When Einstein was asked how he made his great discoveries, he said, “by using the imagination.” Creativity, then, could be described as using the imagination to move forward. This is something that we all do, all the time. In other words, we are all creative.
There are two generally accepted forms of creativity:
1. Creating something from nothing
2. Giving a new character to something
Of the two, I personally prefer the second. ‘Giving birth’ to something is often too violent. I prefer to think of it as ‘giving life’ because the process is incremental. Creativity is most often slow work, even though an idea does sneak up on us every now and then. But in general, everything is based on something else. Very little is completely new. From the moment we are born, we are bombarded with experiences which ultimately inform our creativity.
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us “the universe”, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling, as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
When Albert Einstein was on his death bed surrounded by friends they asked him, “Al, is there anything else you would like to tell us before you go?” And he responded, “Yes. I’d really like to know if the universe is friendly. Because if it is, 90% of our reactions are useless.”