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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Funny Slogans

Advertisement In A Long Island Shop:
Guitar, for sale....... Cheap...........no strings attached.

Ad In Hospital Waiting Room:
Smoking Helps You Lose Weight ... One Lung At A Time!

Seen on a bulletin board:
Success Is Relative. More The Success, More The Relatives.

When I Read About The Evils Of Drinking...
I Gave Up Reading.

My Grandfather Is Eighty And Still Doesn't Need Glasses...
He Drinks Straight Out Of The Bottle.

You Know Your kids Have Grown Up When:
Your Daughter Begins To Put On Lipstick..
Or Your Son Starts To Wipe It Off.

Sign In A Bar:
"Those Of You Who Are Drinking To Forget, Please Pay In Advance."

Sign In Driving School:
If Your Wife Wants To Learn To Drive, Don't Stand In Her Way.

Behind Every Great Man,
There Is A Surprised Woman.

The Reason Men Lie Is Because
Women Ask So Many Questions.

Getting Caught
Is The Mother Of Invention.

Laugh And The World Laughs With You,
Snore And You sleep Alone.

The Surest Sign That Intelligent Life Exists Elsewhere In The Universe
Is The Fact That It Has Never Tried To Contact Us.

Sign At A Barber's Saloon In Detroit:
We Need Your Heads To Run Our Business.

A Traffic Slogan:
Don't Let Your Kids Drive If They are Not Old Enough
Or Else They Will Never Be.

Sign In A Restaurant:
All Drinking Water In This Establishment Has Been Personally
Passed By The Manager.

Sign On A Famous Beauty Parlor Window:
Don't Whistle At The Girls Going Out From Here.
She May Be Your Grandmother!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Chubby Checker - Let's Twist Again


Title: Chubby Checker - Let's Twist Again lyrics
Artist: Chubby Checker

Come on everybody clap your hands
Now you're looking good
I'm gonna sing my song and you won't take long
We gotta do the twist and it goes like this

Come on let's twist again like we did last summer
Yea, let's twist again like we did last year
Do you remember when things were really hummin'
Yea, let's twist again, twistin' time is here

Yeah round 'n around 'n up 'n down we go again
Oh baby make me know you love me so then
Come on let's twist again like we did last summer
Yea, let's twist again, twistin' time is here

Come on let's twist again like we did last summer
Yea, let's twist again like we did last year
Do you remember when things were really hummin'
Yea, let's twist again, twistin' time is here

Yeah round 'n around 'n up 'n down we go again
Oh baby make me know you love me so then
Come on let's twist again like we did last summer
Yea, let's twist again, twistin' time is here

Sunday, August 26, 2007

SMK LSPJ Class of 1977 Reunion

ECGMA says: This after my time. An ex-LaSallean myself, Brother Lawrence was my headmaster. Brother Felix came after my time. I am disapointed to see that students and teachers had to sing from a songsheet the school song!!! Don't they know it by heart?!?!

LSPJ Class of 1977 30th year Reunion held on 070707 - The Begining "Cheer Cheer and Courage Display

LSPJ Class of 1977 30th year Reunion held on 070707 - The good old day of listening to Abang Felix's Speech

LSPJ Class of 1977 30th year Reunion held on 070707 - The Battle Begins

LSPJ Class of 1977 Reunion held on 070707 - Let the Good Times Rock and Roll

Smart Women

WOMAN'S PERFECT BREAKFAST
She's sitting at the table with her gourmet coffee.

Her son is on the cover of the Wheaties box.
Her daughter is on the cover of Business Week.
Her boyfriend is on the cover of Playgirl.
And her husband is on the back of the milk carton.

WOMEN'S REVENGE

"Cash, check or charge?" I asked, after folding items the woman wished to purchase.
As she fumbled for her wallet
,
I noticed a remote control for a television set in her purse.
"So, do you always carry your TV remote?" I asked.
"No," she replied, "but my husband refused to come shopping with me,

and I figured this was the most evil thing I could do to him legally."


UNDERSTANDING WOMEN

(A MAN'S PERSPECTIVE)

I know I'm not going to understand women.
I'll never understand how you can take boiling hot wax,
pour it onto your upper thigh, rip the hair out by the root,
and still be afraid of a spider.


CIGARETTES AND TAMPONS


A man walks into a pharmacy and wanders up & down the aisles.
The sales girl notices him and asks him if she can help him.
He answers that he is looking for a box of tampons for his wife.
She directs him down the correct aisle.
A few minutes later, he deposits a huge bag of cotton balls and a ball of string on the counter.
She says, confused, "Sir, I thought you were looking for some tampons for your wife?
He answers, "You see, it's like this, yesterday, I sent my wife to the store
to get me a carton of cigarettes, and she came back with a tin of tobacco
and some rolling papers; cause it's sooo-ooo--oo-ooo much cheaper.
So, I figure if I have to roll my own ....... so does she.
(I figure this guy is the one on the milk carton!)


WIFE VS. HUSBAND


A couple drove down a country road for several miles, not saying a word.
An earlier discussion had led to an argument and
neither of them wanted to concede their position.
As they passed a barnyard of mules, goats, and pigs,
the husband asked sarcastically, "Relatives of yours?"
"Yep," the wife replied, "in-laws."


WORDS


A husband read an article to his wife about how many words women use a day...
30,000 to a man's 15,000 .
The wife replied, "The reason has to be because we have to repeat everything to men...
The husband then turned to his wife and asked, "What?"

CREATION

A man said to his wife one day, "I don't know how you can be
so stupid and so beautiful all at the same time.
The wife responded, "Allow me to explain.
God made me beautiful so you would be attracted to me;
God made me stupid so I would be attracted to you
!


The Silent Treatment

A man and his wife were having some problems at home
and were giving each other the silent treatment.
Suddenly, the man realized that the next day, he would need his wife to wake him
at 5:00 AM for an early morning business flight.
Not wanting to be the first to break the silence (and LOSE), he wrote on a piece of paper,
"Please wake me at 5:00 AM." He left it where he knew she would find it.
The next morning, the man woke up, only to discover it was 9:00 AM and he had missed his flight Furious, he was about to go and see why his wife hadn't wakened him,
when he noticed a piece of paper by the bed.
The paper said, "It is 5:00 AM. Wake up."
Men are not equipped for these kinds of contests.


God may have created man before woman, but there is always a rough draft before the masterpiece
.


SEND THIS TO SMART WOMEN WHO NEED A LAUGH AND TO MEN YOU THINK CAN HANDLE IT

Demis Roussos - Forever and Ever


Ever and ever forever you'll be the one
that shines in me like the morning sun.
Ever and ever forever and ever you'll be my spring,
my rainbow's end and the song I sing.

Take me far beyond imagination,
you're my dream come true, my consolation.

Ever and ever forever and ever you'll be my dream,
my symphony, my own love esteem.
Ever and ever forever and ever my destiny
will follow you eternally.

