"The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company...a church...a home... I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. ...we are in charge of our attitudes."   ― Charles Swindoll

"’Can't please everyone’, isn't just an aphorism, it's the secret of being remarkable”.   ― Seth Godin 

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes”.   ― Marcel Proust

“We are all here for a spell; get all the good laughs you can.”   ― Will Rogers

The patron ‘Inspiration’ is the feminine side of Religion – prominently displayed as the ‘Young Man’ in ‘RELIGION’.

The categories of inspiration are almost endless:  leadership, time management, motivational, communication, teamwork, inspirational, success, life, imagination, dreams, building good character, achieving goals, wisdom, happiness, personal growth, dealing with people, overcoming fear of failure, overcoming worrying, destiny.

The Golden Seat was created not only to be a visually pleasing piece of artwork, but also as a source of  inspiration - constant reminder of values such as devotion, truth, hope.  To bring joy and enlightenment not only to yourself, but to remind you of the value of doing the same to others.  And to be a guide, like a good friend, and give you moral support in hard times of trial and travail.

The Golden Seat’s higher theme of individual purpose is realized through Plato’s Natural Theology: Beauty, Truth & Goodness: A compass heading to improve the human condition”.  Many inspirational stories are found within the timeless themes of Beauty, Truth and Goodness.

Divine Inspiration
“As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world”  (John 9:5)

One ancient source of inspiration is the Bible.  The Old and New Testaments were created by people who were so moved and enlightened by God that their inspirational work is called the ‘Word of God’.  The Sacred Scriptures, before and after the time of Christ, are considered divinely inspired.  Of course, over the many generations of translations, the diversity of the interpretations of “God’s breath” is vast and wide.

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Matt. 7:15)

“Behold, I send you froth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves”  (Matt. 10:16)

What does it mean to be wise as serpents?  It means possessing the wisdom to recognize deception, whether it's a belief, a behavior or an image of those who wear the official garments ('sheep's clothing') of an institution:  religion, government, university or the corporation. What does it mean to be harmless as doves?  It means guarding against giving energy to negativity.  The negativity of those who deceive us, who hurt us.  When Christ said, “Drop it all and follow me” he did not mean our worldly goods, he meant to drop the negativity and behavioral overlays and follow his wisdom.  Negativity begets negativity.

The Caduceus

An inspirational image from Mathew 10:16 can be seen in the Caduceus – the medical symbol of a staff with the twin snakes of wisdom against deception and the white wings of the dove of against negativity.  The dove is a beautiful symbol of the Holy Spirit, of purity, of freedom, of taking flight.

A holistic interpretation of the Caduceus sees the staff as the central spinal column.  The crossing points of the healing serpents represents the individual seven chakras moving up the spine from lowest to the highest.  The two serpents themselves represent the masculine (‘Solar’) and feminine (‘Lunar’) energies of the chakras.  The inspirational message for the both sexes is for them to relate to their opposite – that the male balances his worldview with ‘community’ and ‘cooperation’ and the female balance her worldview with ‘independence’ and ‘contest’. 

In her pioneering work, 'You Just Don’t Understand: Women & Men in Conversation', Deborah Tannen (Georgetown linguistics professor), discusses the dynamics of contest and cooperation among the sexes:  “To most women, conflict is a threat to connection, to be avoided at all costs. Disputes are preferably settled without direct confrontation. But to many men, conflict is the necessary means by which status is negotiated – it is actually sought, embraced and enjoyed…Friendship among men – large element of friendly aggression, which women mistake for the real thing…Because women’s imaginations are not captured by ritualized combat, they misinterpret and are puzzled by the adversativeness of many men’s ways of speaking and miss the ritual nature of friendly aggression.”

When Christ said: “what God has joined together, let no man put asunder”  (Mark 10:9) he meant the intellect and emotion of ourselves, the ‘male’ and ‘female’ within one body.  We are both male & female in one body – intellect & emotion.   This is the inspirational understanding of the ascending nature of religion – the many to one; transcendent; the path of wisdom.

The Muses

In Greek mythology feminine Muses inspired those who created poetry, literature, music and the arts.  They ultimately became the inspirational wellspring that the feminine ‘voice’ is a source of creative knowledge.   The young man in The Golden Seat representing ‘Inspiration’ is the ‘feminine’ side of Religion – the Muse to inspire our creative side.

