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Collection of striking quotes from Steven Pressfield's book War of Art




- Procrastination is the most common manifestation of Resistance because it’s the easiest to rationalize We !on’t tell oursel"es# $%’m ne"er &oin& to 'rite m( s(m)hon( * %nstea! 'e sa(# $% am &oin& to 'rite m( s(m)hon(+ %’m ,ust &oin& to start tomorro' *

- -ost of us ha"e t'o li"es The life 'e li"e# an! the unli"e! life 'ithin us Bet'een the t'o stan!s Resistance .ate at ni&ht ha"e (ou e/)erience! a "ision of the )erson (ou mi&ht become# the 'or0 (ou coul! accom)lish# the realize! bein& (ou 'ere meant to be1 Are (ou a 'riter 'ho !oesn’t 'rite# a )ainter 'ho !oesn’t )aint# an entre)reneur 'ho ne"er starts a "enture1 Then (ou 0no' 'hat Resistance is Resistance is the most to/ic force on the )lanet %t is the root of more unha))iness than )o"ert(# !isease# an! erectile !(sfunction

- Resistance is !irectl( )ro)ortional to lo"e %f (ou’re feelin& massi"e Resistance# the &oo! ne's is# it means there’s tremen!ous lo"e there too %f (ou !i!n’t lo"e the )ro,ect that is terrif(in& (ou# (ou 'oul!n’t feel an(thin& The o))osite of lo"e isn’t hate+ it’s in!ifference

The more Resistance (ou e/)erience# the more im)ortant (our unmanifeste! art2)ro,ect2enter)rise is to (ou3an! the more &ratification (ou 'ill feel 'hen (ou finall( !o it

-- There’s a secret that real 'riters 0no' that 'annabe 'riters !on’t# an! the secret is this: %t’s not the 'ritin& )art that’s har! What’s har! is sittin& !o'n to 'rite What 0ee)s us from sittin& !o'n is Resistance

- Sometimes 'e bal0 at embar0in& on an enter)rise because 'e’re afrai! of bein& alone We feel comfortable 'ith the tribe aroun! us+ it ma0es us ner"ous &oin& off into the 'oo!s on our o'n

4ere’s the tric0: We’re ne"er alone As soon as 'e ste) outsi!e the cam)fire &lo'# our -use li&hts on our shoul!er li0e a butterfl( The act of coura&e calls forth infallibl( that !ee)er )art of oursel"es that su))orts an! sustains us

- E"er( sun casts a sha!o'# an! &enius’s sha!o' is Resistance As )o'erful as is our soul’s call to realization# so )otent are the forces of Resistance arra(e! a&ainst it Resistance is faster than a s)ee!in& bullet# more )o'erful than a locomoti"e# har!er to 0ic0 than crac0 cocaine We’re not alone if 'e’"e been mo'e! !o'n b( Resistance+ millions of &oo! men an! 'omen ha"e bitten the !ust before us An! here’s the bi&&est bitch: We !on’t e"en 0no' 'hat hit us % ne"er !i! From a&e t'ent(-four to thirt(-t'o# Resistance 0ic0e! m( ass from East 5oast to West an! bac0 a&ain thirteen times an! % ne"er e"en 0ne' it e/iste! % loo0e! e"er('here for the enem( an! faile! to see it ri&ht in front of m( face

- %s that 'hat it ta0es1 Do 'e ha"e to stare !eath in the face to ma0e us stan! u) an! confront Resistance1 Does Resistance ha"e to cri))le an! !isfi&ure our li"es before 'e 'a0e u) to its e/istence1 4o' man( of us ha"e become !run0s an! !ru& a!!icts# !e"elo)e! tumors an! neuroses# succumbe! to )ain0illers# &ossi)# an! com)ulsi"e cell-)hone use# sim)l( because 'e !on’t !o that thin& that our hearts# our inner &enius# is callin& us to1 Resistance !efeats us %f tomorro' mornin& b( some stro0e of ma&ic e"er( !aze! an! beni&hte! soul 'o0e u) 'ith the )o'er to ta0e the first ste) to'ar! )ursuin& his or her !reams# e"er( shrin0 in the !irector( 'oul! be out of business Prisons 'oul! stan! em)t( The alcohol an! tobacco in!ustries 'oul! colla)se# alon& 'ith the ,un0 foo!# cosmetic sur&er(# an! infotainment businesses# not to mention )harmaceutical com)anies# hos)itals# an! the me!ical )rofession from to) to bottom Domestic abuse 'oul! become e/tinct# as 'oul! a!!iction# obesit(# mi&raine hea!aches# roa! ra&e# an! !an!ruff

.oo0 in (our o'n heart 6nless %’m craz(# ri&ht no' a still# small "oice is )i)in& u)# tellin& (ou as it has ten thousan! times before# the callin& that is (ours an! (ours alone 7ou 0no' it 8o one has to tell (ou An! unless %’m craz(# (ou’re no closer to ta0in& action on it than (ou 'ere (ester!a( or 'ill be tomorro' 7ou thin0 Resistance isn’t real1 Resistance 'ill bur( (ou

- E"er see one of his )aintin&s1 8either ha"e % Resistance beat him 5all it o"erstatement but %’ll sa( it an('a(: it 'as easier for 4itler to start Worl! War %% than it 'as for him to face a blan0 s9uare of can"as

- The follo'in& is a list# in no )articular or!er# of those acti"ities that most commonl( elicit Resistance: :;The )ursuit of an( callin& in 'ritin&# )aintin&# music# film# !ance# or an( creati"e art# ho'e"er mar&inal or uncon"entional <;The launchin& of an( entre)reneurial "enture or enter)rise# for )rofit or other'ise =;An( !iet or health re&imen >;An( )ro&ram of s)iritual a!"ancement ?;An( acti"it( 'hose aim is ti&hter ab!ominals @;An( course or )ro&ram !esi&ne! to o"ercome an un'holesome habit or a!!iction A;E!ucation of e"er( 0in! B;An( act of )olitical# moral# or ethical coura&e# inclu!in& the !ecision to chan&e for the better some un'orth( )attern of thou&ht or con!uct in oursel"es C;The un!erta0in& of an( enter)rise or en!ea"or 'hose aim is to hel) others :D;An( act that entails commitment of the heart The !ecision to &et marrie!# to ha"e a chil!# to 'eather a roc0( )atch in a relationshi) ::;The ta0in& of an( )rinci)le! stan! in the face of a!"ersit( %n other 'or!s# an( act that re,ects imme!iate &ratification in fa"or of lon&-term &ro'th# health# or inte&rit( Or# e/)resse! another 'a(# an( act that !eri"es from our hi&her nature instea! of our lo'er An( of these 'ill elicit Resistance -Resistance cannot be seen# touche!# hear!# or smelle! But it can be felt We e/)erience it as an ener&( fiel! ra!iatin& from a 'or0-in-)otential %t’s a re)ellin& force %t’s ne&ati"e %ts aim is to sho"e us a'a(# !istract us# )re"ent us from !oin& our 'or0

- Resistance 'ill tell (ou an(thin& to 0ee) (ou from !oin& (our 'or0 %t 'ill )er,ure# fabricate# falsif(+ se!uce# bull(# ca,ole Resistance is )rotean %t 'ill assume an( form# if that’s 'hat it ta0es to !ecei"e (ou %t 'ill reason 'ith (ou li0e a la'(er or ,am a nine-millimeter in (our face li0e a stic0u) man Resistance has no conscience %t 'ill )le!&e an(thin& to &et a !eal# then !ouble-cross (ou as soon as (our bac0 is turne! %f (ou ta0e Resistance at its 'or!# (ou !eser"e

e"er(thin& (ou &et Resistance is al'a(s l(in& an! al'a(s full of shit

- .i0e a ma&netize! nee!le floatin& on a surface of oil# Resistance 'ill unfailin&l( )oint to true 8orth3meanin& that callin& or action it most 'ants to sto) us from !oin& We can use this We can use it as a com)ass We can na"i&ate b( Resistance# lettin& it &ui!e us to that callin& or action that 'e must follo' before all others Rule of thumb: The more im)ortant a call or action is to our soul’s e"olution# the more Resistance 'e 'ill feel to'ar! )ursuin& it

- .i0e a ma&netize! nee!le floatin& on a surface of oil# Resistance 'ill unfailin&l( )oint to true 8orth3meanin& that callin& or action it most 'ants to sto) us from !oin& We can use this We can use it as a com)ass We can na"i&ate b( Resistance# lettin& it &ui!e us to that callin& or action that 'e must follo' before all others Rule of thumb: The more im)ortant a call or action is to our soul’s e"olution# the more Resistance 'e 'ill feel to'ar! )ursuin& it

-4enr( Fon!a 'as still thro'in& u) before each sta&e )erformance# e"en 'hen he 'as se"ent(-fi"e %n other 'or!s# fear !oesn’t &o a'a( The 'arrior an! the artist li"e b( the same co!e of necessit(# 'hich !ictates that the battle must be fou&ht ane' e"er( !a(

- Resistance has no stren&th of its o'n E"er( ounce of ,uice it )ossesses comes from us We fee! it 'ith )o'er b( our fear of it -aster that fear an! 'e con9uer Resistance

- Resistance obstructs mo"ement onl( from a lo'er s)here to a hi&her %t 0ic0s in 'hen 'e see0 to )ursue a callin& in the arts# launch an inno"ati"e enter)rise# or e"ol"e to a hi&her station morall(# ethicall(# or s)irituall(

- The most )ernicious as)ect of )rocrastination is that it can become a habit We !on’t ,ust )ut off our li"es to!a(+ 'e )ut them off till our !eathbe!