Ever and ever forever you'll be the one
that shines in me like the morning sun.
Ever and ever forever and ever my destiny
will follow you eternally.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

medley of biggest hits - PAT BOONE

Charles Eugene Patrick Boone (known as Pat Boone, born June 1, 1934) is a singer whose smooth style made him a popular performer of the 1950s. His cover versions of African-American rhythm and blues hits had a noticeable impact on the development of the broad popularity of rock and roll. He is also an actor, a motivational speaker, a television personality, and a conservative political commentator.
His teen idol popularity in the late 1950s was second only to that of Elvis Presley, and, like Presley, he soon tried his hand at acting

Pat Boone - April Love


Title: Pat Boone - April Love lyrics
Artist: Pat Boone

April love is for the very young
Every stars a wishing star that shines for you
April love is all the seven wonders
One little kiss can tell you this is true

Sometimes an april day will suddenly bring showers
Rain to grow the flowers for her first bouquet
But april love can slip right through your fingers
So if she's the one don't let her run away

Sometimes an april day will suddenly bring showers
Rain to grow the flowers for her first bouquet
But april love can slip right through your fingers
So if she's the one don't let her run away

Johnny Tillotson - Poetry in Motion


Title: Johnny Tillotson - Poetry In Motion lyrics
Artist: Johnny Tillotson

When I see my baby
What do I see
Poetry poetry in motion

Poetry in motion walking by my side
Her lovely locomotion
Keeps my eyes open wide
Poetry in motion see her gentle sway
A wave out on the ocean
Could never move that way

I love every movement
There's nothing I would change
She doesn't need improvement
She's much too nice to rearrange

Poetry in motion dancing close to me
A flower of devotion a-swaying gracefully
Woh-woh-woh-woh-woh-woh
Woh-woh-woh-woh-woh.....
Poetry in motion see her gentle sway
A wave out on the ocean
Could never move that way

I love every movement
There's nothing I would change
She doesn't need improvement
She's much too nice to rearrange

Poetry in motion all that I adore
No number nine love potion
Could make me love her more
Woh-woh-woh-woh-woh-woh
Woh-woh-woh-woh-woh.....

Judy Judy Judy by Johnny Tillotson


Title: Johnny Tillotson - Judy, Judy, Judy lyrics
Artist: Johnny Tillotson

Judy's got the lips I love to kiss
And when she walks she's got the cutest twist
She's grown up before my eyes and all at once I realize
Judy, Judy, Judy I love you

Judy's got the hands I love to touch
The way she wrinkles her nose, it's just too much
No more shirts and bright blue jeans, all at once she's seventeen
Judy, Judy, Judy I love you

I'm prayin' I'll stay in her heart for evermore
Cause she's the girl I've dreamed of, that I've been waiting for

Judy's gonna share my life some day
And in my heart I know she's gonna stay
When I look into her eyes I just can't help but realize
Judy, Judy, Judy I love you

I'm prayin' I'll stay in her heart for evermore
Cause she's the girl I've dreamed of, that I've been waiting for

Judy's gonna share my life some day
And I'll be true to her in every way
When I look into her eyes I just can't help but realize
Judy, Judy, Judy I love you
Judy, Judy, Judy I love you

Rhythym of the Rain 2005 by The Cascades



Title: Cascades - Listen To The Rythm Of The Falling Rain lyrics
Artist: Cascades

Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain
Telling me just what a fool I've been
I wish that if you go and let me cry in vain
And let me be alone again

The only girl I care about has gone away
Looking for a brand-new start
But little does she know that when she left that day
Along with her she took my heart

Rain please tell me now does that seem fair
For her to steal my heart away when she don't care
I can't love another when my heart's somewhere far away

The only girl I care about has gone away
Looking for a brand-new start
But little does she know that when she left that day
Along with her she took my heart

Rain won't you tell her that I love her so
Please as the sun has set her heart aglow
Rain in her heart and let the love we knew start to grow

Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain
Telling me just what a fool I've been
I wish that if you go and let me cry in vain
And let me be alone again

Oh, listen to the falling rain
Pitter Patter Pitter Patter ohhhh...

Peter Cetera - Hard To Say I'm Sorry


Chicago - Hard To Say I'm Sorry (1982)

Title: Peter Cetera - Hard To Say I'm Sorry lyrics
Artist: Peter Cetera

Everybody needs a little time away
I've heard her say
From each other

Even lovers need a holiday oooh
Far away from each other

Hold me now
It's hard for me to say I'm sorry
I just want you to stay
And after all that you've been through
I will make it up to you
I promise you, baby

And after all thats been said and done
You're just the part of me I can't let go

ooooh bup bup bup bup

Couldn't stand to be kept away
Just for a day
From your body
Wouldn't want to be swept away
Far away from the one that I love

Hold me now
It's hard for me to say I'm sorry
I just want you to know
Hold me now
I really want to tell you I'm sorry
I could never let you go

And after all that we've been through
I will make it up to you
I promise you

And after all that's been said and done
You're just a part of me I can't let go

I can't let go.

Peter Cetera - Have You Ever Been in Love

Great song, great artist, great perfomance

Title: Peter Cetera - Have You Ever Been In Love lyrics
Artist: Peter Cetera

In the morning light
Half awake and half asleep
Have you ever layed there thinking
Was it all a dream?
But you reach out and she's there
Every moment, everywhere
Have you ever been in love?

Have you ever felt
How far a heart can fall
Have you ever stayed up waiting
For a telephone call
Just to hear her say hello
Cause you miss each other so
Have you ever been in love?

Chorus:
Have there been times to laugh
And times you really wanna cry
Finding reasons to believe her
Cause you'd die a little if she lied
And when in times of doubt
Have you ever tried to work it out
But still she leaves you wondering
What it's all about

And when she's far away
Have you ever felt the need to stray
And tried and then discovered
It just doesn't pay
Cause with her you can be true
And with her you can be you
Have you ever been in love?

Chorus

And when the night comes down
Can you call your house a home
Do you dream you're still together
And wake up alone
Have you ever been in love
The way that I'm in love
Have you ever been in love?

Peter Cetera - If You Leave Me Now

Peter Cetera If You Leave Me Now Live 2004

Chicago - If You Leave Me Now (1976)
Peter Cetera was formerly the lad singer of the group CHICAGO

Title: Peter Cetera - If You Leave Me Now lyrics
Artist: Peter Cetera

(Don't go, please don't go...)
If you leave me now, you'll take away the biggest part of me
Ooo, ooo, ooo, ooo, no, baby please don't go
And if you leave me now, you'll take away the very heart of me
Ooo, ooo, ooo, ooo, no, baby please don't go
A love like ours is love that's hard to find
How could we let it slip away?

We've come to far to leave it all behind
How could we end it all this way?
When tomorrow comes and we'll both regret things we said today

A love like ours is love that's hard to find
How could we let it slip away?

We've come to far to leave it all behind
How could we end it all this way?
When tomorrow comes and we'll both regret things we said today

If you leave me now, you'll take away the biggest part of me
Ooo, ooo, ooo, ooo, no, baby, please don't go

Peter Cetera - The Glory of Love

This is the original music video with scenes from the motion picture - The Karate Kid

Title: Peter Cetera - Glory Of Love lyrics
Artist: Peter Cetera

Tonight it's very clear
As we're both lying here
There's so many things I want to say
I will always love you
I would never leave you alone

Sometimes I just forget
Say things I might regret
It breaks my heart to see you crying
I don't wanna lose you
I could never make it alone

I am a man who will fight for your honor
I'll be the hero you're dreaming of
We'll live forever
Knowing together that we
Did it all for the glory of love

You'll keep me standing tall
You'll help me through it all
I'm always strong when you're beside me
I have always needed you
I could never make it alone

I am a man who will fight for your honor
I'll be the hero you've been dreaming of
We'll live forever
Knowing together that we
Did it all for the glory of love

Just like a knight in shining armor
From a long time ago
Just in time I will save the day
Take you to my castle far away

I am a man who will fight for your honor
I'll be the hero you're dreaming of
We're gonna live forever
Knowing together that we
Did it all for the glory of love

We'll live forever
Knowing together that we
Did it all for the glory of love

We did it all for love
We did it all for love
We did it all for love
We did it all for love

Peter Cetera - You´re The Inspiration


Title: Peter Cetera - You're The Inspiration lyrics
Artist: Peter Cetera

You know our love was meant to be
The kind of love that lasts forever
And I need you here with me
From tonight until the end of time

You should know, everywhere I go
You're always on my mind, in my heart
In my soul

You're the meaning in my life
You're the inspiration
You bring feeling to my life
You're the inspiration
Wanna have you near me
I wanna have you hear me sayin'
No one needs you more than I need you

And I know, yes I know that it's plain to see
We're so in love when we're together
And I know that I need you here with me
From tonight until the end of time

You should know, everywhere I go
Always on my mind, in my heart
In my soul

You're the meaning in my life
You're the inspiration
You bring feeling to my life
You're the inspiration
Wanna have you near me
I wanna have you hear me sayin'
No one needs you more than I need you

You're the meaning in my life
You're the inspiration
You bring feeling to my life
You're the inspiration
Wanna have you near me
I wanna have you hear me sayin'
No one needs you more than I need you

You're So Vain by Carly Simon


Title: Carly Simon - You're So Vain lyrics
Artist: Carly Simon

You walked into the party like you were walking onto a yacht
Your hat strategically dipped below one eye
Your scarf it was apricot
You had one eye in the mirror as you watched yourself gavotte
And all the girls dreamed that they'd be your partner
They'd be your partner, and...

