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  1. #91
    Let me count the ways Betty Blue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    This is a belief of 19th Century Romanticism and has no basis in fact.

    And when longitudinal studies were done to test this belief, it was found there is no link between creativity and madness, but there is a link between creativity and mental health.

    Because madness is not a term so commonly used anymore?

    I think we both know the link between madness/mental health and genius has been debated for much longer than you are offering.

    There is this quote

    "Scientists have for the first time found powerful evidence that genius may be linked with madness.
    Speculation that the two may be related dates back millennia, and can be found in the writings of Aristotle, Plato and Socrates. Aristotle once claimed that "there is no great genius without a mixture of madness", but the scientific evidence for an association has been weak – until now. "


    from this link... You don't have to be bipolar to be a genius – but it helps - Science, News - The Independent
    "We knew he was someone who had a tragic flaw, that's where his greatness came from"

  2. #92
    Senior Member chooi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vasilisa View Post
    You know whose case is instructive and fascinating to me personally? The case of January Schofield, schizophrenic, Age 7. Its hard to argue that her case was induced by cultural/communicative factors since there is so much compelling evidence that she was born schizophrenic. From what I know about her case, she shows a very high IQ. But back to the context of the article, for me, its interesting to think about a schizophrenic like Jani with her childhood imagination but so enormously amplified and made real.
    Jani's case still doesn't have me completely convinced. I also believe that she was born schizophrenic. I also believe that she, by way of her IQ, is a genius, which says something for the article in the OP (as well as what Victor claims about ideas of illness and genius). However, I'm not so sure that these unfiltered signals from whatever sources haven't had an effect. If communication, and I use the term in the systems theory sense, not necessarily language, didn't induce her schizophrenia, than I believe that it could have fostered it. Plus there is the added confusion caused by her intellect. One would assume that being able to learn at an accelerated pace (one of the articles says she was speaking grammatically correct sentences at 18 months), that not only was Jani viscerally "affected" by her environment, she also understood it to a great extent, though this may be masked by her schizophrenia. I do agree with your understanding that she probably has her imagination amplified, but imagination itself has at least some grounding in reality.

    For example, and this is a shot in the dark, her imaginary friend "400", an orange tabby cat, corresponds to "The Orange Cat" of Pasadena, which is close to UCLA where she began to receive treatment. Of course, this probably doesn't have any significance, but it is merely an example of what COULD have significance.

    For an example of culture having an effect on and of schizophrenia, there is the example of Nancy Scheper-Hughers study in Ireland. Admittedly, some of the cases were misdiagnoses, but that still doesn't account for the greater rate of schizophrenia in Ballybran. Also, this was a few decades ago, so it isn't the most current study. This thread has caused me to want to look into some more material concerning culture and schizophrenia, so I've just started looking at a more current multidisciplinary approach spearheaded by anthropologist Janis Hunter Jenkins.

    And as I said previously, there are different cases, and could be different causes from person to person.

  3. #93
    Senior Member chooi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GemPOPGem View Post
    Because madness is not a term so commonly used anymore?

    I think we both know the link between madness/mental health and genius has been debated for much longer than you are offering.
    Agreed. As if history began with western philosophy in the 19th century. Bit arrogant, don't you think? Let's not limit the conversation solely to western experience, either. To some cultures, "madness" is a necessity. Ever hear of heyokas (actually this is maybe more western than western). It's funny how in a different time and place, those who heard voices were listening to God or conversing with the spirits, but are loonies in another. Of course, this isn't the same thing as mental illness, but it is something to consider.

  4. #94
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    I don't see how looking at the world differently & having some odd behavior makes a person mentally ill....I can see how people may view such a person as eccentric, but that does not mean they are not mentally healthy. It may just be society creating narrow constraints for what is normal.

    I also tend to think that people romanticize mental illness, especially in the case of the tortured artist - it makes a good story to have the artist be something of a "Byronic hero". In reality, the illness is more of a hindrance than a aid in being creative.

    Most of the people I have known who have descended into mental illness were very intelligent and/or talented creatives before, but now it's wasted. Mental illness did not make them creative, rather it robbed them of their ability to use their talents.

    My own personal speculation is that sensitive people tend to be creative (ie. enneagram 4s) and that emotional sensitivity may make one more prone to a breakdown. Maybe it's not a direct link so much as a higher propensity due to a more delicate temperament. For instance, looking at the way the ego collapses for different enneagram types, it seems that some collapse in a way that will be obviously a breakdown to others, where some will still seem acceptable to society - maybe because one way is more "common".

