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Life is a Creative Enterprise

Life is a Creative Enterprise

Psychologists who study creativity say that artists and writers often can produce more new ideas in their sixties or seventies than in their twenties. One interesting variable is that the later you take up any creative pursuit, the more likely you are to pursue it into old age.

Eliot Porter, one of America’s premier landscape photographers, did not publish his first picture until he was past 50; Julia child came to television when she was past midlife. In both cases, success steadily increased through the next three decades.

Creative experience may enhance the structure of the brain itself. Chinese studies of old people in Shanghai indicate that less educated people have higher rates of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease; the implication is that educated people, having been trained to use their minds, stimulate healthy brain activity.

PET scans show increased blood flow to the brain during periods of creative thought; a distinctive EEG of coherent rhythms across all bands of brainwave activity is associated with the “Aha!” or “Eureka!” experience that characterizes art and creativity in general.

Also, it’s a myth to think that it harms the brain to get too wrapped up in mental work. As long as it is enjoyable, concentrated mental activity gives rise to alpha-wave patterns typical of “restful alertness,” the relaxed but aware state also found in meditation.

Life is a creative enterprise. There are many levels of creation and therefore many levels of possible mastery. The later years should be a time when life becomes whole. The circle closes and life’s purpose is fulfilled. In that regard, active mastery is not just a way to survive to extreme old age – it is the road to freedom.

Adapted from Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press, 1998).

Read more: Deepak Chopra's Tips, Spirit, , , ,

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Deepak Chopra

Acknowledged as one of the world's greatest leaders in the field of mind body medicine, Deepak Chopra, M.D. continues to transform our understanding of the meaning of health. Chopra is known as a prolific author of over 49 books with 12 best sellers on mind-body health, quantum mechanics, spirituality, and peace. A global force in the field of human empowerment, Dr. Chopra's books have been published in more than 35 languages with more than 20 million copies in print.

59 comments

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7:14AM PDT on Jun 21, 2012

Interesting thanx

5:48PM PDT on Jun 16, 2012

Thanks.

8:47AM PST on Feb 27, 2012

Thanks for the post

4:18PM PST on Feb 3, 2012

Thanks for the article.

4:35AM PST on Dec 1, 2011

This is very reassuring to hear - and Martin Amis is just a bloody misery!

4:22PM PDT on Aug 28, 2011

Seems to me that we can apply all that chaotic energy of "midlife crisis" to these pursuits.

But it does not surprise me that we have more time that we chose to dedicate to things that live beyond our physical selves as we get past the active parenting years, or retirement from employment.

6:11AM PDT on Jun 10, 2011

Nice to know that creative activity affects the physical brain (increase blood flow). So let us engage in all artistic activity as often as we can

10:47PM PST on Nov 27, 2010

thanks

3:38AM PST on Nov 13, 2010

Thanks

2:17AM PDT on Sep 15, 2010

thanks for post

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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