In the great Hindu epic poem The Mahabharata two families are at war from the get go, the Kauravas and the Pandavas.
The Pandavas allow themselves to be cheated by the Kauravas in the hope that the Kauravas will have a change of heart for the better, realize what they are doing is wrong and become better people.
That hope, of course, is vain. The Kauravas think the Pandavas are fools as they can be so easily cheated.
The names of the Pandavas are Yudhisthira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva. All five brothers were married to the same woman, Draupadi. (Each brother also had multiple other wives.)
The story ends with the Pandavas and their wife, Draupadi, climbing the Holy Mountain towards Heaven. Along the way they all die except for Yudhisthira who has with him an old dog that is on its last legs. Drool drips from its mouth. Sores cover the beast’s body. Pus runs from them.
“Dogs are not allowed in Heaven,” he is told when he arrives at Heaven’s Gate.
“Then I am not coming in as I am not about to turn my back on any creature, no matter how small, that places its trust in me,” says Yudhisthira.
“Okay, you can bring in the dog,” he is told. Hearing this the dog came to his original avatar of Dharma ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dharma ) Yudhisthira passed the test.
Once in Heaven however he finds not his friends but his enemies the Kauravas.
“Where are my friends?” he asks.
“In Hell,” he is told.
He replies, “Then send me there for I would rather be in Hell with my friends than in Heaven with my enemies.”
I love that.
Imagine being in Heaven for eternity with Jimmy Swaggert that fire and brimstone TV preacher who was caught looking at hookers in hotel rooms to whom tears come so easily and so phonily (“I never touched them, I just looked,” he said) while Swaggert’s cousin Jerry Lee Lewis is downstairs in the Hellfire Club (where folks in Heaven can’t go and Swaggert is certain Jerry Lee Lewis will be) banging out “Great Balls Of Fire!” on the piano and banging thirteen year-old virgins.
You tell me who is in Hell.
The reason Hell is hot is that it is full of hot people.
The hard truth of life is that the Kauravas are still with us. They will always be with us.
No one who wants to build muscles lifts feathers.
Unlike a great many other people I have no problem with the Kauravas when I meet them.
After Yudhisthira turns his back on Heaven the Heaven he is in dissolves. It becomes the true Heaven. There he finds his friends. There he also meets The Creator of All Things.
The Creator bows to him.
“In every age, just as in every life worthy of the name, there is the effort to reestablish that equilibrium which is disturbed by the power and tyranny which a few great individuals exercise over us. This struggle is fundamentally personal and religious. It has nothing to do with liberty and justice, which are idle words signifying nobody knows precisely what…It consists not in denying these exemplars (of the past), but in absorbing them, and eventually surpassing them. Each man has to do this for himself….It is forgotten that the glorious Greeks, whom we never cease admiring, treated their men of genius more shamefully, more cruelly perhaps than any other people we know of. It is forgotten that the mystery which attaches itself to Shakespeare’s life is a mystery only because the English do not wish to admit that Shakespeare was driven mad by the stupidity, non-understanding and intolerance of his countrymen, that he finished his days in a mad-house.”–Henry Miller, AN OPEN LETTER TO SURREALISTS EVERYWHERE.
In 1981 everyone I knew turned against me.
“Do what we want you to do or we will leave,” they said.
“Goodbye,” I replied.
As they walked out I opened the copy of THE NEW TESTAMENT that lay in front of me. My eyes fell to these words: “If you walk with me everyone you know, your father, your mother, your brothers, your sisters, will turn against you. If you continue with me you will possess your self.”
“If I add this nothing will change and this is a better reason than all the rest,” I said to myself.
In that moment I committed myself to Christ.
Not to the Christ of Swaggert and his cronies. As the bumper sticker puts it, “THE CHRISTIAN RIGHT IS NEITHER.”
Neither Christian nor right.
I knew at once that until I possess my self I possess nothing. I knew also that in all of eternity the only thing any of us can truly possess is our self.
I gave up everything.
I meditated upon the Kingdom of God.
As I did I realized that if God truly exists than everything in Creation is less than God for the creation no matter how great is always less than its creator.
The immense loneliness of God washed in upon me.
I rememebered a story by Edgar Allen Poe titled THE NARRATIVE OF ARTHUR GORDON PYM. It it Poe described the immense horror of whiteness as opposed to blackness. In blackness we can imagine that we are not alone. But in whiteness we see that we are alone.
