G N M Tyrrell - The Personality of Man – The nature of R L Stevenson’s inspiration
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
As quoted in G N M Tyrrell - The Personality of Man
Again the separation between the conscious mind and the source of inspiration is brought out in the case of R L. Stevenson, who owed so much to his "Brownies." [from Across the Plains –Stevenson]
"How often have these sleepless Brownies done him honest service and given him, as he sat idly taking his pleasure in the boxes, better tales than he could fashion for himself."
"And for the Little People, what shall I say they are but just my Brownies, God bless them! who do one half of my work for me while I am fast asleep, and in all human likelihood, do the rest for me as well when I am wide awake and fondly suppose I do it for myself."
As for his conscious self,
“the man with the conscience and the variable banking account," he says: " I am sometimes tempted to suppose he is no story-teller at all but a creature as matter of fact as any cheese-monger or any cheese, and a realist bemired up to the ears in actuality; so that, by that account, the whole of my published fiction should be the single-handed product of some Brownie, some Familiar, some unseen collaborator whom I keep locked in a back garret, while I get all the praise and he but a share (which I cannot prevent him from getting) of the pudding."