cosas encontradas: Entrevista Con Jodorowsky en la revista Penthouse, 1973

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Andrés Hax dijo...

(from the JUNE 1973 issue)

Unlike so many of the film makers of the past 20 years,
Alejandro Jodorowsky came late to international prominence.
At 43, he is just beginning to be recognized as the man
whose explosive and controversial creativity will probably make
him one of the outstanding film directors of the next 10 years.
His last film, El Topo, was hailed as "a monumental work of
filmic art" and Jodorowsky was called "a man of passionate
erudation" by the New York Times. Said Newsweek:
"His surrealistic vision cannot be copied. It is nothing
if not unique." On the other hand, Pauline Kael of the
New Yorker found it a "horror circus" and a "head show",
while Commonweal dismissed it as "merely gross
and pretentious". The Village Voice came closer.
"It's humor attacks reality, creating a comedy that
provokes laughter in order to overcome horror;
a comedy that becomes a cult of salvation."

Jodorowsky took the time to suffer and experience life
before formulating what he would say on film. He worked
with -- at the feet of it, if you will -- Marceau and Arrabal.
He is often compared with Bunuel. He has been laboring
in shadows. Liberation from the masters was a part of
the theme of El Topo. It is a prominent part of The
Holy Mountain, which should be having its American
premiere at about the time you are reading this. (If
Jodorowsky remains true to his track record the film will be
condemned and censored in Mexico, where he produced
it and where he now lives.) Holy Mountain is the story of
how a group of powerful and rich people came together
-- with one thief -- to seek the guidance of a master,
who is played by Jodorowsky. The master isto lead themup
a holy mountain in search of immortality and enlightenment.

But Jodorowsky, an eclectic believer in the Asian systems
of meditation, preches the emptying of the mind, so that
true enlightenment within us may manifest itself.

Doesn't sound too bizarre or gory? Well, in his films people bleed --
they bleed all the time. And they bleed strange things: birds,
cherries, green blood. Lots of people find such things upsetting.

In the first scenes of El Topo a circular pool of blood is discovered
and a child is found impaled. Then we see 100 women, dressed
in bridal white, lying raped and murdered. Inside a church
swing the corpses of their 100 bridegrooms. Later, El Topo
(Jodorowsky) castrates the colonel responsible for the atrocity.

When El Topo's seven-year-old son (Jodorowsky's real son, Brontis)
attempts to follow him, he kicks him in the mouth and tells him,
"Destroy me. You no longer depend on anyone." In the end, El Topo
immolates himself like a protesting Buddhist. For the scene,
Jodorowsky covered a skeleton with beefsteak and set it afire.

Jodorowsky says he is not seeking shock for shock's sake and you
rather tend to believe him because, should he choose to make a
smooth box-office shocker, he could probably do it better than anyone.

Instead he continues to give birth to a riot of symbols in an
attempt to "... speak to your unconcious from my unconcious."
In El Topo for example, he took a legless man and an armless
man and put them together to make "one John Wayne". They
hated each other and fought incessantly. "That is how we are, no?"
asks Jodorowsky. "That is symbolic. Our arms fighting our legs.
One part of us always fighting against another. Such waste."

In his private life he is just as apt to shake up people as he is
in his films. He once approached a man he had never met and
demanded: "Who are you? Why are you wearing those clothes?
You know what I think you need? To be fucked in the ass."

Jodorowsky is now married to a lady named Valerie. He has
three sons (each by a different woman) all of whom live with him.
He also has a daughter who lives in Germany with her mother.
He was born in Iqueque, Chile, a town of 2,000 and moved to
Santiago when he was 12. He later entered the university with
ideas of becoming a doctor. But the lure of the theatre forced him
to drop out after two years.He worked with marionettes and then
for six years he was with Marcel Marceau, touring the world and
creating mimes including The Mask and The Cage. Most important
were his collaborations with Arrabal, master of the Theatre of
Cruelty. He then moved to Mexico City where he now lives.

