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Tuesday, May 8, 2007The Mantra Of Becoming Celebrity And Its Rise And Fall
Periodically the newspapers report the latest celebrity scandal—another talented young person down in flames to drugs, alcohol, or violence. Every time it happens, people ask, "Why? How is it that people with everything going for them self-destruct like this?"
To answer the question, let’s examine the case of a fictional celebrity.
We’ll call him Celebrity X. He is in his early 20’s and has achieved a success most people have to work a lifetime for. He has millions in the bank, a fabulous home, multiple cars, adoring fans, and the respect of his peers. He has success beyond his wildest dreams.
What does he do now?
A young person brought up in conventional society, educated in the public schools and taught a Judeo-Christian morality, has probably heard the
following: the only reason to achieve is to serve society; the essence of morality is self-sacrifice; choose important values by following your emotions. Celebrity X takes these ideas seriously. What is the result?
The first thing Celebrity X will feel is guilt. He looks around and sees people who are older, smarter, and have been working at their careers for decades––and still haven’t come close to his level of success. He’ll see the poor people around the world and wonder why he deserves his success while they have nothing.
To assuage his guilt, he’ll need a cause. Today’s most popular celebrity causes are eradicating poverty in Africa and saving the environment.
Celebrity X will throw himself into these causes so intensely that they will begin to take over his life. Since he has been taught that succeeding in a career is selfish and has no moral value, his success leaves him feeling empty. The only time he feels motivated to work is when he notices his bank account starting to get too low.
Since he lives in Hollywood and is active in the social scene, drugs and alcohol are a constant temptation. Eventually, the combination of guilt over his success and the pressure of trying to prove himself moral via his causes will bring him to such an unbearable level of stress that we will feel the only solution is to drown it in drugs and alcohol. Since he has been taught that reason has no moral status, he will not think about what he is doing to his mind with drugs and alcohol. Since he does not believe that reason is the proper tool to use to choose values, he will not worry about what he is doing to his life by destroying his mind. Since all his friends use drugs and alcohol and he wants to fit in with his friends, the only thing he’ll worry about is how many smiling faces he can surround himself with.
Then one day he will wake up broke and unable to get a job because no one will hire an alcoholic drug addict.
PROFESSOR Dick Bierman sits hunched over his computer in a darkened room. The gentle whirring of machinery can be heard faintly in the background. He smiles and presses a grubby-looking red button. In the next room, a patient slips slowly inside a hospital brain scanner. If it wasn't for the strange smiles and grimaces that flicker across the woman's face, you could be forgiven for thinking this was just a normal health check.
But this scanner is engaged in one of the most profound paranormal experiments of all time, one that may well prove whether or not it is possible to predict the future.
For the results - released exclusively to the Daily Mail - suggest that ordinary people really do have a sixth sense that can help them 'see' the future.
Such amazing studies - if verified - might help explain the predictive powers of mediums and a range of other psychic phenomena such Extra Sensory Perception, dEj vu and clairvoyance. On a more mundane level, it may account for 'gut feelings' and instinct.
The man behind the experiments is certainly convinced. 'We're satisfied that people can sense the future before it happens,' says Professor Bierman, a psychologist at the University of Amsterdam. 'We'd now like to move on and see what kind of person is particularly good at it.' And Bierman is not alone: his findings mirror the data gathered by other scientists and paranormal researchers both here and abroad.
Professor Brian Josephson, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist from Cambridge University, says: 'So far, the evidence seems compelling. What seems to be happening is that information is coming from the future.
'In fact, it's not clear in physics why you can't see the future. In physics, you certainly cannot completely rule out this effect.' Virtually all the great scientific formulae which explain how the world works allow information to flow backwards and forwards through time - they can work either way, regardless.
SHORTLY after 9/11, strange stories began circulating about the lucky few who had escaped the outrage. It transpired that many of the survivors had changed their plans at the last minute after vague feelings of unease.
As a boy, Kinsey is eager to explore, yearning to know what happens -- between insects, between animals, between men. Troubled by his religious father’s lectures, he tries to mimic his father’s notion that sex is evil. During one of father’s rants, young Kinsey chooses to think for himself, prompting his father’s lifelong contempt.
Later hired by Indiana University, Professor Kinsey, (known to his students as Prok for short) is an intransigent mind determined to know and understand reality. He studies the gall wasp, struck that no two are alike. While explaining the advantages of biological diversity, he catches the eye of a plain-looking graduate student (Laura Linney) who shares his passion for knowledge. Early in their relationship, she watches from the shadows in unspoken admiration for his focused mind, while the biology professor meticulously records his data. Their love burns bright and it gives the movie a steady glow of reverence for rational values.
Fueled by the belief that man is part of nature – with sex part of man's nature -- Kinsey's interest in human sexuality is ignited by his students, which leads to the personal interviews that became the basis for his groundbreaking Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. The report becomes a publishing phenomenon – unheard of for an academic study – and it unleashes pent-up demand for information about sex, making Kinsey a household name. When he produces a companion study of females, correcting errors in his method, his popularity fades. It is 1953 and everything from masturbation to menstruation is either condemned or misunderstood. As Mrs. Kinsey asks her frustrated husband: “What did you expect?”
He remains single-minded in his view that sex ought to be examined, an obsession that Kinsey dramatizes in sumptuous detail. Whether scribbling a numerical sex scale -- on which he rates his own homosexual tendency-- after visiting a gay bar, or facing a pedophile who distorts his ideas, the professor is guided by thought.
As Suketu Mehta pointed out in his well explained article in International Herald Tribune:I grew up watching my father stand on his head every morning. He was doing sirsasana, a yoga pose that accounts for his youthful looks well into his 60s. Now he might have to pay a royalty to an American patent holder if he teaches the secrets of his good health to others.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued 150 yoga-related copyrights, 134 patents on yoga accessories, and 2,315 yoga trademarks. There's big money in those pretzel twists and contortions - $3 billion a year in America alone. It's a mystery to most Indians that anybody can make that much money from the teaching of a knowledge that is not supposed to be bought or sold like sausages.
The Indian government is not laughing. It has set up a task force that is cataloging traditional knowledge, including ayurvedic remedies and hundreds of yoga poses, to protect them from being pirated and copyrighted by foreign hucksters. The data will be translated from ancient Sanskrit and Tamil texts, stored digitally, and available in five international languages, so that patent offices in other countries can see that yoga didn't originate in a San Francisco commune.
It is worth noting that the people in the forefront of the patenting of traditional Indian wisdom are Indians, mostly overseas. We know a business opportunity when we see one and have exported generations of gurus skilled in peddling enlightenment for a buck. But as Indians, they ought to know that the very idea of patenting knowledge is a gross violation of the tradition of yoga.
In Sanskrit, "yoga" means "union." Indians believe in a universal mind - brahman - of which we are all a part, and which ponders eternally. Everyone has access to this knowledge."