Last Performance

The Last Performance of

The Late Don Potts

Taken from:

The Autobiographical Account of
     “Man Becoming Elephant”

As a flower must give way to
the birth of a seed, so too, the
boy must give way to the birth
of the man...

Yet the seed is not the end
product; it to must die for the
birth of its like-parent, the tree,
the source of the forest. So too...

I intuitively knew that
becoming a man, however
great the fruits of his actions
might be, was not the end
product of my
existence:
I knew that the man must
die if I was ever to experience,
within the framework of my
own consciousness, the birth
of my like parent, immortality,
the never ending source of the
forest which I had become.


I had lived through a half a century. I had fathered two sons who were now becoming men. I had remarried and left the exoteric world. Upon leaving, I told my wife that we were entering the forest. It is a tradition in India that when a man reaches a certain age he leaves his family, friends, and worldly responsibilities to enter the forest seeking spiritual enlightenment. I told my wife that I would be her guide but there were no guarantees. A tiger might eat us just three steps in. She replied that she had chosen me for her husband knowing full well that with me, her life would be lived on the edge. She was aware that her choice represented a desire to abandon the false security of a comfortable existence.

Entering the forest was my way of expressing a desire to step into the unknown; to leave the apparently secure world of synthetic rules and regulations and move into a truly secure world based on natural law. As I was a western man, I did not wish to disappear into the hidden world of the recluse, as the tradition in India, but rather, to enter the deep peaceful world of natural law while maintaining an appropriate relationship with its frightened surface.

I had left the exoteric world—indeed a good move—but I had not yet killed the man.

Man is mortal; as such, he will surely die. Many tigers lie hidden within the forest, hungrily waiting to fulfill that destiny. Living in the forest as a man is certainly not a secure position. The forest has a way of accelerating things. To be devoured by a tiger would simply be a recycling—not fulfillment… not death. To truly die, I would have to take the matter into my own hands. What would I do? The concept of spiritual death and rebirth is such an abstract thing.

The answer quickly swelled up within me. I was to destroy my most prized body of work, which was entitled “My First Car.”

The Master Chassis

 

The Stainless Steel Body

 

The Fabric & Steel Body

 

The Basic Chassis

This series of four car-like sculptures had received much acclaim within the art world and represented my total existing bid for fame and financial security. My ego was completely tied up in these things. Yet, I had to confess I was tired of dealing with them. I had often fantasized their destruction. I had even sensed their destruction was destined but had never understood why. Now it was obvious—these sculptures represented the boy who had fulfilled his desire by becoming a man. Now it was time for the man himself to die.

Then came the tests. Life immediately intervened to give my decision power.

I received a telephone call from an international airline pilot named Allen Hamilton. He said he was starting a new business—a company that would organize and tour art exhibits throughout East Asia and at the same time, he was establishing a working relationship with Arrow of Japan The major company which tours art exhibits throughout Japan’s larger cities.

Allen proposed to make an immediate payment of $25,000 if I would lend his company “My First Car” and $1,000 a day plus travel expenses whenever I joined the tour.

“My First Car” had been exhibited in at least twenty one-man shows in major museums throughout the United States and Europe. Never once had there been any mention of pay. An unspoken agreement existed between museum and gallery officials that I should be honored by these opportunities to show my art and required no further compensation. And honored I was. But Allen’s offer represented a new honor—An honor that I had seen only in my dreams.

Allen then told me that he was flying to Japan the next day and would return in three to four weeks. While in Tokyo, he would speak with a close friend who had just completed a couple of sales to a racing car collector (the third largest individual taxpayer in Japan) who had paid one million five hundred thousand ($1,500,000) US dollars per car. Allen felt that this man would be quite interested in my work, but not at the present price, which was a mere three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000). He felt that five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) was a far more appealing figure. I agreed, but told him to get back to me as quickly as possible, as I was preparing to destroy the cars. I explained my reasoning somewhat and Allen replied that he once had a roommate in college, who was an artist, so he was familiar with that kind of crazy thinking, and would call me as soon as he returned to LA (Los Angeles).

