Showing posts with label Suffering. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Suffering. Show all posts

Saturday, 23 November 2019

Like an Animal with its Heart on The Outside

Love isn’t Something That Weak People Do.




pathetic (adj.)
1590s, "affecting the emotions, exciting the passions," from Middle French pathétique "moving, stirring, affecting" (16c.), from Late Latin patheticus, from Greek pathetikos "subject to feeling, sensitive, capable of emotion," from pathetos "liable to suffer," verbal adjective of pathein "to suffer" (from PIE root *kwent(h)- "to suffer"). 

Related: Pathetical (1570s); pathetically. Pathetic fallacy (1856, first used by Ruskin) is the attribution of human qualities to inanimate objects.

SYDNEY BARRETT :
You're talking about Mental Illness.

GABRIELLE HALLER,
Mother of LEGION :
Such a clinical name for something so raw.
Like an animal with its Heart on The Outside.


Friday, 22 November 2019

I Could Not Have Let That Young Man Go


“Say, for instance… most of us here are mostly pretty counter-culture types – y’know, we like our drugs, we like this and that; we like breaking a few rules. 

But we don’t like The Police, in general. 
Who here loves The Police? Hands up.

Nice one! Coz I’m gonna teach you to LOVE The Police.....”


“ARE WE DOING TOO MUCH OR TOO LITTLE?” 
Wonder Woman asked, cradling a dying bird in a dust-bowl landscape. 
“WHEN DOES INTERVENTION BECOME DOMINATION?”

“I CAN ONLY TELL YOU WHAT I BELIEVE, DIANA,” 
Superman replied. 
“HUMANKIND HAS TO BE ALLOWED TO CLIMB TO ITS OWN DESTINY. 
WE CAN’T CARRY THEM THERE.”

Then the Flash countered with: 
“BUT THAT’S WHAT SHE’S SAYING. 
WHAT’S THE POINT? 
WHY SHOULD THEY NEED US AT ALL?”

“TO CATCH THEM IF THEY FALL,” 
said Superman, gazing nobly at the sky. 

Issue no. 1 of the relaunched Justice League of America in 1987 had depicted its characters from an overhead perspective, giving the reader an elevated position that allowed us to look down on a newly humanized and relatable group of individuals.

At my request, Howard Porter drew our first cover shot of the JLA from below, endowing them with the majesty of towering statues on Mount Olympus, putting readers at the level of children gazing up at adults. JLA was a superhero title kids could read to feel grown-up and adults could read to feel young again.”


“Just beyond the railing that keeps cars from rolling over, a Young Man actually clearly about to jump and preparing himself to jump. 
The Police car stopped. 
The Policeman on the right jumps out to grab The Boy, and grabs him just as he jumped and was himself being pulled over, and would have gone over if The Second Cop hadn’t gotten around, grabbed him and pull the two of them back. 

And The Policeman was asked, 
“Why didn’t you let go? 
I mean, you would have lost your life?” 
And you see what had happened to that man, 
this is what’s known as one pointed meditation 
Everything Else in His Life dropped off. 

His Duty to His Family
His Duty to His Job
His Duty to His Own Career

All of his Wishes and Hopes for Life, 
just disappeared and he was about to go. 

And his answer was, 
“I couldn’t let go.
If I had let that Young Man go, 
I could not have lived another Day of My Life.”







JOSEPH CAMPBELL: 
The god of death is the lord of sex at the same time.

BILL MOYERS: 
What do you mean?

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: 
It’s a marvelous thing. 
One after another, you can see these gods Ghede, the death god of the Haitian voodoo, is also the sex god. 
Wotan had one eye covered and the other uncovered, do you see, and at the same time was the lord of life. 
Osiris, the lord of death and the lord of the generation of life. 
It’s a basic theme: that which dies is born. 
You have to have death in order to have life.

Now, this is the origin thought really of the head hunt, in Southeast Asia and particularly in the Indonesian zone. 
The head hunt, right up to now, has been a sacred act, it’s a sacred killing: Unless there is death, there cannot be birth, and a young man, before he can be permitted to marry and become a father, must have gone forth and had his kill.

BILL MOYERS: 
What does that say to you?

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: 
Well, that every generation has to die in order that the next generation should come. 
As soon as you beget or give birth to a child, you are the dead one; the child is the new life and you are simply the protector of that new life.

BILL MOYERS: 
Your time has come and you know it.

