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Ritually Adrift: Good Grief, Good Funerals – Part 1

Here, not far from the infamous Moulin Rouge, she finds a time portal that lets her glimpse Paris in all it's magnificent past and future. It's the descriptions of Paris through the ages that really set this book apart. From this century, back down through time I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. From this century, back down through time into a strange dystopian future and back again.

It's very descriptive, and made me feel as if I was there with Hallie. The cast is also diverse, although I found they all really lacked any kind of emotional depth. The pace is all a bit all over the place too, and I struggled at times to get through it. A mixed bag really. Where I was lost in space before, now I was lost in time and the difference was so much fun!

Starting in the twenty-first century, I hopped to eighteen century-France as well. Our main character, Hallie, is a girl who really is looking for herself. She has demons in her past she tries to run from and cope with at the same time. Then ends up losing herself in time. I honestly have respect for her since she seemed to handle everything pretty well considering. During Hallie's travels, she meets a couple of people and I loved those. I loved the relationships that bloomed between them and Hallie.

I loved how we got to know their backgrounds, more about their lives and see what circumstances they were living in. One thing that was a pity was my confusion. I started out confused, not really understanding what was going on. Hallie herself didn't even know what she had to do half the time and I guess that left its mark on me as well? It did take away from my reading experience and that was such a pity Something I knew up front, but had trouble with anyway is all the history! It's about time-travelling. How can you avoid the history?! It isn't that I wanted to avoid it, but I did want it to be less All the French history facts were flying way over my head.

I can imagine this being a fun thing for people who actually know a thing or two about French history but to me? Nope, nope, nope. Even though I did like some of the characters, I still felt like they weren't fleshed out properly.

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Bland and one-dimensional is probably the right way to describe them and it's such a pity. I would've enjoyed this story way more had this at least been executed better Authors thinking they can have characters speak like in the quote above. If you're not going to do your research on how to write bilingual characters then why should I invest hours of my free time into reading your book?

Dec 27, Sarah thegirltheycalljones rated it did not like it Shelves: ya , dnf , science-fiction , time-travel. I don't know what I was waiting for. I should have known it wasn't the mind-blowing crazy fest the blurb was promising but hey, you never know? Another book set in Paris. Another book where the french language is butchered. I mean, okay but the least you can do when writing a book using another language is check said language to minimize the mistakes? It's not that hard.

People can help. Or you know, the internet? Some parts were supposed to be "bad french" I guess. But some weren't. Those b Hum. Those books are, for me, a very neat little circle of disappointment. Anyway, I'm being a pain in the ass here, that's not even the real issue. The real issue is that the characters are quite boring. Stuff happens but not really. The only credit I can give is that the author knows what it's like to work in a bar. I did work in a bar and all this was quite accurate. Adrift, indeed. May 24, Gray rated it liked it Shelves: reads. And what if your actions could change the future, either for the better or the worse The story opens with a glimpse of a dark dystopian future where survivors of a devastating war are discussing the possibilities of changing the past.

Following this, we shift to the present-day where we are introduced to main character Hallie. She is a British university student spending a gap-year living and working in present-day Paris. Paris Adrift is a time-travel story which uses the setting of Paris as a focal point for the narrative. We visit the city at different points in time and it feels like a character itself, so important is it to the story. I enjoyed the snapshots of Paris through the ages but felt that they were a little too brief.

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As a leading character, Hallie was a little underwhelming. There were hints of an interesting backstory that were never really expanded on. Some of the supporting characters left more of an impression on me. She was creepy yet fascinating for it. Paris Adrift contains some clever ideas including a rather unique way of looking at the addictive as well as dangerous nature of time travel. And houses harbor, too, the premonitions of things desired and things that are yet to come; the families we may create, the friends we may meet, the lovers whose bodies we may one day embrace.

So, I was really looking forward to this book. Originally posted on Who's Dreaming Who? Apr 09, Emily Ross rated it it was ok Shelves: reading-challenge , free-for-reviews , net-galley , kindle-books , reviewed. Apr 21, Aoife rated it liked it Shelves: science-fiction , kindle. But the future of the world may depend on things Hallie can change in the past - she just has no idea. I actually genuinely would have been able to read this book without the opening chapter showing a very horrible future, and people discussing incumbents, anomalies and time travel. They always seemed more like close friends than two people in love to me.

