Some degree of withdrawal serves to nurture man's creative powers. The artist and the scientist bring out of the dark void, like the mysterious universe itself, the unique, the strange, the unexpected. Numerous observers have testified upon the loneliness of the process.
Of all the unexpected qualities of an unexpected universe, the sheer organizing power of animal and plant metabolism is one of the most remarkable. . . . Where it reaches its highest development, in the human mind, we forget it completely. . . . So important does nature regard this unseen combustion . . . that a starving man's brain will be protected to the last while his body is steadily consumed.
It is frequently the tragedy of the great artist, as it is of the great scientist, that he frightens the ordinary man. If he is more than a popular story-teller it may take humanity a generation to absorb and grow accustomed to the new geography with which the scientist or artist presents us. Even then, perhaps only the more imaginative and literate may accept him. Subconsciously the genius is feared as an image breaker; frequently he does not accept the opinions of the mass, or man's opinion of himself.