Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love, TED Talk
I wrote this while listening to the above TED Talk. My own thoughts are in brackets. I hope it sheds some light on creativity and why it's important to put your ideas out there into the global consciousness. I believe that if they aren't shared, then they barely exist. Yes, they'll change who you are and, in turn, change the collective indirectly, but they won't nearly have the same effect as publishing them and changing a person's mind directly. Ideas change minds.
Aren't you afraid of never succeeding again? Aren't you afraid of succeeding in the first place? Yes, I'm afraid. What is it about creativity that makes us worry about others' mental health? [does creativity make us crazy? Because we put ourselves out there. Because we open our souls to be seen by others. Doesn't that say that others are hiding something. Should we trust non-creative people?] Mailer said that every one of his books has killed him a little more. [My idea that every moment of compassion is a small Jesus moment, a small death or self-sacrifice, might hold true for some. The question becomes how can we continue being creative after our past successes? [This seems a bit pretentious but I'll continue listening.] Other societies? How did they deal with it? Ancient Greece and Rome. People didn't believe it came from humans. They believed in the muse, the divine spirit, or daemons. The Romans called that spirit a Genius. They didn't think it was a clever person but an alien entity. They would shape the outcome of the work and protect you from your own results. [The outcome wasn't your fault. If it was good, your Genius was awesome. If it bombed, your Genius was lame.] Telling someone that they embody the beauty of the universe is like asking them to swallow the sun...too much responsibility. And it's killing the number of creative people over the years. Ruth Stone, the poet, said that she could feel poems rushing at her like thunderous air, and she would run home and grab a pen and write it down before the poem would barrel through her and she would miss it and the poem would look for another poet. She would even catch it by the tail sometimes and pull it back but the words would come out backwards [awkward]. [We have all been there.] Tom Waits caught a melody out of thin air while driving. He didn't want to lose it and looked up at the sky and said, “Excuse me, can't you see that I'm driving?” She then talked to the Thing, the Muse, the Genius, and told it that it needs to also show up because she's showing up everyday and trying to make it work. Sometimes performers become transcendent, sometimes everything aligns, we become lit from within, on fire with divinity, people called it by its name: God. [No wonder I'm a creative type and no wonder I've made creativity my religion since I've realized organized religion is lacking something. Rigidity stagnates flow. Religion is rigid and the opposite of tapping into God.] Don't be afraid, don't be daunted, just do your job. [We all die one day. We all start over. So we must give it our best try now before we have to start over again. We must give it our best try now, while we're still here. That is what creativity is to me. That is what I think of when I think of inspiration. Even if there isn't some Daemon out there acting as our training wheels, who cares? Something is there! No, something is here! We are godly in our core. When we get all spiritual, when we meditate or read Eastern philosophy, we can see this point. We can see that the individual is just the whole in a very good disguise. The single part is camouflaged so well that he has forgotten that he is really the whole. He has forgotten that he is really God. He taps into creative genius and he thinks it's a gift from an Other, but in actuality it's really a gift from Himself.]Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia