Thursday, February 28, 2013

JOURNEY TO IXTLAN: LESSONS OF DON JUAN

"For me the world is weird because it is stupendous, awesome, mysterious, unfathomable; my interest has been to convince you that you must assume responsibility for being here, in this marvelous world, in this marvelous desert, in this marvelous time. I wanted to convince you that you must learn to make every act count, since you are going to be here for only a short while; in fact, too short for witnessing all the marvels of it." DON JUAN



By Alex P. Vidal

Carlos Castaneda's "Journey to Ixtlan" pales in comparison to "The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge" and "A Separate Reality", the books he wrote while he was an anthropology student at the University of California, but "Journey to Ixtlan" and the lesson the Peruvian-American author has given the readers present an awesome vision of the world that is both a literary masterpiece and the gateway to a new and more profound way of thinking about ourselves, of living our own lives.
Castaneda's third book is about an alleged apprenticeship to the Yaqui "shaman," Don Juan. It is the record of Castaneda's initiation into the mysteries of sorcery--of becoming a "man of knowledge"--at the hands of one of the most remarkable personalities ever to emerge from anthropological investigation: don Juan, the Yaqui brujo (sorcerer).
Don Juan's profound insight into the nature of things and his deep, disturbing knowledge of human nature made "The Teachings of Don Juan" and "A Separate Reality" immediate classics. His brooding, powerful and vivid presence has haunted, perplexed and illuminated the lives of several hundred thousand readers.

HALLUCINOGENS


The two earlier books were concerned with the use of hallucinogens in don Juan's sorcery and recorded Castaneda's experiences, sometimes searing and terrifying, as he underwent the long and ardous apprenticeship of becoming a "man of knowledge." Journey to Ixtlan transcends these experiences to show the reader the means by which a "man of power" sees, as opposed to merely looking, and how by his concentrated "seeing" he can, indeed must, "stop the world."
Castaneda reaches for power in a series of startling encounters with the unknown--a confrontation with death and the past in the form of an albino falcon; with the twilight wind that is really power; with a flesh-and-blood mountain lion that Don Juan attracts by using Castaneda as the bait in a test of courage; with a mountain fog that brings visions and terror in the high mountains and in the bright, arid desert.
These visions and experiences from the lessons of don Juan, the techniques and concentration and compassion of the hunter--the man who is "without routines, free, fluid, unpredictable"--finding in the world around him the power that he has learned see, use and control.
The title of this book is taken from an allegory that is recounted to Castaneda by his "benefactor" who is known to Carlos as Don Genaro ( Genaro Flores ), a close friend of his teacher don Juan Matus. "Ixtlan" turns out to be a metaphorical hometown (or place /position of being ) to which the "sorcerer" or warrior or man of knowledge without reason or thoughts is drawn to return. This is because his elevated perspective leaves him little in common with ordinary people, who now seem no more substantial to him than "phantoms." The point of the story is that a man of knowledge, or sorcerer, is a changed being, or a Human closer to his true state of Being, and for that reason he can never truly go "home" to his old lifestyle again.

TEACHINGS

In Journey to Ixtlan Castaneda essentially reevaluates the teachings up to that point. He discusses information that was apparently missing from the first two books regarding stopping the world which previously he had only regarded as a metaphor.
He also finds that psychotropic plants, knowledge of which was a significant part of his apprenticeship to Yaqui shaman don Juan Matus, are not as important in the world view as he had previously thought.
The book shows a progression between different states of learning, from hunter, to warrior, to man of knowledge or sorcerer, the difference said to be one of skill level and the type of thing hunted, "...a warrior is an impeccable hunter that hunts power. If he succeeds in his hunting he becomes a man of knowledge."
Throughout the book Castaneda portrays himself as skeptical and reserved in his explanations of the phenomena at hand, but by the end of the book Castaneda's rationalist worldview is seen to be breaking down in the face of an onslaught of experiences that he is unable to explain logically.

Animal called human



"At twenty a man is a peacock, at thirty a lion, at forty a camel, at fifty a serpent, at sixty a dog, at seventy an ape, at eighty a nothing at all." BALTASAR GRACIAN 


By Alex P. Vidal

The book that makes some of us feel embarrassed about our animal selves rolled off the press in the year when Bolivian guerrilla leader Che Guevara was captured; and when The Beatles released the album "Sergeant Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band." The year when one of the Iloilo Mountain Tiger's longest-serving members known in Iloilo today as "Mr. Bean" was born.
I'm referring to Desmond Morris' sensational worldwide bestseller, The Naked Ape, described by Saturday Review as "a startlingly novel idea, brilliantly executed."
No less than Morris himself, the author, who formerly was the Curator of mammals at London Zoo, admitted that in dealing with the fundamental problems of the naked ape, he realized that he ran the risk of offending a number of people. "There are some who will prefer not to contemplate their animal selves. They may consider that I have degraded our species by discussing it in crude animal terms," wrote Morris.
"I can only assure them that this is not my intention. There are others who will resent any zoological invasion of their specialist arena. But I believe that this approach can be of great value and that, whatever its shortcomings, it will throw now (and in some ways unexpected) light on the complex nature if our extraordinary species."

SCIENCE

Morris explained that his book was intended to popularize and demystify science.
"There are one hundred and ninety-three living species of monkeys and apes," Morris alleged. "One hundred and ninety-two of them are covered with hair. The exception is a naked ape self-named Homo sapiens. The unusual and highly successful species spends a great deal of time examining his higher motives and an equal amount of time studiously ignoring his fundamental ones. He is proud that he has the biggest brain of all the primates, but attempts to conceal the fact that he also has the biggest penis, preferring to accord this honor falsely to the mighty gorilla. He is an intensely vocal, acutely exploratory, over-crowded ape, and it is high time we examined his basic behavior."
"To read Desmond Morris on the sex habits of the naked ape is disconcerting, to say the least" observed the Saturday Review. "Here the detail is specific and clinical...and the naked ape comes out of it looking very animal indeed...you read on with the mixture of discovery and embarrassment...an enlightening, entertaining, disturbing, discomforting, ego-shrinking experience."

CREATURE


The book tells about man as "a creature who can write immortal poetry, raise giant cities, aim for the stars, build an atomic bomb--but he is also an animal, a relative of the apes--a naked ape, in fact."
The Naked Ape, serialized in the Daily Mirror newspaper and has been translated into 23 languages, depicts human behavior as largely evolved to meet the challenges of prehistoric life as a hunter-gatherer (see nature versus nurture). The book was so named because out of 193 species of monkeys and apes only man is not covered in hair.
Morris made a number of claims in the book naming man as "the sexiest primate alive". He further claimed that our fleshy ear-lobes, which are unique to humans, are erogenous zones, the stimulation of which can cause orgasm in both males and females. Morris further stated that the more rounded shape of human female breasts means they are mainly a sexual signalling device rather than simply for providing milk for infants.

EVOLUTION

He also attempted to frame human behavior in the context of evolution, but his explanations failed to convince academics because they were based on a teleological (goal-oriented) understanding of evolution. For example, Morris wrote that the intense human pair bond evolved so that men who were out hunting could trust that their mates back home were not having sex with other men, and that sparse body hair evolved because the "nakedness" helped intensify pair bonding by increasing tactile pleasure.
Morris criticized some psychiatrists and psycho-analysts that "have stayed nearer home and have concentrated on clinical studies of mainstream specimens. Much of their earlier material, although not suffering from the weakness of the anthropological information, also has an unfortunate bias."
Sexually the naked ape finds himself today in a somewhat confusing situation, Morris explained. "As a primate he is pulled one way, as a carnivore by adoption he is pulled another, and as a member of an elaborate civilized community he is pulled yet another."

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

LET'S STICK TO REALITY: TAGLE VIS-A-VIS VATICAN POLITICS


LET'S STICK TO REALITY: TAGLE 
VIS-A-ViS VATICAN POLITICS 

"Come now, let's kill him." GENESIS 37:20

BY ALEX P. VIDAL

Who would not want a Filipino pope? 
There is no doubt that Luis Cardinal Tagle, 55, is qualified to become the next pope. He is intelligent and speaks different languages; Cardinal Tagle is educated in a wide variety of fields and has the charisma and moral turpitude that is like Caesar's wife--beyond doubt. He is a dark horse, asserted his drum beaters. 
But let's be realistic. The politics that have crept the Vatican for centuries showed that no cardinal from the third world has occupied the Roman Catholic hierarchy's most influential and powerful post. For a cardinal from a third world country to be chosen as successor of Pope Benedict XVI is like wishing for the Halley's comet.

EXCITED

It's alright for all Filipinos to be excited about the global news of Cardinal Tagle's possible ascension to Vatican's top religious portfolio. In times of economic despair and political instability in the country that prides itself as the only Catholic country in Asia, we need this kind of positive report to boost our morale and satisfy our ego as a nation.
However, we must not over exaggerate Cardinal Tagle's chances. We must stick to reality and refrain from stretching our freedom to exaggerate. To know when to reverse the telescope is like painting a great picture. 
Even before Pope Benedict announced he was quitting, the names of Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson of Ghana, Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Canada, and Cardinal Francis Arinze of Nigeria were already being dangled.

COUNCIL 

Born in 1948 and is currently the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Turkson was elevated to the cardinalate by Pope John Paul II in 2003 and was appointed president of the Ponitifical Council for Justice and Peace in 2009 by Pope Benedict XVI.
Quebec's Marc Ouellet was born in 1944 and is the present prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and concurrently president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America since his appointment by Pope Benedict XVI on 30 June 2010. He was elevated to the cardinalate, by Pope John Paul II, on 21 October 2003.
Born in 1932 in Nigeria, Francis Arinze is the current Cardinal Bishop of Velletri-Segni, succeeding Joseph Ratzinger, who became Pope Benedict XVI. Arinze was one of the principal advisors to Pope John Paul II.

CHANCES

Of course we will not underestimate the chances of Cardinal Tagle. The US-based Catholic News Service (CNS) recently endorsed the Filipino cardinal in a newly posted glowing profile. 
"His youthful energy, his pastoral experience, his theological training and his communications skills impressed cardinals and bishops from around the world even before Pope Benedict XVI inducted him into the College of Cardinals last November," trumpeted the CNS. Alex P. Vidal

Monday, February 25, 2013

Iloilo's 'wonder' is it's the Athens of the Philippines

Iloilo's 'wonder' is it's the 
Athens of the Philippines




By Alex P. Vidal

As an online user, I will vote for Iloilo City into the New7Wonders of Cities of the world not because of its impressive tourist spots, delicious seafoods and archaic infrastructures. Iloilo City deserves to be catapulted in the pedestal of great cities in the world because of its priceless tag and towering reputation as "the Athens of the Philippines."
Athens was where the most famous ancient Greek philosophers, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle lived. It was the center of ancient education, of knowledge and wisdom even during the time of Pericles, Greece's famous orator and influential leader during the Golden Age.
Even before the New7Wonder of Cities of the world was coined, Iloilo  City already holds the distinction as the premier educational mecca in the Philippines if not in Southeast Asia with seven highly regarded universities -- University of the Philippines-Visayas, Central Philippine University, University of San Agustin, West Visayas State University, St. Paul University, John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University and University of Iloilo--and 28 colleges. 

PRODUCE

These learning institutions have produced some of the country's greatest statesmen and pillars of public service; economic, cultural, music and sports jewels. Foreign students also flock to Iloilo City to learn in English, chemistry, accounting, science, agriculture, engineering, among other areas of education.
Aside from its rich historical sites, the city's also the most efficient banking system and booming investment climate. Iloilo City is perhaps the only metropolitan in the country with commercial banks standing in every corner in downtown area. It is the only city in the country surrounded by a clean river and a sea that connects to the Pacific Ocean. It has one of the best wharf and commercial ports in Asia tailor-made for ideal economic activity.
In my opinion, for the city to be known and honored as the best learning destination in this part of the world is better than to be praised for its physical beauty and potential as tourism and economic hubs.

WEBSITE

Meanwhile, a city hall press release recently quoted Bernard Weber, founder and president of New 7 Wonders on its website www.n7w.com, as saying that the new campaign "will become a catalyst for discussing everything from urban planning to metropolitan governance, from tourism to architecture amid mass urbanization worldwide."
It added: "Ilonggo netizens, friends, fans and followers can know more about Iloilo City on its official website www.iloilocity.gov.ph, Facebook pages Iloilo City Government and Iloilo City for New7Wonders Cities, mayor's official fan page, and Twitter account iloilocitygov."
"The shortlist of 28 official finalist candidates will be known Sept. 7 – Sept. 21. The finalist phases of Top 21, then Top 14 and down to final Top 7 are set Sept. 21– July 7, 2014.
"The official New7Wonders Cities voted by hundreds of millions of people from around the world will be announced July 7, 2014.
"The New7Wonders Cities is the third campaign organized by N7W, following the man-made new wonders of the world and the new wonders of nature where the Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) won."

Thursday, February 21, 2013

FREEDOM FROM DEATH

"Being prepared to die is one of the great secrets of living." GEORGE LINCOLN ROCKWELL 




BY ALEX P. VIDAL


While waiting for my Amtrak train ride to Los Angeles, California early in the morning sometime in November 2011, I read a very interesting biography about a little-known financial advisor based in the City of Irvine where the train terminal was located.
Ross Anderson was a financial professional at Signature Resources Capital Management, LLC, a $93M dollar RIA based in Irvine, CA. Ross was also registered with Signator Investors, Inc., a broker-dealer with over 1,500 registered representatives nationwide.
When Anderson, 78, died on October 6, 2011, his obituary was simple: "Ross graduated from Ellendale High School and served in the U.S. Navy from 1951-55. He was employed by the Northern Pacific Railroad; later Burlington Northern until his retirement at age 55. He was an avid fisherman and deer hunter, and loved tinkering in his garage and gardening."
This "avid fisherman" and "deer hunter" turned out to be one of the greatest authors in recent memory. In one of his books, Personal Freedom, he emphasized that "the greatest happiness and fulfillment in life can come through your personal independence and freedom."

MARCH


Each of us is marching inexorably toward death. We were born, we are living and we must die, Anderson suggested.
We may feel uncomfortable talking about our demise, or passing, but it will occur nevertheless.
Here's what he wrote about Freedom from death: "It has never ceased to amaze me how people take life so seriously. You can see situations many times each day where there is anxiety or conflict and its origin is often in placing so much importance on the moment.
"To get some perspective on how important our moments are you can walk down into the Grand Canyon, and you can see the strata which have formed over millions of years. I've done that a few times and also viewed exposed strata in many other places just as I'm sure you have.
"It is impossible to see this and not realize that time, an invention of humans, has no relation to the enormous passage of existence represented in the layers and layers of life we can see in a geologic strata. And those millions of years have no meaning at all in relation to the universe where there is no passage of time at all. Even billions of our years are nothing to the universe.

ENGROSSED


"If that's the case how can we possibly become engrossed in any passing situation in life to the degree it harms us? How can we alter our happiness because of a disappointment when we can see that, in the all-and-all of things the disappointment means nothing at all.
"Think of all the arguments, the wars, the battles, the business deals, the trauma, the conflict and the unhappiness which has transpired over the countless years we see represented in our old world, and no one cares.
"It is obvious that we have learned nothing from the wars. The arguments between individuals or nations mean nothing to us now. The individual problems of all people have no significance, but it is certain that they all took these events seriously at the time.
"And, we;re taking them seriously now. We are not here for long, and the simple fact is that life is too short for unhappiness. It is too short for constant worry about finances. Conflicts between friends, mates, neighbors or anyone else are simply such an ignorant waste of time that they can't be considered.
"Life is long enough for living, for loving, for helping, for building, for travel and for happiness but it isn't long enough to be taken so seriously, moment-by-moment, leading us to unhappiness.

SERIOUSLY


"A philosopher once said, 'If you're thinking of killing yourself, you're taking life seriously. Life is just long enough for one good laugh.' That's the truth, too.
"If life is so temporary how can we possibly be bogged down in problems and troubles which mean nothing to anyone else and will mean nothing to us when we are gone? What's the point of it? But we can see that nearly everyone takes every situation, every day, as if that moment was going to last forever. We can see people build enormous wealth as if they are building a business or estate which will last long as the planets.
"I believe in building a business and I believe in making money. I don't however take it so seriously, that I ever think it is the most important thing in life nor do I dream of it having any lasting effect on the world. Something as great as the United States, as a country, will be gone and fade away and, a thousand or a million years from now, won't even be remembered. If that's the case then there is no doubt about how significant our problems are.
"When you are confronted with people who are taking the moment too seriously, who want to oppress you, who think they are getting to you, who are looking at the moment instead of millions of years, just overlook the conflict, resolve the problem if you can, and then forget it.

OUTLOOK

"I've been able to cultivate this outlook for several years now and it certainly is an enjoyable way to live. It is also the feeling which can remove the larceny from a person's heart. "There is no room for dishonesty in life since it is so temporary and there is no point in being dishonest. Any gains from dishonesty are meaningless in the millions of years we are looking at.
"There is no reason to fear death. Whatever death involves it is inevitable.
"It is a great comfort to many people to think of the harps and grapes waiting for them on the other side. Some people are waiting for nirvana, a state of peace. Others are looking forward to a new world where they will live and move about. "Others believe that their death is a sleep from which they will never awake. Some young people think of heaven as listening to rock music forever. Some old people think of hell as listening to rock music forever.

CHEMICALS

"When people are buried all that is in the casket are some chemicals. If they are cremated their chemicals are reduced to a smaller container, and those people are no longer living. As they used to move around, to talk, to laugh and to love, they do it no longer.
"There is some melancholy in this but not sadness. Melancholy since we do miss friends when they are gone, whether they move away or die. There is no sadness since their death is just like your death and my death. It's just something that happens.
"If you can cultivate a perception of death as just something else that happens, as something to do, then it takes on a whole different meaning in your life--no meaning at all!"

DIVORCE IN PHILIPPINES AND SCIENCE OF LIVING TOGETHER

"Divorce is the one human tragedy that reduces everything to cash." RITA MAE BROWN

By ALEX P. VIDAL
The next congress will introduce the divorce bill in the Philippines after the elections in May this year. At least this was the assurance made by House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte most recently.
The proposed measure is expected to again raise the blood pressure of Roman Catholic bishops still clearing the cobwebs in a landmark Reproductive Health (RH) bill setback.
The bill would be about relationship between husband and wife, about companionship in a marital household, about living together permanently under one roof and whether to maintain the roof or abandon it. Scientific studies have rather consistently demonstrated that companionship contributes to good health.
The quality of relationships also is a factor, according to Xinhua Steve Ren, Ph.D., assistant professor at the Boston University School of Public Health and research health scientist with the Center for Health Quality, Outcome, and Economic Research of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Bedford, Massachusetts.

