I am currently reading Elizabeth Gilbert's book 'Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear'. Gilbert is a fiction writer as well as a non-fiction writer and most people will know her from her bestselling memoir 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

'Big Magic' however focuses on creativity and one section details the author's beliefs about ideas and where they come from. For her, she believes ideas are almost separate entities that wish to be made manifest and so they visit people in order to be realised. Sometimes the person runs with the idea and creates something - other times nothing happens and the idea moves on to someone else.

Gilbert herself talks about a novel she had an idea for which she ended up abandoning for two years when she was inspired to write another book. When she came back to the original novel to start work on it again, the idea had gone 'flat' and she decided to abandon it - in her reasoning, the idea had got tired of waiting for her and had moved on to someone else (as it turns out, she met another writer who had pretty much the same idea at around the time Gilbert gave up on hers - this was a very specific idea by the way, not a general, vague one.

Gilbert believes when the two of them met that the idea transferred from her to the other writer). She also recounts another story in the book, about a poet who, as a child, would be out in the fields when she sensed the almost physical approach of a poem, rushing across the fields towards her - she would run back to the house as fast as she could in order to stay ahead of the poem.

Sometimes she managed to make it, other times she didn't and the poem/idea would disappear. On one occasion, the child apparently almost made it back and caught the tail-end of the poem but then somehow managed to drag the rest of the poem back towards her and wrote it down in reverse order as she pulled it back in.

This made me wonder whether ideas for artistic works such as novels, poems, etc., actually already exist as complete entities/thoughtforms and the artist then just aligns with the idea/thoughtform and brings it into the physical realm (i.e. the author is only a channel for the work rather than creating any of it themselves).

Or is it the case that a more general idea may exist as a thoughtform and the author then links up with this but works on the specifics of the idea and the detail themselves? I found it a really interesting/curious idea so I just wondered what people thought.

asked 11 Jul, 07:49

WriterGirl's gravatar image


edited 11 Jul, 17:00

IQ%20Moderator's gravatar image

IQ Moderator ♦♦

A question after my own heart!

Gilbert's theory is also close to how it seems to me. I used to think that I created ideas or works - now I think that you RECEIVE ideas or works, and that those ideas or works are basically created by the asking of mass consciousness. So if some people are like "I wish there were a book about this, or that feels like this" (I don't know that people are asking for that in a specific way, or if it's an accumulated, vibrational asking... I'd guess the latter) then I think that thing comes into being in the vibrational realm and is out there for artists, who have their own accrued vibrational askings, to receive if they line up with it. So a book is a manifestation of both the artist and the audience! You as the artist are the channel through which the audience's manifestation can come into the world, while at the same time it's also your own satisfying creative manifestation. It's "I want to read a book that feels like this" meeting "I want to write a book that feels like this".

I am in a phase of something like writers block right now, I've stopped fighting it and am trying to just observe the process of change. I have noticed that when I'm in an aligned state, sometimes little pieces of work will stream in my head. It's like I can hear it being read aloud? I'm definitely not "writing" it or making it happen. At the moment, it typically vanishes if I turn my conscious attention to it. And I can't at all generate that state intentionally by sitting down to write. But I can dimly see how eventually, if you're in an aligned state enough of the time, you could essentially connect to the stream and take dictation.

I think artists in this flow state are receiving the complete, fully realized form of the work. But I think your own life experience and aesthetic preferences and skills all contribute to what you're able to align with and receive. Does that make sense? I think that an artist who is able to understand her own work is going to line up with "better" (whatever that means to her), more exact work than someone who is sort of receiving the work as a savant. I don't think that necessarily anybody could receive and write anything, or anyone could receive any painting, I guess is what I'm saying. (Although maybe it's just my belief that makes it so, and I could be a concert violinist if I didn't believe that it requires training and effort!)


answered 11 Jul, 16:08

corduroypower's gravatar image


Thanks, @corduroypower - that makes perfect sense. I think you might be right about the writer's desire to write a particular type of work meeting with the audience's desire for a particular type of work. Sorry to hear you have writer's block - I hope you manage to reconnect with the joy of writing soon.