Among the talents which help support him are those of a comic-strip
artist. His cartoons "Panic Fables" appear in Mexican newspapers
and they are, of course, controversial. He has directed more than 100
plays, including the works of Ionesco and Beckett, and he has done
four films. His first picture, in Paris, was based on The Transposed
Heads by Thomas Mann. Later he directed his own version of Arrabal's
Fando and Lis. It was entered in the 1968 Acapulco Film Festival
and was roundly denounced as "corrosive and corrupting". Undaunted,
Jodorowsky made El Topo. It sent the Mexican authorities reeling.
They refused to sponsor it at the 1971 Cannes Film Festival.

He works on shoestring budgest with anybody he feels can do a
job for him. Cripples, prostitutes, rock musicians, retired public
officials. Even real actors. Except for operating the camera,
Jodorowsky does all the major creative work. In both El Topo
and The Holy Mountain he produced, directed, wrote, scored,
costumed and did the scenic design. And, of course, he played
the starring roles. He is possibly the only producer in history
who puts clauses in the contracts of his female players
guaranteeing that the do no have to sleep with him.

Despite his sometimes ferocious words and actions, he
is a soft spoken, polite man who is an attentive listener.
His sometimes strange grammar is due partly to Spanish
structures, and partly to his unique way of expressing himself.
This Penthouse interview was put together over a period of
almost a year, by Rick Kleiner while on location for The Holy
Mountain, but with contributions by Jules Siegel
and Penthouse Interview Editor Richard Ballad.

Many people call you a madman. Are you?

Sometimes I feel myself absolutely mad. I say what am I
doing here? Because I feel reality so unreal and myself
so strange. I have a mind, a liver, a heart. Everything
I look and I feel is inside myself. It's not reality. What I
am is enormous reaction. It is not the thing. I am not the
feeling. I am what is felt. The man who feels. Everything
is so subjective. If someone says to me, I am mad, I say
yes, I am absolutely mad like all the civilization and like
all the persons in this planet. I think all the humanity now is
absolutely crazy and mad. And some day when my essence
sees myself, how my ego is crazy and mad, I laugh -- with
love and compassion. And in the moment when you have the
enlightenment you start to laugh. Because you see yourself,
how crazy and mad you are. Then you feel compassion.
I have great pity on myself because I am so mad and crazy.

You have a volatile temper. But how much
of it is real and how much contrived?

If you go to water ... if the water runs and finds a stone
which impedes its flow, the water attacks the stone and
moves it so that the stone goes with the water to the ocean.
In every situation where there is a stone I lose my temper
in order to move the stone. I must make a fight in order
to get some reaction from the other person, But it is only
in order to achieve that. I never lose my temper when I
am with a person doing another thing. Not doing my work.

Some people can't accept your efforts as sincere.
They don't understand you and they ask, in effect,
"What's your game?"

When I start to make art I was a neurotic. In the university,
I have degrees in philosophy, mathematics, and physics.
In the University of Santiago. But I was so lazy --
I only like to see pictures, and go to the movies,
see painting and read poems. It was a great party.
But study was not. In two days I prepare for all the
examens. I have great qualifications and then I forget.
One day I say I want not to study like this. I say "No".
I want to devote myself to marionettes, to puppets.
And I start to make circus puppets, and theatre puppets.
But always my ego was there and I was trying to be
famous. You know why? Because at the same time
I realize I was a mortal. I will die. I hadn't any answer
to this problem. So in my South American environment
I choose to become famous. To make a work in order to
never die in history. No? This was my first game.
Little by little, in Fando and Lis, and then more in El Topo,
I start to accept death completely, and I feel very good
about this. I start El Topo absolutely closed. In the end
of El Topo, I am more open to this human problem.
And then in this picture, The Holy Mountain, step by step.
I forget all the problems of being famous, all the problems
of having money. I forget everything, the only game I am
making now is to make a picture. But to make a picture
absolutely involved with my objective life now. For me, now,
there is no difference between the picture and the life.
Also, for me the most important thing is shooting
the picture, not the picture. This is my game now.
It's a certain kind of way to open yourself, to
progress, to be more near the completely man.

Can you tell us a little of the sequence
of events in The Holy Mountain?

