Homospatial Thinking in Creativity

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Albert Rothenberg, MD ... thinking has a salient role in the creative process in the follow- ... emphasis on regression, such as, "Einstein thought like a child." On the other hand, the highly valuable nature ... considered to be characteristic of dreams, schizophrenia, ..... but we treat each other like polite strangers) through halls.

Homospatial Thinking in Creativity Albert



thinking" consists of actively conceiving two discrete entities occupying the same space, a conception leading to the articulation of new identities. Homospatial thinking has a salient role in the creative process in the following wide variety of fields: literature, the visual arts, music, science, and mathematics. This cognitive factor, along with "Janusian thinking," clarifies the nature of creative thinking as a highly adaptive and primarily nonregressive form of functioning. (Arch Gen Psychiatry 33:17-26, 1976) \s=b\ "Homospatial

or more

understanding the unique capacity produce great works of art, de¬ velop new and important scientific theories and dis¬ coveries, and establish and administer important social in¬ ventions, the challenge of understanding creativity has generated much psychiatric speculation and controversy. On the one hand, the frequently touted and often exag¬ gerated eccentricities and unusual life styles of creative people and their use of unusual or deviant modes of thought in their work has led to a strong emphasis on psychopathology; the diagnostic method known as "pathography" is characteristically applied to the biographies

The challenge certain of



persons to

artists, writers, and scientists. There has also been


such as, "Einstein thought like a child." On the other hand, the highly valuable nature of creative achievements has seemed to be at odds with such perspectives. Therefore, there have been speculations em¬ phasizing adaptive, healthy, and progressive rather than regressive factors in creativity. Theoretical compromises and rapprochements between the two alternatives have constituted a third approach. Lombroso was the first psychiatrist to speculate exten¬ sively about creativity, and he connected genius directly to degenerative insanity.1 The early psychoanalysts em¬ phasized the role in creativity of regressive modes of thought which were termed primary process thinking and considered to be characteristic of dreams, schizophrenia, primitive cultures, and early childhood.2 ' Freud also em¬ phasized these types of thought in creativity, but unlike some of his followers, he was aware of the difficulty of making them wholly responsible for highly valuable achievements.4 Subsequently, Ernst Kris developed an im¬ plication he believed to be present in Freud's own work on wit,5 and attempted a direct rapprochement with the con¬ cept of "regression in the service of the ego," which




Accepted for publication Aug 6, 1975. From the Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn. Dr Rothenberg is now Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington. Reprint requests to 139 Webb Circle, Monroe, CT 16468.

emphasized both regression and adaptation in creativity. According to Kris, preconscious thought elaborated by pri¬

mary process mechanisms such as condensation and dis¬ into consciousness during the creative process, but the creative person is not overwhelmed by it: "The general assumption is that under certain conditions the ego regulates regression, and that the integrative functions of the ego include voluntary and temporary withdrawal of cathexis from one area or another to regain improved control."6 With his emphasis on the importance of the preconscious aspect of the psychic apparatus in cre¬ ativity, Kris deviated from what had been a previously ex¬ clusive psychoanalytic emphasis on the Unconscious, al¬

placement erupts

though he still considered concrete, primitive, and id-derived material to be


central aspect of creative

thought. Lawrence Kubie pushed the matter into contro¬ versy by taking off from Kris' formulations about pre¬ conscious processes and insisting that the Preconscious alone was responsible for creativity.7 He argued that only the preconscious aspect of the psychic apparatus could have the flexibility necessary to produce creations. He held that the Unconscious was rigid and stultifying, and that creativity, rather than derived from id material or re¬ gression, was totally healthy and adaptive. Other formula¬ tions that emphasize adaptation and are therefore poten¬ tially in conflict with formulations about regression and psychopathology in creativity are as follows: Schachtel's alloplastic mode of perception8; Federn's concept of ego boundaries9 and its elaborations, especially Rose's notion of an expansion of ego boundaries in creativity10; Winnicott's concept of transitional phenomena11'and its exten¬ sions.12 Dissatisfaction with placing regression, and par¬ ticularly primary process thinking, at the core of creativity seems to have reached its zenith in the recent revisions of psychoanalytic theory proposed by Noy14 and other ego psychoanalysts. Arguing that the traditional concept of primary process thinking could not possibly ac¬ count for creativity in art, Noy proposed a complete theo¬ retical revision of the concepts of primary and secondary process thinking; according to Noy, the role and develop¬ ment of these modes of thought depend on their particular functions in relation to art and reality. Few of these speculations are based on empirical data that are derived directly from creative persons, except for some observations accrued from psychoanalytic treat¬ ment. Barron,15 whose data did derive from empirical study of creative people, took no direct position on the psychoanalytic controversy about regression and primary process; however, he believed that his findings suggested both high degrees of ego strength and of psychopathology in creativity. MacKinnon,16 citing Barron's findings and other empirical studies of creative persons at the Institute l:i

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of Personality Assessment and Research, proposed a dif¬ ferentiation between creativity and psychopathology that hearkened back to Otto Rank, an earlier psychoanalytic advocate of a unique theoretical compromise. Rank differ¬ entiated among the following three character types and stages of development: creative, adaptive, and neurotic.17 On the basis of my own empirical studies (the overall design of which has been presented previously18), which to date consist of 1,520 hours of intensive psychiatric inter¬ views of outstandingly creative people, special manuscript analyses, and controlled experiments, I described and pre¬ sented experimental evidence for a specific thought pro¬ cess in creativity called "Janusian thinking."1922 This pro¬ cess consists of actively conceiving two or more opposite, contradictory, or antithetical concepts, images, or ideas simultaneously. At the time, I pointed out that it was not a primary process mode of thought, but rather an ad¬ vanced type of abstract or secondary process thinking. Moreover, I alluded to other thought processes in creativ¬ ity that functioned to integrate simultaneously posited antitheses, or Janusian thoughts. In this study, I describe another empirically discovered thought process that is also an advanced abstract or secondary process mechanism. This thought process functions both to integrate Janusian thoughts and as an independent factor in the creative pro¬ cess. The material presented here is derived from a book on creativity currently in preparation.

