DOI: 10.14704/nq.2013.11.4.695

A Biopsychosocial Approach to Creative Dissociation: Remarks on a Case of Mediumistic Painting

Everton Oliveira Maraldi, Stanley Krippner

Abstract


A category of religious experience that still preserves much of the original blurring and fusion between art and religion is mediumistic or spirit painting. Performed by spiritualist mediums in different locations around the world, this form of religious experience is characterized by the supposed ability of an individual to serve as an instrument for deceased artists to continue to perform their works. In the manner of so-called automatic writing, mediums try to reproduce aspects of the style of deceased painters, in order to demonstrate their identity and survival of bodily death. Little scientific research has been conducted concerning this topic. We present a brief analysis of painting activity performed by Jacques Andrade, a Brazilian medium. Born in 1945, Andrade, who has been active in the Brazilian Kardecist movement for many years, has dedicated most of his religious life to mediumistic painting at his center (The Leonardo da Vinci Salon of Mediumistic Art). Data about the medium were collected on several different occasions, from 1998 to 2013, and include psychophysiological measures (hand temperature, heart rate, bilateral skin conductance, muscle tension, and electrical brain activity), psychological measures (Dissociative Experiences Scale, Tellegen Absorption Scale, Revised Transliminality Scale, and Childhood Trauma Questionnaire), artistic material, observational data (photographs of paintings, observations of the medium in action), and some basic socio-demographic and biographical information. Basically we sought to evaluate: a) general aspects of the painting technique and style employed by the medium, b) the main features of his pictorial production, and c) the general behavior shown by the medium during the mediumistic activity. In an effort to combine and integrate our findings about this case, we propose a biopsychosocial approach to the study of what might be called creative dissociation.

NeuroQuantology | December 2013 | Volume 11 | Issue 4 | Page 544-572

Keywords


dissociation; creativity; religious experience; imaginative involvement; mediumship; mediumistic painting

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Supporting Agencies

Foundation for Research Support of São Paulo (FAPESP) and Saybrook University Chair for the Study of Consciousness



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