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Posted on: November 15, 2012

灵感与“吃苦”


Hobby

Hobby (Photo credit: Sergey Yeliseev)

我个人不太理解很多人常常提到的“吃苦”精神,尤其是在提到艺术创作,甚至一些业余爱好的时候,比如绘画弹琴,种花养草等等。“辛苦”,或者说“吃苦”,在我看来,是指强迫自己做自己不愿意做的事,或者强迫自己做超出自己精力范围之内的事,从而导致一种“痛苦”感,而这种强迫性,痛苦感,均是和艺术以及业余爱好的目的大相径庭的。艺术是有感而发,业余爱好是为了丰富自己的人生,两者都是为了让自己的生命更享受,所以,如果说为了生存而不得不吃苦,我能理解,但业余爱好,或者艺术创作,如果觉得辛苦了,不可以简单地放下吗?

中国的主流教育,在我眼里几乎就只有“吃苦”二字。还记得自己很小时候父亲动辄就说“如果不能吃苦,你什么也做不了”。对于我的兴趣广泛,父亲也只是简单地概括为没有吃苦“精神”。他倒是对的,我的确不是那种在艺术创作上,或在在任何一种创作上能吃苦的人。而他可能还不知道的是,我对不但不愿意“吃苦”,还“鄙视”通过吃苦而“创造”的几乎任何作品。

我认为,在“吃苦”的劳作和“激情”的创作之间,有一道不可跨越的鸿沟,虽然两者都意味着辛勤的汗水。大约也正是在这个“汗水”二字上,很多人误解了这两者的内在含义。爱迪生说“天才是百分之一的灵感,百分之九十九的汗水”,此话我实在不能同意,尤其如果这个“汗水”是指“吃苦”的话。在我看来,天才是一半灵感一半汗水,而在这一半的汗水中,是没有半点“苦”的。在我眼里,任何一部真正的艺术创作,都是绝对靠灵感而非“吃苦”创作出来的。那么,什么是灵感和“吃苦”,或者说激情的汗水和“吃苦”的汗水之间真正区别呢?也许在此用比喻的方式会阐述的更清楚:灵感,是人的精神和造化的之间完美的“作爱”,“吃苦”,则是一个空洞的大脑对疲乏的肉体的“强奸”。所以,“吃苦”常常是吃力不讨好,过程充满情感折磨,结果也多半是匠气有余灵气不足的劣等“产品”,而灵感驱使下的创作过程则完全不一样,是充满了快感的享受过程,结果自然是健康的富于生命力的作品。这大约也解释了为什么在灵感启发下搞创作的艺术家们不在乎“流汗”。

灵感是造化给人的礼物,所以不是每个人都会大量拥有的。那么,没有灵感的时候,人是否应该强迫自己创作呢?我的答案是否定的。我认为,在艺术创作的过程中,如果没有灵感,就应该停止创作,等到灵感来临时再创作。我在生活中看到太多的人强迫自己搞创作,而这个“强迫”在我眼里其实就是在“伪装”- 伪装创造力。比如,很多畅销书作家在开始写出一两部好作品之后,就开始源源不断地继续写,写出的质量越来越差。为什么同样一个作家前后的作品差别那么大呢?其实这就是灵感和“吃苦”之间的区别,最早的作品往往是有感而发,后来的作品,却是为了保护自己的“名誉”而“强迫”自己“吃苦”的结果。

不懂装懂,或强迫自己做自己并不擅长的事,实在是人类作出的最愚蠢的事(之一)。事实上,生活之丰富,世界的精彩,远远超出了人为的劳作,或者“创造”的范围。而这个“丰富性”,“精彩性”,往往是人在什么都不做的时候才能体会得到的。“无为而无不为”,最“懒惰”的老子早就道出了这个真谛。

 

 

 

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Inspiration Vs. “Working Hard”

I often don’t understand why people complain about “working hard” on their hobbies, such as writing, painting, playing music, gardening, cooking, etc. For what I understand, “working hard” means we are forced to do something we don’t enjoy, or something go beyond our energy limit, so it makes us feel more or less suffering, which is just opposite of the purpose of “hobby”. I understand that people work hard for their jobs, to survive, because that’s something they have to do, regardless they like it or not, but hobbies, if we feel suffering, why don’t we just quit?

I grew up with the notion of “working hard”. Trust me, the whole mainstream Chinese education to me is all about “working hard”. As my father put it, “if you don’t work hard, you would never be anything!” I still remember how he interpreted my quick interest shifting as “not capable of working hard”. He was right. I am not able to do that, but what he may not know is, not only I am not capable of working hard, but also I dislike doing it, and furthermore, I even “despise” those works done by “hard working”.

I think there is a giant difference between “working hard” and “working passionately”. For me, the former is suffering, the latter is totally a enjoyment, even both can be sweating – about which many people confused. Maybe the most famous saying about “working hard” is Thomas Edison’s quote: “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” I CANNOT DISAGREE more. I think it should be 50% and 50%. And among 50% perspiration, there is not a slight amount of suffering. For me, all true masterpieces were done by “inspiration”, not by so call “hard working”. I like to be a little more “specific” about the difference between these two: “inspiration” for me means a perfect LOVEMAKING between a humans mind and “God” (I am not a believer so “God” here means our “Nature”), and “hard working” means RAPE, committed by an empty human mind to an exhausted human body. So whereas “working hard” is unpleasant, suffering and often futile, the creative process under inspiration is always productive and full of pleasure. No doubt whoever gets inspiration do not mind “working hard!”

Inspiration is a gift. Not everybody has abundant amount of it. So, if we don’t get inspired, what do we do? Nothing! I see so many people force themselves working on so call “creative works”, but for me, what they were doing is nothing more than pretending to be “creative”. I do think, pretending to know things we don’t know, to do things we are not capable of, truly is one of the most foolish things humans “committed”.

And the thing is, life is so much more than just “being creative”, and sometime it does require our absolutely “doing nothing” to see this (probably the most) wonderful part. “Doing nothing and everything is done”, lazy Lao Zi got it all.

 

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灵感与“吃苦”

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2 Responses to "灵感与“吃苦”"

Yunyi, great insight. At least that’s what I do with my writing as well. But having said that, I have to qualify it by suggesting that working hard may also refer to all the work and preparation that helps lead to or give you the inspiration that prompts you to create or work passionately. Without years of hard work (study, reading, completing homework, etc), it’s hard to imagine anyone capable of any inspiration. That’s probably what Edison means by the 99%. In other words, inspiration occurs only to people who are prepared. As a friend, I know Ha Jin to be a harder worker than I am and that’s probably why he is more inspired than I am.

Thanks 灭资兴无 for commenting.
I actually don’t think inspiration has much to do with human knowledge, instead, I believe it has everything to do with life, or our nature. For me, it is those who come to me “unprepared” can be called as “inspiration”.
I don’t know who is Ha Jin.

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