Friday, November 9, 2007

The Fragility of Life (09/11/07)

I cant’s remember when, but it seems like I have lost the ability to retain stuff, memories. Perhaps it’s because I don’t want to, life should be more of dreams, than memories. At least dreams are wonderful, memories are painful… I’m not being honest here, I’m just contradicting myself. I don’t actually believe in what I wrote above, though I want to, it’s just that it seems like it’s the easier option to take.

Everyone wants to walk the easiest most simple path of life. But where would that take you? Does it take you to a place you want to go? A life you wouldn’t have regretted at your final moments in life? Recently, there has been a couple of deaths related to people I know, which inspired me to write on “the fragility of life”.

But before that, the usual “little things in life”… Have you ever witnessed the unsung heroes of Singapore coming out at night? Who are they, you may ask? They are the cleaners who clean hawker centres, pavements and every other place you’ve walked by early in the morning, on your way to take a train to wherever you need to go. They go unappreciated, like the dish collectors in all coffee shops and hawker centers. The evolution of life… In the past we used to see those old aunties and uncles clearing our dishes at coffee shops and hawker centers… Not anymore. They’re out of business, taken over by able, young and fighting fit foreigners. The aged have been phased out… wasn’t the purpose of dish collectors initially meant to create jobs for the aged?

With our policy changing… one can only doubt how true the statement of the elderly wanting to work really is. To work till we die? Is that what we Singaporeans really want? Or is it just me? Retiring as early as I can after a stable family, a stable retirement fund and enjoying life after…

I now see… how fragile life is. How easy it is to make your life worth less than it really is by people around you. Terrorism… that’s how it works. They mindf*** you into believing that your life is meant for a greater good, the sacrifice of one’s life to spend eternity in heaven with god. It sounds absurd, why would anyone be able to believe that sh*t? You would be surprised how “weak” the mind is, how “strong” the mouth is.

Hypnosis, propaganda of North Korea, Germany by Hilter etc. shows how easy it is to create an imaginary life for others. What makes you think yours is not a makeshift one? Like the movie “The Truman Show”, what if your life was just a pack of lies (which brings us back temporarily to the previous post), what if your life was just being made use of. War movies shows how vulnerable one’s life is. Everything gets ripped away from a single gun shot, a repercussion bearing from a nearby exploding grenade, a crocodile infested swamp craving for human flesh… a car accident, a plane accident, a building’s collapse, a lightning strike, what more a falling tree from a lighting strike… So many ways to equilibrate the life energy on earth.

The bottomline is, cherish your life. Live each day as if it’s your last. Cherish all those around you, everything around and never be too afraid to tell that special someone how much he/she means to you. Dejavu? Feels like your spam forward emails? Almost. Heck the “life each day as if it’s your first” philosophy if you had one, like I did. When we were young, death was never around… but when one grows older… death becomes prominent… inevitable… unpredictable. Is it fear? That overwhelms me? Or u? Perhaps… Remorse? Likely.

Time will never stop for you, but time shouldn’t be looked upon as your foe, but your friend. Time is fair, it gives equal to all… maybe not all, but to those still alive, and struggling with their lives. Maybe death comes to those who have got all they want in life. Humans may never be satisfied, but greed runs out sometimes. Sometimes, it’s just a simple and meaningful life people want. No more brain wrecking moments, no more stress over things you can’t and will never get.

I guess since we can’t control how we die, at least we can control how we live. Life was given to us easily, that’s why it’s just as easy to take it away from us. What makes you so different from anybody else? What makes your life worth more than anybody’s else for you to say “take them instead” when the grim reaper comes knocking at ur doorsteps? Just because I’m the wealthiest man in the world, or the most influential, isn’t even a good enough reason to give. This just shows that in the eyes of the highest “hierarchy”, if one believes in God… that contrary to whatever I have said, Life is worth more than life could ever “buy”.