    This statement from the article kind of leads to what I'm thinking:
    "Creativity is uncomfortable. It is their dissatisfaction with the present that drives them on to make changes."
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

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  5. #95
    Senior Member chooi's Avatar
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    For some reason I feel as if I'm talking to myself in this thread....maybe I'm the one who's going crazy...

  6. #96
    Let me count the ways Betty Blue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chooi View Post
    Agreed. As if history began with western philosophy in the 19th century. Bit arrogant, don't you think? Let's not limit the conversation solely to western experience, either. To some cultures, "madness" is a necessity. Ever hear of heyokas (actually this is maybe more western than western). It's funny how in a different time and place, those who heard voices were listening to God or conversing with the spirits, but are loonies in another. Of course, this isn't the same thing as mental illness, but it is something to consider.
    Yes i was just thinking of native American Indians, it reminded me of reading Carlos Casteneda's "Journey to Ixtlan" (Amoungst others of his).
    But of course this is also not exclusive to Native Americans either, many ancient tribes had behaivours and beliefs that the "civilised" west consider both insane and barbaric.
    "We knew he was someone who had a tragic flaw, that's where his greatness came from"

  7. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by GemPOPGem View Post
    Yes i was just thinking of native American Indians, it reminded me of reading Carlos Casteneda's "Journey to Ixtlan" (Amoungst others of his).
    But of course this is also not exclusive to Native Americans either, many ancient tribes had behaivours and beliefs that the "civilised" west consider both insane and barbaric.
    Carlos Casteneda has been shown to be a complete fraud.

    And many tribal beliefs and practices are barbaric.

  8. #98
    Let me count the ways Betty Blue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Carlos Casteneda has been shown to be a complete fraud.

    And many tribal beliefs and practices are barbaric.
    And many are not.

    I found Castenedas books fascinating but that is not to say that i believed them to be non-fiction. However i was reminded of Native American Indian's beliefs not Casteneda himself.

    I also find western civilisation barbaric at times.
    Last edited by Betty Blue; 05-31-2010 at 06:43 PM. Reason: being clear
    "We knew he was someone who had a tragic flaw, that's where his greatness came from"

  9. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by GemPOPGem View Post
    And many are not.

    I also find western civilisation barbaric at times.
    Tribal practices are sexist, racist and xenophobic based on slavery, the subjugation of women and the abuse of children.

    And tribal beliefs are based on ignorance of the world and themselves. Their beliefs are superstitious, cruel and out of touch with reality.

    Unfortunately Western civilization romanticises tribalism. But the only place Romantic tribalism ever existed is in the minds of the Romantic West.

    The only important thing about tribalism is how to get out of it. And the answer is surprisingly simple - literacy.

    But literacy requires that every child be compelled by law to leave their family and tribe and go to a special institution called, "School", to learn to read and write.

    Unfortunately you only get universal law after you get universal literacy - so for tribalists, this is Catch 22.

    Fortunately for the tribalists the universally literate West is forcing literacy upon them.

    The illiterate world is confronting the literate world and we see this starkly in Afghanistan.

    And the illiterate world will only be overcome by force majeure, just as our children are forced to go to school.

    But of course the facts of life are too difficult to bear without romanticising them.

  10. #100
    Let me count the ways Betty Blue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Tribal practices are sexist, racist and xenophobic based on slavery, the subjugation of women and the abuse of children.

    And tribal beliefs are based on ignorance of the world and themselves. Their beliefs are superstitious, cruel and out of touch with reality.

    Unfortunately Western civilization romanticises tribalism. But the only place Romantic tribalism ever existed is in the minds of the Romantic West.

    The only important thing about tribalism is how to get out of it. And the answer is surprisingly simple - literacy.

    But literacy requires that every child be compelled by law to leave their family and tribe and go to a special institution called, "School", to learn to read and write.

    Unfortunately you only get universal law after you get universal literacy - so for tribalists, this is Catch 22.

    Fortunately for the tribalists the universally literate West is forcing literacy upon them.

    The illiterate world is confronting the literate world and we see this starkly in Afghanistan.

    And the illiterate world will only be overcome by force majeure, just as our children are forced to go to school.

    But of course the facts of life are too difficult to bear without romanticising them.

    It's exactly this kind of belief (or the pretence of it) that has led to hundreds, if not thousands of years of hostile take overs of lands. Of course the real reasons, more obviously in earlier history were simply to own the land and it's properties- diamonds, spices,oil, fertile land etc. Also for strageic millitary purposes. Of course other reasons too but for a large part the reasons i have mentioned.
    "We knew he was someone who had a tragic flaw, that's where his greatness came from"

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