You're so vain, you probably think this song is about you
You're so vain, I'll bet you think this song is about you
Don't you? Don't You?

You had me several years ago when I was still quite naive
Well you said that we made such a pretty pair
And that you would never leave
But you gave away the things you loved and one of them was me
I had some dreams, they were clouds in my coffee
Clouds in my coffee, and...

You're so vain, you probably think this song is about you
You're so vain, I'll bet you think this song is about you
Don't you? Don't You? Don't You?

I had some dreams they were clouds in my coffee
Clouds in my coffee, and...

You're so vain, you probably think this song is about you
You're so vain, I'll bet you think this song is about you
Don't you? Don't You?

Well I hear you went up to Saratoga and your horse naturally won
Then you flew your lear jet up to Nova Scotia
To see the total eclipse of the sun
Well you're where you should be all the time
And when you're not you're with
Some underworld spy or the wife from a close friend
Wife from a close friend, and...

You're so vain, you probably think this song is about you
You're so vain, I'll bet you think this song is about you
Don't you? Don't You? Don't you?

You're so vain, you probably think this song is about you
You're so vain, I'll bet you think this song is about you

Friday, August 24, 2007

Mother Teresa's Crisis of Faith

Thursday, Aug. 23, 2007
Mother Teresa's Crisis of Faith
By David Van Biema

Jesus has a very special love for you. As for me, the silence and the emptiness is so great that I look and do not see, listen and do not hear.

— Mother Teresa to the Rev. Michael Van Der Peet, September 1979

On Dec. 11, 1979, Mother Teresa, the "Saint of the Gutters," went to Oslo. Dressed in her signature blue-bordered sari and shod in sandals despite below-zero temperatures, the former Agnes Bojaxhiu received that ultimate worldly accolade, the Nobel Peace Prize. In her acceptance lecture, Teresa, whose Missionaries of Charity had grown from a one-woman folly in Calcutta in 1948 into a global beacon of self-abnegating care, delivered the kind of message the world had come to expect from her. "It is not enough for us to say, 'I love God, but I do not love my neighbor,'" she said, since in dying on the Cross, God had "[made] himself the hungry one — the naked one — the homeless one." Jesus' hunger, she said, is what "you and I must find" and alleviate. She condemned abortion and bemoaned youthful drug addiction in the West. Finally, she suggested that the upcoming Christmas holiday should remind the world "that radiating joy is real" because Christ is everywhere — "Christ in our hearts, Christ in the poor we meet, Christ in the smile we give and in the smile that we receive."

Yet less than three months earlier, in a letter to a spiritual confidant, the Rev. Michael van der Peet, that is only now being made public, she wrote with weary familiarity of a different Christ, an absent one. "Jesus has a very special love for you," she assured Van der Peet. "[But] as for me, the silence and the emptiness is so great, that I look and do not see, — Listen and do not hear — the tongue moves [in prayer] but does not speak ... I want you to pray for me — that I let Him have [a] free hand."

The two statements, 11 weeks apart, are extravagantly dissonant. The first is typical of the woman the world thought it knew. The second sounds as though it had wandered in from some 1950s existentialist drama. Together they suggest a startling portrait in self-contradiction — that one of the great human icons of the past 100 years, whose remarkable deeds seemed inextricably connected to her closeness to God and who was routinely observed in silent and seemingly peaceful prayer by her associates as well as the television camera, was living out a very different spiritual reality privately, an arid landscape from which the deity had disappeared.

And in fact, that appears to be the case. A new, innocuously titled book, Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light (Doubleday), consisting primarily of correspondence between Teresa and her confessors and superiors over a period of 66 years, provides the spiritual counterpoint to a life known mostly through its works. The letters, many of them preserved against her wishes (she had requested that they be destroyed but was overruled by her church), reveal that for the last nearly half-century of her life she felt no presence of God whatsoever — or, as the book's compiler and editor, the Rev. Brian Kolodiejchuk, writes, "neither in her heart or in the eucharist."

That absence seems to have started at almost precisely the time she began tending the poor and dying in Calcutta, and — except for a five-week break in 1959 — never abated. Although perpetually cheery in public, the Teresa of the letters lived in a state of deep and abiding spiritual pain. In more than 40 communications, many of which have never before been published, she bemoans the "dryness," "darkness," "loneliness" and "torture" she is undergoing. She compares the experience to hell and at one point says it has driven her to doubt the existence of heaven and even of God. She is acutely aware of the discrepancy between her inner state and her public demeanor. "The smile," she writes, is "a mask" or "a cloak that covers everything." Similarly, she wonders whether she is engaged in verbal deception. "I spoke as if my very heart was in love with God — tender, personal love," she remarks to an adviser. "If you were [there], you would have said, 'What hypocrisy.'" Says the Rev. James Martin, an editor at the Jesuit magazine America and the author of My Life with the Saints, a book that dealt with far briefer reports in 2003 of Teresa's doubts: "I've never read a saint's life where the saint has such an intense spiritual darkness. No one knew she was that tormented." Recalls Kolodiejchuk, Come Be My Light's editor: "I read one letter to the Sisters [of Teresa's Missionaries of Charity], and their mouths just dropped open. It will give a whole new dimension to the way people understand her."

The book is hardly the work of some antireligious investigative reporter who Dumpster-dived for Teresa's correspondence. Kolodiejchuk, a senior Missionaries of Charity member, is her postulator, responsible for petitioning for her sainthood and collecting the supporting materials. (Thus far she has been beatified; the next step is canonization.) The letters in the book were gathered as part of that process.

The church anticipates spiritually fallow periods. Indeed, the Spanish mystic St. John of the Cross in the 16th century coined the term the "dark night" of the soul to describe a characteristic stage in the growth of some spiritual masters. Teresa's may be the most extensive such case on record. (The "dark night" of the 18th century mystic St. Paul of the Cross lasted 45 years; he ultimately recovered.) Yet Kolodiejchuk sees it in St. John's context, as darkness within faith. Teresa found ways, starting in the early 1960s, to live with it and abandoned neither her belief nor her work. Kolodiejchuk produced the book as proof of the faith-filled perseverance that he sees as her most spiritually heroic act.

Two very different Catholics predict that the book will be a landmark. The Rev. Matthew Lamb, chairman of the theology department at the conservative Ave Maria University in Florida, thinks Come Be My Light will eventually rank with St. Augustine's Confessions and Thomas Merton's The Seven Storey Mountain as an autobiography of spiritual ascent. Martin of America, a much more liberal institution, calls the book "a new ministry for Mother Teresa, a written ministry of her interior life," and says, "It may be remembered as just as important as her ministry to the poor. It would be a ministry to people who had experienced some doubt, some absence of God in their lives. And you know who that is? Everybody. Atheists, doubters, seekers, believers, everyone."