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: 
Yeah, well, that’s why there is this deep psychological association of begetting and dying.

BILL MOYERS: 
Isn’t there some relationship between what you’re saying and this fact, that a father will give his life for his son, a mother will give her life for her child?

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: 
There’s a wonderful paper. 
I don’t whether you knew it that I would love to talk to this point there’s a wonderful paper by Schopenhauer, who’s one of my three favorite philosophers, called “The Foundation of Morality.
There he asks exactly the question that you’ve asked. 
How is it that a human being can so participate in the peril or pain of another, that without thought, spontaneously, he sacrifices his own life to the other? 
How can this happen? 
That what we normally think of as the first law of nature, namely self-preservation, is suddenly dissolved, there’s a breakthrough.

In Hawaii, some four or five years ago, there was an extraordinary adventure that represents this problem. 
There’s a place there called the Pali, where the winds from the north, the trade winds from the north, come breaking through a great ridge of rocks and of mountain, and they come through with a great blast of wind. 
The people like to go up there to get their hair blown around and so forth, or to commit suicide, you know, like jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. 
Well, a police car was on its way up early, a little road that used to go up there, and they saw just beyond the railing that keeps cars from rolling over, a young man actually clearly about to jump and prepare himself to jump. 
The police car stopped. 
The policeman on the right jumps out to grab the boy, and grabs him just as he jumped and was himself being pulled over, and would have gone over if the second cop hadn’t gotten around, grabbed him and pull the two of them back. 
There was a long description of this, it was a marvelous thing, in the newspapers at that time.

And the policeman was asked, “Why didn’t you let go? I mean, you would have lost your life?” 
And you see what had happened to that man, this is what’s known as one pointed meditation everything else in his life dropped off. His duty to his family, his duty to his job, his duty to his own career, all of his wishes and hopes for life, just disappeared and he was about to go. And his answer was, “I couldn’t let go. If I had,” and I’m quoting almost word for word, “if I’d let that young man go, I could not have lived another day of my life.”

How come? 
Schopenhauer’s answer is, this is the breakthrough of a metaphysical realization that you and the other are one. 
And that the separateness is only an effect of the temporal forms of sensibility of time and space. 
And a true reality is in that unity with all life. 
It is a metaphysical truth that becomes spontaneously realized, because it’s the real truth of your life. 
Now, you might say the hero is the one who has given his physical life, you might say, to some order of realization of that truth. 
It may appear that I’m one with my tribe, or I’m one with people of a certain kind, or I’m one with life. 

This is not a concept; this is a realization, do you see what I mean?

BILL MOYERS: 
No, explain it.

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: 
And the concepts of love your neighbor and all are to put you in tune with that fact, but whether you love your neighbor or not, bing, the thing grabs you and you do this thing. 
You don’t even know who it is. 
That policeman didn’t know who that young man was. 
And Schopenhauer says in small ways you can see this happening every day all the time. 
This is a theme that can be seen moving life in the world, people doing nice things for each other.

BILL MOYERS: 
What do you think has happened to this mythic idea of the hero in our culture today?

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: 
It comes up in an experience. 
I think, I remember during the Vietnam war, seeing on the television the young men in helicopters going out to rescue one of their companions at great risk to themselves. 
They didn’t have to rescue that young man; that’s the same thing working. 
It puts them in touch with the experience of being alive. 
Going to the office every day, you don’t get that experience, but suddenly you’re ripped out into being alive. 
And life is pain and life is suffering and life is horror, but by God, you’re alive and it’s spectacular. And this is a case of being alive, rescuing that young man.

BILL MOYERS: 
But I also know a man who said once, after years of standing on the platform of the subway, 
“I die a little bit down there every day, but I know I’m doing so for my family.” 
There are small acts of heroism that occur without regard to the nobility or the notoriety that you attract for it.

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: 
That’s right, that’s right.

BILL MOYERS: 
And the mother does it by the isolation she endures in behalf of the family, of raising…

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: 
Motherhood is a sacrifice. 
On our veranda in Hawaii, there are little birds that come that Jean likes to feed. 
And each year there have been one or two mothers, mother birds. 
And if you’ve ever seen a mother bird plagued by her progeny for food, that the mother should regurgitate their meal to them, and the two of them, or five of them in one case, flopping all over this poor little mother, they bigger than she in some cases, you just think, well, this is the symbol of motherhood. 
This is just giving of your substance, every thing, to this progeny.