The inspirational message is to respect and honor the creative side of ourselves and to understand the spirit of the ‘voice’ of the feminine.  And this has nothing do to with any suspicion of one’s sexuality.  Let the masculine side rise when you need it and the feminine side when you need it.

Feminine Voice (Moon):  relationships, care, responsibility, connections, communion, women ‘touch’.   The moon is symbolized by Diana the Roman goddess of the hunt, birthing and the moon (her Greek equivalent is Artemis). She is associated with wild animals and woodland, and having the power to talk to and control animals. She looks after virgins and women.  The moon is also a symbol of the Virgin Mary.

Masculine Voice (Sun):  autonomy (independence), justice, rights, rules, agency, men ‘look’.  The sun is an emblem of glory and brilliance and a symbol of authority. It represents happiness, life and spirituality. The rising sun is a symbol of hope.

So we ask, “what is the real difference between men and women?”  The evolutionary biologist will claim that men have strength and mobility advantage (in general) and women lactate and give birth.  Other than that, both sexes share the 'voices' of the masculine and the feminine.

Later in his career, W.S. Maugham, the popular English playwright and novelist, felt that he never attracted the highest respect from the critics or his peers.  Maugham himself attributed this to his lack of "lyrical quality", his small vocabulary and failure to make expert use of metaphor in his work. The American journalist and radio personality Alexander Woollcott gave Maugham his insight on language:  "The female implies, and from that the male infers."  Maugham replied: "I am not yet too old to learn."

Diotima & Mind Babies
"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex...It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage - to move in the opposite direction."    –  Albert Einstein

Diotima of Mantinea is a Muse who taught Socrates about love – that love is linked with a quest for immortality (as discussed at Plato’s Symposium).  Her ideas are the origin of the concept of Platonic love. Nature does all it can to live forever and to be immortal – can only do this by reproduction.  Some are pregnant in body (just breed to make babies) and others are pregnant in mind:  mind-babies.  Mind-babies are poems, artworks, fashion, a garden, cooking recipe, architecture, mathematical theories, mechanical inventions, software programs, medical innovations, affordable and compassionate living facilities for the elderly – anything that requires creative inspiration.  Where the beauty of the mind becomes more important than the beauty of the body.

So how do we get pregnant with a ‘Mind Baby’?  That is the $64,000 question.  Creativity has always been a mystery and will probably remain to be one.  There are plenty of tips, books and ideas to be found on the Internet (lots of creativity on creativity).  There’s an amusing story in the advertising industry where during an awards ceremony party an advertisement executive was complemented on winning a prestigious award for the creativity of the ad.  The executive asked the person, “did you remember what the ad was about?”  The viewer could not.  Moral of the story:  important difference in being creative and in being effective.

Creativity and problem solving could be viewed as having two poles:  ‘solar’ (masculine) and ‘lunar’ (feminine).

In ‘Reverence’, the masculine side of Religion, it was discussed to ‘love our neighbor’.   In the light of helping others, watch for the negative programming and encourage others not to tell themselves they are not creative.

In regards to the notion of genius, there are two points of view:

 1) Fun definition:  genius is winning the genetic lottery prize (Mozart's life in Amadeus - party & write beautiful music).
 2) No-fun definition:  “Genius is the transcendent capacity for taking infinite pains” (Thomas Carlyle).

Some people do arrive with very special gifts from the start, like the child prodigy of music (Mozart) or art (Akiane).  And there is always the other side of ‘Genius’:  legend has it that the brilliant theoretical quantum physicists, Paul Dirac, who predicted the existence of antimatter before it was discovered, took the automobile driving test 17 times.  Moral of the story:  we always need to keep our sense of humor – who knows, even having a good laugh might inspire one’s creativity.

In closing, The Golden Seat makes this blessing to inspire the reader:

May you be blessed with the gift of inspiration today! 
May the golden light of creativity shower down The Epiphany, The Aha! Effect and The Eureka Effect.
May the Angels wrap you in their shining wings of inspiration & creativity.
For the greater good of all.