Knowledge is based on facts and hard-won wisdom of experience.
Imagination, on the other hand, evokes a certain wish-washy indulgence.
But not according to Einstein.
Knowledge is based on the past, on what has already happened. And while we can and should build on the past knowledge, there comes a time when you reach the limits of instrumentalism and where the outer boundaries of existing knowledge have been exhausted.
At that point, only an imaginative leap brought by the rocket velocity of creativity can generate ideas sturdy enough to propel human endeavour to the next level.
Einstein understood this. This viewpoint enabled him to construct a mental image of the universe which he subsequently used as the basis of much of his work.
It is counter-intuitive, but this accounts for his brilliance. Both a testament and a tribute to the timeless power of imagination!
“I never came upon any of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking.” — Albert Einstein