Tuesday, 31 December 2019

The Warriorship of Bill Potts

Warriorship is a basic sense of unshakeability. 
It’s a sense of immovability and self-existing dignity rather than that you are trying to fight with something else.” 

What Doctor Who companion Bill Potts teaches viewers about foster care

The new character has the potential to shine a light on a group of children that people might not otherwise consider

Leanne Mattu
Wed 12 Jul 2017 10.12 BST 
Last modified on Tue 17 Jul 2018 11.38 BST

Fans of Doctor Who started to learn about the Time Lord’s new companion a year before her first appearance. In that time, we learned quite a bit about Bill Potts, played by Pearl Mackie, and much of the media focus rested on the fact that she is the first openly gay companion.

What no one knew until the first episode was broadcast is something that resonates with me on a professional level. I work at Celcis – the Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland – an organisation that works to make positive and lasting improvements in the wellbeing of children and young people who, for a variety of reasons, are looked after by the state, for example in foster care – children like Bill Potts.

Viewers first find out about her circumstances in a low-key way in the first episode, when she tells her foster mother, Moira, about The Doctor: “You know you’re my foster mum? He’s like my foster tutor.

Fostering a child with complex needs means being their advocate

I was keen to see how this aspect of Bill’s character would be received by viewers, given that media portrayals of foster families are sometimes problematic.

The first thing I noticed is that Bill is a working adult in her 20s, but still lives with her foster mother, Moira. 

Young people in care are often expected to become self-sufficient more quickly than their peers, but Bill’s situation is a nice example of the recent shift in policy that recommends young people have more gradual transitions to adulthood. 

Although we see Bill move out in episode four, this doesn’t work out, and by the sixth episode she is back living with Moira. 

I wonder how many viewers are aware that Bill’s experience isn’t the norm? How many would question the apparent ease with which Bill returned to live with her foster mother? 

In Scotland, less than 3% of young people eligible for support after leaving care remain with their former foster carers.

The media response to Bill’s family background was interesting. One review read:

Moffat’s decision to write Bill as someone who has failed to get into the university that The Doctor has been lecturing at is troubling. Why is such a bright young woman shovelling chips onto the plates of students, rather than learning alongside them? 

Such a storyline feels somewhat quaint and patronising today … it’s a shame that Moffat reinforces the notion that a person from a tough background ... will have a hard time pursuing higher education.

I can understand why the reviewer feels this was the wrong approach. Being looked after should be no barrier to accessing university, college or any other opportunity. 

It’s a sad reflection of reality, however, that the pursuit of higher education for young people who have been in care is still challenging. Bill herself tells us that she “never even applied”, although she’s “always wanted to come here”. 

We never find out why she didn’t, but lack of support or encouragement could have played a part. By reinforcing the notion that someone with Bill’s background might struggle to access higher education, I hope Steven Moffat has encouraged some viewers to wonder why that might be.

There were also some interesting comments about the relationship between Moira and Bill. One suggested Moira was “neither warm nor nurturing”. 

Another described her as “emotionally absent”, and a third as a “neglectful foster mother”. 

At first this was quite a leap to judgment, but episode six confirmed something hinted at in the first episode: Moira is oblivious to Bill’s sexuality. 

Their relationship isn’t as close as it perhaps first seemed. 

Although we find out that her mum died when Bill was a baby, we don’t know how long she has lived with Moira; perhaps, like many young people in care, Bill has moved several times and hasn’t lived with Moira long enough to develop a truly maternal level of closeness.

Children in foster care aren't waiting for a loving home – they are already in one
Andy Elvin

Bill does have a sense of connection with her biological mother, though. The Doctor, who learns that Bill has no photos of her, puts his time-travelling capabilities to good use by going back to get some. As social care professionals know, having photos may contribute to Bill’s understanding of her history and identity, which can be important for her wellbeing. 

