Re: Help! I want my creativity back!

Roderick A. Carder-Russell (
Fri, 20 Dec 1996 12:55:12 -0500 (EST)

On Fri, 20 Dec 1996, Anders Sandberg wrote:

> > > Is there a link between depression and creativity?
> > Yes.
> Another mental problem that can have creative effects is temporal lobe
> epilepsy, which seems to have been the problem for Dostojevsky and van
> Gogh, and I suspect may have been involved in the life of Scriabin (his
> music gives a quite good image of the exalted visions of a temporal lobe
> epileptic).

This is a piece from Dostoevsky, found in "The Idiot":

There was always one instant just before the epileptic fit...when
suddenly in the midst of sadness, spiritual darkness and oppression, his
brain seemed momentarily to catch fire, and in an extraordinary rush, all
his vital forces were at their highest tension. The sense of life, the
consciousness of self, were multiplied almost ten times at these moments
which lasted no longer than a flash of lightning. His mind and his heart
were flooded with extraordinary light; all his uneasiness, all his
doubts, all his anxieties were relieved at once; they were all resolved
into a lofty calm, full of serene, harmonious in joy and hope, full of
reason and ultimate meaning. But these moments, these flashes, were only
a premonition of that final second (it was never more than a second) with
which the fit began. That second was, of course, unendurable. Thinking
of that moment later, when he was well again, he often said to himself
that all these gleams and flashes of supreme sensation and consciousness
of self, and, therefore, also of the highest form of being, were nothing
but disease, the violation of the normal state; and if so, it was not at
all the highest form of being, but on the contrary must be reckoned the
lowest. Yet he came at last to an extremely paradoxical conclusion.
"What if it is disease?" he decided at last. "What does it matter that it
is an abnormal intensity, if the result, if the instant of sensation,
remembered and analyzed afterwords in health, turns out to be the acme of
harmony and beauty, and gives a feeling, unknown and undivined until then,
of completeness, of proportion, of reconciliation, and of startled
prayerful merging with the highest synthesis of life?"

>H >H
Roderick A. Carder-Russell
Suspension Member - Alcor Foundation
specializing in man-machine symbiosis

e-mail: WWW:
>H >H