It felt like we got a good look at , a simpler look at WW2 Paris and then pretty much nothing of her other time travel adventures. On behalf of NetGalley and the publisher s. This book was at first slow, and confusing. When reading it pay attention closely to the writing. With the detail and flip flop of time it can get confusing. It was a slow start but there is a lot of detail. From the past to the future your following the character through her journey through time. Paris Adrift may seem Paris Adrift by E. Paris Adrift may seem overwhelming at times, and even maybe slow but trudge on and I'm sure you will love this amazing time-travel adventure.

It is set in Paris, at various timelines. Paris was supposed to save Hallie, make things better for her. As she works at the bar, with her friends, Hallie encounters a lot of things. One event inparticular sticks in her mind. She somehow sees herself, walking through the bar! Of course, Hallies' realistic mind can not make sense of the anomaly.

The anomalies can become confusing so pay attention. Hallow encounters a rather odd woman, who has chosen her to serve her. She introduced herself as, the Chronometrist. A cold, figure with a bird, no a falcon under her coat. Can Hallie believe enough to help herself.

She saw herself and knew it wasn't right, a dream just dream she tells herself. We all know that time travel can change the course of events happening in the other time period. What will Hallies travels cost her, or yet what will it cost Paris? Political, and adventurous this time travel tale may just have you second guessing your own course!! This book is coming, February 06, !! Watch to get your copy or pre-order now!!

It was weird. It mostly consisted of Hallie stumbling through her Anomaly, ending up in a different period, bumbling around trying not to get in trouble, with the chronometrist taunting her now and then. It tied up in the end, yet I never got rid of the feeling that plot-wise, the book was plodding rather than making progress. In a lot of time travel stories, the usual approach is to kill them the Sarah Connor effect , which obviously raises its lot of ethical questions. Here, Hallie found well, was pushed to other ways, and that was refreshing to see.

Feb 22, Lynn Williams rated it liked it. I liked the idea of it, I love Paris so the setting is perfect and the cover is just captivating. The story starts off with a post apocalyptic setting at some point in the not too distant future where the world is literally coming to an end. A group of time travellers make the difficult decision that somebody must travel back to change things before this possible future becomes a reality. From here is a journey of exploration really where Hallie will find her feet, find friends, find a portal to travel through time and possibly find love.

It all sounds perfect really. So many iconic sites, beautiful language, just the full shebang. But, whilst I love this city, the story felt a little like a tourist one stop guide. That being said, visiting the catacombs and other sites through the pages of a book was still great for reminiscing.

The city of love — and love in Paris Adrift. But, on the flip side it felt rushed. It was like reading a synopsis of a relationship. The time travel. Basically, there are portals, not everyone can use them, and ultimately there is a price to pay. I liked this idea and it also brings us to a very curious, and in my opinion one of the best, characters of the story — the chronomoterist.

The plot. Partly because I was enjoying some of the time travel and the places it took me to. I almost forgot the main purpose of the story. And that leads me onto the way in which Hallie eventually changes the future. It was just excellent and I loved that aspect to the story. The tropes. Well, we had the rather tired trope of the uncaring family — of course it gave Hallie a reason to run away or upsticks and leave if you prefer in the first place — but, when we eventually discover the full extent it felt very flimsy by way of excuse.

Of course the story makes this all seem very easy and before you know it she has a job, friends and a place to stay.

This Man Survived Over 2 Months Lost At Sea - 76 Days Adrift - I Shouldn't Be Alive S4 EP6 - Wonder

So, overall. This is an easy read. The writing is good. The pace is consistent and there are some very good ideas particularly those that look at current politics and how they could play out in the future. I had no trouble reading this. It was a fast paced story but personally I was hoping for more. So, conflicted. Good and bad. I received a copy courtesy of the publisher, through Netgalley, for which my thanks.

The above is my thanks. Jan 18, Ailsa rated it really liked it. I first noticed this book because of the cover, and when I read the description I thought it sounded like the sort of thing I would enjoy. I pictured a fairly typical urban fantasy novel, where a main character discovers there's actually magic of some kind in the world, and with the cool setting of Paris as a bonus. Please bear in mind that my remarks are not to be heard as a criticism of any funeral you yourselves have had to organize. This sermon simply reflects some new insights that have come to me as a pastor who regularly has to plan and lead funerals.

