?"

I believe that imagination is a pre-conscious reflex of the brain and nervous system that reacts to stimuli from the senses (UR). It is not so much limited to a visual or a picture as it is lacking language. These are different things. It is unlikely that imagination can be halted completely, indefinitely, and I believe that it is unwise to try. It can, however, be observed from the outside so that the self is not identified with it.

As someone studying Magic, I am being informed by the images of imagination which the various esoteric schools teach. The one I am currently using (answers the next question) is that the Moon is the "planet" which bestows Imagination on humanity. Each planet bestows different gifts, and this is the gift of the Moon. From this starting place, one begins the journey to enlightenment. The reason it marks the beginning is because it was the last gift given which grounded us here in the material realm and made us completely identify with our animal natures (answers the last question).

Imagination is the glue which holds us to the pre-conscious reactions of the animal in us. I saw a video the other day on TED which offered an interesting suggestion: that the ancient cave paintings of animals and hunting were not about hunting magic, but were nostalgic pictures of our relatives that we no longer talk to and relate with. When we pulled away from the herd, we missed our parents, so we drew pictures of them on the walls. This idea is a unit of imagination. It may be right, it may be wrong, but it makes sense to us in some way.

While animals may not imagine things in the details that we do, nor have language to add to these units, they too project meaning into events. This is how they can anticipate things such as an enemy approaching or a mate or friend returning after being gone. At some point, we expanded on that theme, and we realized that there was so much more going on that we could interact with, but the beloved animals could not.

But we could not see ourselves imagining yet. We only saw things out there that were not self and we saw those things being either malevolent or benevolent. And we identified with our reactions to those things. We were scared, we were hurt, we were angry, we were happy, we were jealous, etc. These were elements contained in our self - our being. There was no separation. We were carried by these units of imagination from act to act slavishly for good or ill. Our gods reflected our need to be carried to the Good.

"Is it useful?"

Yes. I am learning how to use it with intention as a Therapeutic Healing Technology.

"...and if so, how do you use it?.."

Just last night I used a thought form that I created to go to sleep. I call her "Mum" and she is the Mother that soothes and reassures you and greets you as you fall asleep and arise from sleep. The soul was designed to be carried by such a being into and out of the act of sleep, but in the absence of that being in my material life, I had to make one up. I wish I could quantify the degree to which this has helped me. My mind quieted and my heart rate and breathing slowed and my body relaxed within seconds. The lower animal mind does not know or care about the difference between a "real" Mum and an imagined one, because as The Matrix taught us "Real is just electrical signals interpreted by your brain." To the lower mind, she is a Savior. To my higher mind she is an imaginary being. Both are true.

Jennifer said...

Today, before I started my day, I spent some time at my Altar and talked to Quan Yin. She is my "Goddess" of choice. She has helped me, along with others, to learn from my body and lower mind and use the torment as a stepping stone to healing. I created her to do just this. And I chose her because if there ever was such a bodhisattva, the tradition says she offered herself for this exact purpose.

So, since I have put so much work in creating her Presence and Intention, the image now gives back to me by teaching me immediately as I give her my attention. I don't have to wait for her Presence to emerge or separate out or develop as I sit. She is there immediately. I came to her with pain, and she sorted it out wordlessly and showed me exactly what must be done. I had the solution within seconds. And as soon as I acted on this information, a ten-ton weight was lifted off my shoulders.

"...and/or can it be a hindrance?"

Yes. As I mentioned above, the imagination is the bridge or the hand-cuffs which attaches us to our animal nature. When understood and turned to serve the intention of the self, it is an incredibly powerful force which serves the self. If not understood and left to it's own devices it can destroy the self - as it has done to me for most of my life so far. For people with PTSD the imagination victimizes them day in and day out, torturing them in the hell of the living. One is carried this way and that, from one nightmarish memory to the next, compelled to act for good or ill or to dissociate. The original images are hard-wired in and cannot be removed. They must be enveloped by larger images - as Keith Witt talked about - which make better sense of them and free the self from their grip.

