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Schwager, E. (2001). Listening with the Creative Ear. Psychoanal. Rev., 88(5):597-652.

(2001). Psychoanalytic Review, 88(5):597-652

Listening with the Creative Ear

Elaine Schwager, Ph.D.

Consciousness is not only power of awareness of self and things, it is or has a dynamic and creative energy.…the energy…that creates the universe and all that is in it.

Aurobindo Ghose, A Greater Psychology

Herein I explore creativity as a prime force in the evolution of consciousness, a fundamental motivating energy related to a need to maintain or regain spontaneity and freedom, and having rudimentary existence from the beginning of life. It has its own developmental progression, throughout life makes its demands on the mind, is subject to dissociation and repression, and can be defended against as well as used defensively. A force that operates through symbolization, it increasingly distinguishes man from animals and operates to aesthetically express ineffable and evolving states of truth. This formulation is in some way consistent with Bion's (1965, 1970) belief that the most basic drive was “the truth instinct” aimed at achieving a resonance with “O” (an ultimate and transcendent truth). The truth drive links the creative and spiritual. Both involve a surrendering to truths and intelligence beyond the conscious self. This dynamic and creative “consciousness”—more often referred to as the “unconscious” and attributed negative qualities (the repressed and id) in analytic theory—is inherent in existence, and at all times accessible by one's creative and imaginative capacities.


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