And by exploring this topic together, perhaps we can stop the drift and disarray too often associated with funeral services today. A favorite book of mine is called The Undertaking, written by Thomas Lynch, who is a funeral director and a poet living and working in Milford, Michigan. This absence of the dead from their own funerals is a growing trend and a striking American Protestant phenomenon. There are often legitimate reasons for this absence. For some people, there is a real discomfort around dead bodies and funeral services; so they request a memorial service full of stories about the loved one and upbeat music, but please, with no casket present.

Sometimes having the body at church is impractical if you want to have a service followed by a reception, since it means some guests will have to wait around while family head off to the cemetery for the graveside committal. My parents are now deceased, dying in and The large Presbyterian Church in Kansas City, to which they belonged, had their funeral ritual structured so that we would first go to the cemetery for the committal, and then return to the church for the service, followed by a reception where people offered condolences to the family.

It was all quite lovely. It felt wrong leaving their bodies behind while we went to the church for their funerals. Our choices that day made practical sense, but they felt ritually adrift and wrong emotionally and spiritually. The first step in correcting all this begins with confronting our own fears around death. Many recent books have been written by people who were dealing with terminal illnesses, such as novelist John Updike, the irascible atheist Christopher Hitchens, and movie critic Roger Ebert.

One retired doctor wrote a newspaper essay about how he found making his own coffin to be a way to be realistic about death while celebrating the creative spirit of life. I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night. The second corrective in this process comes from Thomas Lynch, the poet undertaker. In his Irish-American direct way, he insists that there are four essential parts to a funeral. By contrast, a proper understanding of death clearly lays down the basic rules of the game of life and thereby gives life form and purpose.

If I could continually think of myself as on the path to death as Heidegger suggests, that might help me accept my mortality. For one thing, the natural instinct to survive compels me to resist death at almost all costs, and this is something that I share with many creatures in the animal world.

For another, I cannot psychologically conceive of the future without secretly injecting myself into it. Even if I try to picture the world a thousand years down the road, I am still there as a ghostly spectator to the events I am imagining. Whether I like it or not, I am inherently resistant to the idea of my non-existence. My natural human attitude towards death, then, may be to assume that I am immortal, and, at the same time, be horrified when I look in the mirror and see my body disintegrating before my eyes. So, the desire for immortality and its accompanying despair, like Gilgamesh experienced, may simply be part of life.

While there, he sees legendary people who are being punished for evils they committed when alive. Lying helplessly, two vultures pick at his liver; he swats them to shoo them away, but they keep returning. Another fellow is parched with thirst, but cannot succeed in reaching water. Wading in a lake up to his chin, whenever he stoops down to drink, it immediately dries up leaving only dusty ground.

He sees succulent fruit trees above him, but as soon as he reaches for their produce the wind sweeps the branches into the clouds. Then there is Sisyphus, a deceitful king who tricked the god of death and stayed alive longer than he should have. He finally died and went to Hades, but the punishment for his trickery was not a pleasant one. Day after day he pushes a huge stone up a hill, but, always losing energy as he nears the top, he lets it go and it rolls back down. Homer describes the scene here:. I saw Sisyphus at his endless task raising his gigantic stone with both his hands.

With hands and feet he tried to roll it up to the top of the hill, but always, just before he could roll it over onto the other side, its weight would be too much for him, and, without pity, the stone would come thundering down again onto the plain below. Then he would begin trying to push it up hill again, and the sweat ran off him and steam rose from his head. All three of these scenes from Hades depict people trapped into performing futile tasks: swatting vultures, stooping to drink, pushing a bolder. Jill works in a lawnmower manufacturing plant, and her job is to bolt lawnmower blades onto motors.

She has thirty seconds to line up the pieces and attach them together. As soon as one is done, another follows on its heels. To reduce monotony, the factory rotates Jill and other employees from one work station to another, but, after a few minutes, the routine kicks in. Jill likes her co-workers and has no complaints against her supervisor.

