And when we speak our truth, the resonance it creates allows others to speak their truth as well. We become a chorus of truth-tellers and we shine a bright light of healing into the darkest corners of our lives, our families, and our communities.
Further why did he then not instruct the parliament to enact legislation against corruption? The answer is simple, they (SPLM/A) were busy on looting spree. Hence, Kiir is technically responsible for all that has been taking place in South Sudan for the last 6 years due to his irresponsibility and lack of due diligence. Where has he been while all these ills are taking place? What Kiir needs is, to explain to the South Sudanese people now his abject failure to manage the country and not to pretend that he at last is getting on with managing. Kiir and his administration should stop lies and the creation of illusion.
The journey began following the development of the pre-cinematic visual technology with exquisitely detailed shadow puppets from Indonesia, transparent hand-coloured puppets from South Asia and the first magic lanterns made in China. These lanterns were something to behold, fat-bellied long-bearded men at once both genie and bottle - almost alive with the promise of magic they would have once conjured up for their medieval audiences. Moving westwards and forward in time the apparatuses themselves were as much a source of fascination and wonder as the illusions they created. Hand-coloured lithographic paper dioramas six layers deep were displayed both within and outside of their made-to-measure black wooden box, cut-out paper layers piled neatly flat on a table resembled a three-dimensional postcard.
Something that struck me as I was walking through the exhibition was how physical the act of 'looking' at the displays became. Viewers had to manoeuver themselves into correct viewing positions, twist to see something from another angle, focus and unfocus their eyes... one became aware that the simple act of looking is not a passive activity and that perception is something that happens in the brain rather than in front of one's eyes. The creators of these objects understood that under the right conditions, the human brain will smooth over gaps to create something whole out of parts, will struggle to make sense out of senselessness. Modern illusions too often tend to be presented to us as complete images. There is nothing really left for our brains to do but passively 'watch'. Today's technologies smooth over perceptual gaps for us and the twenty-first century viewer could be accused of, to borrow another old saying, 'seeing with only half an eye'.
Figure-ground illusions, such as the Rubin vase or the young/old woman at the top of the post, appear ambiguous because they present equally two valid ways of subdividing the image. Our visual system uses concave curves (areas where a figure curves inwards) to break an image into parts which it then tries to combine into a recognizable object. In these illusions, two different sets of complementary concave curves divide the image into equally recognizable objects; as a result, we switch between different interpretations: a vase or a pair of faces; a young woman or an old one.
Although this study was honored with the special distinction of an Ig Nobel Prize, previous research has found similar patterns. For example, research published in 2011 found that children and teenagers with better executive functioning tell more sophisticated lies. Other research published last December also suggests a link between lying and inhibition.
But in my opinion, it takes a lot more than a healthy bank account and nice skin to live a full and happy life, whether you're 29 or 59. You also have to shed the bad habits and illusions that are holding you back.
One of the most interesting features of the Eurasian Economic Union is that some time after accession to it the public of the member country begins to complain, groan and resent with the general refrain "Well, we did not want this!". As a rule, everyone expects an instant and easy profit from participation in the EAEU. Someone may say that this is just a bad example of the European Union, where there were considerable subsidies for new members from Eastern Europe, and therefore people are waiting for the same approach. But, in my opinion, the problem is a bit deeper and lies in mass illusions of the population:
THE BOOK OF ILLUSIONS1EVERYONE THOUGHT THE was dead. When my book about his films was published in 1988, Hector Mann had not been heard from in almost sixty years. Except for a handful of historians and old-time movie buffs, few people seemed to know that he had ever existed. Double or Nothing, the last of the twelve two-reel comedies he made at the end of the silent era, was released on November 23, 1928. Two months later, without saying good-bye to any of his friends or associates, without leaving behind a letter or informing anyone of his plans, he walked out of his rented house on North Orange Drive and was never seen again. His blue DeSoto was parked in the garage; the lease on the property was good for another three months; the rent had been paid in full. There was food in the kitchen, whiskey in the liquor cabinet, and not a single article of Hector's clothing was missing from the bedroom drawers. According to the Los Angles Herald Express of January 18, 1929, it looked as though he had stepped out for a short walk and would be returning at any moment. But he didn't return, and from that point on it was as if Hector Mann had vanished from the face of the earth.For several years following his disappearance, various stories and rumors circulated about what had happened to him, but none of these conjectures ever amounted to anything. The most plausible ones--that he had committed suicide or fallen victim to foul play--could neither be proved nor disproved, since no body was ever recovered. Other accounts of Hector's fate were more imaginative, more hopeful, more in keeping with the romantic implications of such a case. In one, he had returned to his native Argentina and was now the owner of a small provincial circus. In another, he had joined the Communist Party and was working under an assumed name as an organizer among the dairy workers in Utica, New York. In still another, he was riding the rails as a Depression hobo. If Hector had been a bigger star, the stories no doubt would have persisted. He would have lived on in the things that were said about him, gradually turning into one of those symbolic figures who inhabit the