In that moment I neither believed nor dis-believed in God.
I just thought about the idea of God as a being. I realized that in all of creation God saw nothing but God.
God is all there is.
As the idea sank deeper and deeper into me I got colder and colder and colder. The cold became immense and unbearable.
Just when it reached its nadir I felt a warmth as if the warmest blanket ever had been draped over my shoulders. A wonderful soft heat infused me. In my mind a voice spoke. It said, “You are mine. I love you.”
Tears fell from my eyes.
In that moment I also realized that it did not matter whether God existed or not because in that moment I, for the first time, truly existed. I knew that I had been, that I was and that I AM.”
“This struggle is fundamentally personal and religious. It has nothing to do with liberty and justice, which are idle words signifying nobody knows precisely what…It consists not in denying these exemplars (of the past), but in absorbing them, and eventually surpassing them. Each man has to do this for himself...”–Miller.
Shortly after that my life fell completely apart.
When I arrived in Toronto in my teens a man I met in a bar told me, “You are going to celebrate your 35th birthday in a psychiatric hospital after you lose s0meone very close to you. Everyone you know will turn against you. Don’t worry about it. When you come out you will be the richest man on earth.”
I laughed at him.
After everyone I knew walked out of my life I got two offers. One came from a restaurant I had done film programs in. They were opening a new location in the fall. They asked if I would run as film program for them. The other came from an instructor at a Toronto art college. “Our students will benefit from having you here. We will give you an office and storage for your films.”
This was in March of 1980.
The original Cineforum was at 12 Mercer Street in Toronto.
I decided to shut down. It had been an exhausting year.
My sister Kathy in Hamilton agreed to store my films in her basement. Her husband, Steve, and my brothers Michael and Mark came in to take my stuff.
Michael had a Death’s Head imprinted on his face. He had come close to death many times. When he was sixteen he lived with me in Toronto for a while. The first thing he said had been, “I am going to kill myself at twenty-four so that I will make a beautiful corpse.”
I did not take him seriously. Who would?
At that age we think and say all sorts of things.
On May 22, 1981 I arrived in Hamilton for the summer.
Mike was seated in the basement of my mother’s house. He was writing something.
He looked at peace with himself.
I thought, “Whatever he has had to work through he has done it.”
The next morning, Saturday, May 23rd, 1981 I was alone at my sister’s house. Suddenly I felt an explosion of pain in my chest. An immense need for the arms of my mother washed over me.
The effect was crippling.
That night with Kathy, Steve and their kids we were watching a movie on television called THE BEAST MUST DIE. As it was ending the phone rang. Kathy got up to answer it. The man on the TV screen put a rifle into his mouth.
“Something terrible has happened to our brother,” she said.
The man on television blew his brains out.
“Stay away from her,” my mother said of a girl who arrived at the wake following my brother’s funeral.
“Why?” I asked.
“She shaved his head. He drank with her at three in the morning.”
If they drank at three in the morning they talked. If anyone knew what had happened with Mike it was her.
Intuitively I grabbed a can of shaving cream and a razor (who talks more than a barber?) and the biggeest bottle of hard liquor I could find.
We went down the street to my brother Richard’s house.
There she shaved my head bald. We drank. She poured herself out.
By the time I was bald I knew everything there was to know.
Kathy’s husband Steve was an ambulance driver. He phoned the head psychiatrist at McMaster Hospital in Hamilton.
“It is not unusual for one suicide in a family to trigger another one. It sounds like he is identifying with his brother. For his own safety you had better bring him in,” Steve was told.
The first doctor I spoke with, a woman, said, “Do you mind if I ask you a parable?”
Parables are not questions. They are stories meant to teach a basic truth. Nonetheless, I said, “Go ahead.”
“Why does a rolling stone grow no moss?”
“Because it is moving. Moss can not grow on anything moving. It can only grow on something that is still,” I replied.
Her jaw dropped.
“What is wrong?” I asked.
She said, “No one has ever answered it that way before.”
She left. I was alone for a long time. Then a second woman came in. We talked for about half an hour.
“Can I ask you a parable?” she said.
“Why does a rolling stone gather no moss?”
Her jaw dropped as well.
She left. More time passed.
Then a third woman came in. We talk for a while. Then she said, “Can I ask you a parable?”
Again I said yes and again she said, “Why does a rolling stone gather no moss?”
Her jaw dropped. She left. Time passed. A fourth woman came in.
