Many are fascinated by the phenomenon of genius and search for an understanding of its nature. Modern research is not especially helpful in elucidating the inner process or its relation to ordinary thought. The present work comes from clinical studies of focal brain injuries that dissect unconscious cognition to reveal sub-surface lines of processing. The outcome is a process (microgenetic) theory of the mental state that differs markedly from mainstream (cognitive) psychology, but with the potential to clarify many features of thought and imagery, normal and exceptional. Creativity is not an isolated problem but touches many central issues in philosophical psychology.