As soon as I hung up the phone I realized that I had just witnessed my first test and had already regressed. My ego had told Allen to get back to him soon. Allen had fed my neglected ego and it was desperate. I had three to four weeks until Allen’s return and I still had to deal with my agent, Diana Fuller. “Could I convince my ego to surrender to the correctness of my action?” This much I did know. I had to act quickly and silently as possible—like a tiger. Too much was at stake.

Diana had been very close to me through the years. She had been my agent, my benefactor—my angel. She trusted me. But I knew I couldn’t tell her exactly what I was about to do… it would stretch her to far. I then composed and sent the following letter. It was October 13, 1987.

    Dear Diana,

    The conversation we had on the phone the other day has aroused thoughts in regards to the cars—further exhibitions, sales, etc. To be honest, the cars that we loved so much have become over the years more of a bother than a source of joy. I’m sure this is true from your point of view also. Of course, I realize that being a businesswoman who has invested in these works and could profit greatly, their possible sale has been a good incentive to cover over the obvious truth. I would very much like to see you receive the approximately twenty five thousand ($25,000) invested and a sizable profit. I could also use some return on my investment, especially since I am flat broke and in debt. But I have to admit being broke is not my greatest concern at the present time. At this time, I am more concerned with structuring my life in terms of greater happiness and bliss.

    So the conclusion I have reached is: I do not wish you to arrange any further exhibitions of “My First Car”. I do have the desire to see your investment returned to you in hard cash and I have complete faith that all my desires will be fulfilled.

    The following is a possible solution that I would like to present to you.

    • The retail price of “My First Car”…
      $300,000
    • Subtract 20% making it wholesale…
      $240,000
    • Subtract your 40% commission…
      $144,000
    • Subtract your $25,000 investment…
      $119,000
    • Subtract 50% for old time sake…
      $59,000

    Diana, I would be willing to sell you “My First Car” for $59,000, CASH.

    If you are interested, please let me know by the end of October 1987. If I do not get a positive response by then, I’ll consider the idea absurd and withdraw it. Then as soon as possible, I’ll arrange to take the cars off your hands. I do realize the storage is expensive and a possible burden to you.

    Sincerely, Yours truly,
    Love, Don Potts

Then the wait… a long two weeks. One evening, just before going to bed, I happened to go out to my studio to get something when the phone rang. It was Diana. It had been a cold October day, I was in my underwear and my little studio, a ten foot by twelve foot shed, had no heat. I was completely taken by surprise. What followed was one of the most difficult, yet exciting, two hours of my life.

At times, I shook so violently from cold that I could hardly hold on to the phone. Nervous perspiration continually ran down my arms and dripped onto the floor. My head, swelling with emotion, could hardly think. Diana said she was desperate and almost begged me not to withdraw the cars. She had apparently lost a great deal of money in a recent fall of the stock market and selling the cars was her big hope. She was very emotional and it was not only because of the financial pressure. She said selling the cars was important to her. It had to do with her self-esteem. For twenty-one years she had lived with this challenge and was very reluctant to let it go.

Cleverly she worked me this way and that, but never unfairly. She was a powerful woman and even under stress her power came through. I on the other hand, was looking for my power and was in the middle of a supreme test. I did find it, even though at times I almost lost it. At one point I actually tried to give her two of the four sculptures that comprised “My First Car,” just to relieve the pressure. But perhaps because she thought she might turn me around and get them all, or perhaps because of her love for the work, and me, she said that it would be a shame to break them up. I quickly came to my senses and never mentioned the subject again.

We could have continued talking all night, but at one point, on the verge of tears, Diana said it was all becoming to emotional. She couldn’t take it any longer and would have to hang up and call back the next day.

