Existential Crisis: Yay or Nay? (Spoiler: It’s a Yay!)

fog-3
How i feel like being in an episode of existential crisis

Most people have in one point of their life, gone through a moment of self-reevaluation, and might reach a conclusion that life is meaningless and/or valueless. This period of reckoning that life is meaningless is called “existential crisis”. Well, the term is sort of self-explanatory. You have a crisis concerning your whole existence! When you are in one, it feels like fog is drawing around you, to quote my best friend, Poj. To be in an existential crisis makes you feel like life is emotionally distant, like you and life is divided by a thick fog. Such a crisis comes from several major causes including:

  • Depressive disorder
  • Major psychological drama
  • The sense of being alone or isolated
  • Or even when you are searching for the very meaning of your life (just to name a few)

Some people might suffer this due to some shocking shattering of their world view by a major dramatic event, while some others sort of suffer this crisis re-occuringly; the later type of people are mostly intelligent people who occupy their minds with problems beyond their everyday life crisis.

Now, many people find their “time-out” during the existential crisis depressing, constricting, or just plain uncomfortable. For me though, I find my life pretty comfortable, enjoyable even during a time of existential crisis because when you are busy contemplating the very meaning of your existence, or the validity that you are alive, everything else tends to pale in comparison, which means you do not give a flying fuck on things that are not important to you anymore. Oh, the new iPhone is out? Who gives a shit! You just bought a car that is worth all of your life savings? Meh. Oh, The Voice Cambodia is a controversial show in the moment? Well, I must be emotionally constipated, because I can’t seem to find a fuck to give. Excuse the language but to be honest, I just don’t care. Now, you might think being a careless asshole is not very tempting, and that’s true. But just because you don’t care about most of the mainstream things that are happening around you doesn’t make you an asshole. You can still care about the anything that you want; and by all means, do it. For instance, I would immerse myself in physics and space, astronomy learning when I’m fogged with this existential crisis. Everything else that is not supposed to matter actually doesn’t anymore. This makes life less complicated; you save more time and energy to do the things that you love, even if that means merely hanging out with your friends.

One down point of being in the fog for me is that I tend to become very emotionally distant from my friends. Don’t get me wrong, I still love them lots, but I just can’t seem to bring myself out of the fog and actually feel their presence when we are hanging out. This makes me look like I am not enjoying their company; and I just fear that they would be mad at me for doing so.

Now for all of you that find the fog very uncomfortable to be in, I suggest you to find something that can make you feel present. For me, it is drawing during which I have to concentrate all of my emotional, mental, and physical efforts in order to produce a sketch. My friend, Poj, who coined the metaphor “fog” as an existential crisis finds math comforting and that it can bring her back to reality. Therefore, if you want to be out of the fog, do something that needs concentration, math puzzles, sketching, playing musical instruments, biking, hiking, whatever suits you.

Well… it actually took all of the fuck I have in these past couples of days to cook up this article. Enjoy the hell out of it!

Thunder and Lightning

Today, my friends and I got the last tickets for an ancient dance entitled “Thunder and Lightning” by the Sophiline Arts Ensemble. Basically, it depicts the myth of “Ream Eyso & Moni Mekhala”. Needless to say I fell in love with the graceful movements of the dancers. Each and every one of them moved so fluidly as a result of long hours of rehearsing I assume. This begs the question, just why haven’t I learned to appreciate Khmer ancient dances? Growing up, like most kids, (the fact that almost half of the audience today were foreigners supported this point), Khmer ancient dances are just a far-fetched fantasy land of some sort. It was never “there”, so to speak. I have never been to a dance before. I think it’s because of the lack of exposure. Anything worth-while can be loved by all if it is exposed to the public enough (that is the basis of marketing). Take the case of Sean Seavmey for example. The main reason for the lack of exposure, I suspect, is the lack of funding. This brings me back to the time when art is promoted and properly funded with prestige by the late king Norodom Sihanoulk. Artists were rich, famous, loved, and most importantly, given pride. I mean, for god’s sake, the late king himself has starred in as well as directed several movies. However, now, artists have to make-do all by themselves. They have to seek fund, promote, and perform all by themselves. I mean… can you imagine how hard it is in a country where art is not widely appreciated and generally regarded as a waste of money and time? At the end of the show, I figured that if the leaders ain’t gonna support them, only the fans remain. For me (and a whole lot of others out there), art is what gives meaning to life. I do not want this art to be lost which will deprive the future generations from being inspired. So to Cambodian youths, I urge you, stop wasting your time and money on Chattime or Koi and actually go support Khmer arts. If you keep an open mind while observing any art, you will find meanings that you would not have found anywhere else otherwise, I can assure you.
Mrs. Sophiline Cheam Shapiro said there would be another ancient dance four months from now. Set your eyes out for those fliers and get your money ready.

