The Tao of Inspiration

Most of us know the oft' quoted proverb that says: when the student is ready the teacher will appear. This week, Professor Cheng Man-ch'ing (by way of author Wolfe Lowenthal) became one of my teachers.

I had actually purchased
Lowenthal's There Are No Secrets about two months ago. But when I cracked the pages and started reading, I knew that I wasn't in the right head space for its message. So I put it back on the stack of unread books, and picked out another one to read.

Needless to say, while catching up on my reading I've also been working on several other things, including the previously mentioned "Metal Messiahs" article. I started working on that piece during the first week of August and ran into something of a block on how I should end it early last week.

On Thursday, I finished the other book that I was reading (a second read of Russell Simmons' Do You!, actually) and picked up
There Are No Secrets again. This time, I felt that I was ready for its message. A few chapters in, the text even spoke to my then most present need:

"As for Tao in our lives, we have to learn to stop interfering with its flow. Take writing for example. Inspiration, the muse, is another way of describing the energy of Tao. You can't force it to come, but if a writer can let go of all the fears and fantasies that darken the creative present, learn how to get out of his own way, he finds that he is like a channel for that core truth in the deepest part of his being."

I read that passage three more times and meditated (or as it's said colloquially: "marinated") on it a little before putting the book down to write my article's closing paragraphs. Not surprisingly, it didn't take long to bring it to what felt like the most fitting end.

Now, whether the article clearly articulates its message won't be known until someone else reads it. But part of what was blocking me from finishing it in the first place was fear that it wouldn't achieve its purpose. I've since stopped worrying about it, though. The article is done, and I've moved on to other projects that still have to be written.

At the same time, I am reading There Are No Secrets. I have no doubt that there are other timely lessons to be found within.

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