Having An Idea

Inspiration is a funny thing.

I’m a TED talk junkie. Not that I watch a lot. I’m an encouragble multitasker and tend to let TV be audio wallpaper. But not TED talks. Those get my full attention, so I don’t watch them as often as I’d might otherwise.

One of my favorites is by author Elizabeth Gilbert speaking about creativity:

And that search has led me to ancient Greece and ancient Rome. So stay with me, because it does circle around and back. But, ancient Greece and ancient Rome — people did not happen to believe that creativity came from human beings back then, OK? People believed that creativity was this divine attendant spirit that came to human beings from some distant and unknowable source, for distant and unknowable reasons. The Greeks famously called these divine attendant spirits of creativity “daemons.” Socrates, famously, believed that he had a daemon who spoke wisdom to him from afar. 06:44

The Romans had the same idea, but they called that sort of disembodied creative spirit a genius. Which is great, because the Romans did not actually think that a genius was a particularly clever individual. They believed that a genius was this, sort of magical divine entity, who was believed to literally live in the walls of an artist’s studio, kind of like Dobby the house elf, and who would come out and sort of invisibly assist the artist with their work and would shape the outcome of that work. 07:14

So brilliant — there it is, right there, that distance that I’m talking about — that psychological construct to protect you from the results of your work. And everyone knew that this is how it functioned, right? So the ancient artist was protected from certain things, like, for example, too much narcissism, right? If your work was brilliant, you couldn’t take all the credit for it, everybody knew that you had this disembodied genius who had helped you. If your work bombed, not entirely your fault, you know? Everyone knew your genius was kind of lame. 

Elizabeth Gilbert

I don’t claim to be a creative genius, but some rare sometimes ideas will drop in that feel like they have been tossed there from from some outside source. It’s different than deliberately doing a reading or listening to intuition on someone else’s behalf. It’s random, unexpected, otherworldly-feeling and worthy of attention. It’s closer to the Tower card than the Four of Swords in that respect. Ideas like that feel especially important when they are sparked by one source but seem to connect to something wildly different. This morning, for example, connected an online article by Christopher Penzack about the symbolism of mountains with the memory of a 1970s TV commercial.

Most of you are probably too young to remember the lifesavers candy commercial where a guy climbs a frozen, isolated mountain to ask the guru on top to define the meaning of life, which of course, is pepp-o-mint lifesavers. It is like the part of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy series where the most advanced super computer Deep Thought calculates the answer to the ultimate meaning to life, the universe and everything is actually 42. There was a snapple commercial with the same sort of trope where a guy goes to a farm, seemingly in remote China, to ask an elderly man how white tea is made…”you find the small young leaves, and you pluck them” … or something like that.

Climbing a mountain or traveling to somewhere remote and exotic is the classic symbol for spiritual growth and development. Both are really hard work. Outside of the comedic and marketing value, there is a real grain of truth to ‘climbing the mountain’ only to find that the mystic guru sitting on top is simple, pragmatic, and just like the rest of us.

Does that mean it wasn’t worth the climb?

No. Not at all.

THAT realization, the understanding that mystical gurus are like us and that we are like mystical gurus is in itself a great treasure. It’s worth the climb to discover the magic in the mundane. It’s worth the climb to realize that you can be your own mystical magical wise guru teacher person.

Green tea and peppermint candies are pretty good things to find too.

Author: SageWordsTarot

I read Tarot, write e-books and make stuff. 25 + years experience reading Tarot, oracle cards. Retired Tai Chi instructor. Reiki master-practitioner 20+ years

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