We never discussed the subject again. An employee, from her gallery, called the next day, but it was over

I quickly sent her the following letter, dated October 28, 1987

    Dear Diana,

    • “My First Car” is no longer available—it has been withdrawn from the market.
    • The Cars and I have only been a part of your involvement in art, your gallery, etc.
    • You and the gallery have only been a part of my involvement with the cars, art, etc.
    • You have made many decisions based on the larger, on the whole, and I as a part had to accept these decisions.

    And now,

    • I have made a decision based on the larger, on the whole, and you as a part must accept my decision…

The letter went on about our financial agreement etc., but in the end, I mentioned that her gallery had been my only contact with the art world, and that I had given her my complete trust. But now I must go, and for her happiness she should let me go, because I had a destiny.

It was over, but I still could not predict how Diana might react. Too many powerful, overshadowing forces were at work within her. Under normal circumstances, she probably would have resigned herself in an attitude of complete trust, but being extremely upset emotionally, and also financially strapped, she could easily slip into an elusion of being victimized. I could not take any chances. I had to destroy the cars as soon as possible.

I was in Fairfield, Iowa. The Cars were in Oakland California and all I had was one hundred dollars to get from Iowa to California, do the job, and return home. It appeared to be an impossible task, but it all fell into place.

I sent the word, of my needs, out to my friends and within hours I got two wonderful responses.

First, I was told that there was a one-way flight to Los Angeles from Chicago with Graf Airfreight for only fifty dollars, but because there was only one ticket available a day, I might possibly have a two to three week wait. I called immediately and was not surprised to learn that they just received a cancellation. I could leave in a week.

Next I was told that an old friend wanted her sedan driven from Los Angeles to Fairfield. I made the call and found that she was willing to pay for the gas and all my expenses, She would park the car at a motel with shuttle bus service that ran to and from the airport. Behind the motel’s desk she would leave, in a envelope marked with my name, the keys and enough cash to get me to Fairfield Iowa. Travel expenses would be nil once I reached LA.

The hardest part had been accomplished, but getting  to Chicago was not easy. I couldn’t find any rides. The cheapest way to Chicago that I could find was by bus from Iowa City for thirty-five dollars, which meant that I would have only fifteen dollars left

I called a few metal salvage yards in the Bay area and found one that was willing to crush my cars into small rectangular blocks for thirty dollars. I figured I could get the remaining fifteen dollars somewhere.

I could stay in Fremont, California with my in-laws, who loved to feed me. All that remained was to call the storage company and make arrangements for the release of the cars—but I found myself reluctant. I felt I might be letting the cat out of the bag. So I decided to take my chances. I would just walk in and ask for the cars… After all I was the artist. There shouldn’t be any problem.

To be honest, I don’t recall if I ever considered how I would get the cars from Oakland, across the bay bridge, and into the San Francisco salvage yard. But the San Francisco bay area was my old stomping grounds, so I guess I figured that once I got back there it would all work out.

I then wrote a letter to Allen Hamilton, who was due to arrive back in LA. In effect, the message read, “Thank you… I’m sorry… but the cars will have been destroyed by the time you read this letter.”

Then the day came and off I went with a loaf of homemade bread, a canning jar full of yummy spread and a kitchen knife that was confiscated at the airport.

Twenty hours later, I stepped out of my friends sedan in Fremont, California. I had survived a bus ride that stopped in every other little town on its route to Chicago; a noisy subway; jet lag; a couple of hours trying to get back my wife’s favorite kitchen knife back from the airline; and a five hour drive from LA to Fremont. I was very tired, but only forty-five minutes away from “My First Car.” I found I was too wound up to sleep, so I decided to go the distance and drive to Oakland. I arrived shortly after 7:30 am, finished off the homemade bread and yummy spread, and waited patiently for the warehouse to open.

To my surprise, I found they were expecting me. Scott. The owner, handed me the following letter, dated November 3, 1987:

    Dear Scott,

    We would like to formally release to Don Potts, or whomever he elects, the following sculpture:

    • Master Chassis
    • Stainless Steel Body
    • Fabric and Steel Body

    We will not be responsible for the release charges , but will pay the rent through November.

