Chuang Tzu - The Prince's carpenter and the music stand
Type of Spiritual Experience
A comment by the translator of this text added that real inspiration is a mix of imagination and inspiration, what he calls 'spiritual grace', and that anything that is mass produced by machine may be 'fool-proof', but it is also 'grace-proof'. Furthermore, the man who tends the machine has no chance to express any aesthetic inspiration.
A description of the experience
The Prince asked the carpenter what mystery there was in his work. He replied
I first reduce my mind to absolute quiescence.
After 3 days I become oblivious to any reward to be gained.
After 5 days I become oblivious of any fame to be acquired.
After 7 days I become unconscious of my 4 limbs and my physical frame
Then with no thought of the Court present in my mind
My skill becomes concentrated.
All disturbing elements from without are gone
I see the music stand in my mind's eye and then set to work
Beyond that there is nothing
I bring my own natural capacity into relation with my work.