On the Creative Process of Living and Dying

I hesitate to objectify the creative process by attempting to define it any other way than listing attributes. Life itself is an unfolding mystery with infinite creative potential. Both life and creativity are undoubtedly subjective and find honest expression through language that reaches known limits of the quality spectrum from bliss to despair. In part, it is the opposition, within the psyche, which Jung poetically describes in his creative self-experiment known as The Red Book. In his book, Jung refers to the serpent as a connection between two principles in man. He said, “One cannot live with forethinking alone, or with pleasure alone. You need both” (p. 247).

How does a person’s singular capacity for conscious attention balance pleasure, as a body sensation, with its opposition, forthinking? Another way to contemplate this tension is to ponder the connection between the body and the mind. Jung says, “The way of life writhes like the serpent from right to left and from left to right, from thinking to pleasure and from pleasure to thinking” (p. 247)

I imagine that Jung’s creative work in the Red Book by night balanced the scientific aspects of his profession in psychology by day. Another dramatic example of this balancing act is Bloom’s transformation, seen in his film, Appointment with the Wise Old Dog. The film chronicles his dream image work while he fought cancer. Bloom experienced a miracle during what is, for many, the frightening experience of dying. For Bloom the dream’s, “a means through which he could enter into the living theater of the collective unconscious”, and the art he made illustrates “his inner journey towards his final vision of wholeness (‚ÄúDream Images,‚ÄĚ 2012).

David Bloom Dream Images

“David was an outstanding musician, who never had a drawing lesson. He did discover that when he painted images of his dreams, no matter how simply, he just felt better.¬†

His inner world, as frankly revealed in this extraordinary film, is a very personal one.¬† But it has a message for us all.¬† It reminds me of the miraculous power of the human spirit.”¬†¬†Yo Yo Ma,¬†from the¬†DVD¬†Appointment with the Wise old Dog¬†by David Blum, Musician and Dreamer



Dream Images. (2012). Retrieved February 1, 2016, from http://www.davidblummusiciananddreamer.com/dreamimages.htm
Jung, C. G. (2012). The Red Book: A Reader’s Edition. (S. Shamdasani, Ed., J. Peck & M. Kyburz, Trans.) (1 edition). W. W. Norton & Company.