August 1968

Creativity and Eternization: Essays on the Creative Instinct.

Author Affiliations

By Prof. Dr. Joost A. M. Meerloo. Pp 272. Royal Van Gorcum & Co., The Netherlands, 1967.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1968;19(2):242-243. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1968.01740080114019

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Creativity and Eternization is a collection of 16 essays on the creative instinct.

Meerloo defines creativity as man's urge to conquer mortality, to remain immortal. It is his desire to perform beyond the limits of meeting his biological needs. Creative power and freedom conquers the fear of death. Hence, man seeks eternization—the eternal.

He compares artists: those who are creative and unconcerned about the critic; those who are painfully critical themselves and aware of the observer; and the lonely philosopher who follows his own path in spite of painful awareness of the critic.

As examples of creative artist he chooses to understand Vincent Van Gogh, Leonardo da Vinci, and Rembrandt. He sees Vincent Van Gogh as a man who was a keen observer of human drama and human pain who became lost through his own sensitivity. "His fervent struggle with color, light and material merely serves

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