The imagination will continue to generate images and stories until we're dead. We're stuck with it. But we can turn this to our advantage if we study what the ancients have learned about this process. With our added rational, higher thinking mind along for the ride, we can only improve on this process and make it even more efficient.

Carl said...

Meister Eckhart once said, "The eye with which I see God is the eye with which he sees me."

Consider this: Spirit (or ruah, in Hebrew terminology) is completely separate from the Cosmos (all matter/energy/space/time). Yet, despite this, man continues to be a spiritual being. How can that be?

Immanuel Kant, in his Critique of Pure Reason, had some interesting thoughts about imagination, which he considered to be founded within our ability to synthesize ideas: "I mean synthesis in the most general sense of the word: the act of adding together diverse representations so as to comprehend this diversity in knowledge. Synthesis in general is [...] the simple act of the imagination, that is to say, of a human faculty that is blind but indispensable, and without which we could never have any sort of knowledge, though we are only rarely aware of this."

The Irish philospher George Berkely (like many mystics before him) proposed the theory of Subjective Idealism. He argued that matter does not exist apart from its being perceived - that all qualities are known only in the mind, and that it is the observing Mind of God that makes possible the apparent existence of all material objects.

And in the Gospel of Mary Magdalene we find:

[Page 10]

(1) Peter said to Mary: (2) "Sister, we know that the Teacher loved you (3) differently than other women. (4) Tell us whatever you remember (5) of any words he told you (6) which we have not yet heard." (7) Mary said unto them: (8) "I will now speak to you (9) of that which has not been given to you to hear. (10) I had a vision of the Teacher, (11) and I said to him: (12) 'Lord, I see you now (13) in this vision.' (14) And he answered: (15) 'You are blessed, for the sight of me does not disturb you. (16) There where is the nous, lies the treasure.' (17) Then I said to him: (18) 'Lord, when someone meets you (19) in a Moment of vision, (20) is it through the soul that they see, (21) or is it through the Spirit?' (22) The Teacher answered: (23) It is neither through the soul or the spirit, (24) but the nous between the two (25) which sees the vision, and it is this which [...]

By this we can see that the nous is something in-between a man's soul and God's Spirit... in-between the visible and the invisible, the material and the immaterial. The nous then is where/how the real and the Divine meet, and are conjoined. Or to say it in different terms, the nous is where the imaginary and The Imaginal are bridged and become One.

It is what makes The Law of Attraction work.

Vamadevananda said...

The fascinating aspect of imagination is that it challenges and mocks at our notions of ' reality,' whatever that may mean. Hence, ' realistic ' art can only be for the king's court or feudal mansions.

Most often, our reality is our vocation, the workplace, the work we do for money, all that money buys, food, sex, shelter, entertainment through the senses, family, status ... It is this ' reality ' that is pitched against imagination, a la vis a vis, as being opposites, as being of value and not.

In truth, imagination is not contrary to reality and, as I view it, art is nothing if not rebellious.

Neil said...

Imagination may be the route into more than 5 senses (science admits to about 20). There is definitely a point in science when one is guessing and imagining what reality might be - the as yet fantastic (yet maths and model driven) multiverse explanations being an example of what we may be able to "see". I believe there is something much bleaker we refuse to see, pretty much the extent to which we allow evil to plot its banal path in our politics with insufficient 'blinking' to see there is another and necessary reality we should be living, a need to snap the chains of illusion to see our complicity with this evil.

Gibbs said...

If everyone in the world would take a trip into their inner space, identify their internal splits, find a method to reconcile them, peace would break out in short order.

Steve said...

I view imagination as an energy modeler. It's a gift that allow us to give birth to new thoughts, intentions, solutions and creations. All greatest inventions are born from the imagination of it's authors. Imagination give us also the fantastic ability to project ourselves in the future. But as the future is just an illusion, I would say that imagination allow us to experience different perspectives of the present moment.

Anonymous said...