Bill’s mum is only alluded to briefly a few times, but in episode eight Bill’s ability to focus her thoughts on her mother is vitally important.

In a speech at this year’s Scottish Institute of Residential Childcare conference, Lemn Sissay spoke about the long tradition of fictional characters from “substitute care” backgrounds, and suggested that “the kid in care is used in popular culture because they feel so much”. Bill has amazing potential to shine a (fictional, wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey) light on a group of children that people might not otherwise consider.

Leanne Mattu is a research associate at the Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland

[Bill's house, Bristol]

You know you're my foster mum?
He's like my foster tutor.

Am I going to have to break every bone in his body?

It's not like that.

You need to keep your eye on Men.

BILL: (sotto)
Men aren't where I keep my eye, actually....

I was a hidden treasure, 
and I wished to be known, 
so I created a creation (mankind), 
then made Myself known to them, 
and they recognised Me.


They'll attack on both sides. I'll take the back, yeah?

Yeah. This is it, I'm afraid.
So, if there's anything we ought to be saying?

I can't think of anything. 
Can you?

(thinks) No.

But, hey er, you know how I'm usually all about women and, 
and kind of people my own age.

Glad you knew that.

(She leaves.)

Without Hope. 
Without Witness. 
Without Reward.
(Alit enters.)
Is that it?
(Alit puts down something covered in a rough cloth.)
I really wouldn't harm you, you know.
I know.
(But she still backs away as Bill steps forward and picks it up, then uncovers it and turns it over. It is a mirror, and her reflection reveals that she is really still Cyber-Bill.)
That is not me.

I'm sorry.

I am Bill Potts.

I'm sorry! I'm sorry!

(She runs away and into the Doctor.)

I am Bill Potts!
DOCTOR: Hey, hey, hey, hey!
(Cyber-Bill puts down the mirror.)
DOCTOR: Hello, Bill Potts.

I'm sorry. I gave her a mirror.

Oh no, don't be sorry. 
You were being kind. 
Nothing wrong with kind. Jelly baby?

ALIT: Thank you.

You're welcome.

ALIT: Bye.


(Alit leaves and closes the barn door behind her. We see Bill as her human self again. The Doctor has a bit of a limp.)

What was that, in the mirror?

Er, a Cyberman.

What's a Cyberman?

A technologically augmented human being, designed to survive in a hostile environment. 
Perfectly sound idea. 
Unfortunately all they want to do is to turn everyone else into Cybermen too. 
They go viral.


They consider themselves to be an improvement, an upgrade.

No. Why do I see a Cyberman in the mirror?
(Long pause.)

 What do you remember?

There's quite a lot, you know? I was down there for ten years.

And then one day, they took you to the Conversion Theatre. 
Do you remember that?

No. Bits of it. 
You turned up.

Do you remember what they did to you?

Look at me, I'm fine. 
I'm fine!

(But as she touches her forehead, she sees a Cyber-hand.)

 You are so strong. You're amazing. 
Your mind has rebelled against the programming. 
It's built a wall around itself. 
A castle made of you, and you are standing on the battlements, saying no. “No, not me”.

What are you talking about?

All that time, living under the Monks, you learned to hang on to yourself.

But I'm, I'm fine. Look at me!

Bill, what you see is not you. 
Your mind is acting like a perception filter. 
You still see yourself as you used to be.

Used to be?

It won't last forever.

What do you mean, used to be?

(She advances, he retreats. Then she sees her shadow cast on the wall.)

Bill, I'm sorry, but you can't be angry any more. 
A temper is a luxury you can no longer

Why can't I? 
Why can't I be angry?

Bill, please!

You left me alone for ten -

Years! Don't tell me I can't be angry!

(Her helmet weapon blasts the barn door to firewood. The children scream.)
REXHILL [OC]: Get back! You all right?
DOCTOR: Because of that. That's why. Because you're a Cyberman.
Right. Everyone, back to work. 
Nothing to see here. 
Somebody broke the barn, no biggie.
Come on, defences don't build themselves

(Bill comes outside.)

