The authorial-Self, a ‘Muse’ of poetry, is interviewed by Gil Dekel.

Gil Dekel: I am very happy to be able to interview my own ‘Muse’, my own creative self, and ask him about processes of inspiration in writing poetry. [1]

I would like to thank you, the authorial-Self, for ‘descending’ from the so-called ‘collective unconsciousness, the spirit world’, and coming over here, today. [2]

Authorial-Self: It is more like coming down with an elevator, from your higher-mind and down to your heart… [3]

Figure 1: Still image from the film Interview with authorial-Self, 2007.

So let’s explain what is going on here. You are my creative ‘Muse’, and we are speaking with each other now through what some people call ‘flowing speech’ or ‘automatic speech’ experiment. The poet Yeats discusses this technique in the first part of his book A Vision. [4]

The first question I would like to ask you is about writing poetry. When writing, you actually inspire me to write my poems? [5]

In fact you receive inspiration from groups of acknowledgements; from various sources. You receive from a ‘cloud’ of knowledge, from which you decide what symbols you want to draw and use for your poetry. [6]

So, you are my authorial-Self, my creative-self, which is also me, in a way? [7]

Yes. [8]

So, what is the difference between you and me? [9]

Well, you see, what is the difference between Gil who writes, Gil who runs, and Gil who likes to cook? [10]

But running and cooking are things that I am doing, these are activities. Poetry, on the other hand, is something that ‘I Am’ – I was born a poet. [11]

No, you were not. Poetry is an activity that you do just like any other activity. You see, you were not born ‘cooking’, and you were not born ‘running’. In essence you are ‘everything’ and once you decide to do an activity, you simply limit the light in a way in which it becomes physicalised, whether it becomes poetry or cooking, or anything else for that matter. [12]

Why do you inspire me to write poetry? [13]

It is actually your own choice of what you want to be. [14]

I chose to be born a poet? [15]

You choose to be a poet every single time you write a poem. [16]

Do you mean that the act of writing poetry is also an act of choosing to be a poet? [17]

Yes. [18]

But I thought that I am a poet all the time, even when I am not writing? [19]

By choice. Only by your own choice you are a poet even in those moments that you do not write. [20]

Why did I choose to be a poet? [21]

Because it is now time that you document your experiences and verbalise them. Everything you gone through in previous life times has reached its melting point, and is ready to be documented through verbalization. [22]

Are poets at a state where they are ready to document their experiences? [23]

Yes, it is about self-observation and inquiry. You observe who you are, you inquire into your experiences, and you document them. [24]

Why did you choose me from all people to be the one that writes and ‘physicalises’ your poetry? [25]

Every human being is a particular experience of that which is All. I am using the term All here to express the higher realm, or what some of you call the collective unconsciousness. Now, if I want to document your specific life experience, why should I go and document another person’s experience? I will go to you to document your experiences. [26]

So, you chose me – in a way you chose ‘yourself’, ‘ourselves’ – because you wanted to document the particular experience of my physical self? [27]

Yes, but be careful… [28]

Careful of what? [29]

Some people might think you got a multiple personality… [30]

[Laughing] [31]

[Smiling] This is about the gradation-of-personality… you are like a rainbow, consisting of many colours in one personality. [32]

How then do you inspire me? [33]

In your case I tend to appear in your dreams. And all you do is open a door to wider consciousness, which prevails over everything. Then you choose some aspects of it that you wish to write about. You have to listen, that’s all. Listen to trees, clouds, people – and the poetry will flow to you. [34]

You see, consciousness is not a singular event, but rather a multitude of appearances. Consciousness is in every possible form, and poetry gives manifestation to one aspect of this consciousness, to one form. [35]

That form ‘goes down’ into the shape of an idea, then to the shape of thought, then down to awareness, to words, choice of words, and then it extends itself to become a sentence. At that point you write it down. [36]

And what about emotion? [37]

Emotion goes through a process of gradation on its own accord, and it evolves alongside that process. [38]

Is this process of writing poetry a linear process? [39]