You can reproduce and duplicate any perception you have ever encountered, in your imagination. A friend or dear one does not need to be physically present for you to think of him. Nor do you have to be in your living room in order to see its contents. You can see the plains of Kansas, the mountains of Colorado, or the ...great Mississippi River without being there. So when we think from the premise of this as a world of imagination, we start on solid ground, for imagination is He who creates reality. There is no fiction in the true sense of the world, for when a state is imagined, it is created. Prayer is imagination drenched in feeling. A desire, drenched in the feeling of fulfillment, objectifies itself. This I know to be true; so regardless of what the world thinks, when you reproduce anything in your mind it takes on form in your outer world.

Everything here was once only imagined. The clothes you wear, the chair in which you are now seated, the building which houses you - all were first only imagined. Everything begins and ends in the human imagination. The source of all phenomena is Divine Imagining, which is God Himself! - Neville Goddard

jack said...

"I personally would say that these two are the same. The way we see the world and how it really is are not two separate things, if that makes any sense."

It makes sense to me Mathieu. I'm reminded of the Amitabha Buddha. I also remember hells being the term for every Sphere, only in that there is One Most High. So a reference used being the word hell, is simply the idea they are, but only in comparison to the Highest. Hell is only a term relevant by comparison. Amitabha contemplated long on imagining a heaven. If we considered for the moment, the humanity on this globe as being one individual, we then see the underlying cause for the current state of this globe.

I suppose we imagine as a whole, and this world and its current state reflects this. One man may imagine the most wonderful existence, but it possesses relevance once he leaves his deceased body. We are living here and why should we not imagine for this place a better condition?

When power is the focus, it immediately implies immaturity. More evolving is necessary. Highly evolved humans are not seeking power, instead they are seeking ethics.

Nabil said...

" Imagination is not limited to only seeing pictures in the mind, it includes all the five senses and the feelings. Imagination makes it"

It is true that we can imagine taste and smell. I can always imagine the smell of my favorite dish, and the sound of the ocean.

I wonder what role does imagination plays in the formation of our scientific understanding and theories. Is it possible that the science we know and accept, even the experimental part, is part of the way we collectively decide what the world is?
I have heard arguments that suggested that it may be so. They suggest that our theories are limited to our ability to observe and measure reality. Since we have personal and technological limitations, then whatever theories we agree upon depend on our perception through these limitations.

Molly Brogan said...

I do believe, Nabil, that our collective consciousness effects our collective social progress. Likewise, our individual awareness of our unity in consciousness effects our individual viewpoint as it manifests in our experience of the world.

Christina said...

Imagination , as I see here Nabil you can imagine taste and smell our favorite dish, but I think that is more rememberance.

Imagination have in my opinion more to do with something you have not seen,taste,heard or feeled before but you make a new idea.I can imagine a planet as for example Venus, while I have never been there, so it is not a rememberance, but a new idea.

mathieu said...

'Image-ination'... Picturing something in your mind, whether you know it or not, I would say. We tend to blend imagination and creation, or say mental creativity.

I don't think that imagination is only about being able to conceive something new. On the other hand, when we try to imagine the same thing again, it is still new because we imagine it in a slightly different way each time.

So imagination could correspond to Nabil's and Christina's ideas, yeah?

Molly Brogan said...

I think so to. The older I get, the more I find myself reflecting about my children when they were young. I am taken back to a time where I rocked them to sleep. I can see them as they were, swaddled and in my arms. I can smell the baby soap, see into the depths of their eyes. I can feel their appreciation of the song I am singing to them as I watch their droopy little eyes close.

Now, I may be remembering accurately, or I may be embellishing, I don't know. But I don't think it matters as this memory unfolding in imagination is actually serving to connect me to my children on more subtle levels in real time. Can they feel the love I am feeling now for them, even though they are many miles away from me?

Memory and imagination go hand and hand, I think. The example above illustrates awakened imagination as used with memory. However, allowing memories to flood the mind compulsively and at random may stifle awareness. Is there a function of imagination used even there?

Christina said...

It is like the bottle of wine , we buy the same kind and know the taste, imagine and sometimes we notice the taste is different and not what we expected it to be.

That problem can be yours , with the taste.
Also the problem can be wine's quality is not equal.
For me on this level all have to do with remembrance.

