Studio Ghosts: When you’re in the studio painting, there are a lot of people in there with you – your teachers, friends, painters from history, critics… and one by one if you’re really painting, they walk out. And if you’re really painting YOU walk out.
Know that men become what they do, and their heart and all their thoughts always follow their deeds, be they good or evil.
And even a complete villain that thinks evil all day long, if he will pour his spirit and try and persist in good deeds, even if it is from the wrong causes, he will immediately lean into goodness, even if not intending so, and with the power of his deeds and actions he will suffocate his evil inclination because hearts follow deeds.
And even a complete zadik, a righteous person, with straight and pure heart who is seeking good thoughts and occupations, if he will always be involved with bad deeds – maybe because the king forced him to do so and told him to be busy only with bad work, if he will fully occupy himself all day with that art – he will one day turn full circle from righteousness of heart to become completely bad.
“Why is it,” Jonathan puzzled, “that the hardest thing in the world is to convince a bird that he is free, and that he can prove it for himself if he’d just spend a little time practicing? Why should that be so hard?”
In real life, it is the hare who wins. Every time. Look around you. And in any case it is my contention that Aesop was writing for the tortoise market. Hares have no time to read. They are too busy winning the game.
The first is that the individual forming part of a crowd acquires, solely from numerical considerations, a sentiment of invincible power which allows him to yield to instincts which, had he been alone, he would perforce have kept under restraint.
He will be the less disposed to check himself from the consideration that, a crowd being anonymous, and in consequence irresponsible, the sentiment of responsibility which always controls individuals disappears entirely.