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Embracing Your Daimonic Genius

At TED this year, author Elizabeth Gilbert (of Eat, Pray, Love fame) took the audience into strange territory in her talk about creativity, expectation and the killing of genius. Unbelievably, Gilbert managed to receive a standing ovation from the scientifically-minded TED crowd after a monologue in which she asked whether we should embrace the ancient conception of genius and creativity being external and separate to us. Basically, she suggested we return to the idea that gods and daimons possess us at times – at least as a psychological crutch. Here’s the talk in its entirety:

It really is a breath of fresh air to see this sort of talk getting a positive response from the upper echelons of science and technology. In this post-Dawkins era, when someone like Phil Plait feels he needs to add a caveat just for typing the descriptive word ‘magical’, I get rather frustrated with the worship of literal thought to the exclusion of metaphor and myth. It’s good to see someone standing up for the ‘real’, everyday human mind like this.

For those who are interested in Gilbert’s discussion of daimons and the like, check out Patrick Harpur’s Daimonic Reality: A Field Guide to the Otherworld. Harpur ties this sort of creative inspiration as the internal manifestation of ‘contact’ with this ‘daimonic reality’, and suggests many paranormal events are the outward manifestation:

The first of the great Neoplatonists, Plotinus (AD 204-70), maintained that the individual daimon was “not an anthropomorphic daemon, but an inner psychological principle, viz: the level above that on which we consciously live, and so is both within us and yet transcendent” (author’s emphasis). Like Jung, he takes it as read that daimons are objective phenomena and thinks to emphasize only that, paradoxically, they manifest both inwardly (dreams, inspirations, thoughts, fantasies) and outwardly or transcendently (visions and apparitions).

A fascinating talk by Elizabeth Gilbert, and a great book by Patrick Harpur – check them both out if you get the chance.

  1. Daemon and Daimon
    A member of my FORUM and reader of my books has just emailed me the link to this fascinating site. I am amazed I have not discovered it earlier. I will be suggesting that members of my FORUM check this out.

    Patrick Harpur has written some fantastic articles and books. His concept of the Daimonic Reality dovetales in nicely into my theory on what I term The Daemon-Eidolon Dyad. Patrick and I have discussed this via email and have swopped our respective books on the subject. Unlike Patrick’s Daimons which are part of the “external universe” (accepting that the external universe of experience may still be mind-generated)my “Daemon” is a being that inhabits each and every consciousness. It shares that consciousness with the everyday self which I term “The Eidolon”. These are both Gnostic terms and I owe a debt to Tim Freke and Peter Gandy (of the book “Jesus Mysteries” fame) for first introducing me to these terms.

    In my books, and particularly the second one – “The Daemon, A Guide To Your Extraordinary Secret Self” I present evidence from neurology, psychiatry, particle physics and theology that such a duality is possible. I also present a theory by which this “Hidden Observer” has precognitive abilities. However, and this is the important point, I use “hard science” to prove this seemingly incredible idea. Indeed I suspect that I expand what Elizabeth has said by attempt to show exactly how the mechanism by which the Daemon (or “Genius”) guides and assists in the creative process.

    I also attempt to explain deja vu as part of the overall mega-theory.

    Sounds crazy? Maybe, but I have been informed that I have been honoured with the title of “Author of The Month” for this coming May on the Graham Hancock site in recognition of my second book. I will be writing an article for the site and this will be published on the site, also in May.

    This theory really is powerful, and many people, scientists, psychics, parapsychologists and philosophers really do believe that it could be THE breakthrough into the mainstream of the things that we all know to be true. If I have the opportunity it is my intention to do something similar to Elizabeth Gilbert if I can get my theories better known. and that is where great sites like this can help … both the site and its members.

    The first step maybe this coming July (24th) when I have been invited to do be involved in a “Platform” Discussion at The National Theatre in London. This will be on the time theories of J.W.Dunne. Oh yes, my theory updates Dunne as well.

    If you are intrigued in any way as to how I attempt to “prove” such a strange theory – and I hope that those of you who check me out will find my theory regarding Near-Death Experience even more fascinating – then take a look at my website at and my FORUM which is located at There you will find a huge amount of supporting material posted from people around the world. Whilst there you can also follow the link to my blog.

    Please do not consider this a marketing attempt … I genuinely believe that some of you will find my work of worth … or at least I hope so!

    By the way, you may be not aware that Patrick has both an article and interview in this month’s “Fortean Times”.

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