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Where do ideas come from? Where do they form and become known? Do our formative years influence this at all? Do our habits when we are young have any influence on our subsequent creativeness? I think so; well perhaps they do.
Have you ever heard of the Inklings? Yes I did say, Inklings. They formed at a university in England (it wasn't Cambridge, it was Oxford) quite some time ago. It started out as a small group of philosophically-minded professors eating and drinking some ale or tea at a pub and debating topics of interest. Some of the topics became writings for the professors who then read their works to the others for critical analysis. It was a time of lively debate and some significant disagreements and the forging of significant (collegial) friendships.
The cast at these Oxford meetings was also significant. Two in particular I wish to focus on. One was named Clive and one other was named John. They graduated as students and eventually after significant tutoring duties became faculty. John (eventually) occupied a Chair of honor and Clive moved onto a Chair at Cambridge University.
Yet the real story is about the interactions/associations/connections (please, I do not mean social networking) between these two that developed and blossomed into what may be some of the best literature and advise for Mankind to come out of the 20th Century. You see their habits and environment during their formative years became their essence for their works that blossomed through what I coin, the Inkling logic. Tragedy did visit them several times during their youth. Both lost their parents and some siblings at an early age. Both escaped to their natural playground (the forested areas) near where they grew up and formed a connection to these areas. Both actually struggled their way through their school years and Clive actually failed-out of Campbell College. Yet they persevered, you see failures or catastrophic events merely soon became opportunity. John and his brother were orphaned and raised by a most humane and wonderful Catholic Priest.
John (or should I call him J.R.R.) and Clive (C. S.) eventually met at the Inkling meetings. They discussed, encouraged, debated, disagreed (in a nice way) yet they continued to meet and inspire. J.R.R. dedicated his first edition of Lord of the Rings to C.S. Lewis. He stated if it was not for Clive's influence Lord of the Rings would never have been finished (let alone published). C.S. Lewis recognized J.R.R. as the primary influence to lead him back to Christianity away from his temporary-atheism and dedicated The Screwtape Letters to his good friend, J.R.R. Tolkien.
This collegial atmosphere; the Inklings, void of significant formal management protocol and hierarchy was the "incubator" for some most wonderful works of literature and manifestations of truth, honor and direction for Mankind.