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Some core truths about creativity
am 20. November 1999
Rollo May was personally very familiar with the creative process: he was not only a pioneering psychotherapist, philosopher, prolific and poetic author, and sought after teacher and lecturer, but also a gifted watercolorist with great appreciation for art and music. So, in these hundred-or-so pithy and entertaining pages, he shares with readers some core truths about creativity and its psychology. Courage, as the book's apt title implies, is at the very heart of creativity, since to be creative requires us to risk seeing reality anew, and to try (typically not wholly successfully) to express our experiences in creative work, despite the anxiety such soul-searching and self-revealing endeavors inevitably engender. Creativity always requires taking a chance on one's self-- meeting one's unconscious, or shadow, or what May called the daimonic--and moving ahead despite self-doubts, discouragement and anxiety. Courage, as May makes clear, is not the absence of insecurity, fear, anxiety or despair, but resides in the decision to move through these feelings as constructively or creatively as possible. For anyone struggling with the creative process, this classic meditation on creativity can provide welcome encouragement.