When Life Falls Short of Our Dreams – An Emerging Trend With Frightening Implications For Our Species

When Life Falls Short of Our Dreams – An Emerging Trend With Frightening Implications For Our Species.
 
 
 
Dear Friends:
 
A dear friend of mine who is an excellent writer herself and is not generally given to profanity, but who has a wonderfully dry sense of humor (and a fabulous sense of irony as well) forwarded the following email to my attention. It appears uncensored and unedited in an manner — please accept my apologies in advance if I have offended your sensibilities by printing this; but I do so with sincere educational intent:
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Due to the current financial situation caused by the slowdown in the economy, Congress has decided

to implement a scheme to put workers of 50 years of age and above on early retirement, thus creating
jobs and reducing unemployment.

This scheme will be known as RAPE (Retire Aged People Early).

Persons selected to be RAPED can apply to Congress to be considered for the SHAFT program
(Special Help After Forced Termination).

Persons who have been RAPED and SHAFTED will be reviewed under the SCREW program
(System Covering Retired-Early Workers).

A person may be RAPED once, SHAFTED twice and SCREWED as many times as Congress
deems appropriate.

Persons who have been RAPED could get AIDS (Additional Income for Dependants & Spouse)

or HERPES (Half Earnings for Retired Personnel Early Severance).

Obviously persons who have AIDS or HERPES will not be SHAFTED or SCREWED any further
by Congress.

Persons who are not RAPED and are staying on will receive as much SHIT (Special High Intensity
Training) as possible. Congress has always prided themselves on the amount of SHIT they give
our citizens.

Should you feel that you do not receive enough SHIT, please bring this to the attention of your
Congressman, who has been trained to give you all the SHIT you can handle.

Sincerely,
The Committee for Economic Value of Individual Lives (E.V.I.L.)

PS – – Due to recent budget cuts and the rising cost of electricity, gas and oil, as well as current
market conditions, the Light at the End of the Tunnel has been turned off.

 
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I believe that the foregoing letter, intended to be humorous (and it is — I am a big fan of acronyms), makes a very serious statement regarding the sentiment of the times in which we live. It speaks of cynicism, skepticism, disillusionment, hopelessness and deeply-ingrained sorrow. The global economic recession (as well as the very deep US recession) is far overshadowed in its severity by the cloud of emotional depression that has engulfed our home planet. I am personally prone to depression, and know what steps I must undertake in order to keep it from overwhelming me; but there are altogether too many souls who are neophytes to deep, heart-wrenching depression and who are experiencing it full-blown now.  It is a killing thing, and it is highly contagious. Take a look (after you have read this article) at LINKS 4 LIFE, a public service blog site which is loaded with articles, information and resources about depression. It can be found at http://lifelinksiep.blogspot.com , and I would strongly advise that you make it a favorite.
 
The growing disparity between the reality which we experience and the dreams we have harbored and run off into since chidhood has widened and continues to widen. As this disparity between infinite possibilities and barely-tolerable realities grows, we are being drawn into a deepening well of depression. Prophetically, this is beginning to lead us to a potentially lethal mindset: the mindset of the automaton, merely existing, but not functioning as a Human Being, with all of the imagination and dreaming that makes joy possible, and joyous innovation more probable.  We are becoming more animal and less divine. We are wounded, and we are surrendering to sorrow and self-pity. At stake are our Humanity and the very future of our species. Deprived of hopes, faith and dreams, we die. This poverty of spirit should not be permitted to continue.
 
Through my affiliation with The National Networker Companies, I have promulgated the notion of the GICBC – the Global Interworked Cooperative Business Community as the Next Business Entity…a sort of entrepreneurship-driven synergy generator for the sustainable financial support of all Members. I am part of a growing movement to make the GICBC a successful reality. You can join the world’s first by becoming a Member of The National Networker Companies’ GICBC at http://twitlik.com/IN . It is free, and Members who contribute to its success will ultimately be stakeholders and annuity recipients – it has the advantage of being a self-fulfilling Meritocracy, without insurmountable capital requirements (there are none), and no birthright privileges or bigotry. Simply put: Contribute more. Own More. Earn More.
 
What I had not thought about was the GICBC’s potential to be a viable emotional support system — a vessel of hope, of reinforcement, of camaraderie, of spiritual synergy. I was trapped into the "survivalist" limitation of thinking of only financial security for myself, and for all Members. I had underestimated my own idea and its potential. You see, I too, can be all too easily sucked into the black hole of negativity, and of negative thinking. This adaptation of Adam J. Kovitz’s original (albeit somewhat ethereal and a tad amorphous — Adam is still a philosopher and a rocket scientist at heart) notion of "Relationship Capital" has turned out to be much greater, and much more significant than I thought.
 
We had better start getting together. We can save ourselves by saving each other.
 
My friend and colleague, Yossi Feigenson, forwarded the article (courtesy of CNN) which follows. It makes my case. And disturbs me beyond my ability to express. Read on:
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Audiences experience ‘Avatar’ blues

By Jo Piazza, Special to CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Some fans say James Cameron’s "Avatar" may have been too real
  • "Avatar Forums" has a topic thread discussing depression over "Pandora being intangible"
  • Cameron’s movie has pulled in more than $1.4 billion in worldwide box office

(CNN) — James Cameron’s completely immersive spectacle "Avatar" may have been a little too real for some fans who say they have experienced depression and suicidal thoughts after seeing the film because they long to enjoy the beauty of the alien world Pandora.

