In Steven Pressfield's excellent book, The War of Art, he identifies a force that he calls "resistance" that causes writer's block, procrastination, self-sabotage, self-deception, fears, and anything that holds back our creativity. If we want to be living our highest and best purpose in life, we need to know about and overcome resistance.
Invoking the Muse
It's within Book Three, in The War of Art, that Pressfield discusses invoking the Muse, and working with that hidden power or force that has inspired men and women to create art for thousands of years. We can overcome resistance. A muse is on the other side. Inspiration is a blessing and a gift.
The Legend of the Marketing Muse
There are many legends of muses, as we can imagine that over thousands of years in human creative history, muses have been involved in various ways.
Years ago a young man went into a forest in an isolated remote area surrounded by mountains and waterfalls. He was searching for a new purpose in life and for whatever new insights and ideas he would have on this self-imposed retreat into the realms of the Spirit.
He was fasting and praying and singing sacred chants and songs for days, and nothing came to him in the form of new ideas, inspiration, or insights into his higher purpose, and his life.
On the tenth day he was walking down a path to a waterfall that he had discovered a few days before. There was something about the area around the waterfall, with flowers, trees, and rock formations that seemed mystical, magical, and had a subtle yet profound energy.
It was early morning, and all of nature seemed to be waking up to the day, with the birds singing, and sunlight streaming through the trees, lighting the path that he was walking on. The air was fresher than it seemed the other day, and he felt a wave of energy through his body and mind that opened up his heart.
Within moments he felt love surrounding him, a love that was beyond description, but if words could describe it, then bliss, joy, opening, power, and grace.
He sat down on a grassy knoll by the waterfall and closed his eyes, as the feelings of love intensified, and he let go of any thoughts or fears about this experience, allowing it to happen, and not resisting it.
Then, with his eyes closed in meditation, he had an epiphany, that a muse has been with him all along, and that when he was ready and had overcome resistance, the Muse would reveal ideas, thoughts, and insights for his creative work. It was so subtle that he did not even hear words or a message; it was just a hidden knowledge that he received.
When he came out of the meditation, he had no idea of what time it was. He checked his watch and it had been three hours since he started the meditation. It was late afternoon. There was a silence in the surrounding trees and forest. He decided to celebrate the new gift that he had received by standing under the waterfall. It was about 20 feet high, so it felt like a large, powerful shower of water and blessings pouring into his life.
He kept his relationship with his Muse a secret until he felt like writing about it. Then it became his legend, as he knew that other legends would be born on his new creative journey of dancing with the Muse, listening, and realizing that with every breath, he is connected to creation on all levels, seen and unseen.
Our Divine Purpose
"We are servants of the Mystery. We were put here on earth to act as agents of the Infinite, to bring into existence that which is not yet, but which will be, through us. Every breath we take, every heartbeat, every evolution of every cell comes from God and is sustained by God every second, just as every creation, invention, every bar of music or line of verse, every thought, vision, fantasy, every dumb-ass flop and stroke of genius comes from that infinite intelligence that created us and the universe in all its dimensions, out of the Void, the field of infinite potential, primal chaos, the Muse. To acknowledge that reality, to efface all ego, to let the work come through us and give it back freely to its source, that, in my opinion, is as true to reality as it gets."
- Pressfield, Steven (2011-11-11). The War of Art (p. 162). Black Irish Entertainment LLC. Kindle Edition.