I’ve recently been reading quite a bit on Buddhism and the latest books I’ve been reading include”How to Know yourself as You Really Are” (HH The Dalai Lama) and “Destructive Emotions”, the latter a collaboration with Daniel Goleman of “Emotional Intelligence” and “Social Intelligence” fame.
In combination with Viktor E. Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning”, I internalized something I’ve known only as a theory all along; emotions and our thoughts can really make and break us. I began to personally acknowledge the power of how our beliefs and thoughts affect us even down to our molecular level. Everything I’ve been reading since my encounter with Celestine Prophecy， to What the Bleep Do We Know， to David Bohm’s literature on Quantum Physics， to Buddhism, confirmed my observations that, whether people realize it or not, they live lives that match exactly what they’ve painted in their minds.
So,let’s just assume for a minute that the tons of intellectually valid literature that can be intelligently connected to form a synthesis that points to the fact that our THOUGHTS ALONE can make or kill us, is plausible. You have to, if you are going to follow the rest of what I’m about to discuss. It might forever change the way you play-down the danger your child is in.
When beginning the discussion of Mind over Matter I ambled along before telling the class about a theory by Holocaust survivor, Viktor E. Frankl, known as logotherapy (The Third Vienese school of psychotherapy, the first and second being Freud and Adler, respectively). Logotherapy, a form of existential analysis, has in its basis the belief that all humans have an existential urge to strive for meaning and it is this perspective, he believes, that makes the difference between those who would survive the concentration camps, and those who perished in pitiful conditions.
A very high-achieving and spiritually sensitive student eagerly chipped in another story about Hitler’s experiments. She related a story she’d read about how Hitler would put prisoners under prolonged psychological duress before blindfolding them and giving them the impression that he had slit their wrists, making them believe, that the sound of a dripping faucet was actually the sound of their blood dripping to the floor, and within the hour, they would bleed slowly but surely to death. By the time they hear a particular cue, they would definitely die.
I then asked the students if they still believed that psychological stress and trauma on a prolonged basis is benign. I asked them if they’d ever felt positive correlations between their mind and their body and gave them time to reflect. Once they seemed to have understood the concept, we brought out an article in the previous day’s paper, about the 9-year old boy who died after being hit on the hands.
Knowing and experiencing vicariously the state of daily stress and pscyhological trauma Chinese-school students undergo, I am convinced that the boy had been suffering from prolonged psychological stress. Anyone who understands the true nature of a Child and the satanic practices in Chinese schools can fully understand how the death happened. Thinking back to how powerful THOUGHT and beliefs can be (anyone watched fire-walking, kavadi or read about how early Christians would rather endure torture than renounce their faith?), – Thinking back, can you put yourself in the shoes of this 9-year old boy?
I am done with mincing words when it comes to Chinese schools. Even if you can put forward to me an illustrious, flower-powered, world-class exposition of the virtues of one single Chinese school, it cannot excuse the thousands of others who have to go through man-made living hells. I have never heard of former missionary school students or international/private school students whose deaths correlate directly to the violence and punitive measures of their parents and teachers. This is a situation unique to Chinese and perhaps, Tamil schools. Let’s just call a spade, a spade. A majority of public schools, in particular, Chinese national schools, would be condemned under the Geneva convention if the truth of daily mental and physical torture be made known.
The death of this child came only days after another school shooting incident in some European country. I was having lunch with my daughter and she pointed the report out to me. I remembered saying, “Wow, I thought it was much harder to get guns in Europe”, to which my daughter replied, “How about Malaysia? Can students get guns?”, I said owning a weapon illegally gets one the capital punishment. She paused and then said rather nonchalantly, “Oh, no wonder children kill themselves here in Malaysia.” And with that she just flipped to the next page. It made me realize, that there are certain things that only children can have the clarity to identify, to cut through all the veils and bullshit we adults would like to hide behind for the benefit of policical politeness.
If you believe, as I do, in the power of Thoughts, Faith and Beliefs, then put yourselves in the shoes of this 9-year old boy……
You are possibly a gifted child, perhaps, gifted in the sense that you have a deep sense of justice and how the world should be, gifted in the sense that you are sensitive to destructive emotions around you. Perhaps you are one of those children God has awakened your purpose and sense of justice early in life, perhaps you are one of those children God is awakening en masse in times like this, to help bring peace and order, to pave the way for the Next Coming.