Still, at the end of the day, she feels that she may as well have been pushing a boulder up a hill. It is not just assembly line jobs that carry a sense of tedious futility. Accountants, teachers, doctors, and most skilled workers face early burnout. What we do in our spare time is often no more rewarding. A good portion of the day is spent in monotonous domestic chores, cleaning, driving to and fro, shopping, personal hygiene.

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Year after year, this seem as futile as assembling lawnmower blades. French philosopher Albert Camus believed that the story of Sisyphus had another symbolic message. Camus called this the absurdity of life. Human life, he argued, cannot be neatly dissected and understood by human reason in the same way that scientists might successfully analyze and understand chemical reactions. We strive to be happy, but instead are trapped in a life of futile efforts. The problem is so bad that it might drive some to suicide.

So, Sisyphus represents the overwhelming struggle that we each have in overcoming a pointless life. But Camus is not content to let the issue rest with despair. Instead, he recommends that we revolt against the apparent pointlessness of life, accept our condition as limited as it is, and in that find happiness.

Sisyphus should embrace his boulder-pushing task; the value rests in his effort, not in what he achieves. We must imagine Sisyphus happy. The problem may be resistant to a simple attitude adjustment, as zoo keepers have discovered in their experience with the mental well-being of gorillas. For decades gorillas were kept in controlled enclosures with fixed routines like feeding schedules. While their basic needs were being met, the gorillas were all bored and depressed. Zoologists then discovered that gorillas needed complex tasks to challenge them throughout the day and keep their mental energies peaked.

Applying this lesson to human happiness, we might look for the kinds of challenging tasks that spark our interests throughout the day. We might need shorter and more varied work days; we might need more direct involvement with growing and preparing food; we might need the opportunity to explore new surroundings through travel; we might need to break free of overcrowded urban settings. In the end we might find that humans were designed to be content in tiny hunter-gatherer tribal groups — the condition in which the human species first evolved.

Modern industrial life may not be suited to ward off a sense of futility, and for us the human condition today may be inherently absurd with no real solution. Like Sisyphus, then, we unendingly push a boulder to no purpose. He breaks into a song about how enormous the galaxy is, containing a hundred billion stars over a distance of a hundred thousand light-years from side to side. The Milky Way itself, he explains, is only one of hundreds of billions of galaxies in the ever-expanding universe. He concludes,. So remember when you're feeling very small and insecure,.

And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space,. The man climbs back into the refrigerator and closes the door. If you want to feel significant in life, it is best to avoid thinking of yourself as a mere dot within a colossal universe. Even without the aid of modern astronomical telescopes that can peer into distant galaxies, people in ancient times looked up at the stars and were overwhelmed by their sense of smallness.

One of the most disturbing ancient discussions of the sense of cosmic insignificance is that by the Roman philosopher Boethius — BCE. His personal story is a sad one. Born into a wealthy family, Boethius was an important diplomat within the Roman Empire, but a political misunderstanding turned the Emperor against him and, at the young age of 35, he was sentenced to death for treason.

While awaiting execution in his prison cell, he reflected on everything that he would miss in life because of this injustice. In this state of anguish he composed a work titled The Consolation of Philosophy. She explains that the size of the earth is but a speck compared to the heavens, that most of the earth is uninhabitable, that human societies are scattered remotely. It is not just cosmic space that dwarfs human achievements, she continues, but also cosmic time. Even if Boethius does gain some temporary fame during his life, that would be absolutely nothing when compared with the eternity of time.

The lesson that we learn from Lady Philosophy is that, like Boethius, each of us is isolated within the limitless space and time of the cosmos, with no hope of making any meaningful or lasting impact. For someone like Boethius who is approaching death, maybe this will be a little consoling. So what if you are about to die: in the larger scheme of things your life does not amount to much anyway. But, for the rest of us who are not immediately facing death and have normal hopes and dreams, the brute reality of cosmic insignificance can be discouraging. Why should I strive for anything if I am just an imperceptible twitch within the infinite body of the cosmos?

Contemporary French philosopher Paul Ricoeur — offered a solution to the problem of cosmic insignificance. That is, while I cannot grasp my personal significance within the incomprehensible cosmic timeline, I can still find my spot within American History, for example, and even more so within my family history. I know how this country was founded, how my ancestors got here, what my grandparents and parents did with their lives, and how all this has shaped me.

