G N M Tyrrell - The Personality of Man – The nature of inspiration
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
G N M Tyrrell - The Personality of Man
George Eliot told J. W. Cross that in all that she considered her best writing, there was a "not herself" which took possession of her, and that she felt her own personality to be merely the instrument through which this spirit, as it were, was acting.
George Sand, in a letter to Flaubert, says: "The wind plays my old harp as it lists. . . . It is the other who sings as he likes, well or ill, and when I try to think about it, I am afraid and tell myself that I am nothing, nothing at all. "
Madame Guyon confesses that "before writing I did not know what I was going to write; while writing I saw that I was writing things I had never known."
Goethe said of his poems: "The songs made me; not I them. . . ."
Dickens declared that when he sat down to his book, " Some beneficent power showed, it all to him."
And Thackeray says in the Roundabout Papers: "I have been surprised at the observations made by some of my characters. It seems as if an occult Power was moving the pen. "
Dostoevsky said: “I . . . . write every scene down at once just as it first comes to me and rejoice in it; then I work at it for months and years."
De Musset … says: "On ne travaille pas, on ecoute, c'est comme un inconnu que vous parle a l'oreille"
And Lamartine, says: "Ce n'est pas moi qui pense; ce sont mes idees qui pensent pour moi."
Lewis Carroll writes about the nature of inspiration : “I was walking on the hillside alone one bright summer day when suddenly there came into my head one line of verse-one solitary line-'For the Snark was a Boojum, you see.'
I knew not what it meant then: I know not what it means now: but I wrote it down and some time afterwards the rest of the stanza occurred to me, that being its last line: and so by degrees, at odd moments, during the next year or two, the rest of the poem pieced itself together, that being the last stanza.”
There have been men possessing extraordinary powers of grasping intuitively the result of a calculation. Bidder could determine mentally the logarithm of any number to seven or eight places, and could instantly give the factors of any large number. "He could not," he said, "explain how he did this; it seemed a natural instinct with him.”