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“When you put your foot on the path of the hero the first person you meet is an older woman who helps you. The second is an older woman who harms you.”–Joseph Campbell.

The older persons can be male.

“If man has nothing to eat, fasting is the most intelligent thing he can do. If, for instance, Siddhartha had not learned to fast, he would have had to seek some kind of work today, either with you, or elsewhere, for hunger would have driven him. But as it is, Siddhartha can wait calmly. He is not impatient, he is not in need, he can ward off hunger for a long time and laugh at it. Therefore, fasting is useful, sir.” ― Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

In the mid 1960s my high school principal said, “You have the wrong attitude. If you leave this school today you will starve to death in two weeks.”

Had I not left not only would I have starved but also WIZTHEMC would not have stepped on the path that has given him the life he now enjoys.

I came to Toronto thinking I had a friend. I found I had not.

When I found myself homeless and friendless that first night I walked into a bar. I was underage by three years. I had just enough money for a beer.

No sooner had the waiter dropped a beer in front of me than the police walked in.

Across from me an older man said, “Drink your beer and talk with me.”

When the police left he said, “You are new in town. Do you have a place to stay?”

The next morning he told me to meet him that night in the same bar.

“That man you went home with last night is a terrible person,” said a man that night in the same bar.

We talked. He offered to help me find work.

When we got to his place he said, “There is a bed in the basement.”

No sooner had I gotten to the bottom of the stairs then the man said, “Turn around.”

I looked up to see him standing with a hammer in his hand. He said, “Give me what I want or I will kill you.”

My first thought was, “I’m not getting caught like this again.”

“If I had warned you, would you have believed me?” said Billy, the man I had met the first night.

I said, “Not yesterday but from now on, yes.”

In this world’s eyes Billy was a terrible person. His mother was a prostitute. At ten he was put to work giving blowjobs to her clients for extra cash. His mother had a photograph of the man she said was his father. One night a stranger in a park was sucked off by Billy for cash. It was the man in the photograph.

The poet Ranier Maria Rilke wanted a daughter instead of a son. She dressed the boy as a girl. She had him grow his hair in long golden curls. When he knocked on the door to her room she said, “Is that my naughty Ranier or my lovely Charlotte?”

Poet Robert Bly stated, “With a mother like that we either kill our-self or become a great poet.”

Billy taught emotionally disturbed children by day. He was perfect for it.

By night he met with the powerful and rich.

One day he said to me, “I am psychic.”

I was 18. I did not believe in psychic. I laughed.

Billy said, “When you turn 34 everyone you know is going to turn against you. You are going to celebrate your 35th birthday in a psychiatric hospital after you lose someone very close to you. Don’t worry about it. When you come out you are going to become the richest man on earth. In your fifties you will live in a house filled with many young men and women who through you will find their lives.”

To me then this was nonsense.

The year I turned at 34 nearly everyone I knew turning against me.

On the eve of my 35th birthday my second youngest brother killed himself.

My family had me committed against my will to a psychiatric hospital.

On my 35th birthday as I cut the cake my sister had brought in the doctor in charge said, “Do you know what is wrong with you?”

I said, “Nothing. I am on time. I am on schedule.”

The doctor looked at me perplexed. In his eyes this was madness. I knew that.

W. H. Murray, in THE SCOTTISH HIMALYAN EXPEDITION wrote, “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”

That commitment is not to church or state.

It is entirely to our self.

I made that commitment the moment I got up and walked out of the office of my high school principal.

WIZTHEMC made that commitment the moment he got on the plane in Germany:    .

That second person always warns us against the first.

Then in the moment when we most think we can trust them we find their knife at our throat.

If we survive (not all do. The bones of those who don’t litter the earth around the second person) that first person (whom we turned our back on to go with the second) says, “Had I warned you, would you have believed me?

Experience is the only teacher.

Words have big meanings and small meanings.

The small meaning of the word “rich” is having abundant possessions and especially material wealth.

The big meaning of the word “rich” is having high value or quality.

When  I cut that cake to mark my 35th birthday I learned that in terms of all the matters I am where I am meant to be.

I am not saying one can not have abundant possessions and especially material wealth.

The truly rich have had and will always continue to have abundant possessions and especially material wealth.

It is envy of the abundant possessions and especially the material wealth of others that makes us poor.

S/he who learns to live with little in times of plenty will never know poverty.

–Reg Hartt

WIZTHEMC‘s First Performance at THE CINEFORUM:


WIZTHEMC is not the only one who found his vocation at The CineForum:

PETUNIA: , , ,   ,

Alexandre Hamel (founder of LE PATIN LIBRE): . Le Patin Libre has globally revolutionized figure skating. Here they are in Toronto 2021: , .

