If I had the money and the drinking capacity, I'd probably live at a roulette table and let my life go to hell.— Michael Ventura
The most memorable Michael Ventura quotes that will activate your inner potential
All paths cause pain, so to chose the safe over the audacious will not give you less pain, only less beauty.
It may be that it is not given to us to know when we are angels.
We may only be given to know when others are. This may be one of the reasons we need each other so.
Creativity is an innate function in a human being, as we see in tribal peoples, who spent their considerable leisure time making religious artifacts and sacred art. That is what I would call a direct culture, in that everybody in it is directly in touch with all the elements, both of the culture and of the environment.
To be physically astute and psychologically tended, yet morally insulated and conceptually blind--is to be crazy, not healthy.
Stop tolerating in your leaders what you would not tolerate in your friends.
Our choices are truncated in evil's presence.
Creativity is the vulnerability to spiritual and physical sensation, and to experience, combined with and acting upon a certain level of skill, combined with the compulsion or longing or need or desire to give.
Courage can't make you an artist, but without that courage, you won't remain one for long. First is the courage to be alone in the room where you create, and the courage to face that indefinitely, with no one to say if you are any good or not. Then, there is the courage to follow your work wherever it's going to take you. And the courage to fight for your work.
Leave people alone when they tell you to leave them alone. If they mean it, they need it.
My employer uses twenty-six years of my life for every year I get to keep.
And what do I get in return for the enormous thing I am giving? What do I get in return for my life?
I never get my creativity flowing. I'm a pro, this is how I earn my living. If it don't flow, I don't eat.
The value of having an inner map of the world as it is (not as it's broadcast) is this: it allows you to know that your task is larger than yourself. If you choose, just by virtue of being a decent person, you are entrusted with passing on something of value through a dark, crazy time-preserving your integrity, in your way, by your acts and your very breathing for those who will build again when this chaos exhausts itself.
That's what America's all about, man, if it's about anything. You can choose your own name.
The world of psychology and the world of normal life tends to look down on obsession. It's not good for you, and certainly not good for your relationships. It's not good for a lot of things, but it's the only way to make a work of art.
People are judged continuously everywhere on the most intimate level by the prices on their head. Most of them accept the judgment. It's very hard to have self-respect, or to maintain a state of creativity under these conditions.
An artist doesn't depend upon inspiration or have to have it.
An artist doesn't depend on mood, certainly not if you're earning your living with it. One of the definitions of a professional is you can do some writing if you have to, even in the most extreme situations.
Good is not the opposite of evil, joy is the opposite of evil.
My spirit life very much depends on my work.
My work very much depends on my spirit life. And I pray every day, as part of my own ritual, to a god I believe in, not a god somebody else believes in.
An artist without obsession isn't worth a damn!
Most of us aren't very graceful about not having our needs met, when and how we want them met.
Be careful how you choose your enemy, for you will come to resemble him.
The moment you adapt your enemy's methods your enemy has won. The rest is suffering and historical opera.
If your vulnerability has become hardened, it's very, very difficult to be creative.
My spirit life is also the medium in which I live.
It's not something that comes and goes. Without one the other wouldn't exist.
I try to write into the heart of experience.
Then, through the experience of the writing, that heart reveals itself to me. To write it down for others, as a door to go through it they choose, is the price of the experience, the price of the ticket. This is the demand that God, if you like, puts on you for being an artist.
I require and enforce as non-interrupted a state of living as you can get in America right now without going off to live by yourself in the mountains.
We have to be realistic about the brutal demands a money culture puts on the psyche, and there is a great cost to this in terms of creativity. Look at the state of people at 65. How many of them become creative after having to survive in the money culture?
The people you have to lie to, own you. The things you have to lie about, own you.
There are writers I know and respect who are very good about what's outside, and not too hot about what's inside.
The element of obsession is terribly important for an artist.
These things - the degree of vulnerability, the degree of skill, the degree of the longing to give - are influx all the time, And to lump all that under the word "creativity" assumes something much more static than it is. That's why an artist may be marvelous in her 20s, and be creating automatic crap in her 40s. A writer may be trivial in his 20s, and be writing incredibly in his 50s, because those things are always in flux.
When the people clamor to be shielded from reality, when they praise their government for keeping things from them, when they choose to conduct their lives within the limits of whatever fantasy the government supplies, then they are no longer consenting to be governed, they are begging to be ruled.