Creativity: Denial of Death?

Art, History, Travel, Philadelphia and the World Through the Lens of Creativity.



I was looking through old clothes in my basement when I found this painted wooden box. It belonged to my grandmother Emma Montgomery who was born in 1886.  Someone got the box as a Christmas gift that year. My Great Grandmother? MB3

My mother kept the box for years and stored rose petals from my Grandmother’s funeral inside.


Which got me to thinking.   Why do we spend so much effort creating art in a world that is  impermanent ?  To be remembered?  To pass the time? To escape from our demons?  All/none of the above?


[T]he only way to work on perfection is in the form of an objective work that is fully under your control and is perfectible in some real ways. Either you eat up yourself and others around you, trying for perfection, or you objectify that imperfection in a work, on which you then unleash your creative powers. In this sense, some kind of objective creativity is the only answer man has to the problem of life. In this way, he satisfies nature, which asks that he live and act objectively as a vital animal plunging into the world; but he also satisfies his own distinctive human nature because he plunges in on his own symbolic terms and not as a reflex of the world as given to mere physical sense experience. He takes in the world, makes a total problem out of it, and then gives a fashioned, human answer to that problem. This, as Goethe saw in Faust, is the highest that man can achieve.”
Ernest Becker, “The Denial of Death, page 185