Writing may seem like a mystic art. Many writers and artist have accredited their inspiration to a supernatural muse. So is writing and spirituality really connected?
Let's first start by talking about the state of flow. The state of flow is very focused moment in time. It is when a writer or artist is caught up in the creation process, and everything seems to be running smoothly. Ideas are spilling out onto the page, paintings are flowing out of the brush in great beauty, and music in the mind is like a crystal clear symphony. According to physiologist, Csíkszentmihályi, in an interview with Wired magazine:
"The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you're using your skills to the utmost."
In this process, new neural pathways are being formed, and the writer and artist feels they are performing at their very best.
To many, this moment of bursting creativity feels very spiritual. And is it? Some may argue this can all be explained scientifically; there are activated chemicals in the brain, signals firing, information received, and muscles contracting. And while I agree with this and believe it is true, I also personally believe some spiritual force can activate it.
I have had quite a few times when I was writing a novel where I recognized I was in a flow state. My brain felt sharp, the scene felt clear in my mind, and my fingers couldn't type fast enough to keep up. Through it all, I also felt a presence. It is hard to explain, and I am sure there is a scientific explanation, but it felt as if someone or something was whispering in my ear or dumping a whole scene, including all five senses, on top of my head.
We live in a day and age where science and spirituality don't exist. It is either one or the other. One is reasonable; the other is fantasy.
And while it may seem delusional to some, I believe there is a lot that can be explained through science, but I also think there is a greater power or force. This force, in my opinion, is simply science that hasn't yet been explored or fully understood.
Maybe one day, we will receive empirical evidence that God exists (or some higher governing intelligence, whichever you prefer to call it).
Maybe someday, we will learn that the souls of those who have passed on still reside around us and can transfer knowledge to us.
The truth is, we don't know absolutely because there is still knowledge that has yet been discovered. However, in my opinion, there is something about writing, especially storytelling writing, that feels transcendental.