The movement of the picture is from a fairy tale to the
realistic, no? The theme is very simple. The master takes
nine other persons, who make a solar system, and promises
to these persons immortality. In all the traditions there is a
sacred holy mountain. And on top of the mountain -- there
are always immortals, Olympians. Then the master says:
"We need to steal from them the secret of immortality.
Other persons put together all their force in order to steal
money, to steal from a bank. Why we do not put our forces
together to steal the secret of immortality? The immortals
are wise persons, enlightened persons. In order to fight with
them we need to become wise and enlightened. And then we
need to travel and be powerful in our wisdom to fight with the
immortals." We come to the top of the mountain and ...
but no, I cannot tell you what is in the picture.
But I finish it in a very surprised way.

You speak so much of symbols. If we get too many
don't they become like thumbs in our eyes?

There are many ways to speak. You can yell at a person
or you can speak very sweet. Normally a picture speaks to
certain parts of the human being. We make a distinction
among the athletic-muscular part of the human being and
his sexual life, his mental life and his emotional life.
I don't speak to any one of these centers. I speak with
my unconcious to your unconcious. It's another kind of
language. I am trying to put the dreams into reality and
not trying to put reality into dreams. When you sit with me
to see the picture what I am doing is to put your symbols in
reality. Everyone of us have in his unconcious symbols.
You have everything in your mind. Man is not a creator.
But man is all the time discovering. What I am trying to
do when I use symbols is to awaken in your unconcious
some reaction. I am very concious of what I am using
because symbols can be very dangerous. When we use
normal language we can defend ourselves because our
society is a linguistic society, a semantic society. But
when you start to speak, not with words, but only with
images, the people cannot defend themselves. That is
why a picture like this you hate or you love. You cannot
be indifferent. In every scene I put animals. I went to
study the meaning of animals. We have the meaning of
animals within ourselves because we have collective
memory. When you take for example the hippopotamus.
The hippo was a god for the Egyptians. He is the weight
of the earth. When I put in a hippopotamus I know
exactly how a person's unconcious would feel.

There was much talk about violence in El Topo.
Is there a great deal of bloodletting or
substitutes for bloodletting in The Holy Mountain?

Not so much.

Tell us about the Arica training classes
for the people in your film?

Ah, yes. I was searching for masters because in my
picture I speak about masters. And then I went to see
some Hindu yoga classic masters -- gurus. Also I had two
years training with a Zen master. And before we made this
picture I went with my wife to a seven-days-without-sleep
training of this master. When we finished this -- suffering a
lot -- we take for one month the Arica training.

The Arica training has some Hindu exercises, some
Japan exercises, some Egyptian exercises. Very eclectic.
The secret of this training is the mixture, also there
was a master there, the creator of the training, and I
studied him in order to play myself a master. With him
I feel a kind of initiation and I feel like I'm playing
a real master, and not a fairy-tale master.

You have said that you studied with a master until you
realized that you cannot really learn from a master.

Yes, the only thing a master can teach is how to learn
about yourself. There are no secrets. There are only
techniques to waken yourself. There are some massage
techniques. There are some breathing techniques, etc.
No? So then I give to all the group in my picture one
month Arica training. Another month, living together.
We don't go out to the street. We sleep only four hours.

Did it have an effect on them?

You live together for four months, any kind of training
is useful. You learn something and you change a lot.
You know De Bono, the English writer? He wrote
Lateral Thinking. I think he is a fantastic man.
He says a person will give so much time to learn
how to play golf, but not how to work his own mind.
They think they can already do it, and the only thing
they need is to know some secret. It's not like this.
When a group starts to work together in any kind of
training it works for the group. The training makes a
group. It brings them together. We were like brothers.
You will see the picture.

What happens to the concept of the individual hero?

In The Holy Mountain, I decided to finish with
the invidivual hero because I think it's an invention
of Hollywood. The individual hero against the society.
I think of the collective man. Man is humanity. In The
Holy Mountain I take a collective hero. There are 12
persons. Ten of them, they are the solar system. Two
more persons make the zodiac. And then we go to the
complete adventure, like a collective group. We are
searching not for our inner faith. What we are
searching for is our inner humanity. I can explain this
more clearly if I make a comparison between Freud and
Jung. Freud was searching for the individual conscience
and Jung was searching for the collective unconcious.
I take a Jungian position -- a Wilhelm Reich position.
Reich felt that in order to give health to the individual
we must give health to society.

