Saturday 3 August 2013

High Psychoticism/ creatives attitude to the church (and other institutions)


Yesterday I posted about the church attitude to creatives - what of the opposite?

Again there are no rules - but the problem can be clarified.


The main problem of the creative with high Psychoticism is probably ego - the ego of the creative is naturally and necessarily strong.

The strong ego can be undermined or crushed, but at a heavy cost - the cost of destroying creativity. So this is not the right path.


The principle is: creativity (potentially) good, therefore strong ego (potentially) good.

BUT a strong ego does not - not at all! - imply entitlement to status, power, influence - and in the context of the difficulties presented by a high Psychoticism personality, then the attitude of the creative ought to be one of seeking a niche in an institution, a niche where he is tolerated and able to do his work.

(Rather than attempting to transform the institution to optimize his own peculiar nature and needs, or attempting to harvest special rewards or a privileged position.)


To summarize the summary: the attitude of a creative is to find a church he can respect: therefore a strong church, 'orthodox', traditional, conservative etc; yet church which also tolerates him specifically - tolerates to the extent of not trying to mould him into a different, and not-creative, semi-person.

Such tolerance will usually be ad hoc and unsystematic and by a specific church leader - tolerance in practice rather than according to theory.

And the creative needs to accept that this is all he can reasonably expect - to be allowed a niche and to be shielded from the normal consequences of his personality - because if the tolerance extended to difficult cases such as himself was made a matter of regulation and routine, then the church (or any other institution) would collapse.


To summarize the summary: one common problem of a strong ego is the sense of entitlement, which leads to resentment; therefore the antidote to excessive ego is gratitude, and gratitude leads to loyalty - which is what the church requires of its creatives.

In a nutshell: creatives who are in an institutional situation where they are being allowed to be creative should count their blessings!



Cantillonblog said...

Given that we live in an era where many institutions are in need of transformation, and that creative types are the only ones that are capable of seeing what is to be done, why do you suggest that they should be content merely to occupy a niche in which they are for the time being tolerated ?

Bruce Charlton said...

@C - from my previous posting:

"Creative people typically have a personality type of the (moderately) high-Psychoticism type which is a shopping-list of mostly undesirable traits

For example, creative people are often not conscientious, which means that cannot force themselves to perform duties reliably, regularly, over a long period. They may lack empathy and be rather unconcerned by the opinions of other people. They may be impulsive, prone to tantrums and sulks."

cantillonblog said...

But just because they are difficult, why should they avoid trying to transform an institution in a way that is required by Nature? If they don't do it, who will? And if no one does it, the institution will fossilise and the life go out of it. Low conscientiousness (and as you say they can behave in a way that would seem to others to be highly conscientious when doing something that grabs their interest over a long period of the) just means that they need to get help with the tedious but necessary bits.

Do you not think that there is something defeatist in your counsel ? In practice being tolerated within a niche may be the best someone like that can hope for, but does that mean they ought not to strive to do better if they see a useful role to do so.