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  1. #1

    Default Depression as a failure of creativity?

    I am struck by some parallels of living life and making art.

    Imagine some artists and composers face blank canvases or blank scores. A lot of things can happen.

    1) They can be stuck, "what should I create?" they ask themselves. They can stay stuck like that for a long time. Nothing comes of it.

    2) They can drudge along. Start with a rectangle, or a single note or whatever. Look at it, make some artistic judgements and continue editing. On and on they can go. Eventually, they have a work of something. Is it art? Is it crap? Their editing gets tiring and wearisome. They can just stop at any time, declare "vicotry," and move on. But it strikes them that it is empty, hideous, and not at all what they wanted to create.

    3) They can be a practiced hand, and just crank out whatever. After all they are skilled and honed in their craft. They have always shone, and have many awards to prove their skills are acknowledged by many. But they know inside, no mater how satisfied their public is of their work, nothing of themselves has gone into it. They are nothing more than skilled crank-shafts, turning out what they were trained to do.

    4) They can be "happy" turning out trite works, that their friends and families will compliment them on. Some people will admire their handy-work. But nothing really special, or of-note, has come of it. They are amateurs. They love what they do, which is a plus. But a small part of them will always wonder, "what can I do to be better?"

    5) Perhaps a blessed few can be professional ameteurs. Loving what they do, and doing it really well.


    Now imagine a person, who has enough maturity, and explored enough of the spiritual beliefs available, to have come to realize that they make their owm meaning in life.

    What does this person face? Is it not the same as the situation facing artists with blank canvases?

    They can get stuck, drudge on without ever being satisfied, crank out what comes naturally to them without investing anything of themselvs, live a life of ignorant hapiness, or perhaps be one of the blessed few who live happy AND productive lives.

    In this situation, then, depression seems likely. That is unless one's creative abilities can create a truly meaningful life.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  2. #2
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    I am struck by some parallels of living life and making art.

    Imagine some artists and composers face blank canvases or blank scores. A lot of things can happen.

    1) They can be stuck, "what should I create?" they ask themselves. They can stay stuck like that for a long time. Nothing comes of it.

    2) They can drudge along. Start with a rectangle, or a single note or whatever. Look at it, make some artistic judgements and continue editing. On and on they can go. Eventually, they have a work of something. Is it art? Is it crap? Their editing gets tiring and wearisome. They can just stop at any time, declare "vicotry," and move on. But it strikes them that it is empty, hideous, and not at all what they wanted to create.

    3) They can be a practiced hand, and just crank out whatever. After all they are skilled and honed in their craft. They have always shone, and have many awards to prove their skills are acknowledged by many. But they know inside, no mater how satisfied their public is of their work, nothing of themselves has gone into it. They are nothing more than skilled crank-shafts, turning out what they were trained to do.

    4) They can be "happy" turning out trite works, that their friends and families will compliment them on. Some people will admire their handy-work. But nothing really special, or of-note, has come of it. They are amateurs. They love what they do, which is a plus. But a small part of them will always wonder, "what can I do to be better?"

    5) Perhaps a blessed few can be professional ameteurs. Loving what they do, and doing it really well.


    Now imagine a person, who has enough maturity, and explored enough of the spiritual beliefs available, to have come to realize that they make their owm meaning in life.

    What does this person face? Is it not the same as the situation facing artists with blank canvases?

    They can get stuck, drudge on without ever being satisfied, crank out what comes naturally to them without investing anything of themselvs, live a life of ignorant hapiness, or perhaps be one of the blessed few who live happy AND productive lives.

    In this situation, then, depression seems likely. That is unless one's creative abilities can create a truly meaningful life.
    It's simpler. When you are creating, you are flowing. You are completely 100% satisfied with what you are doing.

  3. #3
    a scream in a vortex nanook's Avatar
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    we don't create anything, we facilitate what is there.
    in live its damn more complicated, because what needs to be facilitated is interpersonal potential: rather than just choosing an arbitrary canvas for your live, you need to position yourself in a proper place. it's like when an artist would have to ask his pencil: would you mind, working with me? there is no interpersonal potential, without a setting that allows interpersonal cooperation. you don't create a meaningful life out of thin air.
    (okay, .... there might be ONE exception )

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    in-game Gamine's Avatar
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    If you live for your art, and your art lives for you.... isn't that the measurement of the artist's life?