8e"er for&et: This "er( moment# 'e can chan&e our li"es There ne"er 'as a moment# an! ne"er 'ill be# 'hen 'e are 'ithout the )o'er to alter our !estin( This secon!# 'e can turn the tables on Resistance This secon!# 'e can sit !o'n an! !o our 'or0

-Sometimes Resistance ta0es the form of se/# or an obsessi"e )reoccu)ation 'ith se/ Wh( se/1 Because se/ )ro"i!es imme!iate an! )o'erful &ratification When someone slee)s 'ith us# 'e feel "ali!ate! an! a))ro"e! of# e"en lo"e! Resistance &ets a bi& 0ic0 out of that %t 0no's it has !istracte! us 'ith a chea)# eas( fi/ an! 0e)t us from !oin& our 'or0 Of course not all se/ is a manifestation of Resistance %n m( e/)erience# (ou can tell b( the measure of hollo'ness (ou feel after'ar! The more em)t( (ou feel# the more certain (ou can be that (our true moti"ation 'as not lo"e or e"en lust but Resistance %t &oes 'ithout sa(in& that this )rinci)le a))lies to !ru&s# sho))in&# masturbation# TE# &ossi)# alcohol# an! the consum)tion of all )ro!ucts containin& fat# su&ar# salt# or chocolate

- When 'e !ru& oursel"es to blot out our soul’s call# 'e are bein& &oo! Americans an! e/em)lar( consumers We’re !oin& e/actl( 'hat TE commercials an! )o) materialist culture ha"e been brain'ashin& us to !o from birth %nstea! of a))l(in& self-0no'le!&e# self-!isci)line# !ela(e! &ratification an! har! 'or0# 'e sim)l( consume a )ro!uct -an( )e!estrians ha"e been maime! or 0ille! at the intersection of Resistance an! 5ommerce

- What !oes Resistance feel li0e1 First# unha))iness We feel li0e hell A lo'-&ra!e miser( )er"a!es e"er(thin& We’re bore!# 'e’re restless We can’t &et no satisfaction There’s &uilt but 'e can’t )ut our fin&er on the source We 'ant to &o bac0 to be!+ 'e 'ant to &et u) an! )art( We feel unlo"e! an! unlo"able We’re !is&uste! We hate our li"es We hate oursel"es 6nalle"iate!# Resistance mounts to a )itch that becomes unen!urable At this )oint "ices 0ic0 in Do)e# a!ulter(# 'eb surfin& Be(on! that# Resistance becomes clinical De)ression# a&&ression# !(sfunction

Then actual crime an! )h(sical self-!estruction Soun!s li0e life# % 0no' %t isn’t %t’s Resistance What ma0es it tric0( is that 'e li"e in a consumer culture that’s acutel( a'are of this unha))iness an! has masse! all its )rofit-see0in& artiller( to e/)loit it B( sellin& us a )ro!uct# a !ru&# a !istraction Fohn .ennon once 'rote: Well# (ou thin0 (ou’re so cle"er an! classless an! free But (ou’re all fuc0in& )easants As far as % can see As artists an! )rofessionals it is our obli&ation to enact our o'n internal re"olution# a )ri"ate insurrection insi!e our o'n s0ulls %n this u)risin& 'e free oursel"es from the t(rann( of consumer culture We o"erthro' the )ro&rammin& of a!"ertisin&# mo"ies# "i!eo &ames# ma&azines# TE# an! -TE b( 'hich 'e ha"e been h()notize! from the cra!le We un)lu& oursel"es from the &ri! b( reco&nizin& that 'e 'ill ne"er cure our restlessness b( contributin& our !is)osable income to the bottom line of Bullshit# %nc # but onl( b( !oin& our 'or0

- What 'e !on’t 0no' is ho' to be alone We !on’t 0no' ho' to be free in!i"i!uals The artist an! the fun!amentalist arise from societies at !ifferin& sta&es of !e"elo)ment The artist is the a!"ance! mo!el 4is culture )ossesses affluence# stabilit(# enou&h e/cess of resource to )ermit the lu/ur( of self-e/amination The artist is &roun!e! in free!om 4e is not afrai! of it 4e is luc0( 4e 'as born in the ri&ht )lace 4e has a core of self-confi!ence# of ho)e for the future 4e belie"es in )ro&ress an! e"olution 4is faith is that human0in! is a!"ancin&# ho'e"er haltin&l( an! im)erfectl(# to'ar! a better 'orl! The fun!amentalist entertains no such notion %n his "ie'# humanit( has fallen from a hi&her state The truth is not out there a'aitin& re"elation+ it has alrea!( been re"eale! The 'or! of Go! has been s)o0en an! recor!e! b( 4is )ro)het# be he Fesus# -uhamma!# or Harl -ar/ Fun!amentalism is the )hiloso)h( of the )o'erless# the con9uere!# the !is)lace! an! the !is)ossesse! %ts s)a'nin& &roun! is the 'rec0a&e of )olitical an! militar( !efeat# as 4ebre' fun!amentalism arose !urin& the Bab(lonian ca)ti"it(# as 'hite 5hristian fun!amentalism a))eare! in the American South !urin& Reconstruction# as the notion of the -aster Race e"ol"e! in German( follo'in& Worl! War % %n such !es)erate times# the "an9uishe! race 'oul! )erish

'ithout a !octrine that restore! ho)e an! )ri!e %slamic fun!amentalism ascen!s from the same lan!sca)e of !es)air an! )ossesses the same tremen!ous an! )otent a))eal What e/actl( is this !es)air1 %t is the !es)air of free!om The !islocation an! emasculation e/)erience! b( the in!i"i!ual cut free from the familiar an! comfortin& structures of the tribe an! the clan# the "illa&e an! the famil(

%t is the state of mo!ern life

-The fun!amentalist Ior# more accuratel(# the belea&uere! in!i"i!ual 'ho comes to embrace fun!amentalism; cannot stan! free!om 4e cannot fin! his 'a( into the future# so he retreats to the )ast 4e returns in ima&ination to the &lor( !a(s of his race an! see0s to reconstitute both them an! himself in their )urer# more "irtuous li&ht 4e &ets bac0 to basics To fun!amentals Fun!amentalism an! art are mutuall( e/clusi"e There is no such thin& as fun!amentalist art This !oes not mean that the fun!amentalist is not creati"e Rather# his creati"it( is in"erte! 4e creates !estruction E"en the structures he buil!s# his schools an! net'or0s of or&anization# are !e!icate! to annihilation# of his enemies an! of himself But the fun!amentalist reser"es his &reatest creati"it( for the fashionin& of Satan# the ima&e of his foe# in o))osition to 'hich he !efines an! &i"es meanin& to his o'n life .i0e the artist# the fun!amentalist e/)eriences Resistance 4e e/)eriences it as tem)tation to sin Resistance to the fun!amentalist is the call of the E"il One# see0in& to se!uce him from his "irtue

- %t ma( be that the human race is not rea!( for free!om The air of libert( ma( be too rarefie! for us to breathe 5ertainl( % 'oul!n’t be 'ritin& this boo0# on this sub,ect# if li"in& 'ith free!om 'ere eas( The )ara!o/ seems to be# as Socrates !emonstrate! lon& a&o# that the trul( free in!i"i!ual is free onl( to the e/tent of his o'n self-master( While those 'ho 'ill not &o"ern themsel"es are con!emne! to fin! masters to &o"ern o"er them

-%f (ou fin! (ourself criticizin& other )eo)le# (ou’re )robabl( !oin& it out of Resistance When 'e see others be&innin& to li"e their authentic sel"es# it !ri"es us craz( if 'e ha"e not li"e! out our o'n %n!i"i!uals 'ho are realize! in their o'n li"es almost ne"er criticize others %f the(

s)ea0 at all# it is to offer encoura&ement Watch (ourself Of all the manifestations of Resistance# most onl( harm oursel"es 5riticism an! cruelt( harm others as 'ell

- Self-!oubt can be an all( This is because it ser"es as an in!icator of as)iration %t reflects lo"e# lo"e of somethin& 'e !ream of !oin&# an! !esire# !esire to !o it %f (ou fin! (ourself as0in& (ourself Ian! (our frien!s;# $Am % reall( a 'riter1 Am % reall( an artist1* chances are (ou are The counterfeit inno"ator is 'il!l( selfconfi!ent The real one is scare! to !eath Are (ou )aral(ze! 'ith fear1 That’s a &oo! si&n Fear is &oo! .i0e self-!oubt# fear is an in!icator Fear tells us 'hat 'e ha"e to !o Remember our rule of thumb: The more scare! 'e are of a 'or0 or callin&# the more sure 'e can be that 'e ha"e to !o it Resistance is e/)erience! as fear+ the !e&ree of fear e9uates to the stren&th of Resistance Therefore the more fear 'e feel about a s)ecific enter)rise# the more certain 'e can be that that enter)rise is im)ortant to us an! to the &ro'th of our soul That’s 'h( 'e feel so much Resistance %f it meant nothin& to us# there’! be no Resistance 4a"e (ou e"er 'atche! %nsi!e the Actors Stu!io1 The host# Fames .i)ton# in"ariabl( as0s his &uests# $What factors ma0e (ou !eci!e to ta0e a )articular role1* The actor al'a(s ans'ers: $Because %’m afrai! of it * The )rofessional tac0les the )ro,ect that 'ill ma0e him stretch 4e ta0es on the assi&nment that 'ill bear him into uncharte! 'aters# com)el him to e/)lore unconscious )arts of himself %s he scare!1 4ell# (es 4e’s )etrifie!

-I5on"ersel(# the )rofessional turns !o'n roles that he’s !one before 4e’s not afrai! of them an(more Wh( 'aste his time1; So if (ou’re )aral(ze! 'ith fear# it’s a &oo! si&n %t sho's (ou 'hat (ou ha"e to !o

- Gran!iose fantasies are a s(m)tom of Resistance The(’re the si&n of an amateur The )rofessional has learne! that success# li0e ha))iness# comes as a

b(-)ro!uct of 'or0 The )rofessional concentrates on the 'or0 an! allo's re'ar!s to come or not come# 'hate"er the( li0e

- Sometimes 'e bal0 at embar0in& on an enter)rise because 'e’re afrai! of bein& alone We feel comfortable 'ith the tribe aroun! us+ it ma0es us ner"ous &oin& off into the 'oo!s on our o'n 4ere’s the tric0: We’re ne"er alone As soon as 'e ste) outsi!e the cam)fire &lo'# our -use li&hts on our shoul!er li0e a butterfl( The act of coura&e calls forth infallibl( that !ee)er )art of oursel"es that su))orts an! sustains us %t is a common)lace amon& artists an! chil!ren at )la( that the(’re not a'are of time or solitu!e 'hile the(’re chasin& their "ision The hours fl( The scul)tress an! the tree-climbin& t(0e both loo0 u) blin0in& 'hen -om calls# $Su))ertimeJ* --- Frien!s sometimes as0# $Don’t (ou &et lonel( sittin& b( (ourself all !a(1* At first it seeme! o!! to hear m(self ans'er 8o Then % realize! that % 'as not alone+ % 'as in the boo0+ % 'as 'ith the characters % 'as 'ith m( Self 8ot onl( !o % not feel alone 'ith m( characters+ the( are more "i"i! an! interestin& to me than the )eo)le in m( real life %f (ou thin0 about it# the case can’t be other'ise %n or!er for a boo0 Ior an( )ro,ect or enter)rise; to hol! our attention for the len&th of time it ta0es to unfol! itself# it has to )lu& into some internal )er)le/it( or )assion that is of )aramount im)ortance to us That )roblem becomes the theme of our 'or0# e"en if 'e can’t at the start un!erstan! or articulate it As the characters arise# each embo!ies infallibl( an as)ect of that !ilemma# that )er)le/it( These characters mi&ht not be interestin& to an(one else but the(’re absolutel( fascinatin& to us The( are us -eaner# smarter# se/ier "ersions of oursel"es %t’s fun to be 'ith them because the(’re 'restlin& 'ith the same issue that has its hoo0s into us The(’re our soul mates# our lo"ers# our best frien!s E"en the "illains Es)eciall( the "illains E"en in a boo0 li0e this# 'hich has no characters# % !on’t feel alone because %’m ima&inin& the rea!er# 'hom % con,ure as an as)irin& artist much li0e m( o'n (oun&er# less &rizzle! self# to 'hom % ho)e to im)art a little starch an! ins)iration an! )rime# a little# 'ith some har!-0noc0s 'is!om an! a fe' tric0s of the tra!e -- The conce)t in all these en"ironments seems to be that one nee!s to com)lete his healin& before he is rea!( to !o his 'or0