Friday, September 14, 2007

What If Your Life Was Just a Pack Of Lies?

Before i start to invoke your mind with thought-provoking theories, assuming you're so free to be reading this post and have nothing else better to do, here's a little "Do you know?" section for you guys:

Most of you may already know,
myopia - short-sightedless
astigmatism - "san guang"
but did you know that:
hyperopia - long-sightedness
presbyopia - gradual failing sight (old people), commonly known as "lao hua"

Also, we've all heard of sudoku. And a visit to the "Popular" bookstore will probably expose to you the "hybrids" of the famous japanese number puzzle:
Sudoku (single digits) - logic based number placement puzzle (1-9)
Kakuro (addition cross) - similar to sudoku but the numbers must add up to the given "clue numbers" (the square is divided diagonally across into half and clue numbers are present as a "guide")
Futoshiki (not equal) - similar to sudoku but incorporates ">" and "<"
We all know what the sentence "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" is all about, and from a forwarded email, you may also know that if you type: =rand (1, 1) and push "enter" in microsoft word, the sentence pops out. But do you know that there is a term to describe this sentence? Panagram - sentence which uses every letter of the alphabet at least once.
(and yes, there are many panagrams out there, but apparently, only the above mentioned is the easiest to rem)

Well, for now, that's about all there is to the "Do you know?" section. May or may not be useful to you, but it sure enlightens me a little more.

It's time for me to divert back to the main topic, just as the title suggests, what if your life was just a pack of lies?

These few days, my mind has been exploding with loads and loads of theories and it seems to be linking ideas i've learnt or came to know about in the past together.

There's so many contraversies to be said and it's hard to come up with an appropriate organization for it, but perhaps it's best if i start of on feral children. Feral children are those children who were lost in the wild and have lost a part of their "humanity". What does it really mean to be human? That separates us from the "lower-class" animal kingdom? Language itself is important. The main distinction would be our ability for abstract thinking, and abstract thinking requires language. I will not talk too much on linguistics, if you want to know more, you can always borrow a book or join a course.

Well, what i'm trying to distinguish here is the "culture" of a feral child and a civilised child. Culture was addressed in my crime and punishment class which addresses the most widely accepted theory of what constitutes molding a potential criminal, and it seems "sociology" is leading. We will almost definately become who or what we mix with, the famous chinese proverb which goes something like "If you mix with a pearl, you will become a pearl, if you mix with ink, you will become black."

So what am i trying to imply here? We all grew up in this world, with a fixed set of "rules", "ideas" and "culture" (which is merely a word to describe a whole situation and not a particular "thing", in other words, the word "culture" doesnt really exist) and we all grew up believing in apparitions, ghosts, spirits, vampires, mummies, werewolves, pontianaks etc. Now, here's a qns to you. DO THEY REALLY EXIST?

Your answer? Let me try to guess. Ghosts and spirits, yes. Vampires, probably, cos of some accounted incidences. Mummies, yes, but not those walking ones like in the movies. Werewolves, unlikely. Pontianks, definately. Am i right?

What if i told you that it could just all be a pack of lies? They exist only because we believe in them. Our mind is the greatest power in this world, and we do now know how to utilise it fully or understand it fully. I've been watching the US horror series "supernatural" and there was this one episode which addressed this issue. A so-called demon exist only because ppl believe in it and it manifests according to their perceptions of it. It may be a totally fictatious Hollywood horror series, but it coincidentally coincides with a recent documentary i caught on my local TV channel.

The documentary "IS IT REAL: EXORCISTS" or demonic possession to some, addresses the issue on the credibility of demonic possession. We all know of the movie "The Exorcist" and that it was based on a true accounted exorcism. The 1st in fact, about a young boy. Wat we didn't know is that his friends said that he was an attention seeking young juvenile who was a master of pranks. All of the "demonic accounts" could be explained with him executing them just to gain the attention of his parents and the ppl ard him. He was later "cured" and is supposedly assuming a normal life now. Back in US then it was the 1 and only exorcist ever documented. But after the movie came out, there were 10 in the subsequent year and more as the years progressed. But before that 1 incident, there was no other accounts of it. Strange? Don't you think? Are evil spirits becoming more active? Or are humans becoming weaker in the mind? Not being more susceptible for spirit intervention, but for for hallucinating and "role-playing".

