This day last year I sat on the balcony in the company of my beloved, and already quite weak, cat and had one of the more remarkable epiphanies of my life, aided by Steven Pressfield’s: The Artist’s Journey.
It’s right there in his book, and this is how I understood it then:
You are an artist if you have the capacity, or feel the need, really, to travel between what Pressfield calls the level #1 of our material life here, to level #2, which is “the plane of the as-yet-unmanifested, the sphere of pure potentiality.” And bring back your treasures.
He presents his insight in a rather mundane way much like a job description for an artist, but I understood it as profoundly liberating and very deeply explanatory:
Liberating, because it meant to me that, yes, I was an artist, as this job description of being a traveller between the two levels of living was fitting for me. I realized that this was how I always had done things, in academia, outside academia, in Creative Resilience work, in quality development, in every way.
This Journey had been my way of living all the time. And to know what it is that you do and how you do it is to know how you interact with your inner and your outer world. It defines you to no small degree. It’s just nice to get acquainted to yourself, after all these years. It feels liberating.
And deeply explanatory, too, because it rather dramatically threw a light on why I had tended to feel alienated amongst some of my peers and friends and relatives: they simply didn’t travel between levels #1 and 2. It was, as it were, not in their job description…
Which, of course, not only takes away a lot of the stress, but also frees you up to go find some like-minded company. Which I consequently did.
Rather an ugly duckling story here, come to think of it.