This 'a( of thin0in& Iare (ou ahea! of me1; is a form of Resistance What are 'e tr(in& to heal# an('a(1 The athlete 0no's the !a( 'ill ne"er come 'hen he 'a0es u) )ain-free 4e has to )la( hurt Remember# the )art of us that 'e ima&ine nee!s healin& is not the )art 'e create from+ that )art is far !ee)er an! stron&er The )art 'e create from can’t be touche! b( an(thin& our )arents !i!# or societ( !i! That )art is unsullie!# uncorru)te!+ soun!)roof# 'ater)roof# an! bullet)roof %n fact# the more troubles 'e’"e &ot# the better an! richer that )art becomes The )art that nee!s healin& is our )ersonal life Personal life has nothin& to !o 'ith 'or0 Besi!es# 'hat better 'a( of healin& than to fin! our center of selfso"erei&nt(1 %sn’t that the 'hole )oint of healin&1

- Rationalization is Resistance’s ri&ht-han! man %ts ,ob is to 0ee) us from feelin& the shame 'e 'oul! feel if 'e trul( face! 'hat co'ar!s 'e are for not !oin& our 'or0 But rationalization has its o'n si!e0ic0 %t’s that )art of our )s(che that actuall( belie"es 'hat rationalization tells us %t’s one thin& to lie to oursel"es %t’s another thin& to belie"e it - Resistance is fear But Resistance is too cunnin& to sho' itself na0e! in this form Wh(1 Because if Resistance lets us see clearl( that our o'n fear is )re"entin& us from !oin& our 'or0# 'e ma( feel shame at this An! shame ma( !ri"e us to act in the face of fear Resistance !oesn’t 'ant us to !o this So it brin&s in Rationalization Rationalization is Resistance’s s)in !octor %t’s Resistance’s 'a( of hi!in& the Bi& Stic0 behin! its bac0 %nstea! of sho'in& us our fear I'hich mi&ht shame us an! im)el us to !o our 'or0;# Resistance )resents us 'ith a series of )lausible# rational ,ustifications for 'h( 'e shoul!n’t !o our 'or0 What’s )articularl( insi!ious about the rationalizations that Resistance )resents to us is that a lot of them are true The(’re le&itimate What Resistance lea"es out# of course# is that all this means !i!!l( Tolsto( ha! thirteen 0i!s an! 'rote War an! Peace .ance Armstron& ha! cancer an! 'on the Tour !e France three (ears an! countin&

- %f Resistance coul!n’t be beaten# there 'oul! be no Fifth S(m)hon(# no Romeo an! Fuliet# no Gol!en Gate Bri!&e Defeatin& Resistance is li0e &i"in& birth %t

seems absolutel( im)ossible until (ou remember that 'omen ha"e been )ullin& it off successfull(# 'ith su))ort an! 'ithout# for fift( million (ears

------- 54AP%TRE < --------

- %n terms of Resistance# -au&ham 'as sa(in&# $% !es)ise Resistance+ % 'ill not let it faze me+ % 'ill sit !o'n an! !o m( 'or0 * -au&ham rec0one! another# !ee)er truth: that b( )erformin& the mun!ane )h(sical act of sittin& !o'n an! startin& to 'or0# he set in motion a m(sterious but infallible se9uence of e"ents that 'oul! )ro!uce ins)iration# as surel( as if the &o!!ess ha! s(nchronize! her 'atch 'ith his 4e 0ne' if he built it# she 'oul! come

- Do % reall( belie"e that m( 'or0 is crucial to the )lanet’s sur"i"al1 Of course not But it’s as im)ortant to me as catchin& that mouse is to the ha'0 circlin& outsi!e m( 'in!o' 4e’s hun&r( 4e nee!s a 0ill So !o %

- An hour )asses %’m 'armer no'# the )ace has &ot m( bloo! &oin& The (ears ha"e tau&ht me one s0ill: ho' to be miserable % 0no' ho' to shut u) an! 0ee) hum)in& This is a &reat asset because it’s human# the )ro)er role for a mortal %t !oes not offen! the &o!s# but elicits their intercession -( bitchin& self is rece!in& no' The instincts are ta0in& o"er Another hour )asses % turn the corner of a thic0et an! there he is: the nice fat hare % 0ne' 'oul! sho' u) if % ,ust 0e)t )lu&&in&

-A; We !o not o"eri!entif( 'ith our ,obs We ma( ta0e )ri!e in our 'or0# 'e ma( sta( late an! come in on 'ee0en!s# but 'e reco&nize that 'e are not our ,ob !escri)tions The amateur# on the other han!# o"eri!entifies 'ith his a"ocation# his artistic as)iration 4e !efines himself b( it 4e is a musician# a )ainter# a )la('ri&ht Resistance lo"es this Resistance 0no's that the amateur com)oser 'ill ne"er 'rite his s(m)hon( because he is o"erl( in"este! in its success an! o"erterrifie! of its failure The amateur ta0es it so seriousl( it )aral(zes him

- Remember# the -use fa"ors 'or0in& stiffs She hates )rima !onnas To the &o!s

the su)reme sin is not ra)e or mur!er# but )ri!e To thin0 of (ourself as a mercenar(# a &un for hire# im)lants the )ro)er humilit( %t )ur&es )ri!e an! )reciousness

- A )ro "ie's her 'or0 as craft# not art 8ot because she belie"es art is !e"oi! of a m(stical !imension On the contrar( She un!erstan!s that all creati"e en!ea"or is hol(# but she !oesn’t !'ell on it She 0no's if she thin0s about that too much# it 'ill )aral(ze her So she concentrates on techni9ue The )rofessional masters ho'# an! lea"es 'hat an! 'h( to the &o!s .i0e Somerset -au&ham she !oesn’t 'ait for ins)iration# she acts in the antici)ation of its a))arition The )rofessional is acutel( a'are of the intan&ibles that &o into ins)iration Out of res)ect for them# she lets them 'or0 She &rants them their s)here 'hile she concentrates on hers The si&n of the amateur is o"er&lorification of an! )reoccu)ation 'ith the m(ster( The )rofessional shuts u) She !oesn’t tal0 about it She !oes her 'or0

- The amateur belie"es he must first o"ercome his fear+ then he can !o his 'or0 The )rofessional 0no's that fear can ne"er be o"ercome 4e 0no's there is no such thin& as a fearless 'arrior or a !rea!-free artist What 4enr( Fon!a !oes# after )u0in& into the toilet in his !ressin& room# is to clean u) an! march out onsta&e 4e’s still terrifie! but he forces himself for'ar! in s)ite of his terror 4e 0no's that once he &ets out into the action# his fear 'ill rece!e an! he’ll be o0a(

-The amateur# un!erestimatin& Resistance’s cunnin&# )ermits the flu to 0ee) him from his cha)ters+ he belie"es the ser)ent’s "oice in his hea! that sa(s mailin& off that manuscri)t is more im)ortant than !oin& the !a(’s 'or0 The )rofessional has learne! better 4e res)ects Resistance 4e 0no's if he ca"es in to!a(# no matter ho' )lausible the )rete/t# he’ll be t'ice as li0el( to ca"e in tomorro' The )rofessional 0no's that Resistance is li0e a telemar0eter+ if (ou so much as sa( hello# (ou’re finishe! The )ro !oesn’t e"en )ic0 u) the )hone 4e sta(s at 'or0


%’m not tal0in& about craft+ that &oes 'ithout sa(in& The )rofessional is )re)are! at a !ee)er le"el 4e is )re)are!# each !a(# to confront his o'n self-sabota&e The )rofessional un!erstan!s that Resistance is fertile an! in&enious %t 'ill thro' stuff at him that he’s ne"er seen before The )rofessional )re)ares mentall( to absorb blo's an! to !eli"er them 4is aim is to ta0e 'hat the !a( &i"es him 4e is )re)are! to be )ru!ent an! )re)are! to be rec0less# to ta0e a beatin& 'hen he has to# an! to &o for the throat 'hen he can 4e un!erstan!s that the fiel! alters e"er( !a( 4is &oal is not "ictor( Isuccess 'ill come b( itself 'hen it 'ants to; but to han!le himself# his insi!es# as stur!il( an! stea!il( as he can

-The )rofessional res)ects his craft 4e !oes not consi!er himself su)erior to it 4e reco&nizes the contributions of those 'ho ha"e &one before him 4e a))rentices himself to them The )rofessional !e!icates himself to masterin& techni9ue not because he belie"es techni9ue is a substitute for ins)iration but because he 'ants to be in )ossession of the full arsenal of s0ills 'hen ins)iration !oes come The )rofessional is sl( 4e 0no's that b( toilin& besi!e the front !oor of techni9ue# he lea"es room for &enius to enter b( the bac0

- The )ro stan!s at one remo"e from her instrument3 meanin& her )erson# her bo!(# her "oice# her talent+ the )h(sical# mental# emotional# an! )s(cholo&ical bein& she uses in her 'or0 She !oes not i!entif( 'ith this instrument %t is sim)l( 'hat Go! &a"e her# 'hat she has to 'or0 'ith She assesses it cooll(# im)ersonall(# ob,ecti"el( The )rofessional i!entifies 'ith her consciousness an! her 'ill# not 'ith the matter that her consciousness an! 'ill mani)ulate to ser"e her art Does -a!onna 'al0 aroun! the house in cone bras an! come-fuc0-me bustiers1 She’s too bus( )lannin& D-Da( -a!onna !oes not i!entif( 'ith $-a!onna * -a!onna em)lo(s $-a!onna *