    We will not release the wooden body, known as the Basic Chassis, as we consider it to be our property in lieu of debt and original investment. We will continue to pay the storage on this work.

    Thank you,
    Diana

Fortunately for me, Diana was sharp and moved quickly—as Scott was prompt to explain. He was bound by contract and could not have released the cars without her written permission. Yet one chassis was now beyond my reach. Diana had no right to keep the piece, but she was deeply hurt and her reaction was understandable. I intuitively felt that if I were to pursue this issue, I would probably have to take her to court. There must be another way. I then revealed my plans to Scott.

His response was very enthusiastic and he innocently remarked, “We could have an accident.” But it didn’t take us long to realize that he would be liable—ending that idea. I must admit that, on one level, I was secretly pleased that the Basic Chassis might still live. I found myself immediately shifting the conversation to the removal and ultimate destruction of the three available chassis. As soon as Scott became aware of my financial situation, he immediately volunteered his company’s flat bed truck, which he thought was available the next day. Everything seemed to be working out, so we went up stairs to where the cars were stored.

The cars were hung vertically from ceiling to floor in a cramped mezzanine. Each consumed the space of a full-scale car. They appeared to be huge, hibernating mechanical beings. Covered with dusty translucent plastic that hid the glow of their immaculate surface, I could barely discern their exquisite form. And yet—as always, when first confronting the cars, I was struck by a sense of awe…

Was I to destroy
                  
these works?

My mind immediately had taken a backward twist, tasting the pride I had often felt as their creator… Then recovering—with a renewed sense of conviction and understanding of what I was now becoming—I softly responded with a yes.

When I arrived the following morning, I was again met by Scott.  He handed me a credit card and keys to his personal pickup truck. Said he was sorry, but the company’s flat bed truck had already been scheduled, but his pickup was equipped with a strong hitch and a rental yard a block or two away had a perfect trailer for the job.

After picking up the trailer, I immediately returned to the warehouse and found every one gone except the secretary, who let me in. While ushering me into the storage space, she explained that Scott and the boys had left to pick something up, and assured me that he would not be gone very long. Smiling, she also left the warehouse, shutting the door behind her. I was alone. Fate had given me a chance.

The three released chassis had already been moved to the ground floor. I assumed that the Basic Chassis was still on the mezzanine, and ironically, I found myself starring at an open box of wrenches. Instinctively I knew exactly what to do. I quickly removed a rear wheel from the “Master Chassis”—which was identical to that of the “Basic Chassis,” except that its surface was black chrome, instead of highly polisher yellow brass and a large sprocket was mounted directly to the hub, which was designed to receive the power of the engine.

I quickly went up stairs, exchanged wheels, removed my insignia from the “Basic Chassis” and drew a deep scar on one of the bulkheads with a key. Returning down stairs, I removed all the wheels from the remaining chassis and placed them in a pile so no one would notice I had exchanges wheels. Scott and the boys arrived soon after, while I was busy removing the insignias from the remaining three chassis.

Scott’s warehouse was dedicated solely to the storage and shipment of expensive art objects. His employees were very experienced and handled my cars on many previous occasions. Under normal conditions, before a car was moved, Scott would have designed a strategy and then all would work together as a team to guarantee the safety of the piece. Instead, without mentioning a word, Scott drove a forklift truck right up to the “Master Chassis,” which weighed over five hundred pounds, and inserting the forks into the central negative space within its framework. He lifted the car up, drove into the street, and plopped it onto the trailer.

His moves were clean and precise, but it was obvious that large amounts of hand rubbed lacquer had been stripped of the car’s immaculate surface. His employees, veteran art handlers, appeared to be in shock. Quickly, Scott went after the next chassis.