I'm sure we'd have to qualify this in some way because
you, Alejandro Jodorowsky, are certainly an individualist.

I agree we are all individuals. But all the secret teachings,
all the esoteric societies are searching for is the objective
man and not the subjective man. There was a time when
Proust and all kinds of writers like Kafka -- and all kinds of
artists -- were searching for subjective art. I am searching
for objective art. When my subjectivity is put out, then I can
say, this was the search of The Holy Mountain. Killing the
subjectivity. Finding myself the complete or the universal man.

You were allowing yourself to become a vessel, a tool.

Yes, like all the poets and the mystics in the world. No?
You don't oppose the universal will. You don't oppose
yourself. Let the thing come and go out. No?

One of the afflictions of modern man is the feeling that he is
alone. How does your idea of "the collective man" deal with this?

When a man says, "I am alone", it is because he does not know how
to be with himself. When I speak of the collective man I am not
speaking of being with more people. I am speaking of a man who
feels in himself the whole of humanity. If you are an optimist
you can say, "the universe is a construction". We can work for
the construction of the universe, the construction of the human
being or we can attack the universe and we can work to destroy
the human being. When you take the position to work for the
universe you start to work for yourself. In order to be a collective
man you must make a sacrifice. Your life security, your family
security. The collective man is the man working for humanity,
even alone. And asking nothing. There are two kinds of prayer.
The prayer to ask for something or the prayer to say "thank you"
for everything I am having. This last prayer is that of the universal
man. The universal man cannot feel guilty. The past is finished.
There is a moment when you can say to your karma, "I love you.
All the mistakes I have made were to reach this level. If I didn't
do what I needed to do it is because I am not like what I am now.
I was learning, I was fighting, I was making myself. I cannot feel
guilty. The only thing I can do is to never repeat the same mistake.
If I repeat the same mistake then I will be guilty." You must transform
yourself from the ill man to the healty man. Because really we need to
cure our society's ills. There are war, there are pollution, we are killing
the planet, so many have nothing to eat. So we are like the samurai.
We win or we die. Now I think is a fantastic moment for all of us
because now we are fighting for our world, our life. Now is the
moment to be awake or to die. We are not alone.

How important is your family compared to your films?

I think everything you do in life have the same importance. No?
The film exists. And the family exists, on another level, in another
situation. I don't know, maybe Valerie can answer this. The only
thing I want to give my sons is happiness. Nothing more. The apple
tree doesn't want to give happiness to the apples. He just makes
the apples. In the family, I just make the family. In the film, I just
make a picture. In the picture you must fight with so many problems
and with the family you must not fight. It's only three, four or five
persons. Nothing more. In the film there is 10000 person, 5000 persons.
Is more difficult. But I think more difficult than to make a picture or make
a family is to make yourself. This for me is the most difficult of anything
in life. To make a battle with yourself. This is really terrible work, I don't
know, maybe because I am an artist I have so many great egos, so many
mistakes, so many depression. When I make the picture my nervous system
is so sensitive. I am really ill of my nervous system. The actors come and
just act. But, really, myself I am very ill in the night, every day thinking
what I will do creating and inventing the situation and searching for what
object I want or what I want to say, is a terrible thing. No? It's difficult to
win the battle with yourself because in society we have a high percentage
of self-destruction ... Thanatos. You have 50% of Eros (creation) and 50%
of Thanatos (destruction). THis self-destruction is so strong in myself
I must fight every day in order to have confidence in myself, not to be
critical of myself, only to have the pleasure. I am looking all the time
how I am not awake, how I am not enlightened, how in some part
I am a little boy. When I read what Buddha was, what Zen monk was,
I feel so down I fight with myself. I want to cry. What difficulties I have
to control myself with other persons. Always fighting not to be affected
by the newspapers. Every day the newspaper insults me. Every day
I have a new problem with society. This is difficult, to be a real,
completely man. So making a family with me is easier. To make
myself is terrible. To do it with a family, is not so terrible.

What kind of father are you?

Valerie can say what kind of father I am,
what kind of husband I am.

