Besides being a gifted rock & roll icon, Neil Young is also famous for being wildly unpredictable, frequently changing musical genres — like Miles Davis — as well as occasionally leaving music tours in midstream. When asked about this in an interview, his response amazed me:
“I work for the Muse.”
Well, we’re all loyal to something. There are just so many levels to choose from!
Some of us are loyal to money and security. We’re concerned mostly with protecting ourselves. We worry about our health and our wealth. But this only brings us a certain level of happiness.
So we move onwards and outwards. We learn to be loyal to other people. We start protecting our families, our pets, our friends, our companies.
And on and on we grow, accepting more and more things to be loyal to: fellow students, neighbors, hobbies, hometowns, science, the arts, our countrymen, and eventually (hopefully)… the entire planet.
With each level, we add the loyalties from previous levels (i.e. self, family, town). We find ourselves with more people to be loyal to, more people we share values with, care for, accept as “our own.” Basically, we’re growing our identity from the one… to the many.
But what about “the Muse” level… what’s that about? Does that mean we’re ready to walk away from everyone and everything in order to follow our Soul’s urging? What if the Muse tells us to walk away from our responsibilities? Do we stop “belonging” to all those other groups?
It can certainly appear that way… which is why so few of us go there. Unless and until we’re certain that “following the muse” doesn’t hurt anyone… we won’t take that path. We’re too loyal! We only free ourselves to follow the inner call when we see someone else doing it… and see how inspiring they are to the rest of us. Why, they didn’t leave us behind…. they’re taking us with them!
What if following our soul isn’t, indeed… the Highest Form of Loyalty?