Quates from the book
1. Are you paralyzed whith fear? That's a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember the rule of thumb: The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.
2. One night I was laying down; I heard Papa talkin' to Mama; I heard Papa say, to let the boy boogie-woogie; cause it's in him, and it's got to come out.
3. There is a secret that real writer know, that wannabe writers don’t, and the secret is this: It’s not the writing part that’s hard. What’s hard is sitting down to write.
4. The enemy is a very good teacher – The Dalai Lama.
5. In the hierarchy, the artist faces outward. Meeting someone new he asks himself, What can this person do for me? How can this person advance my standing? In the hierarchy, the artist looks up and looks down. The one place he can't look is the place he must: within.
6. The Ego produces Resistance and attacks the awakening artist.
7. When we make a beginning, we get out of our own way and allow the angels to come in and do their job. They can speak to us now and it makes them happy. It makes God happy. Eternity, as Blake might have told us, has opened a portal into time. And we're it.
8. The artist and the mother are vehicles, not originators. They don't create the new life, they only bear it. This is why birth is such a humbling experience. The new mom weeps in awe at the little miracle in her arms. She knows it came out of her but not from her, trough her but not of her. (...) Instead let's ask ourselves like that new mother: What do I feel growing inside me? Let me bring that forth, if I can, for its own sake and not for what it can do for me or how it can advance my standing.
9. Eternity is in love with the creations of time
10. If we were freacked out, would we go there first?
11. In fact, we are servants of the Mystery. We were put here on earth to act as agents of the Infinite, to bring into existence that which is not yet, but which will be, through us.
12. Give the act to Me, Purged of hope and ego, Fix your attention on the soul, Act and do for me. The work comes from heaven anyway. Why not give it back?
13. Someone once asked the Spartan king Leonidas to identify the supreme warrior virtue from which all others flowed. He replied: "Contempt for death." For us as artists, read "failure". Contempt for failure is our cardinal virtue.
14. How can we tell if our orientation is territorial or hierarchical? One way is to ask ourselves, if I were feeling really anxious, what would I do? If we would pick up the phone and call six friends, one after the other, with the aim of hearing the voices and reassuring ourselves that they still love us, we're operating hierarchically. We're seeking the good opinion of others. What would Arnold Schwarzenegger do on a freaky day? He wouldn't phone his buddies; he'd head for the gym. He woulden't care if the place was empty, if he didn't say a word to a soul. He jnows that working out, all by itself, its enough to bring him back to his center. His orientation is territorial. Here's another test. Of any activity you do, ask yourself; If I wew the last person on earth, would I still do it?
15. First, let's look at what happens in a hierarchical orientation. An individual who defines himself by his place in a pecking order will: 1) Compare against all others in the order, seeking to elevate his station by advancing against those above him, while defending his place against those beneath. 2) Evaluate his happiness/success/achievement by his rnk whithin the hierarchy, feeling most satisfied when he's high and most miserable when he's low. 3) Act toward others based upon their rank in the hierarchy, to the exclusion of all other factors. 4) Evaluate his every move solely by the effect it produces on others. He will act for others, dress for others, speak for others, think for others.
Epilogue - The Artist's Life
Are you a born writter? Were you put on earth to be a painter, a scientist, an apostle of peace? In the end the question can only be answered by action.
Do it or don't do it.
It may help to think of it this way. If you were meant to cure cancer or write a symphony or crack cold fusion and you don't do it, you not only hurt yourself, even destroy yourself. You hurt your children. You hurt me. You hurt the planet.
You shame the angels who watch over you and you spite the Almighty, who created you and only you with your unique gifts, for the sole purpose of nudging the human race one millimeter farther along its path back to God.
Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It's a gift to the world and every being in it. Don't cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you've got.