It's okay. They're just frightened.

People are always going to be afraid of me, aren't they? 
Aren't they?

(He wipes a tear from her Cyber-face.)

What is that, engine oil?

No. It's an actual tear. 
But it shouldn't be.

Doctor. Right, while you've been here chatting up Robo-Mop, me and me have been busy. 
We've found it. (Razor) 
Oh, hello, my dear. 
My God, you were so boring for all those years. 
But it was worth every day of it, for this.

Bill, don't let him upset you.

Though, didn't you used to be a woman? 
I'm going to be a woman, fairly soon. 
Any tips? Or, maybe, I dunno, old bras?

I am not upset.

Oh. Well, doesn't that take all the fun out of cruelty. Might as well rile a fridge. Come on, this way.

(But inside, Bill is crying.)
BILL: Why are there so many children in that house?

Small community, several hundred at most. 
So they keep the children together for their protection.

(He indicates the Cyber-scarecrows.)

Those things, they make it up here sometimes. 
They try to take the children.
(He gasps and leans against a tree. Regeneration energy glows briefly in one hand.)

You all right?
Yes, fine.
(He breaks off a dead branch to use as a walking aid.)
What was that?
They target the children because conversion is easier with a younger donor. 
The brains are fresher, and because the bodies are smaller, there's less to er -
Less to what?

Less to throw away.

You said. 
I remember, you said you could fix this. 
That you could get me back. 
Did you say that?

I did say that, yes.

Were you lying?


Were you right?


We're not going to get out of this one, are we.
Well, I don't know. There are always possibilities.
(Thank you, Mister Spock.)

No. I can feel it. In my head, the programming. 
The Cybermen are taking me over, piece by piece. 
It's like I'm hanging on in a hurricane, and I can't hang on forever.

Bill, look, whatever it takes

No, I want you to know, as my friend, I don't want to live if I can't be me anymore. 
Do you understand?


And that's not possible, is it?

Well, I'll tell you what else isn't possible. A Cyberman crying. 
Where there's tears, there's hope. 
Come on.

The Darker, Deeper Wood

With a Burning Hart Blazing, 
in The Darker, Deeper Wood. 

By Mid-Afternoon, 
The King had become irretrievably lost, 
and His Quarry, The Silver Stag, 
had completely disappeared. 
The Best Kind of Guide 
you could ever hope to find 
is one that will take you right to the spot which is precisely where you need to be – 
 and then leaves you there. 

The King, being a Wise Young Man, 
got down from his horse, and sat down. 

If you don't know What to Do,
 sit quietly, until your wits come back. 

 What are We Going to Do? 

 We Shall Be Patient.

The Warriorship of Beverley Marsh

“Warriorship is a basic sense of unshakeability. 
It’s a sense of immovability and self-existing dignity rather than that you are trying to fight with something else.” 

It’s an enormously valuable lesson in confidence-building.

“Afterward, Some are Strong at The Broken Places.”

The word "Survivor" used to mean "One Who Has Survived," but now Modern Psychiatry would have Us believe that Survival is a Curse, like Sisyphus with His Rock.

And so every day we wake - To Survive Again.

Among the Merovingians, whose rulers were the "long-haired kings", the ancient custom remained that an unsuccessful pretender or a dethroned king would be tonsured. 

Then he had to retire to a monastery, but sometimes this lasted only until his hair grew back.

Thus Grimoald the Elder, the son of Pippin of Landen, and Dagobert II's guardian, seized the throne for his own son and had Dagobert tonsured, thus marking him unfit for kingship,and exiled.

The practice of tonsure, coupled with castration, was common for deposed emperors and their sons in Byzantium from around the 8th century, prior to which disfigurement, usually by blinding, was the normal practice.

