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Inspiration

Inspiration

A psychic state in which one becomes susceptible to creative spiritual influence or unwittingly lends oneself as an instrument for through-flowing ideas. It is the creative state of the artist, poet, and author, traditionally believed to be amenable to the wisdom of the muses or inspiring gods. In a state of inspiration, the prophets of various religions dictated scriptures or predicted future events. The term inspiration denotes a breathing in of the divine creative spirit, bringing perception of truth.

Numerous thinkers and artists have noted their own experience of inspiration. They describe states of outward passivity in which the mind becomes receptive to information that they cannot ascribe to their own intelligence. The inspiration of the muse in poets, painters, and musicians, when considered universally, resembles the experiences of mediums, channels, and psychics.

The philosopher Ferdinand Schiller wondered where his thoughts came from; they frequently flowed through him "independent of the action of his own mind." Mozart stated, "When all goes well with me, when I am in a carriage, or walking, or when I cannot sleep at night, the thoughts come streaming in upon me most fluently; whence or how is more than I can tell." Beethoven said, "Inspiration is for me that mysterious state in which the entire world seems to form a vast harmony, when every sentiment, every thought re-echoes within me, when all the forces of nature become instruments for me, when my whole body shivers and my hair stands on end."

Lord Beaconsfield, British statesman and novelist, admitted, "I often feel that there is only a step from intense mental concentration to madness. I should hardly be able to describe what I feel at the moment when my sensations are so strangely acute and intense. Every object seems to be animated. I feel that my senses are wild and extravagant. I am no longer sure of my own existence and often look back to see my name written there and thus be assured of my existence."

The two satellites of Mars were discovered in 1877 by Professor A. Hall. One hundred seventy-five years earlier, Jonathan Swift wrote in Gulliver's Travels of the astronomers of Laputa: "They have discovered two small stars, or satellites, which revolve round Mars. The inner one is three diameters distant from the centre of the planet, the outer one five diameters; the first makes its revolution in ten hours, the second in twenty hours and a half." These figures, cited at the time as a proof of Swift's ignorance of astronomy, show a striking agreement with the later findings of Hall. W. M. Thackeray in one of his "Roundabout Papers" (Cornhill Magazine, August 1862): "I have been surprised at the observations made by some of my characters. It seems as if an occult power was moving the pen. The personage does or says something and I ask: 'How did he come to think of that?'&43"

Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904) said his writing was done in "periods of hysterical trance." He said he saw and heard things that were not real.

Of the inception of the chapter "The Death of Uncle Tom" in Uncle Tom's Cabin, one biographer of Harriet Beecher Stowe stated, "It seemed to her as though what she wrote was blown through her mind as with the rushing of a mighty wind."

Bogdan Hasdeu, the great Romanian writer, became a convinced Spiritualist after he automatically obtained messages from his deceased daughter. His father had been a distinguished linguist and was planning a standard dictionary of the Romanian language at the time of his death. Bogdan himself was a historian. When half through his History of the Romanian People, he suddenly plunged into the compilation of a vast dictionary, saying he felt that he was forced to do so. It is difficult to explain this case by ordinary psychological processes, since in a séance Bogdan later atteneded the medium (who could not speak Russian) passed into trance and wrote messages from his father in Russian urging him to complete the work.

The popular novelist and playwright Edgar Wallace wrote in the London Daily Express (June 4, 1928): "Are we wildly absurd in supposing that human thought has an indestructible substance, and that men leave behind them, when their bodies are dead, a wealth of mind that finds employment in a new host? I personally do not think we are. I am perfectly satisfied in my mind that I have received an immense amount of help from the so-called dead. I have succeeded far beyond the point my natural talents justified. And so have youand you. I believe that my mind is furnished with oddments of intellectual equipment that have been acquired I know not how."

Sitting with W. T. Stead and Ada Goodrich-Freer, the medium David Anderson went into trance and gave the name of the hero and some incidents from a story that Goodrich-Freer had written but never published. A similar occurrence is recorded in H. Travers Smith's Voices from the Void (1919).

Hannen Swaffer interviewed a number of distinguished artists and writers on the method by which their work was produced. The majority of their statements, recorded in Swaffer's book Adventures with Inspiration (1929) attribute the imparting of creativity to a supernormal source.

