In considering creativity from a scientific perspective, much
can be said - but at the heart of the phenomenon there is a mystery.
have said that the truly creative essence of creativity is a 'black
box' - in the sense that there cannot be a scientific description of
genuine originality; but creativity is less like a black box than a
living thing - a 'genie' within.
But this is not a genie
who can be commanded like the slave of the lamp; but a genie who must be
respected, nurtured and coaxed in order that he yield-up his gifts.
Indeed, in the case of a genius, the genie is the one in control.
The genie ensures that he gets what he needs from his genius host -
that the genie may find and follow his destiny; that he is fed with the
knowledge, pictures, experiences he requires; that he is allocated
enough time, the right situation, energy, attention...
when the genie makes a discovery and gets a result; he ensures that the
genius is flooded with happiness as reward; and that the genius is
motivated to realize, and to communicate the genie's results.
In his essay On Fairy Stories,
JRR Tolkien talked of subcreation; and suggested that it was an
instance of Man emulating the divine Creator. Exactly so - Man is
divine, not just in potential but in actuality - albeit feebly and
partially and corruptedly; and creativity is a property of Man's
divinity, just as much as free will/ agency is a property.
creativity is a divine attribute, and the genius who lives in accord
with his creative genie is a type of God-attuned Man: genius is a
spiritual path; a path with the potential pitfalls of all spiritual
paths, especially spiritual pride - but in its essence Good.
is therefore an error to see a true genius as selfish. Insofar as he is
humbly and faithfully serving his genie of creativity - he is following
a divinely appointed destiny - for the ultimate benefit of all.
or not a genius succeeds in making a recognized discovery - 'the way of
the subcreator' is an intrinsically valid form of human life.