Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Unhappiness Makes You Artistic?

I've been forwarded an email that relates pain to creativity via brainwaves. This sparked my interest. Quote:

"I discovered that brainwaves can be used to manage chronic pain and cope with chronic illness by accident. Due to a variety of chronic health conditions, I have lived with a great deal of pain for many years and yet I noticed that the more pain and suffering I endure the more creativity I seem to experience. I was aware that my creative outlet was a coping mechanism, but didn't understand the mechanics behind it. I thought it was a form of escapism, because I can be so absorbed in my creativity that I get lost and I'm not
aware of my pain for a period of time.

Yet many other people in my life with less pain and suffering experience a lack or loss of creativity. People often comment that they don't understand how I do so much when I live with such great pain and challenges. Over the years, I occasionally run into other people with chronic health conditions and pain that also experience high levels of creativity." - Cynthia Perkins, M.Ed. (

The conclusion was that alpha and theta brainwaves that result from meditative dream states can induce sufficient euphoria to combat pain, and have the side effect of enhancing imagination.

Although it makes sense that accessing meditative states helps with creativity because it allows greater access to more of the mind, the hypothesis is just that. Consider the most creative people in history; Leonardo da Vinci, Picasso, Einstein, Mozart. Many (might have) had sad periods but none had chronic physical pain to my knowledge, and there are lots of people with chronic pain who aren't creative, and lots of uncreative depressives. Then I thought that perhaps unhappy people are more creative than happy ones? So art doesn't make you happy, unhappiness makes you artistic?

1 comment :

hwfarber said...

I think you're on to something with that last sentence.