… so how can you beat it?
Sounds helpful enough, doesn’t it?
Keep reading …
Alright then, now that you have handed me this four page free Scientology newspaper after work, I might as well. For I am, of course, one of the two in three people who suffer from STRESS at work. To help me realise this, you have helpfully printed the word STRESS in a massive red font that looks like it’s cracking up. Along with pictures of people who are supposed to look STRESSed. There’s a man with his head in his hands, below we find a woman waving her arms at a man and she looks like she is shouting. Again, man burying face in hands.
What causes you to lose confidence? Why can’t you believe in yourself? What causes unhappy relationships? Where do unwanted emotions come from? Anger? Jealousy? Guilt? Fear? And last but not least, the semi-medical question: What causes unexplained illness and pain?
Yes, why! Dammit! Why why why? Can you help me, Mr Hubbard? Can you, can you can you? Pretty please.
(a friend actually urged me to put the paper down at this point, because he was worried about subliminal messages and fumes oozing from the print. I think they’ll have to do better than red and black ink in Times New Roman laced with pictures of people in powersuits for that).
Oh look! It’s called DIANETICS. There is a cure! A cure! A fucking CURE! For, it says here, there is a single source of all your problems … it’s called the reactive mind – the hidden part of your mind that stores all painful experiences, then uses them against you.
Hey ho, yes, people are volatile little things. Bash them on the head with a stick, they react. Show them a picture of a lamb being led to slaughter, they well up. Or is that just their petty little reactive minds talking?
To rid oneself of such creepy little things, one must embrace the analytical mind. So when someone next bashes you on the head with a stick, you’ll leave them to it. And the next lamb coming your way, you’ll merely view as lambchops. With dill.
Turn the page, pictures of happy people will appear. They’re laughing, they’re drinking coffee and they chat on the phone. Gosh, isn’t it lovely? And all because they have emptied their brains of anything remotely emotional. Great stuff.
Somewhere halfway down the page, I am informed that we will not put you into a trance. No? What a shame, I had been looking forward to that bit. How can you delete my reactive mind without me being in a pleasant semi-awake state of eternal bliss? What are you going to do instead? Talk me round? Go on go on gowangowangowan, please, reactive mind, would you please leave?
Oh, halfway there, with all these celebrities advising me on how to swap my mind, how can I resist? A certain ‘Chick Corea’ (award winning jazz keyboardist) tells me that he no longer suffers from ‘inner conflict’ (heck if I was into Jazz I’d be in eternal turmoil as well, Jazz is just so ghastly), whilst the bassist from Mr Big (what the fuck?) managed to ‘come out of his shell’. Now I wish the latter had stayed well tucked into his shell, because then there would be one less soft rock power ballad outfit with poodle hair bothering me.
My favourite part is the ‘quick crossword’ on the back of the paper, where little inconspicuous nobrainers like ‘tavern, 3 letters’ and ‘also, 3 letters’ mingle freely with ‘L. __ Hubbard, author and humanitarian, 3 letters’ and … wait for it … ‘tax free bank account, 3 letters’. Not sure how to react to this one.