Creativity and the Brain



From the realm of opinion, not science--my take on creativity and our right/left brain duality.

First, we need both kinds of "processing" to be grounded in this material world. As artists  (or anyone with a dedication to living as a maker, no matter the field of study) we transform spiritual, emotional energy into the material world. We communicate between. Given the way our 21st Century Western culture  runs, yes, we sometimes forget to spend enough time in the right-brained energy of flow. We all know it -- that sense of timelessness and non-thought that sometimes kicks in when we are focused, flowing and non-judgmental about the work on the table, the easel, the sewing  machine. But, especially once one makes the leap into "art as a business," allowing the flow can be frightfully under appreciated -- hey, we got stuff to make, stuff to sell, stuff to teach and talk about. We move over to Mr/s Leftie and forget the source.

How about giving that creative flow it's due today. If not today, then sometime this week. Turn off the chatter, find the right  music to help the flow. Put all expectations aside, drop everything and go with the flo3w.

And as you do (and I do), then step outside of the duality that right vs. left brain can (falsely?) promote. We do need BOTH. Process without product can keep an artist a dilettante, preventing one from finding and exploring deepest meaning and tackling the tough stuff both in and outside of one's work. Plus, you'll never get anything done. Product ion without process makes it easy to get lost in the doing, avoiding the being that actually results from this more determined left-brained exploration.

I've been reading and enjoying Coaching the Artist Within by Eric Maisel. He has this to say about dualistic thinking:

"When a person opts for the fully creative life, then she must do what is required of her to combat the powerful anticreating forces aligned against her. These forces arise from within her own being, from her cultture and just from being alive on this planet. One of the most important things that she must do is refuse to take sides with dualities like process and product, simplicity and complexity, discipine and flexibility, and so on, dualities that are integral parts of the creative process. Rather, she must accept both parts of each pair and come to a real understanding of the value of each, the place of each in the creative process. Then she can become a holistic creator, someone who has learned not to arbitraily and defensively exclude options." 

 So, just as water and stone might seem at odds, the universe would be profoundly unbalanced with only one or the other.