Homospatial Thinking The second thought process operating in the process of creation is what I designate as "Homospatial thinking." The term derives from the Greek word, "homo," meaning "same." Homospatial thinking consists of actively conceiv¬ ing two or more discrete entities occupying the same space, a conception leading to the articulation of new identities. In this process, concrete entities such as rivers, houses, hu¬ man faces, as well as sound patterns and written words, are superimposed, fused, or otherwise brought together in the mind and totally fill its perceptual space, that is, the subjective or imaginary space experienced in conscious¬ ness. Although the process often involves the visual mode, the "mind's eye" so to speak, any of the following com¬ plete range of sensory modalities may be involved: visual,

auditory, tactile, kinesthetic, olfactory, or gustatory. Any

discrete sensation or series of discrete sensations may be actively conceived as superimposed or fused with one or more other discrete sensations. Not a matter of synesthesia, which is the experiencing of sensations from one modality in terms of another modality, discrete entities and their sensations are intentionally superimposed in the

Homospatial process. Of necessity, a Homospatial conception is always a rapid and fleeting one. Discrete entities cannot remain unified for very long, even in the mind, and the diffuse ini¬ tial conception soon leads to a separation and precipi¬

tation of various components and the articulation of new identities. The components separated out of a Homospa¬ tial conception are new integrations and not merely as¬ pects of the original discrete elements combined in some additive fashion. In other words, they are not merely products of a stepwise comparison or a consideration of similar aspects of discrete independent entities, but are

products of

a fused or unified conceptualization. These identities are not the products of analogic thinking, that is, the finding of analogies and similarities between disparate entities, but of a wholly different process. In order to illustrate these distinctions and clarify the operation of the Homospatial process, let us take the cre¬ ation of the following specific and definite poetic meta¬ phor: "The road was a rocket of sunlight." When I asked new

people, (including students, critics, philoso¬ phers, psychologists, and psychiatrists) how they believed this metaphor came to be created, most said that they guessed that the poet was standing above a road on a sunny day, or he was thinking of standing above such a road, and he noticed that the sun made the road look like the trail of a rocket. Some said that the poet was driving his car, or thinking about it, and he felt like he was a rocket in the sunshine. Other people varied details and speculated about some experience combining the two types of circumstances. As another example, consider the metaphor: "The branches were handles of stars." When asked how this metaphor was created, people invariably said that the poet was walking in the country (or park) at night, and when he looked up at the trees, he noticed that the branches of the trees look like they connected with the stars shining through them. Homospatial thinking, however, does not operate in such a way, and producing poetic and highly effective metaphors is one of the prime functions of the Homospa¬ tial process. The metaphors were actually created as fol¬ lows: in the first instance, the poet was attracted by the numerous

words "road" and "rocket" because of their similar sound qualities, the alliteration and assonance, and because of the somewhat similar shape of the physical entities that they denoted. Then, fusing and superimposing the words and physical entities in his "mind's eye," bringing them together because he felt they ought to be together, he fleetingly thought, "When in reality are they the same?" He then simultaneously thought of the word "sunlight" and of sunlight shining on a road. In the second instance, the poet was also attracted to the sound and physical sim¬ ilarities between "handles" and "branches" and, super¬ imposing and fusing them, he thought of the points of stars (and the sound properties of the word "stars"). In other words, in neither instance did the actual perception, image, or thought of the sunlight or of the stars come first, nor did the similarities and connections evoked by the perception of the play of light or the idea of it gener¬ ate the metaphors. Only after the discrete entities of roads and rockets or handles and branches were brought together and fused, because the poet actively fused them, did the thought of a plausible circumstance (and further sound similarities) occur to him. The popular view of metaphor creation that I have de¬ scribed is also shared by advanced theorists and23 is based on a universal experience when hearing or reading an ef¬ fective completed metaphor. It is based on an extrapola¬ tion from the psychological and aesthetic impact of the metaphor rather than a detailed knowledge of the steps in its development. Thus, when hearing or reading "The road was a rocket of sunlight" or "The branches were handles of stars" we all tend to conjure up scenes of riding on roads or walking in woods. We tend to compare branches

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or to see relationships between trees and had not noticed before. We also compare rockets of sunlight with speeding cars or think of the blinding light on the road. The poet, too, later visualized such scenes and thought of such comparisons, and they en¬ hanced his own appreciation of the metaphor he created. However, these visualizations and thoughts followed after the construction of the metaphor through the Homospatial

stars that



Homospatial Thinking in the Creative Process Creation of effective metaphors, which consist of the in¬

tegrated representations of abstract ideas, is a major function of the Homospatial process. Such metaphor con¬ struction is an important aspect of diverse types of cre¬ ative processes, not only in poetry and literature, but in music, the visual arts, and science. Other crucial creative operations also depend on Homospatial thinking. In liter¬ ary creation, effective and meaningful rhymes, rhythms, alliterations, assonances, and double meanings (uncon¬ nected to metaphors) result from the Homospatial process. Character creation in novels, short stories, plays, and po¬ etry is due to an active fusion and superimposition of per¬ sons the author had known, images of himself, and the de¬ veloping image of the character he is writing about.

It is well known that authors draw their characters from actual persons. In a famous textbook of creative writing, George G. Williams lists 100 well-known connec¬ tions between literary characters and real persons, rang¬ ing alphabetically from Louisa May Alcott's parents and her characters of Mr and Mrs March in Little Women to Owen Wister's hero in The Virginian and his personal friend, COL George R. Shannon.24 However, consider the following observation by the novelist Elizabeth Bowen: "The unanswerability of the question, from an outsider: 'Are the characters in your novel invented, or are they from real life?' Obviously, neither is true."25 Bowen's as¬ sertion, stated in various ways by creative writers throughout the world and throughout the history of fic¬ tion writing, would be quite mysterious without an under¬ standing of the Homospatial process. Literary characters are neither from "real life" nor are they totally invented, because they result from a superimposition and fusion be¬ tween the author's mental representation of real persons and a mental representation of the developing character, whose qualities arise from the circumstances and struc¬ ture of plot. This is not an unconscious process; the writer is aware of vague, diffuse images that are derived from the intentional bringing together in the mind's eye of self-representations, person representations, and repre¬ sentations of the literary character in process. Throughout my interview studies of highly creative writers, novelists, playwrights, and poets, such a phenomenon has been con¬ stantly described or else discovered through detailed ex¬ ploration; it was never described or elicited in interviews of novice writers or noncreative subjects engaged in fic¬ tion writing for a fee. For instance, a Pulitzer Prize win¬ ning novelist agreed to record all his thoughts prior to set¬ ting to work on a particular chapter one day; the results clearly showed that a particular character in the novel de¬ veloped directly from a mental fusion of images of two discrete college campus locations and the persons in the

(A Rothenberg, MD, unpublished data). Also, in a study involving reconstruction of the creation of the prizewinning play, High Tor by Maxwell Anderson, a recon¬ struction based on a special statistical analysis of manu¬ script revisions in conjunction with intensive interviews of close surviving family members (similar to a previous analysis of revisions in Eugene O'Neill's play The Iceman scenes

