Tag Archives: Religion

From the therapy session: Nr 1


This world is full of people who dedicate their lives to helping others. It is admirable, and even more so when they share their stories with us. We need the seeds of hope to grow, and inspirational posts like these is the water that let us reach the sun.


About the Author

My name is Eli and I’m a license social worker in clinical practice at a OMH facility in NY. I graduated with a Masters in Social Work in 2011. And I recently joined a psychoanalytic institute for further education and training.




The voice broke the calm in the waiting-room. Sam looked up at the woman who had spoken. Her hair was long and blond and she wore a purple business suit with heels. Standing up, he met her at the doorway. She smiled as she stretched out her hand for him to shake and said, “My name’s Nicole and I’m going to be your therapist”. Sam shook her hand and smiled nervously.

Following her down the hall, he entered her office. Inside were two comfy pink chairs. A sign on the wall promoted relaxation and a round coffee table sat in the corner.

“Pick one” Nicole said still smiling, this time looking a bit nervous herself. Some of Sam’s unease settled at their shared nervousness.

“I’ll take this one” Sam said as he sat down. He held the arms of the chair as he sat down, trying not to fall back into the cushion. He didn’t want to get too comfortable, after all, he didn’t know if he could trust her. It was hard to tell after only three minutes.

“I’ll take the other couch. I don’t like sitting on the office chair. It creates this illusion that I am the expert with all the answers and you’re the patient. In reality all the answers are within you. The only thing I can do is help you explore them.”

He liked this concept and her words made him feel calm. She seemed genuine.
She moved the chair over to Sam’s and leaned back, crossing her legs. “So tell me, what brings you here? Tell me a little about yourself?”

Sam sat silently. He wasn’t sure if this was just an opening remark and then she would bombard him with questions or if she was sincerely interested in his background and difficulties. After a few seconds of silence Sam began, “Okay, it was six years ago when I lost it”. Sam paused. He looked up to see Nicole’s reaction. She was sitting straight with her hands on her knees. She looked sincere and attentive, waiting for Sam to continue. “I thought I was being poisoned” Sam paused again. He needed to see her facial expression. Does she think I’m crazy? Her concern seemed true which pleased Sam.

He took a deep breath and wanted to continue talking but a flash back interrupted his train of thought. He remembered what he felt when he thought everyone was going to annihilate and ostracize him. Forgetting where he was, he began reliving the fear. The old debate returned to his mind. Which was worse, death or being exiled? Moments later he concluded that annihilation would be worse. Living in loneliness is worse than death.

He sat there quietly, caught in his thoughts. Nicole didn’t want to interrupt him. But after five minutes of silence, she gave in. “That must have been so scary.”

Sam whipped his head back to her. He felt like he was suddenly being woken in the middle of a dream. His breath was shallow. Where was he? He felt himself reentering his own body. Taking a deep breath he oriented himself and composed his thoughts “Yeah, it was or is, scary.”
Sighing, he continued. “You see, my parents and wife are very religious.” Scrunching his face together, he could feel the pain behind his words, “and that’s what triggered it. I have been living a faithless life, pretending to be religious. Everything I did was make believe. I felt like I a heretic. Then I felt like I just couldn’t go on the way I was going. The world just felt unreal. I thought is this the only way to live? Was there a way out of the ghetto? Then there were times that I would hope that I could somehow force belief into me and rid myself of this atheistic gene. ”

Sam took a breath and Nicole took the opportunity to reflect. “So it sounds like you didn’t feel authentic. You were just going along with your parent’s dreams trying to fulfill their dreams and trying to forget about your own needs.”

“Yeah. I was so scared to share my feelings with my wife. I feared she would just leave me.”

“So you had nobody to share your true feelings with.”

“Exactly! I had so many existential questions and I felt religion was just stifling me. It was so predictable. But if I would voice my feelings, everybody would think I’d lost it. The questions were pressing me until I couldn’t handle it. I became paranoid and believed I was being poisoned. But really I was being poisoned emotionally.”

Looking at the clock, Nicole stood up, and stretched out her hand. “Our time is up. I think we should begin next week here.”

