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From the May 2005 issue of The Christian Science Journal

There's a widespread belief in the artistic world that pain and suffering are a necessary part of the creative process. That to be successful artists have to suffer, they have to be emotional. It's called the "artistic temperament." And it's something I've had to deal with myself.

In grad school, we had some fairly passionate discussions on the nature of the creative process. Professors and students alike agreed that just as conflict is the essence of all drama, tension is at the root of all creation—the tension between opposing elements like light and dark, good and evil, truth and error. The vibration between the two opposites makes creativity happen. And this tension also shows up in that artistic temperament with its highs and lows, depression and elation, control and addiction.

On one level, this perception made sense to me. I'd actually felt that tension myself as an artist. But as a Christian Scientist, it also troubled me. How could I accept that a universe formed by an all-good God necessarily included warring elements or that the creation of something beautiful had to spring from struggle and pain? And it also seemed to me that if two things truly are opposites, they shouldn't create tension, they should cancel each other out. Truth doesn't war with a lie, it destroys it.