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Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Brain-washing episode

Let's read the brain-washing episode in Act II of Harold Pinter's The Birthday Party, where Stanley is interrogated by Goldberg and McCann:
'Goldberg: Do you recognize an external force ?
Stanley: What?
Goldberg: Do you recognize an external force ?
McCann: That's the question!
Goldberg: Do you recognize an external force, responsible for you, suffering for you?
Stanley: It's late.
Goldberg: Late! Late enoughl When did you last pray ?
McCann: He's sweating!
Goldberg: When did you last pray ?
McCann: He's sweating!
Goldberg: Is the number 846 possible or necessary ?
Stanley: Neither.
Goldberg: Wrong! Is the number 846 possible or necessary?
Stanley: Both.
Goldberg: Wrong! It's necessary but not possible.
Stanley: Both.
Goldberg: Wrong! Why do you think the number 846 is necessarily possible ?
Stanley: Must be.
Goldberg: Wrong! It's only necessarily necessary! We admit possibility only after we grant necessity. It is possible because necessary but by no means necessary through possibility. The possibility can only be assumed after the proof of necessity.
McCann: Right!
Goldberg: Right? Of course right! We're right and you're wrong, Webber, all along the line.
McCann: All along the line!
Goldberg: Where is your lechery leading you?
McCann: You'll pay for this.
Goldberg: You stuff yourself with dry toast.
McCann: You contaminate womankind.
Goldberg: Why don't you pay the rent?
McCann: Mother defiler!
Goldberg: Why do you pick your nose ?
McCann: I demand justice!
Goldberg: What's your trade?
McCann: What about Ireland?
Goldberg: What's your trade?
Stanley: I play the piano.
Goldberg: How many fingers do you use ?
Stanley: No hands!
Goldberg: No society would touch you. Not even a building society.
McCann: You're a traitor to the cloth.
Goldberg: What do you use for pyjamas ?
Stanley: Nothing.
Goldberg: You verminate the sheet of your birth.
McCann: What about the Albigensenist heresy ?
Goldberg: Who watered the wicket in Melbourne?
McCann: What about the blessed Oliver Plunkett?
Goldberg: Speak up Webber. Why did the chicken cross the road?
Stanley: He wanted to -he wanted to -he wanted to. ..
McCann: He doesn't know!
Goldberg: Why did the chicken cross the road? '
In your opinion, is that grotesque, absurd, jocular, stupid ?

Monday, 16 July 2012

The making of a myth

What do you think about? Are we misinformed? The mondial government is lying us ? Overpopulation is a myth? Any doubt? Or we can say: 'Without any doubt overpopulation is a myth'. In 1890, a Clergyman laments: 'Too much medicine, not enough plagues'. In the same year, a man on the street comments: 'I don't feel starved to death'. A hundred years after, academic reflects: 'This planet is toast. Stupid other people'(in 1980). And nowadays, a fearmonger says with innocence: 'Without a doubt our planet is over. What? No, I don't have any facts on that. There is no time for facts'.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Loving presence

In our everyday life we are surrounded by a variety of people. Some of the people we deal with on a daily basis are a joy to be with, and their loving presence nurtures and encourages us. Others may have the opposite effect, draining us of our energy, making us feel tired and exhausted. Our well-being can be easily influenced by those around us, and if we can keep this in mind, we will have greater insights into the quality of our social interactions and their energetic effect on us.

Once we think more deeply about the people we interact with, it becomes easier for us to work toward filling our lives with people who help us cultivate healthy and positive relationships. Even though it might not always seem like we have much control over who we are with, we do. The power to step back from toxicity lies within us. All we have to do is take a few moments to reflect on how another person makes you feel. Assessing the people we spend the most time with allows us to see if they add something constructive to, or subtract from, our lives. Should a friend sap our strength, for example, we can simply set the intention to tell them how we feel or simply spend less time with them. We will find that the moment we are honest with ourselves about our own feelings, the more candid we can be with others about how they make us feel. While this may involve some drastic changes to our social life it can bring about a personal transformation that will truly empower us, since ! the decision to live our truth will infuse our lives with greater happiness.

When we surround ourselves with positive people, we clear away the negativity that exists around us and create more room to welcome nurturing energy. Doing this not only enriches our lives but also envelopes us in a supportive and healing space that fosters greater growth, understanding, and love of ourselves as well as those we care about.

