I finished eating and told myself I had to write an article.
I “had” to write an article? What kind of attitude is that? I may have to eat, and maybe even in some rarefied, sublimated spiritual sense I also “have” to write. I may even love to eat. But is my passion for doing what I love most — satisfying my deepest creative desires — no higher than satisfying carnal needs of survival?
The words we use, the way we frame our desires and paint reality, are important. Words that may seem insignificant to us from familiarity because we have used them so long may actually reveal unconscious attitudes that rob us of vitality and spirit.
When I put something I love to do in a spiritual sense on the same level as something I “have” to do in a physical one, aren’t I robbing what I love of its most valuable possession — my highest love?
If I feel that I “have” to do something, doesn’t it remove some of the pleasure because it is no longer freely chosen for the sheer joy of doing it, and becomes something of a chore, a base necessity?
When you have to do something there is pressure. You will feel worry if it isn’t done on time or at all. It becomes a task like a homework assignment, cleaning the house, or jogging on a treadmill when you’re trying to lose weight.
If you don’t do it you will be angry with yourself. You will feel diminished or ashamed, or even the need to punish yourself.
Is this the way to treat something you love? How many times have you told yourself you “have” to do something you really love doing anyway, because it will move you closer to your dreams? Why do we debase our dreams by giving them the status of a to-do list? If you “want” to do it, then why should you feel that you “have” to do it?
Why should we turn something we freely choose to do because we love it into something we have to do because . . . what? You need to answer that important question for yourself.
What do you gain or lose by not doing what you love? Do you need it to be or feel “successful”? Approval? A sense of accomplishment? Money? Adulation?
Whatever the reason, if it’s not love for its own sake, it takes you away from your highest aspirations and deepest longing.
If you are following your passion, if you want to live your dream, do it for the joy it brings you, not the results it may or may not bring. If money is your only guide, your greatness will be lost. When done joyfully, work becomes an act of love, even when difficult and painful. Don’t let it become a “should”, which diminishes your passion and power.
Reignite the joy. Tear down the walls. There is no joy without passion, which lights up the world with significance. Passion shared with another — compassion — is the engine of love, and great love the soil of genius.
There is genius in everything creative, born of a struggle against complacency, conformity and that tyranny which would rob us of freedom and truth. Only in truth is there real freedom. Suffering is a great power that can strengthen your soul. The road will test you, but in your heart lies a warrior, and the world needs your immortal love in the eternal battle for justice. Fight for them, and never let them die.
When the fire of your soul burns with the heat of your true love, you are a force that cannot be denied. The world will bend to you. Those that want to control you will fear you.
The highest passion we can attain is for truth and beauty. Never be afraid of the truth, however painful. The only thing we fear is ourselves, because the most terrifying thing is the profound responsibility that comes when we recognize our true power.
“Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.”
“A taste for truth at any cost is a passion which spares nothing.”
— Albert Camus
First and last, what is demanded of genius is love of truth.
“Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age.”
— James Joyce
“The price of fruitfulness is to be rich in internal opposition; one remains young only as long as the soul does not stretch itself and desire peace . . . there is nothing we envy less than the moralistic cow and the fat happiness of the good conscience.”
Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.’