Einstein did not seek to experience insight through the vehicle of the intellect, it came the same way it does for most creatives: through intuition and inspiration. As he told one friend, "When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come close to the conclusion that the gift of imagination has meant more to me than any talent for absorbing absolute knowledge." He added, "All great achievements of science must start from intuitive knowledge. I believe in intuition and inspiration....at times I feel certain I am right while not knowing the reason." (Calaprice, 2000, 22, 287, 10).
One of Einstein’s well known quotes is “imagination is more important than knowledge”. The quest for and attainment of knowledge has widely been held as the ultimate objective of western culture for some time now. Knowledge in terms of both the amount and the content determines what we know, however it is our imagination that integrates and applies the knowledge we have gathered and creates and intends based on the facts, data, perceptions, assumptions, etc. that comprises our “wealth” of knowledge. However, no amount of knowledge we have attained becomes truly relevant unless we have to some degree understood how our imagination functions in using the knowledge we have acquired to design and inevitably determine our reality.
Our knowledge may be the building blocks that we use to construct our reality but it is our imagination that actually envisions and formulates the layout as well as ultimately determines the outcome of our reality. Therefore, imagination to a large degree takes precedence over knowledge.
This is a major reason this work is so important to me. I genuinely feel that given what we're up against with so many of our systems being broken and the phenomenal amount of innovation we need to apply to righting the boat calls for a significant leveraging of our imagination.
We need a deep, collective recognition that we must cultivate our right brains and ability to create anew and not just continue to regurgitate dated models of doing and being. In order to survive, we need to reboot our operating system. Shit, we may need to throw it out altogether - our children's future depends on the quality of our creative problem-solving moving forward.