"Poet and philosopher, Samuel Coleridge, coined a phrase in 1817, “the willing suspension of disbelief” which he further described as “poetic faith”. In other words, disbelief is really a belief or poetic faith. In short, this disbelief can be defined as temporary acceptance as believable events or characters that would ordinarily be seen as incredible. Coleridge suggested that if a writer could infuse “human interest and a semblance of truth” into a fantastic tale, the reader would suspend judgment regarding the implausibility of the tale. So, as a participant in some creative work we may allow our self to “experience as real” something we know or may have reason to believe is pure “make believe”. In the movie “Raiders of the Lost Ark” Harrison Ford escapes the Nazis who are looking for him by jumping off his ship, swimming to and getting on the Nazi submarine carrying his pursuers, somehow making his way over to and (I guess) inside the boat itself without getting caught, traveling hundreds of miles to its destination, getting off the sub and making his way into the heavily guarded sub base without getting apprehended or drowning. We suspend our disbelief in order to experience these outlandish and heroic efforts.
Notice that somewhere inside you is a place where you can acknowledge or at least suspect something is not true but you still allow its influence. When you watched “Lion King” for the first time in an audience filled with kids, what happened when the king is trampled by wildebeests? Did not every kid in the audience start crying because Simba lost his Daddy? This story is complete fantasy but our kids experienced it as real at some level. They expressed real emotions. Is it possible that what we can see and speak about as the “willing suspension of disbelief” is actually a normal, everyday real-life occurrence? "
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