“Why are so many people in America obsessed with Marilyn Manson; corpses; dead people; misery; John Wayne Gacy… John Wayne Gacy’s a fucking prick. 

Y’know, he killed a few people and did some shitty paintings. 

What’s that? 

Why should we be engaged with that? 

And yet that has become.. what, “apocalypse culture“?

Where do we go from there, that isn’t that? 
Where do we go that isn’t playing with our own shite?

The Answer… back to the individual.
If the individual doesn’t work – if Patrick McGoohan was wrong; Number 6 was wrong to stand on that beach screaming “I am not a number, I am a free man!” – what do we have left?
Because ultimately the guy who’s not a number and not a free man experiences neurosis, the longer he goes down that path. I’m sure there’s a bunch of people here, like me, who eventually… you’ve worked your way through this stuff; you’ve read the books, you’ve done this shit; you’ve taken the drugs; you’ve been there, you’ve seen it. We’ve all experienced enlightenment in little bits. You know it’s out there; you know this stuff is true: the consensus doesn’t explain our lives. But what does?
Imagine getting rid of the individual. Imagine getting rid of that scaffolding. What do we have left? And here’s what I’m about to offer:
The more I looked into it, the more I began to see that we have these mutants living among us, right now. The people from the 21st century; from the end of the 21st century are here. But there is no context for them. In the same way that – y’know, if you lived in… Tunguska two hundred years ago, and you were an epileptic, you would be a shaman. There was a context for you. In this society, you’re an epileptic. It’s quite simple; it’s a disease, and nothing you say is of any worth because it’s considered pathology.
If, on the other hand, you look at these people, who are the mutants… and what do they call it? Multiple Personality Disorder.
This is what lies beyond the personality; the “I”; the bullshit.
Because if you take “I” to the limit – and like I said, I’m sure a lot of us here have done this – it becomes… all that happens is that self questions self. Endlessly; repetitively. “Am I doing this right? Is this the right way? Should I think about these people like this? Should I approach them this way; should I involve them this way?” Self questions self, endlessly, and it reaches a peak… it goes nowhere.
On the national scale, that same thing – self questions self; self encounters not-self; equals borders, war, destruction.. that’s where it goes. That’s where it ends. That thing ends in disaster.
It ends in neurosis on a personal level. And it ends in war on the national level.
So I began to think: “What could we replace that with?” And I was looking at these poor MPD fuckers. And I realised they just don’t have a context.
What would happen if we decided to abandon the personality, and replace it with a multiple personality complex? Because as we all know – everyone in here, I’m sure.. I mean, I feel as if I can say this for certain, knowing human beings as they are: sometimes you do things that you don’t want to do. Sometimes you do things that are contradictory to what you think. Sometimes you fuck yourself up.
Why? Because there’s not one person in here; there’s hundreds.
And if you start giving them names, and you start shuffling them about; if you start playing with them, you become a bigger human being. Because you’ve no longer allowed yourself to stop at your boundaries.
Imagine the personality as… let’s choose Windows, even though that’s a contentious one. Imagine the personality as Windows. Instead of the personality.. there’s so many people, I’m sure you’ve met them.. you talk to them, and they say “No, this is the way I am. I’ve worked on this. This is me. And I won’t change. And you’ll just have to work with that. This is me; this is important; this is what I’ve come to, and this is what I’ve Made Of Myself.”
Bullshit. It’s a trap. They don’t go anywhere; they’re stuck there.
What if those same people were then given Personality 2000? Which is an upgrade, and an add-on? And here’s a bit of your personality that likes hip hop? Here’s a bit to your personality that likes ballet? And because we’ve all got them. And we’ve got the fucker.. we’ve got the serial killer inside; we’ve got the wonderful new-age bastard… we’ve got whatever we like. We’ve got James Bond in there. We’ve got Pussy Galore in there. They’re all there.
So what I’m suggesting is that we start working with that. Abandon the personality; abandon the individual; abandon the “I” because it’s a lie, and it has held us down; it’s been like a weight round our necks. It was useful for the last two thousand years of history, because it created this out of the chaos that was – and this is more coherent; more useful; more meaningful. It has its problems; everything does; every system has – but we’re getting better.
And I think what we should do is walk away from the crap of the 21st century, and start thinking about what we’ve been experiencing.