However, you were given the trials and tribulations of being born into a working-class family, to a mother that underwent unnecessary psychological and emotional stress in carrying you and then raising you, all in all, a culmination of 10 years, in a climate that is damaging to a human child. And she did that unknowingly because she has conformed to unexamined thoughts about life, achievements, self-worth and purpose. Perhaps you might have had an absentee father. Your mother and father, being unfulfilled in their lives, try to live their hopes through you, because they see you as little more than an object that they will manipulate and hide their own insecurities and failures behind.
Perhaps, day in and day out, from the age of an infant, your Child Nature has been brought into so much great conflict and your developing brain storing pain, abuse and destructive emotions, filling up the vast majority of your developing intellectual and emotional unconscious. Little was anyone around you aware, least of all your stupid teacher, that the growing organism has a way of killing itself off if it perceives the environment around it to be too hostile towards the growth of a productive and fruitful specimen.
And that was the environment you grew up in. Your parents probably were not aware that intelligence is mostly hereditary and pushed you away from and beyond your natural capacities while simultaneoulsy harming your emotional health by abusing you with words or by witholding genuine, warm, love and affection. Your parents probably have zero idea that children are not machines or animals you drill, command and withold mercy and compassion from. Your parents probably have absolutely no idea how to identify and nurture your intelligence let alone self-esteem and even less clue about what constitutes destructive and unhelpful behaviour and what it does to your developing psyche as you go through the stages of sensitivity.
You then get forced into an institution called schooling, a place where you placed such high hopes to deliver you from the sense of uselessness you felt at home. But school, with its regiments and unsympathetic treatment towards children, compounded the situation. You had illussions that school was a haven, a place which would nurture the best in you and help you discover what you’re good at, what you’re worth, how to fulfill your purpose in life. But instead, it was revealed against your own logic, that the majority of people who work in schools do not have business being there in the first place. These people you put your faith of deliverance into hide behind a pretence of labels and more labels. Oh, if only the world knew that selecting teachers was as complicated as picking straws！
Oh, Child, we could not blame you that you lost perspective. To adults who study this as a profession, this profound sense of hopelessness, this loss of perspective, is always a harbinger of the beginning of the end. Most of us only reach a level of disillussionment with the schooling system and the unthoughtful adults in our life; but perhaps we were luckier by a hair’s breadth, to have met one teacher, one adult, one relative, one shopkeeper, one online buddy, one book, that made the difference; the one silver thread against the darkness around us. And that was all it really took to hold us back from imploding into ourselves, oh so precariously, towards the point of no return.
Child, the teacher who was unsympathetic, who lacked love, who uses violence as an excuse for ‘caring about the children’, deserves to undergo a deep and meaningful breakdown, a spiritual crisis, for not being human enough to identify the long-present duress you were suffering. Let me tell you, even if this is too late, that ‘homework’ is that excuse given by teachers to provide busy-work, you know, work to keep you busy and to impress other people, when in fact, they are completely ignorant of proper methods of teaching and learning.
Child, I am sorry I couldn’t be in all places at once, like a spiritual deity who would have a silver chariot or albatross wings, a spirit who will go, ethereally, to every child beckoning for one last hope, one way of validating the pain they are enduring living in a world of broken, damaged adults.
Your death is homicide on our hands, because we as a society have created the conditions that condoned the behaviour of your parents, your neighbours, relatives and teachers. We as a society, have not reached the necessary 1% to become a microtrend, a group with enough momentum to shake the wrongful, destructive beliefs of the people your life was made up of. We, as a society, did not mitigate the severity of how factions within factions have splintered our identities and magnified our insecurities as minorities.
You have not been the first nor will you be the last to sacrifice yourself, oh Child, oh Lamb. The pain that the world acknowledges will in time turn inside of them, touch them so much, so personally, that they will come together as a collective to stop and punish the sheperds who have led so many astray. So the price we pay for our own Ignorance, Passivity and political correctness, is the blood of Innocents and that is the dearest price humans can pay.
