Creative Psychosis

CREATIVE PSYCHOSIS

Diego Pignatelli
May 22, 2012

Most likely psychosis is a creative dimension of the psyche. William James and C. G. Jung both were affected by psychosis: the pathology of the Soul. James had soul sickness, as did Jung in The Red Book (C. G. Jung, The Red Book, edited and introduced by Sonu Shamdasani, Norton, 2009). Jung thought he was crazy, and he embarked on divine madness through his own nekya (Journey into the Underworld). Psychosis is the illness of the creative giants for which humanity should build up a monument. The human condition is pouring into mediocrity because of her keeping away from the numinous and the creative dimension, both healing-bringers of suffering in the creative individual. And creativity stands for suffering the spiritual self-alienating condition in attempting to achieve autonomous perfection by compensating with creative one-sideness through the individuation process.

Where psychosis is a creative illness, it is not merely a psychosis but something of much more complexity. A complexity which psychiatrists do not want to deal with–they attempt to suppress the transpersonal psyche with meds. Believing psychosis is endogenous (but with no specific etiology), they establish a bad compromise with the Transpersonal Psyche, thinking to solve the delicate issue by liquidation of the \”spontanous healing process.\”
People refer to psychosis ignorantly believing it is a self-hallucinatory process. But for one who speaks such a \”mythic language\” primary process and non direct thinking according to Jung, it is a way to go on the search for meaning via symbols acting as gateways to human consciousness in the search of the human soul.

Rather, many psychotics, if very creative human beings, are archetypal instruments of meaning for normal human beings who have a \”splitting\” condition, which has devoided every meaning in modern and post-modern society. The true \”split\” is not the merely psychotic ego (if you do not want to choose a way of stigmatizing it), but what we call Global Schizophrenia. Man no longer goes in search of the soul but merely in search of engaging in social relationships with his own mask (persona), in spite of the schizophrenic psychotics whose attempt is to restore and to redeem the depth of soul of the world, as Hillman would say the anima mundi, whose socially integrated human being is perennially dissociated.

References:

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• Jung, C. G. (1904–1907) Studies in Word Association. London: Routledge & K. Paul. (contained in Experimental Researches, Collected Works Vol. 2)
• Jung, C. G. (1907). The Psychology of Dementia Praecox. (2nd ed. 1936) New York: Nervous and Mental Disease Publ. Co. (contained in The Psychogenesis of Mental Disease, Collected Works Vol. 3. This is the disease now known as schizophrenia)
• Jung, C. G. (1907–1958). The Psychogenesis of Mental Disease. 1991 ed. London: Routledge. (Collected Works Vol. 3)
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Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.

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