I left work late one evening, jumped in my car, turned on the radio and the first thing I heard was “he lived in a cabin for a year and had no connections to the outside world.” I had caught NPR in the middle of an interview with Griffin Dunne who was speaking about his father Dominick Dunne who just passed away in August. I’ll admit I’m not as cultured as I’d like to be and never heard of Dunne (who was a famous author, television producer and personality). However, I was interested in why he decided to cut himself off from humanity and what came out of this period in his life. Doing some light research on Wikipedia, I discovered Dunne went into hiding in 1979 to “overcome personal demons.” (His son said during the NPR interview that elder Dunne was trying to stop drinking.) But most importantly, Dunne wrote his first book during this period. This self-inflicted solitude had been a huge muse for Dunne.
This perfectly timed NPR clip inspired me for two reasons. First, I’ve always had a mild obsession with cutting myself off from the rest of the world as some sort of personal experiment. Second, I have a borderline obsession with Friedrich Nietzsche. Nietzsche wrote his most influential book, Thus Spake Zarathustra, while living in solitude after suffering some traumatic love triangle drama (Read about it here). Nietzsche, like Dunn, placed himself in voluntary isolation where he conceived and wrote the first part of Zarathustra (the best work of his career) in only ten days.
This idea of facing your demons and being left to deal only with yourself is powerful. While it definitely is mildly psychotic it can bring forth some intensely creative energy.
What are your thoughts about these forms of extreme measures to overcome issues in your life? Is the creative by-product a transmutation of negative forces into something positive? Or are such extreme measures childish, attention-driven and narcissistic?
HealthPanda offers a therapist directory to help you find all types of Philadelphia therapists and psychologists. Find a therapist that fits all your needs in our fast growing directory today.
Using Your Imagination to Increase Your Patience
3 hours ago