Not at all. [40]

But producing poetry is linear – word coming after word coming after word. [41]

That is the only way that you can possibly understand it. Your mind, your logic, is sequential, but your heart can work in other ways. [42]

What do you mean by ‘your heart can work in other ways’? [43]

I mean emotional intelligence… [44]

When do you inspire me to write poems? [45]

In your most awake moments… [46]

When my eyes are closed?… [47]

When your heart opens… [48]

Now, Gil, let me ask you about the way you write: at first a poem appears in your mind, and you contemplate the idea as to how to shape it into words, don’t you? [49]

No, I don’t contemplate it. I usually have an emotion, an intense feeling, which ‘flows’ immediately to words. I don’t think of it; it simply ‘pours’ into words, which I immediately write down. [50]

So, when emotion appears in your mind, is it then verbalized? [51]

Yes… [52]

But at first you don’t really give the emotion a name… [53]

No, I don’t… [54]

You just have a sense of it. [55]

Yes. [56]

Now, let’s look at what goes in your mind once you have that sense. First, you want to give meaning to that sense, to make it something that you can understand and write. To do so you go through self-reflection. Self-reflection is a process in which you critically choosing words which can be adjusted to the sense. Choosing words is a process that uses your logic and your intellect. So, what happens in this process is that you contemplate on how to shape feelings into words. In effect, you translate the feeling into words, into verbalized experience, through reflection and choice of words. Then, when it is written it becomes accessible to other people who read your poem. [57]

But you are describing a long process, whereas in my case it happens in a split second. I get a feeling, which is translated immediately in my mind to words. It is instantaneous. [58]

Hmm, yes… [59]

You are saying that in a split second I get a feeling, which then undergoes self-reflection, critical choice of words, and receives meanings? All this is supposed to happen immediately? [60]

Do you want to tell me that you still believe that time is a fixed measurement which was created by God? [61]

Time is not a fixed measurement; time is relative. [62]

So what is ‘a split second’ then, if not eternity?… [63]

But, here we are talking about relativity of time, which is applicable only if you are moving at the speed of light, right? Are we then moving at the speed of light? [64]

To presume that you are moving at the speed of light is to presume that there is darkness all over, and that light is moving through it. [65]

Yes… [66]

But, in reality light is everywhere, and darkness is the illusion of it… [67]

I am even more confused now… still it makes perfect sense… can we go back to talk about poetry? [68]

We never changed the subject… [69]

Now, let me summarize the process: first, I send you a sense of a feeling. Then, you grasp it, filter it through experiences of this lifetime, add to it the sense of logic, verbalize it – and you get the words for your poem. [70]

How does one produce logic from feelings, from emotions? Emotions and logic seems opposites, so how one bridges them? [71]

That is the beautiful capacity of your mind – to create meanings of everything, including emotions. [72]

So, without logic there would be no poetry? [73]

There would be… ‘watercolours’… [74]

‘Soft poetry’… [75]

‘Floating memories’… [76]

Have you ever had a feeling that something is at the tip of your tongue yet you cannot say it? [77]

Yes. [78]

That’s it. That is ‘floating memories’. You feel something, you sense it, you know it is there, but you can not say it. That happens while logic is looking for the sense of the feeling, to attach a sense to it. Your logic has to put everything in boxes. Once it finds the right box, it immediately ‘remembers’. [79]

What are these boxes? [80]

These are pre-set boxes that help you to classify the world. Everything you feel is adjusted to one such box. [81]

And after all this, can I ask what is your definition of poetry? [82]

Poetry is the music of the banality. It is a tool to elevate everyday life to the sacred. It is an expression of your wisdom where you write down all your necessary mistakes and necessary triumphs that brought about your life experiences. It is like turning on the light without choosing which way it will spread… [83]


10 August 2008.
© Gil and Natalie Dekel.
The interview was held through automatic-speech experiment (conducted by Gil Dekel and Natalie Dekel) in Portsmouth, UK, 12 October 2006, and was revised in July/August 2008.

[Hebrew version עברית]