Tag Archives: Samuel Butler

The moon and the sixpence

“Who are you, Martin Eden? he demanded of himself in the looking-glass, that night when he got back to his room. He gazed at himself long and curiously. Who are you? What are you? Where do you belong?” – Jack London (Martin Eden)

You belong with the legions of toil that must grub in the dirt for the sixpence. You belong with the legions that dare lift their eyes to contemplate the moon to substitute food for the dance of imagination. You belong with the vulgar and with the spirited being what carries the tinge of heaven in a smile.

You belong with all that is hard, low and unbeautiful, yet you dare live with the stars and make stardust trails. You belong by rights with the legions of strive, nevertheless in one corner of the mind there is an inverted eye that yearns for the lunarian shape-shifting beauty.

You belong by rights to creativity and labor. Creativity is vision or as Samuel Butler vanguardly put (almost two centuries ago):  “When a man is in doubt about this or that in his writing, it will often guide him if he asks himself how it will tell a hundred years hence.”

Creativity is strategy. Strategy must vary as does the moon.

We are not so busy looking at the moon that we do not see the sixpence at our feet. Nor are we so engulfed in drudge that we do not see the sky. We’d better see the moon and the sixpence all at once. Our dreams and our toils should answer all our questions in the change of crescents to vanishing waning moons.

 

Art by Inma Gonzales Vazquez.

“Half-monster, half-dreamer”

What are you after?
Money… Success… Fame…Happiness…Dreams…Love…

We are all after money. Whomever cares not about the money has always had it, consequently has no pattern in measuring having or not having it…

Success is in our blood…The difference between success and failure is vision. “When a man is in doubt about this or that in his writing, it will often guide him if he asks himself how it will tell a hundred years hence.”- Samuel Butler

What problems do your dreams solve? What problems will they solve in 15 years-time?

“Man has always been half-monster, half-dreamer.” – Ray Bradbury

Vision is the combination of the dreams of the dreamer and the fears of the monster. Dreamers fight for their dreams, monsters fight the reality (they dread) and shape it to their own liking. Monsters fight with their skills and claws, dreamers with their imagination. More or less monsters make sure that your dreams survive the harsh cold reality…

So travel with your dreams but never forget about the monster’s perspective. As we are all monsters, and it is far easier to make a kind person believe you are kind than make a monsterling believe in your kindness. Monsters believe in monstership…In the ancient times people believed in mythical creatures as they needed to understand the overpowering forces of nature. We, the (post)modern people, know that the monsters are us. We have all the stories, we have a whole sea of stories which is at times poisoned by non-believing, prosaic tiny sea serpents.

Or the monster might command the suffering of the dreamer.
Maybe this is depression. Not believing in your dreams and feeding them to your monster.

Art by Andrew Ferez.