Inspiration: Art as a Way

“Life is also an art, and the man who would become a consummate artist in living must follow, on all levels of his being, the same procedure as that by which the painter or the sculptor or any other craftsman comes to in his own more limited perfection.”- Aldous Huxley

“The theatre should be a factory of thought, a prompter of conscience, an elucidator of social conduct, an armory against despair and dullness, and a temple to the Ascent of Man.” – George Bernard Shaw

“…in art there is no final goal. There is always further to go. It is a voyage of unending discovery, and as in all such voyages, what is gathered by the wayside is often as valuable as what is found at the destination.”- G.I. Gurdjieff

“It seems, in brief, that the highest possible idea of the theatre is one that reconciles us philosophically with Becoming…”- Antonin Artaud

“In educating the actor, Stanislawski not only equipped him with a professional technique but also developed him spiritually, directing him to the path of service to art. ‘We must love not ourselves in art, but art in ourselves,’ he used to say.”- Vasily Torporkov

“Why should a painter work if he is not transformed by his own painting?”- Michel Foucault

“Far more important than the poem is what the poet becomes in writing it.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson

“You see, before I leave this world for good, I should like to raise myself, through my work — and for my work — to the level of the really great subjects — sacred subjects — to the very heart of the mystery. The theatre sprang from religion. It is my greatest wish that, somehow, through me – in some small way – they might be reunited.”
—Eleanora Duse

“…the origins, liveliness, and durability of cultures require that there be space for figures whose function is to uncover and disrupt the very things that cultures are based on.”- Lewis Hyde

“It is one of the most beautiful compensations in life…that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction not a destination.” – Carl Rogers

“Why do we sacrifice so much energy to our art? Not in order to teach others but to learn with them what our existence, our organism, our personal and unrepeatable experience have to give us; to learn to break down the barriers which surround us and to free ourselves from the breaks which hold us back, from the lies about ourselves which we manufacture daily for ourselves and for others; to destroy the limitations caused by our ignorance and lack of courage; in short, to fill the emptiness in us: to fulfill ourselves. Art is neither a state of the soul (in the sense of some extraordinary, unpredictable moment of inspiration) nor a state of man (in the sense of a profession or social function). Art is a ripening, an evolution, an uplifting which enables us to emerge from darkness into a blaze of light.”- Jerzy Grotowski

“What is to give light must endure burning.” – Victor E. Frankl


From The Origin of the Theatre of Bharata
An Account of the First Founding of the Theatre According to Divine Transmission 4th Century B.C.
(but likely earlier)

Having produced the knowledge of the theatre, the great father said to Indra the powerful,

“These myths which I have generated within myself must be transmitted to the Gods.

You must communicate this sacred knowledge called the theatre to skillful beings, beyond the fire of knowledge, who walk with daring and have conquered inertia.”

To these words uttered by Brahma, Indra, the powerful, joining his hands and bowing,replied to the great father,

“The undisguised truth is that, the Gods, O Blessed One, are not capable of grasping, retaining, understanding, and animating this science. They cannot be entrusted with the task of the theatre.

But there are prophets who know the mysteries of knowledge, who have perfected their bows; they will be able to grasp, apply, and keep this teaching in their memories.”

Additional Reading

How Can I Help? – Ram Dass & Paul Gorman

Practical Intuition – Laura Day

The Mystic in the Theatre: Eleonora Dusa – Eva Le Gallienne

Stanislavsky in Rehearsal:The Final Years – Vasily Torporkov

Towards a Poor Theatre (last section- ‘Statement of Principles’) – Jerzy Grotowski

The Theatre of Grotowski – Jennifer Kumiega

Between Two Silences:Talking With Peter Brook – Dale Moffitt & Peter Brook

Liberating Rites: Understanding the Transformative Power of Ritual – Tom F. Driver

The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property – Lewis Hyde

The Devils of Loudun – Aldous Huxley

The Art of War

The Gospel of Thomas