ON INSPIRED WRITING
As I reread articles on this website of www.divinepageant.com, which I have written months or years ago, I am astounded that I could have produced such work. On this page I want to search out my thoughts about this, whether it was inspiration or what. I am going to write this out because others might be interested in this subject, or might be experiencing the same type of thing.
The subject of inspiration fascinates me because I know I did not plan those writings in advance; neither did I ever prepare an outline or research notes. Simply, when I felt compelled to write my thoughts about a subject, I sat down at the computer keyboard and began typing, completing most articles in an hour or two. I heard no voice nor saw any visions, but merely wrote the thoughts which came to me. Seldom, if ever, did I write about something I had been studying or researching. Usually, it was because I had some new insight into a subject that prompted me to start typing, often not knowing just how the subject might develop. I was definitely not taking dictation. I was writing my own thoughts, which I like to call "insights." A concept became clear in my mind and I could see how my idea fitted nicely into that Big Picture which is always in my mind and with which I am intimately familiar.
After my theological education, 1960-65, when I was a Vicar, my sermons had to be compatible with the Lutheran doctrinal set, and I was able to stay inside the parameters because I knew the doctrines. Now, that doctrinal knowledge is all gone and I donít think in its words. In my mind, I seem to know what I call the Big Picture, not in details but in essence. Now, any new insight must fit into the Big Picture. I have no concern about whether a new insight will conflict with other things Iíve written in the past because all of them fit the same paradigm. It is all so easy, now.
With my own large library of history and theology at hand, I did sometimes, while typing a piece, look at reference books for quotations or detailed information. Since my brain-damage accident, I cannot remember Bible verses or their locations or anything else which I had memorized years ago. I guess I need to describe my brain impairment.
It was a motorcycle accident, January 10, 1990, alongside John Wayne Airport in Newport Beach, California while riding to work one morning from home in Costa Mesa to Irvine. Approaching a stoplight, a car swerved leftward from the right into my lane, forcing me to brake hard which caused me to skid on some loose sand, spilling the bike onto the center median where it landed on my left leg and my head slammed against the pavement. I wasnít wearing a helmet. I was helicoptered to a trauma center in Orange, where I didnít regain consciousness for some time. Profuse bleeding out the left ear indicated brain damage, so I could have no anesthetic for a few days. The pain was pretty severe in that crushed left leg. Eventually, surgery on the left lower leg put bone fragments together, held by a long metal strip and many screws.
Nothing was ever done about the head trauma. Tests revealed that the right parietal region of my brain was becoming scar tissue. A neurosurgeon explained that my thinking process would not be able to correlate information or find optimal solutions. Short term memory is nearly nil. When I tried to return to my work of land development (computer drafting design for Civil engineering) I was unable to evaluate data properly. So, my company insurance disability policy kicked in and I was retired at 51 years old. Now, 22 years later, I still have a single-focus mind and no short term memory; if I turn my attention from one thing to another, that first thing will not be recalled. If I am heating food on the range, I must stay with it or it WILL be forgotten. Makes life quite entertaining! and frustrating! As for coming to any best answer, based on various data, not possible. For instance, I canít play chess because I can only think of one single strategy at a time; I canít compare several possibilities. If I am distracted while writing a piece, I must go back and read what was just written in order to restore that concept in my mind.
Life is now limited to the present moment; I act according to instinct, not according to experience, lessons learned, or selecting the best option. What I am describing is the same phenomenon as hypnosis, which is simply a yielding of oneís mental focus to one single thought at a time, unrelated to any peripheral or associated thoughts. I am oblivious to anything happening around me except for the single thought in my mind. If I am explaining something to a person and I get interrupted, my mind listens to his information and I forget what I was saying. Conversing with me must be difficult for my wife or friends. I canít even look at a person while talking to him because his facial expressions are data which distract me from what I was saying. I think of my limitation as seeing life through a cardboard paper-towel tube.
When I am alone, in silence, undistracted, like at the computer, I can pursue a line of thought in ways that were never possible before. If youíve seen hypnotized subjects, you know that they are capable of amazing feats. I remember a stage event in college when a meek student was hypnotized and put before the center microphone to give a campaign speech to replace the president of the school (who was present). He gave a bold, impressive, powerful, and stirring speech that had the audience gaping open-mouthed! Where did that come from? Inspiration? It was certainly inspiring!
This subject of inspiration fascinates me because I donít know the source of the material I have written, some of it in great detail and sometimes at great length. The only thing I do know, is that when all is quiet and I am able to focus on one single idea, that whole subject seems to be brightly lighted and I can see/know so many things which I had never known before. I simply yield to the flow and let my fingers do the typing.
Certainly, this ability is aided by the fact that I was somehow given that Big Picture several years ago, since the accident. We were living in a small one room log cabin in a tiny wilderness village in Alaska. I began to order theological books, especially Greek language materials, for Bible study. Iíve always shied away from symbolic literature, like that of Ezekiel or the book of Revelation; still I felt attracted to it. So, I asked God to help me understand Johnís Revelation. And then the flow began, fall of 1998. I revised the English translation to match the true meanings of the Greek words, rather than the politically-acceptable versions available to the public. I could hardly type fast enough as a Commentary on Johnís writings came forth. From early mornings to late nights, I felt lifted aloft, untiring, even uninterested in meals. It was completed in about three months. I could see the book as a coherent whole rather than the confusing pot-pouri weíve all known. I felt I could see intellectually what John had seen visually, and I was astounded at how simple it was. Iím sure John felt everyone would see what he described because it was so clear in his own mind. Now, as I review my commentary of 13 years ago, it doesnít seem quite so simple to me anymore.