After a bit she said, “Why does a rolling stone gather no moss?”
She left. I was alone for a long time.
I had gone in around 7 in the morning.
When she finally came back she said, “There is nothing wrong with you. But you are tired. We would like you to commit yourself.”
All through this Billy Veltzel’s words spoken to me years ago when I first arrived in Toronto had been with me.
If they came true it meant that I was not the master of my life. I was determined they not come true.
“I am not going to do that,” I said.
“Well,” she replied, “Your family has the power to commit you for ten days.”
Next I was taken to see a male psychiatrist. He was friendly. I asked that I not be given drugs. He agreed. I told him that I needed to be in contact with people in Toronto because I had programs that were supposed to happen in Toronto in the fall. “You can use the phoners in the psychiatric ward. May I ask you a parable?”
“Why does a rolling stone gather no moss?”
“You will only be here for a few days. I will see you tomorrow morning at 11am,” he said after I anwered.
Then I walked on to the psychiatric ward. My first thought stepping out of the elevator was, “Well, you know you are not crazy but the rest of these people must be or they would not be here.” My second thought was, “I bet everyone coming in here has that thought.”
I was met by another woman.
No sooner had I sat down in her office than she said, “May I ask you a parable?”
“Why does a rolling stone gather no moss?”
I said, “I am not complaining. I have been in here since 7 this morning. I have had nothing to eat or drink. I have not had a chance to go to the bathroom. I am tired. I am not complaining. It is just that if I make a mistake I want you to understand why.”
“You have been in here since 7 this morning? You have had nothing to eat or drink?”
As she went on I realized that while I thought there had been order in the process I had undergone there was none. It was completely random.
It was now around 11 pm.
She got me coffee and soup. Then I was taken to what would be my room. I slept.
The next morning word came to me that the doctor could not come by at 11.
“He will see you tomorrow,” I was told. Tomorrow came much, much later.
Then I was told to take my drugs.
I refused. I told them the doctor had agreed I would not be given drugs.
Security was called. I was stripped naked and taken to a room called The Bubble Room because it had a huge glass bubble in the door so that staff could look in without opening the door. I was in there three days and nights.
I took the drugs they gave me.
Suddenly I felt my body begin to tremble uncontrollably.
I went to the nurses. “There must be somethinmg really wrong with me. My body is shaking,” I said.
“You are overdosing on the medication we have been giving you. You have to take another medication to offset the effects,” they said.
When I first walked in I had noticed three different types of people. One set of people were going around the ward like squirrels in a cage. Another set was trembling with the shakes. The third set were in what appeared to be somnambulism; sleepwalking.
I soon knew why.
The second set of medication had me going around the halls like a squirrel in a cage.
By this time over we were well past ten days. I was there for over a month. One day a friend from Toronto came in. He got permission to take me for a ride in his car. We drove to Toronto. I did not want to return to the hospita. He insisted.
It was late at night, after midnight, when I got back.
The doctor I spoke with on returning said, “You must really appreciate the treatment you are getting here.”
“What makes you say that?” I asked.
“You did not have to return,” he said.
Hearing that I was glad I had come back. Had I not I would have thought they had power over me. I would have been running. Now that I knew I was free to go I got ready.
My father when he came by always offered me money for cigarettes (I don’t smoke) or whatever I wanted. Where before I had refused I now said yes.
When I had just enough money for bus fare I walked out, caught the bus downtown, got off at the highway intersection where I knew the bus from Hamilton to Toronto would pick me up and came to Toronto. I had nothing.
A friend let me crash at his place. It was a bold move on his part because, thanks to the effect of the medication I had been given during the month and a half I was there, I walked like Cesare in the 1919 movie THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI.
I had been told it could take up to six years for the effect of the drugs I had been given to wear off.
My aunt Janet Hartt was head nurse at the hospital in Minto, New Brunswick where I had been born. I decided it would be smart to go to Minto.
I spent the rest of the summer there. I brought my dog, Reefer, with me.
That was thirty years ago. A lot of water has passed under the bridge.
In 1968 I came across, by chance, the Wilhelm/Baynes edition of THE I CHING.
“When a sage of the highest order hears about the way he is keen to act in accordance with it. When a sage of the middle order hears about the way he half believe, half doubts. When a sage of the lowest order hears about the way he laughs loudly and says this is bullshit. If he does not laugh looudly and say this is bullshit it is not yet the true way.”–Lao Tse.