I don't know really if he's a father. He spends very little time
with the children. But the moments he spends with them,
he is completely 100%. When he is filming he sees them
twice a week for 15 minutes, a half-hour. And the children
really enjoy it. Because he acts like a child with them.
He is not trying to be the dominant father trying to teach
the children. He reacts to what they need at the moment.
If there are certain questions, Alejandro answers these questions.

I finish with the idea of father and mother. They call us
Alejandro and Valerie. I finish with the authority. They
can dress themselves like they want. They can choose the
schools that they want. If they don't want to love their father,
then they don't love their father. There are no fathers and
no mothers. No sons. No daughters. It is humanity helping
humanity. Nothing more. You need to give to the child the
opportunity to grow and to be himself. I don't like the father
saying, "This is my child". Why do we have an ego? It is
necessary to have an ego -- it's like an egg. The eggshell
must be strong to make a good bird. The ego must be very
strong in a child in order later that same ego will make happiness.

If they don't agree with what we do, we make a meeting and
they say exactly what they don't agree. One day, I reacted very
nervous and I hit Axel. He went to Alejandro and said I was
being unfair. At the meeting we decided that he should hit me.

I decided. Also they can hit their father. Not
just their mother. I am not a chauvinist male.

Axel is very interested in the sexual situation.

He have seven years. He started very early at five years.
One of the books he likes best is Sexual Positions. A couple of
young persons making all the positions of love. One day he look
at this book and say, "Look, I have an erection." I think it was
fantastic. He have a curiosity about sex. I give him the material
he needed to know what is sex. One day I am making love with
Valerie and Axel look through the door. I realize he was looking.
I do nothing and suddenly we say, "OK, Axel, why are you looking?
What will you know?" We say for him to come inside the room
and we show him all the positions. We did this, we did this,
we did this. What's the mystery? We are naked all the time.
There are no problems. When they have an erection, they
have an erection. They aren't ashamed to have erections.
I make some joke with Brontis about masturbation. And we
laugh. Because he knows nothing is a sin. There are no
mysteries, there are no sins. And then I sometimes tell
Brontis and Axel to go out of the room because I will make
love to Valerie. Then they go away. They understand,
I don't say a lie. "Go to bed, etc." Reality is reality.

Do you see more of the children when you
are here in New York, not shooting a film?

I work here from ten o'clock in the morning to eight o'clock
in the evening. They are waiting for me and we spend
every day together from eight o'clock until one o'clock in
the morning. I come to New York and I always bring my
wife, my three children, my cat, and I drag all my books,
hundreds and hundreds of books. I travel with all
these people, all these things. I travel like a gypsy.

Wait. You once said you destroyed all your
books. Were you speaking figuratively?

Yes, I spoke figuratively. It's an old Japanese and Buddhist
tradition. When you have enlightenment you destroy the
10000 books. But you don't destroy them, physically.
People may say to you, what can you find in a book?
I say, what can you find in a flower? It is impossible to
find nothing in a flower. And to me, books are flowers.
I find an enormous pleasure in reading. Maybe I don't
need books to live. But also I don't need flowers to live.

Were you exposed to sex at a young age?

Yes. I lived in a little town and when the sailors came
to town there were prostitutes all over. I live a very
sexual childhood. We started to masturbate ourselves
at four or five years. All together. By seven or nine years
they make love with the little prostitutes. One day a little
friend, eight years old, came back with a bucket and there
was a male sex inside. He was friend of the daughter of one
of the prostitutes. The prostitutes had killed a sailor and cut
off his sex and he showed us. It was very strange. We went to
the cemetery and made a little grave and we buried the sex.
Also, one day we found a great stone, an enormous stone,
floating in the sea. The stone came floating in to the beach.

A floating stone?

Yes, and we could not move this stone. No one believed us.
I was followed by a bee, a golden bee. For three years,
every day, the golden bee followed us.

You said once that the other kids persecuted
you because you were the only white person.

They persecuted me for two reasons. I was white and
my sex had the form of a mushroom. We masturbated
together and the sex of the other boys was pointed.

You were circumsized?

Circumsized? I don't know. Anyway, it was like a
mushroom and they didn't like me. I had no friends.
I could not go out with them to the prostititutes. I never
smoke marijuana with them. I never violated the cats.

