The creative process can be a tortured thing at times. One day, there you are just breezing along, everything is flowing, all cylinders seem to be firing, inspiration is a warm breeze blowing from the south and all is well with the world. You just create because you can do nothing else.
Then something happens and everything comes to a halt. All dried up. Artists block. If you were a car we’d be checking to make sure that the petrol hadn’t run out. You sit there and stare out of the window. You walk in all weathers. Zero. Nada. And if time passes before inspiration again begins to flow, then there often begins to be anguish and we feel, little by little, tormented by some unseen force.
Thus is the pain of the creative process.
I was just listening to a TED talk by Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert, wherein she looks at the dread that has followed her runaway success. She talks of the fear of not being able to ever create something of the quality of Eat, Pray, Love. That she may now be looking at her creative pinnacle in her rear view mirror and how daunting and troubling that can be. But in a spirit of self preservation and to bolster her own mental health she has spent time examining this. So much so that she now proposes that the creative process does not belong to the artist in totality and, thus, is not solely the artist responsibility.
Let me pick up a couple of points she raises.
Firstly, in the ancient world the Greeks believe that it was an external entity, a daimon or guiding spirit that delivered inspiration to the artist so the artist was the willing recipient and translator of the inspiration. Then the Romans who held a similar belief but referred to the inspiring entity as a genius.
So, right through until the reformation many believed that inspiration was an external thing. It was the reformation, placing man at the centre of the Universe, that made the artist the genius. And here is the crux of the issue. At this point people took upon themselves the pressure to create because, well, it was the individuals gift so the responsibility of the same. Hence the tormented artist who seeks within, the darkest corners of her being, to find something that can be called art.
Flying in the face of 600 years of supposed enlightened thought may I suggest that maybe the way has been lost? That with the placing of responsibility on self a whole channel of inspired thought has been denied? That the ego has taken over the task of inspiration and brought many into denial of any alternative or greater source. So we going wanting and failure is projected back onto ourselves.
There’s a voice in the Universe entreating us to remember our purpose, our reason for being here now in this world of impermanence. The voice whispers, shouts, and sings to us that this experience—of being in form, space, and time—has meaning. That voice belongs to inspiration, which is within each and every one of usWayne Dyer, Inspiration: Your Ultimate Calling.
I have long since contended that we are each part of something far bigger. The first thing I ever wrote on this site: “Enlightenment is when the wave realises it is the ocean”, set the tone for my thinking and inspiration. That the point at which we begin to experience our true self, our best life, our calling, is at the point we discover we are not an individual but a part of something far greater in every way. That is the point at which we begin to experience freedom from fear and a resolution of all those issue that trouble our mental and spiritual being. That we belong and are not alone, or not as ego would insist, individuals, islands.
So there is something far bigger, more knowledgeable, more profound that we are part of and, as such, can draw from as a means of inspiration. And the immensity of the pool to which we have access is beyond our imaginations.
Ok, here’s the question. Do we continue to delve into our own thoughts and ideas, our limited resources for our next creative work or do we look without and wait for inspiration to come? If the latter, then there are exercises to do if we are not used to expecting a diamon to whisper in our ear. There is a readiness to recognise inspiration when it comes.
The need to quiet the mind is key. To shut out the noise that we allow in on a daily basis. Indeed, we probably live in the noisiest world that there has ever been. We all carry media devices with us. Most spend real hours in a virtual world! There’s a need to move away from that if we’re to hear inspiration, especially if it comes as a whisper.
Then we should behave as if we are expectant of communication and so we learn to reach out to our higher self, God, the Universe, Source, you choose the name you will use, but, whichever, we are all reaching to the same place. Prayer, meditation, mindfulness, silence. Again, you choose, you choose your medicine because you will need some. Like all things, you will need to practice so you hone intuition that hears. And hearing you need to grab it less it passes by.
Intuition is a superpower,TheMindsJournal
the people who hear it, they know, it is something mystical.
Knowing everything without thinking,
it’s a phenomenon beyond the mind,
that’s why the people who have not experienced have a hard time believing it.
Once honed you have access to a font of continuous creativity often at a level you will not have experienced before. There is more creativity out there than you and I can process in a life time and that’s exciting. The possibilities. So take time to listen and notice and hear the songs that pervade the Universe. You’ll not regret it.
Yours, waiting for great things,