The Enemy of Art . .

“The enemy of art is the absence of limitations” Orson Welles. He was one of the coolest dudes ever in my book. He went from having all of the resources for his films to being shunned and being severely restricted, yet he continued to create such amazing films. My teacher of blessed memory, Gerald Epstein, MD would discuss with me, “second force.” It is the resistance that exists behind all initiative, anytime you start anything.

So what is it’s analogue in health? The obvious one is the resistance that builds muscles, but also the overcoming of a desire for unhealthy choices. If you succeed it moves you to another level . . . where more resistance comes. And so it goes in life. If you seek peace from this in anything, you are suffering from the great malady of 99% of humanity, the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain as the primary force in people’s lives.

So what do on the path of authenticity and truth? Recognize the next two steps, there is initiative, then comes force, then form, then the final result. If you constrain your view to want a specific end-result, you will never be happy, but if you recognize that this “second force” is just the second stage and remain open to what comes in step 3 and 4 with an open mind and ready to see it in Truth and not as a comparison with what you wanted, then wonderful things can come.

I don’t know at what stage of his career that Orson Welles made this realization, I would imagine it was early on, given his growing up in the arts. The arc of his professional career really made him stare at it down. Realize that this is a master quote applicable widely. Change the word “art” to just about anything and it holds true. The enemy of Life is the absence of limitations. The enemy of relationships is the absence of limitations and on and on. There is nothing truer than this. We are here to experience limitations and grow from them in EVERYTHING. I’ve been taught by my teachers that in the spiritual world, these limitations disappear. It is for this reason, that the ancient Hebraic teachings, say that while souls ascend higher and higher after death, it is only in life that the major growth occurs and in fact it is here where all the major achievements come.

So next time you experience “second force” realize it for what it is, reality staring you in face, saying “come and get me, you may not realize it but I am a gift.”

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Jonathan Carp, MD

Dermatologist, health food entrepreneur, beach addict, and health teacher.

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