When )eo)le sa( an artist has a thic0 s0in# 'hat the( mean is not that the )erson is !ense or numb# but that he has seate! his )rofessional consciousness in a )lace other than his )ersonal e&o %t ta0es tremen!ous stren&th of character to !o

this# because our !ee)est instincts run counter to it E"olution has )ro&ramme! us to feel re,ection in our &uts This is ho' the tribe enforce! obe!ience# b( 'iel!in& the threat of e/)ulsion Fear of re,ection isn’t ,ust )s(cholo&ical+ it’s biolo&ical %t’s in our cells Resistance 0no's this an! uses it a&ainst us %t uses fear of re,ection to )aral(ze us an! )re"ent us# if not from !oin& our 'or0# then from e/)osin& it to )ublic e"aluation % ha! a !ear frien! 'ho ha! labore! for (ears on an e/cellent an! !ee)l( )ersonal no"el %t 'as !one 4e ha! it in its mailin& bo/ But he coul!n’t ma0e himself sen! it off Fear of re,ection unmanne! him The )rofessional cannot ta0e re,ection )ersonall( because to !o so reinforces Resistance E!itors are not the enem(+ critics are not the enem( Resistance is the enem( The battle is insi!e our o'n hea!s We cannot let e/ternal criticism# e"en if it’s true# fortif( our internal foe That foe is stron& enou&h alrea!( A )rofessional schools herself to stan! a)art from her )erformance# e"en as she &i"es herself to it heart an! soul The Bha&a"a!-Gita tells us 'e ha"e a ri&ht onl( to our labor# not to the fruits of our labor All the 'arrior can &i"e is his life+ all the athlete can !o is lea"e e"er(thin& on the fiel! The )rofessional lo"es her 'or0 She is in"este! in it 'holehearte!l( But she !oes not for&et that the 'or0 is not her 4er artistic self contains man( 'or0s an! man( )erformances Alrea!( the ne/t is )ercolatin& insi!e her The ne/t 'ill be better# an! the one after that better still The )rofessional self-"ali!ates She is tou&h-min!e! %n the face of in!ifference or a!ulation# she assesses her stuff col!l( an! ob,ecti"el( Where it fell short# she’ll im)ro"e it Where it trium)he!# she’ll ma0e it better still She’ll 'or0 har!er She’ll be bac0 tomorro' The )rofessional &i"es an ear to criticism# see0in& to learn an! &ro' But she ne"er for&ets that Resistance is usin& criticism a&ainst her on a far more !iabolical le"el Resistance enlists criticism to reinforce the fifth column of fear alrea!( at 'or0 insi!e the artist’s hea!# see0in& to brea0 her 'ill an! crac0 her !e!ication The )rofessional !oes not fall for this 4er resolution# before all others# remains: 8o matter 'hat# % 'ill ne"er let Resistance beat me


-The )rofessional cannot let himself ta0e humiliation )ersonall( 4umiliation# li0e re,ection an! criticism# is the e/ternal reflection of internal Resistance

The )rofessional en!ures a!"ersit( 4e lets the bir!shit s)lash !o'n on his slic0er# rememberin& that it comes clean 'ith a hea"(-!ut( hosin& 4e himself# his creati"e center# cannot be burie!# e"en beneath a mountain of &uano 4is core is bullet)roof 8othin& can touch it unless he lets it The )rofessional 0ee)s his e(e on the !ou&hnut an! not on the hole 4e remin!s himself it’s better to be in the arena# &ettin& stom)e! b( the bull# than to be u) in the stan!s or out in the )ar0in& lot

- What he !i! !o 'as maintain his so"erei&nt( o"er the moment 4e un!erstoo! that# no matter 'hat blo' ha! befallen him from an outsi!e a&enc(# he himself still ha! his ,ob to !o# the shot he nee!e! to hit ri&ht here# ri&ht no' An! he 0ne' that it remaine! 'ithin his )o'er to )ro!uce that shot 8othin& stoo! in his 'a( e/ce)t 'hate"er emotional u)set he himself chose to hol! on to

- The )rofessional cannot allo' the actions of others to !efine his realit( Tomorro' mornin& the critic 'ill be &one# but the 'riter 'ill still be there facin& the blan0 )a&e 8othin& matters but that he 0ee) 'or0in& Short of a famil( crisis or the outbrea0 of Worl! War %%%# the )rofessional sho's u)# rea!( to ser"e the &o!s Remember# Resistance 'ants us to ce!e so"erei&nt( to others %t 'ants us to sta0e our self-'orth# our i!entit(# our reason-for-bein&# on the res)onse of others to our 'or0 Resistance 0no's 'e can’t ta0e this 8o one can The )rofessional blo's critics off 4e !oesn’t e"en hear them 5ritics# he remin!s himself# are the un'ittin& mouth)ieces of Resistance an! as such can be trul( cunnin& an! )ernicious The( can articulate in their re"ie's the same to/ic "enom that Resistance itself concocts insi!e our hea!s That is their real e"il 8ot that 'e belie"e them# but that 'e belie"e the Resistance in our o'n min!s# for 'hich critics ser"e as unconscious s)o0es)ersons The )rofessional learns to reco&nize en"(-!ri"en criticism an! to ta0e it for 'hat it is: the su)reme com)liment The critic hates most that 'hich he 'oul! ha"e !one himself if he ha! ha! the &uts

--a0in& (ourself a cor)oration Ior ,ust thin0in& of (ourself in that 'a(; reinforces the i!ea of )rofessionalism because it se)arates the artist-!oin&-the-'or0 from the 'ill-an!-consciousness-runnin&-the-sho' 8o matter ho' much abuse is hea)e! on the hea! of the former# the latter ta0es it in stri!e an! 0ee)s on truc0in& 5on"ersel( 'ith success: 7ou-the-'riter ma( &et a s'elle! hea!# but

(ou-the-boss remember ho' to ta0e (ourself !o'n a )e& %f 'e thin0 of oursel"es as a cor)oration# it &i"es us a health( !istance on oursel"es We’re less sub,ecti"e We !on’t ta0e blo's as )ersonall( We’re more col!-bloo!e!+ 'e can )rice our 'ares more realisticall( Sometimes# as Foe Blo' himself# %’m too mil!-mannere! to &o out an! sell But as Foe Blo'# %nc # % can )im) the hell out of m(self %’m not me an(more %’m -e# %nc %’m a )ro

- Wh( !oes Resistance (iel! to our turnin& )ro1 Because Resistance is a bull( Resistance has no stren&th of its o'n+ its )o'er !eri"es entirel( from our fear of it A bull( 'ill bac0 !o'n before the runtiest t'er) 'ho stan!s his &roun! The essence of )rofessionalism is the focus u)on the 'or0 an! its !eman!s# 'hile 'e are !oin& it# to the e/clusion of all else The ancient S)artans schoole! themsel"es to re&ar! the enem(# an( enem(# as nameless an! faceless %n other 'or!s# the( belie"e! that if the( !i! their 'or0# no force on earth coul! stan! a&ainst them The )ro 0ee)s comin& on 4e beats Resistance at its o'n &ame b( bein& e"en more resolute an! e"en more im)lacable than it is There’s no m(ster( to turnin& )ro %t’s a !ecision brou&ht about b( an act of 'ill We ma0e u) our min!s to "ie' oursel"es as )ros an! 'e !o it Sim)le as that

----- 5ha)ter = -----

The first !ut( is to sacrifice to the &o!s an! )ra( them to &rant (ou the thou&hts# 'or!s# an! !ee!s li0el( to ren!er (our comman! most )leasin& to the &o!s an! to brin& (ourself# (our frien!s# an! (our cit( the fullest measure of affection an! &lor( an! a!"anta&e

KLeno)hon# The 5a"alr( 5omman!er

- The ne/t fe' cha)ters are &oin& to be about those in"isible )s(chic forces that su))ort an! sustain us in our ,ourne( to'ar! oursel"es % )lan on usin& terms li0e

muses an! an&els Does that ma0e (ou uncomfortable1 %f it !oes# (ou ha"e m( )ermission to thin0 of an&els in the abstract 5onsi!er these forces as bein& im)ersonal as &ra"it( -a(be the( are %t’s not har! to belie"e# is it# that a force e/ists in e"er( &rain an! see! to ma0e it &ro'1 Or that in e"er( 0itten or colt is an instinct that im)els it to run an! )la( an! learn Fust as Resistance can be thou&ht of as )ersonal I%’"e sai! Resistance $lo"es* such-an!-such or $hates* such-an!-such;# it can also be "ie'e! as a force of nature as im)ersonal as entro)( or molecular !eca( Similarl( the call to &ro'th can be conce)tualize! as )ersonal Ia !aimon or &enius# an an&el or a muse; or as im)ersonal# li0e the ti!es or the transitin& of Eenus Either 'a( 'or0s# as lon& as 'e’re comfortable 'ith it Or if e/tra!imensionalit( !oesn’t sit 'ell 'ith (ou in an( form# thin0 of it as $talent#* )ro&ramme! into our &enes b( e"olution

The )oint# for the thesis %’m see0in& to )ut for'ar!# is that there are forces 'e can call our allies As Resistance 'or0s to 0ee) us from becomin& 'ho 'e 'ere born to be# e9ual an! o))osite )o'ers are counter)oise! a&ainst it These are our allies an! an&els

- Wh( ha"e % stresse! )rofessionalism so hea"il( in the )rece!in& cha)ters1 Because the most im)ortant thin& about art is to 'or0 8othin& else matters e/ce)t sittin& !o'n e"er( !a( an! tr(in& Wh( is this so im)ortant1 Because 'hen 'e sit !o'n !a( after !a( an! 0ee) &rin!in&# somethin& m(sterious starts to ha))en A )rocess is set into motion b( 'hich# ine"itabl( an! infallibl(# hea"en comes to our ai! 6nseen forces enlist in our cause+ seren!i)it( reinforces our )ur)ose This is the other secret that real artists 0no' an! 'annabe 'riters !on’t When 'e sit !o'n each !a( an! !o our 'or0# )o'er concentrates aroun! us The -use ta0es note of our !e!ication She a))ro"es We ha"e earne! fa"or in her si&ht When 'e sit !o'n an! 'or0# 'e become li0e a ma&netize! ro! that attracts iron filin&s %!eas come %nsi&hts accrete Fust as Resistance has its seat in hell# so 5reation has its home in hea"en An!

