Showing posts with label Mentorship. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mentorship. Show all posts

Saturday, 23 November 2019

Fortress of Solitude

What does it mean, to have a sacred place?
This is a term I like to use now as an absolute necessity for anybody today. 

You must have a room, or a certain hour a day or so –
Where you do not know what was in the newspapers that morning
You don’t know who your friends are,
You don’t know what you owe to anybody, 
You don’t know what anybody owes to you, 
But a place where you can simply experience
and bring forth What You Are
What You Might Be. 
This is the place of Creative Incubation. 
And first you may find that nothing’s happening there, but if you have a sacred place and use it, and take advantage of it, something will happen.
This place does for you what the plains did for The Hunter…
For them the whole thing was a sacred place, do you see? 
But most of our action is economically or socially determined, and does not come out of our life. 
I don’t know whether you’ve had the experience I’ve had, but as you get older, the claims of the environment upon you are so great that you hardly know where the hell you are. 
What is it you intended? 
You’re always doing something that is required of you this minute, that minute, another minute. 
Where is your bliss station, you know? 
Try to find it. 
Get a phonograph and put on the records,
the music, that you really love. 
Even if it’s corny music that nobody else respects,
I mean, the one that you like or the book you want to read,
get it done and have a place in which to do it. 
There you get the “thou” feeling of Life. 
These people had it for the whole world that they were living in.

Switch :
How is this here? 
This Cave? 
I made it.

Thursday, 21 November 2019

Profiles in Mentorship : LEGION and Switch

I'm David.
Come on in.
I'll make some Tea.

Yes, it pays to be kind.

Are you out of your mind?!?
"Is black tea okay?" 

What are you gonna do with This One? 

Give her a wee nib of The Blue Stuff and sling her in with all The Others?

“Honesty is non-negotiable in a relationship of this nature because you need to Trust someone if you’re going to allow them to Help you, and they of course need to be dealing with The Truth of Who You Are, not the Facebook, press release version of yourself you’ve been fobbing the world off with up till now. 

What I brought to the relationship, I now know, was Honesty, Open-mindedness and Willingness – known as ‘HOW’ in 12 Step jargon. 

This is the attitude I deploy still in any relationship where I am The Student. Whether in meditation, Jiu Jitsu or business affairs I approach my teacher, my ‘mentor’, in an honest, open-minded and willing way. 

I recognize that they have something I want, that they have achieved something that I haven’t, that as I am in the moment I sit before them, I am insufficient, and for the transfer of energy or education to take place I must be mentally and spiritually prepared. 

This is as true for a yoga class as it is for a Spanish lesson or therapy.”

Excerpt From
Mentors by
Russell Brand

I'm David.
Come on in.
I'll make some tea.

Switch :
What is this place? 

People have their pain.
Their hearts are sad.
Their minds are tired.
I help them.

Switch :

I'm the magic man.
All I ask is that they stay and keep me company after.
Take care of the house.
Love each other.
I need that.

Switch :
How is this here? 
This cave? 

I made it.
Try this.
Close your eyes.
Close your eyes.
And picture your bedroom.

Your bed.
Can you see it? Really see it? 
The walls, the windows? 
The way the light falls? 

• Open your eyes •
It's a mental space.
You imagined it.
I made it Real.

Switch :
You read my mind? 

No secrets.
That's one of our rules.

Switch :
What about Trust

I tried that, and it's better to read people's minds.

I'm adopted.
When I was a baby, a monster snuck into my head and haunted me for 33 years.
But I'm better now.

Switch :
How are you? 

Good. I'm good.
How are you? 

Switch :
You know.

My dad collects robots.
There's a room in our apartment.
Some are life-sized.
Some toys.
Sometimes at night, I go in there.
I stand very still, and pretend I'm a robot, too.

So what are 
"The Forces of Division"? 
Why do you need a Time Traveler? 

Switch :
So it's a girl thing.
You want to go back in time and what? 
Get your girlfriend back? 

I thought about it.
Doing everything again, making different choices, but [CLICKS TONGUE.] it won't work.

You know how sometimes you can be so sure what The Problem is and then you realise The Problem is really something else? 

Switch :

Well, you're Young.

When I was in the psych ward, everybody was so sure the problem was neurological.

Brain chemistry, serotonin.
"David Haller, schizophrenic." 

