Do you feel inspired?
Our bodies are given the breath of life from a mysterious source. Until our final expiration we are continually, wonderfully and mysteriously inspired. What we do with inspiration is a different story.
Upbringing and societal conditioning generally train us to use inspiration for personal gain from a very young age.
The aim is to grow us into individuals that can survive in our economically driven world, in which we have lost the connection with inspiration in the real. This way we always harness inspiration for taking rather than giving.
Taking is synonymous with inspiration colliding with conditioning. It is illustrated in its extreme form in the lives of individuals such as Adolf Hitler. Giving is the same as inspiration hitting on the real, of which an individual such as Peace Pilgrim (aka Mildred Lisette Norman) was a shining example.
We hold a dualistic thinking-feeling approach to inspiration by viewing it as a force outside of ourselves, something to longingly wait for until it visits us. We have bastardised it by casually referring to inspiration for the purpose of everyday trivial chat. By which I mean, for example, that we may say that something or someone inspires us, when really we are referring to no more than an emotional “feel good factor”, that does nothing to spur us into action with any profound effects. At other times, we will elevate inspiration to a mythical enigma, placing it out of reach of common men and women while feeding our own inertia and doubts.
The media and educational systems categorically fail or refuse to spread the full story about people held up as exceptions. When the stories about truly great men and women are told at all, their innate gifts are presented in a way that feeds misunderstanding. The missing element of popular portraits is the necessary application of mind and body, or conscious attention and energy, for any form of inspiration to come to fruition – in whatever shape or form.
Take for example the composer musician Amadeus Mozart. As Twyla Tharp points out in her book ‘The Creative Habit, he was “hardly some naïve prodigy who sat down at the keyboard and, with God whispering in his ears, let the music flow from his fingertips. (…) Nobody worked harder than Mozart. By the time he was twenty-eight years old, his hands were deformed because of all the hours he had spent practicing, performing, and gripping a quill pen to compose. (…) As Mozart himself wrote to a friend, “People err who think my art comes easily to me. I assure you, dear friend, nobody has devoted so much time and thought to composition as I. There is not a famous master whose music I have not industriously studied through many times.” Mozart’s focus was fierce. It had to be for him to deliver the music he did in his relatively short life and under the conditions he endured; writing while traveling in rattling coaches and delivering scores just before the curtain when up, plus dealing with the distractions of raising a family and the constant need for money. Whatever scope and grandeur you attach to Mozart’s musical gift, his so-called genius, his discipline and work ethic were its equal.
Inspiration is the overriding substance that motivates the body into action. The more you are able to allow and accommodate it, the more it becomes a feeling that takes you over, unreasonable, exuberant and ever expanding. Your attention and energy as mind and body, will follow to serve the inspiration into whatever it may want to manifest.
To be born is to be inspired and our natural human development always takes the form of inspiration naturally moving “up and out”. That is, unless we stand in inspiration’s way – which unfortunately is the prevalent way of humankind in our times. Left in the claws of mediocrity, inspiration is only used to serve the status quo and our western economically, religiously and culturally driven paradigms. Handed over to elders who have realised inspiration and become one with it, an individual’s inspiration will be directed back to being recognized as the primary, untainted force. All action and outcomes will follow from that.
The initial version of this article was first published in The Vessel Magazine