Cometh™), there was evidence of such a process. The lead¬ ing character of that play was clearly a fusion of an im¬ portant self-representation of Anderson himself, his dead grandmother's lover, the living young owner of the Hud¬ son palisade named "High Tor," and of characteristics de¬ termined by the nature of the plot. All of the persons men¬ tioned and the plot of the play were, according to his family's testimony, clearly in Anderson's consciousness at the time. Anderson's self-representation of a son grap¬ pling with a father's legacy could be unmistakably de¬ duced from a previously undiscovered connection to the play; Anderson's own father had died shortly before he be¬ gan the drama's creation. Revisions clustered around dead characters in the play at the .05 level of significance (A

Rothenberg, MD, unpublished data). In the visual arts, the Homospatial process operates to produce what may be called a "visual metaphor." The vi¬ sual metaphor results from the creative artist's capacity to transcend the ordinary perceptual distinctions between figure and ground (as defined by Gestalt psychology) and to visualize pictorial elements in the same plane. For in¬ stance, a distant mountain in a landscape scene is brought into the same visual plane as a house in the foreground. The resulting image is a fusion of the house and moun¬ tain, and the painting produced is an integration of these elements in which the house and mountain mutually inter¬ act and modify each other. As the aesthetician Virgil Aldrich noted,27 the house becomes mountain-like and the

mountain is domesticated. A similar process occurs in ef¬ fective use of elements of color. As the great 18th century colorist, William Hogarth pointed out: "By the beauty of coloring, the painters mean that disposition of colors on objects, together with their proper shades appear at the same time both distinctly varied and artfully united, in compositions of any kind. ."28 In modern times, the highly creative colorist, Joseph Albers, constantly stressed throughout his famous book out¬ lining the creative approach to color that colors must be seen as discrete and fused at once. As he put it, "The mu¬ tual influencing of colors we call—interaction. Seen from the opposite viewpoint, it is—interdependence."29 From the point of view of overall composition of a painting, note the following statement of a constant fac¬ tor in the creation of his works by a leading Expressionist, Max Beckmann: "What helps me most in this task is the penetration of space. Height, width, depth are three phe¬ nomena which I must transfer into one place to form the ."30 abstract surface of the picture. In sculpture and architecture, the manipulation of dis¬ crete spatial elements and the visualization of them as oc¬ cupying a single space is even more striking than in paint¬ ing. Louis Kahn, the great creative architect, described his initial conception of the Congress Hall in Vienna as one of parallel lines superimposed upon a circle, and his city plan for Philadelphia as derived from a mental image super-

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imposing streets and rivers.11 Other creative architects, speaking more generally than Kahn, describe the superimposition of horizontal and vertical dimensions and the constant visualization of what


architect called "mul¬

space."32 Henry Moore, the outstanding modern sculptor, made the following general observation about the creative process in sculpture:


sculptor must do. He must strive contin¬ and use, form in its full spatial complete¬ ness. He gets the solid shape, as it were, inside his head—he thinks of it, whatever its size, as if he were holding it com¬ pletely enclosed in the hollow of his hand. He mentally vis¬ ualizes a complex form from all round itself; he knows ,33 while he looks at one side what the other is like This is what the

ually to think of,



Clearly, the phrases "holding it completely enclosed in the hollow of his hand" and "visualizes a complex form from all round itself" indicate a Homospatial conception of discrete entities occupying the same space. In music, references to space and spatial conception are a complicated matter because the musical experience seems primarily temporal rather than spatial in character. Nevertheless, auditory perception does have important spatial characteristics and musical patterns are structured in terms of figure-ground relationships. Analogous to the visual artist, the composer creates metaphors in the audi¬ tory sphere through mental superimposition and fusion of foreground and background patterns, of vertical and hori¬ zontal directions, and through bringing elements of figure and ground into the same plane. Note, for example, Beethoven's description of his compositional process: head, I begin to elaborate the work in its narrowness, its height, and its depth, and as I am aware of what I want to do, the underlying idea never deserts me. It rides, it grows up, / hear and see the image in front of me from every angle, as if it had been cast In my


breadth, its




[Italics added]34


description is almost identical to the previ¬ sculptor Henry Moore, and it refers to what is clearly a Homospatial process in musical cre¬ ation. Moreover, lest it be considered that the process was somehow unique to Beethoven and to nineteenth century composing, note the following statement by Arnold Schoenberg, the composer whom many consider the father ous

statement of the

of modern music:


law of unity of musical space [is] best formulated as follows: the unity of musical space demands an absolute and unitary perception. In this space, as in Swedenborg's heaven (described in Balzac's Seraphita) there is no abso¬ lute down, no right or left, forward or backward.... To the imaginative and creative faculty, relations in the material sphere are as independent from directions or planes as ma¬ terial objects are, in their sphere, to our perceptive facul¬ ties. Our mind always recognizes, for instance, a knife, a bottle or a watch, regardless of its position and can repro¬ duce it in the imagination in every possible position.... [in¬ .


In scientific creation, the Homospatial process plays an important role in the construction of both elaborately complex and more simple metaphors, eg, "black holes in space," "left-handed molecules," "superego," which have been crucial for the development of theories and for scien¬ tific discovery. Construction and use of metaphors is, in fact, intrinsically related to model building in science, as Kenneth Burke first pointed out36 and as Max Black devel¬ oped in an extensive study on the topic.37 The creative sci¬ entists who have been subjects in my recent interview on detailed questioning, described com¬ plicated thought sequences that were clearly manifesta¬ tions of the Homospatial process. A Nobel Prize laureate microbiologist, for instance, described his arriving at a new idea about enzyme behavior by visualizing himself superimposed upon an atom in an enzyme molecule.

researches have,

Outside of my ematicians have

direct researches, two great math¬


provided detailed descriptions of the thought process leading to very important creations, and both designate a Homospatial process. First, there is Poincaré's description of the ideas colliding and interlocking in his discovery of a crucial aspect of his famous Fuchsian functions: One evening, contrary to my custom, I drank black coffee and could not sleep. Ideas rose in crowds; I felt them collide until pairs interlocked, so to speak, making a stable combi¬ nation. By the next morning I had established the existence of a class of Fuchsian functions, those which came from the hypergeometric series. ,38 .


There is also Hadamard's description of the conception leading to the discovery of "the valuation of a deter¬ minant," a conception in which two discrete entities, a rec¬ tangle and a square, were visualized as occupying the same space: "... I see a schematic diagram: a square of whose sides only the verticals are drawn and inside of it, four points being the vertices of a rectangle and joined by (hardly ap¬ It. seems to me that such was my parent) diagonals. visualization of the question in 1892, [when I made the dis¬ covery] as far as I can recollect. ." [italics added]39 .







