Question: How can we learn to get inspiration from art instead of just enjoying it?

Sri Chinmoy: If you enjoy art with your heart’s love, then automatically you are getting inspiration from it. But if you enjoy it with your mind, then you are stuck there. You are only measuring the art, judging it. At that time, even if you enjoy it, still the art does not come as an inspiration. But if you enjoy it with your heart, you are identifying yourself with the work. Your heart receives the inspiration from the art because oneness is there. That inspiration is now inside you and is being transformed into aspiration. Tomorrow it will be revelation and manifestation.

If you are enjoying with your heart, there is identification; but if you are enjoying with your mind, even while you are appreciating it you are cherishing the feeling that you yourself could paint that thing or write that thing better than the artist. With the mind you are enjoying plus examining and judging. When enjoyment and examination go together, you won’t be able to take the work as inspiration, because at that time you are busy judging and correcting it. You are enjoying it but you are also showing your superior feeling by trying to correct and perfect it. But if you enjoy it with your heart of identification, you automatically receive the inspiration in the creation of the artist. In the heart, you identify with the inspiration and sooner or later that inspiration will reveal itself as a new form of creation in your own life.