My feeling about the 20th century, and about World War II and about Auschwitz and all of that stuff is that we had to go through it. We had to do it. That was humanity’s dark night of the soul, and it will never, ever happen again. But it had to happen.
Every single nightmare image, every image of hell that we have in our minds happened. Everything you can think of; people were flayed, brutalised, gassed, tortured, cut into pieces, turned into pigs – everything you can imagine happened. The world was a wasteland. There were cities completely annihilated. We went through it.
Why did we do that?
Stanislav Grof has a conception of the ‘perinatal matrices‘, which was one of the big influences on the film The Matrix. You might recognise some of this. He says that things that happen to us around birth are really profound, and they have all kinds of weird effects. They effect society, they effect the self; they effect everything. They have reverberations.
And he claims that there are several states, that he calls “Basic Perinatal Matrices”.
The first state is oceanic bliss – which we’re all familiar with, I’m sure. Oceanic fuckin’ bliss, mate. And that is the state of the baby in the womb, untouched – everything is provided for; everthing is there; everything you need will turn up out of the blue.
Basic Perinatal Matrix 2 is a different thing. It’s when the womb starts to turn a little toxic, and begins to suggest we’re about to be expelled. And, y’know, we don’t remember this stuff – what happened? What was the feeling of that fetus in there who suddenly thinks: “My entire universe has been overturned and I’m about to be shit out”? Does he know where he’s going? “What the fuck’s this? Y’know, I was happy there. It was cool; I was getting everything I wanted.”
And so on into BPM 4 – which is kind of a release from tension; which is the birth process.
So I’m beginning to think.. as a society – and returning to the idea of ontogeny as history.. phylogeny, or whatever the fuck the word is.. what we’re looking at now is humanity’s process through Grofian matrices.
And what we went through is actually a Stanislav Grof Basic Perinatal Matrix 3 experience.
Every image that he talks about: death camps, control, the idea of people.. babies trapped in tubes.. you’ll recognise all this from The Matrix, as I said.
Oil, mechanisms, machines that hate us; destructive technology.. it all happened.
What if this little baby that is the universe; this little larvae that’s approaching culmination, has had to go through these stages? Because everything does. If you want to get rid of war, how do you get rid of war? You inoculate yourself against war by having the worst fuckin’ war you’ve ever had in your life. And everything after that’s just an aftershock. We’ve done nothing worse than what we did in those few years. Humanity’s never come close to anything like it. We’ve tried; there’s been a few lunatics who’ve tried. But nothing on that scale.
So what if we choose to imagine that humanity has passed through that stage?
We’ve reached the 21st century, and we’re now approaching Basic Perinatal Matrix 4. Which is: victory after war. Which is: the struggle is over. Which is: we’re all here; what do we do next?
There was no apocalypse; there was no Christ. There was no rapture. There is nothing. All this stuff is shit.
There is only us. And we’ve still got another thousand years, and maybe another thousand beyond that, and maybe another twenty thousand beyond that.
What are we gonna do?
Who are we?
Are we gonna stick to these personalities; these bounded, territorial things?
Are we gonna expand ourselves; make ourselves bigger? So that if you happen to like.. [say] ‘world music’ and I don’t, I can tap into your love of ‘world music’, and experience it – and it means something.
So all I’m suggesting here is that we all take up magic. Because basically it works. We can change the world. It’s quite simple; the technology’s there. The Buddhists have been telling us.. as I said, people have been telling us this for so long. And in the last two hundred years, it’s been driven underground and we’ve forgotten.
And people like us are here today to try and recover something of that. And the way to recover it, is to do it. Do the techniques. Go buy an Aleister Crowley book; [or] buy one by Phil Hine or Peter Carroll that’s a bit more up to date, and you don’t have to bother with that 18th century fucking language. But do the shit, and you will find it works.
And we stand here now. This is the counterculture. We are the counterculture.. this is like, this shit. I went to this thing in, like, 1987 and it was Robert Anton Wilson and the whole deal – and I remember sitting in the audience thinking “fuck, rave is dead”. Because it was that kind of thing; that version of it’s dead. The hippy version of it’s dead.
We stand here. And we’re looking ahead. What are we gonna do?
Abandon the personality is what I suggest.
Get rid of the sense of self. Get rid of the sense of “I”, and make yourself something bigger. Imagine that every time you want to learn something new, it’s a new computer program; you can buy the operating system; the update. You can learn to fly a plane in seven days according to Neuro-Linguistic Programming – so why not? Let’s do it.
