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Bipolar Creativity Learning from Mental Illness Reflections on THE ABSTRACT MIND MURAL Created by Aldo Castillo (curator) and the Neumann Association Chicago Festival of Disability Arts and Culture (2006). Hector Sabelli, M.D., Ph. D. Chicago Center for Creative Development (CCCD).
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Learning from Mental Illness
THE ABSTRACT MIND MURAL
Created by Aldo Castillo (curator)
and the Neumann Association
Chicago Festival of Disability Arts and Culture (2006)
Hector Sabelli, M.D., Ph. D.
Chicago Center for Creative Development (CCCD)
Waves, such as light waves and swings of mood, are swings between opposites.
Abstract Mind Mural. 2006
ACTION + BIPOLARITY, + CONNECTION= DEVELOPMENT(simple origin, new, unique, and complex outcome)
Freshness. Abstract Mind Mural. 2006
Tree of mathematical bifurcations
Freshness.Abstract Mind Mural. 2006
Fostering creativity is an essential component in the treatment of every loss and every illness.
Objective: to be creative by intent and design, not by chance
General population 10-12%
Adele Juda (1949) Germany
Bipolar traits: 66% of award-winning writers, poets, painters and sculptors
Mood disorder 40 % artists
Mood disorder 80% of creative writers
Akiskal H, Akiskal K. Psychiatry and Psychobiology 1988
Andreasen NC, Glick ID: Comprehensive Psychiatry, 1988
Jamison KR: Touched with fire. 1993
Ludwig AM. Creative achievement and psychopathology: comparison among professions. Am J Psychotherapy 1992; 46:330–356.
Schildkraut and coworkers American Journal Psychiatry, 1994
Beethoven, Berlioz, Donizetti, Handel, Mahler,
Ochs, Rachmaninoff, Schumann, Tchaikovsky
Irving Berlin, Charles Mingus, Charlie Parker,
Alohe Jean Burke, Rosemary Clooney, DMX Earl Simmons, Ray Davies, Lenny Dee, Peter Gabriel, Jimi Hendrix, Kristen Hersh, Phyllis HymanJack Irons, Daniel Johnston, Otto Klemperer, Oscar Levant, Phil, John Ogden, Jaco PastoriusCharley Pride, Mac Rebennack, Jeannie C. Riley,Alys Robi, Axl Rose, Nick Traina, Del Shannon,Phil Spector, Sting, Gordon Tom Waits, Brian Wilson, Townes Van Zandtr
Severe depression: Baziotes. Gaugin, Guston, Michelangelo, Pollock, Rothko, Georgia O'Keefe
Bipolars: van Gogh, Gorky, Klein, Munch, Motherwell, Smit
Andersen, Balzac, Berryman, Conrad, Dickens, Dickinson, Eliot, Emerson, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Goethe, Greene, Hemingway, Hugo, Keats, Ibsen, Melville, Sylvia Plath, Poe, Anne Sexton, Mary Shelley, Tolstoy, Williams, Virginia Woolf
Louis Althusser, Art Buchwald, Neal Cassady, Patricia Cornwell, Margot Early, Kaye Gibbons, Abbie Hoffman, Kay Redfield Jamison, Peter Nolan Lawrence, Frances Lear, Rika Lesser, Kate Millet, Robert Munsch, Margo Orum, Theodore Roethke, Lori Schiller, Frances Sherwood, Scott Simmie, August Strindberg, Mark Twain, Joseph Vasquez, Mark Vonnegut, Sol Wachtler, Mary Jane Ward
Language: from a limited vocabulary, an infinite number of dialogues, always new, and great creations: Homer, Alighieri, Cervantes, Shakespeare, Moliere
Mind: continually new thoughts
Behavior: continually new sequences of actions
Heartbeats: continually new rhythms
Sequence of Human heartbeat intervals
Human heartbeat intervals decomposed into their opposite components
Mandala: the wheel of opposites is a cosmic order in nature and in art
3. CONNECTION = CONSERVATION
NATURAL AND HUMAN PROCESSES ARE CREATIVE, NOT DETERMINED OR RANDOM.
THERE ARE ALTERNATIVES AND WE CAN CREATE THEM.
Cosmos: from Big Bang to galaxies
Life: from unicellular organisms to humans
History: from stone age to modern society
Person: from egg to baby to adult
Creation is not a single event, but continues at each moment of time
We are part and parcel of creation
A gray existence
A black mood
Thinking in black and white fosters depression and aggression
Mood Triads: Passion, self and order
Love (sex), joy and peace
Anger, fear (anxiety) and depression
4. The lower centers of the brain encode these three colors in 4: two sets of opposites
5…the cerebral cortex constructs many colors from these 4 basic colors, and as one learns painting, one learns to distinguish more and more colors
Passion, self and order
4. green: affection and growthversusenvy (greed)
5…many colors….infinity: creation never ends and strives towards something greater
Love or war?
Joy or fear?
Affection or greed?
Peace or depression?
Think 1, 2, 3, NOT simpler
Seek to understand the oneness behind diversity, the two sides of every opposition, the creation of many
Analyze behind sequence of events, who and what are opposites, what is the ever present third
Act. Oppose and accept opposition. Connect and conserve.