Not all atheists and doubters will agree. Both Kolodiejchuk and Martin assume that Teresa's inability to perceive Christ in her life did not mean he wasn't there. In fact, they see his absence as part of the divine gift that enabled her to do great work. But to the U.S.'s increasingly assertive cadre of atheists, that argument will seem absurd. They will see the book's Teresa more like the woman in the archetypal country-and-western song who holds a torch for her husband 30 years after he left to buy a pack of cigarettes and never returned. Says Christopher Hitchens, author of The Missionary Position, a scathing polemic on Teresa, and more recently of the atheist manifesto God Is Not Great: "She was no more exempt from the realization that religion is a human fabrication than any other person, and that her attempted cure was more and more professions of faith could only have deepened the pit that she had dug for herself." Meanwhile, some familiar with the smiling mother's extraordinary drive may diagnose her condition less as a gift of God than as a subconscious attempt at the most radical kind of humility: she punished herself with a crippling failure to counterbalance her great successes.

Come Be My Light is that rare thing, a posthumous autobiography that could cause a wholesale reconsideration of a major public figure — one way or another. It raises questions about God and faith, the engine behind great achievement, and the persistence of love, divine and human. That it does so not in any organized, intentional form but as a hodgepodge of desperate notes not intended for daylight should leave readers only more convinced that it is authentic — and that they are, somewhat shockingly, touching the true inner life of a modern saint.

Prequel: Near Ecstatic Communion

[Jesus:] Wilt thou refuse to do this for me? ... You have become my Spouse for my love — you have come to India for Me. The thirst you had for souls brought you so far — Are you afraid to take one more step for Your Spouse — for me — for souls? Is your generosity grown cold? Am I a second to you?

[Teresa:] Jesus, my own Jesus — I am only Thine — I am so stupid — I do not know what to say but do with me whatever You wish — as You wish — as long as you wish. [But] why can't I be a perfect Loreto Nun — here — why can't I be like everybody else.

[Jesus:] I want Indian Nuns, Missionaries of Charity, who would be my fire of love amongst the poor, the sick, the dying and the little children ... You are I know the most incapable person — weak and sinful but just because you are that — I want to use You for My glory. Wilt thou refuse?

— in a prayer dialogue recounted to Archbishop Ferdinand Perier, January 1947

On Sept. 10, 1946, after 17 years as a teacher in Calcutta with the Loreto Sisters (an uncloistered, education-oriented community based in Ireland), Mother Mary Teresa, 36, took the 400-mile (645-km) train trip to Darjeeling. She had been working herself sick, and her superiors ordered her to relax during her annual retreat in the Himalayan foothills. On the ride out, she reported, Christ spoke to her. He called her to abandon teaching and work instead in "the slums" of the city, dealing directly with "the poorest of the poor" — the sick, the dying, beggars and street children. "Come, Come, carry Me into the holes of the poor," he told her. "Come be My light." The goal was to be both material and evangelistic — as Kolodiejchuk puts it, "to help them live their lives with dignity [and so] encounter God's infinite love, and having come to know Him, to love and serve Him in return."

It was wildly audacious — an unfunded, single-handed crusade (Teresa stipulated that she and her nuns would share their beneficiaries' poverty and started out alone) to provide individualized service to the poorest in a poor city made desperate by riots. The local Archbishop, Ferdinand Périer, was initially skeptical. But her letters to him, preserved, illustrate two linked characteristics — extreme tenacity and a profound personal bond to Christ. When Périer hesitated, Teresa, while calling herself a "little nothing," bombarded him with notes suggesting that he refer the question to an escalating list of authorities — the local apostolic delegation, her Mother General, the Pope. And when she felt all else had failed, she revealed the spiritual topper: a dramatic (melodramatic, really) dialogue with a "Voice" she eventually revealed to be Christ's. It ended with Jesus' emphatic reiteration of his call to her: "You are I know the most incapable person — weak and sinful but just because you are that — I want to use You for My glory. Wilt thou refuse?"

Mother Teresa had visions, including one of herself conversing with Christ on the Cross. Her confessor, Father Celeste Van Exem, was convinced that her mystical experiences were genuine. "[Her] union with Our Lord has been continual and so deep and violent that rapture does not seem very far," he commented. Teresa later wrote simply, "Jesus gave Himself to me."

Then on Jan. 6, 1948, Périer, after consulting the Vatican, finally gave permission for Teresa to embark on her second calling. And Jesus took himself away again.

The Onset

Lord, my God, who am I that You should forsake me? The Child of your Love — and now become as the most hated one — the one — You have thrown away as unwanted — unloved. I call, I cling, I want — and there is no One to answer — no One on Whom I can cling — no, No One. — Alone ... Where is my Faith — even deep down right in there is nothing, but emptiness & darkness — My God — how painful is this unknown pain — I have no Faith — I dare not utter the words & thoughts that crowd in my heart — & make me suffer untold agony.

So many unanswered questions live within me afraid to uncover them — because of the blasphemy — If there be God — please forgive me — When I try to raise my thoughts to Heaven — there is such convicting emptiness that those very thoughts return like sharp knives & hurt my very soul. — I am told God loves me — and yet the reality of darkness & coldness & emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul. Did I make a mistake in surrendering blindly to the Call of the Sacred Heart?

— addressed to Jesus, at the suggestion of a confessor, undated

In the first half of 1948, Teresa took a basic medical course before launching herself alone onto the streets of Calcutta. She wrote, "My soul at present is in perfect peace and joy." Kolodiejchuk includes her moving description of her first day on the job: "The old man lying on the street — not wanted — all alone just sick and dying — I gave him carborsone and water to drink and the old Man — was so strangely grateful ... Then we went to Taltala Bazaar, and there was a very poor woman dying I think of starvation more than TB ... I gave her something which will help her to sleep. — I wonder how long she will last." But two months later, shortly after her major triumph of locating a space for her headquarters, Kolodiejchuk's files find her troubled. "What tortures of loneliness," she wrote. "I wonder how long will my heart suffer this?" This complaint could be understood as an initial response to solitude and hardship were it not for subsequent letters. The more success Teresa had — and half a year later so many young women had joined her society that she needed to move again — the worse she felt. In March 1953, she wrote Périer, "Please pray specially for me that I may not spoil His work and that Our Lord may show Himself — for there is such terrible darkness within me, as if everything was dead. It has been like this more or less from the time I started 'the work.'"

Périer may have missed the note of desperation. "God guides you, dear Mother," he answered avuncularly. "You are not so much in the dark as you think ... You have exterior facts enough to see that God blesses your work ... Feelings are not required and often may be misleading." And yet feelings — or rather, their lack — became her life's secret torment. How can you assume the lover's ardor when he no longer grants you his voice, his touch, his very presence? The problem was exacerbated by an inhibition to even describe it. Teresa reported on several occasions inviting a confessor to visit and then being unable to speak. Eventually, one thought to ask her to write the problem down, and she complied. "The more I want him — the less I am wanted," she wrote Périer in 1955. A year later she sounded desolate: "Such deep longing for God — and ... repulsed — empty — no faith — no love — no zeal. — [The saving of] Souls holds no attraction — Heaven means nothing — pray for me please that I keep smiling at Him in spite of everything."

At the suggestion of a confessor, she wrote the agonized plea that begins this section, in which she explored the theological worst-possible-case implications of her dilemma. That letter and another one from 1959 ("What do I labour for? If there be no God — there can be no soul — if there is no Soul then Jesus — You also are not true") are the only two that sound any note of doubt of God's existence. But she frequently bemoaned an inability to pray: "I utter words of Community prayers — and try my utmost to get out of every word the sweetness it has to give — But my prayer of union is not there any longer — I no longer pray."

