Re: Help! I want my creativity back

Joel 'Twisty' Nye (
Mon, 23 Dec 1996 12:28:14 -0800

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Subject: "Help, I want my creativity back!"

On Thu Dec 19th 1996, Chris Hind wrote:
> Ever since I became a devout atheist ridding myself of the meme of
> christianity I've funneled my creativity into logic while stifling it.
> I am quite the optimist now but when I was younger I was chronically
> depressed but I learned to control it and with that control went my
> creativity. Is there a link between depression and creativity? Perhaps
> I need a round of bad luck or two?

Control (or Logic) and Creativity are often two different parts of the
brain that should be taught to work in concert. Science teaches us to
require an unbroken chain of evidence. (Just try and PROVE the sky is
blue.) Religion tends to deal with the fuzzier logic of belief, sometimes
accepting the most unrelated of associations. ("I saw Jesus' face in that
marble pillar!") Creativity is often more Religion than Science, or
what is often called Right-Brain thinking, as opposed to Logical
Left-Brain thinking.

When you work only from proven logical sequences, you are in a
creativity rut. When you associate patterns more randomly, your
creativity soars, but your credibility often goes out of check.
When your creativity is checked by your logic, your dreams can
find purpose in reality. Likewise, your instinctive, fuzzy-logic,
pattern matching association can unshackle your logical rut.
The more that two work in concert, the more proficiently one invents.

When I lost religion about a year-and-a-half ago, my creativity shot up,
but my sense of security plummetted. (An assured immortality makes
for nice complacency, and when primal fear is introduced then creativity
is called upon for survival.) Perhaps this is different than a
Creativity-Depression link you seek, but perhaps not. Another link that
fuels my creative fires is anger... Too many bossy people INVALIDATE what
you've done or said, so it's time to SHOW THEM how USEFUL your skills
and insights truly are. This has driven me to some of my best inventions
and creations.

> I have been able to feel my creative side as though it were tangible
> through certain types of music but can't quite grasp it. When
> I was younger I used to be quite the horticulturist. Perhaps I need
> to get back in touch with nature? Maybe I need to bring out my
> creative side through mysticism such as wicca or other so-called
> new age religions?

I think those might have impact, but not so much because of their doctrine
as their practical or sensational appeal. When the show HERCULES first
aired, there were many complaints that it wasn't 'accurate' to the
historical, carved-in-stone Hercules seen in mythology. In actuallity,
much of its success is due to its shared dramatic and sensational appeal
with its ancient namesake. After all, what is mythology FOR?

It seems the important part is to discern the rhetorical parts of religion
from the useful bits. I have no "Faith" in terms of blind belief, but that
was never even called for to begin with. I have Commitment to supporting
the society of which I'm part, and that's the "Faith" which was called for.
I still concider myself to be a Disciple of Jesus, although it is my belief
that he was mortal, this despite his apparent resuscitated from near-death.
(Funny, too, that a common pulpit illustration is the anecdote
that Dead Men Don't Bleed.) I feel you've got to admire a guy
who teaches a bunch of fellow Jews to be more tollerant and accepting
of one another, and to produce only good instead of repaying evil for
evil. I still wonder how much of this he may have learned directly from
Socrates teachings. And if his real focus was on the theraputic healing,
humor, humanity, and heart-felt compassion instead of doctrinal issues,
then why does the church go on building synagogs instead of theraputic
baptismal bathhouses?!? (Asside from the Europeans fear that bathwater
caused disease...) I mean, don't they ever get it?
But enough religion - I've REALLY digressed.

> Christianity was a tool that allowed a channel into my creative side.
> With my increasing belief that things are ever more structuralized
> and logical I seem to be losing creativity first and following that,
> emotion. Maybe I need to surround myself with creative people and
> artists and bring it back. What do you suggest? Please help!

o Creative friends do help... as do other sources of Inspiration.
(Plato records a good dialogue of Socrates called "Ion," in which
he concludes that we do not lead by some office or title, but
rather because we are "maddened by the divine inspiration of Muses.")

o Don't create in a vacuum... Enrich your pool of experiences and
thoughts, so that your pattern-matching instincts can springboard
from a variety of stimulii.

o Enjoy playing with Cause and Effect... it's the stuff from which we get
most of our learning and understanding. Humor and Irony are also
helpful... they teach us to discern things that appear opposite on
the surface.

o A "wicked good" book on creativy is Doug Hall's "JUMP START YOUR BRAIN."

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