Jason Lawrence Bell
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10-20-19 Musing the Muse


Slowly they wander thru stacks of books. They are book store regulars who love reading and spending every Tuesday touring local stores to find a new stack to last them the week. They know most bookstores receive new stocks on Mondays so Tuesdays is the preferred day to search.

Bobbi is the driver. She has a station wagon that can hold everyone and the new stacks of books. Bobbi is the youngest of the group of three. Meaning she is 81 years old, and the others are older and less agile. They are all retirees of the local University. Bobbi was a professor of Psychology. Samson taught Mathematics at the Masters level. And Bert was the retired Political Science department head. They all still live near the University, so it’s easy for them to meet. However, there is more to their ritual.

On Saturday evenings the group meets and each one brings their review of a book and they discuss the book’s topic. To say they are intellectuals is an understatement. Since they were children, they have immersed themselves in ideas, facts, prose and poetry. Stimulating their minds is delicious to them. And debating ideas is their sport.

Bert especially loves the debate challenge. He knows that the others have incredible minds and he likes it when they challenge his abilities. Tonight, Bert doesn’t want to review a book, instead he wants to put out an idea for debate. It’s Bert’s time, so the others agree to take his lead.

Bert begins, ‘inspiration, sometimes called the Muse, has been vital to humans’ survival and advancement. I have studied some of human’s greatest discoveries and most often, that discovery is realized in a ‘ah ha’ moment. The realization is not there in one moment, then it somehow appears. It just suddenly occurs to them. A break thru idea just appears or surfaces. Surfaces from where? So, I guess that’s my question for tonight. Where is it coming from?’ Bert stops and looks at the others waiting for response.

Bobbi starts, ‘of course we are talking about something that cannot be proven. It’s a mystery we can only guess about. It’s an unknown phenomenon that has been vital to humans. We know that. It seems to arrive in a precise manner. Always through the mind, probably through the subconscious. Importantly our mind realizes the uniqueness of the thought. If we are not startled by the new thought, then we will not give it importance and we will lose the opportunity the thought offers. But where the thoughts are coming from is the supreme question.’

Samson is ready to jump in, ‘I have read many biographies of literary geniuses and their explanations of inspiration are very similar. One says it is like notes being slip under a door. Another says it is like fishing in a deep pond. A renowned composer says it arrived as whispers in his eyes. The common element is that the inspirations are given, not taken. Inspiration comes when IT wants, not when it is called upon. Inspiration can remain for a time, but also leaves and returns on its own schedule, if at all. It seems like the Muse is sporadic and never constant. Do we as humans need to be spoon fed small insights? Is it too overwhelming to human consciousness for inspiration to be permanent’?

Bert speaks, ‘yes, we get more questions than answers when we talk about the unknown. But back to where it’s coming from. It seems for lack of a better word, we could call the source of inspiration, a different realm. The occurring insights seem to come through the mind from a vast pool of information. It appears that an intelligent pool of wisdoms is somewhere on the other side of consciousness. Perhaps there is a different realm that keeps all intellect of all time. When humans developed Calculus Mathematics, they discovered something that is always there. We just become aware of it. Thus, we may say that the Realm holds all wisdoms, known and unknown. Somehow the wisdoms slip through to be realized. It seems to go in only one direction, and that is toward consciousness.’

Samson asks, ‘but does it go in one direction? Humans do find uses for inspiration and expand the wisdoms. Humans create language that satisfies our need to communicate. Somehow the Muse speaks thru our languages to communicate with us. So then are we influencing the Realm? Are we changing wisdoms by our uses? Can we slip a note back under the door? Possibly we already do.’

Bobbi continues, ‘could we slip ourselves under the door? I know it sounds silly, but as I listen to us, I have a yearning or strong desire to live or at least visit the realm. It sounds like heaven to me. Swimming in a pool of Wisdoms, ideas, concepts and poetry forever.’

Samson adds, ‘the only way I can see to reach that realm is death. Everything else is like short visits coming from one direction. But death is so unpredictable. We are born with no memory of experiences before birth. A clean consciousness. When we die does the consciousness erase again, if it does survive. An afterlife is optimistic thinking. We know the body decomposes and recycles. It doesn’t become another body. It changes form completely. Why should consciousness not change completely as well. So, if we are to slip ourselves under the door, why will we conclude that consciousness will remain intact. We are just as likely to become vapor or an element of space.’

Bert remarks, ‘I, too, share the desire to live surrounded by the Muse. My imagination loves that thought. But it’s just my imagination and not reality. My reality is that I enjoy our group of admirers of the Muse. And together we bring wonderful inspired knowledge to each other. In a way I think we have come full circle. Imagining other realms and speculating about the future is great fun. We are back to enjoyment. That enjoyment is the experience of NOW. Experiencing what brings us joy and is felt in the moment. So possibly it comes down to one rule, live in the now.’ Peace***