Inspecting the damage, the trusted movers glanced at me in disbelief. I smiled as Scott returned with the next chassis. He place it directly upon the “Master Chassis” and went after the third.

After Scott had deposited the final chassis on the pile, he issued orders to tie down the load and remove any loose part that might fall off. The boys gently and lovingly tied down the cars while the forklift was put away. When Scott returned he said, “This isn’t tight enough,” and proceeded to retie the entire load, using the full weight of his body to clinch it down. He then instructed his employees to get the wheels and throw them onto the back of his pickup. As I drove off, the boys still appeared a little glassy eyed and disoriented.

When I arrived at the salvage yard I was informed that the car crusher had broken down, and that my only option that day was to add my cars to the mountain of entangled metal that engulfed five acres of greasy soil and railroad tracks; first however, I’d have to wait until the foreman returned from lunch; while waiting I should remove all parts made of rubber.

I pulled my rig of to the side and began removing tires, hoses, etc. While doing so, I witnessed tons of metal arriving in rigs, which ranged in size from those as large as dump trucks, to others as small as a hand-rolled wheelbarrow. Just about every one had a question or two about my museum pieces. And being the person I am, I went to great lengths to answer all inquiries. These fellows were not accustomed to the boundary-breaking mentality of the artist and were even more confused than Scott’s boys, the art handlers, but all were extremely polite and appeared quite honored to have such a unique private showing, complete with full discourse.

After some time an old relic of a flat bed truck which sagged from years of constant overloading, and filled with old washer and dryers, quickly pulled out of line and came to an abrupt halt besides me. A man with a big grin on his face jumped out of the truck and rushed over to me saying, “That’s a McCullan drone engine, isn’t it?”

I replied, “Yes!” The man proceeded to go through the chassis, proudly naming all the surplus parts I had used and the type of aircraft or ground vehicle from which they had come.

After he finished his cataloging, he commented on the various ways I had played with the engineering of the chassis. He even noticed the unique way I had designed the suspension, causing the delicate wheels to lean or dig into a turn like a bicycle when the cassis negotiated a high-speed turn.

Then he admired the craftsmanship and commented on the subtle details of the chassis design—its organic qualities.

To complete his dissertation, he expounded on the aesthetics of each car and the interrelationships each had with the others, etc., etc.

By now I was becoming extremely suspicious. This man was a little too unreal. No one had ever seen my cars—especially in their totality—as he did. When was he going to turn blue, pull a wooden flute out of the air and start dancing… Lord Krishna?.

When finished, he theatrically walked over to me and softly asked, “What are you doing here… in a junk yard?” Feeling as though I had just emerged from a dream, I provided a full explanation, making certain to describe the necessity of sacrificing the ego to allow the birth of immortality, etc. The man smiled as I spoke. He appeared to understand me completely. But then, of course, he was a junkman. He knew perfectly well, from first hand experience, that the vehicles through which we gratify and display our egos today would eventually become tomorrow’s junk…

After a sweet period of silence, I told him that I was a San Francisco native. He asked me where I had lived and it turned out that I grew up on what had been his grandfather’s farm, before it was paved over, covered with rows of houses and name the Excelsior District. He himself had grown up just a couple of blocks from my old grammar school. I walked by his house on the way home from school.

By now the coincidences were too numerous to be considered merely accidental. I concluded that this fellow was defiantly an emissary of grace. In his eyes, I had done well. Through him I received the final farewell. This amazing junkman had just certified the completion of my manhood.

“It looks like the foreman wants to talk with you,” he said, drawing me out of my introspection. Sure enough, the foreman had finally returned and was waving me over.

The foreman was sorry about the crusher’s breakdown; if I wanted to add the cars to his heap of metal, that would be fine with him and there would be no charge; but if I still wanted to compress them into small blocks, it might be a few days before the crusher was back into operation. I said, “Sure, just add them to the the pile.” He waved OK to the crane operator, who just prepared to release the last of my friend’s washers and dryers from his gigantic electromagnet onto the mountain of scrap… My divine friend was gone.

