Interview With Jim Morrison
Lizzie James: I think fans
of The Doors see you as a savior, the leader who'll set them
all free. How do you feel about that? It's kind of a heavy burden,
Jim Morrison: It's absurd.
How can I set free anyone who dosen't have the guts to stand
up alone and declare his own freedom? I think it's a lie--people
claim they want to be free--everybody insists that freedom is
what they want the most, the most sacred and precious thing a
man can possess. But that's bullshit! People are terrified to
be set free-they hold on to their chains. They fight anyone who
tries to break those chains. It's their security....How can they
expect me or anyone to set them free if they don't really want
to be free?
Lizzie: Why do you think people
Jim: I think people resist
freedom because they're afraid of the unknown. But it's ironic
... That unknown was once very well known. It's where our souls
belong ... The only solution is to confront them -- confront
yourself -- with the greatest fear imaginable. Expose yourself
to yourself to your deepest fear. After that, fear has no power,
and fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.
Lizzie: What do mean when you
Jim: There are different kinds
of freedom -- there's a lot of misunderstanding ... The most
important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade
in your reality for a role. You trade in your senses for an act.
You give up your ability to feel and in exchange, put on a mask.
There can't be any large-scale revolution until there's a personal
revolution, on an individual level. It's got to happen inside
You can take away a man's political
freedom and you won't hurt him -- unless you take away his freedom
to feel. That can destroy him.
Lizzie: But how can anyone
else have the power to take away from your freedom to feel?
Jim: Some people surrender
their freedom willingly--but others are are forced to surrender
it. Imprisonment begins with birth. Society, parents; they refuse
to allow you to keep the freedom you are born with. There are
subtle ways to punish a person for daring to feel. You see that
everyone around you has destroyed his true feeling nature. You
imitate what you see.
Lizzie: Are you saying that
we are, in effect, brought up to defend and perpetuate a society
that deprives people of the freedom to feel?
Jim: Sure ... teachers,religious
leaders-even friends, or so-called friends -- take over where
the parents leave off. They demand that we feel the only feelings
they want and expect from us. They demand all the time that we
preform feelings for them. We're like actors-turned loose in
this world to wander in search of a phantom ... endlessly searching
for a half-forgotten shadow of our lost reality. When others
demand that we become the people they want us to be, they force
us to destroy the person we really are. It's a subtle kind of
murder ... the most loving parents and relatives commit this
murder with smiles on their faces.
Lizzie: Do you think it's possible
for an individual to free himself from these repressive forces
on his own -- all alone?
Jim: That kind of freedom can't
be granted. Nobody can win it for you. You have to do it on your
own. If you look to somebody else to do it for you -- somebody
outside yourself -- you're still depending on others. You're
still vulnerable to those repressive,evil outside forces, too.
Lizzie: But isn't it possible
for people who want that freedom to unite -- to combine their
strength, maybe just to strengthen each other? It must be possible.
Jim: Friends can help each
other. A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom
to be yourself-and especially to feel. Or not feel. Whatever
you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. That's
what real love amounts to -- letting a person be what he really
is ... Most people love you for who you pretend to be ... To
keep their love, you keep pretending -- preforming. You get to
love your pretense ... It's true, we're locked in an image, an
act -- and the sad thing is, people get so used to their image
-- they grow attached to their masks. They love their chains.
They forgot all about who they really are. And if you try to
remind them, they hate you for it -- they feel like you're trying
to steal their most precious possession.
Lizzie: It's ironic -- it's
sad. Can't they see that what you're trying to show them is the
way to freedom?
Jim: Most people have no idea
what they're missing. Or society places a supreme value on control
-- hiding what you feel. Our culture mocks "primitive cultures"
and prides itself on supression of natural instincts and impulses.
Lizze: In some of your poetry,
you openly admire and praise primitive people -- Indians, for
instance. Do you mean that it's not human beings in general but
our particular society that's flawed and destructive?
Jim: Look at how other cultures
live --p eacefully, in harmony with the earth, the forest --
animals. They don't build war machines and invest millions of
dollars in attacking other countries whose political ideals don't
happen to agree with their own.
Lizze: We live in a sick society.
Jim: It's true ... and part
of the disease is not being aware that we're diseased ... Our
society has too much to hold on to,and value -- freedom ends
up at the bottom of the list.
Lizze: But isn't there something
an artist con do? If you didn't feel you, as an artist, could
accomplish something, how could you go on?
Jim: I offer images -- I conjure
memories of freedom that can still be reached -- like The Doors,
right? But we can only open the doors -- we can't drag people
through. I can't free them unless they want to be free -- more
than anything else ... Maybe primitive people have less bullshit
to let go of, to give up. A person has to be willing to give
up everything -- not just wealth. All the bullshit he's been
taught -- all society brainwashing. You have to let go of all
that to get to the other side. Most people aren't willing to