Aditya Shankar arrived in Toronto from India. “Can I live here,” he asked Reg Hartt after he came for the cartoon festival. He lived in the same room WIZTHEMC lived in. From that room he led the fight against the religious persecution of homosexuals in India: .

Aditya Shankaar led the fight against oppression of gay men and women in India from Reg Hartt’s CineForum in Toronto where he lived at the time. .

From SIDDHARTHA by Herman Hesse:

Siddhartha went to Kamaswami the merchant, he was directed into a rich house, servants led him between precious carpets into a chamber, where he awaited the master of the house.

Kamaswami entered, a swiftly, smoothly moving man with very gray hair, with very intelligent, cautious eyes, with a greedy mouth. Politely, the host and the guest greeted one another.

“I have been told,” the merchant began, “that you were a Brahman, a learned man, but that you seek to be in the service of a merchant. Might you have become destitute, Brahman, so that you seek to serve?”

“No,” said Siddhartha, “I have not become destitute and have never been destitute. You should know that I’m coming from the Samanas, with whom I have lived for a long time.”

“If you’re coming from the Samanas, how could you be anything but destitute? Aren’t the Samanas entirely without possessions?”

“I am without possessions,” said Siddhartha, “if this is what you mean. Surely, I am without possessions. But I am so voluntarily, and therefore I am not destitute.”

“But what are you planning to live of, being without possessions?”

“I haven’t thought of this yet, sir. For more than three years, I have been without possessions, and have never thought about of what I should live.”

“So you’ve lived of the possessions of others.”

“Presumable this is how it is. After all, a merchant also lives of what other people own.”

“Well said. But he wouldn’t take anything from another person for nothing; he would give his merchandise in return.”

“So it seems to be indeed. Everyone takes, everyone gives, such is life.”

“But if you don’t mind me asking: being without possessions, what would you like to give?”

“Everyone gives what he has. The warrior gives strength, the merchant gives merchandise, the teacher teachings, the farmer rice, the fisher fish.”

“Yes indeed. And what is it now what you’ve got to give? What is it that you’ve learned, what you’re able to do?”

“I can think. I can wait. I can fast.”

“That’s everything?”

“I believe, that’s everything!”

“And what’s the use of that? For example, the fasting—what is it good for?”

“It is very good, sir. When a person has nothing to eat, fasting is the smartest thing he could do. When, for example, Siddhartha hadn’t learned to fast, he would have to accept any kind of service before this day is up, whether it may be with you or wherever, because hunger would force him to do so. But like this, Siddhartha can wait calmly, he knows no impatience, he knows no emergency, for a long time he can allow hunger to besiege him and can laugh about it. This, sir, is what fasting is good for.”

“You’re right, Samana. Wait for a moment.”

Kamaswami left the room and returned with a scroll, which he handed to his guest while asking: “Can you read this?”

Siddhartha looked at the scroll, on which a sales-contract had been written down, and began to read out its contents.

“Excellent,” said Kamaswami. “And would you write something for me on this piece of paper?”

He handed him a piece of paper and a pen, and Siddhartha wrote and returned the paper.

Kamaswami read: “Writing is good, thinking is better. Being smart is good, being patient is better.”

“It is excellent how you’re able to write,” the merchant praised him. “Many a thing we will still have to discuss with one another. For today, I’m asking you to be my guest and to live in this house.”

“The world, my friend Govinda, is not imperfect, or on a slow path towards perfection: no, it is perfect in every moment, all sin already carries the divine forgiveness in itself, all small children already have the old person in themselves, all infants already have death, all dying people the eternal life. It is not possible for any person to see how far another one has already progressed on his path; in the robber and dice-gambler, the Buddha is waiting; in the Brahman, the robber is waiting. In deep meditation, there is the possibility to put time out of existence, to see all life which was, is, and will be as if it was simultaneous, and there everything is good, everything is perfect, everything is Brahman. Therefore, I see whatever exists as good, death is to me like life, sin like holiness, wisdom like foolishness, everything has to be as it is, everything only requires my consent, only my willingness, my loving agreement, to be good for me, to do nothing but work for my benefit, to be unable to ever harm me. I have experienced on my body and on my soul that I needed sin very much, I needed lust, the desire for possessions, vanity, and needed the most shameful despair, in order to learn how to give up all resistance, in order to learn how to love the world, in order to stop comparing it to some world I wished, I imagined, some kind of perfection I had made up, but to leave it as it is and to love it and to enjoy being a part of it.”
Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

Ep. 1: Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth — ‘The Hero’s Adventure’

Ep. 2: Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth — ‘The Message of the Myth’

Ep. 3: Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth — ‘The First Storytellers’

Ep. 4: Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth — ‘Sacrifice and Bliss’

Ep. 5: Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth — ‘Love and the Goddess’

Ep. 6: Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth — ‘Masks of Eternity’   .





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