Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Stop Before You Reach DEAD END!




Do you see a face at the center of this painting? If yes, stop with what you are doing and read this article.
Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature - School on Blog 
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM, evening class 8 to 9, Monday to Friday  with Ms Grace Velasco August 11, 2015


Painting in acrylic by AVRotor acrylic, 1994

The road is fine all right and you are running fast because you want to reach your destination – or your goal. Then all of a sudden a signboard appears. Dead End.

Shocking. You are in your prime. You have a happy family, good breeding, good company, and bright future. Good life – oh, the malls, Internet, travel, medals, rubbing elbows with personalities, greetings everywhere you go.

What happened? Were you moving too fast in life because you want more? More money, honor, acquaintances, possessions, or just keeping up ahead? Or you are trying to escape? Escape from criticism, inadequacies? For not being able to cope up with the Joneses? Escape from tradition, because everything today must be modern? Escape from rural life because in the urban lies the golden city?

POM (Peace of Mind) Square

Of course you do not think of these while you are running. Then you start to walk, exhausted, and you look around. You are back to your senses. You realized you have not been a “square”. Your sense of dimension is lost and you did not care what shape you are in. Because you lost the integrated balance of the four pillars of a happy, fulfilled life.

  • Intellectual/mental
  • Spiritual
  • Physical
  • Psychological/Emotional
1. Physical – It's your health, body physiology, the machine and prime mover that keeps you going biologically. When was the last time you visited your doctor? Is your food balance? Maybe you are not getting enough exercise. Driving for hours does not constitute an exercise. Are you having difficulty to sleep, even only to rest? Imagine a machine breaking down because of strain.

2. Intellectual or mental – Your thoughts are assigned to two parts – the left for reasoning and the right for creativity. Either you have overtaxed the whole of your brain, or you failed to balance the two hemispheres. That's why it is important to attend to hobbies like painting and music (right brain) to balance the left which you use more often in office and home. As the body is subject to fatigue, so with the brain. A fatigued brain may lead to psychiatric condition that can not be relieved as easy as that of the body. Quite often extreme conditions are irreversible.

3. Psychological or emotional – Our psyche absorbs the impact of stress coming from the body and the mind – and from our spiritual being. Like a funnel the residues are accumulated here. Imagine a man staring at an artificial waterfall at a New York park. How many promising people are ruined by emotional problems? Jungian psychology explains that as we continue to repress our thoughts, our feelings, particularly those that are negative, the more we bury them deeper, storing them in our sub-conscious.

It means two things. First, we thought we have eliminated them. No, they come out in our dreams, they seep out into the unconscious in trickles that spoil many happy thoughts. Second, as we keep filling up the unconscious with more repressed thoughts, there comes a time that the tank so to speak, is likely to burst. There on a couch the potential victim, with the help of a psychiatrist, releases the pressure by withdrawing from the unconscious into the conscious chamber of the brain and flows out to his relief. Such rehabilitation requires rest and expurgation of the negative thoughts and experiences. It is only through this process that the psychiatric symptoms begin to cease.

4. Spiritual – The biblical Seventh Day is one for the spirit, a day of communication with our Creature, with Nature. It is a renewal of relationship between man and God, a re-invigoration of the soul. Emptiness can be easily felt, but quite often, it mingles with the kind of emptiness that is hard to fill. Our spiritual life suffers every time we act on something against our conscience. It becomes dull when we fail to do the things we should in accordance with our faith. I have heard of people complaining about the lack of “meaning in life.” For me, the answer lies not in our rationale thoughts, in our physical power or emotional or psychological makeup. In fact I believe that the lack of meaning is in the emptiness of the spirit. I recommend reading of A Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl, founder of logotherapy - a field of psychology which helped prisoners in German prison camps in World War II to survive.

As I continue to write this article at Room 3031 at the UST hospital (September 20, 2001) I glimpse upon a Newsweek story about 30,000 Japanese a year have been killing themselves. The title of the article is “Death by Conformity.” It is about an epidemic of young Japanese pulling back from the world."

Take the case of a 29-year old salaryman. He described how he secluded himself for three years after resigning from his company. “I didn’t even know if it was day or night,” he confessed.

Another case is about a “corporate warrior” who became a victim of economic slump affecting his company in the late 1998. He became “spiritually” weakened by an anxiety he couldn’t comprehend. This is how the report pictured the fiftyish company executive.

“At first he couldn’t sleep. Then he grew physically weak each time the train neared the station nearest his office. On several occasions he rode to the end of the line. At one point, speaking on condition that he not be identified, he went to buy a rope, then put it in the trunk of his car to be prepared for the day when he would hang himself. Fortunately the day didn’t come. A doctor helped him from overcoming his depression.”

Hikikomori Syndrome pictures

This malady is called in Japan hikikomori or social withdrawal, a debilitating syndrome, which affects as many as 1.2 million young people – 7 out of 10 of them are male. 
 Photo of a potential hikikomori victim (internet)
Symptoms include
• Agoraphobia -
Fear of places and situations that might cause panic, helplessness, or embarrassment. It is common, there are200,000 to 3 million US cases per year
• Paranoia -
Paranoia involves feelings of persecution and an exaggerated sense of self-importance. Paranoia occurs in many mental disorders and is rare as an isolated mental illness, persons with paranoia can usually work and function in everyday life, however, their lives may be limited and isolated. 
• Aversion to sunlight
• Severe anxiety
• Antisocial
• Fear they are being watched
• Think they are ugly, they smell, etc.
• Loner
• Uncommunicative
• Sullen, sometimes even violent

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Getting out may be the only cure from the blues.”
Takemi Matsuda, “Time out Stay in”
Newsweek August 20, 2001
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“People who suffer from hikikomori are at the top of a mountain – and that mountain is all of Japan’s problems."

Hikikomori begins with adolescent trauma that causes the afflicted to “stop growing up.” It is a social phenomenon, not a specific mental-health disorder. A certain Tamaki Saito who runs an outpatient program at Sasaki Hospital in Chiba, blames the problem on Japan’s efficiency first value system, which promotes conformity among workers, and students. So with the company workers who are expected to render efficient performance as Japanese culture has built standards of performance in return to security and compensation.

Hope for the Flowers

 Hope for the Flowers has helped people gain the courage to leave jobs, change their lives and explore their love for another human being.

 Anyone who has read Paulas’ illustrated book, Hope for the Flowers, is certainly convinced that there is “nothing out there at the top.”

The story goes like this. Caterpillars scrambled up to the top, each outsmarting and climbing over one another, and forming a living pyramid. Each caterpillar wanted to be at the top.

Imagine a whole mass of living, dynamic bodies, writhing, shaking, in the like of the Tower of Babel. At the top each one thought must be beautiful. To be at the top is honor. The higher one goes the more the risk to slide and fall off to its death.

“But there is nothing up there.” The caterpillar, which had reached the top, said. But the others did not believe. A female caterpillar gave up and turned into a pupa hanging peacefully on a branch of a tree. Then one morning she metamorphosed into a beautiful butterfly. Meantime her colleague continued on to struggle to the top of the pyramid.

She fluttered her wings in the morning sunshine and whispered something to someone she had met earlier. And the latter withdrew from the crowd, and followed the same thing she did. Then one morning he too, metamorphosed into a beautiful butterfly, while his colleagues were still struggling in the pyramid.

And the two butterflies lived happily ever after.


People are like caterpillars. They are gregarious. They form columns and pyramids. They step on one another just to be at the top. Many are frustrated, many get injured or even killed. Irony is that there is nothing at the top but space far from heaven. ~

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