The synthesis referred to in the title is the ability of a person to combine the primary process and secondary process of the brain. The primary process is concerned with the subconscious workings of the brain: dreams, imagery, associations. The secondary process is concerned with logical thinking or how we express our primary thinking to the outside. The "magic synthesis" is the result of an individual merging these two processes, and then creating metaphors, symbols, abstractions and a new way of seeing or thinking about the world.
According to author Silvano Arieti, creative persons and schizophrenics have a greater connection to the primary process, but, unlike the schizophrenic, the creative person is able to then process this thinking into a rational or logical form and create something new. I am not surprised to read once again about the closeness between madness and creativity.
Aside from the physiological similarities, I believe there is a driven quality, a momentum that is shared by both states. I have felt compelling urges when creating something new and in states of intense emotional duress. In my life, when I make art I take that energy and try transmute it, to articulate it, to infuse it with metaphor, rhythm, and hopefully, a certain beauty. (Unlike when I've experienced deep emotional crisis, where the experience is more like a spiraling panic that I cannot release.)
As I started work that combined movement and poetry, I found myself more and more concerned with the way the spiritual is linked to the physical, the way the word is made flesh, both literally and figuratively. I'm working on a "living Mass" of sorts, a new ritual grounded in female physicality, how something ineffable as connection to Spirit manifests its singular importance to me.
In Creativity: The Magic Synthesis, Arieti discusses the neurological and biological aspects of creativity. The fact that “the human cortex has fifteen billion neurons” seems to account for our ability to be more creative than the other animals on earth. A path or an “engram” is formed in some neurons when we perform a task or have an experience. It is through the engram that we are able to later recall the experience or perform the task again.