FINDINGS

Here are some of Ren's other findings secured by editors of Men's Health:
-- Separation and divorce can actually improve health--but only in cases where there were serious ongoing marital problems. Separation and divorce are most detrimental to health when the marriage had no prior serious problems and the crisis arose with the sudden discovery of infidelity.
-- Being separated is more injurious to health than divorce. The separated were more than two times as likely to consider themselves in poor health than were married folks, while divorced people were about 1.3 times more likely to think themselves in ill health.
-- The quality of a relationship--whether marriage or cohabitation--affects the participants' health. Those in unhappy relationships are at higher health risk than those who are in happy relationships and, surprisingly, even than those who are divorced.
-- Compared to married people, the unmarried tend to have higher death rates from all causes, have higher levels of stress, and use more health services.

MARTYR: WRACKED WITH SELF PITY

"He that despairs degrades God." OWEN FELTHAM



BY ALEX P. VIDAL

If we are in a high-maintenance relationship, this subject matter may interest us. Dealing with martyrs was recently cited in the survey as the second most difficult relationship.
"We all have days when we feel a bit like a martyr, days when self-pity descends on us," wrote psychology professor, Dr. Les Parrot III of the Center for Relationship Development at Seattle Pacific University. "For most people, self-pity is fleeting, a reminder that life isn't always fair."
Parrot explained in his book, High-Maintenance Relationship, that for most people self-pity can be like an infection. If it's not caught early and treated aggressively, he said, "it can become chronic, leading to people to feel continually like victims."
Such is the case for martyrs, Parrot revealed. They can be knocked over by the tiniest difficulties--a burned dinner, a lonely weekend, a traffic jam--and show little interest in getting up. Like flowers flattened by a strong wind, martyrs stay down.

UNFAIRNESS

"Hopelessly and helplessly they give in to real and imagined unfairness and refuse the helping hand of a friend: 'Oh, don't worry about me. I'm fine,' or 'You don't have time for my troubles. You just go ahead.' Martyrs feel spurned by the world. They often refuse help and are burned at their own stake," added the fellow in medical psychology at the University of Washington School of Medicine.
According to Parrot, "it doesn't take much to become a Joan of Arc. Mothers can overburden themselves with household chores, then say, 'No one really cares about me. As far as my family is concerned, I'm just a slave.'" Fathers can use the same approach: "I work my fingers to the bone, and no one cares. Everyone uses me."
The ordained minister of the Church of the Nazarene cited the case of Vicky as a typical martyr. With her soft-spoken manner you barely notice she is in the room. She suffers from excruciating back pain, and at times she barely sit up for more than five minutes at a stretch. But she refuses a friend's offer to clean her apartment and cook dinner. "I've got to manage alone," Vicky says, "because I can't expect someone else to be here every minute of every day."

PERSECUTED

Vicky refuses help but feels all the more persecuted when her friends don't stop by. Like every other martyr, explained Parrot, Vicky wallows in self-pity. It has become so insidious to her soul that she is all but entrapped. Her friends fear she will never emerge to live a fun, contented life. And her woeful existence is becoming increasingly exhausting for even her family members and most dedicated companions.
"If you have martyrs in your life, you have seen firsthand how their wallowing can go on and on. Solutions to their problems, no matter how powerful, can't seem to penetrate their complaining," Parrot stressed. "Martyrs are locked tight in a victim chambers. But that doesn't mean you need to suffer too. You can use several effective strategies for living and working with confirmed martyrs, even when they refuse to be rescued."
Unfortunately, martyrs are all too prevalent in our society, warned Parrot. "Turn on any morning or afternoon talk show, and you will see people who are stuck in a bad marriage or who are too fat or too miserable to deal with life. You will also hear them blame their parents, their schooling, their income, their siblings, their friends, their church, their government, and, of course, themselves. What dynamics do martyrs have in common? They are defeated, passive, self-blaming, helpless, irrational, broody, and worrisome."

DEFEATED. "Everyone whines a little in response to life's small irritations: you have na acne outbreak at the worst time; you lose your keys; you get stood up for an appointment," continued Parrot. "Who wouldn't feel a little defeated? But most of us are able to stop feeling negative, recover our equilibrium, and get on with living. Not so for martyrs. They give up quickly and suffer long-lasting defeat."

PASSIVE. If one were to coin a battle cry for martyrs, the author said, it would be "I can't!" I can't lose weight. I can't get a promotion. I can't change. I can't meet new friends. Martyrs make little effort to rally against downbeat thoughts, Parrot observed. "And rarely do they ask for or accept help, even--or especially--when that help is freely and lovingly offered. Martyrs may desperately need help, but they will rebuff a gesture of caring."

SELF-BLAMING. In his book, When Bad Things Happen to Good People, Rabbi Harold Kushner tells of paying condolence calls on the families of two women who died of natural causes. At the first home, the son of the deceased woman told the rabbi: "If only I had sent my mother to Florida and gotten her out of this cold, she would be alive today. It's my fault she died." At the second home, the son told the rabbi: "If only i hadn't insisted on my mother's going to Florida, she would be alive today. it's my fault that she's dead." Martyrs, like these sons, are often addicted to self-blame, according to Parrot.

Alex P. Vidal Quote 23

The biggest guru-mantra is: never share your secrets with anybody. It will destroy you.
-- CHANAKAYA :

Secrets can be either toxic or essential. Toxic secret can wreck us psychologically while essential secret will promote normal growth and development.
-- ALEX P. VIDAL

Alex P. Vidal Quote 22

Do not tell secrets to those whose faith and silence you have not already tested.
-- ELIZABETH I :

Secrets aren't safe even with some close relatives and best friends. The only safe secrets are the ones we carry in our grave!
-- ALEX P. VIDAL

Alex P. Vidal Quote 21

Morals are private. Decency is public. 
-- RITA MAE BROWN :

Behind closed doors mind your own business. Particulars keep out! Outside the kulambo (mosquito net), walk straight, chin up and tuck in.
-- ALEX P. VIDAL

Alex P. Vidal Quote 20

Always be nice to secretaries. They are the real gatekeepers in the world. 
-- ANTHONY J. D'ANGELO :

They know how to keep or reveal secrets. They can be an ally both in monkey and legitimate business. They are the shock absorbers of erring bosses. They know where the bodies are buried.
-- ALEX P. VIDAL

SEX AND SUPER SEX -- THE HUMAN ZOO

"One of the bizarre satisfactions of rape for the sadist is that the writhings and facial expressions of pain he produces in the female are somewhat similar to the writhings and facial expressions of a female experiencing an intense orgasm."


