No one can take away one’s own attitude to live authentically & passionately — in praise of Roberto Benigni’s 15th anniversary movie “Life is Beautiful!!”

https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/06/23/life-is-beautiful-15th-anniversary-of-roberto-benignis-masterpiece-of-a-movie/

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_Is_Beautiful

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Life Is Beautiful (Italian: La vita è bella) is a 1997 Italian film which tells the story of a Jewish Italian, Guido Orefice (played by Roberto Benigni, who also directed and co-wrote the film), who must employ his fertile imagination to help his family during their internment in a Nazi concentration camp.

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Part of the film came from Benigni’s own family history; before his birth Roberto’s father had survived three years of internment at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

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At the 71st Academy Awards in 1999, Benigni won the Academy Award for Best Actor and the film won both the Academy Award for Best Original Dramatic Score and the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

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http://www.lvrj.com/view/hope-can-carry-victims-beyond-pain-to-survival-148633715.html

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I have always said that there is a trajectory of hope from victim to survivor to hero.

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It is all a question of where we finally invest a healthy, thriving identity. The hero has embraced the past, survived it.

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The hero does not deny or discard these memories but integrates them, redeems them in service to benevolence, freedom and living well.

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Which reminds me of our last speaker at Holocaust Studies, a Jewish man in his 80s. He tells the story of watching his parents murdered. Of bombs and gunshots and bodies on the street. Of the miracle of his escape from Germany to the United States.

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On his first day of school, American kids throw rocks at him because he’s Jewish.

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His smile comes from a deep and authentic place in his soul, lighting the room ablaze.

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“So,” he says, “I decided to become an optimist!” That guy is a victim. And he’s a survivor. And he’s my hero.

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http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2010/aug/26/300-foot-tall-statue-in-san-diegos-future/

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Artist Gary Lee Price works on a prototype of “The Statue of Responsibility.”  - Kenneth Linge

Artist Gary Lee Price works on a 13-foot-tall clay prototype of the Statue of Responsibility, which he designed.

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“I wanted to give credence to Viktor E. Frankl’s idea by creating two human elements coming together,” assisting in the shared responsibility of maintaining freedom, said sculptor Price. “We are accountable, and the bottom line boils down to us.”

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man%27s_Search_for_Meaning#Experiences_in_a_concentration_camp

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Frankl’s meaning in life is to help others find theirs.

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Man’s Search For Meaning  belongs to a list of  “the ten most influential books in the United States.”    At the time of author Viktor Frankl’s death in 1997, the book had sold over 10 million copies and had been translated into 24 languages.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anxiety#Existential_anxiety

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According to Viktor Frankl, the author of Man’s Search for Meaning, when a person is faced with extreme mortal dangers, the most basic of all human wishes is to find a meaning of life to combat the    “trauma of nonbeing”   as death is near.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anxiety#Existential_anxiety

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The tone of Man’s Search for Meaning is like this throughout: the reasonable, detached observer describing not only the radical evil around him but radical absurdity, stripped of everything “except, literally, our naked existence.” The effect is to connect life at Auschwitz with life anywhere.

We needed to stop asking ourselves about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life –  daily and hourly. . . . Therefore, it was necessary for us to face up to the full amount of suffering, trying to keep moments of weakness and furtive tears to a minimum. But there was no need to be ashamed of tears, for tears bore witness that a man had the greatest of courage –

THE COURAGE TO SUFFER.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man%27s_Search_for_Meaning#Experiences_in_a_concentration_camp

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Frankl concludes from his experience that a prisoner’s psychological reactions are not solely the result of the conditions of his life,

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but also from the freedom of choice he always has even in severe suffering.

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The inner hold a prisoner has on his spiritual self relies on having a hope in a beloved or an uncompleted mission, and that once a prisoner loses that hope,

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he is doomed!!!

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/12/the-choice-is-not-whether-to-have-or-not-have-a-worldview-in-which-you-place-faith-the-only-choice-is-whether-we-are-willing-to-choose-with-intention-clarity-commitment-sage-steven-kala/

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On the other hand, wretched-feeling “phonies” like Eliot Spitzer seek a deeper meaning in their misery  —

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http://www.lvrj.com/living/17137916.html

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They despised themselves. Because they were not conscious of the pain and emptiness inside themselves, so they “acted it out” with behavior too obvious to miss. They literally force their loved ones or colleagues to become the firing squad, the headsman, the hangman that executes a life they experience as phony, empty and unbearable.

Or, in the case of Kurt Cobain, you just cut out the middleman and become your own executioner. For real.

What I think is that it takes a great deal of ego strength to cope with fame, celebrity and power. Without it, public adoration creates a personal crisis, because, in the end, we know we don’t deserve to be adored.

So we take the necessary steps to prove that point in spades to our adoring public. Not consciously, but nonetheless.

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/15/reconciliation-formula-sage-steven-kalas/

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Getting over having been dumped by the one you want is a long, difficult process–getting dumped does not dump your self-respect [attitude]!!

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http://www.lvrj.com/living/20638679.html

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 “When you love someone, and they don’t choose you, it hurts.”

Oh, do you think?

Many people will tell you unrequited love is a grief more difficult than a loved one’s death. It’s like going to a funeral and trying to grieve the loss of someone who won’t stay in the casket. The “deceased” continues to walk, talk and, in the case of divorce that includes children, interact regularly with you. Night of the Living Ex. Invasion of the Soul Mate Snatchers.

His grief required the simultaneous juggling of pain, humiliation, pretending, going to work, running a single household and learning to be a divorced single parent. All at once. A difficult journey. Nothing short of heroic.

And now he has popped out on the other side without his love for the woman he promised to forever cherish. He looks like someone who has misplaced his car keys. Hmm, I always carry them right here in my pocket. Where could I have left them?

How do you fall out of love? I think it starves to death. Death by attrition. Death because divorce detonates like an asteroid colliding with Earth, resulting in a dust cloud blacking out the sun. Nothing vital can survive. Only, in the case of an asteroid, all plant life dies in about four weeks. A rejected lover only wishes love could be extinguished so fast.

The man describes it more simply. He says his grief was like having a sore throat for almost three years. “You know how, when you have a sore throat, you start every morning by swallowing to see if it still hurts?” he says. “Well, last Tuesday, I was backing my car out of the driveway and thinking about a call I had to make to my ex. I ‘swallowed,’ and suddenly I realized it didn’t hurt anymore.”

I’m glad for him. It’s not healthy to indefinitely extend an open heart into emptiness, and certainly it’s no fun.

Yet, the man’s victory begets one more movement of grief. A kind of reconnaissance. More accurately, the man’s celebration is the next movement of grief. They are one and the same. Not a return to tears and anguish, but a moment of pause and sobriety. A necessary acknowledgement of loss. Like hearing “Taps” played at a military funeral.

“Wow. She did it. I wouldn’t have thought it was possible,” he says. “She managed to convince me to extinguish the most beautiful and powerful thing I have ever done — which was love her.”

And now I think of da Vinci. What would it take to convince him to light a match to the “Mona Lisa”? How do you convince an artist to torch his masterpiece?

Maybe, in the end, it’s a combination of self-respect and liberation. Terribly sad, but terribly necessary. Maybe if you sufficiently ignore or patronize or revile da Vinci’s masterpiece, he will, as a function of self-respect, prefer its destruction to its dismissal. Maybe da Vinci decides it’s enough that he understands its beauty, its power, its importance. So he commits it to memory. He hangs the only necessary copy in his heart.

And maybe burning it is the only way to liberate himself to paint again.

Yeah, that’s it. Maybe he has one more masterpiece left. As yet unpainted.

 

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http://www.lvrj.com/view/love-can-endure-if-people-work-through-lost-relationships-144330465.html

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We have to grow a self-respect sufficient not to want someone who does not want us.

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When a relationship definitively ends, especially when that decision is unilateral for one partner and heartbreaking and undesired by the other partner, well, the latter partner has a big problem on his/her hands. Open, endlessly gaping gestalts aren’t good for human beings. They become paralyzing and damaging. This is especially true for the gestalt of being in love when that love is not returned. I’m not being dramatic when I say it can literally make you crazy or at least feel crazy.

Self-respect, not to mention any chance of returning to real vitality and productivity, demands that you close the gestalt, aka “fall out of love.” And falling out of love is not something we can merely decide as an intellectual process, any more than falling in love was a mere act of will. There’s no button to push or medicine to drink or step-by-step handbook.

People ask me all the time how to fall out of love. And I always say the same two things: 1) sit quietly with your grief. Make friends with your broken heart. Breathe your sadness in, and breathe it out. The only way to heal grief is to grieve, and 2) nurture the separateness. Stop calling. The partner who left you is the last person on earth with whom you should process and discuss the relationship, its victories or its failings. Don’t kid yourself that you can turn on a dime and become “friends.” Trying to buddy up with someone who doesn’t love you yet you still love is an invitation to protracted pain and confusion.

This is what I meant by “arranging your life in such a way.” We arrange our lives to minimize contact for a while. In some cases, a long while. In extreme cases, we permanently sever all ties and all contact. This last choice is, of course, impossible if the two of you made babies together.

We arrange our lives by guarding and nurturing separateness. If we are vigilant to do this, then the open gestalt of being in love starves to death. It erodes and atrophies. The gestalt will eventually close for want of light and sustenance. And it’s necessary if ever again we desire to open our hearts to the possibility of a new, better, healthier relationship.

