About the MUSE
Or how to get insight?
The Muse - the wisdom and insight that bring creativity to artists all around the world. In ancient mythology, the Muses are the Greek goddesses of inspiration, that all artists and thinkers depend on. Hesiod says that the Muses were daughters of Zeus and the Titaness Mnemosyne, the Goddess of Memory. The Muses are nine, ruling over the Inspiration, the Memory, the Music, the Poetry, the Arts, and the Sciences, each of them carrying their symbols -the Lyre, the Scrolls, the Globe, the Writing Tablet, the Comic, and Tragic Mask and the Flute.
But what about today's world? How do artists get their inspiration? Are there specific things and rituals we can do to attract the Muse? Let’s find out!
So, first of all, I think that
the best-proven method throughout history for inspiration is tragedy.
Have you ever noticed that the best-known and most successful books and movies that are still classics up to date are the ones that are heavy, sad, and heartbroken, maybe even without a happy ending? And have you ever wondered why? It’s simple - because they tap on the deepest emotional sensors. In a similar way, we remember the bad things that happened to us more than the happy ones. Simply because our brains are programmed for survival. Remembering the bad things that happened to us, helps us protect ourselves in the future. And so, those sorrowful and heavy movies leave us with the most memorable thoughts. Furthermore, they reflect human emotions that are consistent throughout the centuries and represent people’s dilemmas that will continue to be the same in the future as well. No wonder now why those movies leave us with the deepest imprint and that tragedy is indeed the best Muse.
But trying to find, or make yourself, sorrowful events might not be the best decision in the name of insight. So here is another way, you have to do by yourself indeed. It is the exploration of new experiences.
When you are fully consumed by the thought that you HAVE to do something new and artistic, and you are absorbed by the MUST nature of the task, you scare the Muse.
Yes, she can get frightened and go away. You have to know how to deal with her.
And that’s with subtlety and withdrawal. So step back. Take a break. And do something new! (without thinking about the MUST task ;)
And it doesn’t have to be anything spectacular or expensive like going on an exotic vacation in another country, or continent. Well, honestly if you can afford it - that would be awesome! The same applies to extreme new experiences like sky-diving - which is not needed if you are terrified by heights. It can be as simple as going back home by a new route - just pass on the opposite sidewalk! Yes, as simple as this!
During our day-to-day life, we get used to the routine by which we live. We stop thinking and start living on autopilot. And you might be busy, I understand. That’s why there are stupidly simple ways to break out from the everyday autopilot we live in just like going home using a new route or walking on the opposite sidewalk, or trying to eat with your opposite hand (also pretty good if you want to eat less :D). I’m sure this is something everyone, no matter how busy, can do!
And the last piece of advice for attracting the Muse is something contradictory to what we hear all the time -
Yes, you read that right. Once again you have to step away from the MUST nature of the task that you want to accomplish. Relax, maybe meditate, anything that has the least thoughts required. And here is the difference with the new experiences method - you can actually try accomplishing the task while you don’t think of anything. To be honest, not sure if it can be applied to poetry or writing, but for art - definitely. And this is called intuitive drawing (which relates to art therapies).
Simply silence your thoughts and draw whatever you feel. Or maybe after a meditation, draw the first thing that comes to your mind, without questioning what it is, whether is it the best and so on. Just feel it!
*Inspired by “Zen in the Art of Writing” by Ray Bradbury
- "Take away the pain" series
- 30x25cm, Mixed media on canvas, 2022