In several other instances, the importance and diversity of the Homospatial process are indicated by its clearly cru¬ cial role in very important scientific discoveries and in nu¬

artistic creations as well (A Rothenberg, MD, un¬ further elucidation, however, I will now turn to a detailed report of the creation of a specific poem. Homospatial thinking was first discovered in con¬ junction with this particular creative process, and the re¬ port will therefore provide extensive documentation, clar¬ ify the operation of the Homospatial process further, and provide the basis for an understanding of its psychodynamic function. merous

published data). For


sertions added]15

Schoenberg speaks of perceiving entities in every pos¬ sible position in a manner analogous to Moore and Beetho¬ ven. Virtually the same are Homospatial thinking and his absolute and unitary mental perception, in which entities in the material sphere are seen as independent of direc¬ tions or planes.


REPORT OF A CASE of the Creation of a Poem

The following description of the creation of a poem is ab¬ stracted from a series of interviews with one of my research sub¬ jects. As described in previous communications,18·19-22-40 these research interviews are carried out on a regular ongoing basis, either weekly or biweekly, and are focused directly on creative work in progress. At the beginning of each session, writer sub¬ jects submit to me material they have produced during the inter-

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val between scheduled interviews (when indicated, subjects sub¬ mit written material prior to the interview and it is electronically copied and returned). When no written material is produced dur¬ ing the interval, discussion focuses on general matters pertaining to the work in progress, such as the reasons for the lack of mate¬ rial or further elaboration of previous discussions; interview regu¬ larity, in other words, is independent of the subject's patterns of work in order that the interviewer's influence (implied expecta¬ tions, etc) on the writing process be minimized as much as pos¬ sible. Subjects are paid or offered fees for interview time, inter¬ views are carried out in the subject's home or studio, and the interviews are tape recorded. The subject is one of America's major poets. Winner of two ma¬ jor literary prizes, his sole occupation is writing. At the time of the creation of the poem to be described, he and I had worked to¬ gether for two years; we had discussed many poems and had de¬ veloped a high degree of rapport. Because of his interest in the re¬ search project, he had, on his own initiative, begun to keep a written record of his dreams. Although highly motivated and in¬ sightful, he had no commitment to any particular psychological theory, nor had he ever made a systematic study of psychological, psychiatric, or psychoanalytic literature. During an extended visit to the southwestern part of the United States, the poet and a male friend took a trip to Monument Valley, Ariz. Named for the unusual rock formations resembling monu¬ ments or statues of humans and animals, this valley is located in the Colorado Plateau, east of the Grand Canyon and Rainbow Bridge, and is a bleak, arid region. Although the two friends had planned to picnic at the site, they found it difficult to do so; both their enjoyment of the dramatic scenery and their picnic plans were disturbed by the blowing and stinging sand. However, while they were attempting to eat their lunch, an unexpected event oc¬ curred that turned out to be quite important to both of them: in the midst of the blowing sand, seemingly out of nowhere, a small bedraggled horse appeared before them. The poet's friend, who had a good deal of experience with horses and had strong feelings about them, was immediately quite moved. He was excited by the horse's presence and the strange and sudden way in which it had appeared. The poet, preoccupied and bothered by the sand, was less immediately impressed, but partly because of the dramatic qualities of the situation, he thought to himself that he might some day write a poem about the experience. It was several months before he thought about the horse again. While working in his study one morning, he thought of the inci¬ dent at Monument Valley and also thought of a poem about horses by another poet, Edwin Muir. He arrived at an initial idea for a poem of his own and wrote the following lines:

pumice blew Through Monument Valley The Elephant rock ached Hot

The Three Sisters wailed It was not the place for a picnic We ate in the car's shade Hunched over at top speed Looking up, there was our guest, At death's door



Slender, tottering liquid eyed anything that stimulated his thinking about Monu¬ ment Valley on the particular day he began the poem? When I first asked him this question, he could think of nothing at all; it was an ordinary day and the idea just "came to him." As we ex¬ plored the matter further, however, he thought of a possible stimulating factor, a factor of which he was entirely unaware at the time—he had been expecting a visit from a female friend on the following day, a friend whom he had last seen on the same trip during which he paid the visit to Monument Valley. This woman had also been a guest at the house of the poet's male friend, de.

Was there



parting shortly before the two men made their picnic trip to the desert site. The probability that her expected visit (unconsciously) revived the poet's thoughts about Monument Valley was strength¬ ened by a piece of corroborating evidence-the same woman ap¬ peared in one of two dreams he had the night after starting the poem. These dreams, both of which eventually proved to have nu¬ merous connections to his thoughts about the poem, were reported to me in the poet's own words as follows (the woman whose visit was expected is given the pseudonym of Miriam in the following): Dream 1

[pseudonym initial of the poet's male friend] and I are trip or a visit. We come to a soccer field and feel like playing, even though one must pay to do so. If we start at J. T.

on a

shall have two hours worth for a few dollars But the other players delay. Next, indoors, we are shown a room with two day beds. Miriam enters and begins compulsively to make up my bed—rather to tear it apart un¬ der the guise of making it. I keep asking her not to, and fi¬ nally am angry. She falls back in a swoon, dressed only in underclothes. Other people enter slowly: J. T. in a sweat¬ shirt and a boring old couple I am stuck with throughout the party. I have made my own bed by then. once,



Dream 2 I've taken a position in a large comfortable house. I am to be the companion of a very old woman—at least 100. After many preliminaries I am led (by my mother among others, but we treat each other like polite strangers) through halls and up stairs to arrive at the invalid's apartments. I expect her to be bedridden but in honor of the occasion she has risen to meet me at the door-an ancient dwarf with my grandmother's face, head smiling and enlarged, in a blue dress. My mother, with a practiced movement, takes the old creature onto her shoulders. I touch her hands. They are horribly small, a baby's-no, hands made by a plastic sur¬ geon, the last joints missing from the fingers, and little false nails attached. We sit down to supper—she in her chair, I on the end of a chaise longue. Her teeth have little secondary fangs attached, which enable her to eat. People are watching. It is clear we are going to be delighted with each other. In an old unused electric heater is mounted a bad copy of a copy of a portrait, coarsely colored and printed, of R. G. [pseudonym initials of an old family friend]. There's some question of destroying it.