Switch :
You were in a psychiatric hospital? 

Lots of times.
Psych hospitals, emergency rooms.

"David, don't swallow all your mother's diet pills." 

"David, don't huff the chemicals under the sink." 

Like I'm supposed to what? 

Pretend The Voices aren't real? 
You know? 

Switch :
Yeah, sure.

You see, like I said, when I was a baby, a monster came into my head and haunted me for, like, 33 years.

Switch :
By "monster," you mean, like, a metaphor, right? 

Amahl Farouk.
The Shadow King.

My dad, my real dad, he kicked Farouk out of his body into the astral plane.

And then he found me Farouk and he moved in.
More tea? 


Switch :
I still don't know why you need a Time Traveler.

To go back in time.
What else? 

Switch :
How far? 

Well, how far can you go? 

Switch :
Sydney Barrett, Gabrielle Xavier and The Infant David —
The Universe Acknowledges You, That You Exist and That Your Existence is Important.

I can see that you've suffered, 
That people you love have suffered, 
and you want to know that it meant something.

It did.
It does.
Nothing of Value is Ever Lost.

Did he do it? David? 

Switch :
The David You Know is almost gone.
His past changed.

And now, Sydney Barrett, your past will change, too.

The Life You've Lived, your memories, everything will be new.

So I die? 

Switch :
This You, The You You Are Now.
But The You You Will Be? 
She will be Glorious.

How do you —

Switch :
I am Time.
I see all.

I like your jumper.

Switch :
Thank you.

So do I die now? 

Switch :
I will give you time for 
One Last Thing.
And Thank You for helping me when I was human.

[They hug]

Kerry Loudermilk :
What just happened? 

I think we just Saved The World.

Sunday, 17 November 2019


Buffy. You're really campaigning for bitch-of-the-year, aren't you?
As defending champion, you nervous?
Whatever is causing the Joan Collins 'tude, deal with it. 
Embrace the pain, spank your inner moppet, whatever, but get over it. 
'Cause pretty soon you're not even gonna have the loser friends you've got now.

