Psychosis: The Psychological Storm of Creative Impulses

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Length: 20 minutes

Madhu Sameer, MSW

Every child, born pure, is forced to trade the innocence of the womb for developmental achievement. Something beautiful is lost in a struggle for survival; it cannot be recovered and must be endured. This loss is experienced by all, but becomes painful present for the sensitive souled artists. Mining the depths of their unconscious for inspirational gold, such people play their dreams and their reality in the service of Eros, a state of being that is denied to ordinary perception and experience. The sorrow and torture of everyday wounding that is essential for creativity, for negotiating existence is intractably linked to the problems of sacrifice, selflessness and our mortality. The archetypal function of human experience may sometimes usurp the total personality, this diamonic possession being labeled as psychosis in the contemporary world.

Analytical psychology considers psyche to be more powerful than the mind or the body, affording it almost a sacred place in the hierarchy of existence. Using such a conceptual framework and case studies, the paper defines and explores psychotic phenomenon in mythological as well as clinical context. The link between developmental trauma, psychosis, religion, meditation, arts, music is explored as is the role of creativity in externalizing internal chaos thereby enabling the person to master their developmental milestones. The paper hopes to extract psychosis from the dungeons of pejorative diagnostic labels into an awareness of a sensibility to a different kind of reality - the reality that lies within the world that defines dreams, art, and literature among others, the reality of the instinct, of primordial images, and openness uncontaminated by the landscapes of the material world.

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