There should be it in marriage. 
A marriage is a relationship. 
When you make a sacrifice in marriage, you’re not sacrificing to the other, you’re sacrificing to the relationship. 
And this is symbolized, for example, in that Chinese image of the tai chi, the tao, you know, with the dark and the light interacting, it’s a well-known sign. 
That is the relationship of yang and yin, male and female, which is what a marriage is. 
And that’s what you are, you’re no longer this, you’re the relationship. 
And so marriage, I would say, is not a love affair, it’s an ordeal.

BILL MOYERS: 
An ordeal?

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: 
The ordeal is sacrifice of ego to the relationship, of a two-ness which now becomes the one.

BILL MOYERS: 
One not only biologically but spiritually, and primarily spiritually.

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: 
Primarily spiritually.

BILL MOYERS: 
But the necessary function of marriage, in order to create our own images and perpetuate ourselves in children, but it’s not the primary one, as you say.

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: 
No, that’s really just the elementary aspect of marriage. 
There are two completely different stages of marriage. 
First is the youthful marriage, following the wonderful impulse, you know, that nature has given us, in the interplay of the sexes biologically. 
And in the reproduction of children. 

But there comes a time when the child graduates from the family, and the family is left. 
I’ve been amazed at the number of my friends who in their forties or fifties go apart, who have had a perfectly decent life together with the child, but they interpreted their union in terms of relationship through the child. 

They did not interpret it in terms of their own personal relationship to each other.

BILL MOYERS: 
Utterly incompatible with the idea of doing one’s own thing?

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: 
It’s not one’s own thing, you see. 
It is in a sense one’s own thing, but the one isn’t just you, it’s the two together. 
And that’s a purely mythological image, of the sacrifice of the visible entity for a transcendent unit, cracking eggs to make an omelet, you know? 

And by marrying the right person, we reconstruct the image of the incarnate god, 
and that’s what marriage is.

BILL MOYERS: 
The right person. How does one choose the right person?

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: 
Your heart tells you; it ought to.

BILL MOYERS: 
Your inner being.

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: 
That’s the mystery.

BILL MOYERS: 
You recognize your other self.

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: 
Well, I don’t know, but there’s a flash that comes and something in you knows that this is the one.

Thursday, 21 November 2019

Profiles in Mentorship : LEGION and Switch


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


DAVID: 
Yes, it pays to be kind.

DAVID 2 
[SCOTTISH ACCENT.] : 
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















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

Switch :
What is this place? 

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

Switch :
How? 

LEGION:
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.
Love.

Switch :
How is this here? 
This cave? 


LEGION:
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? 

LEGION:
No secrets.
That's one of our rules.

Switch :
What about Trust

LEGION:
Mm.
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.
[MONSTER SNARLING.]
But I'm better now.

Switch :
How are you? 

LEGION:
Good. I'm good.
How are you? 

Switch :
You know.
Fine.

My dad collects robots.
Robotto.
There's a room in our apartment.
[FAINT WHIRRING.]
Some are life-sized.
Some toys.
Hundreds.
Sometimes at night, I go in there.
[WHIRRING, TICKING.]
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? 

LEGION:
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 :
No.

LEGION:
Oh.
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? 

LEGION:
[CHUCKLES.]: 
Oh.
Oh.
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.

LEGION:
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? 

LEGION:
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? 

[SQUEAKS.]
[BIRDS CHIRPING.]
[SHOUTS.]

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

LEGION:
To go back in time.
What else? 

Switch :
How far? 

LEGION:
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.

SYDNEY BARRETT :
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.

SYDNEY BARRETT :
So I die? 

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

SYDNEY BARRETT :
How do you —

Switch :
I am Time.
I see all.


SYDNEY BARRETT :
I like your jumper.

Switch :
Thank you.

SYDNEY BARRETT :
So do I die now? 

Switch :
No.
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? 

SYDNEY BARRETT :
I think we just Saved The World.

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

BLAME








BILL MOYERS: 
Let me ask you some questions about these common features in these stories, the significance of the forbidden fruit.

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: 
Well, there’s a standard folktale motif called 
“The One Forbidden Thing.” 

Remember, in Bluebeard
“Don’t open that closet.” 

You know, and then one always does it. 

And in the Old Testament story, God gives the one forbidden thing, and he knows very well, now I’m interpreting God, 
he knows very well that man’s going to eat the forbidden fruit. 
But it’s by doing that that man becomes the initiator of his own life. 
Life really begins with that.