Gary tells me one day about his sister, how her son, his nephew, died at eighteen from overdosing on a bad batch of MDMA. ‘Would you talk to her?’ he asks.
I see him every day over the course of the production and it is, all in all, a fairly typical experience. 
I return to my trailer, content to be wrapping a film without having caused any unnecessary aggravation. Aside from the ice creams. 
Gary taps on the door. 
When I open it he already has his sister on the line.
I take the phone and close the door and the always slightly absurd ambience of the on-set trailer, in spite of my daft costume, immediately becomes calm and sacred. 
Kerry tells me that she is in Brent Cross shopping centre. 
Excuse me,’ she says, and moves somewhere quiet. 
I sit down and picture her there. 
I breathe and prepare for her story. 
She is tentative and tearful for a few syllables, but propelled by tremulous certainty. 
‘James was a beautiful boy. 
More than my son he was my friend. 
So clever and sensitive. 
Not a druggy kid. 
He didn’t do drugs a lot, I know he didn’t. 
I didn’t want him to go out that night. 
I wanted him to stay in. 
I wish I’d stopped him. I couldn’t sleep, I kept looking at my phone. 
I had a bad feeling. 
At one fifty-eight I got a text, “I’m all right, Mum”, at two fifty-eight I got another one from his phone saying “James is dead.”’ 
At this point the frequency, the intensity, the sharpness of tone changes, the grief is piercing and I try to fall backwards into purpose. 
‘My boy died on the street, Russell, on a pavement with three hundred people watching. Outside a club. He was dead by the time he got to the hospital.’ 
I try to breathe and reach beyond my own lack of experience, my own inability to know something so profound and painful and source something useful. 
‘I’m getting grief counselling and they say I have to let go because the grief is going into my body and making me ill but I don’t want to let go because I deserve it.’ 
Then the terrible sound of a mother’s pain.
I am not qualified to handle a mother’s grief. 
I have no training in counselling or experience of this poignant and unanswerable despair. 
In this moment, though, I am on the phone to a grieving mother and the practical and rational limitations simply cannot be allowed to prevent me giving her the comfort and love her situation demands. 
William Blake did a series of engravings based on the Book of Job, rendering in immaculate tableaux Job’s trials and suffering. It is as if Blake through his art and the Bible through the means of prose refer to the same subliminal truth, as if this story, the Book of Job, contains essential truths that we can only behold fleetingly and through the lens of image or language. 
In one tableau, Yaweh, or God, from on high shows Job ‘the behemoth and the leviathan that I made, as I made thee’. These creatures as rendered by Blake are dreadful and uncanny. The dumb, muscular, skinless beast, all sinew and mouth. The deep-dwelling sea serpent ever present but invisible in its awful depths. 
When regarding these silently screaming images the horror of God’s power is awesome, more terrifying though is the suggestion of ambivalence and that implicitly God The Creator is Not Only Good. 
In these images Job and Yaweh look the same, as if both the man made of flesh and the divine father are enshrined within a single form. 
These hypnotic tableaux induce a visionary state where we confront that God is within us and our own moral choices determine God’s values. That the capacity for Darkness and unconsciousness is as much part of the individual’s psychological make-up as the inclination to love and kindness. 
That we HAVE to be Good, because if WE are not Good, then God is not Good, that God’s Grace is realized through us and if we do not realize it then it does not exist.
Like a terrible quantum equation where our intentions create all that is manifest. Do not be lost in the leviathan deep. Do not be trapped in the dumb carnality of form, transcend; transcend that God may imbue The World with His Grace through you. 
Knowing my own limitations I do not answer from myself. 
Knowing the hopelessness of such pitiless despair I do not attempt to placate with platitudes. 
I offer Love. 
I offer this stranger, this woman that I am confronted with, The Best of Me, such as it is, in the hope that within me, within her, within us all, is the capacity to heal and be healed. 
There is no code in language, no silver bullet that can undo this pain but beyond language, beyond form, beyond death there is, there must be, connection. 
We cannot allow the universe to be unconsciousness and carnality, because we have the choice, because the possibility, the potentiality for love exists in all of us. Its existence as potential is also its demand for realization.
Aside from the love, comfort and forgiveness that anyone would offer a grieving mother I suggest that Kerry meets two of the mentors in this book, Manya and Meredith – healers, mothers, strong women who will be able to hold her pain for her until she is able to.”
Excerpt From
“Mentors,” by Russell Brand, 

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Yet Alone I am Nothing.

“ Have you ever heard Brian Cox or any other particle physics genius (they’re ten a penny after all!) describing the vastness of our universe? The likelihood that even beyond its fathomless reach are more and more, likely an infinity, of universes? 

When I, with my blunt intellect, fondle these imponderables I feel suspended between awe and despair. Within the infinite all forms of measurement become meaningless as they can only refer to parochial patterns; time and the laws of physics only local customs in our universal village. 

When I hear Cox speaking of Carl Sagan, however, the giant star of astronomy who inspired the then adolescent scientist, I feel held between awe and hope. Sagan was a mentor to Cox. Although they never met, Sagan functioned as a mental symbol, a target, a role model that the younger man could emulate on his own journey to greatness. 

A hero is an emblem that demonstrates the possibility of inner drives becoming manifest. 

It could be John Lennon, whose journey from ordinariness to greatness, from glamour to domesticity, from grandeur to humility provides coordinates to others who want to undertake a comparable journey. 

It might be Amma, the Indian teacher and mystic whose certainty of God’s love has generated profound social change across Asia. Her devotion has inspired others through philanthropic works to establish schools and build hospitals and homes. 

At first, of course though, she was dismissed as a mad teenage girl in a fishing village in Kerala going into trances and cuddling everyone. 

People thought she was nuts. 

Greatness looks like Madness until it finds its context. 

Mentorship is a thread that runs through my life, now in both directions. I have men and women that I turn to when the way ahead is not clear and younger people that look to me for guidance in their own crazy lives. 

Note that the mentor’s role is not solely as a teacher, although teaching is of course a huge part of it. When Cox talks admiringly about Carl Sagan it is not just because of his academic expertise, it is because he felt personally guided by him. 

Watching Sagan’s emotional take on science in Cosmos, was the trigger that made Cox, at twelve, decide to be a scientist. We choose mentors throughout our lives, sometimes consciously, sometimes not, sometimes wisely, sometimes not. 

The point of this book is to understand this process and to improve it. When selecting a mentor we must be aware of what it is we want from them. When we are selected as a mentor we must know what the role entails. 