I sure did not see myself as a sage of the highest order. I did fall in love with the ideas I found expressed there. The only way I knew to discover their truth was to live them.
In 1969 I lived with my uncle, Douglas Hartt, in Ottawa for a year.
One day I bought a book on the occult in an used book store.
The girl who took my money said, “If you are interested in that there is a group meeting tonight you should check out.
That night I walked into my first meeting of THE BARTONIAN METAPHYSICAL SOCIETY. The room filled up with people. There was a huge crowd. A woman started speaking at the front. She identified herself as Dr. Winifred Barton, added that she had an ancient Atlantean spirit guide who had written a shelf load of books through her. While she spoke I looked around the room at the others there. A fellow seated on my right by the exit door, when he caught my eye on him, faded from view (as people did in the transporter beams in the TV show STAR TREK). “Intersting,” I said to myself.
I kept my eye on that spot. I saw him two more times.
At intermission I introduced myself to Dr. Barton. I told her what I had seen.
“Wait here,” she said as she left the room. Seconds later she returned with a photograph.
“Is that the man?” she asked.
“That is the caretaker. He died yesterday. Where you saw him was his favorite place to sit during our meetings.”
She invited me to join their group.
I spent a year there at the end of which I returned to Toronto. I set up a film program in Rochdale College. There I met a friend who invited me out to Hollywood, California.
I was there for a month. I took with me a unique translation of THE NEW TESTAMENT I had found at my uncle’s place in Ottawa. He had studied to be a priest before entering the civil service. He had risen to become Director General of Public works Canada.
My first night in Hollywood a fellow who thought himself God who lived at the house where I was staying said, “Do you know what was in that sandwich we just gave you? We gave you an elephant knock-out pill.”
“What is that?” I asked.
“Something you use to knock out an elephant. In a few moments you will not be able to move.”
At the end of Mark’s Gospel it is written that if they give you any deadly thing it will not harm you.
I did not care if I lived or died. I put my trust in those words. I decided that if I was not going to be able to move I had better get some place where I did not mind not moving. I composed myself, went off and found a park bench where I spent the night while the drug passed through me.
Hollywood Cemetery was close to where I was staying. There, at the grave of motion picture star Douglas Fairbanks, I spent the next two weeks studying THE I CHING in conjunction with THE NEW TESTAMENT. THE I CHING teaches that if we accept its teaching we become a child of Heaven. The gospels teach that if we accept what Jesus taught we become the begotten child of God and that our birth is not by flesh, blood nor the will now power of man but by God (JOHN 1–1–14).
I found so much in common between both books that they might as well have been the same book.`
In THE UPANISHADS (which is a commentary on The Bhagavad Gita) a father wants his son to be more than a Brahmin in name only (that is the highest order of Hindu). He sends the boy at twelve off to school. The boy returns at twenty-four, stiff, stern, conceited and proud. His teachers have told him there are no Gods, there is no God, it is all a myth and that there is nothing there. We are but meat.
The father tells his son to open a seed.
“What do you see?” he asks his son.
“Nothing,” he replies.
Says the father, “Without that nothing there would not be anyhing. That nothing permeaates everything. Without it nothing would be. That no thing is what we call God. Get me some water and some salt.”
The young man does.
The father puts the salt into the water.
“We will come back tomorrow,” he says.
The next day he says to his son, “Where is the salt we put into the water,”
“It is gone. I can not see it,” says the son.
“Taste the water,” says the father.
“I taste the salt,” says the son.
“God is like that salt. God permeates everything but can not be seen,” says the father.
Conventionally Christians and Jews think the word of God is in a book.
It is not.
Says Moses, “The word of God is not in the heavens that you should ask who has brought it down to us from the heavens. Nor is it across the sea that you should ask who has brought it across the sea to us.” Today he would add, “Nor is it in a book that you should say who has taught us to read?”
Says Moses, “The word is in your heart and in your tongue.”
Just as the acron has the blueprint of the oaktree in it so we have within us the blueprint of creation.
This is not a new idea.
Said Meister Eckhart, “We have the seed of God in us. Pear seeds produce pear trees. Hazel seeds produce hazel trees. God seeds grow Gods.”
The children of God say, “I would rather be in Hell with my friends than in Heaven with my enemies.”
And God bows down to us.
“You are mine and I love you,” he says.
Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
91 You who live in the shelter of ‘Elyon,
who spend your nights in the shadow of Shaddai,
2 who say to Adonai, “My refuge! My fortress!