Through detailed associations to these dreams, many latent meanings and unconscious factors pertaining to the final poem the poet constructed became apparent (A Rothenberg, MD, unpub¬ lished data). This discussion concerns only the major dream ele¬ ments, associations, and meanings that clarify the specific thought processes operating in the creation of the poem. Given the connection between the woman's visit and the incep¬ tion of the poem, let us go back to the subject's conscious thoughts on the day he began. The fragment that he wrote is a fairly unpoetic narrative description of the experience at Monument Val¬ ley. Some poetic overtones, consisting of references to an aching elephant rock and to the wailing of the three sisters appear, but the thought guiding the construction of these lines that the poet

considered the initial idea for the poem (some would call it the "in¬ spiration") consisted of a concept pertaining to Edwin Muir's poem. The subject told me that Muir's poem concerned the ending of the world. The few human survivors left were standing around when suddenly some horses appeared on the scene. Thinking of this poem in connection with the appearance of the horse at Monu¬ ment Valley, the poet suddenly thought, "Horses live human lives." The full development of this idea consisted of an assertion of the following simultaneous antithesis: horses, while they were

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beasts and clearly nonhuman were, at the same time, members of the human species. The development of this idea is a typical example of Janusian thinking. Rephrased in strict logical terms, the idea would be that "horses were at the same time members of the human species in a sense." The poet himself, in other words, was clearly aware of the logic of the matter at the moment he posited the seemingly paradoxical assertion. He thought of horses renouncing their own kind to live in the human sphere and of a statement about dogs by the poet, W. H. Auden: "dogs are loyal, yes, but to humans, not to other dogs." A Janusian thought characteristically consists of an active and coherent assertion of simultaneous antitheses or oppo¬ sitions. Unlike schizophrenic thinking, which posits simultaneous contradictions illogically, the Janusian thought occurs in the pres¬ ence of clear logic; it thus may be called "translogical," a tran¬ scendence of ordinary logical operations. Usually occurring early in the creative process, the implications and plausibility of the Janusian thought are developed and elaborated as the process un¬ folds. In this instance, the thought of a horse as both human and nonhuman simultaneously guided much of the ensuing construc¬ tion of both the content and structure of the poem. Rewriting the initial lines of the poem reproduced above on the same day, the poet added the phrase "A tradition in China as in modern verse/ Gives to each age its emblematic beast." In writing this phrase, which does not appear at all in the final poem, he began to formu¬ late the overall emphasis of the poem; the horse, in its nature of both beast and nonbeast, human and nonhuman, simultaneously, would be the emblem of our times, the emblem of the currently ubiquitous and much-discussed dilemma of alienation. The Janusian thought of the horse as simultaneously beast and nonbeast, human and nonhuman has important unconscious con¬ nection to the material in his dreams on the night the subject be¬ gan the poem and also to his relationship with his female friend, which will later be considered along with the psychodynamics of the poem. Let us now look at the final poem, completed several days later, to see the ultimate development of the initial Janusian .



thought: In Monument Valley spring twilight, during a lull in the war, At Shoup's farm south of Troy, I last rode horseback. Stillnesses were swarming inward from the evening star Or outward from the buoyant sorrel mare Who moved as if not displeased by the weight upon her. Meadows received us, heady with unseen lilac. Brief, polyphonic lives abounded everywhere. With one accord we circled the small lake. Yet here I set among the crazy shapes things take. Wasp-waisted to a fault by long abrasion, The 'Three Sisters' howl, 'Hell's Gate' yawns wide. I'm eating something in the cool Hertz car When the shadow falls. There has come to my door As to death's this creature stunted, cinder-eyed, Tottering still half in trust, half in fear of manDear god, a horse. I offer my apple-core But she is past hunger, she lets it roll in the sand, And I, I raise the window and drive on. About the ancient bond between her kind and mine Little more to speak of can be done.* The final poem, it might be said, bears little overt resemblance to those prosaic early lines written the first day. It is clearly a fine poem, a true creation, and it conveys much complex and powerful thought and feeling. However, comparing the final poem to the early fragment, we see that the essential outlines of the last three stanzas were already cast on that first day: the descriptive content of the initial fragment and of the last three stanzas is substan¬ tially the same. The references to particular "monuments," the One





reference not cited at author's request.

presence of a car, the eating, and the appearance of a horse are all contained in both the initial fragment and the last three stanzas of the final poem. The Janusian thought that was not explicitly in¬ cluded in the first day's fragment but did guide its creation is tac¬ itly expressed in the final two lines of the completed poem. The reference to an "ancient bond between her kind and mine" clearly

suggests the poet's initial thought about the conjunction between horses and humans. Overtones of the Janusian idea, especially the dual or binary quality of the horse-human relationship, are also contained in the lines "still half in trust, half in fear of man." So far, I have only outlined the operation of Janusian thinking in the creation of this poem; now, to the Homospatial process. The last three stanzas of the poem were, in their essentials, conceived and written first. They focused on the horse and were guided by the Janusian thought of the horse as simultaneously beast and nonbeast or human and nonhuman. Only later did the conception that generated and guided the construction of the first two stanzas occur. This second conception, together with its develop¬ ment, is an example of the process of Homospatial thinking. On the morning after the dreams reported, the poet had a complex thought when thinking about returning to work on the poem. He thought of the horse in conjunction with a rider, and he dimly con¬ ceived in his mind's eye an image of the horse and rider and of the horse alone, all occupying the same space. He did not merely visu¬ alize a rider alone, a horse alone, nor a rider astride the horse. He did not merely connect a horse and rider through an associative linkage, but he visualized the horse and rider occupying the same space. Not a combination of human and animal, such as a centaur-a mythical creature that was part horse and part humanthe entities in his conception retained their wholeness and dis¬ creteness while seen as superimposed and fused. In discussing the conception later, he spoke specifically of a "double thing" and of intentionally bringing together horse and rider as representations of the ideas of body and soul. This thought of horse alone and horse and rider together in which the horse and rider were superimposed, fused, or otherwise occupying the same space, led to his construction of the poetic im¬ age of spiritual and virtually physical union ultimately contained in the first two stanzas. Later in the same day, he worked on the lines he had written the day before and he tried at first to follow the segment about the horse's appearance with the following: A gentle broken horse For all he knew it could have been I who first Broke him, rode him, abandoned him When I went off to study or to war.

Thus, his first formulation of the Homospatial conception con¬ tained a reference to the horse alone and to himself as the horse's rider. Stopping his work on the poem at that point, he returned to it the next day. He then decided to emphasize the past relation¬ ship between the horse and rider and to bring them together right away, and shifted the idea to the beginning of the poem. The next day, he began anew, as follows: We live mostly in the past or in the future These lines begin in one and end in the other It was the first or second summer after the war That I last found myself on horseback.