BILL MOYERS: 
I also find in some of these early stories, the human tendency to find someone to BLAME.

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: 
Yeah.

BILL MOYERS: 
Let me read Genesis 1, then I’ll ask you to read one from the Bassari legend.

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: 
All right.

BILL MOYERS: 
Genesis 1: 
“And God said, 
‘Have you eaten from the tree which I commanded you that you should not eat?’ 

Then the man said, 
‘The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree and I ate.’ 

And the Lord God said to the woman, 
What is this you’ve done?’ 
And the woman said, 
‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate.’ 

Now, I mean, you talk about buck-passing, it starts very early.

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: 
That’s right.

BILL MOYERS: 
And then there’s the Bassari legend.

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: 
It’s been tough on serpents, too. 
“One day Snake said, 
‘We too should eat these fruits. Why must we go hungry?’ 

Antelope said, ‘But we don’t know anything about this fruit.’ Then Man and his wife took some of the fruit and ate it. Unumbotte came down from the sky and asked, ‘Who ate the fruit?’ They answered, ‘We did.’ Unumbotte asked, ‘Who told you that you could eat that fruit?’ They replied, ‘Snake did.’ It’s the same story.

BILL MOYERS: Poor Snake.

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: It’s the same story.

BILL MOYERS: What do you make of this, that in all of these stories the principal actors are pointing to someone else as the initiator of the fall?

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: Yeah, but it turns out to be Snake. And Snake in both of these stories is the symbol of life throwing off the past and continuing to live.

BILL MOYERS: Why?

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: The power of life, because the snake sheds its skin, just as the moon sheds its shadow. The snake in most cultures is positive. Even the most poisonous thing, in India, the cobra, is a sacred animal. And the serpent, Naga, the serpent king, Nagaraga, is the next thing to the Buddha, because the serpent represents the power of life in the field of time to throw off death, and the Buddha represents the power of life in the field of eternity to be eternally alive.
Now, I saw a fantastic thing of a Burmese priestess, a snake priestess, who had to bring rain to her people by calling a king cobra from his den and kissing him three times on the nose. There was the cobra, the giver of life, the giver of rain, which is of life, as the divine positive, not negative, figure.

BILL MOYERS: The Christian stories turn it around, because the serpent was the seducer.

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: Well, what that amounts to is a refusal to affirm life. Life is evil in this view. Every natural impulse is sinful unless you’ve been baptized or circumcised, in this tradition that we’ve inherited. For heaven’s sakes!

BILL MOYERS: By having been the tempter, women have paid a great price, because in mythology, some of this mythology, they are the ones who led to the downfall.

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: Of course they did. I mean, they represent life. Man doesn’t enter life except by woman, and so it is woman who brings us into the world of polarities and pair of opposites and suffering and all. But I think it’s a really childish attitude, to say “no” to life with all its pain, you know, to say this is something that should not have been.

Schopenhauer, in one of his marvelous chapters, I think it’s in The World as Will and Idea, says: “Life is something that should not have been. It is in its very essence and character, a terrible thing to consider, this business of living by killing and eating.” I mean, it’s in sin in terms of all ethical judgments all the time.

BILL MOYERS: As Zorba says, you know, “Trouble? Life is trouble. Only death is no trouble.”

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: That’s it. And when people say to me, you know, do you have optimism about the world, you know, how terrible it is, I said, yes, just say, “It’s great!” Just the way it is.

BILL MOYERS: But doesn’t that lead to a rather passive attitude in the face of evil, in the face of wrong?

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: You participate in it. Whatever you do is evil for somebody.

BILL MOYERS: But explain that for the audience.

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: Well, when I was in India, there was a man whose name was Sri Krishnamenon and his mystical name was Atmananda and he was in Trivandrum, and I went to Trivandrum, and I had the wonderful privilege of sitting face to face with him as I’m sitting here with you. And the first question, first thing he said to me is, “Do you have a question?” Because the teacher there always answers questions, he doesn’t tell you what anything, he answers. And I said, “Yes, I have a question.” I said, “Since in Hindu thinking all the universe is divine, is a manifestation of divinity itself, how can we say ‘no’ to anything in the world, how can we say ‘no’ to brutality, to stupidity, to vulgarity, to thoughtlessness?” And he said, “For you and me, we must say yes.”

