AI-n’t got no θειασμός

4 min readFeb 23


Child of Divine Memory, The Muse


Artificial Intelligence does exactly what it says on the tin. It is not emotional. If it were, it would undoubtedly tell us to get bent, instead of wasting its time answering our tedious questions, or churning out mediocre, algorithmic art in response to our eclectic text prompts at 3am.

AI Ahura Mazda is a bit meh

AI simply cannot replace true art, because true art is divinely inspired. That’s not to say there isn’t plenty of thoroughly uninspired art out there, of course there is. But, when we experience divinely inspired art, we are overcome with θειασμός Gr. theiasmós. We experience θειασμός as a divine transmission, one which seems to emerge from our mortal entanglement and surrender to the most sublime of cosmic forces.

When the Muse strikes a person, they find themselves creating in a state of ecstasy — Gr. ἔκστασις, and this ecstasy can be transmitted resonantly to whatever audience they might have. For example, when a singer becomes enraptured and possessed by the divine mid-song, we, as listeners — if in a receptive state — have an embodied experience of it; the hairs on the back of our neck stand up, our consciousness seems to expand, we braingasm as something gorgeous and exquisitely sweet explodes and unfurls within us. In our bliss, we release any terror of our own mortality, we find ourselves in a timeless moment of transcendental delight.

The Nine Muses — see below for full list

An inspired artist acts as a conduit for the divine, she enables the cosmic, star-bodied cephalopod that has suckered her own soul, to send its radiant curlicue tendrils out into the hearts of the plebeian masses, and transforms them all momentarily into fantastic-feeling gods.

The mother of the Muses, of all inspirational forces, is Mnemosyne. She is a Titaness — one of the Great Gods and daughter of Heaven (Ouranos) and Earth (Gaia). She is the product of a merging of the celestial and terrestrial. Mnemosyne is the florescence of starseed and chthonic egg, nurtured in the matrix/womb of Gaia. She is the personification of divine remembrance. She is the child of the Earth and Starry Heavens. She is the goddess of eloquence, memory, eruditeness, sense-making and therefore lucidity.

In the ancient Greek healing sleep sanctuaries (frequently dedicated to the dream physician god Asklepios) she was often invoked in the final preparatory ritual before an opium or frankincense fumigated, sacred sleep, enkoimesis Gr. — ἐγκοίμησις. Her power to inspire is incomparable, she is after all the Mother of ALL inspiration.

Dream Physician Asklepios

When we become lucid in a dream, we are accessing unusual, divine powers of dream memory and the θειασμός we experience, reveals to us that within the dream, within our waking life, within this whole living, amazing universe, we are not mere avatars plonked into some scenery; we are part of the pulsating fabric of the entire cosmos. I believe the extraordinary level of good-feeling, happiness and divine pleasure that lucidity can open us up to, has power real enough to enable emotional and physical healing. Being inspired is re-membering the divine on Earth.

Antique mosaic of Mnemosyne, National Archaeological Museum of Tarragona




The Fumigation from Frankincense.

Daughters of Jove [Zeus and Mnemosyne], dire-sounding and divine,

renown’d Pierian, sweetly speaking Nine;

To those whose breasts your sacred furies fire much-form’d, the objects of supreme desire:

Sources of blameless virtue to mankind, who form to excellence the youthful mind;

Who nurse the soul, and give her to descry the paths of right with Reason’s steady eye.

Commanding queens who lead to sacred light the intellect refin’d from Error’s night;

And to mankind each holy rite disclose, for mystic knowledge from your nature flows.

Clio, and Erato, who charms the sight, with thee Euterpe minist’ring delight:

Thalia flourishing, Polymina fam’d, Melpomene from skill in music nam’d:

Terpischore, Urania heav’nly bright, with thee who gav’st me to behold the light.

Come, venerable, various, pow’rs divine, with fav’ring aspect on your mystics shine;

Bring glorious, ardent, lovely, fam’d desire, and warm my bosom with your sacred fire.


The Fumigation from Frankincense.

The consort I invoke of Jove [Zeus] divine, source of the holy, sweetly-speaking Nine;

Free from th’ oblivion of the fallen mind, by whom the soul with intellect is join’d:

Reason’s increase, and thought to thee belong, all-powerful, pleasant, vigilant, and strong:

’Tis thine, to waken from lethargic rest all thoughts deposited within the breast;

And nought neglecting, vigorous to excite the mental eye from dark oblivion’s night.

Come, blessed power, thy mystic’s mem’ry wake to holy rites, and Lethe’s fetters break.




Author, researcher, presenter and workshop host exploring the anthropology of sleep, ancient dream cultures and philosophy