The Tao of Eastwood

Chapter 14

To Laugh or Not To Laugh


Frank Morris | Escape from Alcatraz

When a superior person hears of the Tao,
she diligently puts it into practice.
When an average person hears of the Tao,
he believes half of it and doubts the other half.
When a foolish person hears of the Tao,
he laughs out load at the very idea.
If he didn’t laugh, it wouldn’t be the Tao.

Tao Te Ching | from verse 41

In a conversation with a fellow inmate, Frank Morris is asked, “Geez, what kind of childhood did you have?”

Morris offers no explanation of his past, but it’s clear he realized the necessity of living in the moment, being aware of his surroundings, at an early age. Not one to dwell on pointless “what could have been’s”, he was forced to dwell in reality. He could not run from it or pretend not to notice.

There are as many ways to express the belief in the Way things are as there are human beings to express them. As you ask and pray and meditate, sooner or later your eyes open to the awesomeness of it all. That is, hopefully they do.

Most people never see and scoff at such notions. Some sort of see but are too busy to bother. The few see right away and start down the path.

Escape from Alcatraz is Eastwood’s retelling of the greatest prison break story of all time. It is stark and lean and honest, much like the Leone western films. Simple and direct in both character and action, it is another work of art that reflects the Tao Te Ching itself.