Vitality: A Psychiatrist's Answer to Life's Problems

By Richard Esser | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 10.
THE CRUX OF LIVING: TURNING CRAZINESS INTO
CREATIVITY
Why is the ability to turn craziness into creativity the crux of our living? How does one actually go about doing that?My answers to those questions came from seeing craziness and creativity in a way markedly different from what is usual. It came, first of all, from seeing both a bad and good side of craziness.What is usually taken to be craziness, the pictures we see of severe psychiatric disability, is to my eyes the surface expression of something lying deep inside a person. It is as though there is a kernel of craziness deep inside that is not in evidence except when circumstances of extreme distress bring it forth. In those circumstances that kernel of craziness bursts forth and dominates the life of the individual. That is what we see as the bad side of craziness. The good side is that it is precisely in that deep-lying kernel of craziness that we find the linkage to creativity.
The kernel of craziness I am talking about is what we have inside ourselves that is bizarre, eccentric, fantastic and wild. That kernel is the outer limit of our imagination. It is the freest part of our imagination, the most unrestrained, the most unbridled, the most uninhibited part.
The creativity I am talking about is the imaginativeness we bring to bear on whatever we undertake that makes our accomplishments an expression of what is special and unique about ourselves.

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