I thought the following quote from James Allen to be particularly appropriate in the context of artistic achievement:
The greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream. The oak sleeps in the acorn; the bird waits in the egg; and in the highest vision of the soul a waking angel stirs.
……. James Allen
Important considerations in the achievement of true art.
Some background information on Allen:
James Allen is a literary mystery man. His inspirational writings have influenced millions for good. Yet today he remains almost unknown.
None of his nineteen books give a clue to his life other than to mention his place of residence – Ilfracombe, England. His name cannot be found in a major reference work. Not even the Library of Congress or the British Museum has much to say about him.
Who was this man who believed in the power of thought to bring fame, fortune and happiness? Or did he, as Henry David Thoreau says, hear a different drummer?
James Allen never gained fame or fortune. That much is true. His was a quiet, unrewarded genius. He seldom made enough money from his writings to cover expenses.
Allen was born in Leicester, Central England, November 28, 1864. The family business failed within a few years, and in 1879 his father left for America in an effort to recoup his losses. The elder Allen had hoped to settle in the United States, but was robbed and murdered before he could send for his family.
The financial crisis that resulted forced James to leave school at fifteen. He eventually became a private secretary, a position that would be called administrative assistant today. He worked in this capacity for several British manufacturers until 1902, when he decided to devote all his time to writing.
Unfortunately, Allen’s literary career was short, lasting only nine years, until his death in 1912. During that period he wrote nineteen books, a rich outpouring of ideas that have lived on to inspire later generations.
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