Do we want to change things? Or are we just sitting here talking?
No answer.
Are we talking at all? Do we want to change things? Yeah! Right – that’s why we’re fucking here, man. That is why we’re here!
So what are we gonna do?
If you want to change things, the first thing you have to change is yourself.
Because if you don’t change yourself, you will take on the world as if it is yourself – and fuck up. You will really fuck up, because you don’t understand your own dark side. If you don’t understand your own weird, shitty side.. if you don’t understand the fact that there’s someone in there who will kill your mother, if need be – if you can’t take that on; if you can’t take that on board and realise that Charles Manson and me and you are not much different; that John Wayne Gacy and me and you are not much different – except that he did it. Y’know, there’s those days when I’m gonna kill that motherfucker over there – but we don’t do it.
But it’s in us, and it’s there. And so much of this is denial. That we have no dark side. You know: the hippies, and those lovely people in the rave era who were all on ecstasy – they tried to pretend we have no dark side. And what happened was they got fucked up by their own dark side. As will always happen.
So let’s kiss our dark sides; let’s fuck our dark sides. Get him down there where he belongs. And he can tell us stuff. Y’know, that thing’s useful.
But above all: let’s become plex-creatures. Complex, superplex – be able to take on new personality traits; able to take on new ideas; able to adapt; able to extend our boundaries into what was previously the ‘enemy territory’ – until the point where we become what was once our enemy, and they are us, and there is no distinction.
Mad Cow Disease, or BSE, or CJD – Creutzfeld-Jacob Disease; it’s very interesting. It’s hitting the headlines; people are interested in these new 21st-century fucked up diseases that are gonna wipe us all out, apparently.
This is a disease – I’ve been studying this, coz it seems like a really good metaphor to use – CJD is a disease that attacks the brain and central nervous system and utterly demolishes them. Completely; you’re fucked. You will slide down a ramp like a stupid cow. You’ll fall on the concrete; you won’t be able to walk; your brain will turn to sponge. You’ll be eaten to bits.
You know that CJD does that without the immune system noticing? The immune system can’t detect CJD. By the time you’re slipping down the ramp like a cow, it’s all over. The immune system suddenly says: “Oh fuck; we’re in trouble.” Too late, mate.
So what happens if we act like BSE and CJD? What if we colonise the culture? What if we give it something it can’t swallow?
And this is a little bit like what Doug [Rushkoff] was saying earlier: we go in there; they want us. They’re desperate for us, because they think we know this shit; we know something they don’t know. We’re attached; we’re connected in some way that they don’t.. “they”, whoever “they” are; these poor bastards. They’re looking at us, like – coz I’ve got a leather jacket, I know something, y’know?!
But that’s what they think. And what I think has actually happened here is: the culture’s getting weirder and weirder.
Back home in Britain, Tony Blair is putting up cameras in every street corner. And he’s talking about putting cameras in peoples’ homes. He’s gotten rid of trial by jury. This is like, fascist Britain 1999, y’know?
But the more he does this, the weirder things get.
The more cameras you put up, the more people will start to act like movie stars. The more people start to act like movie stars, the weirder things get. And then the *more* cameras they put up to try and deal with it! And the weirder it gets!
So let ‘em bring the cameras; I’ll fucking act the shit out of these bastards! Let’s have the cameras. Let’s have cameras everywhere. And we’ll show them what we can do.
And they’ll be watching, going: “Man, that guy’s getting fucked; I wish I was.”
And they want in. They want in on this. So let’s, like Doug said, invite them in. Let’s take them in. Let’s be like the diseased prion that destroys its host, and CJD.
Let’s go in there and give them something they cannot digest. Something they cannot process. Something so toxic, so dangerous, so powerful.. that it will breed, and destroy them utterly.
Not destroy them – turn them into us. Because that’s what we want. We want everybody to be cool. We don’t want to go in and think: “That guy over there’s gonna kill me; that guy hates me; that guy’s got some fucking weird agenda.”
Don’t we just wanna talk? And let it all go, and just say: “Hey, I’m interested in you; what have you got to tell me?”
That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? We communicate; we join up; we make networks; we make things happen.
And there are some people in the world who don’t wanna do that.
So let us infect them.
Infect them to the point where they become us.
Where there’s nothing left in this world, but us.
And then some kid’ll come up and fuck that as well.
And that’ll be exactly what we need at the time.
And that’s me finished, so thank you very much.”