According to ancient Hindu mysticism, there is a psychophysiological mechanism in human beings by which a condition of higher consciousness may be brought about by meditation or yoga practice, and in modern times there is some evidence that this conditionthe raising of the kundalini has occurred spontaneously in inventors and men of genius.

Sources:

Bucke, Richard Maurice. Cosmic Consciousness: A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind. Innes & Sons, 1901. Reprint, New Hyde Park, N.Y.: University Books, 1961.

Clissold, Augustus. The Prophetic Spirit in its Relation to Wisdom and Madness. London, 1870.

Duchesneau, Louise. The Voice of the Muse. Frankfurt, Germany: P. Lang, 1986.

Gopi Krishna. The Biological Basis of Religion and Genius. New York: Harper & Row, 1972.

Graves, Robert. The White Goddess. London: Faber & Faber, 1948.

James, William. The Varieties of Religious Experience. London: Longmans Green, 1902.

Kast, Verena. Joy, Inspiration, and Hope. College Station: Texas A & M University Press, 1991.

Kennard, Nina H. Lafcadio Hearn, His Life and Work. New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1912.

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Inspiration

378. Inspiration

  1. Aganippe fountain at foot of Mt. Helicon, consecrated to Muses. [Gk. Myth.: LLEI, I: 322]
  2. angelica traditional representation of inspiration. [Herb Symbolism: Flora Symbolica, 164]
  3. Calliope Muse of heroic poetry. [Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 47]
  4. Castalia Parnassian spring; regarded as source of inspiration. [Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 52]
  5. Clio Muse of history. [Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 64]
  6. dove source of afflatus. [Art: Hall, 161]
  7. Dulcinea (del Toboso ) country girl, whom Quixote apotheosizes as guiding light. [Span. Lit.: Don Quixote ]
  8. Erato Muse of lyric poetry, love poetry, and marriage songs. [Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 97]
  9. Euterpe Muse of music and lyric poetry. [Gk. Myth.: Zimmer-man, 105]
  10. Hippocrene Mt. Helicon spring regarded as source of poetic inspiration. [Gk. Myth.: NCE, 1246]
  11. lactating breast representation of poetic and musical impulse. [Art: Hall, 161]
  12. Melpomene Muse of tragedy (tragic drama). [Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 163]
  13. palm, garland of traditional identification of a Muse. [Gk. Myth.: Jobes, 374]
  14. Pegasus steed of the Muses; symbolizes poetic inspiration. [Gk. Myth.: Espy, 32]
  15. Pierian spring fountain in Macedonia, sacred to the Muses, believed to communicate inspiration. [Gk. Myth.: Benét, 787]
  16. Polyhymnia or Polymania Muse of sacred song, oratory, lyric, singing, and rhetoric. [Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 216]
  17. Stroeve, Blanche her body inspired Strickland to paint nude portrait. [Br. Lit.: The Moon and Sixpence, Magill I, 621623]
  18. Terpsichore Muse of choral song and dancing. [Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 260]
  19. Thalia Muse of comedy. [Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 261]
  20. tongues of fire manifestation of Holy Spirits descent on Pentecost. [N.T.: Acts 2:14]
  21. Urania Muse of astronomy. [Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 284]

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inspiration

in·spi·ra·tion / ˌinspəˈrāshən/ • n. 1. the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, esp. to do something creative: Helen had one of her flashes of inspiration the history of fashion has provided designers with invaluable inspiration. ∎  the quality of having been so stimulated, esp. when evident in something: a rare moment of inspiration in an otherwise dull display. ∎  a person or thing that stimulates in this way: he is an inspiration to everyone. ∎  a sudden brilliant, creative, or timely idea: then I had an inspiration. ∎  the divine influence believed to have led to the writing of the Bible. 2. the drawing in of breath; inhalation. ∎  an act of breathing in; an inhalation.

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"inspiration." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"inspiration." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved August 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/inspiration

inspiration

inspiration (inhalation) The process by which gas is drawn into the lungs through the trachea (see respiratory movement). In mammals the rib cage is raised by contraction of the external intercostal muscles and the muscles of the diaphragm. These actions enlarge the thorax, so that pressure in the lung cavity is reduced below atmospheric pressure, which causes an influx of air until the pressures are equalized. Compare expiration.

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"inspiration." A Dictionary of Biology. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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inspiration

inspiration (in-spi-ray-shŏn) n. see inhalation.

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