Where do you get your ideas?
In the AA meeting for artists, that’s the first question.
Like all the people who have attempted to answer the question before, I will go into a brief but angry existential crisis.
“I get my ideas from, from everyone; Everything; All around; Life—man, get it? Ugh, so much shit happening—where do I begin? What sort of question is this even? I mean, c’mon: I, something comes at me all right, when it doesn’t, I wait, and yes when I am waiting I have some real psychotic thoughts okay, nothing sexual or anything, but you know one moment I am hanging out with The Rock, Serena Williams and Snoop Dogg and the next moment, I am snorting a rose like Leo in The Wolf of Wall street. So where do I get my ideas? From pure unimpeded self-loathing. Where’s the bomb that’s supposed to go off now?”
The quest to find the source of ideas is not a lack of ideas as much as our hopelessness about how everything that finds the need to be said—by You, the One—has already been said by someone better, better. It started as a quest to make sense of existence. In its modern randy version, it is less about existence and more about the validation of existence. The real question now: “how can I please people the way you do so I can get the number of likes you do?”
“Ah, that’s simple. You should’ve just asked me that. Get the wisdom boob job: acquire a shallow level of knowledge about everything to keep people distracted from finding out you are a ball-less coward, agree with what’s dumb, wait for the dumb thing to become popular and then disagree with it. Paralyze your emotions and begin living only when there’s a camera on you; fake misery so the hoi polloi can relate with you; fake happiness so they have something to look forward to; spread your existential crises thin so you have a steady stream of dingbats replacing the disillusioned; and finally, compensate for your lack of a sex life with generic motivational advice. The trick to being popular is being true, just not to yourself.”
In your quest for ideas, you will hear a lot of ideas. You will hear this one a lot: write down every fucking thought that enters your head. Yeah, we know how that’s playing out. At least religion put some effort into editing.
What you see at the end is not the result of an idea. Or ideas. With creation, the quest is not to make something of ideas. But to find something to which you can give away all your attention. Where you are empty of all ideas and create from that space of pure unimpeded self-sacrifice. The sacrifice of the One for the Zero.
So the question really becomes, what do you pay attention to when you are not thinking about yourself? Or if you want to get more specific: when was the last time you cried? And if you want to get personal, how much writing do you have to do to process your regrets?
You see a great result not because the idea was great. Most of what’s considered popular, let’s admit it, is kinda dumb.
You see what you see because you fastened your gaze with the artist’s. You decided to let go of all control for a moment, of all ideas that’ve been fed into you and walked into that space where the artist took the first breath. And now wants you to take yours. As there are no beliefs, only mysteries; there are no ideas, only escapes. The garbhagriha of all art is in the absence of the self. The process, a prayer whose breathing is in tune with existence.
One thought on “One to Zero”
Wow, I keep coming back to experience the first breath in a mysterious escape. Never regretted.
Would really appreciate this: “But to find something to which you can give away all your attention. Where you are empty of all ideas and create from that space of pure unimpeded self-sacrifice. So the question really becomes, what do you pay attention to when you are not thinking about yourself? Or if you want to get more specific: when was the last time you cried? And if you want to get personal, how much writing do you have to do to process your regrets?”