“Warriorship is a Basic Sense of Unshakeability. 
It’s a sense of Immovability and Self-Existing Dignity rather than that you are trying to fight with Something Else.”

While teaching at the University of Florida, Alfred Korzybski counselled his students to eliminate the infinitive and verb forms of "to be" from their vocabulary, whereas a second group continued to use "I am," "You are," "They are" statements as usual. 

For example, instead of saying, "I am depressed," a student was asked to eliminate that emotionally primed verb and to say something else, such as, "I feel depressed when ..." or "I tend to make myself depressed about ..."

Korzybski observed improvement "of one full letter grade" by "students who did not generalize by using that infinitive".

Albert Ellis advocated the use of E-Prime when discussing psychological distress to encourage framing these experiences as temporary (see also Solution focused brief therapy) and to encourage a sense of agency by specifying the subject of statements.

According to Ellis, Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy "has favored E-Prime more than any other form of psychotherapy and I think it is still the only form of therapy that has some of its main books written in E-Prime".

However, Ellis did not always use E-Prime because he believed it interferes with readability.

Standard English
Blessed are The Poor in Spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

— New American Standard Bible, Matthew 5:3

The Poor in Spirit receive blessings, for The Kingdom of Heaven belongs to them.


When I was growing up, Tales of King Arthur,
Tales of the medieval knights,
Tales of the dragon slayers were very strong in My World.
Dragons represent greed, really.
The European dragon guards things in his cave,
and what he guards are
Heaps of Gold
And he can’t make use of either of them,
but he just guards.
There’s no vitality of experience,
either of The Value of The Gold
or of The Female whom he’s guarding there.
Psychologically, the dragon is one’s own binding of oneself to one’s ego,
and you’re captured in your own dragon cage.
And the problem of the psychiatrist is to break that dragon, open him up, so that you can have a larger field of relationships.
Jung had a patient come to him who felt alone, and she drew a picture of herself as caught in the rocks, from the waist down she was bound in rocks.
And this was on a windy shore, and the wind blowing and her hair blowing, and all The Gold, which is The Sign of The Vitality of Life, was locked in The Rocks.
And the next picture that he had her draw had followed something he had said to her.
Suddenly a lightning flash hit the rocks,
and The Gold came pouring out,
and then she found reflected on rocks round about The Gold.
There was no more Gold in the rocks, it was all available on the top.
And in the conferences that followed, those patches of gold were identified.
They were her friends.
She wasn’t alone,
but she had locked herself in her own little room and life,
but she had friends.
Do you see what I mean?
This is Killing The Dragon.
And you have fears and things, this is the dragon;
that’s exactly what’s that all about.
At least The European dragon;
The Chinese dragon is different.
What is it?
It represents The Vitality of The Swamps
and The Dragon comes out beating his belly and saying 
“Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.”
You know, that’s another kind of dragon.
And he’s The One That Yields The Bounty and The Waters and all that kind of thing. 
He’s The Great Glorious Thing. 
But this is The Negative One that cuts you down.
So what you’re saying is, if there are not dragons out there,