Thus, the major substance and structure of the poem was deter¬ mined. Within the next several days, he brought the poem to its completed form, only changing some occasional words shortly be¬ fore publication some months later. What was the creative func¬ tion of the Homospatial conception in this sequence? Coming after the initial Janusian thought of the horse as beast and non-beast, human and nonhuman, simultaneously, the Homospatial thought containing a human rider fused with, or occupying the same space as the beast, served to integrate the Janusian idea into a single image. This image, the virtual union of human and animal, is pre¬ sented almost explicitly in the final version of the first two stanzas

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of the poem. The lines in these stanzas reflect a strong sense of unity and accord between the rider and the horse. In this way, the Janusian idea, with its simultaneous contradictions, is rendered cognitively and affectively meaningful; it is presented in experien¬ tial terms and integrated into a poetic image or metaphor. The integration of the Janusian thought into a single image also served to unify the poem, to mold the first fragment into the final aesthetic unity of the completed poem. The idea of the horse in conjunction with a previous rider gives a background and a past history to the experience in Monument Valley. The poet made this connection explicit in his first attempt at using and elaborating the Homospatial thought in the poem: he referred to "the past" and suggested a previous relationship between the human (the I" of the poem) and the animal. Next, still guided by the Homospa¬ tial thought, the poet decided to emphasize a past relationship be¬ tween the human and the animal through a structural device; he shifted the horse and rider idea to the beginning of the poem and he also dropped the reference to the horse alone in that construc¬ tion. As a result, there was both a temporal integration—a begin¬ ning, a middle, and an end to what might be called the "story" or the development of the poem—and a dynamic structural integration-the sense of unity between human and animal in the begin¬ ning stanzas contrasts sharply with the alienation and separation at the end. In cognitive terms, Homospatial thinking is a mode of formal abstract operation, specifically a process of spatial abstraction. Conceiving of two or more entities occupying the same space is clearly possible only on nonconcrete level. Concrete entities never occupy the same area of space; such an event is only possible as an abstraction from reality. While the Homospatial process may pro¬ duce a metaphor that renders an abstract thought into concrete or spatial terms—indeed, the creator of the poem had abstract ideas in mind of the horse and rider representing the relationship of the body and the soul—the Homospatial process is not itself a concrete mode of thinking. During the course of the creative process, the Homospatial formulation in the creator's mind, its instigation, and its development have all the qualities of a high level type of abstraction. The creator of this poem was fully aware that the dis¬ crete entities in his mind could not, in reality, occupy the same space and he manipulated the Homospatial thought abstractly. He brought the entities together into the same space because he felt they ought to be together. In other words, Homospatial thinking is neither a manifestation of pure associational cognition nor a manifestation of primary process. The Homospatial process is dif¬ ferent from the thinking in dreams or in schizophrenia. I will clarify this point by a brief return to the dreams reported earlier. Aside from connecting the writing of the poem to the poet's female friend and, as we shall see later, to his mother, these dreams played a role in the psychological process pertaining to the poem. Nothing overt or obvious suggests this. The dreams oc¬ curred on the same day as the poet began the poem and therefore some connection might be assumed. Although he is not mentioned directly in the poetic fragment written during the day, the poet's male friend who accompanied him to Monument Valley does ap¬ pear in one of the dreams. But neither the horse itself nor any¬ thing about Monument Valley appears directly in the dreams to connect them to the poem. However, a close inspection of the dream and an inspection of the very important second dream (the poet's associations bore out that the second, more extensive dream was the major one; a longer dream is often "the principal clause," and the first, or introductory dream, the "dependent clause," as Freud put it41,turns up an interesting connection to the poem. In the second dream, the poet's mother is carrying her mother on her back much as a horse carries a rider. Not only does this image of grandmother on mother's back indi¬ cate conclusively, along with the poet's associations, that the dreams pertain to the poem and the ideas connected with the poem, but it also suggests a psychological continuity between

these dreams and the creative process. After all, the poet's first thoughts about the poem concerned only the horse alone on the first day. After having a dream containing an image suggesting a horse and a rider, he then comes up the next day with the idea of a horse and rider for the poem. Certainly there is an unconscious continuity between the dream thoughts and the waking thoughts related to the poem. However, a comparison between the dream thoughts and the waking thoughts highlights differences rather than similarities between dreams and Homospatial thinking. In other words, the sequence does not suggest a manifestation of pri¬ mary process thinking in the waking thoughts about the poem, but a distinct, albeit related, thought process. The following three points of distinction immediately stand out: (1) the poet was not at all thinking about the dream at the time he had the Homospatial thought in which the horse and rider were together. He himself did not see the analogy of his grandmother on his mother's back until he and I discussed the dreams and the poem in our interview session much later. Moreover, no direct connection existed be¬ tween the images of the dream and the poem: the horse was not in his dream and neither his mother nor grandmother were associ¬ ated with his waking thoughts about the poem. (2) The dream im¬ ages, as is characteristic of primary process thinking, were vivid, whereas the Homospatial thought of the horse alone and the horse and rider together was vague and diffuse. (3) Whereas the dreams did depict beast and human entities occupying the same space by condensation or compromise formation (note the grandmother's beastlike fangs in the dream), the Homospatial thought contained human and beast entities that were clearly discrete as well as fused or superimposed. The Homospatial thought of the horse and rider did not consist of the compromise formation of a horse with a human head (the centaur), nor did it consist of a human with a horse's head. Both horse and rider were visualized as discrete but as occupying the same space. A further consideration of the psychodynamics underlying the creation of this poem will specify the nature of the continuity between the dream thoughts and the Ho¬

mospatial process.


COMMENT of the Creation of the Poem

The major psychological issues underlying the writing of this poem, which were revealed in a collaborative analy¬ sis of the subject's dreams, concerned his mother, the fe¬ male friend, his sexuality, and his desire to be free of bur¬ dens and to be independent. This sequence of psychological events can be reconstructed as follows: While anticipating the visit of his female friend, he began thinking of the in¬ cident at Monument Valley, an incident associated with the visit to the southwestern part of the United States and the last time he saw her. As might be inferred from the erotic overtones in the first dream, he was attracted to this woman but was also disturbed about this attraction. The Janusian thought about the horse reflected (through the negation defense, which I shall discuss shortly) this underlying ambivalence. The horse, at first primarily rep¬ resenting the poet himself, was conceived as both beast and human simultaneously. For him, sexual feelings toward the woman were animal-like or beastly, and they con¬ flicted with his human, more "spiritual" feelings towards her. Thus, the horse was to be "an emblem" of our times, a representation of his current conflict as well as an intellec¬ tual and aesthetic symbol. However, the conflict about this woman touched on the poet's deeper conflict about his relationship to his mother. The second of his two dreams contained an Oedipal wish, the desire to be the sole object of his grandmother's and mother's attention; there was "some question of destroy-