She shook Sam’s hand good bye, and opened the door to the hallway. “I hope to see you next week on Friday at Ten o’clock.”

“Great. Thanks so much!”

As Sam left, he thought this was the first time he’d honestly voiced his true feelings and they were heard.


The Machine

The Machine

Forget for a moment about consciousness—the conscious and the unconscious. For the moment, it does not apply.






GearsElements of The Machine – Imagine instead a machine, otherwise known as Labor Machine, an Economy. Imagine an assembly line: the parts, every person behind an ergonomically correct desk (ergonomically correct since it is important to keep the machinery operating as long as possible for the most value, the highest appreciation, even as it depreciates from the first day of service. The same way you oil your car, defrag your computer, or upgrade your cellphone). Every product, the papers shuffled and chased, faxed and scanned, keystroke logged and date transmitted across the aether. The fuel, every illusion in the guise of ambition, promotion, education, salary increase and wage increase, health care benefit, and credit of disposable income (and all income is disposable). The cling and clang, every depressed Enter key, every E-mail sent successfully, and every business call. The oil, every complaint lodged around the bottled water vending machine, every gossip, every rumor, and every Facebook status. The gears, every doctor’s office visit, every pill taken as prescribed, every weekend all-nighter, every vacation, every affair, every therapy visit, every porn film viewed in secret, every alcohol binge, every drug abused, every party, every fight over finances, and every spousal argument. Take a step back now and conceive The Machine, look at it moving, it resembles a pogrom, a laboring camp, intent upon operating unto final extermination.

Wicked LondonThe Production of the Machine – There is much this Machine produces and not all of it tangible. One of which is the so-called Underground Economy. How does this work? As drug deals performed with government supplied money, alcohol purchased with currency-exchanged food stamps, paperless jobs with federal money unreported as transacted, shoplifting and reselling outside of store walls, loans with unapproved, non-LIBOR based rates of interest, unacknowledged police forces, undocumented education, unlicensed practices of lawyering, doctoring, and surgery, unmarked graves and unreported deaths, unconsented fornication, crime never called and violations no law has touched or judged imagined, prisons without statistics, and new humans without names or birthdays. . .endless deception. A machine within The Machine; an inception. On certain levels, there are those who never notice or hear about the underground machine, but profit from its existence. Oh, its shallowed ills are certainly spectacularized by media, but even this arm of the pogrom does not have full access. Its vantage point is too contrived. Nevertheless, within the depths, in limbo of the machine only the workers (Worker Bs) know. Only those marked within the walls, incarcerated by its mentality, suffer sheep-like, the effects. Just wandering blank-eyed zombies with scientifically managed jingles on perpetual play in their heads. Does The Machine disgust no one? Does no one spy its black blood?

UntitledAugmented Reality as Deception in The Machine – Let us now return to consciousness. For it is only consciousness that can conceive of the aspects of the unconscionable; therefore, perceive the products of its creatures. But why deception (as mentioned in preceding paragraph)? Augmented reality:  “More Real Than Real Life” [NOTE: this phrase surmises the definition of augmented reality, which enhances reality by modifying the view of real life using computer-generated input]. Think about that statement. If reality were not merely “real” but also ultimately realized, a reciprocal relationship between subject and object becomes clear. A kind of seamlessness of Heisenberg’s Principle, which, I think, is fundamentally the [philosophical] idea that the external world is as much a component of the internal world as the internal world is as much a component of the external, or the symbiotic synthesis of inner space and outer space. Analogous to if the extrinsic and intrinsic were mother and child, or womb and offspring. As such, sharing molecular structure and genes, atoms of womb remain with offspring. Essentially, transcending the barrier (however, the barrier could also be said to be an illusion, that there really isn’t a between at all; this idea will be explored in subsequent posts, but is not altogether necessary or relevant to current post) of form; i.e., skin and skein, thusly applied to the idea of inception, a machine within The Machine. The Machine as womb, and the Underground Machine as offspring. Now, augmented reality supposes supernaturalism over real and realized, the real world. A kind of divinity, a god; i.e., more than itself than image of itself, like reducing the holy trinity to a hyper-coupling. Mathematically, three equals three plus two, or 3=5. In other words, inception of The Machine creates exponentially (much like the Fibonacci sequence relates to exponential grown) other machines. Not necessarily lesser or greater machines as to use smaller, lesser, or similar description would not adequately describe as size does not matter, only that there is reproduction, another level or subsequent dimension, i.e., the analogy of womb and offspring, with “genetic” structure like the mother, yet dissimilar enough to operate independent of the mother. Ergo, any inception of The Machine resembles The Machine (interdependency) yet operates under its own volition (independency). Exponential because The Machines fractalizes which creates an Underground Machine.