By Alex P. Vidal 

When we put a piece of food into our mouth it does not necessarily mean that we are hungry. When we take a drink it does not inevitably indicate that we are thirsty.
In the Human Zoo, wrote English zoologist Desmond Morris, eating and drinking have come to serve many functions. We may be nibbling peanuts to kill time, or we may be sucking sweets to soothe our nerves.
Like a wine-taster, we may merely savor the flavor and then spit the liquid out, or we may down 10 pins of beer to win a wager. Under certain circumstances, we may be prepared to swallow a sheep's eyeball in order to maintain our Facebook status.
"In one of these cases is the nourishment of the body the true value of the activity," wrote Morris. "This multi-functional utilization of basic behavior pattern is not unknown in the world of animals, but, in the human zoo, man's ingenious opportunism extends and intensifies the process."
Let's examine the different functions of sexual behavior one by one. Morris reminds us that "it is important to realize at the onset that, although these functions are separate and distinct, and sometimes clash with one another, they are not all mutually exclusive. Any particular act of courtship or copulation may serve several functions simultaneously."
These are the 10 sexual functional categories, according to Morris:

1. PROCREATION SEX. There can be argument that this is the most basic function of sexual behavior. It has sometimes been mistakenly argues that it is the only natural and therefore proper role. Paradoxically, some of the religious groups that claim this do not practice what this preach, monks, nuns and many priests denying themselves the very activity which they hold to be so uniquely natural.

2. PAIR-FORMATION SEX. The human animal is basically and biologically a pair-forming species. As the emotional relationship develops between a pair of potential mates it is aided and abetted by the sexual activities they share. The pair-formation function of sexual behavior is so important for our species that nowhere outside the pairing phase do sexual activities regularly reach such a high intensity.

3. PAIR-MAINTENANCE SEX. Once a pair-bond has been successfully formed, sexual activities still function to maintain and reinforce the bond. Although these activities may become more elaborate and extensive, they usually become less intensive than those of the pair-forming stage, because the pair-forming function is no longer operating.

4. PHYSIOLOGICAL SEX. In the healthy adult human male and female there is a basic physiological requirement for repeated sexual consummation. Without such consummation, a physiological tension builds up and eventually the body demands relief. Any sexual act that involves an orgasm provides the orgasmic individual with this relief. Even if copulation fails to fulfill any of the other nine functions of sexual behavior, it can at least satisfy this basic physiological need.

5. EXPLORATORY SEX. One of man's greatest qualities is his inventiveness. In all probability our monkey ancestors were already endowed with a reasonably high level of curiosity; it is a characteristic of the whole primate group. However, when our early human ancestors took to hunting, they undoubtedly had to develop and strengthen this quality and magnify their basic urge to explore all the details of their environment.

6. SELF-REWARDING SEX. It is impossible to draw up a complete list of the functions of sex without including a category based on the idea that there is a thing as 'sex for sex's sake'; sexual behavior, the performance of which brings its own reward, regardless of any other consideration. The function is closely related to the last one, but they are nevertheless distinct.

7. OCCUPATIONAL SEX. This is sex operating as occupational therapy, or, if you prefer, as an anti-boredom device. It is closely related to the last category, but again can be clearly distinguished from it. There is difference between having spare time and being bored. Self-rewarding sex can occur as just one of many ways of constructively utilizing the spare time available.

8. TRANQUILIZING SEX. Just as the nervous system cannot tolerate gross inactivity, so it rebels against the strains of excessive over-activity. Tranquilizing sex is the other side of the coin from occupational sex. Instead of being anti-boredom, it is anti-turmoil. When faced with an overdose of strange, conflicting, unfamiliar or frightening stimuli, the individual seeks escape in the performance of friendly old familiar patterns that serve to calm his shattered nerves.

9. COMMERCIAL SEX. Prostitution has already been mentioned, but only from the point of view of the customer. For the prostitute herself the function of copulation is different. Subsidiary factors may be operating, but primarily and overwhelmingly it is straightforward and commercial transaction. Commercial sex of a kind also figures as an important function in many marriage situations, where one-sided pair-bond exists: one partner simply provides a copulatory service for the other in exchange for money and shelter. The provider who has developed a true pair-bond has to accept a mock one in return.

10. STATUS SEX. With this, the final functional category of sexual behavior, we enter a strange world, full of unexpected developments and ramifications. Status sex infiltrates and pervades our lives in many hidden and unrecognized ways. It is concerned with dominance, not with reproduction, and to understand how this link is forged we must consider the differing roles of the sexual female and the sexual male. Although a full expression of sexuality involves the active participation of both sexes, it is nevertheless true to say that, for the mammalian female, the sexual role is essentially a submissive one, and for the male it is essentially an aggressive one.

EMOTION FROM POINT OF VIEW OF A PRAGMATIST

'We feel sorry because we cry, angry because
we strike, afraid because we tremble'


By Alex P. Vidal

William James was one of the two famous American pragmatists along with C.S. Peirce, who promoted pragmatism that says, "knowledge is a guide for action, not a search for abstract truth."
James' philosophy is simple: to fully understand something we must understand all its consequences; true beliefs will lead to positive consequences.
But it is not about James' philosophy and pragmatism per se why his name is mentioned here today. It's about his comments on emotion published in An Insight Book by Van Nostrand in 1962 that I would like to share.
Although James wrote with clarity and depth on a large number of topics of psychological interest, his comments on emotion resulted in a theory of emotion which bears his name.
The following selection idea is taken from James' chapter on emotion in Principles of Pyschology (Vol. II, New York: Holt and Company, 1890). The selection is taken from the middle of the chapter. Prior to the place where this selection begins, James has discussed the work of the Danish psychologist, Carl Lange.