My God, in whom I trust!” —
3 he will rescue you from the trap of the hunter
and from the plague of calamities;
4 he will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his truth is a shield and protection.
5 You will not fear the terrors of night
or the arrow that flies by day,
6 or the plague that roams in the dark,
or the scourge that wreaks havoc at noon.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand;
but it won’t come near you.
8 Only keep your eyes open,
and you will see how the wicked are punished.
9 For you have made Adonai, the Most High,
who is my refuge, your dwelling-place.
10 No disaster will happen to you,
no calamity will come near your tent;
11 for he will order his angels to care for you
and guard you wherever you go.
12 They will carry you in their hands,
so that you won’t trip on a stone.
13 You will tread down lions and snakes,
young lions and serpents you will trample underfoot.
14 “Because he loves me, I will rescue him;
because he knows my name, I will protect him.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him.
I will be with him when he is in trouble.
I will extricate him and bring him honor.
16 I will satisfy him with long life
and show him my salvation.”
This is true.
The one who says it is not shall find themself dust upon the wind.
In 1980 I read for the first time the Sumerian story of GILGAMESH.
In 1992, after twelve years of reflection, chance gave me the key that allowed me to write a free verse re-telling of it.
That was thanks to a young fellow named Peter Sumadh, a poet who came into my life and set fire to it. He is still setting fire to it.
I began to do readings of GILGAMESH.
At the end of one reading a man who stayed after everyone else left said to me, “You are psychic.”
“What makes you say that?” I asked.
“You used the word Buddhist and looked right at me,” he said, adding, “This place is like a university. People can learn here.”
I replied, “Some do. Most do not. What do you do?”
“I am a professor of archaeology, Egyptology and Sumerology. I am also a Tibetan Lama. I accompanied the Dalai Lama on his first journey across Canada,” he said.
“Would you care for a beer?”
“Certainly,” he said.
We talked until dawn about things most folks do not even dream about.
“You are a Crazy-Wisdom-Yogin,” he said.
“I hear crazy often enough. What does the rest of that mean?”
“It is the highest compliment I, as a Buddhist, can pay. It means that you are living absolutley the life you are teaching,” he replied.
“I would not say that as I know how far below the mark I fall. I am trying. Anything less is hypocrisy,” I said.
Years ago I came home to find my dog Reefer had lost control of his esophagus. There was food in tubes everywhere on the floor.
The vet ran tests. “The best thing you can do is put him down but if you want a second opinion take him to the vet college in Guelph,” he said.
By the time I got him back he had lost so much weight he looked like the people found in Nazi extermination camps.
“No dog in this country has survived with what he has. The best thing you can do is put him down,” said the vet.
“What about outside the country?”
“Two in The United States did,” he answered.
I replied, “If two in The United States did one in Canada will.”
We live in a world which is dying.
With faith we will bring it back from death.
On October 13, 1884 in the Vastican, Pope Leo XIII had a remarkable vision. When the aged Pontiff had finished celebrating Mass in his private Vatican Chapel, attended by a few Cardinals and members of the Vatican staff, he suddenly stopped at the foot of the altar. He stood there for about 10
minutes, as if in a trance, his face ashen white. Then, going immediately from the Chapel to his office, he composed the prayer to St. Michael, with instructions it be said after all Low Masses everywhere. When asked what had happened, he explained that, as he was about to leave the foot of the altar, he suddenly heard voices – two voices, one kind and gentle, the other guttural and harsh. They seemed to come from near the tabernacle. As he listened, he heard the following conversation:
The guttural voice, the voice of Satan in his pride, boasted to Our Lord, “I can destroy your Church.”
The gentle voice of Our Lord said, “You can? Then go ahead and do so.”
Satan said, “To do so, I need more time and more power.”
Our Lord replied, “How much time? How much power?
Satan said, “75 to 100 years, and a greater power over those who will give themselves over to my service.”
Our Lord said, “You have the time, you will have the power. Do with them what you will.”
Satan, the adversary, gave it his best shot. The church is not the Roman Catholic alone nor the Christian faith alone. It is composed of Buddhists, Hindus, Jainites, Jews, Moslems, Zoroasterians. Over the 100 years from 1888 many say they lost their faith (they never had it to lose in the first place. They are those who gave themselves over to Satan’s service. They are the Christian bigots who say God hates queers, the priests who bugger boys, the Muslim terrorists who blow up planes, and all men who poison the earth that they may profit).