The what ?

The cats. They used to violate cats and some female dogs.
I never could do this. Also they like to drink dog milk.
They kill the little dogs and then six of my friends drink
the mother's milk. They got drunk. That was my childhood.

In the book El Topo, you talked about making love in the
sand and how the sand gets into your sex and it's terrible.


Well, why do it?

Because you must make love every place.
In a different place, love is different.
I was searching for a new place.

Let's get back to the ego. Are Americans hung
up on the ego? Will the public schools ever
teach meditation, yoga, the empty mind?

I think yes. It will happen because one day the young person
will be old. He will be a master one day and will propose this.
Now I am speaking about enlightenment, about levels, about
centers, and chakras. For example, when I speak about chakras,
it is poetic. You must create these centers in the body because
they are abstract. In reality I have no flowers in my body.
I must invent this, make poetry. The level of this exercise
is visualization. In visualization you put in your head a letter.
Then you become the letter with all your body. And if your
complete mind is a letter then tomorrow you can be a tiger,
a man, an angel. You can be plastic. This is why I like so much
the plastic man of the "Fantastic Four" in Marvel Comics.
What's his name? He is married to the Invisible Girl.
Plastic man and Invisible Woman can be great pornography.
Plastic man fucking the girl and then he make his penis very,
very, very thing and put inside her vein, and the penis can go,
and go, and go from her vein to her heart. He can ejaculate
in the center of his woman's heart. Fantastic! Fantastic!

You are a magnetic man. You attract disciples.
Is it necessary to achieve? Does it matter if you drop out?

In order to be something, you must do something. On this planet,
you must win your bread with the sweat of your brow. What is
bread? Bread is the complete man. You will have to work in
something. Anything. Making shoes. Making pictures.
Making wonderful shit sculptures. If you are young, you
will find a way. You must find something to do. You have
found something to do, you are making an interview.
Maybe you can make fantastic interviews. If you discover
something to do and you do it well, you are helping yourself,
you are helping humanity, you are realizing yourself.
But doing nothing -- it is impossible to do nothing unless you
rest in a bed and you rest very well and don't move for 20 years.

Are the people around you so in awe of you that they neglect to
challenge you, even when you are making conflicting statements?

I don't care. I am not trying to prove anything. I am trying to
have a beautiful moment when a person comes to me. I want
the person to have a beautiful moment. A peaceful moment.
To learn something. To do something. But I am not trying
to prove any kind of doctrines. I think the meaning of two
persons together is the meaning of the tea ceremony.
There are two persons, a person who has a house and the
visitor. The person who has the house offers the most
beautiful house ... in his way. If he has a poor house,
it is very clean, very beautiful. He makes the tea the
best he can. He shows a painting, the best he have.
The visitor take tea with the most great pleasure.
And love the house. And when they are together,
they forget the world. They feel they are an eternity.
They drink the tea. They aren't prisoners. They say
goodbye. They go to another house. The experience is
finished. No? It is a beautiful moment and nothing more.

It has been said that meditation can be a copout
to enable you to avoid thinking about your problems.

I have no problems. Nobody has any problems.

Even if they think they do?

Wait a moment. All the universe is an enormous solution. If somebody
tells me he has a problem, I try to show him he has no problem.
I don't try to tell him he has no problem. I am not a guru.
I am not a master. I am a moviemaker and nothing more.
But if someone comes up with a problem, I try to show him.

So he can use you as his magic?

Yes. A person who is creative and never thinks of using anything.
Everything is using him. I am very happy because everything
is using me. And everything is using you. The complete galaxy
is using you. For something. I don't know what. I don't know,
but maybe the trees are used by the planet to take the sun
and make a kind of cookie. And then you eat these sun cookies.
You call them fruits. You are eating the sun. You are used as a radio.

A receiving set?


That is very poetic, but through all the storm and stress
of making your movie you never had a problem?

I don't have any problems. I can have difficulties. It can be very
hard to finish a picture or do anything. I can be ill. But it is not a
problem. They are normal things, part of the great solution.
I think illness has a magic meaning. You need this illness to
complete something in the future. You must not fight against this
illness. You must take it like a friend and understand why you are ill.