Why do exorcist rituals (the actual ones) all show the "victim" acting the same way? Hypnosis may be the key. Self-hyponosis or perhaps by the exorcist himself. Well, it's not weird or too hard to believe that that is possible.

From a magician's point of view, "mentalists" like Darren Brown and Banachek have actually proven that it works, neuro linguistic hypnosis. What it means is to use language to hypnosis someone. Plausible? Yes it is. The power of suggestion. I will not go too in depth into it but it has been proven by psychologists and magicians.

So, apart from the "culture" of a feral child, he who does not know how to speak, does not know what a "ghost" is, and therefore is not afraid of "it". He would be afraid of predators, but i doubt that of apparitions.

"Side-tracking" a little, it has also been proven by psychologists that we are able to make up false memories. An experiment shows so. Test subjects were told to recount the incident where they were supposedly lost in a shopping mall when they were much younger. A false testimonial from their parents was all it took for them to really believe that it did happen even though it didn't. Conformity experiments, where the test subject was put in a room with 9 other confederates who intentionally all agree on a wrong answer when asked an obvious qns and the test subject will probably agree on the wrong answer even though he knows it's wrong. He may even be made to believe that it IS in fact wrong.

Ghandi once said "When a lie is said long enough, it becomes a truth."

Now, let's address fear itself.

"Fear is in the eye of the beholder" Familiar?
When confucious died, he still managed to instill fear into his opponents and won the battle because of that. A story goes "The king of the jungle was told about a fearsome mouse and he spent sleepless nights thinking about the mouse. When the lion finally saw the tiny mouse up front, even though it was so small compared to the lion, the lion took to his heels and ran for his life." All of this, in the name of one great emotion, "FEAR."

Let's "side-track" even more now. (Note: we will not be going back to where or what we started on) Have you all heard of the loch ness monster, the bermuda triangle, crop circles etc.? These are the little mysteries which have always intrigued me since young. But as time passes, gradually each and every "mystery" seems to be "solved" for me.

Inverness, Scotland. Loch Ness Monster?. There is a rumour that a prehistoric dinosaur lives in the loch and shows itself every once in a while. Well, there has been lotsa loch scans and there has been no evidence of it thriving in the waters. Furthermore, scientists have spectulated that it is too big a creature to survive on the fish food available in the loch. Almost, no. Definately proven. No such thing as the Loch Ness Monster. How bout the footages of the "Nessie"? All proven to be nothing but a complete HOAX. Disappointment for me, 10/10.

Bermuda Triangle. Region of the northwestern Atlantic ocean. Devil's Triangle? There is a rumour that this triangle will "suck" passing ships, vessels and planes into it and "transport" it into another dimension. Studies have shown that the seabed contains sand with lotsa dense methane in it. Any plane or vessel debri will sink into the sand and not be found. Also, accounts of "passing through the bermuda triangle" and seeing an orangey vicinity is explained by the uprising methane gas. Here's your explanation for all the peculiarities of the infamouse bermuda triangle. Disappointment for me as well, 10/10.

Crop circles. Patterns in crop fields caused by flattening of crops. Alien Communication? It has been proven that a crop circle can be completed within 5 hours (a summer's night) and intricate designs does not look as hard as it seems. Just like a spiderweb (u can watch the documentary, "Life in the undergrowth" to know more about it), it may appear complicated, but once you know how it's being weavened, it's almost as simple as memorising your multiplication table. Disppointment for me, 8/10.

