Lee is invited to a Hollywood screen test in 1965 for the role of Kato in ABC’s The Green Hornet.
The profound dialectic in the human being’s awareness of his own being is pictured with incomparable beauty by Pascal:
Man is only a reed, the feeblest reed in nature, but he is a thinking reed. There is no need for the entire universe to arm itself in order to annihilate him: a vapour, a drop of water suffices to kill him. But were the universe to crush him, man would yet be more noble than that which slays him, because he knows that he dies, and the advantage that the universe has over him; of this the universe knows nothing.
May, Rollo and Ernest Angel, Henri F. Ellenberger. Existence: A New Dimension in Psychiatry and Psychology. New York: Basic Book, Inc., 1958. 42. Print.
I was not only astounded but outraged by the whole scene. I am no longer a boy trying his hand at composition, and I no longer need lessons from anyone, especially when they are delivered so harshly and unfriendlily.
I need and shall always need friendly criticism, but there was nothing resembling friendly criticism. It was indiscriminate, determined censure, delivered in such a way as to wound me to the quick.
I left the room without a word and went upstairs. In my agitation and rage I could not say a thing. Presently R. [Nikolai Rubinstein] enjoined me, and seeing how upset I was he asked me into one of the distant rooms. There he repeated that my concerto was impossible, pointed out many places where it would have to be completely revised, and said that if within a limited time I reworked the concerto according to his demands, then he would do me the honor of playing my thing at his concert.
“I shall not alter a single note,” I answered, “I shall publish the work exactly as it is!” This I did.
Warrack, John, Tchaikovsky. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1973. 78-79. Print.
“Here’s something that my Mom said to me and I think it’s very true, in terms of happiness: ‘You have to always have something to look forward to.’ And it can be a very minor thing, and it can be a major thing. But you always have to have something you’re looking forward to next.”
—Julia Louis-Dreyfus, actress
“The chess game was a game that Zarathustra invented to entertain the king. And it’s called The Game of Kings. And each piece on that board represents life. The king, the queen, the pawn, the bishop… an element of life. And the two knights represent love and work. Because love and work is the only piece that can jump over other obstacles. So, you should have some love for some of your work that you do.”
—Diane Ladd, actress
Here we have arrived at the point of the existentialist’s rejection of normative theories of human nature. In the existentialist’s opinion, there is no one model that specifies how all human beings ought to be.
Indeed there is no single way, in any sense, that each and every human being ought to be. There is only the way that each person is, and that finally comes down to the way he chooses to be. In the words of Friedrich Nietzsche: ” ‘This is my way; where is yours?’—thus I answered those who asked me ‘the way.’ For the way—that does not exist.”
For the existentialist, each person is unique. There is no model outside the person that tells him or her how to be. It is within himself or herself that the person must find the resources for making choices and for living. Clearly, this is asking a lot. Some people would say it is more than any human being can handle, since external guidance is necessary for human life.
Snyder, William S. and Eugene A. Troxell. Making Sense of Things: An Invitation to Philosophy. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1976. 96-97. Print.