Can you really engineer inspiration?
Our greatest ecstasies, our greatest inspirations, tend to be very fleeting. They tend to be very impermanent. Some of the greatest insights of our lives last for a minute or two, and if we are lucky enough to have a notebook we wrote them down and maybe they changed the course of the rest of our lives. But for me, that is not enough. It is not enough to take the lesson from the ecstasy, from the insight, from the inspiration and bring that back. I mean, that is obviously necessary. But I am also interested in being able to return to that ecstatic place. I am interested in figuring out what were the precursors for said inspiration? What were the variables that needed to be tweaked, that needed to be arranged in a certain way that they led to this emergent phenomenon of inspiration? I think inspiration is emergent, just like consciousness is emergent. You know, you have enough complexity in the brain and self awareness emerges. And I think if you have the right variables in place and inspiration emerges. And so for me, you know, there is a great line that says: Our thoughts may shape our spaces, but our spaces return the favour. Our spaces affect our thought. So what can we do? Well, we already live inside condensations of the imagination, the whole man made world is an outgrowth of the mind. So by many accounts, we live inside our own minds already. When you're flying on an airplane, you are flying inside of your own mind, because that was made by the mind. So I think if we can control our environments, then... We build these environments and then we engage in feedback loops with those environments, and those environments in turn change the way we think, then we could plan certain kinds of environments to create this feeling of transcendent inspiration. The music that we listen to, what happens when we listen to music? Again, it's a feedback loop, it's a mirror. The music is ourselves talking to ourselves curating a space. This certainly melody makes me feel a certain way, this certain lighting creates this kind of a feeling. Whenever I read this poetry it triggers this kind of conceptual collision in my head. So what are the variables that we can plan for? What are the creative and linguistic choices that we can make that we have feedback loops with? That act as self reinforcing feedback loops or catalysts for inspiration. And I think that if we can learn to master that, we can be masters of our own lives. Because we can say: Okay, Saturday at one o'clock I am going to be inspired. It's going to be great. Tuesday at ten o'clock I am going to plan for inspiration, I am going to have an inspiring session. That is important because human beings love to be able to do things on a calendar. You want to be able to organize a conference and you want it to be inspirational, you want to make sure you have the right speakers, you want to make sure you have the right vibe, the right ambiance. These are words we throw around all the time, but they are acutely important, I think.
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