Now, to your point. I agree. While the experience of being “in love” must of necessity be extinguished, the miracle of love often does and should endure. After the pain has ebbed, when we again are standing squarely and confidently in selfhood, we can value love, appreciate and be grateful for it, give thanks for the gifts our once-partner contributed. We can even “always love” our former mate. We can wish them well, and mean it. We can want the best for them. And we can give ourselves credit for having been a part of something that was meaningful, beautiful and life-changing, even if it couldn’t/didn’t go the distance.

Indeed, true love endures. It’s just that, in most cases, people need to close the gestalt and get through their hurt, bitterness, disappointment and anger before what endures can be apprehended as the honored friend it is and not the cruel enemy it appears to be right after we’ve been dumped by the love of our life.

True love endures. That’s a good thing. But true love is different from “carrying a torch” for the rest of your life. At the end of the day, we have to grow a self-respect sufficient not to want someone who doesn’t want us.

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/15/an-ennobling-sufferance-living-life-to-the-fullest/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/14/because-in-the-end-great-journeys-of-integrity-are-walked-alone-sage-steven-kalas/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/08/having-been-is-the-surest-kind-of-being-extraordinary-sage-viktor-frankl-only-then-through-the-power-of-using-the-past-for-living-and-making-history-out-of-what-has-happened-does-a-pe/

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Irony is that I have no history  –  deleted/erased/purged via rejection/elimination  –  forsaken & forgotten   –   

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But especially Frankl & Nietzsche [along with Emerson] intone that though rejection and a forsaken predicament certainly are not envied, these outcome sufferings constitute the ennobling of character and self-respect

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To reprise the exceptional Frankl   – 

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‘Instead of possibilities, I have realities in my past, not only the reality of work done and of love loved, but of sufferings bravely suffered. These sufferings are even the things of which I am most proud, although these are things which cannot inspire envy.’ “

 
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From “Logotherapy in a Nutshell”, an essay”
Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

 
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http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/2782.Viktor_E_Frankl?page=2

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Usually, to be sure, man considers only the stubble field of transitoriness and overlooks the full granaries of the past, wherein he had salvaged once and for all his deeds, his joys and also his sufferings.

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Nothing can be undone, and nothing can be done away with.

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I should say   ”having been”   is the surest kind of being.

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http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/2782.Viktor_E_Frankl?page=1

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The pessimist resembles a man who observes with fear and sadness that his wall calendar, from which he daily tears a sheet, grows thinner with each passing day.

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On the other hand, the [optimist] person who attacks the problems of life actively is like a man who removes each successive leaf from his calendar and files it neatly and carefully away with its predecessors, after first having jotted down a few diary notes on the back.

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He can reflect with pride and joy on all the richness set down in these notes, on all the life he has already lived to the fullest.

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What will it matter to him if he notices that he is growing old?

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Has he any reason to envy the young people whom he sees, or wax nostalgic over his own lost youth? What reasons has he to envy a young person? For the possibilities that a young person has, the future which is in store for him?

‘No, thank you,’ he will think.

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incredibly soulful lover Nietzsche   –

http://thoughtjam.wordpress.com/2007/09/12/nietzsche-on-the-use-and-abuse-of-history-for-life/

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Friedrich Nietzsche wrote, “that, in the process by which the human being, in thinking, reflecting, comparing, separating, and combining . . . inside that surrounding misty cloud a bright gleaming beam of light arises, only then, through the power of using the past for living and making history out of what has happened, does a person first become a person.”

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http://www.randomhouse.com/features/forgetting/read_first2.html

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In Frankl’s memoir of experiences as a concentration camp inmate. Frankl recalled trying to lift the spirits of his fellow camp inmates on an especially awful day in Dachau: “I did not only talk of the future and the veil which was drawn over it. I also mentioned the past; all its joys, and how its light shone even in the present darkness. [I quoted] a poet . . . who had written, Was Du erlebst, kann keine Macht der Welt Dir rauben. (What you have experienced, no power on earth can take from you.) Not only our experiences, but all we have done, whatever great thoughts we may have had and all we have suffered, all this is not lost, though it is past; we have brought it into being. Having been is a kind of being, and perhaps the surest kind.”

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Ralph Waldo Emerson was also fascinated by memory–how it worked, why it failed, the ways it shaped human consciousness. Memory, he offered about a decade or so before his own troubles first appeared, is “the cement, the bitumen, the matrix in which the other faculties are embedded . . . without it all life and thought were an unrelated succession.”

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/14/mission-provide-a-context-of-meaning-safety-and-encouragement-in-which-to-assess-oneself-though-painful-learn-celebrate-human-wholeness-and-authenticity-sage-steven-kalas/

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http://www.lvrj.com/living/8066867.html

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/13/true-faith-is-a-context-for-suffering-sage-steven-kalas/

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True faith is a context for suffering — sage Steven Kalas

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http://www.lvrj.com/living/9279656.html

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36 Responses to No one can take away one’s own attitude to live authentically & passionately — in praise of Roberto Benigni’s 15th anniversary movie “Life is Beautiful!!”

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