Marlon Brando: The Gift of Delusion

Interview with Marlon Brando
Conducted by James Grissom

There are two things that are vital to being happy: A gift of delusion and money. Both will protect you and keep you going.

I don't know why delusion is considered a defect, a disorder. Tennessee said we need a myth to get up in the morning, and I think we need a delusion, which may be the same thing. We delude ourselves into thinking our parents love us and will take care of us. We delude ourselves into thinking that things will turn out okay, if we only love and work hard and do the right things. We delude ourselves into thinking that we are loved and appreciated. We delude ourselves into thinking that even if things are terrible for us right here, right now, there is a Heaven, a nirvana, a reward waiting for us: A balm to soothe all abrasions.

This is all delusion.

We delude ourselves into thinking that our work matters. We pray that it does.

Prayer is a delusion, because there is no one with the time and the interest to hear our woes and our progress.

We are in it alone.

Life without a delusion and some money isn't worth a damn.

So invent your God, your ideal audience, your hoped-for responses to your every performance or poem or invention. Imagine the glory from your invented friends.

Surround yourself with the very few people you can love and to whom you can give anything of value. Delude yourself into thinking that you can protect them and that they love you.

Then retreat into the silence and the calm that money can buy. The greatest investments of your money should be silence and distance.

Delusion is a gift if utilized correctly.

Learn this.

© 2014 James Grissom


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