Then it was my turn. The electromagnet floated over to my vehicle with amazing precision, but could not lift the sculptures from the trailer. The cars were too skeletal; not enough metal touched the electromagnet to compensate for their weight. The best the crane operator could do was to clumsily drag the cars off the trailer into the greasy dirt, then alternately raise and drop the magnet onto them, in attempt to crush them. I was told to move my rig and I nearly drove off without looking back. Realizing that this was premature, I pulled to the side and returned by foot to watch the finish. The three chassis required quite a lot of beating before they were flat enough to lift. As they rose into the air, stuck to the underside of a 10-foot wide multi- ton electromagnet, the cars looked as insignificant as slapped mosquitoes…

I left the sacred burial ground in the middle of the afternoon. It was November 6, 1987. Twenty years ago to the day, and quite possibly to the hour, I had been initiated into the Holy Tradition of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

After returning to Oakland, I went directly to the rental yard to return the trailer, as I approached the counter to pay what I owed, a typical Berkeley character, that looked like a cross between a street bum and a brilliant PhD. Student, stepped behind the desk.

He whipped out my paper work, made some quick calculations and looking straight into my eyes, said, “Ten dollars”… I knew that couldn’t be right. The minimum had to be at least thirty dollars. Sure enough, another employee, who looked like a jock, took notice of this ridicules statement and immediately came over to question him… but before the jock could open his mouth, my strange new friend looked at him and said, “Look—that’s what I’m charging him—OK?” The jock shrugged his shoulders and backed off. I paid with Scott’s credit card and warmly thanked the man. He said no more. He simply smiled and his eyes followed me out the door.

When signing the release at the warehouse I happily discovered, written boldly across the middle of the page, the final message of the day… “Release charges waved—Scott.”

I arrived home in Fairfield, Iowa with two dollars in my pocket. I had completed my task. All that was left of “My First Car” was some old bones in a dusty warehouse.

My performance was a successful blow to my ego. It had been abandoned. It now knew without a doubt that it no longer ruled my life. The intent of a higher, more auspicious entity now occupied that position of honor.

The following day, I found this letter from Diana within a stack of accumulated mail. It was dated November 3, 1987—three days before the destruction of “My First Car.”

    Dear Don:

    After discovering your speed of movement and ability to make decisions ignoring tangible facts, we have thought better of our previous letter.

    Your withdrawal of the cars has interrupted a potential sale, the kind that has taken two months to set up. We have tried to understand the strange timing, etc., but cannot.

    We have released the two bodies and the Master Chassis to you and will hold the Basic Chassis in exchange for our original investment and debts incurred.

    We will comply with California state law and repay you 5% of any moneys received from the resale.

    We are sorry that the decisions you have just made have brought our long relationship into such jeopardy and only wish you the best.

    Best.
    Diana

I found that each paragraph of this letter evoked a deep response within me. I decided to write her, candidly responding to the points she had raised.

    November 12, 1987

    Dear Diana,

    I know you’re going through hard times, and I have great compassion for you because of my love for you. But I will not pity you, for I respect both you and myself to much. I wish to speak to you, and your letter dated November 3rd represents to me a perfect format. I will respond to each paragraph of your letter one at a time.

      Paragraph 1

      After discovering your speed of movement and ability to make decisions ignoring tangible facts, we have thought better of our previous letter.

    My response

    I was amazed at the accuracy of your perception. I was never been so honored. I was also taken back as it was totally unexpected. You had mentioned on the phone a short time earlier that you were desperate and related your desperation to the falling of the stock market, etc. I had, since that time, the opinion that you were caught up in the snare of the illusion, in maya, in what could be called “tangible facts” and felt that you were being victimized, that all was lost, etc. I was amazed that you had made such a dramatic turnaround, grabbed your bootstraps (so to speak) and pulled yourself out of the mud, out of what most feel is the reality of life and entered into a form of enlightenment. This apparently was a sudden flash of awareness and the letter conceived a short time earlier in an unenlightened state of consciousness was better off left unsent. This paragraph excited me and I read on with enthusiasm.

