Saturday, April 21, 2007

Seung-Hui Cho - The Transformation From An Innocent Kid To A Mass Murderer Requires Just This ...

Convocation Service at Virginia Tech

... Negative Thought Patterns Going Over And Over In The Mind

Expectedly, polls have begun being conducted on the pros and cons of a stricter gun control policy. Experts are analyzing the statistics on people's opinion on whether enforcing gun control could or could not have prevented Cho do what he did. Message boards are flooded with vitriolic comments, sad comments, philosophical reflections, I-told-you-so's; the entire spectrum of dialectics that humans are capable of producing in such events (eventualities?) is on display.

Magdalena Kaszubowska, stock.Xchng

The boy's video will enter the curriculum of psychology courses across the universities of the world. Psychoanalysts and their fraternity in academia will come out with lengthy discourses on why things happened with Seung-Hui the way they did.

pic by yohan hmmm, stock.Xchng

The current, ongoing postmortem of his character profile (wonder why his character profile couldn't have been so comprehensively built up while he was alive and before he started the shooting?) shows that he:

- was a shy kid, acutely conscious of his alien background. Migrating from a rented basement apartment in the Dobong-gu district of Seoul, South Korea, to the vicinity of an affluent community in Virginia - can be a big cultural shock for an eight-year old child that Cho was, in 1992. Coping with this shock requires a mindset that is molded in oodles of self-esteem. Which Seung-hui apparently lacked. Busy parents. A successful elder sister who must have been held up as a benchmark worth emulating, must not have helped his own worth of self any better.

image by Steve Woods, stock.Xchng

- used to be intimidated and picked on by peers as a high-school student. The peers found his accent and his personality very funny. An already low-self esteemed boy touched further depths in his own eyes. Anger and frustration towards his peers, and by extension, the world around him, must have kept growing in his mind.

image by Sue R B, stock.Xchng

As is the public wont, such incidents spark an ephemeral hue and cry about a low counselor:student ratio, the problem compounded further by the fact that the counselors apparently spend more time administering tests and filling up forms than actually doing what they were hired for: spending time with the kids - and 'counseling' them.

[Why didn't the Student Affairs cell take cognizance of the English Department Head's alert about the kid's behavior, as early as in 2005? Surely, a counselor could have been put on the job? Or did they naively expect the child to walk into the counselor's chamber on his own?]

Hannah Boettcher, stock.Xchng

- fantasized about the opposite sex. His being a loner and introvert didn't help things when his surging hormones drove him to seek the company of fellow female students. His inner conflicts: a low self-esteem and insecurity putting him on the leash on the one hand, and his urge to satisfy his natural, carnal demands on the other, led him to do what young boys in his circumstance do: stalk the girls. Ultimately, his first victim was a girl.

pic by Sylvia Neugebauer, stock.Xchng

- successfully hid his inner anger and sense of revenge against the "injustice" that the world meted out to him, when he was psychologically evaluated. Surely, the tests that are routinely administered in such cases, at Carilion's Saint Albans Behavioral Health Center themselves need re-evaluation? That an apparent lack of emotional reactivity at the superficial level, may actually be concealing a simmering, seething volcano of perhaps self-destructive lava which may explode anytime? Which only a deeper probe can reveal?

Sigh. The kid withdrew into a shell and created his own hyperreal world where he was the sole inhabitant - and not having to bear anybody's insults or mockery, and where he could extract his own revenge against his alleged tormentors, just like Woo-jin did in the OldBoy movie.

Image of Yu Ji-tae

In hindsight, Seung-hui seemed to have given enough signs of warning, to his seniors and teachers, at least of mental illness, if not of possible erupting violence against the others around him. Through his behavior, through his writings. If only one of them had proactively taken the initiative and got him started on a consistent counseling session to rebuild his self-esteem, and instill in him respect - and not hatred - for the world he cohabited.

image by Murat Cokal, stock.Xchng

All - because once a negative set of thought patterns are formed, one tends to repeatedly walk down the same road again and again. It takes but a simple shift of perspective, to move from negative to positive, from low self-esteem to high self-love - to change direction. A simple shift. Which Seung-hui didn't make.

pic by Sharlene Jackson, stock.Xchng

As we grieve for the people who faced the bullets that were suddenly sprayed at them, not even given the chance to know why they deserved this fate; as we shed tears for the young who had their entire life spread out before them, life snuffed out before they could live it to their full potential; as we share the hopelessness and helplessness of Seung-hui's parents (Seung Tae and Hyang In) and sister (Sun Kyung), the nightmare and soul-searching that they must now be going through is palpable: let us also reflect on how our society developed the circumstance which shaped this kid's thoughts, and how we couldn't stretch out our helping hand to lift him - when it was still time - as he was sliding deeper into his morass of negativity and self-destruction.

image by huseyin bakir, stock.Xchng


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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Auto-Suggestions During Day-time, And Lucid Dreaming At Night - A Powerful Combination!

