26 October, 2011


I had an unsolved mystery about inspirations for a long time. ‘Are inspirations ephemeral?’ I used to ask myself time and again. I can hardly recall any experience then, where my inspiration lasted beyond two days at a stretch! I had tried developing and instilling a thought or two on the lines of the inspiration which triggered them in the first place. I failed all the time. It was long before I experienced and felt, finally, that all inspirations are ephemeral but those driven from within. I don’t see a reason why an inspiration should not be the source of internal motivation. After all, what inspiration essentially does is that it triggers the hidden inertial energy to motion. The cause is internal and the effect is driven from within too.

That inspirations are primarily non-material is the biggest discovery of my life, though they may drive downstream material goals. An inspiration is no more than a spark in that it fires the inner fuel at the right time. What follows as a result is that the concentrated and channeled thoughts are given shape by the spark and become visible to us through its tremendous energy and action.  If inspirations were to emanate from a source, then that source has to be infinite and transcendental, for it is impossible for something by itself to generate different motives in each one of us. That each of us gives a different angle to our actions is because of the fundamental difference in perception, and that perceptions differ across each individual is the ultimate evidence that each of us is as unique as the rest of us. So, essentially, the source of inspiration is unlimited by space, time or any other infinite measure in comparison to our short life. And that is precisely the reason my inspiration most often comes from nature and the natural life surrounding me; from the sunrise, from the early morning dew, from the blooming flower, from the drizzle to the pouring rains, from the waves and tides, from the sky, the clouds and the stars. I also feel it in music, in the wisdom of the philosophers, and much more. All these, needless to say, are unlimited by space and time, and are infinite in comparison to our short lives. These trigger some internal thought process in me that takes a cue from the natural design of things, develops a thought and puts it into action. And thus they become the true source of inspiration to me. This is from my experience with the quest for the metaphysical.

Coming to the physical and more haphazard, I have a problem with the self-help books. That one can derive continuous streams of inspiration from someone else’s experiences and discovery in life is simply unacceptable to me. As I mentioned before, a true source of inspiration can never be from a thing that is limited by time, space or any other measure of finiteness. What we truly mean when we say a person or a thing is an inspiration to us is that there is a characteristic or a quality in that individual or thing which is infinite, transcendental and unlimited. That Albert Einstein is my inspirational figure essentially means there is a certain quality of his which was unlimited in scope, his creativity and thought. That Abraham Lincoln is my inspirational figure truly means there were more than one quality, perseverance, integrity etc. that stood the test of time and resulted in historical glory for himself and a source of inspiration for millions like me. To reiterate, these are qualities that we all have but which are dormant all the while. A thing, an individual or an action that is not part of us triggers this from within us. Personally, I think it is but futile and silly to ascribe a permanency to an inspiration from a source outside of one's self.

Finally, if one goes by the universal adage that ‘God helps those who help themselves’, the self-help books are a waste of time and against the devotion to their self, and ultimately to their God. (That I’m an atheist is a different matter, but even if I were to construe a God, it would be my own ‘self’! And this I take as substantial evidence from the words of the second best God, next only to myself, Krishna, who I could see as nothing more than a man with profound wisdom and common sense to say 'Your self is your God; and that is me!) Self-help is not to be found anywhere but in the self. If there was someone to lend a hand, literally and metaphorically, all the time for all problems one faced in life, I guess the receiver is nothing more than a machine which is driven by the thoughts and actions of someone else. If you feel a tinge of objectivism in this, I’m glad you’ve got my point.

If I feel like writing a ‘Part II’ to this, I sure will update.

P.S: This post is originally written for Akila's blog as my contribution to her column on 'Inspiration'. So, as such this in itself is an inspiration. I've tried my best not to generalize the concept and to stick to my personal thoughts and opinions on it. 


Balaji Srinivasan said...

Very well-written? :)

Enna saptu eppadi ellam sindhipeenga? :P

Nandhini said...

My goodness! Am amazed as someone my age is able to write this!!! Brilliant!

rajaji said...

@Balaji: Bro, all by following your footsteps only! :-)

@Nandhini: Thanks, thanks.. :-)