Magic. Does it really exist? Ever since i went into this field, learning and knowing more about magic, it seems more apparent to me that everything is simply an illusion. David Copperfield was nicknamed the devil because of his perfect illusions. Well, to be called a devil in the magic industry will almost be the greatest compliment one can have. It just shows how good you are with that "art". Everything is in fact, explainable. Wait, lemme rephrase that. Everything you see of an illusionist's acts are explainable. Most of the things in life are possible to accomplish. Ever heard of the Indian Rope Trick? It has 2 elements of it. 1. the rope magically straightens out into the sky and hardens. 2. the guru starts climbing the rope and disappears into the sky. One of the oldest, traditional illusions around.

Heard of Indians levitating? Possible? No? It is "possible". If you want to know the answer, go into the realm of magic. But let me warn u, with knowledge of such, you will only disappoint yourself even more. David Copperfield spent 7yrs perfecting his "flying" illusion. And all it takes is a 15 min "performance" of it. Most of us see only the effect, the final outcome, but not the process of it.

Einstein spent his last few years trying to think of the ultimate equation to link everything in the universe, but to no avail. Recently, scientists have come up with what is called the "string theory" and it could possibly be used to explain everything in the universe by linking them up, succeeding in einstein's unfinished wrk.

Scientology is a religion where it's believers believe in "science" being "god". Religons. An extremely contraversial topic. From the documentary of demonic possession mentioned above, it was invesigated that the brain shuts out the "logical" part when a devoted christian loses himself and starts speaking in tongues. The same is hypothesized about that of demonic possession. So, are religions truely, true? Do all the Gods they worship truely exist? My philosphy is that it is always better to believe in something, then to believe in nothing at all. The different gods may or may not exist, but why create friction amongst believers? What good does it do? Ultimately, it's all up to an individual to make a choice, to believe or not to believe.

Time travel has been said to be impossible, only until recently where it was possible for our future generations(a different time zone) to travel back into time to the present. A machine can be made now and this machine can be used as a portal to transport the "future" to the present but not the present to the past as the machine was not made yet. So, what about the Grandfather's paradox? What if you travel back in time and killed your biological grandfather? Then you would never been born in the 1st place to travel back in time to kill urself. One of the unsolved mysteries, or maybe, it's just an example of a linguistic paradox.

The power of the mind, what it is able to do and what it will do to you. Self-help books are useless unless you believe in them. But if you believe in them, then you don't actually need to be reading the books to "improve" urself. Almost like the einstein trying to find the ultimate equation and the string theory, it seems like i'm getting onto something here, but it seems vague and ambiguous.

All i know is that majority of our life is "made-believed" and to break out of this "illusion" would be pointlessly useless nonetheless. So what if you know all of these? What if all of your beliefs, your fairy tale stories were told to you by someone that it was all a lie. Would you start believing in the "hurtful truth", or continue believing in a lie. A "happy" lie, or a "hurtful" truth? Not too difficult to choose rite? To be cynical, you could even claim the person to be an ultimate liar himself, perhaps even delusional. Well, the choice is entirely, yours.

Points to remember:
1. Your mind is the most powerful tool to influence your life
2. Take everything with a pinch of salt, don't believe whatever you see, contrary to the famous phrase "seeing is believing"
3. Do not confine yourself to this imaginary "jail of ideas" we all grew up in
4. Just because your life might be a pack of lies doesn't mean you stop believing

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Loving life is a temperamental thingy...

There's lotsa factors which can contribute to how much one really loves life..
the amount of fun, the amount of happiness, the amount of stress, the amount of finance, the amount of love and stability in a relationship, the amount of friendship, the amount of meaning, the amount of freedom, the amount of respect, the amount of self-esteem, the amount of entertainment, all varies at any given point of time.

That's why some days u feel like u love life more than others. Today, is a day where i dun love my life as much as other times... how about u?

I've been pinning down my thoughts every now and then where i thought i've got "something finer in life"... here's what i got so far...

