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I therefore laid this work aside and now devoted myself entirely to practical magic. If my dream of being an artist had been an illusion, if I was incapable of a 'Pot of Gold' or a Magic Flute, at least I was a born magician. By the Eastern path of Lao-tse and the I Ching, I had long ago advanced far enough to know with certainty about the accidental nature and mutability of so-called reality. Now through magic I manipulated this reality according to my wishes and I must say I took much joy in doing so. I have to confess, however, that I did not always confine myself to the noble garden known as white magic, but from time to time was drawn over to the black side by that lively little flame within me.

 

At the age of more than seventy, just after two universities had singled me out for honorary degrees, I was brought to trial for the seduction by magic of a young girl. In jail I begged for permission to pass the time by painting. This was granted. Friends brought me paints and artist's materials, and I painted a little landscape on the wall of my cell. Thus I had once more returned to art, and all the shipwrecks I had suffered as an artist could not deter me for a moment from draining once more that noblest of cups, from building up once again like a child at play a lovely little play world, and from sating my heart with it, from once more throwing away all wisdom and abstraction and turning to the primitive lust of creation.