I loved reading about this new study into the connection between creativity and mental illness. It effectively found that creativity has little correlation with genius. While there is a connection with a highish IQ (the “average” creative has an IQ around 120), the real nexus is with a touch of madness. But more specifically (and interestingly), a particular ability to see things others don’t.
The author’s final conclusion on the Thing that denotes creativity is this:
“Creative people are better at recognising relationships, making associations and connections, and seeing things in an original way—seeing things that others cannot see.”
He goes on to say that this ability to see things differently can be a very lonely experience…which, in turn, he feels, explains the mental illness nexus.
A quote from his own writing on the subject:
“When you work at the cutting edge, you are likely to bleed.”
It would appear mad to go to the cutting edge if it were only painful. But here comes my favourite bit, the bit that made me smile, the bit that made me quiver and be glad. And we quote composer Tchaikovsky now:
“It would be vain to try to put into words that immeasurable sense of bliss which comes over me directly a new idea awakens in me and begins to assume a different form. I forget everything and behave like a madman. Everything within me starts pulsing.”
Is this mad? Or is it life writ large? I’m content to take the loneliness when it brings this kind of connection with All of Life. Much of the time. You?