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Zindel, B. (2005). A Note from the Creative Literary Editor. Psychoanal. Perspect., 2(2):93-94.

(2005). Psychoanalytic Perspectives, 2(2):93-94

Creative Literary Arts

A Note from the Creative Literary Editor

Bonnie Zindel, L.C.S.W.

For the first time, a psychoanalytic journal has made a place for a creative-arts section dedicated to the celebration of artistic expression.

Why is creativity important to psychoanalysis? Every creative act involves an innocence of perception and a surrender into the not knowing. Since the beginning of man, it has been largely through creative acts that we have learned about our predecessors' wants and needs, hopes and dreams, fears and demons. The plays of Aeschylus and Sophocles. The playful, deeply emotional music of Mozart. Paintings by Rembrandt and Renoir. The early cave paintings in France of the first human artists. Why did our earliest ancestors, the first artists, risk their lives to paint in dark caves by the light of small lamps? As a superstition to ensure a successful hunt the following day? Or was it the awesome, compelling power of artistic expression?

In another sense, the creative process that transpires between analyst and patient brings something into existence that had not been there before—by seeing things in a new way, in having new eyes. To understand or to surrender to this art is to give oneself over to both the knowing and the not knowing, creating new narratives from old stories, creating safety, and taking risks. Within structure comes freedom.

To be creative, one has to love the new and be able to transform old patterns of thinking into new ones. Flow in and out of the unconscious, listening to its musings. Play with it. After all, originality is not in being new but in being originally ourselves.

So how do we take incredible chaos and harness what otherwise seems unimaginable and even unthinkable, bringing order and beauty into being? This is our most imaginative mind at work. It is the source of vitality, spontaneity, expansiveness, and well-being.

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