I’m not advocating a wishful thinking for the immediate and direct closure of all jenis kebangsaan schools under our new PM. In my moments of madness, I promise you Ihave wished for that. The reason I don’t advocate that is the same reason why Batman won’t kill The Joker, because desiring that would make me as ignorant and violent as they are. The schools are the tentacles, we must go for the Heart, the Root of everything.
I am, generally speaking, a person who makes a living from standing in front of people appearing confident, calm,collected and selling ideas and information that will empower them, convincingly enough for them to buy it. And yet here I am, in a cybercafe, choking back tears because THIS is another child’s death I could not prevent. THIS is another death, another damaged child that was surrendered directly into the mouth of the Beast. You may think I am exaggerating but I am not. The schooling system is full of people who do not have the first idea about education and nurturing the well-being, emotional, physical, psychological, spiritual and emotional health of your child. And every day you lose not learning how to identify what teaching and learning is, is surrendering the right of your child to the hands of incompetent or uncaring (or both) public servants. Look at the term, seriously – servants. How empowered are servants?
It is time people stop deluding themselves that teachers are ‘trained’. Dogs can be trained, cats can be trained, even tigers can be trained to put on a show in a circus. But the idea of TRAINING TEACHERS is ridiculous. Teaching is not a matter of training, for God’s sakes, we are not animals, not even if you’re one of those who liberally interprets Darwin’s theory. Teaching is a thing that only those who have been called to it strongly, who are spiritually and emotionally strong, who are intellectually gifted and psychologically aware can internalise the significance of and bring the souls of little children into fruition as effective, balanced, intelligent adults. And the root of all of that is one very simple thing; Love. Love is so simple and uncomplicated that it does not need fancy labels to describe it or complexed theories to analyse and define it. Love is just Love. You just know it because it just IS. Love is not to be confused with inner-Violence, Ambition, Conflict. Every parent knows there are times there is Love, and there are times other things that are disguising themselves as excuses for Love, surface. If it is hard for a parent to recognize this between them and their children, imagine the chances of a non-parent, a public servant, in a class of other people’s children. I am not saying it’s impossible, just asking you to imagine the chances.
Teaching is not a matter of training, it is a matter of INTERNALIZING. Teaching IS A SPIRITUAL DUTY, and the creative processes and expressions a teacher goes through is one and the same, a spiritual process, a calling for existential expression.
I will write about the process a human being has to experience and go through in a different blog, about how the ripening of a thought can take place before an internalization washes over you.
You know, this blog has an emotional flavour to it but in general, I have a habit of demanding of myself that I quote extensively from acclaimed, respectable literature to support every single point I am trying to make, and sparingly from anecdotal evidence, in this case, about the Nature of the Human Child, the practices of Chinese school systems versus best practices in education, the social and psychological history of the people who end up teachers in schools and the implications on human life, etc.
But I am also aware if I do that I’m going to be as effective as the millions of literature on sociology, psychology, economics, psychiatry, education, on learning, health, biology, etc etc etc that in the past 400 years, nobody seems to be picking up on. One promise I’ve made to myself was that, if I ever am going to write from the point of view of a teacher, I have to find that sweet spot between two extremes; sounding neither too much like a raving mad diatribe by a social-activist nor a dry, jargon-overloaded, citation-impregnated academic paper.
I appeal to the Intelligence of every parent reading this to judge that I gain no personal benefit in standing up for the voices that are too meek, for the lives that could’ve been, for the children who endure a living hell everyday. I also realize how ridiculous it sounds to cry over the deaths of children that I do not know personally, children I would not have even gotten the chance to know otherwise. But it is enough for me that I meet these children year after year, children that needed just ONE caring adult to have a strong influence on them, until they grow strong enough to take care of themselves.
It is ridiculous to cry and I am glad I am not writing from home, otherwise someone in the family would mysteriously subscribe (yes, not presribe) to an online marketing scheme which delivers vouchers addressed to me through mail. These vouchers will read, “yearly doses of valium”.
But perhaps this emotional sensitivity for an issue like this is the burden given to me; this sensitivity, to be able to see and write about things that people would otherwise miss, or find too difficult to articulate the thoughts that just sink heavily into their psyches. Thoughts that then go buried because it is not conveient to think about, to express, to share – thoughts that needed some conduit to relieve the pain through.