As the Missionaries of Charity flourished and gradually gained the attention of her church and the world at large, Teresa progressed from confessor to confessor the way some patients move through their psychoanalysts. Van Exem gave way to Périer, who gave way in 1959 to the Rev. (later Cardinal) Lawrence Picachy, who was succeeded by the Rev. Joseph Neuner in 1961. By the 1980s the chain included figures such as Bishop William Curlin of Charlotte, N.C. For these confessors, she developed a kind of shorthand of pain, referring almost casually to "my darkness" and to Jesus as "the Absent One." There was one respite. In October 1958, Pope Pius XII died, and requiem Masses were celebrated around the Catholic world. Teresa prayed to the deceased Pope for a "proof that God is pleased with the Society." And "then and there," she rejoiced, "disappeared the long darkness ... that strange suffering of 10 years." Unfortunately, five weeks later she reported being "in the tunnel" once more. And although, as we shall see, she found a way to accept the absence, it never lifted again. Five years after her Nobel, a Jesuit priest in the Calcutta province noted that "Mother came ... to speak about the excruciating night in her soul. It was not a passing phase but had gone on for years." A 1995 letter discussed her "spiritual dryness." She died in 1997.

Explanations

Tell me, Father, why is there so much pain and darkness in my soul?

— to the Rev. Lawrence Picachy, August 1959

Why did Teresa's communication with Jesus, so vivid and nourishing in the months before the founding of the Missionaries, evaporate so suddenly? Interestingly, secular and religious explanations travel for a while on parallel tracks. Both understand (although only one celebrates) that identification with Christ's extended suffering on the Cross, undertaken to redeem humanity, is a key aspect of Catholic spirituality. Teresa told her nuns that physical poverty ensured empathy in "giving themselves" to the suffering poor and established a stronger bond with Christ's redemptive agony. She wrote in 1951 that the Passion was the only aspect of Jesus' life that she was interested in sharing: "I want to ... drink ONLY [her emphasis] from His chalice of pain." And so she did, although by all indications not in a way she had expected.

Kolodiejchuk finds divine purpose in the fact that Teresa's spiritual spigot went dry just as she prevailed over her church's perceived hesitations and saw a successful way to realize Jesus' call for her. "She was a very strong personality," he suggests. "And a strong personality needs stronger purification" as an antidote to pride. As proof that it worked, he cites her written comment after receiving an important prize in the Philippines in the 1960s: "This means nothing to me, because I don't have Him."

And yet "the question is, Who determined the abandonment she experienced?" says Dr. Richard Gottlieb, a teacher at the New York Psychoanalytic Society & Institute who has written about the church and who was provided a copy of the book by TIME. "Could she have imposed it on herself?" Psychologists have long recognized that people of a certain personality type are conflicted about their high achievement and find ways to punish themselves. Gottlieb notes that Teresa's ambitions for her ministry were tremendous. Both he and Kolodiejchuk are fascinated by her statement, "I want to love Jesus as he has never been loved before." Remarks the priest: "That's a kind of daring thing to say." Yet her letters are full of inner conflict about her accomplishments. Rather than simply giving all credit to God, Gottlieb observes, she agonizes incessantly that "any taking credit for her accomplishments — if only internally — is sinful" and hence, perhaps, requires a price to be paid. A mild secular analog, he says, might be an executive who commits a horrific social gaffe at the instant of a crucial promotion. For Teresa, "an occasion for a modicum of joy initiated a significant quantity of misery," and her subsequent successes led her to perpetuate it.

Gottlieb also suggests that starting her ministry "may have marked a turning point in her relationship with Jesus," whose urgent claims she was finally in a position to fulfill. Being the active party, he speculates, might have scared her, and in the end, the only way to accomplish great things might have been in the permanent and less risky role of the spurned yet faithful lover.

The atheist position is simpler. In 1948, Hitchens ventures, Teresa finally woke up, although she could not admit it. He likens her to die-hard Western communists late in the cold war: "There was a huge amount of cognitive dissonance," he says. "They thought, 'Jesus, the Soviet Union is a failure, [but] I'm not supposed to think that. It means my life is meaningless.' They carried on somehow, but the mainspring was gone. And I think once the mainspring is gone, it cannot be repaired." That, he says, was Teresa.

Most religious readers will reject that explanation, along with any that makes her the author of her own misery — or even defines it as true misery. Martin, responding to the torch-song image of Teresa, counterproposes her as the heroically constant spouse. "Let's say you're married and you fall in love and you believe with all your heart that marriage is a sacrament. And your wife, God forbid, gets a stroke and she's comatose. And you will never experience her love again. It's like loving and caring for a person for 50 years and once in a while you complain to your spiritual director, but you know on the deepest level that she loves you even though she's silent and that what you're doing makes sense. Mother Teresa knew that what she was doing made sense."

Integration

I can't express in words — the gratitude I owe you for your kindness to me — for the first time in ... years — I have come to love the darkness — for I believe now that it is part of a very, very small part of Jesus' darkness & pain on earth. You have taught me to accept it [as] a 'spiritual side of your work' as you wrote — Today really I felt a deep joy — that Jesus can't go anymore through the agony — but that He wants to go through it in me.

— to Neuner, Circa 1961

There are two responses to trauma: to hold onto it in all its vividness and remain its captive, or without necessarily "conquering" it, to gradually integrate it into the day-by-day. After more than a decade of open-wound agony, Teresa seems to have begun regaining her spiritual equilibrium with the help of a particularly perceptive adviser. The Rev. Joseph Neuner, whom she met in the late 1950s and confided in somewhat later, was already a well-known theologian, and when she turned to him with her "darkness," he seems to have told her the three things she needed to hear: that there was no human remedy for it (that is, she should not feel responsible for affecting it); that feeling Jesus is not the only proof of his being there, and her very craving for God was a "sure sign" of his "hidden presence" in her life; and that the absence was in fact part of the "spiritual side" of her work for Jesus.

This counsel clearly granted Teresa a tremendous sense of release. For all that she had expected and even craved to share in Christ's Passion, she had not anticipated that she might recapitulate the particular moment on the Cross when he asks, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" The idea that rather than a nihilistic vacuum, his felt absence might be the ordeal she had prayed for, that her perseverance in its face might echo his faith unto death on the Cross, that it might indeed be a grace, enhancing the efficacy of her calling, made sense of her pain. Neuner would later write, "It was the redeeming experience of her life when she realized that the night of her heart was the special share she had in Jesus' passion." And she thanked Neuner profusely: "I can't express in words — the gratitude I owe you for your kindness to me — for the first time in ... years — I have come to love the darkness. "

Not that it didn't continue to torment her. Years later, describing the joy in Jesus experienced by some of her nuns, she observed dryly to Neuner, "I just have the joy of having nothing — not even the reality of the Presence of God [in the Eucharist]." She described her soul as like an "ice block." Yet she recognized Neuner's key distinction, writing, "I accept not in my feelings — but with my will, the Will of God — I accept His will." Although she still occasionally worried that she might "turn a Judas to Jesus in this painful darkness," with the passage of years the absence morphed from a potential wrecking ball into a kind of ragged cornerstone. Says Gottlieb, the psychoanalyst: "What is remarkable is that she integrated it in a way that enabled her to make it the organizing center of her personality, the beacon for her ongoing spiritual life." Certainly, she understood it as essential enough to project it into her afterlife. "If I ever become a Saint — I will surely be one of 'darkness.' I will continually be absent from Heaven — to [light] the light of those in darkness on earth," she wrote in 1962. Theologically, this is a bit odd since most orthodox Christianity defines heaven as God's eternal presence and doesn't really provide for regular no-shows at the heavenly feast. But it is, Kolodiejchuk suggests, her most moving statement, since the sacrifice involved is infinite. "When she wrote, 'I am willing to suffer ... for all eternity, if this [is] possible,'" he says, "I said, Wow."

