Rises by Surprise

The spirit came and left again and again, leaving every time only its socks.

Whether there is intention in an endeavor, from washing dishes to writing lyrics, this is what matters. Men will often think in sequence, by way of discrete units, where if something is present and alive in the beginning than it might as well be assumed to have endured all the way to the very end. Yet this is not so, for we see that when the light of invention springs forth like lightning in one moment, kicking some process into motion, it departs like a phantom two seconds later — that is, after a single breath. It is like two captured shots, where a bird is seen caged in one moment and in the next it has inexplicably disappeared. Inspiration dawns down, it feels, or rises by surprise from a source we cannot conceive.

The thought arrives to us in half-steeped form: what is something when the essence departs? If a sequence of events rocks into existence by way of the influence of some unknown muse, what is the value of those events and their fruits when the muse has utterly disappeared? The man who reaps the fruit is the alleged author, yes, but not necessarily the owner or source from which the seeds were drawn. We often observe works of art spring into life by the hands, mind and heart of a single man, and allow ourselves to raise his name to a higher pedestal of judgment from which to admire and expect great things. Then we are disappointed when, for reasons unknown to us, his later works bear no resemblance to the quality of what came before.

It could be said that men, by their own merit, are mere builders of derivatives and never the original architects. The designs which bring about genuinely new novelties are from somewhere else, made intimate to us when we are in a state that is sufficiently silent so as to receive ideas in raw form. The more noise occupies a man’s head — the more time it saps from the limited quantity of seconds, minutes and hours alloted to him both for the respective day and his entire life — the less chance he will have to experience moments where understanding and inspiration are made available. This appears to be a law which can be witnessed in action by anyone who practices an adequately potent discipline of meditation. It is not a fairy tale for those who write, draw, build or dare to create the fine from the coarse. It is an indisputable fact for such men.

For those who experience such things, it should be borne to mind that this is a psychological phenomenon that exists on the tip of the iceberg. It should not be tainted or stained by assumptions which presume the nature of its source. It is far safer and better to not assume anything but rather simply acknowledge and accept its existence. Men would do well to remember it when they are sprung into motion, busily creating something while the emotional fuel is burning brightly, that it is not they who have brought this all to bear. It comes, it goes, and perhaps in proportion to the degree in which a man lets go of himself, taking his ego out of the equation, and simply working to be what is necessary to soak up ever more of this vitally creative influence.

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