it’s not ,ust a 'itness# but an ea&er an! acti"e all( What % call Professionalism someone else mi&ht call the Artist’s 5o!e or the Warrior’s Wa( %t’s an attitu!e of e&olessness an! ser"ice The Hni&hts of the Roun! Table 'ere chaste an! self-effacin& 7et the( !uele! !ra&ons We’re facin& !ra&ons too Fire-breathin& &riffins of the soul# 'hom 'e must outfi&ht an! out'it to reach the treasure of our self-in-)otential an! to release the mai!en 'ho is Go!’s )lan an! !estin( for oursel"es an! the ans'er to 'h( 'e 'ere )ut on this )lanet

- The Gree0 'a( of a))rehen!in& the m(ster( 'as to )ersonif( it The ancients sense! )o'erful )rimor!ial forces in the 'orl! To ma0e them a))roachable# the( &a"e them human faces The( calle! them Meus# A)ollo# A)hro!ite American %n!ians felt the same m(ster( but ren!ere! it in animistic formsKBear Teacher# 4a'0 -essen&er# 5o(ote Tric0ster Our ancestors 'ere 0eenl( co&nizant of forces an! ener&ies 'hose seat 'as not in this material s)here but in a loftier# more m(sterious one What !i! the( belie"e about this hi&her realit(1 First# the( belie"e! that !eath !i! not e/ist there The &o!s are immortal The &o!s# thou&h not unli0e humans# are infinitel( more )o'erful To !ef( their 'ill is futile To act to'ar! hea"en 'ith )ri!e is to call !o'n calamit(

Eternit( is in lo"e 'ith the creations of time K William Bla0e

The "isionar( )oet William Bla0e 'as# so % un!erstan!# one of those half-ma! a"atars 'ho a))ear in flesh from time to timeKsa"ants ca)able of ascen!in& for brief )erio!s to loftier )lanes an! returnin& to share the 'on!ers the( ha"e seen Shall 'e tr( to !eci)her the meanin& of the "erse abo"e1 What Bla0e means b( $eternit(#* % thin0# is the s)here hi&her than this one# a )lane of realit( su)erior to the material !imension in 'hich 'e !'ell %n $eternit(#* there is no such thin& as time Ior Bla0e’s s(nta/ 'oul!n’t !istin&uish it from $eternit(*; an! )robabl( no s)ace either This )lane ma( be inhabite! b( hi&her creatures Or it ma( be )ure consciousness or s)irit But 'hate"er it is# accor!in& to Bla0e# it’s ca)able of bein& $in lo"e *

%f bein&s inhabit this )lane# % ta0e Bla0e to mean that the( are incor)oreal The( !on’t ha"e bo!ies But the( ha"e a connection to the s)here of time# the one 'e li"e in These &o!s or s)irits )artici)ate in this !imension The( ta0e an interest in it $Eternit( is in lo"e 'ith the creations of time* means# to me# that in some 'a( these creatures of the hi&her s)here Ior the s)here itself# in the abstract; ta0e ,o( in 'hat 'e time-boun! bein&s can brin& forth into )h(sical e/istence in our limite! material s)here %t ma( be )ushin& the en"elo)e# but if these bein&s ta0e ,o( in the $creations of time#* mi&ht the( not also nu!&e us a little to )ro!uce them1 %f that’s true# then the ima&e of the -use 'his)erin& ins)iration in the artist’s ear is 9uite a)t The timeless communicatin& to the timeboun! B( Bla0e’s mo!el# as % un!erstan! it# it’s as thou&h the Fifth S(m)hon( e/iste! alrea!( in that hi&her s)here# before Beetho"en sat !o'n an! )la(e! !ah-!ah!ah-D6- The catch 'as this: The 'or0 e/iste! onl( as )otentialK'ithout a bo!(# so to s)ea0 %t 'asn’t music (et 7ou coul!n’t )la( it 7ou coul!n’t hear it %t nee!e! someone %t nee!e! a cor)oreal bein&# a human# an artist Ior more )recisel( a &enius# in the .atin sense of $soul* or $animatin& s)irit*; to brin& it into bein& on this material )lane So the -use 'his)ere! in Beetho"en’s ear -a(be she humme! a fe' bars into a million other ears But no one else hear! her Onl( Beetho"en &ot it 4e brou&ht it forth 4e ma!e the Fifth S(m)hon( a $creation of time#* 'hich $eternit(* coul! be $in lo"e 'ith * So that eternit(# 'hether 'e concei"e of it as Go!# )ure consciousness# infinite intelli&ence# omniscient s)irit# or if 'e choose to thin0 of it as bein&s# &o!s# s)irits# a"atars 3'hen $it* or $the(* hear someho' the soun!s of earthl( music# it brin&s them ,o( %n other 'or!s# Bla0e a&rees 'ith the Gree0s The &o!s !o e/ist The( !o )enetrate our earthl( s)here Which brin&s us bac0 to the -use The -use# remember# is the !au&hter of Meus# Father of the Go!s# an! -emor(# -nemos(ne That’s a )rett( im)ressi"e )e!i&ree %’ll acce)t those cre!entials %’ll ta0e Leno)hon at his 'or!+ before % sit !o'n to 'or0# %’ll ta0e a minute an! sho' res)ect to this unseen Po'er 'ho can ma0e or brea0 me

%8EOH%8G T4E -6SE#


Artists ha"e in"o0e! the -use since time immemorial There is &reat 'is!om to this There is ma&ic to effacin& our human arro&ance an! humbl( entreatin& hel) from a source 'e cannot see# hear# touch# or smell 4ere’s the start of 4omer’s O!(sse(# the T E .a'rence translation:

O Divine Poesy, goddess, daughter of Zeus, sustain for me this song of the various-minded man who, after he had plundered the innermost citadel of hallowed Troy, was made to stray grievously about the coasts of men, the sport of their customs, good and bad, while his heart, through all the sea-faring, ached with an agony to redeem himself and bring his company safe home. Vain hope for them. The fools! Their own witlessness cast them aside. To destroy for meat the o"en of the most e"alted #un, wherefore the #un-god blotted out the day of their return. $a%e this tale live for us in all its many bearings, O $use. . . .

This )assa&e 'ill re'ar! closer stu!( :

First# Di"ine Poes( When 'e in"o0e the -use 'e are callin& on a force not ,ust from a !ifferent )lane of realit(# but from a holier )lane Go!!ess# !au&hter of Meus 8ot onl( are 'e in"o0in& !i"ine intercession# but intercession on the hi&hest le"el# ,ust one remo"e from the to) Sustain for me 4omer !oesn’t as0 for brilliance or success 4e ,ust 'ants to 0ee) this thin& &oin& This son& That about co"ers it From The Brothers Haramazo" to (our ne' "enture in the )lumbin&-su))l( business % lo"e the summation of O!(sseus’ trials that com)rises the bo!( of the in"ocation %t’s Fose)h 5am)bell’s hero’s ,ourne( in a nutshell# as concise a s(no)sis of the stor( of E"er(man as it &ets There’s the initial crime I'hich 'e all ine"itabl( commit;# 'hich e,ects the hero from his homeboun! com)lacenc( an! )ro)els him u)on his 'an!erin&s# the (earnin& for re!em)tion# the untirin& cam)ai&n to &et $home#* meanin& bac0 to Go!’s &race# bac0 to himself % a!mire )articularl( the 'arnin& a&ainst the secon! crime# to !estro( for meat the o/en of the most e/alte! Sun That’s the felon( that calls !o'n soul!estruction: the em)lo(ment of the sacre! for )rofane means Prostitution Sellin&

out .astl(# the artist’s 'ish for his 'or0: -a0e this tale li"e for us in all its man( bearin&s# O -use That’s 'hat 'e 'ant# isn’t it1 -ore than ma0e it &reat# ma0e it li"e An! not from one an&le onl(# but in all its man( bearin&s

O0a( We’"e sai! our )ra(er We’re rea!( to 'or0 8o' 'hat1


5oncernin& all acts of initiati"e Ian! creation; there is one elementar( truth# the i&norance of 'hich 0ills countless i!eas an! s)len!i! )lans: that the moment one !efinitel( commits oneself# then )ro"i!ence mo"es too All sorts of thin&s occur to hel) one that 'oul! not other'ise ha"e occurre! A 'hole stream of e"ents issues from the !ecision# raisin& in one’s fa"our all manner of unforeseen inci!ents an! meetin&s an! material assistance 'hich no man 'oul! ha"e !reame! 'oul! come his 'a( % ha"e learne! a !ee) res)ect for one of Goethe’s cou)lets: $Whate"er (ou can !o# or !ream (ou can# be&in it Bol!ness has &enius# ma&ic# an! )o'er in it Be&in it no' *

3W 4 -urra(

-An&els are a&ents of e"olution The Habbalah !escribes an&els as bun!les of li&ht# meanin& intelli&ence# consciousness Habbalists belie"e that abo"e e"er( bla!e of &rass is an an&el cr(in& $Gro'J Gro'J* %’ll &o further % belie"e that abo"e the entire human race is one su)er-an&el# cr(in& $E"ol"eJ E"ol"eJ* An&els are li0e muses The( 0no' stuff 'e !on’t The( 'ant to hel) us The(’re on the other si!e of a )ane of &lass# shoutin& to &et our attention But 'e can’t hear them We’re too !istracte! b( our o'n nonsense Ah# but 'hen 'e be&in When 'e ma0e a start

When 'e concei"e an enter)rise an! commit to it in the face of our fears# somethin& 'on!erful ha))ens A crac0 a))ears in the membrane .i0e the first craze 'hen a chic0 )ec0s at the insi!e of its shell An&el mi!'i"es con&re&ate aroun! us+ the( assist as 'e &i"e birth to oursel"es# to that )erson 'e 'ere born to be# to the one 'hose !estin( 'as enco!e! in our soul# our !aimon# our &enius When 'e ma0e a be&innin&# 'e &et out of our o'n 'a( an! allo' the an&els to come in an! !o their ,ob The( can s)ea0 to us no' an! it ma0es them ha))( %t ma0es Go! ha))( Eternit(# as Bla0e mi&ht ha"e tol! us# has o)ene! a )ortal into time An! 'eNre it

