Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Questions about Creativity

Could creativity in some cases be a simple misunderstanding?
As an infant becomes a child on its way to adulthood, it learns the language(s), morality, values, etc of its familial and social environment. This is done inductively for obvious reasons. Before any structured instruction can take place, there needs to be communication between parent and child. The child in however rich the environment is on its own to make sense of its surroundings. Luckily for the infant, and the rest of us, our brains are predisposed to ordering and organizing its perceptions.
Occasionally, there's a misunderstanding. But what is a misunderstanding here? Seeing one's surroundings differently than other people. This element of novelty implies some sufferers of mental illness are failed creatives. Not all such misunderstandings are happy ones. Being different guarantees nothing, least of all happiness or that great American fetish of being right.

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I can also imagine a different, albeit similar, engine of creativity. Imagine someone, maybe a child, maybe an adult, with irreconcilable experiences. The necessity of the self to feel itself as an occasional unity results in a string of failures to achieve a lasting reconciliation. In an artist and in other creative types this merciless necessity results in "works." This trash thrown out the car window of the soul is just that, refuse, on the soul's aimless journey to the grave, even if others believe it to be the whisperings of God Himself.

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Added later that day. The remark about "failed creatives" could be taken amiss. Often it seems that some sufferers of mental illness are endlessly inventive in coming up with new ways to make themselves miserable: self-destructive, guilt-ridden, eternally at pitted against themselves. Whatever intellect, creativity, or sensitivity they might have become tools of their misery.

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