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ing" the photograph in the heater (his association, the minimal male presence in the house and his only competi¬ tion); he and the grandmother were clearly delighted with each other (his association, a time in his life when he, his mother, and his grandmother lived alone together). The dream also contained another theme—the grandmother on the mother's (her daughter's) back represented the bur¬ dens parents put on children. Although he wished to have his mother (and grandmother) to himself, he feared the burden and demands she would put on him. An analogous conflict is contained in the first dream directly concerning the female friend; under the guise of helpfulness, she also becomes a burden. She tears the bed apart "under the guise of making it." His wish for escape is expressed at the end of this first dream—he makes his own bed. The poet's association to this part of the dream was: "I go my

way." Working on what ultimately became the final stanza of the poem, the poet expressed this idea of going his own way in the lines referring to the dissolution of the bond with the horse. "Little more to speak of can be done" re¬ flected his wish to be free of his own conflict, a conflict em¬ bodied in the dual nature of the horse. However, on the same day as he conceived these lines, he had also begun working out the Homospatial idea, the idea in which the horse and rider were occupying the same space. His work¬ ing out of the Homospatial idea led to a dramatic incident during the writing and produced a shift in the poem. The own

incident is psychodynamically dramatic because the shift it produced helps clarify the relationship of the dream thoughts to the poem. The incident consisted of the fol¬ lowing: as he continued to work on the Homospatial idea, deciding to put the horse and rider at the beginning of the poem, and describing the scene in detail, he felt an urge to change the horse's sex! Although the poet did not notice the sex of the actual horse that appeared at Monument Valley, he described the horse of the poem only as a male in all the early drafts. This is consistent with the point that the horse at first represented this male poet's own conflict. Following the dreams, however, and more importantly, following the Homospatial thought, he changed the horse's sex to fe¬ male. Thus, the word that first came to him, the word that he decided to use in this connection, was, of course, the word for a female horse—"mare." On the surface, this change and the use of this word might at first seem quite innocuous or unimportant, but it assumes import with re¬ spect to the psychological processes operating in the cre¬ ation of this poem in view of the following: the English word "mare" has exactly the same properties as the French word "mère, meaning "mother. Thus, there emerged into the poem itself a word that presumably would connect to a deep unconscious meaning. The horse and rider relation¬ ship in the poem could then represent the poet's deepest wish, that is, with his mother as the horse, he would be the rider and therefore be supported and cared for by her. At first blush, this is merely an interesting confirma¬ tion of the postulated unconscious connection between the dreams and the poem. However, going only that far ig¬ nores an important characteristic of this poet (of most poets, for that matter); highly fluent in French, the poet was always acutely sensitive to multilingual overtones of "


the words he used in poetry, such as the similarity be¬ tween "mare" and "mère." It was the use of this word and not his dreams that brought the connection between the poem and his mother clearly into his awareness. Thinking about his use of the word "mare," he became immediately convinced that the poem unconsciously pertained to his mother. In other words, the urge to change the horse's sex, an urge that followed the Homospatial conception, led to the poet's performing an act that uncovered an uncon¬ scious connection. As it is clear that the unconscious con¬ nection came to his awareness, producing an understand¬ ing of an underlying aspect of the poem, it is appropriate to say that he achieved a measure of insight (independent of the investigator's influence: he characteristically achieved such insights while creating). The Homospatial conception was therefore part of a psychological progression that resulted in the uncovering of an unconscious meaning and the achievement of in¬ sight. There is reason to believe that the Homospatial pro¬ cess itself plays a role in facilitating such insights. Unlike primary process thinking in dreams, which allows for the discharge of impulses by disguising, distorting, or other¬ wise hiding unconscious meaning, the Homospatial pro¬ cess characteristically functions to reveal unconscious meaning. The Homospatial process functions to reverse the censorship of dreams. In this particular instance, the Homospatial conception and its subsequent effects re¬ versed the primary process condensation of the parent on the child's back in the dream (grandmother on mother) and put the child (the poet) on his parent's (the mare's) back, an image more directly representing the poet's un¬ conscious wish. Both Janusian and Homospatial thinking function to reveal unconscious meaning and to reverse the censorship of dreams. While we know that dreams are "the royal road to the unconscious," this has only been truly so since Freud's discoveries. They are only revealing from the viewpoint of a sensitive therapist or other sensitive per¬ son. The poetic creative process, as I have described in de¬ tail elsewhere,40 always results in some measure of uncov¬ ering of unconscious meaning for the poet himself. In a complex way, this is true of other types of creative pro¬ cesses as well. The


of the



In the creation of this poem, the Homospatial process differed from the dreams and from primary process think¬ ing in the following respects: (1) the image in which horse and rider were together and superimposed was actively and intentionally formulated; (2) the image was vague and diffuse rather than sharp and vivid; (3) the dreams ob¬ scured the poet's underlying wish at the time of writing the poem and had no overt or direct connection to the waking, logical thoughts involved in creating the poem. The Homospatial conception applied directly to the wak¬ ing thoughts and anesthetic logic of the poem and it led to revelation rather than obscurity by means of a reversal of the condensations in the dream. The fusion of the horse and rider in his fully awake consciousness began a pro¬ gressive uncovering of the disgused representations in the dream. Thus, after the image of horse and rider in the poem was created, the poet's underlying wish came closer

