If the word "inspiration" is to have any meaning,' TS Eliot wrote, 'it must mean just this, that the speaker or writer is uttering something that he does not wholly understand - or which he may even misinterpret when the inspiration has departed from him.' Eliot has a slight doubt about whether the word has any meaning, or any meaning now, because inspiration is something that only originally made sense in a religious context. If you are a religious believer of any denomination you know, or at least you have words for, where your inspiration comes from, however mysterious it may seem; and you may even have an idea about what you can do to invoke it - make sacrifices, do ritual incantations, live ascetically, take drugs, sit down at your desk at the same time every morning, and so on. But for the more secular-minded there is not much language to talk about inspiration without beginning to sound a bit mystical, reliant on some powerful source or force that can't quite be named but can't quite be ignored. – The Observer (
I believe now would be a good time to clarify my “search for enlightenment” concept. My own work is directed toward the landscape and its social implications from a philosophical and religious viewpoint. This does not diminish the importance of individual models and the like as they may equally serve the need of “muse/inspiration” for an artist. Majority of my early work in and after college was centered on the representation of my wife. It is simply my present choice to go for the landscape as the most easily identifiable subject (muse) in my work.
I believe the “search” aspect of the Post-Beat Movement is indifferent to the subject of the work. The process of creation is, in essence, a process of discovery of the subject. This discovery regardless of whether it is positive or negative will lead to some form (major or minor) of enlightenment. If the process of creating new work does not bring new discoveries – then it is time to reevaluate your process and subject and try a new path. - DN