DIFFERENCES


Although there are differences between James' theory and that of Lange, the general theory that emotion is the product of physiological changes, rather than the reverse, is commonly called the James-Lange theory, according to the Van Nostrand Insight Book edited by Douglas K. Candland.
"Our natural way of thinking about these coarser emotions is that the mental perception of some fact excites the mental affection called the emotion and that this latter state of mind gives rise to the bodily expression," James clarified his viewpoint in a paper which appeared in Psychol. Rev., 1894,1, 516-529.
"My theory, on the contrary, is that the bodily changes follow directly the perception of the exciting fact, and that our feeling of the same changes as they occur is the emotion. Common sense says, we lose our fortune, are sorry and weep; we meet a bear, are frightened and run; we are insulted by a rival, are angry and strike.
"The hypothesis here to be defended says that this order of sequence in incorrect, that the one mental state is not immediately induced by the other, that the bodily manifestations must first be interposed between, and that the more rational statement is that we feel sorry because we cry, angry because we strike, afraid because we tremble, and not that we cry, strike, or tremble, because we are sorry, angry, or fearful, as the case may be."

COGNITIVE

James added: "Without the bodily states following on the perception, the latter would be purely cognitive in form, pale, colorless, destitute of emotional warmth. We might then see the bear, and judge it best to run, receive the insult and deem it right to strike, but we should not actually feel afraid or angry."
The James–Lange theory refers to a hypothesis on the origin and nature of emotions and is one of the earliest theories of emotion within modern psychology. The basic premise of the theory is that physiological arousal instigates the experience of a specific emotion. Instead of feeling an emotion and subsequent physiological (bodily) response, the theory proposes that the physiological change is primary, and emotion is then experienced when the brain reacts to the information received via the body's nervous system.
The theory has been criticized and modified over the course of time, as one of several competing theories. In 2002 a research paper on the autonomous nervous system stated that the theory has been "hard to disprove."
The theory states that all emotion is derived from the presence of a stimulus, which evokes a physiological response, such as muscular tension, a rise in heart rate, perspiration, and dryness of mouth. This physical arousal makes a person feel a specific emotion.

SECONDARY

Emotion is a secondary feeling, indirectly caused by the primary feeling, which is the physiological response caused by the presence of a stimulus, according to the theory. The specific pathway involved in the experience of emotion was also described by James. He stated that an object has an effect on a sense organ, which relays the information it is receiving to the cortex. The brain then sends this information to the muscles and viscera, which causes them to respond. Finally, impulses from the muscles and viscera are sent back to the cortex, transforming the object from an "object-simply apprehended" to an "object-emotionally felt."
James explained that his theory went against common sense. For example, while most would think the order of emotional experience would be that a person sees a bear, becomes afraid, and runs away, James thought that first the person has a physiological response to the bear, such as trembling, and then becomes afraid and runs. James said, the physiological response comes first, and it is followed by an emotion and a reaction. James believed that these responses were "reflex type" reactions which are built in: "Instinctive reactions and emotional expressions shade imperceptibly into each other. Every object that excites an instinct excites an emotion as well."

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

GIFTS FROM EYKIS






By Alex P. Vidal 

"Reality is not a concept; reality is my daily life." 

                                                 J. KRISHNAMURTI

There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way!
"This is the message of all my gifts. If you haven't figured out this secret, happiness will always elude you," Eykis, a citizen from Uranus, told a peaceful and life-loving Earthling in an exchange encounter.
"Remember," Eykis added, "you all have such an advantage here on Earth. Your reality permits you to live in total harmony with your world...Why not take these gifts, apply them, and just attempt to experience a new reality?"
Dr. Wayne Dyer, the number one bestselling author of such reality-based, life-changing books as Your Erroneous Zones, Pulling Your Own Strings, and the Sky's the Limit, tells us in a parable format, about an Earthling's journey into space to find a new world, only to find a mirror image of his own.

LOVE

He fell in love with a woman from that other world. His inner voice, his deepest impulse, told him to bring her back to Earth. When she came, she brought gifts. He thrilled with inner excitement. Her precious gifts could mean no-limit happiness for all.
"Throughout history storytelling has been a significant avenue of communication," Dyer wrote in the book that dwells about the story of self-discovery. "From Aesop's Fables and biblical parables to Jonathan Livingstone Seagull and many additional ancient and modern sources, we can learn readily by stepping aside to the position of objective observer.
"There the sting of criticism is not so painful. The action and resulting consequences happened to the fox or bird or prodigal son. Yet with very little effort we see how the truth and universal essence belong to us all. We are moved to new perceptions, emotions, and behavior through these 'fictional' examples."

NEW WORLD

Dyer said science and technology have brought us forward into a grand new world with greater possibilities than ever. "But in many way our attitudes and feelings have not evolved equally," he stressed. "We are less equipped to deal with the opportunities presented today because we drag along some unhelpful beliefs and misperceptions of the realities of our world."
He asked: "What would be the reactions of an intelligent visitor from another planet to our complex systems here on Earth? How would we view that visitor's culture? Can we compare favorably? Are we ready to accept an objective view?"
Meanwhile, the Earthling asked Eykis: "You mentioned something about secrets in our earlier discussions, Eykis. Do you want these secrets to remain clouded over, or are you willing to share them here on film with us?"
"I'd be happy to share my observations with you," retorted Eykis. "But first I would like to say that the only reason I refer to what follows as 'secrets' is that they appear to have eluded so many of you here on Earth. Originally I call them secrets because I thought no one knew them. I've since discovered that all these so-called secrets are available to everyone on Earth, and have been as long as you've had recorded history. I will still refer to them as secrets, however, because their actual use continues to remain obscure."

SECRETS


The secrets of the universe, according to Eykis, are:
1. We must learn to cultivate our own garden.
2. The kingdom of heaven is within.
3. Everything in the universe is exactly as it should be.
4. It's never too late to have a have a happy childhood.
5. Where I go, there I am!
6. Keep it simple.
7. These are the good old days.
8. You are perfect.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

'SPIRITUALITY WILL SAVE US FROM MORAL, CULTURAL, ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL DECAY'



"Formerly, when religion was strong and science weak, men mistook magic for medicine; now, when science is strong and religion weak, men mistake medicine for magic."  
THOMAS SZASZ
                                                                                                              
By Alex P. Vidal

Even if we elect the best politicians to lead our country, we can't survive as a nation if we lack or refuse to adopt spirituality as a way of life, warned Dr. Richard Plana, Iloilo's top guru on spirituality.
"Our concept of spirituality should be universal and not parochial," explained the Ilonggo university professor. "Spirituality will save us from moral, cultural, economic and political decay."
Plana cited "the glory that was Greece and the grandeur that was Rome."
"They are all in past tense because aside from the fact that they now belong in history, Greece is not anymore glorious and Rome does not have grandeur," he said.
India has survived as a nation and is now a force to reckon with in education, economy and technology because of its spirituality, he stressed.
Plana said when we turn to spirituality, "our mental and intellectual stocks will develop and we become a light in the world if the best in us, the apex in us is drawn out."