Thus, we invent a historical narrative of our human past which is larger than our individual selves, yet much smaller and more manageable than cosmic space and time. Does Ricoeur successfully solve the problem of cosmic insignificance? Without question, knowledge of history does help clarify who I am and how I fit into the world around me. When I think about my spot within human history, I do not feel like an isolated being adrift in an unfathomable cosmic ocean.

But while this may temporarily distract me from my sense of cosmic insignificance, it does nothing to change the reality of the limitless cosmos. When I reflect on human history, I may feel at home; but the instant that I gaze at the stars, all of human history itself seems miniscule by comparison. The entire human legacy is confined to an infinitesimally small region of space for an infinitesimally small period of time.

Try as I might to keep my focus on human history, the stars return each night to remind me once again of my true limited place within the cosmos, and the sense of cosmic insignificance returns. The story of Job from the Hebrew Old Testament explores another challenge to the meaning of life. Job was not obsessed with death like Gilgamesh, discouraged by futility like Sisyphus, or overwhelmed with insignificance like Boethius.

Job is a wealthy and morally decent herdsman with a loving family, and he owns a large stock of sheep, oxen, camels, and donkeys. Then everything changes for the worse. His animals are stolen, his servants are burnt to death by fire from the sky and, worst of all, his children are killed in a tornado. Job himself is infected with itchy skin boils, which he scratches with a broken piece of pottery. In a display of sorrow, he rips his clothes and shaves his head. Three friends stop by for a visit and at first do not even recognize Job because he is so disfigured from his illness.

One friend argues that people suffer when they forget God and, so, Job must have abandoned God at some point in his life. Another argues that people suffer when they commit some moral offense, and no one can fully know all the things that God finds evil. Job insists, though, that he did nothing wrong. Finally, God himself appears in a thunderstorm and sets the record straight: God is infinitely great, Job is virtually insignificant and, so, Job has no right to complain.

The problem raised in the story of Job is how we explain human suffering. While all suffering is inherently bad, it is only a specific type of misery that casts a serious shadow over the meaning of life. Suppose I pick up a hammer and intentionally hit myself on the foot with it. The explanation of my suffering is clear and there is no moral mystery to be solved: I have no one to blame but my foolish self.

This is a rule of life that I understand and accept, no matter how miserable I make myself. Suffering of this sort, then, poses no real threat to a meaningful life. It may not even be so bad if you intentionally hammer away at my foot, so long as you are arrested and convicted of assault. Even though I am in pain, I can be consoled by the fact that justice has been done and you are held accountable for my suffering. So, even unjustified suffering like this will not necessarily make my life meaningless. The real problem occurs when the suffering exhibits two specific features, namely, it is both unprovoked and unresolved , which is exactly what Job faced.

It was also unresolved since, when his livestock was stolen the bad guys got away with it. If they had been arrested and forced to compensate Job for his losses, then perhaps Job could have accepted the situation and moved on. Job was not so lucky. Similarly, when his children were killed, he could not just replace his old family with a new one. He also could receive no compensation that would counterbalance his agonizing illness.

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With no resolution to these unprovoked tragedies, Job is left wondering why they happened. Part of human nature is to seek out the hidden causes of things and resolve mysteries.

When tragedy strikes us through no fault of our own, we are inclined to find some cause and, more importantly, cast blame on that cause when we can. This is one reason why lawsuits are so common. If Job had the chance, he might have sued his local police for not catching the thieves, or sued the National Weather Service for not forewarning him of the tornado. But the more irrational our accusations are, the less comfort we can take in them, and, in our more clear-headed moments, we are still left wondering why these tragedies happened.

When we fail in our attempts to find blame with human causes for our misery, many people, like Job, cast blame on divine causes. An all-powerful God should protect me from unprovoked suffering, and if he does not, then he is to blame. Nietzsche was a victim of chronic illness and, like Job, knew firsthand what it is like to experience unprovoked and unresolved suffering.

It becomes all-consuming, everything wounds us and even our memories become gathering wounds.