MIT.Edu Kayla

A Focused, Positive Approach Throughout The Waking Hours Accelerates All Healing And Self-Improvement

Now here's a super-powerful combination that I have been working on - and it is giving results!

A student of mine had a problem with letting go off the past. The nightmares would keep recurring with precise and regular frequencies, and the next day would find her brooding over memories that simply refused to fade away.

jefras, stock.Xchng

Memories that haunted her during waking hours; and dreams that tormented her sleep: it was a double-whammy. The result was showing in all aspects of her life - her performance in the office was deteriorating steadily, her social life was already in a shambles anyway, her husband and kids could no longer understand her, and she was drawing into a supposedly self-protective, but actually self-destructive, cocoon of her own.

Cocoon - Christopher Potter, stock.Xchng

I got her to experiment with two tools simultaneously: I introduced her to the concept of Lucid Dreaming, and explained to her that training oneself to become aware that one is dreaming while in sleep; is the first step of halting, and then reversing the dream sequence which invariably ended in doom and gloom. The moment she became aware that the particular dream clip about her past has begun, she was to immediately intervene (without really waking up!), and stop it. The story line of the movie was to be completely altered, the dialogues uttered by the characters to be scrapped and rewritten, and everything to be done such that the plot took a more positive route, such that she emerged a victor and not a victim.

pic by Edwin Pijpe, stock.Xchng

To help this change of plot to happen, I asked her to vividly visualize how she wanted the new story to be written: I asked her to visualize her past in such a way that whoever or whatever had tormented her - she would either forgive them and let go, and / or she would "do" something in the revised plot that resulted in just retribution.

I gave her several loose sheaves of paper and asked her to write, re-write and re-re-write the plot in such a way that closure to the past was attained. This she was made to enter into a word document and further polished.

pic by Leo Cinezi, stock.Xchng

I proof-read this document to ensure that the sentence structures were small, precise, to the point, and totally devoid of any negative words. I further garnished it with some sentences that were positive self-affirmations.

I made her read the document everyday, like a ritual. This was the second tool - Auto-suggestion.

pic by Benjamin Earwicker, stock.Xchng

It was a happy moment for us when she rang up today - after almost three months of practicing both auto-suggestion and lucid dreaming - to inform that she not only became aware of her recurring dream the previous night, but she actually altered it in the exact way she had been visualizing in her waking hours!

pic by Henk, stock.Xchng

I know that she is going to ring me up tomorrow again - and then the day later - to report the same success. And I am sure that she will have brought full closure to her particular problem before this month is out. Because the plot of her dream has become positive, the memories during the day time will become less painful; in fact she will now find the will to shrug them off as irrelevant and nonsense. This should positively impact her life in all ways: her performance in her office should improve, her social life should pick up, and joy should return to her family once again.

pic by Jeff Geeraerts, stock.Xchng

What were the two tools I used in her case? One was Lucid Dreaming. Though the Kit here claims that you can begin dreaming lucidly at the end of seven days itself, it usually takes a month or two (in my student's case, three) to be able to become aware of one's dream - if you are not already lucidly dreaming, that is. The Kit recommends and lists certain herbs and multi-vitamin supplements: but I don't agree with that. It is not necessary to take anything of this sort. Especially if you take advantage of the second tool: of auto-suggestion. These herbs and supplements can not only be addictive, they have their own unbearable side-effects.


If you wish to try out Lucid Dreaming yourself and replicate this girl's success in your life too, here is the link: Costs USD 59.95. It's worth every single penny.

pic by Dez Pain, stock.Xchng
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Sunday, April 08, 2007

Embracing Change

pic by valerie like, stock.Xchng

Resurrect Your True Spirits - Let Go Of What Is No Longer Relevant

David had chucked off his regular job to run his own business. The initial years were very exciting: the thrill of going after orders from customers, then getting them executed on the shop floor, delivering the product to the customer, and finally getting his payment. He enjoyed the thrill of learning new tricks of business - talking to the bankers for working capital, persuading a bright worker to not quit, ensuring that new orders kept coming in at a fast enough rate during the month, so that he could pay the suppliers and wages on time, and also leave a nifty little profit for him to take home to his wife Paula and the children.

pic by Pierre Amerlynck, stock.Xchng

Somewhere along the line, however, the market changed. The products, that he had become a master in over the years, dropped in demand in the market. Customers' tastes and preferences changed. Initially this change was very subtle, and David came to notice it when the volume of orders began to slink below the usual average. He should really have read the writing on the wall, poor David. He didn't, and kept going after the same type of work. He kept convincing himself that times would change, and the product range he excelled in would pick demand again. He kept looking at the shop floor, and the machines and tools that he had invested so much in. They will hum again, he would think. But that never happened.

One day, all his workers quit. They hadn't been paid wages for two months, you see. Suppliers stopped their shipment. David's bank called for an explanation on the overdue installments against his mortgaged house. David's life was in shambles.

pic by Jelle Boontje, stock.Xchng

Embrace change. Recognize when change is due.