1. Have u ever observed how the body sways from right to left in a queue when they're moving forward to close the gap? You should know why, the right leg moves first "the power leg.. not neccessarily true for everyone though" and then the left leg moves.. we all know this, but have we ever noticed how comical the queue starts to inch forward like cute little teddy bears swaying frm left to right and right to left even though they happen right before our eyes?

2. Prosopagnosia... know wat that is? That's the power of the net. i believe most of u dont, well neither did i.. until i wanted to check my mail 1 day and i saw it online via yahoo news. Prosopagnosia is face blindness.. meaning one's inability to recognise faces. What kind of life does one experience having that condition? We all know how the less fortunate blind, mute and deaf personnel try to make ends meet in their daily lives.. but what about these less known disabilities that society forgot to mention? What does it mean to be the vast minority and almost no one in the world truely understands how it feels like?

Tone deafeness? extra finger on your pinky? extremely fragile bones? color blindness? These are some examples of those "handicaps" that we are aware of.. but there's much more out there. And because we dun experience them, doesnt mean they don't exsist. To truely understand how fortunate you are, i guess 1 of the ways is to find out more about those handicaps, so as we can love our lives much more...

3. Whenever it comes to rectifying problems, no matter where you are, service providers act as though they are trying their very best to aid u... but the truth is.. no body really cares... all they care about is about their own well beings. Well, that is "your" job isn't it? Why would "you" care so much about the difficulties i'm having in operating this machine? Don't put me on hold? DOn't direct me to another line? They just keep directing me all over the place. I'm not a volleyball... you don't bounce me all over the place and end up at the same spot again?

The only person we can really trust is ourselves. Why go through all that trouble to ask for help when we can go through the same amount of trouble to enrich ourselves with the appropriate skills to rectify them our own? I feel this way because of lotsa incidences that happened. One of which was a day-light snatch theft which 100 over people didn't even care and 2 racist policemen turned a blind eye to... i always thought policemen where efficient and they were the "protectors"... i thought wrong.. you only have urself. That incident occurred in another country.. how about the policemen in my country?

I've had first hand experiences with them and i realised that their reaction time, activation time, took ages! By the time they came down, offenders of the law would have enuff time to cook up a feast to celebrate their escape!

4. Last but not least for the time being.. have u ever tried to move your middle toe? We have took our toes for granted and have lost our ability to control each and every toe as efficiently as our fingers. Surprsingly hard? There's a lot more "take for granted" situations which we haven discovered yet.. so try finding those.. maybe that way.. you will learn to love life more and love the way life was "made"...

Back to me? Why am i loving life lesser than other days? Love. Love. Love. Love is such a frustrating thing that it sometimes overwhelms happy times and enjoyable times you spent with your special someone. Trust is the key. how many times have u heard this before? Then ask youself, how many times have affairs been known to you based on the relationships that revolve around u? Total bull...

The keys of love... are like the keys of a piano set. Many! It's more than just trust, understanding, committment etc. You can only know when you've truely been in one. But don't do it because you're curious to know what it's like to love and be loved in return, because curiosity killed the cat... in this case... no rats were saved.

Ever felt like you are starting to lose yourself? lose your identity, lose who you really are? change is good? they say? Everybody changes.. it's just how much they do, it's just how much worse they become. For someone like me who believes everyone is evil by nature, it's a matter of how much worser they become.. those lesser are the "good" ones.

Time to open my eyes again... look at wat the world has to offer... a gateway for me to find that "meaning" in finding meaning in my life.. in finding the reasons to love life. Life is a complicated thing.. less complicated than love because love cannot be seen. That's why i'm not even trying to explain what love is... Let's not try to take a step to the heavens.. let's start from the ground first.. let's build steps along the way so that one day, we can reach the heavens.. the hard way.. because that's what life really is all about, that's what it takes to understand life.. the hard way.