and there may not be at any one moment.
The real dragon is in you.
And what is that real dragon?
That’s your ego, holding you in.
What’s my ego?
What I want, what I believe, what I can do, what I think I love, and all that. 
What I regard as the aim of my life and so forth. 
It might be too small. 
It might be that which pins you down. 
And if it’s simply that of doing what the environment tells you to do,
it certainly is pinning you down.
And so the environment is your dragon, as it reflects within yourself.
How do I slay…
How do you?
Slay that dragon in me? 
What’s the journey I have to make, you have to make, each of us has to make? 
You talk about something called the soul’s high adventure.
My general formula for my students is, follow your bliss,
I mean, find where it is, and don’t be afraid to follow it.
Can my bliss be my life’s love, or my life’s work?
Well, it will be your life.
Is it my work or my life?
Well, if the work that you’re doing is the work that you chose to do because you are enjoying it, that’s it. 
But if you think,
“Oh, gee, I couldn’t do that,”
you know, that’s your dragon blocking you in. 
“Oh, no, I couldn’t be a writer, oh, no,
I couldn’t do what so-and-so is doing.”
Unlike the classical heroes,
we’re not going on our journey to Save The World,
but to save ourselves.
And in doing that, you Save The World.
I mean, you do. 
The influence of a vital person vitalizes, there’s no doubt about it. 
The World is a Wasteland. 
People have the notion of saving the world by shifting it around and changing the rules and so forth.
No, any world is a living world if it’s alive, and the thing is to bring it to life.
And the way to bring it to life is to find in your own case where your life is, and be alive yourself, it seems to me.
But you say I have to take that journey and go down there and slay those dragons. 
Do I have to go alone?
If you have someone who can help you, that’s fine, too.
But ultimately the last trick has to be done by you.
In all of these journeys of mythology, there’s a place everyone wishes to find. What is it? The Buddhists talk of nirvana; Jesus talks of peace. There’s a place of rest and repose. Is that typical of the hero’s journey, that there’s a place to find?
That’s a place in yourself of rest.
Now this I know a little bit about from athletics.
The athlete who is in championship form has a quiet place in himself. And it’s out of that that his action comes.
If he’s all in the action field, he’s not performing properly. There’s a center out of which you act.
And Jean, my wife, a dancer, tells me that in dance this is true, too, there’s the center that has to be known and held. There it’s quite physically recognized by the person. But unless this center has been found, you’re torn apart, tension comes.
Now, the Buddha’s word is nirvana; nirvana is a psychological slate of mind. It’s not a place, like heaven, it’s not something that’s not here; it is here, in the middle of the turmoil, what’s called samsara, the whirlpool of life conditions. That nirvana is what, is the condition that comes when you are not compelled by desire or by fear, or by social commitments, when you hold your center and act out of there.
And like all Heroes, The Buddha doesn’t show you The Truth, The Illumination;
He shows you The Way to It.
The Way.
But it’s got to be Your Way, too.
I mean, how should I get rid of Fear?
The Buddha can’t tell me how I’m going to do it. There are exercises that different teachers will give you, but they may not work for you. And all a teacher can do is give you a clue of the direction. He’s like a lighthouse that says there are rocks over here, and steer clear.