(source:  )

Monday, 11 July 2011

Working through Silence

      Our lives are typically filled with noise. There are the noises from the outside world that we cannot control, and there are the noises we allow into our lives. These noises, from seemingly innocuous sources like the television and radio, can actually help us avoid dealing with uncomfortable thoughts and emotions. However, using noise as a distraction hurts more than it helps because you are numbing yourself to what may be internally bubbling up to the surface for you to look at and heal. Distracting yourself with talk-radio, television, or other background noises can also prevent you from finding closure to issues that haunt you.
      Noise as a distraction can affect us in many ways. It can help you stay numb to emotions that you don’t want to feel, allow you to avoid dealing with problems, distract you from having to think, and make it easier for you to forget reality. Drowning out the thoughts and emotions you find uncomfortable or overwhelming can complicate your issues because it allows them to fester. By tuning out noise and relishing silence, you create the space to experience and express what you are hiding. It is only then that self-exploration can begin in earnest and you can stare down frightening issues. In silence, it becomes easier to let your strongest feelings come forth, deal with them, and find new ways of resolving your problems.
      When you go within without the veil of noise to shield you from yourself, you’ll be able to figure out what you need to heal. Embracing silence and introspection allows you to work through your thoughts and emotions and transmute them. Free of the need for noise, you can accept your pain, anger, and frustration as they come up and turn them into opportunities to evolve.
(source: )

Saturday, 5 February 2011

When Is a Lie an Act of Love?

       Experiments have found that ordinary people tell about two lies every ten minutes. I don't see how that's possible, as I've been alone the last hour writing this piece (oh dear, am I making it up as I go along?). However, the half-hour before that, I averaged about fifteen per minute.
"What are you eating, Mom?" (I'm shoving chocolate-dipped macaroons into my mouth at an ugly pace)
"Carrots, want some?"
       Robert Feldman, a social psychologist at the University of Massachusetts found that liars tend to be more popular than honest people (think politics). Because social skills involve telling people what they want to hear (things that aren't, um, true). The more social grace a person possesses, experiments say, the more willingness and ability he has to deceive.
      But some lies are meant as acts of love. Truly. Parents lie to protect their kids from distressing or harmful facts (your uncle crosses his eyes because of a vision impairment...not because he's a sloppy drunk; daddy went on a business trip...not down the road to a hotel because we can't figure out whether or not to divorce).
       Ever since I got summoned to jury duty awhile ago, I've been paying attention to lies. More than a few people said to me, "Just say something racist. You'll get out of it."
       Um. Yeah. I could do that. But I have something inside me called a Catholic conscience. My conscience makes a dinging sound every time I approach the danger zone: where my depression is hovering like a hawk to feast on all the guilt (and I've given up trying to feel less guilty).
       So, these are the lies my Catholic conscience condones:
       Perpetuating myths of Santa, the Easter Bunny, and all kinds of fairies (Tooth, Diaper, Binky); fibbing to the kids for reasons of discipline ("Your teeth will rot if you don't brush"), nutrition ("Mommy's eating carrots, not frozen Kit-Kats"), health ("The shots won't hurt"), or recreation ("Barney will make you stupid and unpopular"); deceiving for the purpose of surprise birthday parties or similar ocassions (my aunt Kay can't even do that, God love her); "forgetting" certain details of my mental health record (when dealing with bureaucratic crap like renewing my driver's license or background checks for a part-time job); and telling falsehoods for convenience matters ("Yes, this luggage has been with me the whole time,"...except for when the stranger next to me watched it so I could change my babies' diapers with two hands.)
      Of course there are also those forced compliments (the ugly baby dilemma): including reactions to artistic expressions by people who shouldn't hold a paint brush or a microphone but really like to ("I love it!" I say to the novice artist who shows me a portrait of moi that resembles Michael Jackson with Hillary Swank cheek bones; "You sounded great," I say to my sister who sings the national anthem when she gets drunk); feedback on attire ("Yes, the pants are flattering," I say to a friend who has just bought a ridiculously expensive pair of pants which add at least ten pounds to her butt); and weight matters ("No, you don't look heavier," I say to a sister who has gone up at least one size).
      Then there are the deceptions that set off my depression alarm: lying for a co-worker who is having an affair (can't do it, get someone else); hiding something from Eric that he deserves to know; ignoring a pretty serious breach of trust in a friendship; denying that a friend's statement hurt my feelings when it did; pretending I'm okay with a neighbor whom I've very pissed off at because he stole my babysitter.
      But what do you do when the truth hurts? When "honesty bumps up against other values"? asks Bella DePaulo, a social psychologist at the University of California at Santa Barbara who once conducted a study in which she asked people to recall the worst lie told them, and the worst lie they ever told. Many young people said that the worst lie was told by a parent, but DePaulo found that the parent thought that lying was the right thing to do, that they weren't deceptions but acts of love.


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