HOMILETICS

The psychology professor revealed he specializes in teaching of homiletics and hermeneutics, the modern studies of arts, sciences and theology.
Homiletics means "to assemble together" and in theology the application of the general principles of rhetoric to the specific department of public preaching. The one who practices or studies homiletics is called a homilist.
According to Plana, homiletics is the study of the composition and delivery of a sermon or other religious discourse. It includes all forms of preaching, the sermon, homily and catechetical instruction. It may be further defined as the study of the analysis, classification, preparation, composition and delivery of sermons.
It was learned that the formation of such lectureships as the Lyman Beecher course at Yale University resulted in increased attention being given to homiletics, and the published volumes of this series are a useful source of information regarding the history and practice of the discipline.

HERMENEUTICS

Hermeneutics broadly is the art and science of text interpretation. Traditional hermeneutics is the study of the interpretation of written texts, especially texts in the areas of literature, religion and law.
Plana said a type of traditional hermeneutic is biblical hermeneutics which concerns the study of the interpretation of the Bible. In religious studies and social philosophy, hermeneutics is the study of the theory and practice of interpretation. Modern hermeneutics encompasses everything in the interpretative process including verbal and nonverbal forms of communication as well as prior aspects that affect communication, such as presuppositions, preunderstandings, the meaning and philosophy of language, and semiotics.
The terms exegesis and hermeneutics have been used interchangeably. However, hermeneutics is a more widely defined discipline of interpretation theory, because it includes the entire framework of the interpretive process, encompassing written, verbal, and nonverbal communication. Exegesis, on the other hand, focuses primarily on written text.

MISS WORLD 2013 CANADA

Thank you for the invitation, Chairman of the Board and President Ike Lalji

Monday, February 11, 2013

Alex P. Vidal Quote 19

If you are far from the enemy, make him believe you are near.
-- SUN TZU :

Near or far, the best option is to prepare to smoke the proverbial peace pipe. There are no permanent enemies, only permanent desire for peace.
-- ALEX P. VIDAL

What every woman should know about men

-- Men change their minds more often than women do; they snore more; fight more; masturbate more; they age earlier, but they wrinkle later.

By ALEX P. VIDAL 

NEW YORK CITY -- Here's another book I would like to recommend in today's fast-changing cultural environment. 
Intriguing questions such as: Why does a husband or lover fall asleep within seconds after lovemaking? Why is a man often more shaken by his wife's infidelity than a woman is by her husband's? Why do some men never follow through when they say "I'll call you tomorrow"?

If women are baffled by these and other riddles of the male personality, noted psychologist Dr. Joyce Brothers, suggests that they stop wondering as she explains in her book, What Every Woman Should Know About Men, that the more they know about the mental and emotional characteristics of the men in their life, the better equip they will be to interact successfully with them in business, love and friendship.

"A woman can improve her relationship with any man if she understands more about the sources of men's behavior," writes Brothers, former member of the faculty of Hunter College and Columbia University in New York City.

And here she examines that behavior to help women relate to the opposite sex with more ease, sensitivity and self-assurance.

In this frank and informative book, Dr. Brothers clarifies the physical, psychological and emotional differences between male and female, dispelling the myths and speculations that have been the basis of much sexual conflict. With the support of extensive research, and using examples from case histories and from her own life experiences, she then shows how the stages of male adulthood may affect the moods and behavior of the men you know.

Her observations provide valuable insights into various areas of the male psyche. For example, she describes the male business mentality: the kinship of men in a work environment; the trouble women have in breaking through that closed circle of camaraderie; the trial of sexual harassment and how to cope with it.

Dr. Brothers also addresses some of the intimate questions that remain unanswered in many women's minds concerning male sexual capabilities and difficulties. Here she offers solutions for minor problems and guidelines for making the sexual experience more exciting, more enjoyable and more loving.

The book is an important and much-needed work at a time when the life-styles, values and aspirations of both men and women are changing dramatically--and when personal relationships are adjusting to this cultural transition. Filled with Dr. Brothers' expertise and practical wisdom, the book offers sound advice for establishing and continuing relationships with male colleagues, bosses, subordinates, husbands and lovers in ways that will fulfill both the female and male needs.

THE PETER PRINCIPLE: Why Things Always Go Wrong

By Alex P. Vidal 

I HAVE encountered a lot of incredible personalities in different fields -- incompetent teachers, incompetent police and military top brass, incompetent public officials, incompetent supervisors, and so on and so forth. 

I have made personal interviews and hobnobbed with some of them in various occasions and circumstances.
Not until I read The Peter Principle, introduced to me by my friend, Atty. Ernie Dayot, did I realize that in almost all areas of human endeavor, we can actually always encounter employees that tend to rise to their level of incompetence in a hierarchy.
Written by Dr. Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull, it tells why Utopian plans never generate Utopias; why prosperity fails to produce happiness; why courts do not dispense justice; why governments cannot maintain order; and why schools do not bestow wisdom.

'OCCUPATIONAL INCOMPETENCE'


Dr. Peter, a Canada-born former associate professor of education at the University of Southern California, coined the term "occupational incompetence" which has become a universal phenomenon.
"We see indecisive politicians posing as resolute statesmen and the 'authoritative source' who blames his misinformation on 'situational imponderables.' Limitless are the public servants who are indolent and insolent; military commanders whose behavioral timidity belies their dread-naught rhetoric, and governors whose innate servility prevents their actually governing," writes Dr. Peter.
"In our sophistication, we virtually shrug aside the immoral cleric, corrupt judge, incoherent attorney, author who cannot write and English teacher who cannot spell."
The author reveals that we see proclamations at universities authored by administrators whose own office communications are hopelessly muddled; and droning lectures from inaudible or incomprehensible instructors.