Well, I had learned from my friends who were students of his, that that happened to have been the first question he asked his guru, and we had a wonderful talk for about an hour there on this theme, of the affirmation of the world. And it confirmed me in a feeling that I have had, that who are we to judge? And it seems to me that this is one of the great teachings of Jesus.

BILL MOYERS: Well, I see now what you mean in one respect; in some classic Christian doctrine the world is to be despised, life is to be redeemed in the hereafter, it is heaven where our rewards come, and if you affirm that which you deplore, as you say, you’re affirming the world, which is our eternity of the moment.

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: That’s what I would say. Eternity isn’t some later time; eternity isn’t a long time; eternity has nothing to do with time. Eternity is that dimension of here and now which thinking in time cuts out.

BILL MOYERS: This is it.

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: This is it.

BILL MOYERS: This is my …

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: If you don’t get it here, you won’t get it anywhere, and the experience of eternity right here and now is the function of life.

There’s a wonderful formula that the Buddhists have for the Boddhisattva. The Bodhisattva, the one whose being, satra, is illumination, bodhi, who realizes his identity with eternity, and at the same time his participation in time. And the attitude is not to withdraw from the world when you realize how horrible it is, but to realize that this horror is simply the foreground of a wonder, and come back and participate in it. “All life is sorrowful,” is the first Buddhist saying, and it is. It wouldn’t be life if there were not temporality involved, which is sorrow, loss, loss, loss.

BILL MOYERS: That’s a pessimistic note.

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: Well, I mean, you got to say yes to it and say it’s great this way. I mean, this is the way God intended it.

BILL MOYERS: You don’t really believe that?

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: Well, this is the way it is, and I don’t believe anybody intended it, but this is the way it is. And Joyce’s wonderful line, you know, “History is a nightmare from which I’m trying to awake.” And the way to awake from it is not to be afraid and to recognize, as I did in my conversation with that Hindu guru or teacher that I told you of, that all of this as it is, is as it has to be, and it is a manifestation of the eternal presence in the world. The end of things always is painful; pain is part of there being a world at all.

BILL MOYERS: But if one accepted that isn’t the ultimate conclusion, to say, well, ‘I won’t try to reform any laws or fight any battles.’

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: I didn’t say that.

BILL MOYERS: Isn’t that the logical conclusion one could draw, though, the philosophy of nihilism?

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: Well, that’s not the necessary thing to draw. You could say I will participate in this row, and I will join the army, and I will go to war.

BILL MOYERS: I’ll do the best I can on earth.

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: I will participate in the game. It’s a wonderful, wonderful opera, except that it hurts. And that wonderful Irish saying, you know, “Is this a private fight, or can anybody get into it?” This is the way life is, and the hero is the one who can participate in it decently, in the way of nature, not in the way of personal rancor, revenge or anything of the kind.

Let me tell you one story here, of a samurai warrior, a Japanese warrior, who had the duty to avenge the murder of his overlord. And he actually, after some time, found and cornered the man who had murdered his overlord. And he was about to deal with him with his samurai sword, when this man in the corner, in the passion of terror, spat in his face. And the samurai sheathed the sword and walked away. Why did he do that?

BILL MOYERS: Why?

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: Because he was made angry, and if he had killed that man then, it would have a personal act, of another kind of act, that’s not what he had come to do.

Sunday, 17 November 2019

GET PAST IT

Cordelia:
Buffy. You're really campaigning for bitch-of-the-year, aren't you?
 
Buffy:
As defending champion, you nervous?
 
Cordelia:
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, 5 November 2019

Wolf-Kin







2 :
Society...

6 :
Yes, sir?

2 :
Society is a place where people exist together.

6 :
Yes, sir.
 
2 :
That is Civilisation.
The Lone Wolf belongs to The Wilderness.


6 :
Yes, sir.
  
2 :
You must not be a Lone Wolf!

No, sir.
 
2 :
You must conform!
6 :
Yes, sir.
 
2 :
It is my duty to see that you do!

6 :
Yes, sir.









OLIVER :
We were always finding things.
Pens.
Poetry.
Socks.

The Astral Plane was like a magnet for lost dreams.
Minds.

That was the other thing we found.
In The Real World, when people lost their minds, they ended up here.
[COOING.]
And who are we, then? 
[BABY BABBLING.]
Hmm.
 THE WOLF :
What you got today?

