Before we truly master something novel (which means, before we can effectively limit its indeterminate significance to something predictable, even irrelevant) we imagine what it might be. Our imaginative representations actually constitute our initial adaptations. Our fantasies comprise part of the structure that we use to inhibit our responses to the apriori significance of the unknown (even as such fantasies facilitate generation of more detailed and concrete information).

There is no reason to presuppose that we have been able to explicitly comprehend this capacity, in part because it actually seems to serve as a necessary or axiomatic precondition for the ability to comprehend, explicitly.

— Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief by Jordan B. Peterson