With Coleridge, Barfield
means by primary imagination "the living Power and prime Agent of all human
Perception . . . , a repetition in the finite mind of the eternal act of
creation in the infinite I AM" (Chap. XIII of BL). The primary imagination
constructs the phenomena, the collective representations, which we take
to be the real world.
Coleridge distinguished, of course, between
primary imagination and secondary imagination, and in
explains the difference with great precision: "As the secondary
imagination makes meaning, so the primary imagination makes 'things'"
|See in particular "Imagination and Fancy,"
I & II (WCT 69-91).