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Gershman, H. (1964). Homosexuality and Some Aspects of Creativity. Am. J. Psychoanal., 24(1):29-35.

(1964). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 24(1):29-35

Homosexuality and Some Aspects of Creativity

Harry Gershman, M.D.

Man Differs from other members of the animal kingdom by virtue of his capacity for consciousness and his ability to build, to organize, to laugh. His most unique attribute, however, is his capacity to create. In the broader sense, all men are creative, and it is in their nature to be so.

Man does not develop evenly in all areas of his life. Some may have exceptional gifts for creativity in one aspect of their lives and yet fail in others. The simultaneous fulfillment of a great talent, be it in art, literature, or science, and full self-realization as regards one's feelings towards one's self and to the world is indeed a rare occurence, at least thus far in the history of man.

Creative living or self-realization implies a capacity to perceive and experience new and ever-changing relationships in one's inner and outer world, while retaining an intuitive grasp of the universal and eternal. Such an individual is able to assimilate these experiences and integrate them into higher, deeper and more meaningful levels of perception and abstraction. This results in human interrelationships that are characterized by more acceptance, trust, and friendship. Neurotic anxiety obstructs self-realizing by constricting the individual's emotional life through pathological defense mechanisms that are based on a system of neurotic needs, repressions, denials, rationalizations and projections.

Although self-realization or creative living is a potentiality of all human beings, an unusual specific talent is the good fortune of only the few. Great artists have described their creative moments in almost identical terms, even though they were variously poets, philosophers, mathematicians, sculptors, chemists and mystics. Maslow describes these moments as “peak experiences” in gifted people of high levels of maturation. During those moments the person “becomes more whole and unified, more unique …, alive and spontaneous, more perfectly expressive and uninhibited … more effortless and powerful, more daring and courageous… more ego-transcending and self-forgetful.”1

The nature of this creative process, which we all experience in varying degrees, has been a subject for psychoanalytic research as it has been for philosophers and other scientists.

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