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You have no need that any man should teach you. — 1 John 2:27

In 1968 I chanced upon THE I CHING.

In 1968 I brought home a fellow I had met by chance in a park. He had asked if it was okay to sleep in the park. I told him he could get arrested and that it was supposed to rain. Then I asked him why. He said, “My father said, ‘My way or the highway.’”

I said, “You are welcome to come with me but before you do you should know that I am sleeping on the balcony of a one bedroom apartment filled with homosexuals. No one will bother you but you should know that before you walk in.”

He was a good looking fellow. Naturally, everyone made moves. I figured if he wanted to go with one of them that was his business. “You know, I have never done this before,” he said when we got to my balcony. I said, “As far as I know, you are not doing it now.” He said, “You don’t understand. I want to.”

That was in 1968. When he died in 2002 I felt his passing. The next day his sister called to tell me his last thoughts were of me.

He took me to a party where I saw a man reading THE I CHING. I bought my first copy the next day. It can be found online: .

One of the many things THE I CHING teaches is that learning and doing must be united otherwise both are dead. This is the same as the saying, “Faith without works and works without faith are dead.”

I was 22. As I read and thought about the ideas in THE I CHING I found myself drawn to live the life it teaches.

That same year, 1968, I went to newly opened ROCHDALE COLLEGE in Toronto to meet Judith Merril, the editor of THE YEAR’S BEST SF (Science/Speculative Fiction): , .

Judy and I became friends for life. From her I learned that Rochdale College had begun as a student high rise. Along the way it morphed into the boldest experiment ever in alternate education. Each Rochdalian was called to be their own teacher. This aligned perfectly with what THE I CHING teaches.

That same year, 1968, the family of Robert and Jane Jacobs arrived in Toronto from New York. They had come to Toronto to keep their sons from being sent to Vietnam.

I did not know until two years later that Mrs. Jacobs was the author of the pivotal book THE DEATH AND LIFE OF GREAT AMERICAN CITIES ( , , ).

The Jacobs family had come to see a presentation I was giving at my venue THE PUBLIC ENEMY of the 1923 silent film THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME with Lon Chaney. They came every week after that.

In an interview published in Canada’s national newspaper, THE GLOBE AND MAIL, Mrs. Jacobs stated, “I had wonderful teachers in the first and second grades who taught me everything I know. After that, I’m afraid, the teachers were nice, but they were dopes.”

She’s not alone in saying that.

“My schooling not only failed to teach me what it professed to be teaching, but prevented me from being educated to an extent which infuriates me when I think of all I might have learned at home by myself.” — George Bernard Shaw.

“Men are born ignorant, not stupid. They are made stupid by education,” — Bertrand Russell.

“School is an institution built on the axiom that learning is the result of teaching. And institutional wisdom continues to accept this axiom, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary,” — Ivan Illich.

“We get three educations. The first is from our parents; the second is from our schoolmasters. The third is from life. The last makes liars of the first two.” — Montesquieu.

“Film students should stay as far away from film schools and film teachers as possible. The only school for the cinema is the cinema.” — Bernardo Bertolucci.

“Most teachers say you should go to school to get your degree to have something to fall back on. Aside from being a huge lie, that also creates a very high level of mediocrity, because nobody who really believes that is going to take the leap of faith required to be a serious artist. Stay out of school.” — Ellis Marsalis to his sons Branford, Delfeayo and Wynton.

David Mamet: “The American educational process prepares those with second-rate intellects to thrive in a bureaucratic environment. Obedience, rote memorization, and neatness are enshrined as intellectual achievements.”

David Mamet, “Like the belief of the terminally ill in medicine, the belief of the legitimately frightened in the educational process is a comforting lie.”

“So we shall let the reader answer the question for himself, ‘Who is the happier man? He who has braved the storm of life and lived, or he who has stayed securely on the shore and merely existed?” — Hunter S. Thompson (FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS) in his high school year book at 17.

By far the vast number of humanity stays securely on the shore and merely exists.

One morning in 1965 my high school principal roared at me from across his desk, “You have the wrong attitude. If you leave this school today you will starve in two weeks.”

Had I not left I would have starved.

When I read Charles Chaplin’s MY AUTOBIOGRAPHY I learned that Chaplin his his youth thought the doors open to the children of the powerful and rich closed to him until he read Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay ON SELF RELIANCE. Wrote Chaplin, “It was as if I had been handed a golden birthright.”

“The reliance on Property, including the reliance on governments which protect it, is the want of self-reliance.” Ralph Waldo Emerson writes in ON SELF-RELIANCE, “Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life’s cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another you only have an extemporaneous half possession. That which each can do best, none but his Maker can teach him. No man yet knows what it is, nor can, till that person has exhibited it. Where is the master who could have taught Shakespeare? Where is the master who could have instructed Franklin, or Washington, or Bacon, or Newton? Every great man is unique. The Scipionism of Scipio is precisely that part he could not borrow. Shakespeare will never be made by the study of Shakespeare. Do that which is assigned you, and you cannot hope too much or dare too much…

“Whoso would be a man, must be a nonconformist. He who would gather immortal palms must not be hindered by the name of goodness, but must explore if it be goodness. Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world. I remember an answer which when quite young I was prompted to make to a valued advisor who was wont to importune me with the dear old doctrines of the church. On my saying, ‘What do I have with the sacredness of traditions, if I live wholly from within?’ my friend suggested, ‘ — But these impulses may be from below, not from above,’ I replied. ‘They do not seem to me to be such; but if I am the Devil’s child, I will then live as one from the Devil.’ No law can be sacred to me but that of my own nature. Good and bad are but names transferable to that or this; the only right is what is after my constitution; the only wrong what is against it…I am ashamed to think how easily we capitulate to badges and names, to large societies and dead institutions.

