The Creative Spirit of Ecstasy

Dear friend,

I think all of us seek to be “happy” in life. But to me, the concept of “happiness” is too vague and imprecise. What I think we are really chasing is the “creative spirit of ecstasy” (inspired by the Rolls Royce emblem).


What is the creative spirit of ecstasy?

Happy face McDonald's

Ecstasy: not the drug, but the feeling of lightness. The feeling that you are creating with 0 friction and 0 gravity. The creative thing you’re making is flowing out of your mind and fingers like water.

This creative spirit is already within you! However it is your duty and in your power to unleash this inner creative spirit!

What holds back this creative spirit? I think we hold our own creative spirit inside a golden cage, inside our stomachs, and we get constipation pains, because we cannot release this creative spirit.

We’ve been trained by society, our parents, and authority figures not to let this creative spirit out. We are told to follow the rules, to tick boxes, and dutifully answer our emails within 24 hours (sometimes even half a day).

Not only that, but in modern society we are bombarded with external stimuli, always fighting for our attention. We are so exhausted because we’re in “defense mode” all the time, answering emails, text messages, Line/Kakao/Whats app/Messenger messages, phone calls, slack notifications, tweets; the list goes on…


What is the solution?

To me, it has been a Zen/Taoist approach.

For example about in 2015/2016 I started questioning everything in my life. I questioned my purpose, whether I was using my time/attention/energy in the most meaningful/effective way, and I started to question all these external social norms and “rules”. I did something crazy: I cut out all external stimuli. I went nearly 2 years without checking my email, I stopped reading websites and blogs, I stopped using social media and deleted my Instagram, and I used this time to let my own creative spirit finally speak her own (quiet) voice.

The more I “fasted” from these electronic stimuli, something interesting happened. I started to spontaneously feel the urge to write poems, to rap, to dance, to make music, to sketch and draw, and to create new artworks! I also fasted from reading online comments (all positive and negative), and I started to truly follow my own inner voice.

Therefore it is of my opinion that our lack of the “creative spirit of ecstasy” is not because of our fault; but of the misfortune fact that we life in a hyper-technological and hyper-connected information society, which prevents us from going into “attack mode” (creator mode of making stuff), and we’re permenantely stuck in “defense mode”, simply responding and reacting to outside stimuli.


Not only that, but checking your email inbox, social media stream, or news website is a black hole/Pandora’s box. Things we didn’t even know which concerned us, suddenly concerns us! Sensationalist news about North Korea testing another nuclear bomb, your friend buying a new BMW (evoking envy on Facebook), or that person on Instagram who uploaded a photo that got more likes than yourself (but you think your photo was better).

The sad thing is that most modern technology is programmed to get you to either look at or click on advertisements. And the odds are against you; Facebook, Google, Amazon, and all the big tech companies employ PHD’s in cognitive science, behavioral economics, and psychology to “nudge” you into purchasing more products, clicking more ads or being addicted to their services via FOMO (fear of missing out), via interrupting notifications (by default, notifications are enabled on all modern smartphones), or the potential of gain (Bitcoin is soaring!!!)

What are we to do?


Well, I’m sad to say that there isn’t any “practical” solutions to this societal problem. For myself, I’ve discovered the following to help me:

  1. Get rid of my smartphone/have no data connection. I share a phone between Cindy and myself now (it’s Cindy’s phone), and we don’t have a data or phone connection on it. This has helped me focus more and be less distracted.
  2. Adblocker Ultimate + 1Blocker browser extension: Block all annoying ads on websites for a cleaner, less cluttered web experience.
  3. Freedom app (freedom.to): Block your internet for hours at a time, to give you the focus necessary to work on the creative work you truly desire to work on.
  4. Disable all the notifications on your laptop / all your devices.
  5. Don’t read websites, blogs, or news stuff. For the most part, I’ve not read anything else on the internet, besides Wikipedia, Project Gutenberg (free ebooks), and Wiktionary (to study the etymology of words). My mind is much clearer, and I’ve been less distracted by inane/pointless sensationalist news which doesn’t concern me.
  6. Priding myself in being different, a black swan, a black sheep, and someone who goes against the grain. Rather than following the herd to be “cool”, I follow my own inner voice and my own inner truth. Shouldn’t you?

BE BOLD,
ERIC

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