Fifteen Aphorisms About Obsession

1. Genius is the capacity to blend exemplary ability with focused intelligence and well-managed obsession.

2. Obsession is the fuel of sustained creativity.

3. To reduce the mind, without effort, to a single, sharpened focus is the primary effect of obsession.

4. Both romantic love and acerbic hatred are woven out of the tangled twine of obsession.

5. Obsession reduces all vision to tunnel vision.

6. Obsession can motivate both creation and destruction,  both genius and folly, both love and hatred.  Like a hammer, obsession can be wielded both to build and to destroy.

7. Obsession is like a stealthy snake, or a covert ninja; it sneaks up on you, grabs hold of you, and before you know it, has you firmly in its power.

8. A life spent leaping from one obsession to the next is a life without tedium; just as one adventure ends, one finds oneself thrust into another.

9. Obsession is like fire; it can illuminate one’s whole life, or burn it up in an evanescent blaze.

10. An obsessive mind can be admirable or dangerous; it can terrify even as it inspires.

11. Obsession is not a choice, but a compulsion.

12. We have a choice, not in the arising of obsession, but in its management.

13. Whether we maintain a firm hold on the reins of obsession or hand the reins over to the obsession itself is up to us.

14. Obsession is like a wild horse; it can be tamed to take us wherever we want to go, or it can drag us off into directions we never imagined we would end up, for better or for worse.

15. Obsession in great art is a temporary plunge into love; while one works on a piece, one becomes consumed by it.  The burning obsession drives every brush stroke, every note, every shaping of the clay.  And when the work is done, one sets it aside and moves on as if the obsession had never even existed.  Such is the fiery dance of the accomplished artist.

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