There is something that I call Seeking Inspiration. This is a reference to how life is nothing but continually trying to create something out of nothing. Life, our life, is something created. It is an act of inspiration. Life is best lived as an act of inspiration.
Take a seed, plant it in the ground, water it, and watch . . . Out of seemingly nowhere a sprout comes and grows and grows. Isn’t it amazing how this little seed, out of the nothing of the soil, creates a form and a shape and, more importantly, a life. This . . . this is inspiration. This is life.
Do we not do the same thing?
Inspiration is the taking out of nothing a form, a quality, a meaning. Like a magician it is like pulling a rabbit out of a hat . . . it’s a magic act! And it often takes the skill of a magician too, as well as the practice.
The act of inspiration has many sources:
1. From nature. This is naturally created inspiration. This means that we are not involved with it. It just happens.
2. From contemplative-like acts. This is when we sit and allow nature, life, God, the presence, or whatever you want to call it, to affect us and allow us to create.
3. From our own act. This is what we create with our will. We, as a person, create because we want to create.
The most difficult, I think, is the second version, as that requires our whole being. When I speak of ‘seeking inspiration’ I speak of this version. The third, though it may be difficult, only requires our effort and skill (assuming we have any). It lacks the depth of the second version.
I have always felt that life is best lived as an inspiration. This means that inspiration is, really, an attitude, a way of looking at things. By developing an attitude of inspiration we allow inspiration to come up within us. In that sense, inspiration is like a fertile tract of land, a garden. Only by planting the seeds, watering, and taking care of it will the garden grow. It is no different here. But to develop this attitude we must develop certain traits. We must be:
– Open to what comes. Many times we do not have inspiration because we are not open to it. If we do not leave the door open no one will walk in!
– Willing to follow it through. Oftentimes, we are not willing to take the next step to inspiration, even when its given to us. We need to be willing to follow through with the process.
– Able to express it and give it form. We need to have the ability and means to express inspiration and give it form. Often, we may have to practice this ‘giving form’. To give inspiration expression often requires great skill and artistic ability. Unfortunately, not all of us are skilled or have an artistic quality. This can make it difficult, but the means is always there. We all have the ability somewhere within us.
We must also have a belief in inspiration. It has always seemed to me that inspiration has a quality of ‘taping into the Divine’, or sinking a well into the sacredness of life. It seems to me that inspiration is really nothing but the Divine affecting us and influencing us. This means that inspiration is not just coming up with things or creating things. It is more than that. The passion of inspiration comes from the passion of life, from the sacredness of life. In some sense, it is life. Only through inspiration is life lived.
But inspiration is not always this great performance, a great show. Often, inspiration leads us to conflict and pain. It often does. Not always does inspiraton bring happiness or contentment. Just as many times it can bring the opposite. We must remember that creating the dark is just as much a part of life as creating the light.
I think there is a tendency to think inspiration is nothing but a reaction to something, a creation, or something you did. Inspiration is not a reaction. Unstead, inspiration is an attitude of ‘allowing’ of creation and creating, of ‘letting things happen’. This means that inspiration is really a pre-creation attitude . . . it comes before the creation.
I have found that the marvel of inspiration is not in the creating but in the allowing of creation. The joy of inspiration is being the ‘vehicle’ of creation, of being the means for which this phenomena takes place.
What I create . . . what does it matter? What matters is that I do create!
I have always said, “I am inspiration, not the creation.” To be inspiration is to be like fire, to be like the sunlight, to be like the movement that moves the seasons. It is not an object. It is not a thing. It is an act. Inspiration is the act of life.