I have nothing to write today. Actually, it has been days since I have written anything. I mean anything that means something. I mean, that which really means something to me, first of all. Yes I have written a few things on the net here and there, a comment on someone’s blog or an article, or a message or two on some online group. But that doesn’t really count as writing. Not to me, at least. It is just a fleeting thought, mostly arising in the form of a reaction or response to something being discussed or written by another person.
I haven’t written anything on a specific topic of my choosing.
Actually, that’s not true.
In the past few weeks I did complete an earlier draft of mine on a topic that continues to be of interest to me. And I also worked quite a bit on two other drafts that I am co-authoring with my husband. So it is not that I haven’t been involved with the work of writing.
But still. Something is missing.
I haven’t written something that has given me a real joyful experience.
What kind of joyful experience, you ask?
I am not speaking of a fleeting moment of happiness that comes from a sense of accomplishing something, e.g. finishing a blogpost or an article. Nor am I speaking of a kind of ‘release’ that a writer may experience having expressed something through words – an experience, observation, thought, feeling, or if really fortunate, an insight.
That isn’t joy. At least not the kind I am thinking of today.
Joy is something else. It is a much deeper experience. In essence, it is an experience that doesn’t always need something to be its cause. It just is. Or it just isn’t.
Writing, therefore, can’t really be a means to ‘feel’ the joy. And yet it can be.
It can be when it is done in a state of joy. Joy is an inner state of calm readiness. Readiness to be inspired by, to be led by something higher. Something deeper. Something beyond the tangible, physical, visible reality.
Sri Aurobindo: It is the joy of creation partly, partly the joy or “enthousiasmos“, the sense of exaltation and Ananda which always comes when one is freely and powerfully used by a greater Force.
Q: Does this spontaneous, automatic inpouring depend on some inner state?
Sri Aurobindo: It does not depend on any inner spiritual state, but on an opening to some supraphysical plane of inspiration. (Letters on Poetry and Art, CWSA, Vol. 27, p. 588)
Writing when done in this joyous state of readiness and opening can become a way to enhance the experience of joy. Joy builds upon joy.
But I haven’t had that experience lately. I haven’t felt the joy of creation, the joy of opening to some higher inspiration.
Joy comes when you take the right attitude. (The Mother, CWM, Vol. 14, p. 182)
What is this right attitude? How do I get it? Can it be attained once and for all? Or is it something I have to constantly work toward?
Joy belongs to the desireless man.(CWM, Vol. 16, p. 296)
So it is almost like a spiritual practice, isn’t it? Only when desire is gone, joy begins. Real joy. Right attitude begins to happen when desire begins to take a backseat.
Desire for what? That’s a question to ask, isn’t it? Your answer is as good as mine. But your answer will also be different from mine. It is an individual quest. Quest for joy.
There is a joy in seeking, a joy in waiting, a joy in aspiring, at least as great as in possessing. (ibid., p. 172)
A joy in seeking, a joy in aspiring, a joy in waiting…
Impatience does not help—intensity of aspiration does. (Sri Aurobindo, CWSA, Vol. 27, p. 12)
And so I wait. I seek. I aspire to be open to the inspiration which will give me a taste of the joy I seek. Joy of creation. Joy of being desireless.
What you have to learn is the art of allowing things to come through and recognising among them the one right thing—which is very much what you have to do in Yoga also. It is really this recognition that is the one important need—once you have that, things become much easier. (p. 12)
Sounds like writing can be yoga in itself. Or maybe it already is. For some, at least.
The use of your writing is to keep you in touch with the inner source of inspiration and intuition, so as to wear thin the crude external crust in the consciousness and encourage the growth of the inner being. (p. 718)