Thursday, 26 June 1997, 9:52 am, Vancouver, BC
Began studying Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer last night; with the score. After having selected subject matter for today’s writing.
Awoke with Somerset Maugham’s thought in my mind that the writer can attain to be the truly free man. To be in control of one’s activities, and activities that one likes and that one has chosen, is a freedom that moves beyond the mundane necessity of money to the realm of the spiritual. Into the light of one’s very soul.
*** 11:44 am
I found myself looking at the text of Gurdjieff’s Meetings with Remarkable Men, which I had selected yesterday evening as subject matter for writing, and encountering this thought in the first text that I had highlighted:
… anyone calling himself a man must never be lazy, but, constantly devising all sorts of compromises, must struggle with his self-avowed weaknesses in order to attain the aim he has set himself: to preserve intact these two independent animals [, the wolf that is his instinct, and the sheep that is his feeling,] confided to the care of his reason, and which are, by their very essence, opposite to each other. (Introduction, p. 5)
*** 12:47 pm
For the disadvantages and dangers of the author’s calling are offset by an advantage so great as to make all its difficulties, disappointments, and maybe hardships, unimportant. It gives him spiritual freedom…. The artist is the only free man. (Maugham, The Summing Up, Ch. 50)
[My father] told me many times in my youth that the fundamental striving of every man should be to create for himself an inner freedom towards life and to prepare for himself a happy old age. (G.I. Gurdjieff, Meetings with Remarkable Men, Ch. 2)