    What about those pieces that come forward to you when you are the hungriest for inspiration? Desperate, depressed, manic?

    Don't we all face those moments? Where we don't just want an answer or a decision, but need one?

    What about an alternate frame that an artist lives so their art can live through them?
    "Beware Those Who Are ALWAYS READING BOOKS" - Bukowski

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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    Now imagine a person, who has enough maturity, and explored enough of the spiritual beliefs available, to have come to realize that they make their owm meaning in life.
    If an individual has enough sense to create their own meaning for life, surely they can create any type of art they please. It takes a certain thought process to come to that conclusion in the first place. When a person is capable of that...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by 01011010 View Post
    If an individual has enough sense to create their own meaning for life, surely they can create any type of art they please. It takes a certain thought process to come to that conclusion in the first place. When a person is capable of that...
    Suicide.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lemons View Post
    Suicide.
    It's obvious. A person that opens their mind enough to create and accept their own path, is theoretically capable of giving life to great art.

  8. #8
    Lasting_Pain
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    I am no artist but I am a poet and sometimes I can stare at a blank piece of paper for 20 minutes without writing a single line. I sometimes get mad myself for not being able to come up with anything, but I put it to the side and come back to it later. Usually then, I am able to come up with some fresh Ideas.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lasting_Pain View Post
    I am no artist but I am a poet and sometimes I can stare at a blank piece of paper for 20 minutes without writing a single line. I sometimes get mad myself for not being able to come up with anything, but I put it to the side and come back to it later. Usually then, I am able to come up with some fresh Ideas.
    I rather like starting with one word, then seeing what is says and writing it down. Then I have two words who are having a conversation and all I have to do is eavesdrop.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Journey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    I am struck by some parallels of living life and making art.

    Imagine some artists and composers face blank canvases or blank scores. A lot of things can happen.

    1) They can be stuck, "what should I create?" they ask themselves. They can stay stuck like that for a long time. Nothing comes of it.

    2) They can drudge along. Start with a rectangle, or a single note or whatever. Look at it, make some artistic judgements and continue editing. On and on they can go. Eventually, they have a work of something. Is it art? Is it crap? Their editing gets tiring and wearisome. They can just stop at any time, declare "vicotry," and move on. But it strikes them that it is empty, hideous, and not at all what they wanted to create.

    3) They can be a practiced hand, and just crank out whatever. After all they are skilled and honed in their craft. They have always shone, and have many awards to prove their skills are acknowledged by many. But they know inside, no mater how satisfied their public is of their work, nothing of themselves has gone into it. They are nothing more than skilled crank-shafts, turning out what they were trained to do.

    4) They can be "happy" turning out trite works, that their friends and families will compliment them on. Some people will admire their handy-work. But nothing really special, or of-note, has come of it. They are amateurs. They love what they do, which is a plus. But a small part of them will always wonder, "what can I do to be better?"

    5) Perhaps a blessed few can be professional ameteurs. Loving what they do, and doing it really well.


    Now imagine a person, who has enough maturity, and explored enough of the spiritual beliefs available, to have come to realize that they make their owm meaning in life.

    What does this person face? Is it not the same as the situation facing artists with blank canvases?

    They can get stuck, drudge on without ever being satisfied, crank out what comes naturally to them without investing anything of themselvs, live a life of ignorant hapiness, or perhaps be one of the blessed few who live happy AND productive lives.

    In this situation, then, depression seems likely. That is unless one's creative abilities can create a truly meaningful life.
    Why do you assume that the only path for a person with maturity is "to come to realize that they make their own meaning in life?" That is rather presumptuous of you, don't you think? Perhaps it isn't the most mature route. (That could be a cause for depression.)
    "My Journey is my Destination."

    "Today Counts Forever." R.C. Sproul

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