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The Lucilius Parables, Volume I


October 3rd, 2018

What is the very first thing we do when we open our eyes in the morning?  Well, really we’ve been doing it all night, but when the eyes open in the morning, the first thing we do is breathe.


In order to get up and go, we have to take something in.


The literal case here is




but there’s something similar to be said about




The middle of both words are from the Latin root ‘spirare’, meaning ‘breathe’.


For some, staring at a blank canvas, or a blank sheet of paper is not a big deal.  There’s a thoughtful pause, and then the work begins.  But this is usually an ability that is developed from practice.  Individuals unpracticed with this sort of void-ful situation may be quick to think about writer’s block.


We need only think of situations when we are all too quick to respond.  A debate among friends, or thoughts after a movie, or a book.  Everyone always has an opinion and generally we’re more than willing to take the spotlight and pontificate on the subject if given the chance.


We might say we become inspired in such situations.  And while it may not be the literal breath that we are taking in, we are taking in something in these situations.  Dynamic content that sparks within us some flame of opinion.  In this sense breath takes on a much more mythical and symbolic meaning which may be more in accord with the use of the word from ancient times.  For instance, God breathes life into Adam.  Perhaps in much the same way that we come alive in a heated argument. 


For those looking to create, some exploration is required first.  Just as the little kid spills out all the legos to see what resources are available before throwing pieces together, we too can systematically cure an apparent lack of inspiration by mindfully engaging with the wide world of human and natural creation.  Usually, one need not look very far before an itch of reaction rises in the mind.


The key here then is to tailor this diet and maintain it, sometimes with repetition.


Inspiration isn’t something that appears out of nowhere as though a person has invisible antennae set to pick up some divine channel.  Inspiration is a conscious intake of the world around us, an attempt to fill a void, like an empty lung, so when it comes our turn to make something, we do not freeze, we generate.


This episode references Episode 93: The Generator.

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Podcast Ep. 171: Inspiration

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