I love the courage in these words: “if I am the Devil’s child, I will then live as one from the Devil.” It means let me be true to myself.

We are told by Jesus there is a way that seems right to men but the end of it is death.

Most think that way is the way of the world.

It isn’t.

A man or woman getting up every morning to take care of their family is living with more faith than we will find in a monastery. More courage as well.

In THE UPANISHADS a father wants his son to be a Brahman in more than name only. He sends the boy away at twelve to learn how to read and write. The boy returns at twenty-four. He is stiff, stern, conceited and proud. The boy tells him the gods do not exist, that there is nothing. The sterile seed that too often is academia was known to the writers of THE UPANISHADS.

The father takes a seed. He says to his son, “Open it.”

The son does.

The father says, “What do you see?”

The son says, “Nothing.”

The father says, “Without that nothing there would not be anything.”

In one of his letters the apostle out of time, Paul, wrote, “Here is the great secret: God made everything from nothing.”

We, you and I, came out of nothing. We return to nothing.

Here, now, in this moment we are.

In THE WAY OF THE TAO Lao Tze writes, “The farmer is in harmony with the TAO but does not know it.”

To be in harmony with the Tao and to know it is almost impossible.

Improvement makes straight roads; but the crooked roads without improvements are the paths of genius.” — William Blake.

People hearing the word preached confuse “strait” with “straight.”

Walking the crooked path of the strait and narrow becomes walking the straight and narrow…

Matthew 7:13–14 King James Version (KJV)

13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

We have too many preachers who preach falsely. What they say seems right. Many, including themselves, are deceived by their preaching.

The thing about the strait path is that it is far from straight.

It is crooked, winding, and dangerous.

It is so narrow only one can walk it at a time.

It takes courage to walk the strait and narrow.

“There is more faith in honest doubt than in all the creeds and world’s religions combined as one and more doubt in honest faith than in all the world’s Marxist, atheistic hand books.”-Aldous Huxley, THE DEVILS OF LOUDON.

We humans are the only animal on the planet which consciously doubts itself.

We live in a world drowning in criticism.

Said Jean Cocteau, “Whatever people criticize in your work keep it. That part is from you.”

Like Jane Jacobs I learned everything I needed to know from my first and second grade teachers.

My first grade teacher was the wife of the principal. One day she asked us to draw stick figures of men and women. While everyone else drew conventional stick figures I put our gear on my men and breasts on my women. I drew stick figure nudes. She said to me on seeing them, “Ah, you are an artist.”

In today’s climate she would be arrested and I would get sent to therapy.

When I got to grade two the teacher seeing my nudes said, “You have a dirty mind.” She beat me.

At seven I knew had I been doing something wrong my first grade teacher would have told me. At seven I learned a teacher could be wrong.

I also knew that when a teacher is wrong we take the beating. We do not change.

Like Mrs. Jacobs I found most of my teachers were dopes. Not all. Two were not.

“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 №1.”-Henry Miller, AN OPEN LETTER TO SURREALISTS EVERYWHERE, THE COSMOLOGICAL EYE.

Not too many people got a fan letter from Jane Jacobs. I got several. Canadian publishers tell me there is no market in Canada for my work. I self-published this. I have printed several thousand copies. That is several thousand more copies than are published of most books in Canada.

In a piece published in Canada’s national newspaper, THE GLOBE AND MAIL, Michael Valpy stated, “REG HARTT is what living in a metropolis is all about. He personifies the city as a meeting place of ideas, as a feast of experience and discussion and debate, as a triumph of the original and provoking over the banal and soporific.”

The thing about the banal and soporific is that it always put numbers the original and the provoking.

We are awash on an ocean of mediocrity.

Arthur Conan Doyle wrote mediocrity recognizes nothing but itself.

“That is not true,” states David Ogilvy in his book CONFESSIONS OF AN ADVERTISING MAN. He writes, “Mediocrity always recognizes what is better than itself and always seeks to destroy it.”

While most people reject faith in themselves now and then comes one or two who understand we have no choice but to have faith (trust) in our selves.

Generally such are dismissed as heretics. Often they — we — are murdered.

Those murdered bodies rot as the body of Socrates rotted after he drank the poison.

The ideas of those men and women do not die.

“Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds events. Small minds discuss people,” stated Eleanor Roosevelt.

The greatest minds discuss all three with love.

Small minds demand sinners be punished. Average minds are not certain. Great minds recognize we are all sinners and miss the mark. Great minds forgive.

Too many look rich, think poor.

The uninformed speak of the straight and narrow.

The informed speak of the strait and narrow.

We don’t have to seek that path. We are born walking it.

You have no need that any man should teach you.

That said, I have learned through many people.

Turn from the straight and narrow to the long and winding road.

THE BEATLES, as with so much they did, nailed it:

Let it be,

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