BBC News: Creativity 'mimics schizophrenia'
Told you we were mad...
(7 posts) (4 voices)
When I started writing one of my new writer friends said "Just call it visualization, then they won't know you're bonkers". Bless. The difference between a straight jacket and a author is an author *knows* the voices aren't real.
As a biologist with an interest in psychology I find it fascinating. I'm guessing the "voices" bit may come from our poor primative wee brains trying to second guess social situations.
I think religion may be on the same pathway, too: we look for a leader and the ultimate leader of leaders is supernatural.
Hello Sauce. I don't know...I have what are called, pleasantly, 'severe and enduring mental health problems'. I have also published a lot but I have never been able to make the link, particularly, between mental ill health and creativity. I suspect that it is an elliptical argument and we need to fill in the middle of it. I have never found anything 'positive' coming out of mental ill health, but I accept that may be my limitation.
On the religious front, I feel that religion tries to deal with peoples' inability to face their own mortality. Every religion that I can think of (including Buddhism) offers 'something after death'. The Spanish philosopher, Miquel Unamuno dealt with this well in his 'Tragic Sense of Life'.
End of my little lecture and I hope all are well in the Sauce household! Plucky. xxxx
Plucky, you know far more philosophy than I. I suppose I'm fascinated by the mechanism - what makes us interested or inclined to a particular type of idea, rather than the ideas themselves in detail.
I don't know many people who are clinically sane. "Normal" is perhaps where we'd all like to be, safely in the middle... But most of us dangle off the edge of some aspect of normality at some stage(s). A bit too far off and other people notice and then it becomes labeled as an "issue".
I have always thought that psychiatry and psychology are largely based on fictions (well, I didn't think that when I was 5, I suppose). They both try to use the scientific method on the vagaries of human behaviour. They both want to standardise and categorise human action. I think the fact of our consciousness over-rides all this and makes a mockery of the pseudo-sciences of psychiatry and psychology. We are too arbitrary to be pinned down so neatly.
On the other hand, I suppose we can talk of 'statistical normality' ('most people do this, very few do that' and so on.) On that flimsy premise, we can place people on the sane/insane scale. Whether or not it is a useful or accurate thing to do is another question. Just as we think we have someone anchored on the scale, they pop up on another part of it. To my mind, we ain't consistent nor determined in our actions.
Lawd luv us!
I don't know whether this will confirm me as a lunatic or a creative, but as much as I've always loved Dali's work, it has always troubled me. For as long as I can remember, I have had "surreal" dreams. In these dreams, I have seen a lot of the elements suggested, although not actually portrayed, in Dali's paintings. In fact, I have often been disturbed by the images in his work. I frequently try to temper my thoughts and dreams to be more mainstream, as were I to allow them free reign, the fear of being considered odd, strange, or downright mental was too daunting.
Perhaps I should develop an Absinthe problem...
You might want to turn it on its head, Jeni. Dali's work has a dream like quality. By definition of being surreal, his pictures put odd things together that you don't normally see in waking life. Don't we do that in dreams? And we don't find odd mixtures of things, in dreams, 'odd'. We do find Dali's images disturbing (and either like them or not) because we are awake. They remind us of our dreams and lots of our dreams are surreal.
My favourite quote from Dali is: 'The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad.' I'm not sure what it means, though! Nothing, probly - again, just a bit of quirkiness.
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