The loss of a loved one - either due to death, or due to separation (child flies the nest, divorce, best friend relocates, etc, etc) - is an event which signals the end of an era in one's life. Like the crumbling of a structure that has outlived its use. Some people get over the event and move on. There are others who don't. They still wallow in the past. They keep trying to clutch at the straws of the past that is no longer there. It is these people who face the maximum agony and take on the maximum pain.

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, pic by Ken Ross On Death And Dying - Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, author of a profoundly insightful book - "On Death And Dying", proposed a model called "Five Stages of Grief", which are the states of mind that people go through when imminent change stares in their face. Here are the stages:
1. Denial - "It can't be happening. No, it is just an illusion. A nightmare. Everything will be alright when I wake up!"
2. Anger - "How dare you do this to me?! Why me?"
3. Bargaining - "Okay, at least continue to be together till the child is ready to go to college."
4. Depression - "Life is useless - there is no joy in this kind of living."
5. Acceptance - "Okay, let's move on - whatever will be, will be"

These stages do not necessarily come in the same order. Perhaps one or more of these stages may be missing. But the phase of "Acceptance" is the one that one finally needs to achieve.

I wish our schools have, besides the usual subjects of Maths and English and History, about fifteen-twenty minutes set aside for abstract thinking: and develop in us the ability to take a step or two back, and look at the entire canvas of our own life. Develop the ability to know who we are, where we are, who we should be and where we should be going the next moment.

Embracing change should be a joyful process: not one that involves such negative thought patterns as denial, anger, juvenile bargaining, or depression. Possessing the ability to continually look at our life in abstract, makes us understand the structures that we have built around ourselves. And be better prepared for the first sign of any one of them (or all of them?) crumbling. Even proactively strive to break all structures that limit our potential from being realized.

pic by Giovanna Gio, stock.Xchng

Here is one great way to help yourself to overcome all negativities surrounding the change that you may be facing in your particular circumstance. It is a CD, where a voice speaks about self-exploration. It speaks about understanding oneself - and how the impending change will enhance this understanding even further. It is a great buy, especially if - right at this moment -, you find yourself struggling with the thought of having to let go something that you have held so dear to you till now.

Here is the URL: Costs USD 12.95 for a download, USD 25.95 for a CD.

Go ahead. What is no longer relevant - let it whither away. Let go. And Resurrect Your True Spirits - this Easter Sunday.

Bryan Wintersteen, stock.Xchng

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

Did Marie Claire Lucid Dream Her Way From Naples Backstreets To Boulevard Saint Michel?

Peter Sarstedt

How Lucid Dreams Can Take You To The Stars In Reality World

Marie Claire was a poor child, an orphan, who used to roam the backstreets of Naples in Italy.

kids town international

Along with her friends, she would beg for sustenance. Her rags covered her dignity barely. Her face would be haggard if she went without food the previous night; and would glow if somebody threw a morsel her way by mistake or with contempt.

Image by William Powell Frith, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London

When night came, and she would lie down under the naked stars, all her muscles aching from the continuous running around for food would give way. Sleep would be almost instantaneous.

And then she would enter her dreamworld. A world where she was the queen. With all the trappings of riches, prosperity, abundance and happiness around for hers to ask and enjoy. She would dream lucidly. While she knew that the reality world around her was a bit beyond her control, she could definitely create an imaginary universe where she could call the shots. And so she dreamed lucidly.

Image courtesy Auroville Website

Her continuous focus on positive thoughts began yielding some amazing results. Soon, people began coming into her life - people who were kind to her, people who loved her, people who wanted the best in the world for her. She attracted into her world people who would lift her up from the streets of Naples, to the dizzying perches of the rich and the famous!

Sophia Lauren, image from

She went on to study at the Sorbonne.

de la Sorbonne - Paris, Apokrif

She got herself a beautiful apartment at the Boulevard Saint-Michel in Paris. Diamonds and pearls would stud her dress and her makeup.

Spotted Pony

People began comparing her with the likes of Marlene Dietrich and Zizi Jeanmaire.

Marlene Dietrich Zizi Jeanmaire

And dashing men of the day such as Sacha Distel and the Aga Khan became her friends.

Sacha Distel The Aga Khan

She would spend her summer vacation at the Juan-les-Pins, and her winter would be spent at Saint Moritz.

Juan-les-Pins Image by Ingo, VirtualTourist.Com


The power of lucid dreaming.

If you think you deserve this life yourself, and if you are still stuck in your own "backstreets of Naples", and want to attract the right conditions and the right kind of people in your life - then practicing lucid dreaming is one solution.

Image courtesy Auroville Website

Here's the website where you can pick up a Lucid Dreaming Kit, if you care about yourself: Costs USD 59.95.


And, oh, in case you are wondering who this Marie Claire is, check out this song, sung by Peter Sarstedt:

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