One thing I do know is that when I can contemplate a subject without interruption, or speak without interruption, I get overwhelmed with feelings of euphoria, excitement, and awe. It is a knowingness that isnít very describable because it is so foreign to worldly consciousness. So, what is it??? I must say that I donít know. It is definitely not "channeling" or "trance" or anything earthly. I write the thoughts of my own mind, not from any deceitful spirit. I get to think about my thoughts and express them in whatever words I wish to use. Whether I am using the best words or not is not something I can evaluate or judge because my mind canít compare various possible phrasings. I simply type whatever I think. A day or so later, when I review the material, it seems somewhat new to me and I find statements that are difficult to understand, so I rephrase them. Perhaps I shouldnít do that, but I do.
This mental impairment has opened up dimensions of understanding which are amazing. I feel like a swan who waddles clumsily on the ground, but in the sky soars most beautifully. My wife calls me "O.B." for Oblivious because Iím not aware of much around me. Sometimes I tell her Iím going aloft and say, "but itís alright, they know me there." This brings to mind the seven Spirits around the Throne. I ponder them, and suspect that they are relevant to the spirit-being which is the real me. I donít see those seven spirits as separate beings or powers from myself, but as integral to my own beingness. To think of them as separate from me would set them at a distance, while just yielding to the Truth of their immanence is comfortable. I guess I am trying to say that they are not something to be grasped. Oh, the seven Spirits around the Throne are Wisdom, Knowledge, Understanding, Will, Power, Fear, and Godliness. In quiet solitude of contemplation, it seems almost that Heaven is open and those Spirits provide my consciousness. That consciousness is Prayer for me, a wordless communion in which any desire, wish, or plaint is inappropriate. Jesus said that when we pray to not do it in public but to go into a closet. I think He meant to go within oneís own self, oneís own Spirit, to commune. A mystic seeks God within rather than from books, information, ritual, or teachers.
If youíve read my recent articles about being liberated from this earthly physical prison, perhaps you can now understand why I want to leave this body. I have some knowingness of where I shall go, but it isnít something which can be explained in words. I guess it must be what we think of as "spiritual." For me, "spiritual" is not fantasy, conjecture, or pie-in-the-sky; it is my reality. Oh, how I resent all the interruptions which jerk me back to grounded consciousness.
What is"inspiration?" I donít know. Are my writings inspired? I donít know. Have I found Truth? I believe I have found some, at least for myself, but I would never argue its validity or defend it. Rather, I would ask any reader to be skeptical and be convinced for himself before taking ownership of any new idea. Cognitive Dissonance is a limitation which prevents most new insights from being considered if they differ from traditional tenets. One must yield to the Holy Spirit in order to get past that blockage. Since I can no longer evaluate and compare things, I guess my brain damage has been a blessing. I have found a contentment with the Big Picture which I might never have found if there had been no "accident."
It makes me feel confused and trembly to realize the works which have been produced by this impaired mind. I feel estranged from world reality, and I wonder if my writings might be used as stones in the foundation of a new kingdom. I do realize the importance of them, but I do not expect much feedback during my lifetime. It pleases me to think that I wonít be here if God does use these works which have flowed through me into word text. I would not presume to try to explain or defend them because they are not from this faulty human called Roger. I am repulsed at any notion of being a teacher or preacher, and I consider it a blessing that I am incapable of it. Iíve enjoyed the experience of presenting radical new concepts on a website, and that is enough for me. Whatever happens to my works is up to God and is not my concern. That permits me to sleep peacefully each night.
I almost neglected to mention a factor which I consider essential to spiritual communion: alcohol. I drink, nearly every day. I have no desire for a drink until late afternoon. Then I will sip it through the evening, consuming perhaps a bottle of wine or a third of a bottle of Rye whiskey. I sleep easily and in the mornings I want to write. Jesus was a drinker; He said that people called Him a drunkard. He also said that wine was His blood, and that one cannot know heaven unless he drinks of His blood. While we consider physical life to be in our body blood, I think that spiritual life is enlivened by alcohol, as it relieves stress, relaxes the mind, makes the world seem distant and unimportant, and opens channels of spiritual communion with God. Sleep, after drinking, might permit the spiritual mind to "live" without world interference. In the morning, a new insight might be a gift.
I am convinced that many intelligent and truly spiritual seekers have turned to alcohol for satisfaction after they were disappointed by vapid and inane sermons in churches. I think that anyone who can bear the shallow church religion must have shut down his mind. Iíve often said that I think more truly spiritual people are sitting in bars than in church pews. I have personally known enough of each type person to make that statement with confidence.
So, there you have my thoughts on the subject of "inspired" writing.
Roger Hathaway, January 2012
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