Who are the truly creative?

I read an article recently about a mathematical genius. He seems to be able to conceive of mathematical relationships of the most complex nature just by pondering about a problem. Or, is he somehow able to tap into these connections? His behaviour does confirm the traditional claim that the maths we need to explain what is in our lived world exists out there (perhaps in cloud-land).

In this context, I question the common claim that the ‘Greeks’ were the first people to discover geometry; I prefer to believe that the much older civilisation which built the pyramids in Egypt knew a lot more about maths, especially geometry.

A question which interests me is whether those who discover mathematical relationships, or extra-solar planets, or anything which is there (especially ‘out there’) are creative or only discoverers. What would be a truly creative path or process? What of those who offer new ways of recycling waste material of all kinds, or seek to establish roof gardens, or who meditate deeply in order to be in touch with either that which is said to be at the core of self, or that mystical Reality?

In primary school, I knew a fellow-student who, with a few dashes with his pencil, could depict a house with a dog in front. At work, a colleague once painted a mutual friend; the portrait brought out with subtlety the negative personality of the subject. Writers bring out plausible scenarios of worlds not known. Does creativity encompass such skilled activities?

In any event, what is the source of creativity? The process needs a Seeker, one who needs (not just wants) to create – a piece of art, or a structure of beauty, or a document of thought or inspiration. Is there something ’out there’ which is needed to complement the Seeker’s need? There seems to be a lot outside our physical world of which we know little, and which may contribute to our very existence.

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