On the fan forum site "Avatar Forums," a topic thread entitled "Ways to cope with the depression of the dream of Pandora being intangible," has received more than 1,000 posts from people experiencing depression and fans trying to help them cope. The topic became so popular last month that forum administrator Philippe Baghdassarian had to create a second thread so people could continue to post their confused feelings about the movie.

"I wasn’t depressed myself. In fact the movie made me happy ," Baghdassarian said. "But I can understand why it made people depressed. The movie was so beautiful and it showed something we don’t have here on Earth. I think people saw we could be living in a completely different world and that caused them to be depressed."

A post by a user called Elequin expresses an almost obsessive relationship with the film.

"That’s all I have been doing as of late, searching the Internet for more info about ‘Avatar.’ I guess that helps. It’s so hard I can’t force myself to think that it’s just a movie, and to get over it, that living like the Na’vi will never happen. I think I need a rebound movie," Elequin posted.

A user named Mike wrote on the fan Web site "Naviblue" that he contemplated suicide after seeing the movie.

"Ever since I went to see Avatar I have been depressed. Watching the wonderful world of Pandora and all the Na’vi made me want to be one of them. I can’t stop thinking about all the things that happened in the film and all of the tears and shivers I got from it," Mike posted. "I even contemplate suicide thinking that if I do it I will be rebirthed in a world similar to Pandora and the everything is the same as in ‘Avatar.’ "

Other fans have expressed feelings of disgust with the human race and disengagement with reality.

Cameron’s movie, which has pulled in more than $1.4 billion in worldwide box office sales and could be on track to be the highest grossing film of all time, is set in the future when the Earth’s resources have been pillaged by the human race. A greedy corporation is trying to mine the rare mineral unobtainium from the planet Pandora, which is inhabited by a peace-loving race of 7-foot tall, blue-skinned natives called the Na’vi.

In their race to mine for Pandora’s resources, the humans clash with the Na’vi, leading to casualties on both sides. The world of Pandora is reminiscent of a prehistoric fantasyland, filled with dinosaur-like creatures mixed with the kinds of fauna you may find in the deep reaches of the ocean. Compared with life on Earth, Pandora is a beautiful, glowing utopia.

Ivar Hill posts to the Avatar forum page under the name Eltu. He wrote about his post-Avatar depression after he first saw the film earlier this month.

"When I woke up this morning after watching Avatar for the first time yesterday, the world seemed … gray. It was like my whole life, everything I’ve done and worked for, lost its meaning," Hill wrote on the forum. "It just seems so … meaningless. I still don’t really see any reason to keep … doing things at all. I live in a dying world."

Reached via e-mail in Sweden where he is studying game design, Hill, 17, explained that his feelings of despair made him desperately want to escape reality.

"One can say my depression was twofold: I was depressed because I really wanted to live in Pandora, which seemed like such a perfect place, but I was also depressed and disgusted with the sight of our world, what we have done to Earth. I so much wanted to escape reality," Hill said.

Cameron’s special effects masterpiece is very lifelike and the 3-D performance capture and CGI effects essentially allow the viewer to enter the alien world of Pandora for the movie’s 2½-hour run-time, which only lends to the separation anxiety some individuals experience when they depart the movie theater.

"Virtual life is not real life and it never will be, but this is the pinnacle of what we can build in a virtual presentation so far," said Dr. Stephan Quentzel, psychiatrist and Medical Director for the Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York. "It has taken the best of our technology to create this virtual world and real life will never be as utopian as it seems onscreen. It makes real life seem more imperfect."

Fans of the movie may find actor Stephen Lang, who plays the villainous Col. Miles Quaritch in the film, an enemy of the Na’vi people and their sacred ground, an unlikely sympathizer, but Lang says he can understand the connection people are feeling with the movie.

"Pandora is a pristine world and there is the synergy between all of the creatures of the planet and I think that strikes a deep cord within people that has a wishfulness and a wistfulness to it," Lang said. "James Cameron had the technical resources to go along with this incredibly fertile imagination of his and his dream is built out of the same things that other peoples’ dreams are made of."

The bright side is that for Hill and others like him who became dissatisfied with their own lives and with our imperfect world after enjoying the fictional creation of James Cameron, becoming a part of a community of like-minded people on an online forum has helped them emerge from the darkness.

"After discussing on the forums for a while now, my depression is beginning to fade away. Having taken a part in many discussions concerning all this has really, really helped me," Hill said. "Before, I had lost the reason to keep on living — but now it feels like these feelings are gradually being replaced with others."

Quentzel said creating relationships with others is one of the keys to human happiness and that even if those connections are occurring online they are better than nothing.

"Obviously there is community building in these forums," Quentzel said. "It may be technologically different from other community building, but it serves the same purpose."

Within the fan community, suggestions for battling feelings of depression after seeing the movie include things like playing "Avatar" video games or downloading the movie soundtrack in addition to encouraging members to relate to other people outside the virtual realm and to seek out positive and constructive activities. ####

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Dear Friends, again:

Please give what I have said some serious thought. Then take some serious action. Become a recruit in the battle to save our species. Join me at http://twitlik.com/IN . Bridge the gap between the greatest, happiest dreams and The Human Experience. We need a critical mass of positive minds. Now.

Faithfully,

Douglas Castle

 

 
 
 
 
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About DouglasCastle1
For further information about my professional background, please view any of the following resources: MY LINKED IN PROFILE: http://www.linkedin.com/in/douglascastle; MY PROFESSIONAL BLOG: http://GlobalEdgeInternational.com

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