- Are these an&els1 Are the( muses1 %s this the 6nconscious1 The Self1 Whate"er it is# it’s smarter than 'e are A lot smarter %t !oesn’t nee! us to tell it 'hat to !o %t &oes to 'or0 all b( itself %t seems to 'ant to 'or0 %t seems to en,o( it What e/actl( is it !oin&1 %t’s or&anizin& The )rinci)le of or&anization is built into nature 5haos itself is self-or&anizin& Out of )rimor!ial !isor!er# stars fin! their orbits+ ri"ers ma0e their 'a( to the sea When 'e# li0e Go!# set out to create a uni"erseKa boo0# an o)era# a ne' business "entureKthe same )rinci)le 0ic0s in Our screen)la( resol"es itself into a three-act structure+ our s(m)hon( ta0es sha)e into mo"ements+ our )lumbin&-su))l( "enture !isco"ers its o)timum chain of comman! 4o' !o 'e e/)erience this1 B( ha"in& i!eas %nsi&hts )o) into our hea!s 'hile 'e’re sha"in& or ta0in& a sho'er or e"en# amazin&l(# 'hile 'e’re actuall( 'or0in& The el"es behin! this are smart %f 'e for&et somethin&# the( remin! us %f 'e "eer off-course# the( trim the tabs an! steer us bac0

What can 'e conclu!e from this1 5learl( some intelli&ence is at 'or0# in!e)en!ent of our conscious min! an! (et in alliance 'ith it# )rocessin& our material for us an! alon&si!e us This is 'h( artists are mo!est The( 0no' the(’re not !oin& the 'or0+ the(’re ,ust ta0in& !ictation %t’s also 'h( $noncreati"e )eo)le* hate $creati"e )eo)le * Because the(’re ,ealous The( sense that artists an! 'riters are ta))e! into some &ri! of ener&( an! ins)iration that the( themsel"es cannot connect 'ith

Of course# this is nonsense We’re all creati"e We all ha"e the same )s(che The same e"er(!a( miracles are ha))enin& in all our hea!s !a( b( !a(# minute b( minute

- % 'as sittin& cross-le&&e! 'hen an ea&le came an! lan!e! on m( shoul!ers The ea&le mer&e! 'ith me an! too0 off fl(in&# so that m( hea! became its hea! an! m( arms its 'in&s %t felt com)letel( authentic % coul! feel the air un!er m( 'in&s# as soli! as 'ater feels 'hen (ou ro' in it 'ith an oar %t 'as substantial 7ou coul! )ush off a&ainst it So this 'as ho' bir!s fle'J % realize! that it 'as im)ossible for a bir! to fall out of the s0(+ all it 'oul! ha"e to !o 'as e/ten! its 'in&s+ the soli! air 'oul! hol! it u) 'ith the same )o'er 'e feel 'hen 'e stic0 our han! out the 'in!o' of a mo"in& car % 'as )rett( im)resse! 'ith this mo"ie that 'as )la(in& in m( hea! but % still ha! no i!ea 'hat it meant % as0e! the ea&le# 4e(# 'hat am % su))ose! to be learnin& from this1 A "oice ans'ere! Isilentl(;: 7ou’re su))ose! to learn that thin&s that (ou thin0 are nothin&# as 'ei&htless as air# are actuall( )o'erful substantial forces# as real an! as soli! as earth % un!erstoo! The ea&le 'as tellin& me that !reams# "isions# me!itations such as this "er( oneKthin&s that % ha! till no' !is!aine! as fantas( an! illusionK'ere as real an! as soli! as an(thin& in m( 'a0in& life % belie"e! the ea&le % &ot the messa&e 4o' coul! % not1 % ha! felt the soli!ness of the air % 0ne' he 'as tellin& the truth Which brin&s us bac0 to the 9uestion: Where !i! the ea&le come from1 Wh( !i! he sho' u) at ,ust the ri&ht time to tell me ,ust 'hat % nee!e! to hear1 5learl( some unseen intelli&ence ha! create! him# &i"in& him form as an ea&le so that % 'oul! un!erstan! 'hat it 'ante! to communicate This intelli&ence 'as bab(in& me alon& Hee)in& it sim)le -a0in& its )oint in terms so clear an! elementar( that e"en someone as numb an! aslee) as % 'as coul! un!erstan!

TO- .A6G4.%8 - The moment a )erson learns he’s &ot terminal cancer# a )rofoun! shift ta0es )lace in his )s(che At one stro0e in the !octor’s office he becomes a'are of 'hat reall( matters to him Thin&s that si/t( secon!s earlier ha! seeme! all-im)ortant su!!enl( a))ear meanin&less# 'hile )eo)le an! concerns that he ha! till then !ismisse! at once ta0e on su)reme im)ortance -a(be# he realizes# 'or0in& this 'ee0en! on that bi& !eal at the office isn’t all that "ital -a(be it’s more im)ortant to fl( cross-countr( for his &ran!son’s &ra!uation -a(be it isn’t so crucial that he ha"e the last 'or! in the fi&ht 'ith his

'ife -a(be instea! he shoul! tell her ho' much she means to him an! ho' !ee)l( he has al'a(s lo"e! her Other thou&hts occur to the )atient !ia&nose! as terminal What about that &ift he ha! for music1 What became of the )assion he once felt to 'or0 'ith the sic0 an! the homeless1 Wh( !o these unli"e! li"es return no' 'ith such )o'er an! )oi&nanc(1 Face! 'ith our imminent e/tinction# Tom .au&hlin belie"es# all assum)tions are calle! into 9uestion What !oes our life mean1 4a"e 'e li"e! it ri&ht1 Are there "ital acts 'e’"e left un)erforme!# crucial 'or!s uns)o0en1 %s it too late1 Tom .au&hlin !ra's a !ia&ram of the )s(che# a Fun&ian-!eri"e! mo!el that loo0s somethin& li0e this: The E&o# Fun& tells us# is that )art of the )s(che that 'e thin0 of as $% * Our conscious intelli&ence Our e"er(!a( brain that thin0s# )lans an! runs the sho' of our !a(-to-!a( life The Self# as Fun& !efine! it# is a &reater entit(# 'hich inclu!es the E&o but also incor)orates the Personal an! 5ollecti"e 6nconscious Dreams an! intuitions come from the Self The archet()es of the unconscious !'ell there %t is# Fun& belie"e!# the s)here of the soul What ha))ens in that instant 'hen 'e learn 'e ma( soon !ie# Tom .au&hlin conten!s# is that the seat of our consciousness shifts %t mo"es from the E&o to the Self The 'orl! is entirel( ne'# "ie'e! from the Self At once 'e !iscern 'hat’s reall( im)ortant Su)erficial concerns fall a'a(# re)lace! b( a !ee)er# more )rofoun!l(&roun!e! )ers)ecti"e This is ho' Tom .au&hlin’s foun!ation battles cancer 4e counsels his clients not ,ust to ma0e that shift mentall( but to li"e it out in their li"es 4e su))orts the house'ife in resumin& her career in social 'or0# ur&es the businessman to return to the "iolin# assists the Eietnam "et to 'rite his no"el -iraculousl(# cancers &o into remission Peo)le reco"er %s it )ossible# Tom .au&hlin as0s# that the !isease itself e"ol"e! as a conse9uence of actions ta0en Ior not ta0en; in our li"es1 5oul! our unli"e! li"es ha"e e/acte! their "en&eance u)on us in the form of cancer1 An! if the( !i!# can 'e cure oursel"es# no'# b( li"in& these li"es out1


4ere’s 'hat % thin0 % thin0 an&els ma0e their home in the Self# 'hile Resistance has its seat in the E&o The fi&ht is bet'een the t'o The Self 'ishes to create# to e"ol"e The E&o li0es thin&s ,ust the 'a( the( are

What is the E&o# an('a(1 Since this is m( boo0# %’ll !efine it m( 'a( The E&o is that )art of the )s(che that belie"es in material e/istence The E&o’s ,ob is to ta0e care of business in the real 'orl! %t’s an im)ortant ,ob We coul!n’t last a !a( 'ithout it But there are 'orl!s other than the real 'orl!# an! this is 'here the E&o runs into trouble 4ere’s 'hat the E&o belie"es: :; Death is real The E&o belie"es that our e/istence is !efine! b( our )h(sical flesh When the bo!( !ies# 'e !ie There is no life be(on! life <; Time an! s)ace are real The E&o is analo& %t belie"es that to &et from A to M 'e ha"e to )ass throu&h B# 5# an! D To &et from brea0fast to su))er 'e ha"e to li"e the 'hole !a( =; E"er( in!i"i!ual is !ifferent an! se)arate from e"er( other The E&o belie"es that % am !istinct from (ou The t'ain cannot meet % can hurt (ou an! it 'on’t hurt me >; The )re!ominant im)ulse of life is self-)reser"ation Because our e/istence is )h(sical an! thus "ulnerable to innumerable e"ils# 'e li"e an! act out of fear in all 'e !o %t is 'ise# the E&o belie"es# to ha"e chil!ren to carr( on our line 'hen 'e !ie# to achie"e &reat thin&s that 'ill li"e after us# an! to buc0le our seat belts ?; There is no Go! 8o s)here e/ists e/ce)t the )h(sical an! no rules a))l( e/ce)t those of the material 'orl! These are the )rinci)les the E&o li"es b( The( are soun! soli! )rinci)les

4ere’s 'hat the Self belie"es: :; Death is an illusion The soul en!ures an! e"ol"es throu&h infinite manifestations <; Time an! s)ace are illusions Time an! s)ace o)erate onl( in the )h(sical s)here# an! e"en here# !on’t a))l( to !reams# "isions# trans)orts %n other !imensions 'e mo"e $s'ift as thou&ht* an! inhabit multi)le )lanes simultaneousl(

=; All bein&s are one %f % hurt (ou# % hurt m(self >; The su)reme emotion is lo"e 6nion an! mutual assistance are the im)erati"es of life We are all in this to&ether ?; Go! is all there is E"er(thin& that is# is Go! in one form or another Go!# the !i"ine &roun!# is that in 'hich 'e li"e an! mo"e an! ha"e our bein& %nfinite )lanes of realit( e/ist# all create! b(# sustaine! b( an! infuse! b( the s)irit of Go!


4a"e (ou e"er 'on!ere! 'h( the slan& terms for into/ication are so !emolitionoriente!1 Stone!# smashe!# hammere! %t’s because the(’re tal0in& about the E&o %t’s the E&o that &ets blaste!# 'a/e!# )lastere! We !emolish the E&o to &et to the Self The mar&ins of the Self touch u)on the Di"ine Groun! -eanin& the -(ster(# the Eoi!# the source of %nfinite Wis!om an! 5onsciousness Dreams come from the Self %!eas come from the Self When 'e me!itate 'e access the Self When 'e fast# 'hen 'e )ra(# 'hen 'e &o on a "ision 9uest# it’s the Self 'e’re see0in& When the !er"ish 'hirls# 'hen the (o&i chants# 'hen the sa!hu mutilates his flesh+ 'hen )enitents cra'l a hun!re! miles on their 0nees# 'hen 8ati"e Americans )ierce themsel"es in the Sun Dance# 'hen suburban 0i!s ta0e Ecstas( an! !ance all ni&ht at a ra"e# the(’re see0in& the Self When 'e !eliberatel( alter our consciousness in an( 'a(# 'e’re tr(in& to fin! the Self When the alcoholic colla)ses in the &utter# that "oice that tells him# $%’ll sa"e (ou#* comes from the Self The Self is our !ee)est bein& The Self is unite! to Go! The Self is inca)able of falsehoo!