      Paragraph 2

      Your withdrawal of the cars has interrupted a potential sale, the kind that has taken two months to set up. We have tried to understand the strange timing, etc., but cannot.

    My response

    Again I was taken back, only this time confused. Surly you must have understood the timing. If I had understood your apparent enlightenment correctly, it had to be this perfectly timed series of apparently tragic events that triggered the rejection of your old way of thinking and sparked the realization of the truth, ie., that there are no so-called tangible facts. Anything can appear tangible within an area of an illusion. Truth is found by going beyond so-called tangible facts. I then realized that I had totally misread the first paragraph. You had not honored me but instead you thought of me as a fool, a stupid fool. I was quite sadden. I felt the misery you must be experiencing. I also thought of the other party with which I was involved, who was in Japan try to sell the cars and at the same time arranging a possible tour with Arrow of Japan through Southeast Asia (Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sidney, etc.) through his own company. I felt his disappointment also. And to be quite frank, he was the one I had already chosen to represent me. You were already out of the picture. You say you’ve been developing a sale for two months. I’m amazed you never bothered to ask if the cars were available. Do you not recall our conversation on the phone months earlier, when I said I did not wish you to handle my work any longer, and you demanded that you still receive ten percent of the gross? Surly you have not forgotten.

      Paragraph 3

      We have released the two bodies and the Master Chassis to you and will hold the Basic Chassis in exchange for our original investment and debts incurred.

    My response

    Now I realized without a doubt how trapped you are. You have created an illusion within an illusion. It appears to me you actually thought the cars were yours and have given yourself the honored position of Trustee of these works of art, (I’m sure you have tangible facts to back up this decision) and have impounded one of them because (apparently) you have the idea I’m not to be trusted. Of course! Who would trust a stupid fool! One who has fulfilled every responsibility that has been his during our twenty-one year relationship with the cars, and has not profited one cent in doing so, must be indeed a fool and cannot be trusted.

      Paragraph 4

      We will comply with California state law and repay you 5% of any moneys received from the resale.

    My response

    This sentence actually brought laughter to my lips. Five percent. How sweet. I will never forget your aggressive demand of ten percent earlier, suggesting that if I dare consider giving you less, I was to be considered unethical or even immoral. How lowly you must think of me to treat me so. And I base this on your demand for righteousness. And again I see the misery you must be undergoing. First, you are not gracefully and enthusiastically following the law of the land, but merely complying with it. And secondly, I sense you have no awareness of higher laws which, if not complied with, will lead to much misery and suffering.

      Paragraph 5

      We are sorry that the decisions you have just made have brought our long relationship into such jeopardy and only wish you the best.

    My response

    Yes, I will have the best. It is my inheritance, and I offer it to you. Not in jest, but deeply and sincerely. It is your inheritance also—it is the law. As far as our relationship goes… I feel we had two separate relationships during these past twenty-one years. I am talking about relationships that lie under the obvious format, me being the artist, you being the agent. One relationship is like a mother and a son. The son has come of age . He is twenty-one years old and wishes to leave home. This is hard on the mother. She wants to hold on. She feels she has not been appreciated and wants one more chance to prove herself. She feels she is being left out, Yet she must let go, for her child has to go it on his own and become something. The other relationship is like a father and daughter. Fathers let go more easily and sometimes they actually force the child to leave. Yet when they do they usually give some advice. To you Diana, this is my advice:

    You have become hard, cold, and brittle. You are losing your Malleability. You could snap under the strain. The recent series of perfectly timed events in your life have come to you as a blessing in disguise to warn you to loosen up, warm up, soften. These events have come to you early. In the near future, “all” will be subjected to even greater so-called tragedies and the stiff that cannot bend will crack and eventually break. We are moving into a new age, and you have been honored. You have been allowed to see the vulnerability of your situation and that its time to change your world view. A new strategy is appropriate now. Others may not be so fortunate. If you do not learn your lesson now—snap—and then—bye bye… As for me, I wish you only the best That first sentence, that first paragraph in your letter, was not an accident. In your attempt to write something brutally negative, you wrote something amazingly positive. You wrote the truth. I look forward to you writing a letter to yourself someday—a letter containing that one sentence. That sentence is the essence of enlightenment. Qualify, and send it to yourself soon!