One of the unexpected advantages that my drug addiction granted me is that the 12 Step process of recovery that I practise includes a mentorship tradition. When you enter a 12 Step program, you have to ask someone else to guide you through the steps, or ‘sponsor’ you. 

This typically induces an unwitting humility; few people would say ‘Hey, babe, it’s your lucky day–I want you to take me on a spiritual journey.’ Usually one feels a little shy on asking someone to sponsor them, a little meek, a bit like you’re asking them on a date. 

In undertaking this we accept that our previous methods have failed, that we need help, that our own opinions are inferior to the wisdom of the mentor and hopefully the creed that they belong to. 

In 12 Step custom the sponsor teaches the sponsee the method by which they practised the 12 Steps; they replace their own sponsor, and they give to another what they have been given. Whilst it may bear personal inflections, it is sufficiently faithful to the original program to inhere its power. 

The same, I note, is true in martial arts traditions, there’s a lineage and a system that is carried from teacher to student. 

Clearly there are parallels in academia, but anyone who’s been to school knows that mass education can be pretty inconsistent and the average harried educator has too many bureaucratic and financial burdens to mindfully endow more than a handful of pupils with the elixir of mentorship. 

In this book I will talk to you about my mentors, how they have enhanced my life in practical and esoteric, obvious and unusual ways, by showing me that it is possible to become the person I want to be in spite of the inner and outer obstacles I face. 

I will encourage you to find mentors of your own and explain how you may better use the ones you already have. 

Furthermore I will tell you about my experience mentoring others and how invaluable that has been on my ongoing journey to self-acceptance, and how it has helped me to transform from a bewildered and volatile vagabond to a (mostly) present and (usually) focused Husband and Father. 

I have mentors in every area of my life: as a comic, a dad, a recovering drug addict, a spiritual being and as a man who believes that we, as individuals and the great globe itself, are works in progress and that through a chain of mentorship – and the collaborative Evolution of Systems  – we can improve individually and globally, together. 

Sometimes in my live shows I ask the audience if they belong to any groups: a football team, a religious group, a union, a book club, a housing committee, rowing club – I am surprised by how few people have a Tribe. 

Whilst the impact of globalization on national identity cannot yet be fully understood, I can certainly appreciate the reductive appeal of Statist Myth. 

I become ultra English during a World Cup, the last one in particular was like a jolly revival of the ‘death of Diana’ in its ability to pull a nation together in collective hysteria. But soon enough the bunting comes down, the screens in public squares go black and we are atomized once more. The space between us no longer filled with chants, ditties and ‘in jokes’, eyes back on the pavement, attention drawn within. 

I’m not suggesting the deep alienation that Late Capitalism engenders can be rinsed away by joining a bowling club, but it’s a start, and having a Teacher within The Group to which you belong provides intimacy and purpose. 

In the guru traditions of India the love between teacher and student surpasses all other forms, for here it is explicit that what is being transferred in this relationship is nothing short of God’s love and how an individual can embody the divine. 

We live in lonely and polarized times, where many of us feel lost and fractured. It is evident in our politics but political events reflect deeper and more personal truths. I’ve been trying for a while now to explain what I feel is happening in the societies that I’m familiar with, by which I mean Europe, Australia, the United States – not that I’m claiming to be a sociologist, I don’t have a clue how to approach whatever the hell may be happening in Pakistan or China, but here, here in our post-secular edge lands where the old ideas are dying and the new ones not yet born, I feel a consistent and recognizable yearning for meaning beyond the dayglow ashes of burnt-out consumerism, lurching dumb zombie nationalism, starchy, corrupt religion and the CGI circus of modern mainstream media. 

I’ve been watching for a long time and I knew before Trump, Brexit, radicalism and the ‘new right’ that something serious was up. You know it too. 

Sometimes we despair and sometimes we distract because it seems like too much for one person to tackle and we’ve forgotten how to collude. 

Yet alone I am nothing. "


" No child is awake enough to appoint a Mentor, you take what you are given; it isn’t until adolescence that we grope beyond the boundaries of Mum & Dad, or whoever was doing that job. 