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to awareness through the urge to change the horse's sex, and eventually led to the attainment of a degree ofinsight. An alternate explanation of the psychodynamic rela¬ tionships might be that the phenomena I have discussed, namely, the dreams, the Homospatial conception, and the use of the word "mare" were all direct manifestations of primary process thinking. According to the "regression in the service of the ego" hypothesis, the Homospatial con¬ ception, rather than being a highly complex abstract cog¬ nition, would itself be a manifestation of primary process thinking that was somehow controlled by the ego and shaped through language and logic to produce the result¬ ing effects. The Homospatial conception, because it in¬ volves sensory imagery and unusual spatial configura¬ tions, would merely be the disguised representation of the poet's primitive wish for fusion with his mother and a pri¬ mary process condensation. This explanation not only ig¬ nores the strikingly different characteristics of dream or primary process thought and the poet's fully conscious and actively formulated abstract conception, but it ignores the important sequence of mental events I have described. There is a progression from the waking thoughts about the poem to the dream thoughts and back again to the thoughts about the poem, a progressive unearthing of an unconscious meaning. The Homospatial process is not an eruption of primary process material into consciousness that is then mysteriously controlled by some undefined ego operation. The Homospatial process is itself an ego operation and a form of secondary process thinking. The Homospatial conception did not occur during a period of "withdrawal of cathexis," a decrease of attention in the environment, or an immersion in fantasy as required by Kris' concept of "regression in the service of the ego;" on the contrary, it occurred when the poet was fully aware of his environment and beginning to think of how to modify his poem in process. Moreover, the horse was clearly con¬ sidered to be a stallion rather than a mare at the time of the Homospatial conception, and only later was it changed to a female representation of the mother. Psychodynamic fusion is a function of the Homospatial process but it is not a primitive or regressive fusion, it is an adaptive one. Homospatial thinking involves fusion of cognitive and perceptual elements and, as cognition and perception always have affective and motivational compo¬ nents, it also involves some fusion of drives as well. While such fusion of drives is necessarily limited, and only an ac¬ companiment of the fusion on a cognitive level, it never¬ theless functions adaptively in the creative process. As is well established in modern psychoanalytic theory, fusion of drives to any degree results in neutralization of psychic energy.4244 Neutralized psychic energy is a basic psy¬ chodynamic factor in adaptive functioning. As a result of the Homospatial process, neutralized energy becomes available during the creative process and serves to propel the creator toward insight. This energy also instigates other adaptive and creative operations as well. Thus, to some degree, the creative process generates its own adap¬ tive energy. The psychodynamics of the progressive sequence, and of the secondary process ego operations of Janusian and Ho¬ mospatial thinking, is as follows: Janusian thinking, as I have noted previously,19-22 bypasses repression through the

defense mechanism of negation. (As Freud pointed out, when first describing the negation defense,45 the person who says, "I had a dream last night, but it was not about my mother," has most surely dreamt about his mother.) Through negation—in the case of Janusian thinking there are the multiple negations of simultaneous antithesesunconscious material enters consciousness but repression is not overcome. The person using the negation defense disavows that the material is his own or that it comes from his own Unconscious. Thus, the Janusian thought of the horse as beast and human simultaneously entered the poet's consciousness but he considered only its aesthetic implications rather than any personal meanings of sexual conflict or Oedipal longings. It was as though the poet were saying, "The horse (myself) is not beast and not hu¬ man, that is, I am not a humanly beast nor a beastly hu¬ man." Of course, in his Oedipal longings for his mother (and grandmother), he felt he was both of these. The Janusian thought, then, embodied the poet's uncon¬ scious conflicts and concerns, which, though negated, re¬ mained in consciousness. Next, the Homospatial process, by conceiving the horse and human (the rider) as occupy¬ ing the same space, functioned to produce a psychodyna¬ mic fusion. This was not a primitive fusion or, to use Rose's term, a "narcissistic fusion"46 of himself with his mother because at the time of the conception, both the horse and rider represented aspects of himself. It was therefore a fusion of the elements in his own conflict, and these elements in the poet's conflict can be considered to be derived from his sexual and aggressive drives. Al¬ though the conflict was superficially represented in terms of human and beast, the poet was torn between aggres¬ sively going his own way (the rider who rejects the horse in the end) and his erotic impulses (the horse as a presen¬ tation of his "bestial" sexual longings). Horses, it should be added, are frequently the objects and representations for sexual feelings, for persons of both sexes.

Homospatial conception, though operating primarily on cognitive level, served to fuse some portion of the poet's sexual and aggressive drives. Through fusion of sex and aggression, neutralized psychic energy became available as an adaptive force and it propelled the poet toward in¬ sight. The poet conceived the horse and human occupying the same space, his sexual feelings then came closer to consciousness and, not too long after, he became aware of the connection between the poem and his feelings about a

his mother. The function of fusing sexual and aggressive impulses is characteristic of the Homospatial process in all its manifestations in diverse types of creative processes. Though it is primarily a cognitive manipulation in that it does not necessarily result from the full working through of conflicts nor does it produce real resolution of conflicts, it still produces some fusion of drives. Hence, unlike the primitive fusions of primary process thinking and the wished-for fusion found in schizophrenia and other psychopathological processes, the fusion associated with Homo¬ spatial thinking is progressive and adaptive in function. Neither Homospatial nor Janusian thinking is primitive nor regressive. Neither are manifestations of primary process nor regressive thinking that are in turn controlled by ego mechanisms, as required by the "regression in the

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service of the ego" hypothesis of creative thinking, but they are both ego processes. They are forms of secondary process thinking that transcend logic and ordinary modes of thought. While they somewhat resemble manifesta¬ tions in dreams and unconscious processes, they are not manifestations of dreaming or of the unconscious in wak¬ ing life. But they each serve to reveal unconscious mate¬ rial to some degree. As a result of their superficial sim¬ ilarity to dream manifestations and to primary process thinking and also because of their revealing of uncon¬ scious material, there has been much confusion about the role of the Unconscious in the creative process, par¬ ticularly in the field of art. Homospatial Thinking in Creation As a creative process, the major function of Homospa¬ tial thinking is unification and integration, unification of discrete spatial entities in a metaphor, integration of Janusian thoughts, and unification of diverse other as¬ pects of the product being created. In brief, while Janu¬ sian thinking functions in a general way to produce speci¬ fication, symmetry, and encapsulation during the process of creation, Homospatial thinking functions, by and large, to produce unity. Taken broadly, Janusian thinking serves to bring together specific interrelated elements out of the relatively diffuse substratum of experience and knowl¬ edge. Elements that are opposite or antithetical (recipro¬ cally contrary), rather than merely different, incongruous, or unrelated, are crystallized and juxtaposed. Moreover, opposites and antitheses involve polarities and, therefore, they tend to be symmetrical, eg, left and right, cold and hot. When polarities are brought together in the Janusian conception, there results an encapsulation of an area of experience and knowledge, an encapsulation with sym¬ metrical qualities. The encapsulation defines a domain of knowledge or meaning and the symmetrical qualities are enormously useful in theory building in science and in the basic shaping of artistic forms. Homospatial thinking, when it functions together with Janusian thinking, serves to integrate the specific oppo¬ sites and antitheses and fuse the encapsulated domain. When Homospatial thinking operates alone, it helps to un¬ ify disparate aspects of experience, to relate theory to concrete experience, and vice versa, and to construct uni¬ fied works of art. As creating is a process of building and forming new entities out of diffusion and chaos, these two thought processes play a large role in the production of both content and form in diverse types of creations. With the definition and discovery of the two thought processes, we have thus come farther along in understanding cre¬


This study was supported by Public Health Service Research Scientist Career Program Award 23,621, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the Estate of Gladys B. Ficke, Ralph F. Colin, Executor. Read before the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis, New York, March 1975.

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