I believe you´re right about it that Jim didn´t care what people thought about his art as far as he wouldn´t let anyone tell him how to do things, yes as you put it he danced like nobody is watching, but at the same time he was very sensitive about it too, how people would like it. Remember how happy he was when Michael McClure liked his poetry and how it frustrated him when he couldn´t get things through with the Doors he wanted to do artistically. I do understand what you mean and I agree with you, in his life and his art he was trying to be free... This actually is one thing I like so much about Jim. I believe he wanted to inspire people just like in the beautiful poem you posted (thanks for sharing), he didn´t want you to think so much about what he wanted to say but to find your own meaning in the words, make you think about that.
i think any 'artist' is happy when other established artists appreciate what you are doing. it's sometimes lonely...you're doing your own thing and it's your expression, but someone criticizes you and then you begin to doubt yourself. well, at least, that's my experience.
to be free is a difficult thing, especially when society tells you you should be one way or the other. you have to be able to fit into abercrombie & fitch clothes to be in the 'acceptable' crowd. if you are an artist, and you march to the beat of another drummer, you're strange. when you're young it's hard to get past what others think.
when i went to high school there was a group of people who were called 'hippies'. this was well past the 60s, but these kids dressed how they wanted to, and didn't care about what the supposed 'cool' kids thought. they were busy reading poetry and playing guitars. they were all in the art department, too. never once did these 'hippies' ever say anything to me about my levis and cowboy boots. they didn't care. i remember shuffling down the hall one day and one of the mainstream kids said something about me and my boots. i felt horrible. i wish i knew then that it's better to be an individual.