The mind is essentially a survival machine. Attack and defense against other minds, gathering, storing, and analyzing information – this is what it is good at, but it is not at all creative.

All true artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of no-mind, from inner stillness. The mind then gives form to the creative impulse or insight. Even the great scientists have reported that their creative breakthroughs came at a time of mental quietude.

The surprising result of a nationwide inquiry among America's most eminent mathematicians, including Einstein, to find out their working methods, was that thinking "plays only a subordinate part in the brief, decisive phase of the creative act itself." So I would say that the simple reason why the majority of scientists are not creative is not because they don't know how to think but because they don't know how to stop thinking!

In the context above, which is exactly brief and decisive? The whole process of creative act is brief?OR Only the part thinking is responsible for is brief?


1 Answer 1


In the full context the meaning is as follows:

In the entire creative act, there are multiple phases. One of those phases is described as brief and decisive. That is the only time the mind is truly involved. It also takes a secondary role in that phase; it is not the most important actor in that phase.

"brief, decisive" clearly only modify the noun "phase" in the typical form of "adj, adj noun"

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