How can you do this?

When you have an illness, you must work in order to finish with
the illness. In this moment you are separated from society and
your ego. You need to concentrate and to create an anti-corps
against the bacteria. When the illness is finished, after the
time of concentration, you have more soul. You give to life a
wonderful meaning. You taste health, like a fantastic water. You
know you had a problem, but you finished it. Illness is a symptom of
weakness. When society is weak, illness is born. It is very good for
society. And this is the meaning of every war. Society needs to come to
the messiah, to be enlightened and to have a collective soul. If society does
not work in this way, war comes to demonstrate this symptom of weakness.
In order to finish with war, society must be enlightened. I suffer so much.
All my life. With all kinds of problems. I was full of problems. Till the day
I listen to the words of Marcel Duchamp. "There are no solutions because
there are no problems." I then understand. To understand the world as a
problem is only a human activity. But the universe is an enormous solution.

In the El Topo book, you said the goal of all human action
is enlightenment. Now you say this is not the goal.

Now is not the time to search enlightenment. Now is the time
to open my mouth. If a poem comes, I say the poem. If a burp
comes, I make a burp. I was searching for enlightenment like a
fool. The master, the guru says: "You must have enlightenment,
you're sleeping." And suddenly I finish with all the masters.
Why to have masters like this?

What was it that made you understand this?

You have a master, you suffer. You suffer so much and you don't
understand. No? And you want to have I don't know what ...
a honeymoon? But suddenly you realize there is no honeymoon.
You have the enlightenment! You have! You have! The
enlightenment from the master is not yours. The master
must teach you to learn of yourself. He can help you but
your life is yours. There are no other possibilities.

Then no one need acknowledge a master?

Our masters are the animals and the children.
The children are so fantastic. And what they do?
They play. Well, we must play. Fantastic games.
The game of enlightenment. The games to speak
to God. The games to go all over the universe can
be so fantastic. The astral travel can be a very
beautiful game. Reincarnation -- what a game!!!
Reincarnate any kind of thing. Fantastic!
The game to die. The game to be married.
The game to have children. The game to be ill.
The game to have a cancer. The game to kill a person
in war. All games. All our movement is a dream.

How do we acquire the attitude to permit
us to view life as a series of games?

Start with your body. Be comfortable. The solution
is to have the courage to see your ego; really like he is.
And to say -- Maya, Maya (illusion, illusion) -- and put
away all your problems. But you must know your
problems in order to put away your problems.
Break the conditional reflex. Kill the past, change
your name, modify your movements. Clean your mind.
Clean your heart. Clean your sex. Make an order in your
sex, your heart, your mind. Be a new guy. Change all
your habits. I think every one of us has in his unconscious
the idea of his own perfection. This body is not my body
because I didn't do this body. I recieved this body.
I received my life. I didn't do my life. My life is not
really my life. It is a gift. And this body comes with
universal wisdom. The key to all the symbols is the
human body. It has everything. Our unconscious is
infinitely wise. He knows our perfection. We can be
perfect. We can be the complete man. I think in this
civilization we are not what we are. We are under all
our possibilities. Under. But we are learning, like
children. I am very optimistic. But this society gives
you a false feeling of your body.

How does society give you a false feeling?

Look at yourself when you are face to face with a friend
or a woman, or your father and you will feel your body
different in each case. You feel your body in different
ways in accordance with circumstances. In Africa, you
can be naked in the village. Or a Hopi child sucking or
fucking his mother for sexual power. Every society has
its conceptions of the body. "The body is yours." Even
if you don't contruct it. But never does society give you
the conception that your body is a machine, a temporal
space ship, to help you to make the travel from the finite
to the infinite. Nobody teaches you that you don't have
an individual body. I think this -- we have a social body.
If there is illness in the world, I am ill. If there is murder
in the world, I am the murderer. If there is a value in the
world, I have that value. The Jews are waiting for a Messiah --
a God-man who will bring justice to the world. But the real
Messiah is a day -- a day when all humanity will have wisdom.
It will be the day of the collective body and the unique soul.

So you must lose the self-conceptions
imposed by society. But how?