(12 Jul, 04:29) WriterGirl

It's interesting what you say about 'hearing' pieces of work though - for my short stories I would sometimes 'receive' the first sentence - seemingly from nowhere (it would just drop into my consciousness) - and the idea for the whole story would be contained within the seed of that sentence. I knew exactly what the story was and where I should go with it.

I think you're absolutely right about the writer's preferences and skills contributing towards what they line up with. The more belief...

(12 Jul, 04:33) WriterGirl

... we have and the more confident we are in our abilities the clearer a channel we are for the work (I think). I think it probably is possible though that - if we were fully open - we could pick up a violin and play it straight off. Our beliefs about doing this are the only thing stopping us. Thanks for your reply!

(12 Jul, 04:36) WriterGirl
showing 2 of 3 show 1 more comments

I think everything exists as a fully realized thoughtform. It is a matter of tuning in. Bashar is pretty clear on this. http://iasos.com/metaphys/bashar/#Receiving Why should it be any different for artistic ideas?

Anyway, this thread reminded of:

A writer who sits down and writes a novel does not "think up" his story and his characters. He simply puts himself in the position of someone who is going to write a story, then he observes the thoughts and ideas that cross his consciousness. On and on they come and he rejects them, until finally there comes an idea which appeals to him. This idea he takes unto himself and examines and then accepts. Now...he is in the position of writing a story about a man who is alone on a desert island....on the stream of thoughts come...and now he is writing a story about a man who is marooned on a desert island by pirates. And so it goes...in no case does he "think them up." His entire story, once assembled and written, is simply evidence of the thousands of choices he has made from the thoughts that have streamed through his mind. He has not thought up a thing; he has simply exercised choice. His story tells you what he has accepted; nothing will ever tell you the millions of ideas and thoughts which he has rejected. - from Three Magic Words by U.S. Andersen


answered 30 Jul, 00:41

Delphine's gravatar image



That's brilliant and makes total sense - thanks, @Delphine.

(31 Jul, 10:37) WriterGirl

thoughts are in information
highways, as the winds blow them
our way some are able to
focus them into thought form


answered 12 Jul, 06:24

fred's gravatar image


Thanks, @fred.

(31 Jul, 10:39) WriterGirl

the idea is from the living one that you are. only the darkness(fear , ignorance, lack of knowledge) stop you from knowing this. the problem when you try to plant the idea in this world is the soil some time it will grow other time not. sometime you will make some choice when you plant your idea, you will ask good and pertinent answer, should I plant it here? is there plenty of light? will it grow? is the soil good enough? is the water good enough and is there plenty of water for this kind of seed? some time you lack knowledge since you never tried something new and you need to try it to see if it works.

He who has ears to hear, let him hear

Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times.

Don't you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? The farmer sows the word. Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop--thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown.

as for you son and daughter of man you should also decide how you plant your seed and how you water it, this will determine the kind of kingdom you live in.

as for other living one having the same idea then you have it will happen some will plant the same seed as you or similar seed that you plant. after all we where all created from the same image in the beginning and we all live in the creation of the creator. some time the world is not ready to receive and some other time it is. and some time only a fee can receive amongst the many.

I sent you to reap that on which you bestowed no labor: other men labored, and you are entered into their labors.

the well is deep and the worker are fee. do not be surprise that many are thirsty.

when one enter the wilderness and find is desert the place of solitude to be at peace, and with faith seeking the truth he can work on is own water and clean is cup inside, out. when the darkness is remove in the reflective part of the water he shall see the light. the light shall guide him in to all truth until both becomes one. then he shall be born again of water and spirit.


Let there be light, be the light that you can, be experience and enjoy.


answered 11 Jul, 14:42

white%20tiger's gravatar image

white tiger

edited 13 Jul, 08:04

Thanks, @white tiger.

(31 Jul, 10:39) WriterGirl
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