The Self# li0e the Di"ine Groun! that )ermeates it# is e"er-&ro'in& an! e"ere"ol"in& The Self s)ea0s for the future That’s 'h( the E&o hates it The E&o hates the Self because 'hen 'e seat our consciousness in the Self# 'e )ut the e&o out of business The E&o !oesn’t 'ant us to e"ol"e The E&o runs the sho' ri&ht no' %t li0es thin&s ,ust the 'a( the( are The instinct that )ulls us to'ar! art is the im)ulse to e"ol"e# to learn# to hei&hten

an! ele"ate our consciousness The E&o hates this Because the more a'a0e 'e become# the less 'e nee! the E&o The E&o hates it 'hen the a'a0enin& 'riter sits !o'n at the t()e'riter The E&o hates it 'hen the as)irin& )ainter ste)s u) before the easel The E&o hates it because it 0no's that these souls are a'a0enin& to a call# an! that that call comes from a )lane nobler than the material one an! from a source !ee)er an! more )o'erful than the )h(sical The E&o hates the )ro)het an! the "isionar( because the( )ro)el the race u)'ar! The E&o hate! Socrates an! Fesus# .uther an! Galileo# .incoln an! FFH an! -artin .uther Hin& The E&o hates artists because the( are the )athfin!ers an! bearers of the future# because each one !ares# in Fames Fo(ce’s )hrase# to $for&e in the smith( of m( soul the uncreate! conscience of m( race * Such e"olution is life-threatenin& to the E&o %t reacts accor!in&l( %t summons its cunnin&# marshals its troo)s The E&o )ro!uces Resistance an! attac0s the a'a0enin& artist


Resistance fee!s on fear We e/)erience Resistance as fear But fear of 'hat1 Fear of the conse9uences of follo'in& our heart Fear of ban0ru)tc(# fear of )o"ert(# fear of insol"enc( Fear of &ro"elin& 'hen 'e tr( to ma0e it on our o'n# an! of &ro"elin& 'hen 'e &i"e u) an! come cra'lin& bac0 to 'here 'e starte! Fear of bein& selfish# of bein& rotten 'i"es or !islo(al husban!s+ fear of failin& to su))ort our families# of sacrificin& their !reams for ours Fear of betra(in& our race# our ’hoo!# our homies Fear of failure Fear of bein& ri!iculous Fear of thro'in& a'a( the e!ucation# the trainin&# the )re)aration that those 'e lo"e ha"e sacrifice! so much for# that 'e oursel"es ha"e 'or0e! our butts off for Fear of launchin& into the "oi!# of hurtlin& too far out there+ fear of )assin& some )oint of no return# be(on! 'hich 'e cannot recant# cannot re"erse# cannot rescin!# but must li"e 'ith this coc0e!-u) choice for the rest of our li"es Fear of ma!ness Fear of insanit( Fear of !eath These are serious fears But the(’re not the real fear 8ot the -aster Fear# the -other of all Fears that’s so close to us that e"en 'hen 'e "erbalize it 'e !on’t belie"e it

Fear That We Will Succee! That 'e can access the )o'ers 'e secretl( 0no' 'e )ossess This is the most terrif(in& )ros)ect a human bein& can face# because it e,ects him at one &o Ihe ima&ines; from all the tribal inclusions his )s(che is 'ire! for an! has been for fift( million (ears We fear !isco"erin& that 'e are more than 'e thin0 'e are -ore than our )arents2chil!ren2teachers thin0 'e are We fear that 'e actuall( )ossess the talent that our still# small "oice tells us That 'e actuall( ha"e the &uts# the )erse"erance# the ca)acit( We fear that 'e trul( can steer our shi)# )lant our fla&# reach our Promise! .an! We fear this because# if it’s true# then 'e become estran&e! from all 'e 0no' We )ass throu&h a membrane We become monsters an! monstrous We 0no' that if 'e embrace our i!eals# 'e must )ro"e 'orth( of them An! that scares the hell out of us What 'ill become of us1 We 'ill lose our frien!s an! famil(# 'ho 'ill no lon&er reco&nize us We 'ill 'in! u) alone# in the col! "oi! of starr( s)ace# 'ith nothin& an! no one to hol! on to Of course this is e/actl( 'hat ha))ens But here’s the tric0 We 'in! u) in s)ace# but not alone %nstea! 'e are ta))e! into an un9uenchable# un!e)letable# ine/haustible source of 'is!om# consciousness# com)anionshi) 7eah# 'e lose frien!s But 'e fin! frien!s too# in )laces 'e ne"er thou&ht to loo0 An! the(’re better frien!s# truer frien!s An! 'e’re better an! truer to them

- We thrash aroun!# flashin& our ba!&es of status I4e(# ho' !o (ou li0e m( .incoln 8a"i&ator1; an! 'on!erin& 'h( nobo!( &i"es a shit We ha"e entere! -ass Societ( The hierarch( is too bi& %t !oesn’t 'or0 an(more


For the artist to !efine himself hierarchicall( is fatal .et’s e/amine 'h( First# let’s loo0 at 'hat ha))ens in a hierarchical orientation An in!i"i!ual 'ho !efines himself b( his )lace in a )ec0in& or!er 'ill:

:; 5om)ete a&ainst all others in the or!er# see0in& to ele"ate his station b( a!"ancin& a&ainst those abo"e him# 'hile !efen!in& his )lace a&ainst those beneath <; E"aluate his ha))iness2success2achie"ement b( his ran0 'ithin the hierarch(# feelin& most satisfie! 'hen he’s hi&h an! most miserable 'hen he’s lo' =; Act to'ar! others base! u)on their ran0 in the hierarch(# to the e/clusion of all other factors >; E"aluate his e"er( mo"e solel( b( the effect it )ro!uces on others 4e 'ill act for others# !ress for others# s)ea0 for others# thin0 for others But the artist cannot loo0 to others to "ali!ate his efforts or his callin& %f (ou !on’t belie"e me# as0 Ean Go&h# 'ho )ro!uce! master)iece after master)iece an! ne"er foun! a bu(er in his 'hole life The artist must o)erate territoriall( 4e must !o his 'or0 for its o'n sa0e To labor in the arts for an( reason other than lo"e is )rostitution %n the hierarch(# the artist faces out'ar! -eetin& someone ne' he as0s himself# What can this )erson !o for me1 4o' can this )erson a!"ance m( stan!in&1 %n the hierarch(# the artist loo0s u) an! loo0s !o'n The one )lace he can’t loo0 is that )lace he must: 'ithin

T4E DEF%8%T%O8 OF A 4A5H

% learne! this from Robert -cHee A hac0# he sa(s# is a 'riter 'ho secon!&uesses his au!ience When the hac0 sits !o'n to 'or0# he !oesn’t as0 himself 'hat’s in his o'n heart 4e as0s 'hat the mar0et is loo0in& for The hac0 con!escen!s to his au!ience 4e thin0s he’s su)erior to them The truth is# he’s scare! to !eath of them or# more accuratel(# scare! of bein& authentic in front of them# scare! of 'ritin& 'hat he reall( feels or belie"es# 'hat he himself thin0s is interestin& 4e’s afrai! it 'on’t sell So he tries to antici)ate 'hat the mar0et Ia tellin& 'or!; 'ants# then &i"es it to them %n other 'or!s# the hac0 'rites hierarchicall( 4e 'rites 'hat he ima&ines 'ill )la( 'ell in the e(es of others 4e !oes not as0 himself# What !o % m(self 'ant to 'rite1 What !o % thin0 is im)ortant1 %nstea! he as0s# What’s hot# 'hat can % ma0e a !eal for1 The hac0 is li0e the )olitician 'ho consults the )olls before he ta0es a )osition

4e’s a !ema&o&ue 4e )an!ers %t can )a( off# bein& a hac0 Gi"en the !e)ra"e! state of American culture# a slic0 !u!e can ma0e millions bein& a hac0 But e"en if (ou succee!# (ou lose# because (ou’"e sol! out (our -use# an! (our -use is (ou# the best )art of (ourself# 'here (our finest an! onl( true 'or0 comes from % 'as star"in& as a screen'riter 'hen the i!ea for The .e&en! of Ba&&er Eance came to me %t came as a boo0# not a mo"ie % met 'ith m( a&ent to &i"e him the ba! ne's We both 0ne' that first no"els ta0e fore"er an! sell for nothin& Worse# a no"el about &olf# e"en if 'e coul! fin! a )ublisher# is a strai&ht shot to the remain!er bin But the -use ha! me % ha! to !o it To m( amazement# the boo0 succee!e! criticall( an! commerciall( better than an(thin& %’! e"er !one# an! others since ha"e been luc0( too Wh(1 -( best &uess is this: % truste! 'hat % 'ante!# not 'hat % thou&ht 'oul! 'or0 % !i! 'hat % m(self thou&ht 'as interestin&# an! left its rece)tion to the &o!s The artist can’t !o his 'or0 hierarchicall( 4e has to 'or0 territoriall(


There’s a three-le&&e! co(ote 'ho li"es u) the hill from me All the &arba&e cans in the nei&hborhoo! belon& to him %t’s his territor( E"er( no' an! then some four-le&&e! intru!er tries to ta0e o"er The( can’t !o it On his home turf# e"en a )e&-le& critter is in"incible We humans ha"e territories too Ours are )s(cholo&ical Ste"ie Won!er’s territor( is the )iano Arnol! Sch'arzene&&er’s is the &(m When Bill Gates )ulls into the )ar0in& lot at -icrosoft# he’s on his territor( When % sit !o'n to 'rite# %’m on mine What are the 9ualities of a territor(1 :; A territor( )ro"i!es sustenance Runners 0no' 'hat a territor( is So !o roc0 climbers an! 0a(a0ers an! (o&is Artists an! entre)reneurs 0no' 'hat a territor( is The s'immer 'ho to'els off after finishin& her la)s feels a hellu"a lot better than the tire!# cran0( )erson 'ho !o"e into the )ool thirt( minutes earlier <; A territor( sustains us 'ithout an( e/ternal in)ut A territor( is a close! fee!bac0 loo) Our role is to )ut in effort an! lo"e+ the territor( absorbs this an! &i"es it bac0 to us in the form of 'ell-bein& When e/)erts tell us that e/ercise Ior an( other effort-re9uirin& acti"it(; banishes