nether zones of collective memory, a representative of youth and hope and the devilish twists of fortune. But none of that happened, for the fact was that Hector was only just beginning to make his mark in Hollywood when his career ended. He had come too late to exploit his talents fully, and he hadn't stayed long enough to leave a lasting impression of who he was or what he could do. A few more years went by, and little by little people stopped thinking about him. By 1932 or 1933, Hector belonged to an extinct universe, and if there were any traces of him left, it was only as a footnote in some obscure book that no one bothered to read anymore. The movies talked now, and the flickering dumb shows of the past were forgotten. No more clowns, no more pantomimists, no more pretty flapper girls dancing to the beat of unheard orchestras. They had been dead for just a few years, but already they feltprehistoric, like creatures who had roamed the earth when men still lived in caves.I didn't give much information about Hector's life in my book. The Silent World of Hector Mann was a study of his films, not a biography, and whatever small facts I threw in about his offscreen activities came directly from the standard sources: film encyclopedias, memoirs, histories of early Hollywood. I wrote the book because I wanted to share my enthusiasm for Hector's work. The story of his life was secondary to me, and rather than speculate on what might or might not have happened to him, I stuck to a close reading of the films themselves. Given that he was born in 1900, and given that he had not been seen since 1929, it never would have occurred to me to suggest that Hector Mann was still alive. Dead men don't crawl out from their graves, and as far as I was concerned, only a dead man could have kept himself hidden for that long.The book was published by the University of Pennsylvania Press eleven years ago this past March. Three months later, just after the first reviews had started to appear in the film quarterlies and academic journals, a letter turned up in my mailbox. The envelope was larger and squarer than the ones commonly sold in stores, and because it was made of thick, expensive paper, my initial response was to think there might be a wedding invitation or a birth announcement inside. My name and address were written out across the front in an elegant, curling script. If the writing wasn't that of a professional calligrapher, it no doubt came from someone who believed in the virtues of graceful penmanship, a person who had been schooled in the old academies of etiquette and social decorum. The stamp was postmarked Albuquerque, New Mexico, but the return address on the back flap showed that the letter had beenwritten somewhere else--assuming that there was such a place, and assuming that the name of the town was real. Top and bottom, the two lines read: Blue Stone Ranch; Tierra del Sueño, New Mexico. I might have smiled when I saw those words, but I can't remember now. No name was given, and as I opened the envelope to read the message on the card inside, I caught a faint smell of perfume, the subtlest hint of lavender essence.Dear Professor Zimmer, the note said. Hector has read your book and would like to meet you. Are you interested in paying us a visit? Yours sincerely, Frieda Spelling (Mrs. Hector Mann).I read it six or seven times. Then I put it down, walked to the other end of the room, and came back. When I picked up the letter again, I wasn't sure if the words would still be there. Or, if they were there, if they would still be the same words. I read it six or seven more times, and then, still not sure of anything, dismissed it as a prank. A moment later, I was filled with doubts, and the next moment after that I began to doubt those doubts. To think one thought meant thinking the opposite thought, and no sooner did that second thought destroy the first thought than a third thought rose up to destroy the second. Not knowing what else to do, I got into my car and drove to the post office. Every address in America was listed in the zip code directory, and if Tierra del Sueño wasn't there, I could throw away the card and forget all about it. But it was there. I found it in volume one on page 1933, sitting on the line between Tierra Amarilia and Tijeras, a proper town with a post office and its own five-digit number. That didn't make the letter genuine, of course, but at least it gave it an air of credibility, and by the time I returned home, I knew that I would have to answer it. A letter like that can't be ignored. Once you've read it, you know that if you don't take the trouble to sit down and write back, you'll go on thinking about it for the rest of your life.I haven't kept a copy of my answer, but I remember that I wrote it by hand and tried to make it as short as possible, limiting what I said to just a few sentences. Without giving it much thought, I found myself adopting the flat, cryptic style of the letter I had received. I felt less exposed that way, less likely to be taken as a fool by the person who had masterminded the prank--if indeed it was a prank. Give or take a word or two, my response went something like this: Dear Frieda Spelling. Of course I would like to meet Hector Mann. But how can I be sure he's alive? To the best of my knowledge, he hasn't been seen in more than half a century. Please provide details. Respectfully yours, David Zimmer.We all want to believe in impossible things, I suppose, to persuade ourselves that miracles can happen. Considering that I was the author of the only book ever written on Hector Mann, it probably made sense that someone would think I'd jump at the chance to believe he was still alive. But I wasn't in the mood to jump. Or at least I didn't think I was. My book had been born out of a great sorrow, and now that the book was behind me, the sorrow was still there. Writing about comedy had been no more than a pretext, an odd form of medicine that I had swallowed every day for over a year on the off chance that it would dull the pain inside me. To some extent, it did. But Frieda Spelling (or whoever was posing as Frieda Spelling) couldn't have known that. She couldn't have known that on June 7, 1985, just one week short of my tenth wedding anniversary, my wife and two sons had been killed in a plane crash. She might have seen that the book was dedicated to them (For Helen, Todd, and Marco--In Memory), but those names couldn't have meant anything to her, and even if she hadguessed their importance to the author, she couldn't