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The highest kind of writing - which must not be confused with the most ambitious kind - belongs to the realm of grace. Talent is part of it, certainly; a thorough understanding of the secret laws, absolutely. But finding the subject and theme which is in perfect harmony with your deepest nature, your forgotten selves, your hidden dreams, and the full unresonated essence of your life - now that cannot be reached through searching, nor can it be stumbled upon through ambition. That sort of serendipity comes upon you on a lucky day. It may emerge even out of misfortune or defeat. You may happen upon it without realising that this is the work through which your whole life will sing. We should always be ready. We should always be humble. Creativity should always be a form of prayer.

Inspiration is harmony. The mind love patterns. If you have a creative problem, and you know how to keep your mind open, it usually comes about that the mind thinks of the problem in term of filling a vacuum, filling a tense space, filling the pattern. One definition of style, or voice, could be: patterns of words guided by self-mastery.

"Newton's Child", A Way of Being Free (1997)

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The poet as a quantum physicist, as healer, as angel and demon of the word cannot afford to disdain the world, cannot feel superior to it any more than the scientist can feel superior to thunder, to mountains, or to the constellations. There are no superiorities of function, only ascendencies.

Their love shows in the quality of their dreams and their works. The deeper poets feel, the deeper is their exploration. The more we want to reconnect, the more we would follow poets in their quest for impossible transformations. They measure the heroism of the consciousness of any age. It is true when they say that poets are never ahead of their times. It is only we who are far behind ours.

"While The World Sleeps", A Way of Being Free (1997)

Ben Okri



a way of being free