“It is a singular sensation to see and hear one’s self praised, and then to be conscious of one’s own imperfections as I am. I always regard such occasions as admonitions to get nearer the unattainable goal set for us by art and nature, hard as it may be.” Ludwig van Beethoven
I am really enjoying my research into Beethoven, in his own words. It is part of my preparation for 33 Variations, to be produced this spring at Threshold Theater in Charleston, in which I am set to play Beethoven. When I look at his words I see a deeply humble soul, who appreciated his connection to the Universe. He was very aware of the limitations of his ego, while recognizing it as an inescapable part of the human condition.
When I receive compliments it has always triggered my ego, taking me away from the idea or process which generated the compliment in the first place. For many reasons, some valid, some not, I tended to be weary of compliments, assuming they were given in order to get something from me, even something as benign as a compliment, in return. Now I try to watch as the seer of my thoughts, with a wry smile, as we all trigger one another’s egos, hoping in vein to derive the bliss which can only be attained in the contemplation of ideas.
Any brilliance I may possess, and we all have our moments, comes from a miraculous firmament of past experiences, misunderstandings, study and something else, something outside our own abilities and understanding. My limitations, my weaknesses are part of my brilliance. As my friend Val recently shared on my FB wall:
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
Where did the music Beethoven heard and composed, even while deaf, come from? We humans give Source many names, but these are all ego identifications that give us access to something none of can ever understand, trapped in our current form. This “unattainable goal set by art and nature” is all we have to guide us in our search for inspiration. His music came from hard work, sacrifice and a dedication to moving his ego aside, making himself available for Something larger than himself.
If you like/don’t like the ideas expressed in these blogs, I encourage you to comment. Also, you may want to get a copy of Point of Art – Second Edition, or download it today. Don’t forget to check out The Portrait – a painting video and The Power of Positive Painting, the original portrait painting video.