Constructing a daemon to keep your cool

2009/02/11

Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED talk fell on grateful ears. Creative persons, she reasoned, inevitably face heightened risks of mental disorders and personal destruction as their psyche struggles to absorb successes and to pull through rejections and failures. Paralyzing self-doubt, fear of mediocrity, and destructive manias gain their potency from the modern rational belief that creativity comes from the individual’s talents and dedication. In the less rational times, the whispers of capricious tutelary daemons and the tuggings of unbridled universal forces guided generations of philosophers and poets while letting them live in calm. If so, Elizabeth Gilbert justifies and encourages keeping our daemons with us.

Surely, this recipe applies beyond the circle of professional writers and artists. Any practical advice for how to construct a sufficiently believable and at least partly personable daemon?

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