[Elizabeth’s ted might have been the first ted i ever watched?? at least among the many i swam in that weekend in 2009/2010? i first found ted. much like the weekend i first found soulbiographies. hard to come up for air, remember to eat, et al.]
Your elusive creative genius
Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses — and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person “being” a genius, all of us “have” a genius. It’s a funny, personal and surprisingly moving talk.
The author of ‘Eat, Pray, Love,’ Elizabeth Gilbert has thought long and hard about some large topics. Her latest fascination: genius, and how we ruin it.
we included her graceful description of dealing with genius in many places.. ie: slide 27 in i’m possible.
[but i personally, didn’t take in the beauty of eat pray love until some 3+ yrs later. perhaps timing is everything. esp when/as you learn to take everything you encounter as a clue and every person as a teacher.]
If you could clear out all that space in your mind, you’d have a doorway, and you know what the universe would do, .. rush in, ..everything else will take care of itself.
Elizabeth M. Gilbert (born July 18, 1969) is an American author, essayist, short story writer, biographer, novelist and memoirist. She is best known for her 2006 memoir, Eat, Pray, Love, which as of December 2010 has spent 199 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list, and was also made into a film by the same name in 2010.
Tis’ better to live your own life imperfectly than to imitate someone else’s perfectly.
I’ve come to believe that there exists in the universe something I call “The Physics of The Quest”- a force of nature governed by laws as real as the laws gravity or momentum. And the rule of Quest Physics maybe goes like this:
If you are brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting and set out on a truth-seeking journey, and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue, and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher, and if you are prepared – most of all -to face (and forgive) some very difficult realities about yourself….then truth will not be withheld from you.
Or so I’ve come to believe.
the only thing your sub-conscious is capable of feeling is the absolute value of how far you have been flung from yourself
find your way back home again – home – whatever in this world you love more than you love yourself..
home – the thing you have to do no matter the consequence…
nov 2014 on balance:
via John fb share:
I love the advice of Elizabeth Gilbert to choose curiosity over fear and her efforts to find a less macho way of framing creativity, but I would love to explore why she is so averse to passion as a way of framing what can help us to choose curiosity over fear – in fact I was just writing a piece on how the passion of the explorer is much more consistent with the feminine archetype rather than the masculine archetype
And all of that is a very strange way to see creativity and, I would say, a very new way. And by “new,” I mean post-Enlightenment, the last couple hundred years, and very Western — and, I would also say, very macho, in a way, very male, [laughs] because it comes with this grandiosity that’s on the individual, and this pressure to be great and to be a genius. And it’s strange.
Oh, I love curiosity — our friend. I think curiosity is our friend that teaches us how to become ourselves. And it’s a very gentle friend, and a very forgiving friend, and a very constant one. Passion is not so constant, not so gentle, not so forgiving, and sometimes, not so available. And so, when we live in a world that has come to fetishize passion above all, there’s a great deal of pressure around that. And I think if you don’t happen to have a passion that’s very clear, or if you have lost your passion, or if you’re in a change of life where your passions are shifting, or you’re not certain, and somebody says, “Well, it’s easy to solve your life. Just follow your passion,” [laughs] I do think that they have harmed you, because it just makes people feel more excluded and more exiled and, sometimes, like a failure.
And it’s a little bit like — gosh, I mean, even the word, “passion,” has this sort of sexual connotation that you’re — I’m much more interested in intimacy [laughs] and in growing a relationship, than everything has to be setting your head on fire. And curiosity is an impulse that just taps you on the shoulder very lightly, and invites you to turn your head a quarter of an inch and look a little closer at something that has intrigued you. And it may not set your head on fire; it may not change your life; it may not change the world; *it may not even line up with previous things that you’ve done or been interested in. It may seem very random and make no sense. And I think the reason people end up not following their curiosity is because they’re waiting for a bigger sign, and your curiosities, sometimes, are so mild and so strange [laughs] and so, almost, nothing — it’s a little trail of breadcrumbs that you can overlook if you’re looking up at the mountaintop, waiting for Moses to come down and give you a sign from God.
I think a definition of an interesting person is an interested person. I’ve never met an interesting person who’s not also an interested person.
And you say, “I want to live in a society filled with people who are curious and concerned about each other rather than afraid of each other.” So taking this virtue of investigation, of that gentle friend of curiosity, as something that we can live by would be good for us collectively, right?
imagine cure ios city
e: one of the miracles about you is that you do (write long sentences) and you’ve gathered thousands of people around you who will read them
m: what gets people to say.. i understand this is the way people are doing it.. but i’m doing it this other way
m: the moment we begin to name things .. we lose
e: thank you for taking these people out of these portraits and putting them in the human heart
m: a lot of this book is about the blind spots of history
e: they made that work will in .. bodies.. lust, desire, .. pain
m: how much it takes to make progress.. and how little it takes to undo .. that’s why it’s so important to speak up when you see it happening
m: on refusing to give up on things that society say is an either/or.. i’m a believer on not giving up because society says just take one path
e: why is it so important to have a life animated by beauty rather than a search for beauty
m: beauty if a kind of foothold that focuses curiosity..magnetizes us toward it..
e: magnetize is the word you use most in the book other than the word the
m: electric affinities.. romantic chemistry.. drawn to one another with no understanding of why .. and no one can break it.. inseparable.. and now we’ve come to separate these things.. an artificial separation
e: we’re magnetized to things that bring us alive
m: stardust – used for coincidence and serendipity.. before the notion of synchronicity was coined.. ‘this is our stardust’
m: i think where a lot of greats slip.. confidence slips into hubris.. people are not all exceptions
e: a lot of people worship you..
m: there’s a line in the book.. worship is counterfeit love
e: ok.. they love you
e: emerson: there’s no terror like being known.. dickerson: wanted to be known and not exposed.. you are known and not known.. how do you do that.. why brainpickings
m: back to notion of being function of time/place.. i started brainpickings for me.. what i wanted to learn.. i just started keeping a record of what i was reading on my own.. and i was also going thru a depression
m: to this day.. i still write for me.. why so many read it.. chance? timing.. i kept doing it everyday.. an accumulation.. but also.. this banality of being human.. same set of joys/heartaches/aspirations.. because i turn to the past.. they also speak to other people.. because we are basically all similar
m: the question of chance and choice is probably the biggest theme in this book.. it’s absolute hubris to say ,.. i’m special.. and baby in bulgaria is less special.. no.. there’s so much chance
e: that is the necessity of humility
e: problem w rational world.. things happen w such magnitude that you find yourself searching for meaning.. and the rational thought doesn’t help..
m: emily lavine – maternal figure to me – died day book was published.. she intro’d me to poetry and made me fall in love w finding transcendence secularly
m: this chair will outlive all of us.. so lucky to be here.. to me that is the real miracle..
puts twist on ‘the shelf life of a shelf’
amanda: when you share info.. you’re in danger.. women who are shamelessly sharing info w one another and it’s infectious – (on necklace from elizabeth during a low time): ‘i will not let people walk thru my mind w their dirty feet’..
then she sang bigger on the inside.. love that song
m: first several years.. phantom form of things unknown.. then one day.. decided.. figuring.. w no subtitles.. no explanation
m: (on turning capital i to lower case i): we read for that.. to humble/embolden.. to cease to be.. to be reminded how insignificant we are and how common the human struggles.. recasting in the human family that you can’t do on your own.. any form of expansion beyond your locus of experience
g: there isn’t anybody that does what you do.. with such grace..i just love the titanium spine of you
imagine if we all had the freedom/bravery to do it.. everyday