We can only imagine what we don't know.
What we know does not need imagination.

Jack said...

If imagination is one of the plastic powers of the higher Soul, the ability to remember past incarnations, then in accordance with our ability to reach higher Soul, I suppose a person can pretty much make any assertion toward illustrating the meaning of the word.

In our current state, I suppose we mostly disfigure it, yet our attempts always rest on a ground of truth. I'm tooling with the definition I submitted earlier. This indicates either we always remember some bit of what our higher Soul remembers completely, or we can't go wrong considering the innumerable events within previous lives.

Christina said...

And what if your higher soul does not remember any life before?
And not to forget the impact of movies, that give us visions not from our own.
Brings the imagination into other worlds, other life etc.

Lanoo said...

We are born with various faculties (including imagination) and we would be foolish to ignore any of them. Rather, we should nurture them and see how we can make them work for and with us. We would also be foolish to let any one of them (including imagination) dominate our other faculties.

I am fascinated by the way we try to use imagination and will-power to achieve similar objectives. Many people seem not to value imagination, but I suspect that it is much more effective and easier to use. A stressful situation will be helped if you can imagine being somewhere else, somewhere less stressful. Much better, when sitting in the dentist’s chair, than saying to yourself “I will not be stressed”!

mathieu said...

I thought about something, not hyper relevant but possibly worth sharing. My grand-ma used to tell me that it is easier to go over a wall than trying to break through it. Of course, over the wall does not mean to go around it.
My mum, when faced with something bigger than what the mind can come up with in order to solve it, says she puts such and such people or a situation 'in the light'. She visualizes, say, two conflicting people, 'in the light', higher up.

We all follow our own path and it is great. I remember reading somewhere... that what makes all of us beautiful and unique is our diversity. We would not be beautiful if we were all the same.

"Since you are like no being ever created since the beginning of time, you are incomparable"

- Brenda Ueland -

So it could be argued that we all use our imagination differently, for different purpose, from a different approach. However in the end we will all find a way to use imagination in accordance with what is meant to be achieved in the third initiation, the dispelling of illusion (being on the mental plane)

One last thing, I am starting to really understand and appreciate what Krishnamurti used to say about hierarchical teachings. We often mentalise them way to much and 'they' impairs us in our judgement, when in fact according to the Bodhisattva, it is very simple when approached through our spiritual hearts. The first step in spirituality is 'right relationships' with all.
In that sense I think that Jack made a really good point with his 'ethics > power' reminder.
The mind without the heart is like a boat without a tiller. However without any wind, the sail becomes useless and hence the helm too.

K. Gibran, exceptional poet, said it better:

“Your reason and your passion are the rudder and the sails of your seafaring soul, if either your sails or your rudder be broken, you can but toss and drift, or else be held at a standstill in mid-seas. For reason, ruling alone, is a force confining; and passion, unattended, is a flame that burns to its own destruction.”

Curtis said...

I agree with Jung, the imagination is the birthplace of everything, it is where all creation begins, and when we practice focusing it we can create whatever we can imagine.

Where the focus is, the power is. It's like the way you would focus the suns rays with a magnifying glass.

learn quran recitation said...

I view imagination as an energy modeler. It's a gift that allow us to give birth to new thoughts, intentions, solutions and creations. All greatest inventions are born from the imagination of it's authors. Imagination give us also the fantastic ability to project ourselves in the future. But as the future is just an illusion, I would say that imagination allow us to experience different perspectives of the present moment.

Hem Raj said...

Call to mind for the moment your
house-number as it appears upon the door of your home. In so doing you mentally reinstate something which has been impressed upon your senses many times; and you see it almost as clearly as if it were actually before you. The mental thing thus revived is called an image.
The word image is somewhat ill-chosen; for it usually signifies something connected with the eye, and implies that the stuff of mental images is entirely visual. The true fact of the matter is, we can image
practically anything that we can sense. We may have tactual images of things touched; auditory images of things heard; gustatory images of things tasted; olfactory images of things smelled.