OLIVER :
A baby.
 THE WOLF :
 A baby? Wow.
Look at that.
[SNIFFS.]
Can I have him? 

OLIVER :
It's a her, I think, and no.
If you want a baby, you can scavenge one yourself.

THE WOLF :
[SCOFFS.]
"Scavenge." That's – I'm a wolf.
Wolves don't scavenge.
We hunt.
You're lucky I don't hunt you.

OLIVER :
Well, you live just next door.
Wouldn't be hard.
  
THE WOLF :
Have you told her about the Holocaust yet? 

OLIVER :
The? What?
 THE WOLF :
Got to tell her.
Prepare her, Oliver.
You can't grow up too fast.
That's my motto.
Also, herpes.
Make sure you tell her about herpes, like, right away. 


[SIGHS.]
Get away! Go on!
 [GROWLS.]
Shoo! Get away! Get away! 

THE WOLF :
 Don't forget chlamydia.
[HOWLS.]

OLIVER :
Wife.

MELANIE: 
Husband.
What did we scavenge today? 

OLIVER :
Well, half a sandwich, a very nice sock and, uh, this baby.

 MELANIE:
Oh, baby.
Well, look at that.
[GASPS.]
Oh.
Oh, aren't you adorable.
Let's get you inside.

[BABY COOING.]
[THE WOLF HOWLING.]
[HOWLING CONTINUES.]
[SIREN WAILING.]

MELANIE: 
Mm.
What should we call her? 

OLIVER :
The soup? 

MELANIE: 
No, not the soup; the baby.

OLIVER :
Oh, her name is Sydney.

 MELANIE:
How do you know? 

OLIVER :
She told me.

MELANIE: 
What else did she say? 

OLIVER :
Well, nothing.
She's a baby.

 MELANIE:
She looks familiar somehow.
Syd.
Sydney.
It's okay.
Everything's okay. 
Mama's got you. 
[POUNDING ON WALLS.]
[THE WOLF HOWLING.]
 MELANIE:
Don't.

OLIVER :
I won't.
Although, he did blow the paper house down last time.
This house is straw, though, Mighty Straw.
It should hold.

[WIND WHISTLING.]
- [WIND HOWLING LOUDLY.]
[HOUSE CREAKING, RUMBLING.]

I'll just go and chat with him, shall I? 

THE WOLF :
[PANTING.]
Oh, hey.
[CHUCKLES.]
I was just, uh [EXHALES.]
This is Cynthia.
I found her wandering alone in the woods.
She's lost her innocence, which is a win for this guy.
Plus, hey, she brought all these dirty needles with her, so I was thinking, party? Huh? 
[SNIFFS.]
Is that Soup? 

 MELANIE:
No.


[GROWLS.]
Hello, Melanie.
This is Cynthia.


CYNTHIA: 
Hi.
She's given up all Hope.
[CHUCKLES.]
Isn't that great? 

OLIVER :
Look, we're trying to have a nice life here and raise this baby with Wonder and Magic, so we need to keep The Real World out.



You guys like magic? 
'Cause I can do magic.
[CHUCKLES.]
It was in my sleeve.

OLIVER :
Go away.


[GROWLING.]

 MELANIE:
Not you, hon.
Come in.
Have some soup.
Sorry.
[ROARING.]

OLIVER :
Listen, don't be mad.
[SIGHS.]
We should move.
[THE WOLF HOWLING IN DISTANCE.]
[INDISTINCT WHISPERING.]
[INSECTS TRILLING.]

OLIVER :
There we go.
That's perfect.
Oh, yes, that's perfect for [CONTINUES INDISTINCTLY.]


SYD :
Why does some music make you happy but other music make you sad? 

OLIVER :
That's a good question.
Well, uh, do you know the difference between a major and a minor chord? 


SYD :
I'm five.

OLIVER :
No excuse.
I'll show you when we get home.

SYD :
Why do people use umbrellas in the rain but not the snow? 

OLIVER: 
Quiet now.


SYD :
Whose stuff is this? 

OLIVER :
[SIGHS.]
People in The Real World.
When they forget about something, when it stops being important, it comes here.


SYD :
Oh.


OLIVER :
Oh.


SYD :
I'm gonna call her Heady.

OLIVER :
Little bird.
Not that way.


SYD :
Why not? 
[MACHINERY WHIRRING.]
SYD :
What is it? 

OLIVER :
It-it's called The Ostrich.
Oh, wait, that's not right.
It's the big bird, isn't it? No, The City.
It's called The City.
Also known as The Real World.


