All great discoveries are made by amateurs.
It always happens that when you start new work, you are very creative, you are deeply involved, your whole being is in it. Then by and by, as you become acquainted with the territory, rather than being inventive and creative you start being repetitive. This is natural, because the more skilled you become in any work, the more repetitive you become. Skill is repetitive.
So all great discoveries are made by amateurs, because a skilled person has too much at stake. If something new happens, what will happen to the old skill? The person has learned for years and now has become an expert. So experts never discover anything; they never go beyond the limit of their expertise. On the one hand, they become more and more skillful, and on the other hand they become more and more dull and the work seems to be a drag, now there is nothing new that can be a thrill to them –- they already know what is going to happen, they know what they are going to do; there is no surprise in it.
So here is the lesson: It is good to attain to skill, but it is not good to settle with it forever. Whenever the feeling arises in you that now the thing is looking stale, change it. Invent something, add something new, delete something old. Again be free from the pattern -– that means be free from the skill –- again become an amateur it needs courage and guts, to become an amateur again, but that’s how life becomes beautiful.
A great painting, drawing, photograph, sculpture, or tapestry, can profoundly stir our emotions, heighten our perceptions, and stimulate our imagination—often inspiring us to create our own works of art. Contemplating works of art, then, is an excellent way for writers to pique their aesthetic perceptions. Images powerfully rendered—think of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling fresco, “God and Adam,” or Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”—seize our attention, heighten our fascination with the subject that so fascinated the artist. For Michelangelo it was God’s paradoxical nature as both transcendent power and a compassionate parent, not just to Adam but to all humankind: the mortal hand almost touches the Almighty one; actual contact would have constituted idolatry. For Munch, the distinction between subjective and objective reality collapses in this moment of primal, nightmarish fear: reality is what our minds—awake or asleep or somewhere in-between, make of it.
A work of art presents a vision of nature or a statement of the human condition. A painter or sculptor uses images to embody ideas and experiences much as a writer uses words for the same purpose. Art—whether it employs paint or clay, sounds or words—transforms the abstractions of human experience into shapes that can be readily apprehended by the senses. The Daily Writer by Fred White
An interesting contrast here between the thought of being an amateur and also contemplating the work of experts (great works of art).
An amateur is generally considered a person attached to a particular pursuit, study, or science, without formal training or pay. An amateur receives little or irregular income from their activities, and differs from a professional who makes a living from the pursuit and typically has some formal training and certifications in the domain. Translated from its French origin to the English “lover”, the term “amateur” reflects a voluntary motivation to work as a result of personal interest in the activity.
What strikes me the most is that amateur derives from the word love, so the real trick here is loving your work. Even experts can find new things in their work if they truly love what they are doing. Osho’s point of looking for something new within the work, looking at it with an amateur’s eyes, a lover’s eyes, keeps the familiar from becoming stale. A lot of times when I feel stuck, I start looking around to see where there there is something I love, be it a nearby object, person, or project, and I find a new source of inspiration. And if I find I’m no longer loving something, an outfit I’ve tired of, a possession I don’t care for so much any longer, then it is time to let that thing go.
I think this is also the attraction of a new love — we are looking at the world with different eyes, with our lover’s eyes, and seeing the world, and ourselves, in a new way through their eyes. This becomes tremendously exciting, and then we are swept away into a new world full of possibilities we hadn’t considered before. Our existing life begins to seem stale, but then we find we can incorporate those new things into the existing patterns, change them up until they feel new again and fresh.
I hope you can look at your world with an amateur’s eyes today, a lover’s eyes, and see it as the masterpiece it truly is. And if you don’t like what you see, that you can have the courage to change it up and make it what you want.