How is reality realized? One way is through sensation, the medium of the senses: eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin. Imagining “real life” using this perspective begets a question: what senses, if any, are involved in the realization of Augmented Reality? Augmented Reality by formula conveys by way of transmission through the eyes and ears, subsequently realized in the brain (signal processing). However, Augmented Reality (and essentially the internet and current Digital Era) is actually an illusion. Simply data created about the external world, not information directly processed from or of the external world (the real world, reality). That data, therefore, as sole substance of the extrinsic. Does this not, ergo, effect and affect the intrinsic? Augmented Reality’s apparent boast (“More Real Than Real Life”) does not augment reality, but transforms realization and metamorphoses real life (that is a style of life based on what is realized). Essentially, Augmented Reality would actually purport to possess control over real life. As the senses become obsolete in reality augmented to such an extent, supplanted by steady streams of data. This is the deception.

Mechanical Rose HipThe Ghost from The Machine – The Worker Bs incorporating The Machine constitute a biological organism in the first degree. A biological organism as god, created in god’s (The Machine) image (inception). The manifestation of the trinity (the hyper-coupling mentioned above), more than the realization, quite a difference between manifestation and realization. Augmented Reality as data stream downloaded into the brains (the hive consciousness) of the Worker Bs and the Worker Bs employed, occupied, functioning as an organized body is the manifestation of the trinity; i.e., phasmatis ex apparatus (“ghost from the machine”). Worker Bs (or people, the inhabitants of the Machine as an environment) construct the “consciousness” of the Machine, that consciousness (consciousness in the sense of wisdom of the crowd, or cloud computing) composes the ghost.

Unfortunate EventsThe Machine as a Realized Environment – How does this apply to The Machine? What if The Machine were a realized reality? In other words, not real, only realized? If a biological organism were inhabitant of that machine, in what way does that environment (ex., the operation of The Machine as an environment) affect that organism? Wouldn’t the outcome result in an inception? Quite the inversion of its promises (reality augmented), perhaps a diminished reality (counting as an inception, recall that size or direction does not apply, only that a fractalization results). A dying under the auspices of vitality, a dulling disguised as quickness, a boredom masquerading as invigoration (ex., bureaucracy, employment, and schooling). That is how I see the underground machine, as an inversion. A 90° turn, a twist, a displaced and tangential realm. Clone of the “original” economy (The Machine), only the copy is not quite as astute so degenerates further into depravity (as a whole). The Augmented Reality as perverted, not as superior of nature, but as infranatural or a hyporeality. Not even a parallel universe (the fractalization does not occur linearly) but one tangential; therefore, an electronic homunculus, a monstrosity; albeit, unlike Frankenstein’s for it lacks awareness of its existence.

This originally appeared on my other blog I share with my boyfriend, EXPLORINGtheLATERAL as “Machine: Part One” (I am the original author of the post on that blog).

*Image Credits (all artwork used with permission through CC license)–
“Gears” by tim_d
“Mechanical Rose Hip” by rore
“Steampunk Beholder Miniature robot sculpture – Daniel Proulx – Canada . : Steampunk Exhibition at The Museum of the History of Science, The University of Oxford, U.K.” by Daniel Proulx 
“Wicked London” by Trey Ratcliff
“Untitled” by Jose Maria Perez Nunez
“Unfortunate Events” by ToNToN CoPT



The woman who saved 2500 Jewish children died wishing she`d rescued more


The ‘female Schindler’ who saved 2,500 Jewish children but died wishing she’d rescued more

By RICHARD PENDLEBURY Last updated at 1:21 PM on 22nd May 2008

She smuggled out the children in suitcases, ambulances, coffins, sewer pipes, rucksacks and, on one occasion, even a tool box.