!e)ression# this is 'hat the( mean


The act of creation is b( !efinition territorial As the mother-to-be bears her chil! 'ithin her# so the artist or inno"ator contains her ne' life 8o one can hel) her &i"e it birth But neither !oes she nee! an( hel) The mother an! the artist are 'atche! o"er b( hea"en 8ature’s 'is!om 0no's 'hen it’s time for the life 'ithin to s'itch from &ills to lun&s %t 0no's !o'n to the nanosecon! 'hen the first tin( fin&ernails ma( a))ear When the artist acts hierarchicall(# she short-circuits the -use She insults her an! )isses her off The artist an! the mother are "ehicles# not ori&inators The( !on’t create the ne' life# the( onl( bear it This is 'h( birth is such a humblin& e/)erience The ne' mom 'ee)s in a'e at the little miracle in her arms She 0no's it came out of her but not from her# throu&h her but not of her When the artist 'or0s territoriall(# she re"eres hea"en She ali&ns herself 'ith the m(sterious forces that )o'er the uni"erse an! that see0# throu&h her# to brin& forth ne' life B( !oin& her 'or0 for its o'n sa0e# she sets herself at the ser"ice of these forces Remember# as artists 'e !on’t 0no' !i!!l( We’re 'in&in& it e"er( !a( For us to tr( to secon!-&uess our -use the 'a( a hac0 secon!-&uesses his au!ience is con!escension to hea"en %t’s blas)hem( an! sacrile&e %nstea! let’s as0 oursel"es li0e that ne' mother: What !o % feel &ro'in& insi!e me1 .et me brin& that forth# if % can# for its o'n sa0e an! not for 'hat it can !o for me or ho' it can a!"ance m( stan!in&


4o' can 'e tell if our orientation is territorial or hierarchical1 One 'a( is to as0 oursel"es# %f % 'ere feelin& reall( an/ious# 'hat 'oul! % !o1 %f 'e 'oul! )ic0 u) the )hone an! call si/ frien!s# one after the other# 'ith the aim of hearin& their "oices an! reassurin& oursel"es that the( still lo"e us# 'e’re o)eratin&

hierarchicall( We’re see0in& the &oo! o)inion of others What 'oul! Arnol! Sch'arzene&&er !o on a frea0( !a(1 4e 'oul!n’t )hone his bu!!ies+ he’! hea! for the &(m 4e 'oul!n’t care if the )lace 'as em)t(# if he !i!n’t sa( a 'or! to a soul 4e 0no's that 'or0in& out# all b( itself# is enou&h to brin& him bac0 to his center 4is orientation is territorial 4ere’s another test Of an( acti"it( (ou !o# as0 (ourself: %f % 'ere the last )erson on earth# 'oul! % still !o it1 %f (ou’re all alone on the )lanet# a hierarchical orientation ma0es no sense There’s no one to im)ress So# if (ou’! still )ursue that acti"it(# con&ratulations 7ou’re !oin& it territoriall( %f Arnol! Sch'arzene&&er 'ere the last man on earth# he’! still &o the &(m Ste"ie Won!er 'oul! still )oun! the )iano The sustenance the( &et comes from the act itself# not from the im)ression it ma0es on others % ha"e a frien! 'ho’s nuts for clothes %f she 'ere the last 'oman on earth# she 'oul! shoot strai&ht to Gi"ench( or St .aurent# smash her 'a( in# an! start )illa&in& %n her case# it 'oul!n’t be to im)ress others She ,ust lo"es clothes That’s her territor( 8o': What about oursel"es as artists1 4o' !o 'e !o our 'or01 4ierarchicall( or territoriall(1 %f 'e 'ere frea0e! out# 'oul! 'e &o there first1 %f 'e 'ere the last )erson on earth# 'oul! 'e still sho' u) at the stu!io# the rehearsal hall# the laborator(1


Someone once as0e! the S)artan 0in& .eoni!as to i!entif( the su)reme 'arrior "irtue from 'hich all others flo'e! 4e re)lie!: $5ontem)t for !eath * For us as artists# rea! $failure * 5ontem)t for failure is our car!inal "irtue B( confinin& our attention territoriall( to our o'n thou&hts an! actions3in other 'or!s# to the 'or0 an! its !eman!s3'e cut the earth from beneath the blue)ainte!# shiel!-ban&in&# s)ear-bran!ishin& foe


When Hrishna instructe! Ar,una that 'e ha"e a ri&ht to our labor but not to the fruits of our labor# he 'as counselin& the 'arrior to act territoriall(# not hierarchicall( We must !o our 'or0 for its o'n sa0e# not for fortune or attention or a))lause Then there’s the thir! 'a( )roffere! b( the .or! of Disci)line# 'hich is be(on! both hierarch( an! territor( That is to !o the 'or0 an! &i"e it to 4im Do it as an offerin& to Go!

Gi"e the act to me Pur&e! of ho)e an! e&o# Fi/ (our attention on the soul Act an! !o for me

The 'or0 comes from hea"en an('a( Wh( not &i"e it bac01 To labor in this 'a(# The Bha&a"a!-Gita tells us# is a form of me!itation an! a su)reme s)ecies of s)iritual !e"otion %t also# % belie"e# conforms most closel( to 4i&her Realit( %n fact# 'e are ser"ants of the -(ster( We 'ere )ut here on earth to act as a&ents of the %nfinite# to brin& into e/istence that 'hich is not (et# but 'hich 'ill be# throu&h us E"er( breath 'e ta0e# e"er( heartbeat# e"er( e"olution of e"er( cell comes from Go! an! is sustaine! b( Go! e"er( secon!# ,ust as e"er( creation# in"ention# e"er( bar of music or line of "erse# e"er( thou&ht# "ision# fantas(# e"er( !umb-ass flo) an! stro0e of &enius comes from that infinite intelli&ence that create! us an! the uni"erse in all its !imensions# out of the Eoi!# the fiel! of infinite )otential# )rimal chaos# the -use To ac0no'le!&e that realit(# to efface all e&o# to let the 'or0 come throu&h us an! &i"e it bac0 freel( to its source# that# in m( o)inion# is as true to realit( as it &ets


%n the en!# 'e arri"e at a 0in! of mo!el of the artist’s 'orl!# an! that mo!el is that there e/ist other# hi&her )lanes of realit(# about 'hich 'e can )ro"e nothin&# but from 'hich arise our li"es# our 'or0 an! our art These s)heres are tr(in& to

communicate 'ith ours When Bla0e sai! Eternit( is in lo"e 'ith the creations of time# he 'as referrin& to those )lanes of )ure )otential# 'hich are timeless# )laceless# s)aceless# but 'hich lon& to brin& their "isions into bein& here# in this time-boun!# s)ace-!efine! 'orl! The artist is the ser"ant of that intention# those an&els# that -use The enem( of the artist is the small-time E&o# 'hich be&ets Resistance# 'hich is the !ra&on that &uar!s the &ol! That’s 'h( an artist must be a 'arrior an!# li0e all 'arriors# artists o"er time ac9uire mo!est( an! humilit( The( ma(# some of them# con!uct themsel"es flambo(antl( in )ublic But alone 'ith the 'or0 the( are chaste an! humble The( 0no' the( are not the source of the creations the( brin& into bein& The( onl( facilitate The( carr( The( are the 'illin& an! s0ille! instruments of the &o!s an! &o!!esses the( ser"e


Are (ou a born 'riter1 Were (ou )ut on earth to be a )ainter# a scientist# an a)ostle of )eace1 %n the en! the 9uestion can onl( be ans'ere! b( action Do it or !on’t !o it %t ma( hel) to thin0 of it this 'a( %f (ou 'ere meant to cure cancer or 'rite a s(m)hon( or crac0 col! fusion an! (ou !on’t !o it# (ou not onl( hurt (ourself# e"en !estro( (ourself 7ou hurt (our chil!ren 7ou hurt me 7ou hurt the )lanet 7ou shame the an&els 'ho 'atch o"er (ou an! (ou s)ite the Almi&ht(# 'ho create! (ou an! onl( (ou 'ith (our uni9ue &ifts# for the sole )ur)ose of nu!&in& the human race one millimeter farther alon& its )ath bac0 to Go! 5reati"e 'or0 is not a selfish act or a bi! for attention on the )art of the actor %t’s a &ift to the 'orl! an! e"er( bein& in it Don’t cheat us of (our contribution Gi"e us 'hat (ou’"e &ot



To feel ambition an! to act u)on it is to embrace the uni9ue callin& of our souls 8ot to act u)on that ambition is to turn our bac0s on oursel"es an! on the reason for our e/istence


When 'e’re li"in& as amateurs# 'e’re runnin& a'a( from our callin&3meanin& our 'or0# our !estin(# the obli&ation to become our truest an! hi&hest sel"es


The amateur is an e&oist 4E ta0es the material of his )ersonal )ain an! uses it to !ra' attention to himself 4e creates a Plife#’ a Pcharacter#’ a P)ersonalit( ’


When 'e can’t stan! the fear# the shame# an! the self-re)roach that 'e feel# 'e obliterate it 'ith an a!!iction


Turnin& )ro chan&es ho' )eo)le )ercei"e us Those 'ho are still fleein& from their o'n fears 'ill not tr( to sabota&e us The( 'ill tell us 'e’"e chan&e! an! tr( to un!ermine our efforts at further chan&e The( 'ill attem)t to ma0e us feel &uilt( for these chan&es The( 'ill tr( to entice us to &et stone! 'ith them or fuc0 off 'ith them or 'aste time 'ith them# as 'e’"e !one in the )ast# an! 'hen 'e refuse# the( 'ill turn a&ainst us an! tal0 us !o'n behin! our bac0s


Each !a(# the )rofessional un!erstan!s# he 'ill 'a0e u) facin& the same !emons# the same Resistance# the same self-sabota&e# the same ten!encies to sha!o' acti"ities an! amateurism that he has al'a(s face!


Our 'or0 is )ractice One ba! !a( is nothin& to us Ten ba! !a(s are nothin&


Once 'e turn )ro# 'e’re li0e shar0s 'ho ha"e taste! bloo!# or renunciants 'ho ha"e &lim)se! the face of Go! For us# there is no finish line 8o bell en!s the bout .ife is the )ursuit .ife is the hunt When our hearts burstQ then 'e’ll &o out# an! no sooner



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