This is a question that arises when we think of real masterpieces, those creations and performances of genius which some human beings have managed to produce, as if they had been directed by special powers, which seem to have come from some source above the artists themselves. What was the magic spark that guided them? What extraordinary streams of thought or vision were they able to follow?
That too is the question that torments us personally in those moments when we want to express the best of what we feel and think, but don’t know how to do so. It is also what we ask ourselves when we feel empty of ideas and emotions, as if we were a lifeless bag of skin and bone.
Then we remember the great creators, those who were able to enter into contact with inspiration by briefly touching its secret. Is it possible to know for certain that there is a bridge between human beings and the world of ideas, capable of establishing the link that we call inspiration? Perhaps there is not just one bridge, a single link between us and that world; because if that were the case, those who have been able to cross the bridge would have told us how they did it and what it was like when they reached the other side. Perhaps each human being has to cast their own nets, with their own means, and therein lies the mystery of the awakening of inspiration.
From another point of view, I fear that the rational mind, which we have made the distinctive symbol of the human being, has little or nothing to do with this process. Experience tells us that the more we try to achieve this state with our reason, the further away we get from inspiration.
The ancient sages used to say that the secret lies in becoming like a hollow reed… and allowing intuition to flow through it. It is then that the miracle occurs: we continue to be empty – hollow, more than empty – and a procession of images parades before us, obliging us to act extraordinarily quickly. What is not said, painted, written or produced in that instant will be lost. It is not a question of works that are our own exactly; something or someone gives them to us, and our task is to receive and transmit them. It is a moment of ecstasy, of contact with a world which is different to our own, more ethereal, more beautiful, more perfect in all its aspects. It is like having a highly sensitive receiving device, which we don’t know how to use and operate. We can only make use of it when it is working.
We have several descriptions – some more inspired and others less so – which give us a possible key of interpretation. If there is an affinity between our personal vibrations and that world of perfect ideas that we want to reach, the contact is established just by desiring it strongly. It is up to us, then, to develop and nourish those streams of sympathy that are in accord with the good and beautiful aspects we want to understand and transmit. It is up to us to open the doors to inspiration.
And when we ask ourselves again, “what is inspiration?”, it is likely that we will still not have a definite answer; but we will, on the other hand, have the strange and marvellous sensation of having been touched by a wonderful aura that comes from beyond time and space, from the eternal source from which all of us, at some time, have dreamt of drinking.
This is one among a compilation of articles published as a book The Everyday Hero by New Acropolis Cultural Organization. To order the book, please write to [email protected]
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