In Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert she describes how she had an idea for a very specific type of novel with a particular type of plot and characters. Although she got a contract to write the book, she never got round to it as life intervened and she had the immigration struggle of her husband to deal with.
When she got back to the book, the impetus had left and she didn’t write it. So it was with amazement that she hooked up with another writer friend whom she had just met and not shared her plot with and essentially this friend was writing the same book only the details such as location had changed.
They had not conferred and there was nothing that the publisher could have said. Gilbert concluded that the book itself had needed to be birthed and as she herself had not done it, the idea had simply gone to someone else. Gilbert elaborates throughout the book on how ideas exist somewhere waiting to be birthed in partnership with us.
She admits that she doesn’t understand how it works. In The Genius Groove I outline how, with the scientific knowledge that we currently have we could explain the creative processes that Gilbert describes.
This models flips the usual explanation of consciousness around. Instead of consciousness and information being produced by the brain, the whole universe is created from consciousness as posited by some quantum physicists.
Even mainstream physicists discuss how all we can really know about the universe is information. When we get down to the tiny subatomic level, we find that reality is more ethereal than we first thought. When it comes to an electron for example, we cannot say why it always has a charge. We don’t know what is powering it. We can just say that the information of an electron is that it has an electric charge.
So even mainstream scientists would agree that a fundamental aspect of the universe is information. In the new model of creativity the brain is not the generator of consciousness or information as the brain itself is made up of atoms. The brain is an organ that has a particular purpose to act as a conduit for information.
Concepts from Quantum Physics say that we are living in a dynamic field of light the Quantum Vacuum. From what we have discussed before – we know this field contains information.
We can now put the science behind Gilbert’s experiences. Projects, Poems and books can exist in the field, ready to come through the brain of a ready recipient.
So the idea for the novel existed as a wispy idea in the information field ready for someone to receive and downloaded the full novel. Maybe we should change the name from ‘Big Magic’ to ‘Big Informational Field Brain Processing’!
But I don’t think it will catch on. Essentially Gilbert has written a detailed description for her experience of creativity without proving a mechanism. Why should she? Science especially paradigm revolutionary science is probably not her thing.
Luckily we have a The Genius Groove for a fuller explanation complete with scientific references.
Check out The Genius Groove here for more.
What are your thoughts? Do you think that in Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert is describing the Quantum Field? You can comment below.