Your authentic self will determine which approach to life you favour. (Image: Thomas Cotterill)
The way of love is a life dominated by instinct with its accompanying emotions. Rewards in this mode of existence arise almost exclusively from emotional gratification and the experience of sensual pleasure, which prompts a sense of eagerly desired physical happiness. It is a crudely conceptualized, non-intellectual, irrational, bodily approach to life, with little manifestation of will, a sort of corporeal drifting from one source of satisfaction to the next. Life lived in this way is often haphazard or even chaotic. People in love with falling in love epitomize the type.
Creative people are famously unstable, both emotionally and in their thinking; the artistic temperament is moody, and creators openly tolerate polarities in ideas and viewpoints that others reject, and then try to bury. Oscillations between two distinctly different modes of thinking may account for a lot of this instability and openness. Creators are more skilled in the combined use of two kinds of thought processes: linear thinking, which is verbal, logical, sequential, and analytic; and non-linear thinking, which is associative, more image oriented, non-sequential, and non-logical (but not irrational).
Janusian thinking is the combined use of logical and associative thinking. It can make a creative person appear unstable.
Creative people tolerate awareness of polarities and contradictions rather than trying to bury one side or the other. This can make them seem unpredictable. (Image: public domain.)
Are creative people less or more sane than ordinary people? Creative types are unusually sensitive to the nuances in tone of voice, body language, innuendo, and so forth. They notice more than does the average person; they are perceptive. Regrettably, this ability has a drawback in that it means creators are more vulnerable. Already at risk simply because they are who they are, creators often have a hard life, which, being sensitive, they feel keenly. If their work does not sell, they may suffer poverty. If it challenges accepted views, it may attract enough opprobrium to diminish their self-confidence and dislodge their sometimes-precarious self-esteem. For these reasons, a creator may develop a set of psychological difficulties that resemble insanity. Yet in spite of this, creators retain their special ability with nuance. They remain better equipped to test reality than more ordinary types who, at least on the surface, appear much saner. That sensitivity to nuance, to subtle differences confers upon the creator a remarkable ability to see what others overlook. Those who see more understand more.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge claimed that a “great mind must be androgynous.” (Image: Wikimedia)
I have written elsewhere that the most creative among us possess the power to combine linear conceptual thinking with non-linear associative thinking. This ability to unite the two thinking modes works the creative magic that sets these people apart. A person who heavily favours one mode of thought over the other will inevitably lack outstanding creative powers.