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The second stage of creativity is one called in cube Asian where there was a period of relative inattention to the problem at hand. There is a constant reoccurrence of the idea of a periods of time while other work is being done. The next and the most dramatic stage the one most written about the one most at tended to rather than being tended to is the stage of illumination. This is a usually of brief duration and there is a tremendous upsurge of feeling which has been described by many people as an idea suddenly forming into one's mind a process of being overwhelmed by accumulated unconscious material which lies outside of the purpose of voluntary control. But it has to be brought under control and directed by the conscious self. Well illumination signals the birth of creativity.
Now what remains is bringing up the baby. And this is the stage of revision and verification polishing the details are to be filled in the door but work is to be done. There are other interesting stages of creativity. During any one of these periods whether it's preparation incubation illumination or verification. There are times when the self the ego of the person is locked against the ordinary run of reality processes. Time is not attended to food is forgotten. Like the time when Newton immediately after dining demanded that is going to be served because if you got that he'd eaten it. Or on another occasion when his servant came rushing to his study to tell him that the house was on fire. So Isaac advised the good man to bring the news
to Mrs. Newton's and she took charge of all of the affairs of the house. Let us not confuse this inattention. This retreat into fantasy by impugning the state of dreaminess and fever to the poet or the artist or the dreamer. The poet never dream as being awake. He is not possessed by his subject but has dominion over it. Where you seem to receive from humanity he will be found the truest. From beyond the scope of nature he summons possible existences. He subjugates them to the lore of consistency. And here is where the great and the not so great with us are differentiated yet allowed to wander ever so little from nature they lose themselves. They do not create which
implies shaping and consistency. Their imaginations are not active. For to be active is to call something into Act and form. Not passive as men in sick dreams put another way. What differentiates a creative person from the neurotic is not the fantasy but the use of the fantasy the creative person has the fantasy. With an erotic fantasy has got him or her. There is also in all of these stages a considerable amount of frustration. The reports of a genius at work the live in totality and smoothness of their productions. The great insight many times occurs as the composer Hindemith described once and he says the structure of a concerto is seen just as if a countryside were illuminated by
a sudden flash of lightning and all the elements stand out. The frustration comes when the work of revision begins. The intensity of creation is a strain on the nervous system. You may recall the Bible which tells us even on the seventh day he rested. It becomes a question of not how the creative person does the work of creativity. The question is really how can he stand it. With all of this self involvement. We recognize that creative expression has a major locus in the self but it must be differentiated from narcissism. If it remains narcissistic It does not communicate. Simone de Beauvoir by the way describes a woman who took a
small mirror from her purse and pretended to arrange the arc of the lips. You see she had to see herself. She loved her face. The lively shade of her blond hair of the noble austerity of her high forehead and her nose the ardor of her mouth the audacity in her blue eyes. She was really very beautiful with a beauty so severe and so solitary that at first it was startling. If only there were two of me she thought. One who spoke and one who listened. One who lived and the other who watched. How I would love myself. I envy nobody. All this is not a call for a living outside of the society living only within one's self.
Necessary as this may be it is only part of the process of separation. An individual nation is necessary for growth and creativity but not necessarily in the guise of rebellion nor in the disguise of Bohemianism. The ego by itself can have the creative idea. But the creative act the change in reality is not only a product of the self and a product of the will. If this were seldom all of the problems and all of the creative act would have long ago been resolved and completed. The creative act that is brought in mainly every value and is mostly defensive. And the transformation of defensive into true creativity comes when private needs are sacrificed
to the needs of communicability. And when we communicate. We must be sensitive we must learn those plastic moments when our human partner. Is receptive. I read a story the other day of two boys and the story was by F. Scott Fitzgerald two boys playing basketball and one of them brick yelled to his friend base on hey leave things. And when he does this his friend Basler flushes and makes a poor pass. He had been called by a nickname. It was a poor makeshift but it was something more than the stock bareness of a surname or a term of derision. Brick rail was went on playing.