It starts when you are a child. Because they teach you
how to eat. Even if they teach you how to eat freely,
they still give you self-conceptions. Those searching for
enlightenment in the younger generation are good persons
but they have enormous egos. Your family, your school,
even your country gives conceptions to you. And then
your head give you a conception of you. And then comes
a moment, the right moment, you must destroy your
self-conceptions because they are like mind conceptions.
You are not really like this. You must search for a way.
Each person needs some kind of training-meditation.
But meditation is so difficult.

What about the use of drugs and alcohol?

I never drink, I don't take drugs. I am not against anything human
beings do to reach their completeness. Drugs can help some experience.
But I am against taking drugs to have fun. This kills your health.

Is marijuana worse than alcohol?

The world changes from alcohol to marijuana. That is
good. Marijuana is better than alcohol. Magic is better
than reading. I don't know what you read in the U.S.
Love stories? War stories? Idiocies. Magic goes with marijuana.
It really prepares the person to have real, new magic. The real
solution is man without any kind of dependencies. The real conquest
of the complete man. Now we are children playing games.

Wait. A little while ago, you said we should play games.

Yes, we play games now. But soon we must learn to dance.
The music of the solar system is a dance. Life is not a
game, it's a dance. The world was made for dancing.

You spoke of playing games like children ...
the game of cancer, the game of war ...

Yes. Playing games now. But we must learn to
dance. My three-year-old son, Teo, I see him in bed.
He is sleeping. He is in a complicated position
of meditation. A natural Buddha position. The
child knows what we forget. He was not playing.
No games. He was dancing.

This is like talking to Marshall McLuhan.
Have you ever met McLuhan?

No, but I would like to. Would you like
to know some other people I'd like to meet?


I want to meet R.D. Laing and Buckminster Fuller
and the poet Ginsberg and Betty Middler.


Betty Middler. She is a fantastic singer I see in New
York. Also Alan Watts and Carlos Casteneda.
You know Casteneda? Fantastic! His stories of Don Juan?

One reviewer said he liked Casteneda but he would
not be convinced there really was a Don Juan
until he saw him on a television talk show.

But it does not matter whether Don Juan exists or not. I think
we must read the books like fantastic poetry. Read the books like
novels. I think Don Juan, in a few years, will be classic literature.

Could we get back to marijuana again.
What about young people, 12 or 13 years old.
Should they use it?

In the Jewish religion at 13 one is a man. Why does our society
think a man of 13 is a little kid? Because to the establishment
it is dangerous to give the voting rights to 13-year-olds.
The state tries to retard the growth of all its citizens.
Man has levels. For his first seven years, man must
develop his body and feelings. If not, he is retarded.
From seven to age 14 he must develop his mind.
If not, he is mentally retarded. And for the rest of
his life, he must make his soul. Gurdjieff said clearly,
"We come into the world with the seed of our soul.
But we must make it." The growth of the soul is a real
instinct in man. If society does not give man a possibility
to realize this instinct, man is bored. If a man is bored,
he will take drugs. At 13 it is very normal to take pot
because a kid starts to be bored. I am never against
the symptom but always the illness. To smoke pot is a
symptom. We must stop thinking of marijuana as a
problem and start to think of the development of the soul.

Most of the people around you appear to be
rather awed by you. Do you ever long for a
gadfly? Your own Alejandro Jodorowsky?

But I have! I have. I have fantastic conversations with
creative people. With you I am having a fantastic conversation.
I am having a wonderful time. A great show. A completely
human being here for my own amusement. What a gift. No?
Putting our voice there in the little machine. Fantastic.
The voice. What an incredible thing. Do you realize what
the voice is? It is the most subtle thing in the universe.
What you speak comes directly from your nervous system.
Your brain. It is the result of all your body. All your body
goes to your voice. We are all enlightened, we are the
most beautiful beings in the galaxy. Now we will be
something because we are fantastic, we will create
fantastic works. We will not re-create this world made
by suffering people. All society was made by people who
were suffering because they were not free. They had
religion, political parties, morals. All these bool-sheets.
We can make such beautiful cities.
A city can be a holy and fantastic thing.

Thank you, Mr. Jodorowsky.