Is Social Rejection the Key to Creativity?

Interesting exploration of the demands of creativity. Beyond solitude, there may be a definite connection between actual Otherness and the spark of creation.

Cody Delistraty

On the psychology of why rejection and loneliness may be necessary evils for the creative genius

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7 thoughts on “Is Social Rejection the Key to Creativity?

  1. I just read that to. I thought the use of Van Gogh lent itself to his point but your sentences of Otherness and Creative Spark feels more ppropriate in general…like, you don’t need to have rejection but rather that separateness to link to that river of creativitiy which can be isolating . ???

    1. Perhaps I only named the reason behind the social rejection. Those who possess a creative spark are often also gifted with a different perspective as well as lacking the social intelligence to hide their difference. Human groups can react negatively to Otherness, which leads to rejection, because they fear challenges to the collectively agreed-upon reality with its various social institutional. Otherness declares that their point of view may not be as “natural” and foregone as they would like to believe, and that makes them question everything else if they accept it.

      In response, the creative intellect gives the time and attention that would ordinarily be claimed by other people to their art. But first, they have to give up the idea of acceptance–and a deep chasm of loneliness lies between them and understanding. If they make it across, this passage further accentuates their Otherness. They have seen what the orthodox populace fear and keep away with the brightness of unceasing motion and noise–a dark place.

      1. You put it this in a truthfully honest light. Reacting with fear to “otherness” is utterly lacking of skill to be accepting of our differences and it’s that notion that constricts growth and love. I have a hard time understanding that perspective. It’s stifling and very sad to think of staying in that thought process rather than seeing that otherness holds unseen or unconsidered possibilities…which always hold answers, I’m my mind.
        I love this statement because it’s so true: “Otherness declares that their point of view may not be as “natural” and foregone as they would like to believe, and that makes them question everything else if they accept it.” I would have replaced the word “natural” with “right”. I don’t like admitting it but I am seeing that people, in general, do not like to examine themselves deeply. I have my blindspots and fears but I don’t want to maintain them after I recognize them. That’s what is really scary to me. Maybe why that’s why the underdog is revered – for fighting the fight we sometimes choose to neglect…maybe I just got sidetracked into another topic.

      2. I could expand on that other topic, given my education. But I think here is not the place.

        Rather, have a snack fo your brain–human sociality–how we form groups–tends to be built upon generalized tropes which are honored in spirit, or at arms length, but treated scornfully up close. Altruism and the otherness of the artist–which has the flavor of spirituality and the terrifying strangeness associated with what cannot be understood from an outside perspective–are two such tropes.

      3. That sounds like fearing what you are not because your initial reaction is that you don’t know “it” as your own self. Tribal mentality which is safe but divisive. ( I’m laughing because if this conversarion were visual, I’d be grasping with my fingertips on the basket of the hot air balloon you’re calmly standing in. lol

      4. Let’s put it this way: humans are pattern-seeking animals. We like to find a pattern and become used to it–in fact the ability to form stable, extra-familial social groups is predicated on this. It’s a delicate balance of selfishness and communal well being.

        Those we consider Other–people from other groups, “seers” or those who treat with arcane concepts we don’t really understand, and many types of artists who retain the ability to go within themselves, which most of us have lost, threaten that pattern. They break it simply by existing in our presence–like a submerged rock in a stream.

        We shun this potential damage to the pattern, and I’ll stick with natural, because rightness doesn’t go deep enough. It is the voice declaring that the earth goes round the sun. It is the voice that tears to shreds our ideas about who should be allowed to vote, who should marry whom, and what is possible if we seek answers rather than shrouding our cosmos in a mystery religion to cloak the nakedness of our fearful ignorance.

      5. I understood that from what you said before. To me it’s simple base tribal mentality. I too am comforted by historically social and familial patterns simply because they are familiar and known but I will always look to what’s different as something to learn from. Fear is natural to self preservation but I think we have to examine first and then determine if something is a threat whether it’s artists, ideas, or whatever BUT that would mean that we would have to entertain the idea that our fear is misplaced and that fear, if examined, COULD bring possibilities to move beyond it. I get what you are explaining. It’s an old practice I’ve seen in my family, read in books, learned about in various courses. I just wish we would evolve quicker, that’s all.

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