He contends that the letters reveal her as holier than anyone knew. However formidable her efforts on Christ's behalf, it is even more astounding to realize that she achieved them when he was not available to her — a bit like a person who believes she can't walk winning the Olympic 100 meters. Kolodiejchuk goes even further. Catholic theologians recognize two types of "dark night": the first is purgative, cleansing the contemplative for a "final union" with Christ; the second is "reparative," and continues after such a union, so that he or she may participate in a state of purity even closer to that of Jesus and Mary, who suffered for human salvation despite being without sin. By the end, writes Kolodiejchuk, "by all indications this was the case with Mother Teresa." That puts her in rarefied company.

A New Ministry

If this brings You glory — if souls are brought to you — with joy I accept all to the end of my life.

— to Jesus, undated

But for most people, Teresa's ranking among Catholic saints may be less important than a more general implication of Come Be My Light: that if she could carry on for a half-century without God in her head or heart, then perhaps people not quite as saintly can cope with less extreme versions of the same problem. One powerful instance of this may have occurred very early on. In 1968, British writer-turned-filmmaker Malcolm Muggeridge visited Teresa. Muggeridge had been an outspoken agnostic, but by the time he arrived with a film crew in Calcutta he was in full spiritual-search mode. Beyond impressing him with her work and her holiness, she wrote a letter to him in 1970 that addressed his doubts full-bore. "Your longing for God is so deep and yet He keeps Himself away from you," she wrote. "He must be forcing Himself to do so — because he loves you so much — the personal love Christ has for you is infinite — The Small difficulty you have re His Church is finite — Overcome the finite with the infinite." Muggeridge apparently did. He became an outspoken Christian apologist and converted to Catholicism in 1982. His 1969 film, Something Beautiful for God, supported by a 1971 book of the same title, made Teresa an international sensation.

At the time, Muggeridge was something of a unique case. A child of privilege who became a minor celebrity, he was hardly Teresa's target audience. Now, with the publication of Come Be My Light, we can all play Muggeridge. Kolodiejchuk thinks the book may act as an antidote to a cultural problem. "The tendency in our spiritual life but also in our more general attitude toward love is that our feelings are all that is going on," he says. "And so to us the totality of love is what we feel. But to really love someone requires commitment, fidelity and vulnerability. Mother Teresa wasn't 'feeling' Christ's love, and she could have shut down. But she was up at 4:30 every morning for Jesus, and still writing to him, 'Your happiness is all I want.' That's a powerful example even if you are not talking in exclusively religious terms."

America's Martin wants to talk precisely in religious terms. "Everything she's experiencing," he says, "is what average believers experience in their spiritual lives writ large. I have known scores of people who have felt abandoned by God and had doubts about God's existence. And this book expresses that in such a stunning way but shows her full of complete trust at the same time." He takes a breath. "Who would have thought that the person who was considered the most faithful woman in the world struggled like that with her faith?" he asks. "And who would have thought that the one thought to be the most ardent of believers could be a saint to the skeptics?" Martin has long used Teresa as an example to parishioners of self-emptying love. Now, he says, he will use her extraordinary faith in the face of overwhelming silence to illustrate how doubt is a natural part of everyone's life, be it an average believer's or a world-famous saint's.

Into the Light of Day

Please destroy any letters or anything I have written.

— to Picachy, April 1959

Consistent with her ongoing fight against pride, Teresa's rationale for suppressing her personal correspondence was "I want the work to remain only His." If the letters became public, she explained to Picachy, "people will think more of me — less of Jesus."

The particularly holy are no less prone than the rest of us to misjudge the workings of history — or, if you will, of God's providence. Teresa considered the perceived absence of God in her life as her most shameful secret but eventually learned that it could be seen as a gift abetting her calling. If her worries about publicizing it also turn out to be misplaced — if a book of hasty, troubled notes turns out to ease the spiritual road of thousands of fellow believers, there would be no shame in having been wrong — but happily, even wonderfully wrong — twice.

Find this article at:
http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1655415,00.html

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Know Your Star

.:SCORPIO:. The sex addict
Can be mean. EXTREMELY sexy. Intelligent. Energetic. Predict future. Most erotic. (Freak in bed.)

(GREAT kisser.) Always get what they want. Sexy. Attractive. Easy going. Loves being in long relationships. Talkative. The sexiest ever....Romantic. Caring.
4 years of bad luck if you do not forward.

.:LIBRA:. The lame lover

Very pretty. Very romantic. Nice to everyone They meet. Their Love is one of a kind. Silly, fun and sweet.

Have own unique sexiness. Most caring person you will ever meet! Amazing n Bed..!!! Did I say Amazing in Bed?Not the kind of person you wanna #### with... u might end up crying.... the most irresistible.
9 years of bad luck if you do not forward.


.:ARIES:. The Liar

Outgoing. Lovable. Spontaneous. Not one to #### with. Erotic. Funny. Take you on trips to the moon in bed. Excellent kisser EXTREMELY sexy. Loves being in long relationships.=) Addictive. Loud. best in bed.

16 years of bad luck if you do not forward.


.:AQUARIUS:. Does it in the water

Trustworthy. Sexy. Great kisser. One of a kind. Loves being in long-term relationships. Extremely energetic. Unpredictable. Will exceed your expectations. Not a Fighter, But will Knock your lights out.

Amazing in bed, THE BEST LOVERS BETTER THAN EVERYONE!
2 years of bad luck if you do not forward.


.:GEMINI:. Does Twosomes

Nice. Love is one of a kind. Great listeners Very Good in bed.

Lover not a fighter, but will still knock you the #### out. Trustworthy. Always happy. Loud.
Talkative. Outgoing VERY FORGIVING. Loves to make out. Has a beautiful smile.. Generous. Strong. ULTRA SEXY. THE MOST IRRESISTABLE.
9 years of bad luck if you do not forward.


.:LEO:. The Lion in bed

Great talker. Sexy and passionate. Laid back. Knows how to have fun. Is really good at. Great kisser. Unpredictable. Outgoing. Down to earth. Addictive. Attractive. Loud. Loves being in long relationships.

Talkative. Not one to mess with. Rare to find. Good when found.
7 years of bad luck if you do not forward.


.:CANCER:. The Cutie

MOST AMAZING KISSER. Very high ### appeal. Great in bed!!! Love is one of a kind. Very romantic.

Most caring person you will ever meet! Entirely creative. Extremely random and proud of it. Freak in bed. Spontaneous. Great tellin stories. Not a Fighter, But will Knock your lights out if it comes down to it.
Someone you should hold on to.
12 years of bad luck if you do not forward.


.:PISCES:. The Piece of ass

Caring and kind. Smart. Center of attention. Very high ### appeal. Has the last word.

The best to find, hardest to keep. Fun to be around. Freak in the sheets. Extremely weird but in a good way. Good Sense of Humor!!! Thoughtful. A partner for life. Always gets what he or she wants. Loves to sleep. Very popular. Silly, fun and sweet.
5 years of bad luck if you do not forward.


.:CAPRICORN:. The passionate Lover

Love to bust. Nice. Sassy. Intelligent. Sexy. Predict future. Irrestible, awesome kisser.

Loves being in long relationships. Great talker. Always gets what he or she wants. BY FAR the BEST in BED.
Very sexy. Coolest. Loves to own Gemini's in sports. Extremely fun. Loves to joke. Loves to be your first.
So you'll never forget. Smart.
24 years of bad luck if you do not forward.


.:TAURUS:. The Tramp

Aggressive. Freak in bed. Rare to find! Loves being in long relationships.=]

Likes to give a good fight for what they want. Extremely outgoing. Sexy as ........
Loves to help people in times of need. Outstanding kisser. Very funny. Awesome personality. Stubborn.
Sexual as ......... Most caring person you will ever meet! One of a kind. Not one to #### with.
Are the most sexiest people on earth!
15 years of bad luck if you do not forward.


.:SAGITTARIUS:. The Sexy one

Spontaneous. Horny. Freak in Bed. High appeal. Rare to find. Great when found. Loves being in long relationships. The one. So much love to give. Not one to mess with. Very pretty. Very romantic.