    Love,
    Don... I have not left!

I had done it. I finally said everything I ever wanted to say to Diana. The letter was raw and reeked of ego, but it did the job. Diana had been more than a friend to me; she was more like an angel. She supported me at times when there was absolutely nothing in it for her what so ever. Even though she was under extreme duress I instinctively knew she would forgive my clumsiness as I attempted to stand on my own two feet. Ironically, before one can kill the man—one must first complete the extremely difficult task of becoming one.

After a day or two, I wrote again to Diana telling her that “My First Car” no longer  existed. What I set out to do was done quickly. What was the “Basic chassis” is now something else, still remaining. As far as I know, at Scott’s warehouse. It was theirs to do with as they wished. They could throw it away, restore it, or call it a new piece—whatever—because as far as I was concerned, it was just a bunch of left over bones.

It requires great effort to climb up the rocky mountain called ego to reach the pinnacle of manhood… and even though some of us have stepped over its summit onto the effortless path that leads down into the lush, fruitful valley of the enlightened sage… we should not be discouraged, when we find ourselves still negotiating the raw, jagged peaks of the ego… instead, we should never forget that the descending path toward enlightenment always starts at the apex of ego’s mountain.
____________________________________

The flowering of youth from the innocence of the bud is a process of timely enfoldment. Also timely, is when the youth begins to wilt, candidly revealing the character or internal development of the individual. As we study the flowering plant, we see that it is the development of its internal structure that creates the qualities found in its off spring, the seed. And again, timely, is the inevitable wilting of the plant causing it to lose hold of the seed, which floats off, unbounded, into the intent of the wind.

Although it releases offspring into new worlds, the plant itself dies back each fall, only to be reborn in the same soil, each spring. The evolution of the individual plant, through the process of seasonal reincarnation, appears very slow and entirely dependent on the evolving development of its environment. Its position in the scheme of things appears to be forever the same—mortal. Yet the process itself, of which the plant is only a part, is ongoing—forever—immortal.

Individual evolving consciousness requires a vehicle for its own display—a concrete reflection of what it has become—so it may behold itself as the knower of its own reality. This vehicle, in itself, is not the individual—it is just a temporary vessel that contains the individual. The individual flowering plant, as well as the individual human being, are both prime examples of such a vessel—a vehicle for living.

Some individuals, not aware of the true nature of the vehicle, cannot let go of the flowering of their youth and when their surface wilts, they are miserable and are basically dead to life. Others who have developed more internally, yet are still unaware of the truth, do not die at this stage, instead they beautifully display their internal character as fruitful living. Yet when fall inevitably approaches they too concede to the illusion of death by remaining attached to the wilting of the plant.

The power of illusion thrives on attachment. To abandon illusion, I have killed the attachment.

Before I wilt away, I intend to abandon this vessel and successfully place my consciousness into the fruit of my action, creating a seed. And at the precise moment, when my life’s work is done, I will spring forth, as my own offspring, into the primordial intent of the divine wind, revealing the nature of my immortality and the illusionary quality of what was once a mortal vessel.

“My First Car” was such a vessel—a vehicle of an artist.

A successful Ar<tist is on par with “The Primordial Creator;” having created, he automatically enters into his creation.

PRAKRTIM SVAM AVASTABHYA
VISRJAMI PUNAH PUNAH

Curving back on my own nature,
I create again and again.
                                                             Bagavad-Gita, 9.8

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