A Cup of Kindness Vs a Cup of Selfishness?

In response to my buddy’s question on the degrading of the culture of caring among Cambodian society, i decided to cook up this very short post. Continue reading A Cup of Kindness Vs a Cup of Selfishness?

The Potato Clan

This is a somewhat personal post. Not so scientifically well-researched, not persuasive, the aim of this article is just to express my gratitude for my group of friends. Continue reading The Potato Clan

Buddhism: Bye Bye

As a Cambodian citizen, born and raised, you see, your life is pretty much influenced by Buddhism. More than 95% of the people here are Buddhist… you get the point. You are brought to pagodas in nearly every religious holidays (Khmer New Year, Bon Pchum, Bon Pisak, etc). However, just like how Christianity has die-hard believers and meh believers, so does Buddhism. You see, my parents are half Chinese, but Alas! They see themselves as more Chinese than some of my “true” Chinese friends. It gives them a proud identity to take on, i presume. Anyhow, having been raised in a Chinese household, they are not “die hard” fans of Buddhism, per se. Thus to me, Buddhism is like a far-fetched daydream- vague but always there. Continue reading Buddhism: Bye Bye

ការដឹងគុណ

រមិលគុណ

និយមន័យ

តាមវចនានុក្រមសម្តេចជួនណាត រមិលគុណគឺ ការឃើញគុណ ឬ នឹកគុណដែលតែស្បើយៗ មិនយកចិត្តទុកដាក់។

ការលើកឡើង

 

ការរមិល​គុណ គឺជាបាបទី៣នៃបាបទាំង១៥របស់មនុស្ស។​ 

 អរិយបុគ្គល តែងតែធ្វើអំពើល្អដាក់អ្នកដទៃ ដោយមិនមានបំណងចង់ឲ្យគេសងគុណវិញនោះទេ។ ប៉ុន្តែ ការសងគុណរបស់គេ នៅពេលគេធ្វើល្អដាក់យើង ត្រូវបានមនុស្សគ្រប់រូបស្គាល់ និងអនុវត្តន៍ សឹងតែក្លាយជាច្បាប់ប្រចាំសង្គម ដែលមិនអាចនឹងមិនប្រព្រឹត្តទៅហើយ។ ដូចជាការដែលមនុស្សដែលខឹង ពេលគេធ្វើអាក្រក់ដាក់ ទោះជាមនុស្សនោះជាមនុស្សគ្មានចិត្តយ៉ាងណាក៏ដោយ ក៏ម្នាក់នោះរមែងតែងតែមានអារម្មណ៍ចេះដឹងគុណគេ នៅពេលមាននរណាម្នាក់ធ្វើល្អដាក់។ ការធ្វើល្អនេះហើយ វាមានផលល្អដល់ទាំងអ្នកឲ្យ ទាំងអ្នកទទួល ទាំងអ្នកឈរមើលទៅទៀត។ ក៏ប៉ុន្តែជីវិតមនុស្សម្នាក់ៗមមាញឹក ពោពេញទៅដោយបញ្ហាតោងកន្ទុយតគ្នាមិនឈប់។ ដូចជាកាលដែលព្រះសម្មាសម្ពុទ្ធ ពេលទ្រង់នៅកំពុងតាំងសាមាធិត្រាស់ដឹងអញ្ចឹង ទ្រង់នៅរវល់តែខំរកវិធីដើម្បីដោះស្រាយចម្ងល់ទ្រង់ ដោយប្តូរពីវិធីមួយទៅវិធីមួយ អស់រយៈពេលជាង៥‍​​ ទៅ៦ ឆ្នាំ។ លុះដល់ពេលទ្រង់ត្រាស់ដឹងពីអតីតកាលភ្លាម ទ្រង់ក៏នឹកឃើញដល់ព្រះមហេសី និងបុត្ររបស់ទ្រង់មុនគេ។ ទ្រង់នឹកស្តាយដល់កាលដែលទ្រង់ចេញបួស ពុំបានប្រាប់លាអង្គទាំងពីរមួយម៉ាត់សោះ។ ឧទាហរណ៍នេះបញ្ជាក់ឲ្យឃើញថា មនុស្សតែងត្រូវរឿងកើតឡើងនៅចំពោះមុខកំបាំងភ្នែក នាំឲ្យពួកគេមិនសូវជាបានមើលឃើញរឿងដទៃដែលខ្លួនគួរធ្វើ។ តើនរណាគេខ្លះដែលមានពេលអង្គុយតាំងសមាធិដូចព្រះពុទ្ឋរាល់ថ្ងៃដើម្បីពិចារណាពីកំហុស និងទង្វើដែលខ្លួនគួរធ្វើ? មនុស្សទូទៅតែងតែរង់ចាំ  ចាំលើកក្រោយ ចាំដល់មានពេល  ចាំដល់មានប្រាក់ ចាំដល់មានឳកាស ចាំនេះ ចាំនោះ ចាំដល់អ្នកដែលមានគុណលើខ្លួននោះស្លាប់បាត់ទៅទៀត!