CAUSE


Seeing incompetence at all levels of every hierarchy--political, legal, educational and industrial--Dr. Peters says "I hypothesized that the cause was some inherent feature of the rules governing the placement of employees. Thus began my serious study of the ways in which employees move upward through a hierarchy, and of what happens to them after promotion."
He collected hundreds of case histories for his scientific data and discovered that all such cases had a common feature. The employees had been promoted from a position of competence to a position of incompetence. This could happen to every employee in every hierarchy, says Dr. Peter.

HIERARCHIOLOGY

This led him to formulate The Peter Principle and inadvertently founded a new science, hierarchiology, the study of hierarchies.
The term "hierarchy" was originally used to describe system of church government by priests graded into ranks. The contemporary meaning, explains the author, includes any organization whose members or employees are arranged in order of ranks, grades or class.
Dr. Peter believes that hierarchiology, although a relatively recent discipline, appears to have great applicability to the fields of public and private administration.
His principle "is the key to understanding of all hierarchal systems, and therefore to an understanding of the whole structure of civilization."
A few eccentrics, he explains, try to avoid getting involved with hierarchies, but everyone in business, industry, trade-unionism, politics, government, the armed forces, religion and education is so involved. All of them are controlled by the Peter Principle.

LEVEL


Dr. Peter elaborates: "Many of them, to be sure, may win a promotion or two, moving from one level of competence in that new position qualifies them for still another promotion. For each individual, for you, for me, the final promotion is from a level of competence to a level of incompetence."
So, given enough time--and assuming the existence of enough ranks in the hierarchy--each employee rises to, and remains at, his level of incompetence, he further stresses.
Peter's Corollary states: In time, every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent to carry out his duties.
"You will rarely find, of course, a system in which every employee has reached his level of incompetence. In most instances, something is being done to further the ostensible purposes for which the hierarchy exists," Dr. Peter explains.
Work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence, the book further states.

MEDIA AS A CAREER


What drives me is I love my profession. I love to do it. 

-- ROBERT DUVALL

By Alex P. Vidal 

As resource speaker in the seminar with a theme, "Media as a career," conducted by the St. Paul University's College of Mass Communication 16 years ago, a participant asked me to define what is a profession.
"Can a person who has not taken a board examination call his occupation a profession?" she volunteered.
I began by explaining that the common usage of the word "professional" can be applied to anyone who shows tested competence in performing a given task.
The term "profession" used to be restricted to fields like teaching, military, medicine, law, and the ministry in the past. The distinction between a profession and an ordinary occupation was put forward when careers in advertising, journalism, real estate, among others were called "professions."

SYNONYM 

Institute for Philosophical Research director, Dr. Mortimer Adler explained that the word "professional" in this sense is merely a synonym for "skilled" although in the original and deeper meaning of the term, a professional man is one who does skilled work to achieve a useful social goal.
Although there is no board examination in media profession, many practitioners have proven they have skills and competence to perform their job -- skills in writing, gathering news, interviews and editing, skills in broadcasting, skills in internet technology, skills in advertisement, a vital component in media industry.
Way back in 1991 during our stint in the Graciano Lopez-Jaena Community Journalism Fellowship, Dean Georgina Encanto of the University of the Philippines-Diliman College of Mass Communication (UP CMC) and Prof. Luis V. Teodoro exhorted media practitioners who have no bachelors degree to formalize their education in journalism as the state's premier institution was planning to introduce a special program to prepare the College for the 21st century.

COURSES

The A.B. Communication program was divided into four distinct courses during Teodoro's term as UP CMC dean from 1994 to 2000 where he conceptualized the new Mass Media Center in late 1996. The Commission on Higher Education named the Journalism and Communication Research departments as its Centers of Excellence in the study of communication in 1998.
Professional activities are distinguished from other forms of work not only by the goals they serve but also by the way in which professional men are related to their work, stresses the famous author.
In commerce, industry, or business, one man often works for another. But in an army engaged in war, for example, the private does not work for the captain, or the captain for the general. Instead. Adler adds, all work together for victory. Similarly, in a hospital, the nurse and the laboratory technician do not work for the surgeon. All work together for the health of the patient.

CODE OF ETHICS


Members of a profession usually subscribe to a code of ethics which regulates how their work is to be done. Adler says this code of conduct sets the standard by which its members are judged. It is, for example, more than common-sense courtesy which requires a physician not to discuss treatment of his patient with others.
Though professional men, like other men, Adler points out, usually have to earn their living, the value of their work is not measured by the money they earn. The compensation that comes to them is incidental to the performance of their professional services.
"That is why their compensation is usually referred to as a 'fee' or an 'honorarium,' rather than as 'wages' or a 'salary.' That is also why doctors and lawyers often take cases free of charge," Adler explains.
The essential characteristic of a profession is the dedication of its members to the service they perform.

Alex P. Vidal Quote 18

You have to believe in yourself. 
-- SUN TZU :

No doubt, we can do it. We are the best and the greatest!
-- ALEX P. VIDAL

Alex P. Vidal Quote 17

You can't know your real mind as long as you deceive yourself. 
-- BODHIDHARMA :

Lying is a clear act of self deception. The mind of a liar is real; it's his intention deceive that separates him from reality.
-- ALEX P. VIDAL

Alex P. Vidal Quote 16

Being offended is part of being in the real world. 
-- COURTNEY LOVE :

In the world created by our fertile imagination, no one can offend us--no one can call us ugly; no one can accuse us as bastards and witches. And in death, no offense meant when the accuser and the accused will both turn into dusts. 
-- ALEX P. VIDAL

Alex P. Vidal Quote 15

You find out who your real friends are when you're involved in a scandal. 
-- ELIZABETH TAYLOR :

The fake ones jump like chimpanzees and display their big white teeth in excitement as scandal tears our reputation apart in public. The real ones offer their shoulders and are misty eyed even if they avoid an eye to eye contact with us.
-- ALEX P. VIDAL

Alex P. Vidal Quote 14

The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them. 
-- ERNEST HEMINGWAY :

To trust is to invest in a business of faithfulness. The business will prosper when trust is reciprocated and valued. The business will collapse when trust is cast aside and left in the lurch. 
-- ALEX P. VIDAL