Unconscious that he had done anything in particular. Or that he had contributed to the events by which another boy was saved from the Army of the bitter the selfish but Nuristan Nick and the unhappy. It isn't given to us the author tells us to know those rare moments when people are wide open and the lightest touch can wither or heal. A moment too late and we can never reach them anymore in this world. They will not be cured by our most efficacious drugs or slain by our shop just words. The nickname will leave. It could hardly be pronounced.
But Basan took it to bed with him that night. And thinking of it holding it to him happily to the last. Fell easily to sleep. A few lectures ago I quoted a psychologist who divided man into the normal the neurotic and the creative. In this view the normal man is the sickest guy in the lot. He does not exist as an individual. He cannot and will not experience himself as different. And finds his existence in identification with the prevailing standard. The ideal of a normal man is the average to be as the others are no different.
For the difference to this person is nothingness. Well. The ideal of an erotic is to be himself. But unfortunately as a person in opposition to what others want him to be. The creative persons ideal is to be that which he actually is and to constantly strive and live for what he can become. The neurotic is the psychologist the patient. And we should as psychotherapists as physicians of the soul try to increase his creative ability rather than aim at adjustment. You see the neurotic cannot or will not conform. Yet he is not free to establish his own uniqueness.
The neurosis whatever its manifestation whatever its papyrology is always a dis ease. Such a person cannot form a positive identification with the group either because he fails to satisfy his needs. Or you feel that by identification his sense of identity will be overwhelmed. Unfortunately cannot stand alone because of the burden of guilt he feels when he does not do what is expected of him. He cannot stand alone because of feelings of inferiority and the inability to express his own uniqueness. Yes to fight both external and internal pressures and is continually at war with himself and society. His fantasies are repressed because if they are revealed to the
group they will reveal his nonconformity. And if he reveals his fantasies to himself he sees them as evil. Neurosis stands between normality and creativity. The state of equilibrium that is normal is disturbed. Tension is risen but it cannot be adequately discharged. Nor can it reintegrate itself into another meaningful whole and so fulfill the requirement of creativity in the erotic there is fixation and repression instead of flexibility and originality. And the so called neurotic sensitivity is best described as touchiness. A. How does the psychologist the psychiatrist the mental health professionals stand. Well first of all psychology and psychotherapy
have no premium on virtue or I might add no premium on rascality. Some of us believe strangely enough that it is not the task of the psycho therapist to instill positive concepts of mental health and creativity into his patients. The therapist should seek really to see the ability to make the choices involved in productive movement. When the therapist goes from the removal of all neurotic conditions to the establishment of good no moral or ethical or even productive life for his patients. The freedom of his patient immediately comes into jeopardy since the patient must give up his freedom in order to follow the
definitions of a doctor. You see the freedom of the patient in my view is more important than the agreed upon goals of the therapy no matter how beneficence they may be. We can as therapists as individual people be open and committed to ways of defining and increasing concepts of positive mental health. But the choice should always be open for the patient to. These are guidelines for the profession and I'm sad to report. But these guidelines are not always followed. May I read you some excerpts from a publication called The Front tiers of Clinical Psychiatry which circulates reports and news and research material. I quote this now in.
Private conversations with surgeons and internists suggest that many use rationalizations denial and repression to justify or explain away or evade discussion of patients with incurable illnesses according to an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of the Cincinnati College of Medicine. Recent advances in medicine have made the exact timing of a patient's death an elective matter. In more cases than physicians admit even to themselves. In a state hospital and I'm continuing the cause of the demented octogenarian unable to swallow. It is not likely to receive intravenous feeding. For an indefinitely long period.
The in operable carcinoma the patient hemorrhaging internally is not likely to be transfused. The patient with lung Medha Stacey's and pneumonia is not likely to receive the ultimate in antibiotics. The stress generated by making and carrying out such decisions. Maybe pre-super Tate or exacerbate psychiatric illness in patient patients relatives and hospital staff members said Dr hotting. Citing among others the case of a nurse who developed an acute anxiety reaction upon receiving orders to discontinue a patient's oxygen flow and intravenous fluids.