SYD :
What makes it Real? 

OLIVER :
I'll explain when you're older.


SYD :
No, now.

OLIVER :
That's not the way it works, little bird.
I'm The Daddy, and you're The Baby, and I'll tell you about The Real World when you're older.
Now, come on.
Mommy's making stuffed animal pie.
Mmm.
We don't want to be late.

SYD :
[FLIES BUZZING.]
People think Death is scary.

It's pretty scary, huh? I mean, look at it.
All oozy, and what are those, maggots? 


SYD :
That's just Nature.


Mm, kids die, too, you know.
Everybody.
Your parents.
Ooh.
That's got to be scary, knowing that, huh? Mm.



SYD :
My mom told me that Death is just part of Life.


[GROANS.]
She did, huh? 

OLIVER: 
Sydney!
[THE WOLF GROWLS.]

SYD :
Got to go.
Bye.
Wait, wait, wait.
Did she tell you about chlamydia? 
Tell me a bedtime story.


MELANIE: 
Hmm. Oh.
Once upon a time, 
There was a girl who had the most extraordinary ability.
She could feel everything the animals felt.

When a donkey stubbed its toe, her toe hurt.
Every time a monkey got sad, she got sad.
It was her special power.

And she called her special power "Empathy.
And Empathy was her friend.
They did everything together.

But it's a hard thing for a little girl to share the feelings of others.
And she started to wonder, 
"Where do they end and I begin?" 

No.
No.
No.
[DISTANT HOWLING.]
[GASPS.]


Cynthia.
Hey.
Do you ever miss your parents? 
Your Real Parents.
Back in The Real World.
Wasn't your mom a lush? I love that word.
"Lush.
It sounds so positive.
Which, uh Remember how she used to tuck you in at night with flecks of vomit in her hair? 

I live here now. 

With the rivers and trees. 

Mm And Kenny? 
Do you ever miss Kenny? 

Kenny beat me.
Kenny's real sorry, baby.
He wants you to come home real bad.
He love-love-loves you.
I have to go inside.


Hey.
- [GASPS.]
Look what I found.
Hmm? [CHUCKLES.]
I don't do that anymore.
Aw come on.
Sure, you do.
Don't be scared, gorgeous.
You think the light bulb is afraid of the dark? 
The light bulb loves the dark.
'Cause in the dark it can shine.
- [SIGHS SOFTLY.]
- Shine for me, baby.
[BIRDS CHIRPING.]


MELANIE: 
So, that's where babies come from.
And in a couple years, your body will start to change to be more like Mommy's.
It's the most natural thing in the world.
Any questions? 


SYD :
What's chlamydia? 


MELANIE:
Where'd you hear that word? 

SYD :
From The Wolf.


MELANIE:

Uh, well um, you know how, when someone sneezes on you, you catch a cold? 
Well, that's because the cold is a virus, and the sneeze transfers the virus to you.
And chlamydia is kind of like a cold, except for your vagina.
And, uh, you get it by having unprotected sex with someone who has that virus.
Does that make sense? 


SYD :
Bodies are weird.

- [MELANIE CHUCKLES.]




"Well, a Director is just someone who has a fetish about making The World the way he wants it - Sort of Narcissistic."

That's you....?

"All Directors....

They're vaugely like Emperors."
- George Lucas 
Always Two There are,
No More, No Less —
A Master and an Apprentice.

— The Rule of Two

 "Curious. I have brought The Sith to their ultimate victory. Through study, I will soon learn how to defeat death. While I may choose apprentices, I will never choose a successor."

 — Darth Sidious, marginalia in The Book of The Sith, in the section titled "Selecting an Apprentice"


"The Sith Order is now a lineage....
It must not end with you! 
I will not allow my new Sith Order to expire because you were unworthy or too protective to bequeath your power.



Know this : Your apprentice will kill you. 


If this fact frightens you, then the Sith Order has already suffered a fatal infection.




Or do you believe that you will live forever? 

You are not wrong to covet the secret, for I have sought to prolong my own life. 

But in the extreme, this leads to narcissism and a lack of focus on The Rule of Two.





To be a Sith Lord is to outthink your enemies and to plan for every eventuality. 



A proper apprentice will ensure that The Sith endure, no matter what fate may come upon your head."

