Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Creativity: Invoking the Gods or Madness
Looks like the source of Creativity has been an ongoing discussion for ages. Poets in ancient Greek and Roman times invoked gods to assist in their writing. (Can't say much has changed there.) What I found fascinating is that many believe psychotic-ism causes creativity. Even Aristotle claimed that there was never a genius without a tincture of madness. And, that's a direct quote.
Makes me feel rather distinguished as a creative being--though I am not crazy enough to consider myself genius.
There has been active debate on whether creative genius is dependent on mental illness or insanity. This debate continues further by stating that madness alone cannot suffice as Source for creativity. Nay, nay. An openness to experience, intelligence and wisdom complete the mysterious formula. They are actually writing papers on the subject. The bottom line: Creative people make creativity a way of life.
We can all name artists, musicians, writers, scientists, etc. who inspire us with their fascinating and divergent thinking. (Look at our own Basil Sands, for goodness sake.) The argument for creative personalities presented by Hal Lancaster during the late 90's in The Wall Street Journal stated six basic qualities exist:
1. Keen powers of observation.
2. Restless curiosity.
3. An ability to recognize issues that others miss.
4. An ability to generate numerous ideas.
5. Persistently questioning the norm.
6. A talent for seeing established structures in new ways.
Do you see yourself in any or all of the above? I do, which is fun. But, what really appeals to me is the recurring theme of madness in creative beings. After all, if you're considered a little crazy you need no excuses for your behavior. I like that.
So, I am trying out my creative juices in a new location for awhile. I am writing to you from Santiago, Chile today. My Muse is having a field day. We're eating foreign foods, seeing exotic places and conversing in my pitiful Spanish as much as possible. I'm getting funny looks and lots of laughs. So, I'm pretty sure I am doing something right!
Once again, which of the 6 traits above is your strongest? You're favorite? Inquiring minds want to know!
Cao for now!