The Art of Inner Work -V-

5/7/22

Last but not least, one has to know the motifs of creation myths if one ever analyzes a creative personality.

To analyze creative people is a great problem because often such people think they are neurotic or in a neurotic crisis, and show every sign of this, but when you look at their dream material, it shows that they are neurotic not because of a maladjustment to the outer or inner facts of life, but because they are haunted by a creative idea and should do something creative.

They are haunted by a creative task; outwardly they behave exactly as other neurotic people do, and very often diagnose themselves as neurotic on account of it.

Now, the difficulty is that you cannot make the invention for the other!

Let us say that a physicist who should invent something comes to you; his unconscious wants that of him.

You cannot do it for him! For one thing, you probably do not know enough about physics, and besides, it would then be your invention, and “invenere” means to step into something, to discover something new, and you cannot do that for another person.

Thank God, for you would steal the most valuable experience of his life if you did.

So you have to accompany the other on his painful way. He says, “Yes, but what have I to find out?”

Well, I don’t know either, but he has to find out something!

But he says that if I can’t tell him what it is, that does not help him.

But you must have enough scientific material on hand to be able to show him that now a creative act is taking place, that a new world is about to be born, that something new wants to enter consciousness.

There are certain preparatory processes which must be understood, because from them you can at least derive some indications as to the direction the invention will take and can spare your analysand a painful waste of time.

You can serve him like a dog who sniffs and says, “Not there, not that track, but rather over there!”

Thus you can circumscribe intuitively the direction in which his creative inner process is moving, so that he need not waste his time for years in chasing wrong tracks but can sooner come close to the original world-creating event which has constellated in his psyche.

~ Marie-Louise von Franz, Creation Myths, p. 18-19

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