Similarly a medical scientist experienced a severe flare up of a formerly quiescent obsessive compulsive neurosis over a selection of re Sippy and organ transplantation. And I'm continuing to quote here under favorable circumstances. Psychiatry s can not only ameliorate stress but also contribute to the decision making process. By helping to create an intellectual atmosphere conducive to a relaxation of defenses and by encouraging free and honest income disciplinary discussion. At present the good doctor says. Life and death decisions are often made by one person when they should really reflect the combined wisdom of a
professional group. Unquote. I might personally add a professional group of killers. I don't know about you but I am personally appalled. And I don't know whether I'm appalled by the arrogance or by the stupidity and I don't know which is worse the arrogance or the stupidity. Europe people doctors. Are. People who have taken the Hippocratic Oath. Dealing with life and death decisions. And using mental health techniques to avoid responsibilities. It reminds me of a firing squad where there was one blank cartridge issued to the squad so that no person in the firing squad should feel guilty.
I leave it to you are a vivid and maybe able to change that word and make it your livid imagination to think of other examples. Think also about. The taking over of the community mental health centers by the state. The function of these centers is to bring the person back to reality get them back to work as quickly as possible make them productive without ever asking the question productive for rot. I think it was a animal trainer called Frank Buckley said bring him back alive. Well this is not the function of creative
psychotherapy as I see it. It is not the function of the therapist to make a person more productive. In an exploitive society. It is not the task of the therapist to adjust the person to reality when this reality needs to be changed in a god awful way. We need to pray our patients to remember and to forgive the past. To care about what is happening and to do something about it. And perhaps the best way I can illustrate this is by telling two stories. I run for many many years ago
care C A R E I was crossing a river. And I saw a piece of aura. She picked it up and thoughtfully in her hands began to shape it. And as she was wondering what she could make of it. The god Jupiter appeared. And KARE asked him to be spore to be still rob a spirit on the fourth. Then he readily agreed but then care wished to have her name given to the creature by Jupiter for badness. Saying his name should be used. And while Charon Jupiter. Or arguing about this matter Earth Mother Earth also arose and said she should have her name in the whole list since she had given the creature a piece of her body really
argued to no avail. They turned to Saturn to judge between them and Saturn. Very very unlike Solomon rendered the following judgment. He said you Jupiter. Because you were given the spirit shall have the spirit of death. You were. Since you haven't given the body shall have the body returned that day but care. Since you were the first firm of this being you shall possess him as long as he lives. But this is what I mean about the importance of caring and about freeing ourselves from the past. The rules of the past and the necessity for doing a last story about two Buddhist monks.
Who had both taken vows of silence and chastity and were walking along enjoying the landscape came to a river. And there was an old lady carrying a bundle on her back couldn't cross the river. And with this one of the monks picked her up on his back carried her across the river put her down on the other side and continued his walk with his friend. They walked along and two hours later. The second month said. How could you do such a thing. We swore vows of chastity in silence. How could you do such a thing. The first monk thought a moment and said Oh he said you must be talking about that woman. I carried across the river. You are still carrying her.
Thank you very much. US citizen. You heard Alfred Jones co director of the mental health consultation center as he spoke on the topic. The development of creativity. This was another program in the series peace love and creativity the hope of mankind. On our next program Dr. Johnson a fair child director of adult education at the Cooper Union and Beatrice Fairchild bio physicist at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons will discuss love of humanity. These programs are recorded at the Cooper Union in New York City by station WNYC. The series is made available to this station by the national educational radio network.
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Peace, love, creativity: Hope of mankind
The development of creativity, part one
Producing Organization
WNYC (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program presents the second part of a lecture by Alfred Jones, Co-Director, The Mental Health Center.
Series Description
This series presents lectures from the 1968 Cooper Union Forum. This forum's theme is Peace, Love, Creativity: The Hope of Mankind.
Media type
Producing Organization: WNYC (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
Producing Organization: Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
Speaker: Jones, Alfred
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-10-32 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:25:57
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Chicago: “Peace, love, creativity: Hope of mankind; The development of creativity, part one,” 1968-07-16, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 26, 2024,
MLA: “Peace, love, creativity: Hope of mankind; The development of creativity, part one.” 1968-07-16. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 26, 2024. <>.
APA: Peace, love, creativity: Hope of mankind; The development of creativity, part one. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from