The whole summation of any imaginative voyage, simple or complex, is heightened refinement.
Our frame of mind reveals what is going on in our life — because our feelings and emotions form the pulsating or echoing embroidery work, as also fulsome “connect” between us and our fellow beings. Just think of it the other way around — if we were deprived of our feelings, we would not be what we are, or may be. We would not have communicated, or sculpted art, music, dance, science or anything else.
The whole summation of any imaginative voyage, simple or complex, is heightened refinement. The idea is simple. The practically useful, or the greatest literary and scientific thought, music and the arts are primarily the result of focused, frenetic, well-channelled emotions. The philosopher Plato called it “divine frenzy”, just as psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi précised it as the “flow experience”. Divine frenzy, or poetic madness, is a sine qua non for everything innovative — be it the arts, science, logic, carpentry or plumbing. It’s most likely that nobody would have achieved fame without the attribute caressing their mind, including the skin of one’s thought. Nobody would have powered their potent emotions, or keyed-up yearnings, to formulate or create with vibrant passion. Divine frenzy is manifest and pervades everything we do — the big, fascinating, humble or small. You’d sure say and without ado that divine frenzy is nature’s most persuasive testament — it drives, guides, directs, elevates and arouses our talents dwelling in the deep recesses of our mind and soul.
Plato’s concept of such “madness” related well to his doctrine of “inspired prophecy” — when one is the true prophet “literally filled with a God” in their work, or God within them. They experience, as he observed, a literal state of possession, or enthusiasm. For Socrates, divine madness embraced three components — prophetic madness, when someone is not in control of themselves; telestic madness, where one finds relief through ritualistic purification; and poetic madness, where purported beneficial results percolate from the Gods, or divine intervention.
It is not merely words — or actions — that represent our divine frenzy. Silent contemplation too has an analogous gradation of attendance and influence to convey, or showcase our work of art, excellence at work or sports. Picture this — a powerfully enacted scene in a film with refined facial expressions has as much clout to impact us as soulful dialogues. The real problem today is we seem to have lost, or misplaced our capacity to read our feelings, and also of others, much less our sensitivities.
As a result, we habitually pay attention to mundane facts, not details of the given or not given situation — not what the divine frenzy in each of us would want us to express — while disregarding our own and others’ feelings.