Shadows: The Sensitive Soul's Creative Outlet / by Sam Abelow

"Portal," an illustration for the song, "Rise and Fall" | Gouache and acrylic paint on paper, 2016

"Portal," an illustration for the song, "Rise and Fall" | Gouache and acrylic paint on paper, 2016

On The Creative Disposition

High amounts of trait openness or creativity are unusual statistically. This sort of proclivity often entails an appetite for deeper understanding and perception of reality — not to say a “better one.” These types of people cannot live without art.

The minds of those who are introverted and open, like me, tend to go towards the meta-picture, a mythological view. Curiously, without a coherent model of the structures of being, it can be become difficult to know how to relate and act in the world. This can make people of this sort depressed or seemingly incapable of the simplest things. 

It becomes vital for individuals of this sort to create a highly personalized and far-reaching sets of values and philosophies on life. These individualized and deep views are the only way for someone with such a disposition to relate to the complexity of the world and feel comfortable within its harshness.

With these answers to the existential problem, there emerges a solidity and strength to the personality. From there we can begin to act and relate to the world more fully and easily.  And so the gift of creativity can begin to open itself up, become more available and related.

So it seems, in reflection, or in retrospect, that the burden of such creativity and sensitivity is a challenge that must be met, in order for the artist to become the individual, in relation to the world, that they’re meant to be.

Music and Psyche

The weakness of the creative individual is that they will make an aesthetic, a fascination, or rather an art-form out of their philosophical and psychological search. This can often displace the energies of their psyche, removing the friction and “selling it off” as entertainment. I am guilty of this in songs like “Shadows” and “Rise and Fall.” Luckily, in tandem with these sorts of expressions, were authentic and indescribable experiences of the unconscious psyche, which cannot be transmitted or displayed for any audience.

That being said, when a person with some talent in a particular expressive domain, has gone through any range of experience, their self-absorption and willingness to describe and express that to others has value. As is known with our genetic make-up, we are more similar than different; this hold true for emotional experiences. The song, painting, poetry or prose is valuable in it’s relatedness to another. The articulation of some personal experience evokes and stimulates each member of a particular audience. This nourishes our need to know we are not aliens, that the doubts and anxieties inside our skulls are not completely absurd.

Further, works of art can act as a psychological amplification of spontaneous or desired mood states. For example, music is utilized when we go out to party, to the gym, at a yoga class, or relaxing dinner. Couples have “their song,” de-coupling lovers resort to that particular song or another. Songs become like talismans and incantations for the modern person; music carries our spirit through the manifold landscapes of an incarnated life.

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