Posted by Tom Kershaw in on -
Sometimes it’s difficult to see the difference.
I’ve been on a lifelong quest to write a good song. It’s quite difficult. I want to write a good song and be recognized for it—much more difficult. I want to write a song that changes the world for the better. Impossible. Changing values changes the world—but we’ll avoid that topic for now.
Writing songs for me is a challenge I give myself. To be honest, it’s very rare that it works out and sometimes I get pessimistic. I avoid the challenge by avoiding my piano. I wonder if even writing a good song is impossible. Clouds gather. The rivers of thought and feelings get muddy.
But life is long, and inevitably the sun breaks through, the water clears. Something beautiful strikes a chord inside of me. What happened there? Let’s try to work it out.
I remember a Charles Bukowski poem. He spoke of a woman who wanted a big, airy, well-lit room in the city. Then, she said, she could get down to writing that book she wanted to write. Bukowski replied (and I paraphrase): “I’d still write in hell with devils crawling up my back.”
Bukowski was on quite the creation quest, but he makes a good point.
Think back on your life and everything you’ve done. The more you think about it, the more overwhelming it may become. You might end up really impressing yourself.
How did you do it all? Even in THEE, this bastion of logic, reason and science, things get spiritual. From a totally new angle, we can understand the perspective of the prophets, poets and sages who speak so freely with words like freedom and bondage, love and hate, despair and salvation. These powerful words, are they metaphors? Or can they be taken literally?
At our core, we are biology, chemistry and physics. We are aggregated atoms, but we sense—or feel—that there’s much more going on in us. Expand beyond the physical into the psychosocial. In the endless dualities that pop up in our lives, this is perhaps one of the most significant. We are chemical elements on one end, human elements on another. Will meets in the middle. Make no mistake, things like optimism and pessimism, courage and cowardice, joy and despair are real and which ones we channel have real effects on us.
Channeling them, making a choice between one or the other, takes a sort of spiritual invocation within yourself. This is not biology or conventional science. It is the deepest humanity, an internal force that, at its highest, is something bordering on abstract—but not theoretical by any means—something akin to passion or a personal constitution.
Optimism is as real as (and probably quite a bit more useful than) uranium. You don’t need any uranium, do you? If you want to get creative, you’re going to need some optimism.
That’s step one for me when I’ve decided to take up the challenge of writing a good song. I’ve got to believe I can do it. Why bother otherwise, right?
The spiritual aspect of THEE is of particular interest to me as a person who considers himself somewhat of an artist, writer and philosopher. The scientific side of it, for me, is a bit difficult, but there are many no doubt who would jump on it with gusto.
What we find (and you can watch WK describe this in a short video) is that some spiritual force is at work anytime you’re committed to an action. It’s a mind-bending realization and it can allow you to see yourself and what you do from a divine sort of angle.
I sometimes imagine THEE embedded in myself somewhere and when I commit to an endeavor, when I take responsibility for my purpose, various parts of it light up like those images of a brain you see when someone is being scanned as they try to solve a math problem or play chess or listen to music.
As I write a song, (or you perform your duties at work or solve a problem at home, or anything else for that matter) Willingness, Purpose, Creativity, my particular Quest, Communication and probably thousands of other elements in Willingness, Purpose, Communication and more--all affected by my particular Quest for Meaning in my life--start grinding into action, come alive, light up and start working together in harmony and guiding me as I guide them to my goal.
That’s my interpretation.
It’s this fantastic combination of the many pieces and parts of being human that allow us to do—whatever we choose to do. I happen to view this from a philosophical perspective, you might see it as science or, as THEE develops as more and more people engage with it, in your own special way.
- Tom Kershaw
- Hi! I'm Tom and I am a full-time writer, musician, and father to a firecracker of a four year-old. My wife and I lease our house and cars from her in hopes that her considerable talents of mess-making, princess-impersonation, and stuffed animal-whispering will pay off and fund our eventual retirement in the south of France.
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