Otto Rank was an amazing person.

I have been reading something so exciting and hopeful for all artists and creative people that I have to share.

There is a marvelous book called "The History of Psychiatry" written by Franz G. Alexander, M.D. and Sheldon T. Selesnick, M.D. in 1966 floating out there in the world. I found my copy in the dollar room of a local book shop called Sam Weller's Bookshop. I am fascinated by the human body and right now, the brain; so, I was excited to see what this book had to say about the people who have tried to understand it.

Last night I read a section about psychologist Otto Rank. In his treatise on artists, Der Kunstler, published in 1907, he says, "...the artist is able to restore by a peculiar roundabout way the originally pleasurable relationship to the outer world that mankind lost in attaining civilization." How completely wonderful.

For those of you out there who are like me, an artist, or a writer, a creative person, someone who loves any of these things and feels like humanity is in a downward spire, that the world is so crowded that it is nearly lost among a myriad of shopping malls, that too many human beings are mean and selfish, this is an extremely hopeful thought. It is a realization of what is happening around us and in understanding, there is hope.

In creating a world that is fast paced, full of traffic, gadgets that keep us from hearing silence and thinking, cubicles and the lot, we have a world that has forgotten or is too busy to stand still and look up at the sky, to think for even a minute about anything, to enjoy silence, to be creative, to do anything that allows us to remember that we are just creatures, just little creatures in a vast universe. We need to breathe and slow down and enjoy being alive.

And ARTISTS, we are part of what matters, part of what helps all of us remember what a great universe we as a species are a part of. Artists are worthwhile, we are KEY in taking this world in a direction that matters.

Art is not something to leave by the wayside, it is not a silly hobby, it is a symbol of being connected to the world, Earth's essence, all that matters. Forget the mindless, quiet desperation that comes with being alive in a crowed fast paced world filed with cubicles and worry and go for a walk, smell a tree, paint a picture or read a book. Go do it now. We'll all be better off for it.

To read more about Rank CLICK THIS. Below is a bit of the treat you will be in for.

How our struggle for independence goes determines the type of person we become. Rank describes three basic types:

First, there is the adapted type. These people learn to "will" what they have been forced to do. They obey authority, their society's moral code, and, as best as they can, their sexual impulses. This is a passive, duty-bound creature that Rank suggests is, in fact, the average person.

Second, there is the neurotic type. These people have a much stronger will than the average person, but it is totally engaged in the fight against external and internal domination. They even fight the expression of their own will, so there is no will left over to actually do anything with the freedom won. Instead, they worry and feel guilty about being so "willful." They are, however, at a higher level of moral development than the adapted type.

Third, there is the productive type, which Rank also refers to as the artist, the genius, the creative type, the self-conscious type, and, simply, the human being. Instead of fighting themselves, these people accept and affirm themselves, and create an ideal, which functions as a positive focus for will. The artist creates himself or herself, and then goes on to create a new world as well.

--Copyright 1998, C. George Boeree


Anonymous said...

For the reasons you said you like Rank, an undiscovered genius, you would also like Ernest Becker.

Kara Boulden said...

Thanks for the tip, I'll take a look at his work.

Chuck Workman said...

I agree with both you and ol' Otto. The problem I have with archetypes is that they try to make people fit a mold - for example, I see aspects of myself in each of his 3 you mentioned. There's a reason that the Nazis killed all the creative types and free thinkers first. Hitler couldn't very well have imaginative people constantly reminding other folks that they were human beings, not mindless drones.

Kara Boulden said...

Too true!

Betsy Grant said...

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