Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love) shares her thoughts in this wonderful talk on creative inspiration. Ole! (You’ll understand this after you watch the video.) Our attitudes about what creativity is and where inspiration comes from are key factors in how we live our creative lives. Many of our concepts are inherited. Are our legacies serving us and others well?

The ancient Greeks and Romans thought that inspiration came from a divine spirit (daemon). Genius (related to the Arabic djinn or genie) was a spirit located outside the individual. Inspire means to breathe in. During the Renaissance western culture championed the individual. Genius was a unique individual with extraordinary talents. Individuals discovered and shared their unique creations through a still mysterious but ultimately rational process. Which perspective is right?

Here’s my take on the subject. They’re both right. And there’s more.

I believe people can channel (come in contact with and give expression to) universal forces and information greater than themselves. I also believe each individual has unique resources, talents, passions, and perspectives that they can use when creating. Furthermore, I believe there are collective human resources that are created by communities (as small as two and as large as the global population) that can be activated through collaboration – either passive, remote, and asynchronous or active, direct, and synchronous. (The web and social networks are providing new means and levels of access for this type of consciousness and interaction.)

I believe these are all different types of consciousness. I believe every individual can access all of these types of consciousness. The challenge is to become more aware of them; not only subconsciously and not just intellectually but holistically; all types of intelligence apply. Any acts of creation attain an energetic presence through alignment with any of these forces. The more alignment, the more energy, the more flow, the more profound the work. Combine multiple resources together for more energy and greater perspective. Direct experience, synchronicity, and clear perspective act as intensifiers.

What do you think?
How does that affect you, your self-image, your creative life, the things you produce, and the way you share them?
Comment here!

Find more Creativity resources here.


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