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Altered States: Creativity Under the Influence Paperback – September, 1999
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From Library Journal
In this fascinating book, Hughes explores the lives of famous "creatives," from Plato to Vincent Van Gogh to chess player Bobby Fisher, observing that the "creative process requires, at least in some of its operations, a state of consciousness that is dramatically, sometimes dangerously altered." The book becomes especially absorbing when Hughes considers the effects of brain chemistry, illness (including mental illness), and drug use on the work of famous "creatives." Hughes speculates that the "death wish" expressed in some of Keats's poetry and the "sweet sadness" in Chopin's nocturnes might have resulted from their tuberculosis. He also considers Faulkner's manic depression, surmises that Sir Isaac Newton was a schizophrenic, and shows how opium, hashish, cannabis, and cocaine might have influenced the art and activities of many "creatives." This thoroughly enthralling book will appeal to anyone interested in the components of creativity, whether or not they agree with Hughes's premises. Highly recommended.ARobert T. Ivey, Univ. of Memphis
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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The rest of the book is visually appealing, relevant and informative on the links between consciousness and creativity and would be of interest to anyone interested in spirituality and consciousness with interesting facts and comments on topics as diverse as Transpersonal Psychology, Shamanism, Dreams, Idea incubation, Play and more.
I feel this book has missed it's true target audience through misleading marketing. I found it in a bargain bin here in Australia and am thrilled at the discovery, only sorry to see it has not been appreciated for its true worth.