The Reflected Magus

Everything you have ever written contains the thousand screaming voices of everything you have ever read. Strains of discordant harmony compose your thoughts and manifest on the page in words you believe to be all your own. But these words belong to no one. Inspiration is born and reborn in a progression dating back to the first time Man scratched sticks against cave walls to express the feelings that fanned within. Or when we carved cuneiform into wood to depict the trials of lost heroes. Or when, with hieroglyphs in papyrus, we told the tales of our embattled Gods. They hearken back to the first days, when we wondered at ourselves and the skies and sought order in the world papered over chaos.

Our influences are the flint and tinder with which we try to spark the flames of originality. Flames fed by a soul's kindling, souls enriched by those who came before. Enriched by their words, and their songs, and their art, which represent the ineffable. We are a collective, constantly chasing the creative catalyst, pursuing it down a hall of funhouse mirrors. There its reflection is distorted; its face become horrible and wonderful in equal measure.

You ponder your own work, wondering what parts hail from Borges, or from Eliot, from Homer or Gilgamesh. What markings are left by the urtext that birthed them all? Reading your words, the face of the magus reflects back at you. Babeling at the peak of a tower of creation. He speaks one language that is perverted into countless more. One endlessly fracturing song. You see a sliver of him in your words. You see his face, bloated and misshapen by the passage of time, drifting past into the dark.

And you realize, one cannot create something from atop the shoulders of giants. One cannot be truly original in a world that constantly reinvents itself, a hollow imitation of its past. One must cut them down.

One must start from below, and dig into another world.