If you are like most of us, you will find that, as we grow older, it is harder and harder to avoid being cynical.
Maybe you have recently met an overzealous man or woman caught up in some kind of a cult. Or perhaps you clicked into a marketing program on the Internet that was impossibly hyped. Does that mean that any and all enthusiasm or inspiration is a sell-out of our rational faculties?
Inspiration literally means to breathe in, and by extension, to have divine spirit breathed into you. It is related to the word enthusiasm, which literally means “filled with God.”
It harkens back to the classical world, as well as the Renaissance, when artists, poets and musicians invoked the spirit of the muses, the gods and goddesses empowered with making our every thought, word and deed divine.
Today, it might be seen in the idea of getting all carried away, caught deeply in the flow of things, where you are in perfect harmony with the Universe.
You are able to access a quality of thinking, writing and acting beyond your normal capacities, as though Higher Power was expressing Itself directly through you.
We need only think of such recent examples as Steve Jobs in high tech, Prince in music, T.S. Eliot in poetry and JK Rowling with her Harry Potter series. We can also see it in politicians and religious people, including JFK, Martin Luther King, the Dalai Lama and Pope Francis I. We often think of it as charisma, or a gift of the Spirit.
The term brainwashing came from the Korean War in the early 1950’s, when the U.S., along with UN troops, directly intervened in a civil war. The North Koreans and Chinese were extremely clever in dealing with some of our captured troops.
They separated certain of them from their fellow prisoners and treated them extremely well. They then suggested that these troops had been led on by the American government in a brutal war waged against them for no reason. It was remarkable how many American prisoners defected under those circumstances.
Brainwashing now has entirely negative connotations and implies a rigid form of conditioning that forces people to advocate views that they wouldn’t ordinarily espouse.
It is considered a form of delusion, and efforts are sometimes taken to “decondition” these people. This was the case with parents of children who joined up with the Unification Church in the 1980’s.
Inspiration, on the other hand, is profound and unmistakable. It is very difficult to fake. When someone gives a truly inspiring speech or performance, there is not a dry eye in the room.
The performer seems divine and effectively transforms our own sensibilities. Our bodies are brought to a high-energy state. In some cases, people may even experience rapture or ecstasy, as if they were actually transcending their own bodies.
This is possible only if you think it is feasible to live without a soul, to suck out all the juice in life and rob it of even the slightest joy.
To be fully alive means to dream and live our dreams, no matter the consequences. It is like seeing no more colors or hearing sounds without any music. If you have ever seen an ASCII version of a beautiful website, that is what it looks like without inspiration.
We are not entirely rational beings.
The world is driven far more by passion than logic. Take out enthusiasm, and you will find that you have no ability whatsoever to influence another person. When you think of your inner core, you will more likely point to your heart than your head.
Remember, every cynic is actually a disillusioned idealist, someone who has closed up his heart or mind like a clam. If the proper chord is struck, the shell will pop right open and reveal the inner pearl.
Inspiration is like a gorgeous goddess who suddenly sweeps you off your feet. She comes and goes at her whim, and it is useless to try and control her.
Inspiration is like a rare tropical bird. You can spend the most amount of time with her by opening up the cage door and letting her flutter to and from at her sole discretion.
Inspiration requires a high-energy state.
Eastern yogi’s practice postures on a daily basis for years to build up sufficient stamina to ride the wild surf of ecstasy. When the energy is gone, so is the inspiration. However, better than any drug, a small dose can last a lifetime.
Through what he calls NAC (Neural-Associative Conditioning), Tony can virtually rewire your brain, so that you can readily evoke inspiring memories that instantaneously put you “in state.”
Tony even went so far as to model the best performers in the world, including Olympic-level athletes, to discover just how they did it. If anyone has a magic wand, it is Tony.
If you are open to inspiration on demand, you owe it to yourself to read one of Tony’s books, such as Awaken The Giant Within, play him on YouTube, or go see him at one of his events. I had the privilege of watching him at close range for four hours.
He seemed like a caged lion, brimming with healing energy, prowling about, seeing whom he could help next. I will never forget Tony telling his audience, “I can’t stand to see another person suffer!”
Open up your heart and your mind. Take a fresh look at life. Close your eyes and remember your greatest moment. It may be a peak experience where you were blowing out the candles of your birthday cake looking at all the people you loved most in this world.
Then tell yourself out loud, “Yes, I can!” Try to say this phrase several times with enthusiasm and passion. Really get into it.
Keep doing this once a day for several weeks. You will soon find that every time you say the words out loud, and perhaps even when you merely think the words, you will feel a flush of enthusiasm bordering on inspiration. You might even surprise yourself by touching the divine. Then you will have experienced what every masterful poet, prophet and mystic has discovered: pure genius!
There can never be too much of such thing as - inspiration!