សន្និដ្ឋាន

យើងត្រូវចាំថា​ វាសនាមនុស្សម្នាក់ៗមើលមិនឃើញឡើយ អ្នកដែលមានគុណលើយើងមិនប្រាកដថានៅរស់រានមានជីវិត​ ចាំដល់ពេលយើងសងគុណគាត់នោះឡើយ។ ដូច្នេះហើយ យើងគួរគប្បីយកចិត្តទុកដាក់ ពេលណាគេធ្វើល្អដាក់យើងភ្លាម យើងគួររកវិធីសងគុណគេវិញភ្លាម។ ការសងគុណនេះ មិនចាំបាច់ដល់តែចំណាយលុយ ទិញវត្ថុមានតម្លៃ ឬពលីជីវិតដើម្បីបង្ហាញអំពីសណ្តានចិត្តនោះឡើយ។ អ្នកប្រាកដជាធ្លាប់ឮជាច្រើនលើកច្រើនសារហើយ អំពីសារៈសំខាន់ក្នុងការចេះដឹងគុណ និងវិធីនៃការសងគុណ ឪពុកម្តាយ គ្រូបាធ្យាយ និងអ្នកដែលធ្វើគុណធំមកលើយើង។ ពួកគាត់ជាមនុស្សគួរឲ្យគោរព និងបម្រើមែន ហើយប្រការដែលយើងត្រូវសងគុណគាត់កុំឲ្យខាននោះក៏ជាប្រការត្រឹមត្រូវដែរ។ ពួកគាត់ដែលបានរៀបរាប់មកខាងលើនេះ ហាក់បីដូចជាអ្នកលក់បោះដុំធំៗ ដោយគាត់មានគុណយ៉ាងច្រើនក្រាស់ក្រែលមកលើយើង ហើយយើងក៏គួរសងគុណគាត់ឲ្យច្រើនក្រាស់ក្រែលទៅតាមនេះវិញដែរ។ ក៏ប៉ុន្តែ មនុស្សខ្លះរវល់តែសងគុណអ្នកបោះដុំទាំងអស់នេះ ហើយគ្មានពេលវេលាមើលមកអ្នកលក់រាយទៅវិញ។ អ្នករត់តុដែលយកអាហារមកឲ្យយើង អ្នកចាំយាមម៉ូតូឡានឲ្យយើង អ្នកលក់ដែលខំរករបស់ឲ្យយើង បណ្ណារក្សដែលខំចំណាយកម្លាំងរកសៀវភៅឲ្យយើង។ល។ ខ្ញុំមិនមែនចង់មានន័យថាយើងគួរនាំគ្នាទៅលុតជង្គង់សំពះពួកគាត់ឡើយ តែគ្រាន់តែពាក្យអរគុណមួយម៉ាត់ក៏វាគ្រប់គ្រាន់នឹងបញ្ជាក់ពីការដឹងគុណរបស់យើងទៅហើយ! ពាក្យអរគុណមួយម៉ាត់ លិខិតថ្លែងអំណរគុណមួយច្បាប់ វាមិនតម្រូវឲ្យយើងចំណាយមាសប្រាក់ ពេលវេលាច្រើនណាស់ណាទេ ប៉ុន្តែផលប្រយោជន៍របស់វាបានច្រើនក្រាស់ក្រែល។ វាធ្វើឲ្យយើងធូរស្រាលចិត្តលែងជំពាក់គុណគេ ធ្វើឲ្យយើងសប្បាយចិត្តព្រោះមានមនុស្សធ្វើល្អមកលើយើង។​ សំខាន់បំផុតនោះ វាធ្វើឲ្យអ្នកធ្វើគុណមកលើយើងសប្បាយចិត្ត ព្រោះទង្វើរបស់ពួកគាត់ត្រូវបានគេមើលឃើញ និង តបស្នងមកវិញ។ វាក៏ធ្វើឲ្យអ្នកឈរមើលសប្បាយចិត្ត ព្រោះវាអាចធ្វើឲ្យពួកគេឃើញថា យ៉ាងហោចណាស់ក៏នៅមានមនុស្សល្អច្រើននៅក្នុងសង្គមនេះដែរ។