Those old enough to ask knew their saviour only by her codename “Jolanta”.

But she kept hidden a meticulous record of all their real names and new identities  –  created to protect the Jewish youngsters from the pursuing Nazis  –  so they might later be re-united with their families.

 Irena Sendler Her finest hour: Irena Sendler rescued thousands of Jewish children

By any measure, Irena Sendler was one of the most remarkable and noble figures to have emerged from the horrors of World War II. But, until recently, her extraordinary compassion and heroism went largely unrecorded.

When the Germans finally caught her, the Roman Catholic social worker had managed to save 2,500 Jewish babies and toddlers from deportation to the concentration camps.

She had spirited them out of the heavily-guarded Jewish ghetto in Warsaw, and hidden their identities in two glass jars buried under an apple tree in her neighbour’s garden.

She was beaten, tortured and sentenced to death by the Gestapo  –  who even announced her execution. But Irena survived, her spirit unbroken, her secrets untold. 

She died last week, in her modest Warsaw apartment, aged 98. What a woman she was. For once, the term “heroine” is no exaggeration, though such plaudits did not sit easily with her.

She said: “I was brought up to believe that a person must be rescued when drowning, regardless of religion and nationality. 

“The term ‘heroine’ irritates me greatly. The opposite is true. I continue to have pangs of conscience that I did so little.”

Irena always ascribed her desire to do good to the influence of her parents, in particular her father, a Polish physician in a small town near Warsaw.

Most of his patients were poor Jews. He died during a typhus epidemic when Irena was seven.

When the Germans invaded Poland in September 1939, Irena was working as a senior administrator in Warsaw’s social welfare department. She was responsible for food and financial aid to the city’s poor.

Jewish children

Jewish children in 1943 are escorted to the Warsaw Ghetto – Sendler wished she could have saved them all. 

As the Nazis began a crackdown on the Jews, she widened the state assistance to include the racially persecuted, who were given fictitious Christian names to hide their true origins. 

The situation worsened dramatically in the autumn of 1940 when the German authorities created the Warsaw Ghetto. Some 440,000 Jews, more than a third of the city’s population, were herded into a 16-block neighbourhood, around which a wall was built.

It was to be both an open prison and by Richard Pendlebury a convenient means of isolating and holding the Jews before they were sent to their deaths at Treblinka extermination camp.

Liam Neeson as Oskar SchindlerDisease and starvation stalked the streets. Five thousand died there every month. 

In July 1942, the Nazis began Operation Reinhard, which saw 250,000 Jews removed from the ghetto to Treblinka. The Final Solution had begun.

Irena was horrified. She felt she had to help, so she joined Zegota, an underground organisation created by the Polish government-in-exile to help the nation’s Jews.

In late 1942, she was made head of its children’s section. Her extraordinary work was about to begin. In conditions of extreme danger, she would save as many ghetto children from near-certain death as she could.

Hero: Oskar Schindler was made famous

in the film Schinder’s List (Liam Nelson)

Her first problem had been how to reach the ghetto  –  movement both in and out was heavily restricted by the Germans. This obstacle was overcome when she obtained an official pass from the city’s Contagious Diseases Department. 

Under the guise of stopping the ghetto’s epidemics from spreading beyond its walls, she was able to visit daily.

Whenever she was inside, she wore the yellow Star of David  –  mandatory for all Jews  –  to show solidarity with the oppressed and to blend in with the residents.

Of course, she could not act alone: Irena had developed a network of two dozen conspirators. 

Some were tasked to get the children out, others to find homes for them outside the ghetto and a third group to obtain or forge hundreds of false documents for the young escapees.

The way she secretly removed the children from the ghetto was not only ingenious but, in desperate circumstances, often bizarre. A standard trick was to strap a child underneath the stretcher of a patient being placed in an outgoing ambulance.

