Bruce Lee on Death and What It Takes to Be an Artist of Life

Think about Keats when you require that prod for living– Keats, who passed away at the peak of his poetic powers, currently having actually offered humankind more fact and charm in his short life than a lot of would give if they had eternity. Or think of Bruce Lee (November 27, 1940– July 20, 1973)– another uncommon poet of life, who too pursued fact and charm, if in a significantly various medium; who too was killed by opportunity, that supreme puppeteer of deep space, at the peak of his powers; who too left a legacy that shaped the worldview, sensibility, and wakefulness to life of generations.

Bruce Lee (Photograph courtesy of the Bruce Lee Foundation archive) On the bench throughout from Bruce Lees tombstone in Seattles Lake View Cemetery, where he is buried alongside his kid, also chance-slain in youth, these words of homage appear: “The key to immortality is first living a life worth keeping in mind.” They are typically misattributed to Lee himself– perhaps due to the fact that of the proximity, possibly because they radiate an essential reality about his life. The stimulating ethos of that uncommon life comes freshly alive in Be Water, My Friend: The Teachings of Bruce Lee (public library) by his daughter, Shannon Lee, titled after his popular metaphor for resilience– a slim, potent book twining her fathers ageless philosophies of living with her own reflections, drawn from her own brave life of turning unfathomable loss into a course of light and quiet strength.

In the last year of his life, Lee was in the last phases of a long settlement with the Hollywood maker over what had long been his dream– a film that would present Eastern philosophy into Western culture through the thrilling Trojan horse of martial arts action. It was a dream he obtained by his sheer force of vision and will, for the Hollywood studios had such a contrived initial design template and such resistance to his much deeper conceptual concepts that Lee, at the danger of losing his one terrific opportunity for reaching millions, declined to be a mere star in a mindless, unimaginative, and stereotype-reinforcing action film; he insisted that it be altered and elevated, then wound up drastically rewriting the script– including, amongst lots of other poetic-philosophical cornerstones, the now-iconic “finger pointing at the Moon” scene– and giving the movie its now-iconic title: Enter the Dragon.

“Do you need a prod?/ Do you need a little darkness to get you going?” Mary Oliver asked in her sensational love poem to life, composed in the wake of a frightening diagnosis. “Let me be as urgent as a knife, then,/ and advise you of Keats,/ so single of function and thinking, for a while,/ he had a life time.”

Bruce Lee (Photograph courtesy of the Bruce Lee Foundation archive) Throughout the whole experience, which pressed Lee to step beyond the limitations of his prior creative and existential imagination, he started preparing and redrafting a piece he entitled “In My Own Process.” In it, a century after the young Leo Tolstoy wrote in his diary of self-discovery and ethical development that “this is the whole essence of life: Who are you? What are you?,” the young philosopher-king of martial arts targeted at a “sincere and genuine discovery of a male called Bruce Lee.” He resolved:

I understand I am not hired to compose any true confession, however I do wish to be sincere– that is the least a person can do … I have actually constantly been a martial artist by choice and a star by profession. Above all, I am hoping to actualize myself to be an artist of life along the method.

He didnt understand that the way was quickly to be cut brief; he didnt understand that he was currently an artist of life. Bruce Lee felt his restive potential, and though chance interceded prior to he could give it due time, he offered it more than due power.

The intangible represents the genuine power of the universe. It is living space because all forms come out of it, and whosoever realizes the void is filled with life and power and the love of all beings.

It was this diffuse and integrated understanding of existence that conferred an abundant sense of suggesting upon Lees life and enabled him to deal with death, not knowing he was facing it, without regret, without worry, as a totally actualized artist of life. In another notebook entry, he writes:

Complement with Nobel laureate Louise Glücks love poem to life at the horizon of death, physicist Brian Greene on how our transience provides self-respect and significance upon our lives, astronomer-poet Rebecca Elsons spectacular remedy to the fear of death, and Walt Whitman on what makes life worth living, then revisit Lee on the measure of success, his formerly unpublished reflections on creativity, self-discipline, and self-confidence, and the philosophy and origin of the popular mentor after which his daughters book is entitled.

Mary Oliver asked in her spectacular love poem to life, made up in the wake of a terrifying medical diagnosis. They are typically misattributed to Lee himself– possibly due to the fact that of the proximity, perhaps because they radiate an elemental truth about his life. The animating values of that uncommon life comes freshly alive in Be Water, My Friend: The Teachings of Bruce Lee (public library) by his daughter, Shannon Lee, entitled after his well-known metaphor for strength– a slim, powerful book twining her fathers timeless viewpoints of living with her own reflections, drawn from her own brave life of turning unfathomable loss into a course of light and peaceful strength.

And I go on, non-stop, going forward, even though I, Bruce Lee, might die some day without satisfying all of my ambitions, I will have no regrets. You cant expect much more from life.

He didnt know that the method was quickly to be cut short; he didnt know that he was already an artist of life. It is living space due to the fact that all forms come out of it, and whosoever understands the void is filled with life and power and the love of all beings.