សរុបសេចក្តីមក យើងជាមនុស្សគួរណាតែរកឆ្លៀតរកពេលវេលា​ ដកខ្លួនចេញពីបច្ចុប្បន្នជារឿយៗ ដើម្បីនឹករំលឹកដល់ជីវិតយើង និងរំលឹកសងគុណដល់អ្នកទាំងអស់ដែលធ្លាប់បានធ្វើល្អមកលើយើងទោះធំក្តី តូចក្តី។

«ធ្វើគុណគេកុំសម្តែង តែងកុំបំភ្លេចគុណរបស់គេ»

DOGS!

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Mark Twain and his dog

This has probably been expressed by countless people, through a wide variety of mediums; I mean, Carrie Underwood basically made a song comparing (some) men to dogs. (Dogs won, naturally). Charles De Gaulle said the more he knew about men, the more he loved his dog (just like how the admirable Mark Twain did so). I wouldn’t mind joining these (awesome) people and express my fondness for dogs.

Here listed  the reasons why I think dogs are wonderfully awesome:

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  1. They are probably the most loyal animals (human species included) I (or anybody    else of that matter) have known! : If you have ever had a dog, you would know what I am  talking about. If not, get one, and you’ll know. Not convinced? Well, let’s go see some examples,  shall we? Answer these questions: have you ever seen anybody weeping about her/his dog stealing  their money and leaving them behind? Have you ever heard someone being abandoned by their  dogs because they are not pretty enough? Or rich enough? Or cool enough? A solid example would  be Hachiko, the dog who waited for his dead master, Hidesaburō Ueno, for over nine years because  he just didn’t understand how his master had died and was not going to show up. (If you are  interested in a good sob for this weekend, I highly recommend this film which is based on Hachiko’s   life.)
  2. They love you unconditionally: you got no money? Here, come pat me. You are unemployed? Here, come pat my stomach. You are not considered pretty? Here, let me lick your face a little. You don’t like me? Let me just be here and love you until you love me. Here’s some super personal stuff for you. I had once lost faith in myself and the people around me. I became hateful to almost everyone. Then my dog, ដឹកដឿ Deukdeur (she was chubby when she was born!), came on to me once and again. though rejected several times, she always made her move and wagged her tail at me. As time got passed, my icy cold heart got warmed, and thus marked the day I restored my love for the world again. (I aim to dedicate this post to her, really. Much thanks to you, Deukdeur!)

Only two reasons? Are you fucking kidding me? I could probably find at least thirty reasons on other blogs! Well, before you go on full hulk and judge me and my inability to list some more bullet points, let me tell you, I decided to cut this crap short because the two points have already proven to be enough. Love and loyalty are the components we need most, especially in our Cambodian society right about now. Dogs own them, and aren’t afraid to flaunt ‘em!

So the next time someone curses you: “you dog!” (If you aren’t Cambodian, here’s a simple explanation. We, Cambodian people, like to think of dogs as immoral beings. If somebody is being rude, disrespectful, then he loses his human status, and descends to that of a dog’s). back to our story, the next time someone calls you អាឆ្កែ! Be flattered, they are practically praising you for your faithfulness and love. I’d recommend you to smile, and say: “thanks, you too!”