Some BOYS give that job to PEERS IN GANGS, some GIRLS give it to PONIES but, for all of us, beyond these narrow roles are scores of Ben Kenobis and Maya Angelous just dying to pass on a lifetime of twinkling wisdom. 

Worth noting that if the teen craving for an idol is soaked up by vapid consumerism, all that hormonal good intent could get splurged on a digital Kardashian or wrung out on a beatboxing pipkin in a backward baseball cap. 

Yes, yes, the adolescent wants coitus, 
But what does The Wanting want? "

PETER's apartment

Is, like, she The Killer or what?

No. That's Rita Hayworth. 
She was married to Citizen Kane while they were doing this thing. 

Then right after they finished, she dumped him for some polo player. 

I don't why beautiful girls love horses so much.

 Do you love horses?


Friday, 25 October 2019


It Has Often Been Said That All Comedy is Rooted in Fear –

–  The Things That Make Us Laugh are VERY Closely to The Things Frighten Us

Godmother :
Sorry, but whoever had a miscarriage, could you take it to the kitchen, please? 

Claire :
No! Don't follow me, Jake.
Oh, and this is over.
You're leaving me.

Martin The Hobgoblin :
No, no, no.

Claire :

Martin The Hobgoblin :
Are you drunk? 

Claire :
Are you sober? 

Martin The Hobgoblin :
A bit.
Could you just fuck off? 

Fleabag :
Oh, absolutely not! 

Martin The Hobgoblin :
Okay, no, no.

Fleabag :
I'm staying right here.

Claire :
I want you to leave me.

Martin The Hobgoblin :
Listen to me, I just, I have I think 

Fleabag’s Emotional Support Inner-Monologue:
( he has a little speech.  )

Martin The Hobgoblin :
I have a little speech that's building here.
Now, I know you look at me and you see a bad man with a big beard.

Claire :
You are an alcoholic and you tried it on with my sister.

Martin The Hobgoblin :
I tried to kiss your sister on her birthday.

Claire :
My birthday! 

Martin The Hobgoblin :
I mix up birthdays and I have an alcohol problem, just like everyone else in this fucking country.

But I am here and I do things.

I pick up Jake up from shit, 
I make dessert for Easter, 
I organise the downstairs toilet, 
I fired the humming cleaner.

Claire :
You enjoyed that.

Martin The Hobgoblin :
I hoover the car.
I put up all your certificates 
I don't make you feel guilty for not having sex with me.

I am not a bad guy! 
I just have a bad personality, it's not my fault.

Some people are born with fucked personalities.

Look at Jake.
He is so creepy, it's not his fault! 

Why the bassoon!? 
You want to know what the bassoon is!? 

It's a cry for help! 

The main fucking problem here is that you don't like me.

And that has been breaking my fucking heart for 11 years.

I love you.

I make you laugh.
I'm a douche, but I make you laugh.

You said that that was the most important thing! 

I think the thing that you hate the most about yourself is that you actually love me.

So, I am not going to leave you, until you are down on your knees begging me.

Claire :
Please, leave me.

Martin The Hobgoblin :
Oh, man.
I didn't think you'd do that in that dress.


Well I guess the only thing left for me to say is — 
Fuck you.

Fleabag :
Fuck you.

“Asking someone to mentor you, as I have said, is a simultaneous acknowledgement of vulnerability and admiration, and even in the most secular and occidental context bears a trace of Yogananda’s euphoric sincerity.

No one wants to be rejected by someone they admire and who knows they’re vulnerable. 

But after my holiday my old method of redemption through love was still giving me a good battering. 
If you’d asked me at the time what the problem was, I would have instantly blamed the woman I was going out with. 
Now I know the problem was my unreasonable, unconscious requirements.

I asked Jimmy for help, he agreed to help me. 
I told him about the melee that was my relationship and he was always able to ‘hold it’. 

Meaning that my problems never fazed him – the last thing you need when opening up your heart is for the person you’ve appointed to blanch or gag. 

He pointedly never offers unsolicited advice, instead meeting my enquiries with his own experience. 

There is a great power in this.”

Excerpt From
by Russell Brand.

Switch :
How are you? 

Good. I'm good.

How are you? 

Switch :
You know.


My Dad collects Robots.
There's a room in our apartment.

Some are life-sized.
Some toys.

Sometimes at night, I go in there.
I stand very still, and pretend I'm a Robot, too.