Satan failed. That 100 years ended in 1988.
The tide has turned. The desert is about to bloom. There is a new day dawning. Tomorrow belongs to us.
When I got my dog back from the vet school I had a hard time getting him to understand what had happened to him. To get the weight back he had to eat dry food. I had raised him on canned food. He hated dry food. He refused to eat it.
A friend, Doris Mehegan, librarian of The Spaced Out Library (now The Merril Collection) in Toronto came by.
“I can not take any more. I am going to put him down” I told her.
“You can’t,” she said.
We argued it through. When she left she thought it best for me to put him down while I decided to give him an extension.
I went to the bathroom to wash my hands.
My dog came in, put his frront paws on the sink and, for the first time, drank from the cold water tap.
“That dog has listened and understood,” I said to myself.
I went to the kitchen and prepared his food mixing the canned with the dry.
He put his front paws on the cupboard and ate standing up.
When he had emptied the bowl I sat with him for over half an hour while the force of gravity carried the food down to his stomach.
It was a long, hard haul.
Gradually he put his weight back on.
Months passed. One day as I was preparing to feed him I heard a voice clear as a bell in my head that said, “I am okay now, you know.”
“Are you?” I asked.
One in Canada had.
All things are possible to those who have faith.
What I have done you can do also.
People say I am eccentric.
That saddens me because when they say it they imply they are not.
From ON LIBERTY by John Stuart Mill…
“The initiation of all wise or noble things comes and must come from individuals; generally at first from some one individual. The honor and glory of the average man is that he is capable of following that initiative; that he can respond to wise and noble things: I am not countenancing the sort of ‘hero worship’ which applauds the strong man of genius for forcibly seizing on the government and making it do his bidding in spite of itself. All he can claim is freedom to point the way. The power of compelling others into it is not only inconsistent with the freedom and development of the rest, but corrupting to the strong man himself. It does seem, however, that when the opinions of masses of merely average men are everywhere become or becoming the dominant power, that the counterpoint and corrective to that tendency would be the more and more pronounced individuality of those who stand on the higher eminences of thought. It is in these circumstances most especially, that exceptional individuals, instead of being deterred, should be encouraged in acting differently from the mass. In other times there was no advantage in doing so, unless they acted not only differently but better. In this age, the mere example of non-conformity, the mere refusal to bend the knee to custom, is itself a service. Precisely because the tyranny of opinion is such as to make eccentricity a reproach, it is desirable, in order to break through that tyranny, that people should be eccentric.
“Eccentricity has always abounded when and where strength of character has abounded; and the amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor and moral courage it contained. That so few now dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of the time.”
I am proud to be called eccentric. Drop by for a beer and a chat. Watch the movies here. Discover for yourself why people around the world are being told by the world’s number one travel guide, THE LONELY PLANET, that my Cineforum is # 5 0f the top 5 places ionOntario to see, # 3 of the top 5 places in Toronto see and the best place in this city to see a movie.
I don’t belong to any group or system of belief. I am neither Buddhist nor Christian nor Jew nor Moslem nor anything else.
I am something much harder to be.
I am myself.
“So long as (man) cannot operate as a savage or less than a savage, and think as a god, or better than god, he will suffer…A man who is full of God is outside of faith…When a man is truly creative he works single-handed and he wants no help. A man acting alone, on faith, can accomplish what trained armies are incapable of doing. To believe in one’s self, in one’s own powers, is apparently the most difficult thing in the world…Whenever an English artist of any value has arisen he has been marked as Public Enemy No. 1.”–Henry Miller, AN OPEN LETTER TO SURREALISTS EVERYWHERE.
A fellow studied Warner Brothers cartoons at at a university. “You scare me. I don’t want to come to your programs,” he said.
There is also a letter here from John Kricfalusi, the creator of REN & STIMPY who looked after my house and my dogs while I was in Europe in 1978:
In THE BHAGAVAD GITA, the record of the great battle the climaxces The Mahabharata Krishna says to the Kauravas, “You can have me or my armies but not both and I will not fight for you.” “What need have we of you if we have your armies?” reply the Kauravas.
To the Pandavas Krishna, “You can have me or my armies but not both and I will not fight for you.”
They reply, “What need have we of your armies if you ride with us? We won’t need you to fight for us. We can fight for ourselves.”
I am with the Pandavas.
I don’t need my father to fight my battles.