What is ‘inspiration’?
I’m with Eric and Torch
Inspiration can be anything that starts some chain of association in our minds that results in something that we recognise as being of value to us.
Sometimes these chains of relationship can span large numbers of memories and levels of association, and often have a fair degree of randomness involved.
For me it is relatively simple to know what is not inspiration, because I do not experience the alignment of my higher order values.
When I have a thought, or an impulse to action, and it does not produce that feeling of high order value, but rather meets some lower order impulse to vengence or short term gain at some level, then it does not occur as inspiration; it doesn’t feel like a “breath of fresh air” in a smoky room.
As interpretive schema involving disembodied spirits or gods seem improbable to me, I tend not to use them.
To me we are, each and every one of us, sufficiently complex that all of these things can arise within us, and there are certainly inputs from everything else that exists and has previously existed. The inputs we each get from our cultural experience could be thought of as a sort of racial spirit, in that they contain a kind of distilled experiential wisdom that has survived evolutionary pressures down the ages and generations.
So for me, we each contain aspects that are ancient, aspects that are old, aspects that are current, aspects that are novel, and aspects over which we have genuine creative control – and they are all present simultaneously, and I doubt any of us has quite as much control as we tend to think we do – so in this sense, life really is about living something that is greater than our puny self aware consciousness, and it does seem to me that it is all explainable within the context of brains and genetics and culture and experience and many levels of interacting patterns within frameworks of contexts (about which we have some influence).
The paragraph above simply flowed from my fingers, when I chose to respond to the context of OMs question in the context of my life experience. I did not consciously choose each word, and I have consciously reviewed the words for accuracy.