Collingwood poses a conundrum to the philosopher.
Is it the work of art itself or is it the creative
process, which cannot be analyzed in the usual
sense, that counts as being creative?
a man makes up a tune, he may and very often
does at the same time hum or sing it or play
it on an instrument. He may do none of these
things but write it on paper. But all of these
are accessories of the real work, though some
of them are very useful accessories. The actual
making of the tune is something that goes on
in his head, and nowhere else. Hence, the making
of a tune is an instance of imaginative creation.
But what is written down or printed on music
paper is not the tune. It is only something
which when studied intelligently will enable
others (or himself when he has forgotten it)
to construct the tune in their own heads. (Principles
of Art, pages 134-5)
Spark always wanted to be creative.
At thirteen, he sat in his bedroom and learned
American folk songs from a songbook, and sang
to himself. At twenty, he studied drawing and
drew still life, frustrated by a lack of talent.
At twenty-six in Edinburgh, he rode a bike, wore
a gendarmes cape, a beret and once in a
while a false moustache. He wrote poetry and plays,
and was a medical student. Through the sixties
in San Francisco, he smoked dope and searched
for his spiritual and creative essence. At fifty-nine,
he still wished he could be creative
and express his creativity.
is a psychiatrist. He dispenses drugs to the anxious
and the depressed. He listens as people tell him
their psychological and social problems. He is
disabled and in a wheelchair after an accident
several years ago. The problems of most of his
patients are insignificant compared to his own.
some are larger and more serious, more complex,
of his patients are multiples. They
are women who, as adults, have discovered that
they have multiple personalities developed in
childhood because of very invasive sexual abuse
initiated before the age of five. One patient
has personalities of a child, an Italian man,
a black woman, and an adult woman architect.
the process of treating these patients with multiple
personalities, Ron must allow the person to get
to know herself, something she has never been
able to do before. Her life has been terrifying
and she becomes so dissociated that he must be
very careful to encourage trust, self-revelation,
communication from and eventually between personalities,
and a slow recognition of her history and identity.
It is a long-term relationship. The person may
always be a multiple.
can appreciate the creative process Ron is engaged
in. Even he cannot be objective enough to see
this creativity. His patients are not aware enough
to comprehend the dance that holds the two of
them in a rhythm as intimate as a heart beat.
His colleagues often dont believe in a
multiple personality. For the world at large,
this is fantasy fit for disturbing novels.
relationship between Ron and his patient is a
creative one. The relationship between Pygmalion
and Galetea comes to mind because Ron is attempting
to nourish a mentally and emotionally healthy
psyche in a person. However, he is not shaping
a psyche, he is participating in a mental, spiritual,
emotional, and physical exercise in which his
mind catalyzes without self-consciousness the
creation of an integrated, happy, healthy (in
mind and body) human being. And his patient willingly
interacts to become what she would most like to
become relatively sane. There is no product,
no work of art; there is only process, and one
that is intangible and unimaginable. It cannot
be recorded. The record is a life that is lived
and transformed constantly. It is a work
in progress and will last a lifetime.
is engaged in the process of creativity when he
interacts with a patient. Jane was badly sexually
abused at age three and older by her uncle. Her
mother didnt know and was too busy to play
close attention to behavior she didnt suspect.
Jane, a bright and imaginative little girl, created
a second, inner self who helped her get through
this bewildering, frightening and painful period
of her life. She created others who played various
roles in dealing with her difficult reality. She
was a talented artist and musician as a child,
and a good student. Today, at age thirty-four,
she is an architect. She came to Ron as a patient
five years ago. She had been treated by several
therapists who didnt start to suspect the
nature of her psychological problems. She was
depressed, dissociated, frightened, rocketing
between personas and trying to hide these strange
reactions, which surfaced from a distant past,
not an immediate present. Ron noticed her subtle
switching between personalities. Jane slowly revealed
her memories and fears. As trust grew and a bond
developed, Ron listened to her story, interacted
with her reactions, and appreciated her courage.
On the phone at night, he would talk with the
child, the architect, and once in a while other
mysterious personalities. Even while traveling
on holidays, he would be in touch with her, to
reassure her. Gradually, she decided to go on
a diet, to start exercise classes, to learn to
cook. She tried going out with a man on a blind
date. She began to learn to play the flute. She
became aware of her moods, which drop to self-destructive
and have recently reached happy. She relates other
factors to her moods - stress at work, exhaustion,
monthly mood changes, memories. She is becoming
self-aware and able to deal consciously with the
other personalities, integrating them at the best
did not do this alone and Ron did not work magic
on her. It was the interaction of a superbly trained,
sensitive, profoundly compassionate doctor and
a bright, scarred, person in pain. Between the
two, a healthy, functional, person is emerging.
But it took the heart and mind of a very creative
man to allow this to happen.
creativity has no product, no work of art. His
creativity may receive no appreciation, but it
is as active as an artists with a bulging
portfolio. His dream to be creative
has been realized without his realizing it.
us with your comments.