Others were smuggled through an old courthouse and a church, which stood on the boundary of the ghetto and had doors opening into both sides. Still more were taken through the sewers. Those small enough were sometimes put in suitcases or boxes and wheeled out on porters’ trolleys. Coffins, bodybags and potato sacks all hid boys and girls.

Irena concentrated first on removing orphans. But as the threat of the Final Solution grew, all children in the ghetto were offered sanctuary.

Irena Sendler

Remembered: Irena Sendler’s funeral was packed with mourners

She often said that the hardest part was persuading the parents to let them go, even as they faced almost certain death. “Can you guarantee they will live?” she was asked by more than one agonized mother.

“No, but if they stay here I guarantee that they will die,” was her stock reply. “You shouldn’t trust me. But what else can you do?”

Sometimes, when her powers of persuasion failed, she would go away and return the next day to begin the negotiations again, only to find that the family had been sent to Treblinka overnight.

But thousands were persuaded to make that heart-rending split, and Irena said: “In my dreams I still hear the cries of the children when they left their parents.”

Even though the penalty for harbouring a Jew in Poland was death, Irena claimed: “No one ever refused to take a child from me.”

She kept a careful record of whom she rescued and where they were sent. This coded information was written on tissue paper. Identical lists were hidden in two glass jars, buried under the apple tree opposite a German army barracks.

This was hardly ideal as the jars had to be dug up every time the name of a new escapee was added. But they were never found.

Even so, the Germans became aware of Irena’s activities and, in October 1943, she was arrested by the Gestapo and taken to the notorious Pawiak prison in Warsaw, which the Nazis turned into a concentration camp.

There, her interrogator was a stylish young German who spoke perfect Polish. And when she refused to expose the Zegota underground network, he had her arms and legs broken.

Sentenced to death  –  which by now she told her captors she wished for  –  Irena was taken in a semi- conscious state from the prison to a forest where she expected to be shot by firing squad. Although she was dumped in the forest, the firing squad never materialised. The underground movement had successfully bribed the man tasked with overseeing her execution, and recovered her even as posters were put up around Warsaw proclaiming her death.

Irena spent the rest of the war in hiding. But as soon as it ended, she handed over the tissue lists in the glass jars  –  vital information that could link the lost children to their families  –  to Jewish representatives.

Alas, many of the families had perished in the Holocaust. Other children she had saved chose to stay with their foster parents  –  they could not remember their real parents. Some 500 were taken to Israel to start a new life. The fate of another 500 of the children she saved could not be traced, swallowed by the tides of war which engulfed so many Poles.

And Irena? She married and had two children of her own. But in postwar communist Poland her heroic deeds went unpublished and were even officially frowned upon by the regime, which was not sympathetic towards Jews.

But as the children she rescued grew into adulthood, her achievements began to attract wider attention. In 1983, Irena was decorated in Israel as “Righteous Among the Nations”  –  the highest honour bestowed by the Jewish people on non-Jews. During the ceremony, Teresa Kerner, one of the girls she had saved, now a doctor, recalled how Irena had helped her move several times to safe houses and then given her a home for two years at the end of the war.

Post- communist Poland also finally awarded Irena its highest civilian decoration in 2003. Last year, she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Nevertheless, her profile remained tiny compared with that of Oskar Schindler, the German industrialist who saved far fewer Jews than Irena but was immortalised by an award winning book and film.

Her last years were spent in a wheelchair, thanks to the wounds inflicted on her by the Gestapo.

A few months before she died, she said: “After World War II, it seemed that humanity understood something, and nothing like that would happen again.

“Humanity has understood nothing. Religious, tribal, national wars continue. The world continues to be in a sea of blood.”

But she added: “The world can be better if there’s love, tolerance and humility.”

Irena Sendler had all three in abundance.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1021048/Female-Schindler-Irena-Sendler-saved-2-500-Jewish-children-died-aged-98.html#ixzz2a4IBLlMG
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Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1021048/Female-Schindler-Irena-Sendler-saved-2-500-Jewish-children-died-aged-98.html#ixzz2a4FH9zXN
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