Nice to everyone they meet. Their Love is one of a kind. Silly, fun and sweet. Have own unique sexiness.
Most caring person you will ever meet! Amazing in Bed..!!! Did I say Amazing in Bed?
Not the kind of person you wanna with you might end up crying.
4 years of bad luck if you do not forward.

.:VIRGO:. The Virgin

Dominant in relationships . Sexy. someone loves them right now. Freak in bed. Always wants the last word. Caring. Smart. Intellectual. Attractive. Loud. Loyal. Easy to talk to. Hard to forget Love at first sight.

Everything you ever wanted. Easy to please. The one and only. Ultimate sexiness..
7 years of bad luck if you do not forward.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Boy with 3 Legs!

ECGMA says: Thanks to Judy Song for sharing these pics with me.
Click on images to enlarge for viewing





Monday, August 13, 2007

Being Arrested English Translation

kawanku (quality english translation / sub) by namewee

The Philosophy of William James


William James

1842-1910

(January 11, 1842 – August 26, 1910) was a pioneering American psychologist and philosopher


I. Introduction

In a paper on "How To Make Your Ideas Clear," contributed to the Popular Science Monthly in 1878, Charles Sanders Pierce first used the word "pragmatism" to designate a principle put forward by him as a rule for guiding the scientist and the mathematician. The principle is that the meaning of any conception in the mind is the practical effect it will have in action. The rule remained unnoticed for twenty years, until it was taken up by Professor William James in the address he delivered at the University of California in 1898.

II. Life and Works

William James, psychologist and philosopher, was born in New York in 1842 and died in 1910. He was the son of philosopher Henry James, Sr., and brother of novelist Henry James. He studied medicine at Harvard University, and went to Germany to complete his studies in psychology in 1867. After his return to America, he taught at Harvard, and later, for short periods, at Columbia University and at Stanford.

James was the founder of the movement of thought called Pragmatism, which not only spread throughout America, but also over Europe as the fashionable philosophy for more than twenty years. At Harvard, he had been a member of "The Metaphysical Club," an informal group that met to discuss philosophy and included Charles Sanders Peirce, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., and Chauncey Wright, all of whom were to become well known in the pragmatist movement.

James is generally considered not only the most influential of all American philosophers but the very representative of American thought. However, the results of his thinking are by no means confined to his native country, and his background is anything but exclusively American. Very few American families maintained such intimate contact with Europe as did Henry James, Sr., a theologian and philosophical writer, and a great amateur of wide culture, and his sons William and Henry, the great novelist, who, on his part, was more at home in France and England than in the land of his birth.

After receiving his medical degree, James suffered a period of illness, but in 1873 he was able to accept an appointment as instructor in anatomy and physiology at Harvard. Two years later he began teaching psychology, and in 1879, philosophy. James remained at Harvard, with only a few interruptions in his academic career, until his resignation in 1907. The works of Herbert Spencer and John Stuart Mill were important influences in James's early thinking; Henri Bergson was important both personally and philosophically in his later years, as was John Dewey, who carried on the leadership of the pragmatist movement after James's death.

In his youth, William James desired to become known as a painter. But, while living with art, he learned that he could live without art, and turned to medicine and the natural sciences. However, his early study of painting was no labor lost. On the contrary, James derived from it his pictorial manner of philosophizing, which does not involve picturesqueness of style but rather his talents for conveying the present aspect of a situation, for finding immediate joy in the variety of appearances from which he proceeded to enjoy the various psychic experiences, while being capable of describing them in scientific terms, coined afresh, without much regard to traditional terminology.

Such blending of scientific sagacity with artistic sensibility, such psychological perspicacity, enriched and refined by his previous study of art, and disciplined by scientific training, are characteristics of James's brilliant lectures and writing, and the cause of his great success. His gifts became known to the public in 1890 when his Principles of Psychology appeared, marking a new period in this special branch of science and foreshadowing his turn to philosophy.

It was the latent artist in James that made his treatment of moral, epistemological, and metaphysical problems a revolt of the spirit of immediate concrete experience against the intellectualistic idealism. James's radical empiricism maintains the plurality of the real units of which, according to him, experience consists, against any harmonizing or simplifying monism. Pragmatism, as James defines his empiricism, has become of immense consequence in modern thinking.

His principal philosophical works are: Principles of Psychology; The Will to Believe; The Varieties of Religious Experience; and Pragmatism.

III. The Pragmatic Method

In his famous work The Principles of Psychology (1890), James developed the view, in opposition to the more traditional associationism, that consciousness functions in an active, purposeful way to relate and organize thoughts, giving them a streamlike continuity. In the history of psychology, James's theory of mind is called functionalism. James had established an international reputation in psychology before his main focus turned to philosophy, and many of his philosophical views have their roots in his psychological studies.

James starts from a Positivist viewpoint, that is, from experience, which for him is established by psychological facts. The psychological facts make their appearance as an undifferentiated stream. In this psychic stream the mind makes a distinction between subject and object, sensations and concepts. Concepts arise out of the necessity of organizing the confused facts of experience. Hence their value is not absolute but relative to their utility in practice, i.e., relative to their practical consequences (Pragmatism).

"The pragmatic method," says James, "tries to interpret each notion (concept) by tracing its respective practical consequences." The value of concepts whose practical consequences have not yet been experienced scientifically, depends upon the will. Thus between two hypotheses, neither of which can be tested scientifically, the choice is made by the will on the basis of utility.

For example, the question of the existence of God is reduced to the following: "What would be the practical consequences if we believed that matter produces all things, or if we believed that God exists and that the world is the work of His providence?" In the first hypothesis, James observes, the world would appear deeply enshrouded in the coldness of death; in the second hypothesis the world appears solid, warm,, full of real meaning. Thus our choice must be made in favor of the second hypothesis.

James considered pragmatism to be both a method for analyzing philosophic problems and a theory of truth. He also saw it as an extension of the empiricist attitude in that it turned away from abstract theory and fixed or absolute principles and toward concrete facts, actions, and relative principles. James considered philosophies to be expressions of personal temperament and developed a correlation between "tough-minded" and "tender-minded" temperaments and empiricist and rationalist positions in philosophy. Theories, he felt, are "instruments" that humans use to solve problems and should be judged in terms of their "cash value" or practical consequences for human conduct.

He developed the notion of truth as a "leading" that is useful: it can change as human experience changes. The morality, as well as the truth, of an idea or action should be judged, according to James, in a similar way -- in terms of its outcome in human experience. In The Will to Believe (1897) and The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902), James examined the problem of belief in cases in which no immediate evidence exists on which to base one's belief. He concluded that in the area of religious commitment, belief can create its own truth through the effects created in the experience of the believer by his "willing nature." Belief in God is thus pragmatically justified if it makes a positive difference in the experience of the believer.

IV. The Negation of Philosophy

In A Pluralistic Universe (1909) and Essays in Radical Empiricism (1912), James developed his metaphysical position: there is no fixed external world to be discovered by one's mind but instead a "humming-buzzing confusion" that one organizes through experience. The universe, as well as one's knowledge of it, is continuously evolving. Never complete, it cannot be reduced to a single underlying substance.

Neither materialistic nor spiritualistic monism satisfied William James. The individual is a mere puppet in the hands of absolute substance, be it universal matter or universal mind. The test of a theory, belief, doctrine, must be its effect upon us, its practical consequences -- the pragmatic test: whatever works is true. The possession of truth is not an in itself but a preliminary means to vital satisfaction. Knowledge is an instrument for the sake of life, existing as practical utility. True ideas are those we can assimilate, validate, corroborate, and verify. Truth is, therefore, useful because it is true, it is true because it is useful.

