“In fact, imagination is nothing else but a memory mode,
emancipated from the order of time and space. “
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge -
It is the nature of human mind to think, create and form new ideas. The path of the birth for something completely new first comes from the creation of the theoretical idea, of its conscious recognition, until its physical consolidation. The focus point of this entire model is the brain, whose job is to perceive external stimuli, devoting most of its time to this activity and to the perception of everything around him, assimilating continuous information. This form of intellectual progress may suggest that intelligence is in some way connected with a good memory. Defending this statute we would say that only those who have a high capacity to storage information can give the brain a higher level of understanding and knowledge.
Currently, the reflection on the field of intelligence and genius capacity has attracted many researchers who claim and certify that the memory capacity of geniuses, prodigies childe, or highly gifted people, is extraordinarily well developed. In my understanding, I do not think that talent is directly related to the ability of memorizing. Naturally, this field of research, which aims to know what makes some people develop extraordinary talents, raises different opinions and heated controversies.
The idea of the proximity of genius mind can be summarized with the concept of IQ (intelligence quotient). The intelligence coefficient appears as a practical indicator of intellectual development. Currently the average measure of human intelligence is classified at the value of 100, and all of this potential can reach a maximum of 200 values. A person with an IQ above 140 is already considered to be highly gifted.
Among the founders of the empirical measurement of intelligence is to highlight Francis Galton (a cousin of Charles Darwin). At two and a half years Galton was able to read several works, with eight years attended student classes at high school; at fifteen he joined a Medicine degree. According to these data Galton had an IQ close to 200!
By mid-century XIX an investigation was conducted to choose a sample of three hundred famous and distinguished men and women, in order to find out what their IQ was.
In a short resume, the classification for the first ten geniuses person of history was classified as follows:
1 - John Stuart Mill, 2 - Goethe, 3 - Leibniz 4 - Grotius, 5 - Macaulay, 6 - Bentham, 7 - Pascal, 8 - Schelling; 9 - Haller, and last but not the least: 10 – Coleridge.
In conclusion with respect to the intelligence and intellectual capacity, there are at least a consensus among most researchers. Quoting Dietrich Schwanitz "The intelligence is not everything. What you have to join in it is creativity.".
The role of multiple intelligences, of imagination and creativity, is fundamental to the creation of new ideas and development of all forms of knowledge. The tree of knowledge must be made up of several branches and trunks of solid information, creative and flexible leafs that will assimilate new data, and flowers with exotic originality that will express the dawn of a new idea.
If there could be placed the importance of Imagination and Inspiration in the development of the Theory of Knowledge; how this component of creativity is the only one we have to see what is not clearly visible and within immediate reach of understanding; which is the only capacity that one have for bringing together divergent and unrelated ideas, converging them in one, linking and engaging them in a solid relationship; as only the creative souls are the one able to combine what might seem absolutely contradictory to any other observer or to someone with a simpler or less flexible mind, as only these person are not impressed or intimidated by opposing ideas, differing judgments, asymmetrical concepts, contradictory sciences. The look of a creative mind does not only sees the image of complexity. In essence, the vision of all this 'chaos' results into the mind of a creator as a stimulus.
Returning attention to the issue of duality Imagination / Inspiration and its role in the development of epistemology and science research, we could begin by noting that the human mind cannot think without images. The value and power of the image is already mentioned for a long time. Since the Aristotelian Physics that this procedure is part of all mental forms of thought and it is responsible for the representation of intelligible things. Imagination can be understood as a way of representing something that we feel does not exist in our world, or that only exists in our mental world. The mental image and its meaning, always remain closely linked to the concept of imagination. The first major theorists to address this concept, Freud and Jung, reported the imagination as a creative force that can act both in the field of conscious and in the unconscious mind.
The literature of the XVIII century did not fail to emphasize the creative power of imagination as an essential activity of artistic creation. The European Romanticism worked this concept of imagination to the exhaustion.
One of the pioneers in formulating a new Theory of the Imagination was the Englishman Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), presenting this concept as a privileged path to knowledge and as an alternative - even if a subjective one - to achieve other forms of knowledge. Coleridge's belief was so intense that culminated in the comparison of the power of imagination with the creative power of God.
The XX century gave us more options about the Imagination. Synthesizing, the result of the act imagined was less interesting than the process of thought and imagining itself. What interests the artist most is the journey and the exploration of the boundaries of imagination. The creative space of consciousness then becomes a dynamic and inviting place.
Some reflections over the genesis of this concept are explored in the book “L'Imagination”, by the philosopher Jean Paul Sartre. The poetic imagination is also regarded as a form of self-analysis, since the thought is always proximity close with the personal experiences and personality of the real artist, writer, or scientist.
Inspiration and intuition work as a magical guide where absurd ideas, unthinkable thoughts help to build and give form to the considerations and conclusions of the intellect. Thus, the exercise of imagination should not be restricted to literature or art. This process and method of mental activity can and should be extended to science.
This strength of mind is certainly one of the most free and grandiose act of human understanding and it is also an unlimited source of inspiration. Without it we would never have had the opportunity to see work as unique as those, for example, of the poet Fernando Pessoa and his heteronyms. But this writer - now with worldwide recognition - would never see the publication of his works in his life time. Only one of his works was accepted for publication during his life! But according to the speech of a poet-genius, and in his own words, it seems that he understood that they did not understand him...
«Well, the genius is precisely in the same situation as the next generation (...) it is in opposition to the time in which he lives.
There is a coincidence between the role of a genius and the role of the time which succeeds him. (...) This man becomes, that way, both creator and son of the next generation.
Men of genius either become famous in his own time - also by having talent, wit or astuteness - or, not having them at all, began, therefore, despised by their own time, and only become famous for the following season.».
FERNANDO PESSOA – The Immortality –