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My takeaway

First you’re on a hero’s journey—it’s about gathering experience and a history of your own. The next journey—the artist’s journey—is about the self-discovery phase that comes after. In this new sphere we “get down to business” and do the work.

My notes

These are my informal notes from The Artist's Journey. It contains a mix of key highlights as well as my own thoughts and lessons.

  • The life of an artist may look ordinary on the surface, even boring.
  • The artist is on a mission. Her life has acquired a purpose. It’s about following her muse. It’s about becoming who she really is.
  • The artist’s journey is internal.
  • The artist’s real medium is thought.
  • The artist is not expressing himself. He is discovering himself.
  • The universe exists on two levels. The first is the material world. The second level is the higher level. It’s “above” the first, it’s an invisible world—the sphere of pure potentiality. The skill of the artist is to travel between these worlds and bring things from the second level into the first. Making these round-trips is the skill of the artist.
  • The artist on her journey will make everything up, including herself.
  • All the artist’s enemies are mental.
  • Writers write to discover themselves.
  • An amateur can't start, can't keep going, can't finish, can't work alone, can't work with others.
  • The artist learns that she is not to be held accountable to her first "you," but to her second. This second self, her real self, is the true audience and the true judge of her work.
  • This higher realm is the level upon which "the future" is formed. It is the plane of What Will Be, the dimension of potentiality.
  • The artist's role is to make the unconscious conscious.
  • The great secret that every artist and mystic knows is that the profound can be reached best by concentrating upon the mundane. Do you want to write? Sit down at the keyboard. Wanna paint? Stand before an easel. Wanna dance? Get your butt into the studio.
  • The artist discovers herself by the work she produces.