James's empiricism opposes classical rationalism and traditional empiricism. He denies that whatever is rational is real. To reach reality we must take experience as it exists before it has been manipulated by conceptual thinking. Reality is the flux of our sensations coming from what we know not. It is the totality of consciousness, experience permeated with thought. Reality is ever in the making, growing where thinking beings are at work.

James's radical empiricism makes for pluralism, multiplicity, diversity, opposition either in quantity or quality. Pluralism satisfies man's moral nature, recognizes individual perceptions. It is melioristic; if each man will do his best, the universe cannot fail. In such a world man is free to seek his ideal.

CRITICAL NOTE: The only metaphysics consistent with James's theory of knowledge has to be based on a selection from among a multitude of opinions. This eclectic approach is clearly the negation of philosophy, for it does not lead to any absolute or to any certitude. James sought to avoid this difficulty and to reach the absolute and God by having recourse to the unconscious mind.

V. Consciousness and the Subconscious

James's psychology gives foundation to his empiricism. Consciousness is active and a unity. It is selective and teleological. It carves out man's world. The will, by making a strong idea focal to the exclusion of others, fills the mind and prepares for action. The intellect isolates and integrates "things," imputes reality to them, through the emotional and active life, and conceives them pragmatically. The unity of consciousness is thorough connectedness, a flowing stream, "substantive" parts shading into one another through the "transitive" parts, surrounded by a "fringe" or "feeling of tendency."

He acknowledges a stream of experiences but not a stream of conscious experiences. Therewith he denies that in knowledge the relation between the knowing subject and the object to be known is fundamental, which almost all modern philosophers had taken for granted. This denial has induced many contemporary philosophers, though opposed to James's views, to reconsider the bases and starting points of their own thoughts.

James discovered besides, around and beneath the conscious mind, a darkened psychical zone, the zone of the subconscious, in which -- he believed -- the highest spiritual values, such as genius, sanctity and so forth, were formed, and contact was established with the absolute.

CRITICAL NOTES: James's discovery of the subconscious mind was surely a great contribution to psychology and won for James world-wide fame. But we cannot accept James's doctrine that the highest spiritual values originate in the subconscious mind, for the subconscious mind is irrational and therefore the highest spiritual values would be founded on irrationality -- a supposition which is absurd. James may justify in this way his stand as a liberal Protestant; he may be quoted as a father of Modernism; but no one can deny that his religious position is in complete opposition to the basic statement of his pragmatism -- for it does not lead to any solution, to any practical certitude, to any justification of the universe.

If the only road leading to the supreme spiritual reality is to be found in the analysis of psychological emotions, of religious sentiment, objective Christian dogma disappears. It is modified and replaced by the subjective exigencies of each individual, and thus every believer creates his own religion, his own truth. This, of course, is the central position of Modernism. The logical consequence is that even the nature of God will be understood differently according to various religious emotions. In fact the sincere religious tendency of James himself stumbles along and falls into a pluralistic conception of Divinity. God is finite, He exists in time -- a being among many beings, and like us, a creator of His own story.

How can any satisfaction be found in such a religion? Even from the viewpoint of Pragmatism, it cannot work, for in it none of the fundamental aspirations of mankind are fulfilled. There is no certitude, no hope, no absolute. How can such a limited God guarantee the order of the physical and of the human world? What is left of the world of spirits?

Religious Pragmatism is merely a shortsighted, emotional and irrational attempt to replace dogmatic, absolute and universal truth with the personal fancies of the man in the street. It is morally disastrous, for if truth depends upon subjective feeling, any action can be justified by virtue of the satisfaction it procures. Such a philosophy makes man his own judge and leads to total moral anarchy.


A most peculiar language

The STAR - Lifesyle

OVER A CUPPA WITH HOO BAN KHEE

ENGLISH is the most global language of all; it is used not only by the people of the former British Empire, but also by international organisations.

It is not the easiest language to master. Its spelling system is sometimes idiotic and its pronunciation, illogical. But, admittedly, it is one of the most well-developed languages in the world. Because it is so widespread, the language tends to take on a life of its own, with peculiar variations, once it has taken root in a particular nation or region that is not its country of origin.

Of course, the standard for good English is still BBC English, but that is rarely spoken today, even in London, except among upper-class people.

Elsewhere, native English rules. There is American English, which is slightly different from Australian English which, in turn, is quite different from Indian English. And none of them resembles BBC English or the Queen's English. But the variations can be charming, even endearing, to those who speak and understand the lingo in question.

Malaysia, too, has her own variation, which we all know as Manglish. To master Manglish, you have to speak like a rapidly-firing rifle and spice up your sentences with lahs, mehs and lohs.

Not all English-speaking people can understand our brand of English. But give them time and they might just be charmed by it.

In Singapore, Singlish – as spoken by Phua Chu Kang – prevails despite Lee Kuan Yew's tremendous efforts to promote standard English.

The Japanese, Koreans, Taiwanese and mainland Chinese tend to imitate American English, which does not go down well with South-East Asians, who speak mostly with a British accent. The feeling is mutual. While they find our English awkward, we find theirs jarring to the ear.

Frankly, Manglish is unique. Some of the common expressions we use daily are baffling to those not quite used to our style. There are instances when we are guilty of "murdering" or abusing the English language because we fail to grasp the correct meaning of certain words.

I remember a brief conversation with an old Englishwoman while I was waiting for a bus, during my short stint in London years ago. She asked me where I was going. I told her I was going "marketing" and showed her the shopping basket I was carrying.

"Oh, you mean you are going shopping," she corrected me politely. Marketing, she added, would mean promoting and selling goods in the market.

I thanked her but deep down in my heart, I said to myself: "Hey, back home, we all go marketing every day. Anything wrong, meh?"

My other linguistic encounter was in the Lake District, England, where I once took my family for a holiday. There are beautiful lakes and picturesque hills, with quaint little hamlets and charming farmhouses, some of which have been turned into B&B-style accommodation for tourists.

We went up the meandering mountain road to soak in the panoramic views and inhale the crisp mountain air.

Later, we met a group of elderly tourists, with whom we engaged in small talk. I expressed how much we had enjoyed the refreshing view. "We even went mountain climbing!" I said excitedly.

"Oh, that's mountain-walking. You don't do mountain-climbing here," one of them said pleasantly. I was rather baffled.

I later learned the difference between mountain-climbing and mountain-walking.

Malaysians are in the habit of ending a sentence with lah, mah, man, one and loh. These are local expressions assimilated into English, which give it a local flavour. The use of the words is so ingrained in us that even when we are on business trips overseas, we spill the words out spontaneously. We presume that everybody will understand what we are saying.

Not quite. Try it and if you find your listeners knitting their brows in intense concentration, trying to understand what you are trying to say, it's time to step on the brakes.

First, slow down. Most of us speak too fast and pay little attention to pronunciation. Second, try to economise on the use of typical Malaysian words such as lah, loh and meh for the sake of the untrained ear.

However, when you are in a foreign land and feel a little homesick, it is exciting to hear Manglish. It evokes a feeling of brotherhood. You want to get closer to the people speaking it and find out more about them. Are they students, tourists or Malaysian expatriates? Hey, what are you doing here? Where is your kampung, man?

Languages evolve. We don't write and speak the way we used to decades ago.

Along the way, we have dropped many words which we found to be unfashionable or incongruous to our present-day lifestyle. And we have coined or borrowed words that are more in tune with the times.

The language used for smses is an excellent example of this even though purists must be hopping mad with the way we corrupt the language. But then languages are living entities; they grow. We adapt and borrow words from other languages. New words are coined every day while old ones, which do not fit in, just die a natural death.

So there's nothing wrong with our lah, loh and meh. We are just being creative. We are waiting for the day when such words are included in the Oxford Dictionary, alongside words like "amok" and "kowtow".

Only then can we say that English is a truly global language.