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However, he maintains, there is a remedy to this sense of resentment, which is a kind of fatalism where you just lay down, accept your condition, and not even wish to be different. Imagine that you lost a relative in a tornado and you put the blame on God. God is infinitely great and you are by comparison insignificant; this is what we learn from the story of Job. In the course of our lives, most of us experience tragedies that are unprovoked and unresolved, such as property loss, the death of loved ones, serious illness.

Just as these four stubborn problems with the meaning of life were voiced early on in human civilization, so too did the ancient world propose solutions. The first set of solutions we will look at are from ancient Greece. For a brief period of time, Greek philosophers were in the self-help business and they offered step-by-step methods for achieving happiness. Four approaches were so popular that even today their names are household words: Epicureanism, Stoicism, Skepticism, and Cynicism. Jack, an English professor from a large and prestigious university, thinks he has cracked the code to happiness.

He published a lot earlier in his career, but now he rides on his reputation and gets by doing minimal preparation for the few classes that he is required to teach. In his spare time he indulges his many cravings. An enthusiast of specialty foods, he is intimately familiar with the menus of every fine restaurant in his area and he regularly attends wine and cheese tasting events. During the day he reads novels, plays tennis, visits art museums, and takes sculpting classes.

In the evening he watches foreign films at art houses, after which he frequents local jazz clubs. On school breaks he flies to Europe, sampling the cultural offerings there. His passions, though, are not limited to food, art and travel. Jack possesses an animal magnetism that makes him successful in the romance department. Each semester he invites a new female graduate assistant to be his lover for the duration of the term.

While the women know that the affair is only temporary, they happily agree, and even recommend possible partners for his next semester. On his birthday, his former lovers who are still in the area throw him a party. In a word, Jack is an Epicurean. The Greek philosopher Epicurus BCE believed that the job of philosophy is to help people attain happiness; a philosophy that does not heal the soul, he argues, is no better than medicine that cannot cure the body.

His formula for attaining human happiness is simple: increase pleasure and decrease pain. Personal pleasure is the only thing that we should pursue, and the value of everything we do in life is judged by that standard. The pleasures that Epicurus recommends are precisely the ones that Jack enjoys, but he warns that we should not pursue all pleasures with equal zeal. Second, some desires are not entirely necessary, such as the desire for luxury food, and we should pursue these with moderation.

Third, Epicurus warns us to avoid placing short term desires above long-term ones. For example, if Jack skipped teaching his classes for the short term goal of visiting a museum, then he would likely lose his job and his happy lifestyle would come crashing down. Is Epicureanism a reasonable path to human happiness?

While we all naturally want pleasure, there is something suspect about a lifestyle that is devoted entirely to its pursuit. Let us grant that Jack is truly happy with his Epicurean existence. There is no telling, though, how long those activities will sustain his interest. Part of the joy he experiences comes from the newness of his activities: a new restaurant, a new art exhibit, a new story plot, a new lover.

He will be like Sisyphus pushing a gem-encrusted boulder up a hill, a task no less futile than pushing an ordinary rock. Further, the happiness that Jack does experience rests on a stroke of good fortune that may easily change. If his university cracks down on his laziness, he will have less leisure time for his hobbies. If his ex-wife sues him for alimony, he will not be able to cover the costs of his activities. As he grows older, young women will be repulsed by his romantic advances. Thus, indulging in pleasure is not a stable road to happiness if it rests on so many factors beyond our control.

Epicurus himself was restrained in the pleasures that he pursued. He lived on a small food diet, avoided luxuries, and strived for self-sufficiency. Thus, pursuing pleasure alone is no guarantee of a meaningful life, which Epicurus himself recognized. Imagine that you are a captured soldier detained in a prisoner of war camp.

Your captors, who are not particularly fond of the Geneva Convention, have provided you with grim and sometimes inhumane accommodations. Your cell block is unheated, your bedding is covered with fleas, your meals are unpredictable and, when they are served, the food is often rotten. About once a week you are interrogated by your captors, who psychologically intimidate you and sometimes beat you. You do not know how long your detention will last, or even if you will survive.

In these conditions, could you possibly be happy? First, you would have to condition yourself to ignore the physical harshness of your environment. Gathering all your mental strength, you might eventually get used to your cold room, unsanitary bedding and disgusting food. You would then have to accept that you are at the mercy of the unpredictable whims of your captors who can beat you and even kill you as they see fit.