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Sunday Feb 04, 2007

Dragons and Demons

From my upcoming book for artists:

If you have been a follower instead of a leader, what did you expect?

Bruce Lee, the iconic martial artist, understood that any system of mindless tradition, or style, has the baggage of limitations, and that no style was the ultimate, limitless expression of his art form. Still, no matter how many opponents—dragons—Lee defeated, he knew he would find no peace until he defeated the demon within. For our purpose the dragon is an external adversary, and the demon dwells only from within.

Contrary to the stereotype of the artist as a damaged lone figure, a hapless victim of misunderstanding, or a weak sister—a creator of art is no less a warrior than a Samurai who maintains an unwavering allegiance to his own code of conduct. Every creator must face the inner demon, or what is the point?

Buddha and Jesus, to test the truth of their convictions, faced their demons, too.