— The Book of The Sith




An interval of thirty years elapsed between the foundation of Lavinium and the colonisation of Alba Longa. Such had been the growth of the Latin power, mainly through the defeat of the Etruscans, that neither at the death of Aeneas, nor during the regency of Lavinia, nor during the immature years of the reign of Ascanius, did either Mezentius and the Etruscans or any other of their neighbours venture to attack them. When terms of peace were being arranged, the river Albula, now called the Tiber, had been fixed as the boundary between the Etruscans and the Latins.

Ascanius was succeeded by his son Silvius, who by some chance had been born in the forest. He became the father of Aeneas Silvius, who in his turn had a son, Latinus Silvius. He planted a number of colonies: the colonists were called Prisci Latini. The cognomen of Silvius was common to all the remaining kings of Alba, each of whom succeeded his father. Their names are Alba, Atys, Capys, Capetus, Tiberinus, who was drowned in crossing the Albula, and his name transferred to the river, which became henceforth the famous Tiber. Then came his son Agrippa, after him his son Romulus Silvius. He was struck by lightning and left the crown to his son Aventinus, whose shrine was on the hill which bears his name and is now a part of the city of Rome. 





He was succeeded by Proca, who had two sons, Numitor and Amulius. To Numitor, the elder, he bequeathed the ancient throne of the Silvian house. Violence, however, proved stronger than either the father's will or the respect due to the brother's seniority; for Amulius expelled his brother and seized the crown. Adding crime to crime, he murdered his brother's sons and made the daughter, Rhea Silvia, a Vestal virgin; thus, under the presence of honouring her, depriving her of all hopes of issue.










But the Fates had, I believe, already decreed the origin of this Great City and the foundation of the mightiest empire under heaven. The Vestal was forcibly violated and gave birth to twins. 

She named Mars as their father, either because she really believed it, or because the fault might appear less heinous if a deity were the cause of it. But neither gods nor men sheltered her or her babes from the king's cruelty; the priestess was thrown into prison, the boys were ordered to be thrown into the river. By a heaven-sent chance it happened that the Tiber was then overflowing its banks, and stretches of standing water prevented any approach to the main channel. Those who were carrying the children expected that this stagnant water would be sufficient to drown them, so under the impression that they were carrying out the king's orders they exposed the boys at the nearest point of the overflow, where the Ficus Ruminalis (said to have been formerly called Romularis) now stands. The locality was then a wild solitude. 










The tradition goes on to say that after the floating cradle in which the boys had been exposed had been left by the retreating water on dry land, a thirsty she-wolf from the surrounding hills, attracted by the crying of the children, came to them, gave them her teats to suck and was so gentle towards them that the king's flock-master found her licking the boys with her tongue.




According to the story, his name was Faustulus. He took the children to his hut and gave them to his wife Larentia to bring up. Some writers think that Larentia, from her unchaste life, had got the nickname of "She-wolf" amongst the shepherds, and that this was the origin of the marvellous story. As soon as the boys, thus born and thus brought up, grew to be young men they did not neglect their pastoral duties, but their special delight was roaming through the woods on hunting expeditions. 






As their strength and courage were thus developed, they used not only to lie in wait for fierce beasts of prey, but they even attacked brigands when loaded with plunder. They distributed what they took amongst the shepherds, with whom, surrounded by a continually increasing body of young men, they associated themselves in their serious undertakings and in their sports and pastimes.


Remus accordingly was handed over to Numitor for punishment. Faustulus had from the beginning suspected that it was royal offspring that he was bringing up —







— for he was aware that the boys had been exposed at the king's command and the time at which he had taken them away exactly corresponded with that of their exposure. He had, however, refused to divulge the matter prematurely, until either a fitting opportunity occurred or necessity demanded its disclosure. The necessity came first. Alarmed for the safety of Remus he revealed the state of the case to Romulus. 


It so happened that Numitor also, who had Remus in his custody, on hearing that he and his brother were twins and comparing their ages and the character and bearing so unlike that of one in a servile condition, began to recall the memory of his grandchildren, and further inquiries brought him to the same conclusion as Faustulus; nothing was wanting to the recognition of Remus. 





So the king Amulius was being enmeshed on all sides by hostile purposes. 




Romulus shrunk from a direct attack with his body of shepherds, for he was no match for the king in open fight. 


They were instructed to approach the palace by different routes and meet there at a given time, whilst from Numitor's house Remus lent his assistance with a second band he had collected. The attack succeeded and the king was killed.