have known that for him those names stood for everything that had any meaning in life--and that when the thirty-six-year-old Helen and the seven-year-old Todd and the four-year-old Marco had died, most of him had died along with them.They had been on their way to Milwaukee to visit Helen's parents. I had stayed behind in Vermont to correct papers and hand in the final grades for the semester that had just ended. That was my work--professor of comparative literature at Hampton College in Hampton, Vermont--and I had to do it. Normally, we all would have gone together on the twenty-fourth or twenty-fifth, but Helen's father had just been operated on for a tumor in his leg, and the family consensus was that she and the boys should leave as quickly as possible. This entailed some elaborate, last-minute negotiations with Todd's school so that he would be allowed to miss the last two weeks of the second grade. The principal was reluctant but understanding, and in the end she gave in. That was one of the things I kept thinking about after the crash. If only she had turned us down, then Todd would have been forced to stay at home with me, and he wouldn't have been dead. At least one of them would have been spared that way. At least one of them wouldn't have fallen seven miles through the sky, and I wouldn't have been left alone in a house that was supposed to have four people in it. There were other things, of course, other contingencies to brood about and torture myself with, and I never seemed to tire of walking down those same dead-end roads. Everything was part of it, every link in the chain of cause and effect was an essential piece of the horror--from the cancer in my father-in-law's leg to the weather in the Midwest that week to the telephone number of the travel agent who had booked the airlinetickets. Worst of all, there was my own insistence on driving them down to Boston so they could be on a direct flight. I hadn't wanted them to leave from Burlington. That would have meant going to New York on an eighteen-seat prop plane to catch a connecting flight to Milwaukee, and I told Helen that I didn't like those small planes. They were too dangerous, I said, and I couldn't stand the idea of letting her and the boys go on one of them without me. So they didn't--in order to appease my worries. They went on a bigger one, and the terrible thing about it was that I rushed to get them there. The traffic was heavy that morning, and when we finally got to Springfield and hit the Mass Pike, I had to drive well over the speed limit to make it to Logan in time.I remember very little of what happened to me that summer. For several months, I lived in a blur of alcoholic grief and self-pity, rarely stirring from the house, rarely bothering to eat or shave or change my clothes. Most of my colleagues were gone until the middle of August, and therefore I didn't have to put up with many visits, to sit through the agonizing protocols of communal mourning. They meant well, of course, and whenever any of my friends came around, I always invited them in, but their tearful embraces and long, embarrassed silences didn't help. It was better to be left alone, I found, better to gut out the days in the darkness of my own head. When I wasn't drunk or sprawled out on the living room sofa watching television, I spent my time wandering around the house. I would visit the boys' rooms and sit down on the floor, surrounding myself with their things. I wasn't able to think about them directly or summon them up in any conscious way, but as I put together their puzzles and played with their Lego pieces, building ever more complex and baroque structures, I felt that I was temporarilyinhabiting them again--carrying on their little phantom lives for them by repeating the gestures they had made when they still had bodies. I read through Todd's fairy-tale books and organized his baseball cards. I classified Marco's stuffed animals according to species, color, and size, changing the system every time I entered the room. Hours vanished in this way, whole days melted into oblivion, and when I couldn't stomach it anymore, I would go back into the living room and pour myself another drink. On those rare nights when I didn't pass out on the sofa, I usually slept in Todd's bed. In my own bed, I always dreamed that Helen was with me, and every time I reached out to take hold of her, I would wake up with a sudden, violent lurch, my hands trembling and my lungs gasping for air, feeling as if I'd been about to drown. I couldn't go into our bedroom after dark, but I spent a lot of time there during the day, standing inside Helen's closet and touching her clothes, rearranging her jackets and sweaters, lifting her dresses off their hangers and spreading them out on the floor. Once, I put one of them on, and another time I got into her underwear and made up my face with her makeup. It was a deeply satisfying experience, but after some additional experimentation, I discovered that perfume was even more effective than lipstick and mascara. It seemed to bring her back more vividly, to evoke her presence for longer periods of time. As luck would have it, I had given her a fresh supply of Chanel No. 5 for her birthday in March. By limiting myself to small doses twice a day, I was able to make the bottle last until the end of the summer.I took a leave of absence for the fall semester, but rather than go away or look for psychological help, I stayed on in the house and continued to sink. By late September or early October, I was knocking off more than half a bottle of whiskey everynight. It kept me from feeling too much, but at the same time it deprived me of any sense of the future, and when a man has nothing to look forward to, he might as well be dead. More than once, I caught myself in the middle of lengthy daydreams about sleeping pills and carbon monoxide gas. I never went far enough to take any action, but whenever I look back on those days now, I understand how close I came to it. The pills were in the medicine cabinet, and I had already taken the bottle off the shelf three or four times; I had already held the loose pills in my hand. If the situation had gone on much longer, I doubt that I would have had the strength to resist.That was how things stood for me when Hector Mann unexpectedly walked into my life. I had no idea who he was, had never even stumbled across a reference to his name, but one night just before the start of winter, when the trees had finally gone bare and the first snow was threatening to fall, I h