diversity and ingenuity, which has its own particular kind of beauty to be sure, there is some expanse, some fleeting air of nothingness from where one might stake out one's point of reentry — a cleanness of palette that allows one to see ideas for what they really are, or at least more closely so. T. K. Whipple put it more eloquently:

All America lies at the end of the wilderness road, and our past is not a dead past, but still lives in us. Our forefathers had civilization inside themselves, the wild outside. We live in the civilization they created, but within us the wilderness still lingers. What they dreamed, we live, and what they lived, we dream. (Study Out the Land)
At play in many of these myths is a notion of creatio ex nihilo — the idea that something might be created out of nothing. We might contrast that with what we will call the evolutionary-synthetic — a notion that "new" things must satisfy a kind of law of conservation and are rather a result of combination, subtraction, or some other process of altering elements already in existence. But this "evolutionary" theory of creativity is troublesome. Thought itself would seem to be just a predictable sequence of inputs (time, environment, genes, activity) and outputs. And every aspect of an idea would seemingly be traceable to the thing or things which begat it. Genetics, permutations, variables . . . is this all there is? And if we go back far enough, do we find the singularity that gave birth to so much variety? The infinite and the void seem to collapse into each other; they become the symbol of the snake eating its own tail.

On one hand, we must admit that every work of art, however poor or however bad a copy of someone else's work, is yet a new thing under the sun, by virtue of the unique being that produced it — it will have subtle hallmarks, the essence of its creator there, hiding somewhere. And yet the new thing will also have come about as a result of parent concepts, existing ideas, etc. It seems that when we engage our creative faculties we unlock a dimension such that we are not limited to our mere status as an evolutionary product — but neither are we totally liberated from it. Puzzlingly, it is as if our creative output is hybridly ex nihilo and synthetic.

It is the very awareness of a border that engenders a kind of creative thinking. The first stage happens when one encounters a border as an insider looking out. The introverted response is basically hermetic-contemplative: the threshold is designated a boundary, and the perceived value or benefit of penetrating it is comparatively little. Thoughts turn inward. One defines the self in contrast to or with indifference toward other. The extroverted response sees the threshold as a frontier. This response perceives a greater value or benefit to be gained by penetrating the threshold. One defines the self as possibly lacking other, begetting a second stage that happens when a border has been crossed and one becomes a stranger in a strange land. The definition