by Jon Rappoport
December 15, 2023
My own young life as it was, was interrupted, when I picked a book from the stand in a little store attached to a bus station in Niagara Falls.
I was 11. The book was Ray Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles.
Bradbury’s stories of Martian colonists, in his poetic prose, were, for me, a rocket ship into Art.
Six years later, when I was about to go off to college, I decided I would be a writer. Here I am, 68 years later, still doing it.
There is no practical argument that can be made for Art. No talk about money, or survival.
Art makes other dimensions. None of them would exist, if it weren’t for artists. None of them are “already there.”
This fact apparently troubles people. They want what is already there.
They see no value in creating other spaces and times.
I see the capacity to create those other spaces as stunning. More stunning than winning in the stock market and buying a big house with the proceeds.
For instance, Herman Melville can take me on a rousing sea voyage that never happened. And on that voyage, he can weave a tragic vision of existence I don’t happen to agree with—and yet that doesn’t matter at all. In part, because I know he’s inventing everything on the page. And he could have invented something else.
This is another fact about art. The artist could have invented something else. In what other realm of life do you find that feeling: what is happening now could be completely different.
This is a unique and unprecedented sense of freedom.
It’s not an organized church where the Art is presented as doctrine.
Think of the will and courage of the novelist. He is willing to spend years writing a story he knows is not-real in the sense of reality to which people are inextricably attached.
He is doing Something Else.
Nothing in this world stops him.
The reality addicts don’t stop him.
You’ve heard all the claims indicating that if you imagine/visualize something, it’ll happen. Well, the artist knows that because he actually imagines and creates that something. He doesn’t just form a brief picture in his mind. He isn’t waiting. He’s working.
Art tells you that this reality we live in every day is just one version of Possibility. That, of course, is too much for most people. They can’t handle it. They don’t want to.
When Orson Welles was 24, he managed to extract enough money from a studio to make Citizen Kane. He was unleashed. He took the opportunity to invent a kind of film nobody had ever seen. He had zero interest in giving people what they wanted.
Which is another fact people have trouble with. “He’s not catering to my needs? He’s not calculating according to my point of view? He’s not showing me what I already know? Then what good is he?”
Yet, the same people will accept the most fabulous stories about UFOs, if they believe the stories are grounded in fact. “I’m willing to be astonished if you really have those crashed ships in hangars.”…