Thursday, July 20, 2017

RELIGION, SPIRITUALITY, AND TRUTH (repost)



The etymology of words reveals a great deal. Take religion, for example: in Latin ligare means to tie together, to bind or connect; and religare means to rejoin what was separated. Therefore, religion is what ties together, reunites or reconnects us... but with what? Our unknown origins? The mysterious source of our being? With our tribe? Certainly religion is what reconnects us with the Godhead, or Divine Nature.

Along the way, the word “religion” becomes defined as “obligation” – and the idea of tying together or reconnecting somehow devolves into being tied up, bound by God’s Laws, imprisoned by rigid rules. And thus the joy of an ultimate homecoming gets twisted into an ingrained and unquestioning obedience, a sheeplike submission to restrictions externally imposed by “expert authorities.”

So let us redeem religion by defining it as a means to realign with and rejoin our sovereign self, the nucleus of our cellular awareness. Call it God or Goddess, Prime Creator or Source, Great Spirit or All That Is... religion has no purpose other than to get us reconnected, in order that our soul can reintegrate with the Cosmic Oversoul. Religion is a safe route from confusion to fusion with the many facets of the One.

Where does fundamentalism fit in with this definition of religion? The written word hasn’t been around very long: the oldest writings we know of are the Sumerian cuneiform tablets dating back a mere 6,000 years.

Fundamentalists cling tenaciously to the literal truth of their scriptures. They worship the written word as divine memos from On High. That’s why it takes a book religion to produce a fundamentalist – and the three best-selling book religions are Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. I don’t know what form Jewish fundamentalism takes, but you can be sure that in its extreme manifestation, it’s not particularly friendly towards non-Jews - just as Christian and Muslim fundamentalists don’t admit “infidels” into their paradise, and certainly not into their hearts.

Reading and writing are mostly left-brain activities engaging a “logical” masculine bias. Thus, the worship of the written word is of necessity a linear approach to non-linear reality: it perceives the divine as an Almighty Father and gives rise to a patriarchal, polarized social order that separates good from evil, light from dark, right from wrong, the sheep from the goats.

It’s easy to see how, in a pastoral community where illiteracy is the norm, the literate few can wield enormous influence over the many simply by monopolizing the interpretation and perpetuation of scriptures.


Now let’s take a look at what spirituality is all about. Spirit has been set apart from Matter as if the twain should never meet. Yet when we approach both Spirit and Matter from a scientific perspective, we find that the difference seems to be essentially vibrational: that is to say, Matter is what happens to Spirit when it slows itself down to a lesser frequency. Albert Einstein’s famous equation, E=MC2, suggests that mass and energy are interchangeable under certain conditions determined by velocity.

Another 20th century genius, R. Buckminster Fuller, postulated that 99.9% of the electromagnetic spectrum is metaphysical, that is, beyond the range of our sense organs and even our most sophisticated instruments. This means the physical world experienced through our senses and our scientific tools actually constitutes less than 0.1% of “reality.”

However, it’s possible to evolve to the point where 100% of the reality spectrum becomes accessible – by becoming, literally, All That Is! In a holographic universe, the difference between what’s micro and what’s macro is merely a question of scale. The Master Jesus is quoted as saying: “My Father and I are One.” Was he implying that he had attained a fractal awareness of the Godhead, of the Totality of Being? As a Son of God, he was divine; and as a Son of Man, human. This fulfils Meister Eckhardt’s mystical dictum that God must become Man, so that Man can become God.

In other words, the separation between Spirit and Matter is only apparent. But we have people at both ends of the reality spectrum, each claiming their end is superior or more important - a bit like the long-running feud between the Little Enders and the Big Enders in Gulliver’s Travels, wherein perpetual war is waged to decide which end of the egg should be regarded as the top.

To the scientific materialist, Matter is all that matters; while the mystic argues that Spirit permeates all space and time, and must therefore precede and prevail over Matter.


If Spirit and Matter are two sides of the proverbial coin, what does it mean to be a “spiritual” person? Superficially, one who shows less interest in material comforts could be described as “spiritual” – but does that indicate a more “correct” lifepath than someone who pays greater attention to materiality? If Spirit and Matter are indeed complementary, just like Yin and Yang, doesn’t it make sense for us to seek a dynamic equilibrium between these polarities. “X” marks the spot where Spirit and Matter intersect, where the horizontal meets the vertical, and what was once separate becomes whole... and holy! The Christ, instead of being seen as Spirit crucified on the Cross of Matter, is said to be simply on axis, and thereby freed forever from all suffering, real or imaginary. And as we uncrucify Jesus the Christ – who represents the Omega point of our evolutionary destiny – so, too, do we release ourselves from endless cycles of unnecessary grief and pain and guilt.

Pontius Pilate’s claim to fame, as recorded in the New testament, is the rhetorical question he posed during the trial of Jesus: WHAT IS TRUTH? Indeed, how do we define truth? Is it not an everchanging circumstance, always mutable? For instance, on a rainy day, it’s true to describe the streets as wet. But when the sun shines again, this condition is no longer true. Is there anything that can pass as “immutable truth”? I honestly doubt it. Perhaps we’re better off just being HONEST, rather than perpetually seeking some sort of immutable truth. At least, with honesty, one can conclude that the truth means different things to different perceptions – and all perceptions are, to a certain degree, valid.

What we’re dealing with here is a problem of semantics. Concepts that were in vogue hundreds, or even thousands of years ago, have influenced the way we define words and apply them in our everyday language, which in turn determines how we interpret our sensory perceptions.

The “rugged look” is viewed as “scruffy” by unsympathetic eyes. What’s “sexy” to one person comes across as “obscene” to another. So do we really want to commit genocide – and, ultimately, nuclear suicide - over a mere linguistic misunderstanding? Yet, that’s how bloody wars have erupted throughout history and, sadly, this continues to be the case.

All I’m saying is: IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE!

Arthur C. Clarke, the visionary writer, once remarked that all human problems can be resolved with a little intelligence. I think it would do no harm to add a generous dash of love and a measure of genuine goodwill.


[Extracted from an unpublished manuscript, THE (UNFINISHED) BOOK OF JOHN: Confessions of a former Christian fundamentalist. First posted 16 February 2007, reposted 10 January 2014]



Sexual repression & guilt ~ the root of all patriarchal evils, especially in Malaysia!


When I was 19 I went through an intense and highly compressed ascetic phase. For about two weeks I lost interest in food, sex and sleep. My mind went into overdrive and kept me in a constant state of excitement. I was absolutely determined to figure out what the hell I was doing on this planet in a human body - and what I had been, if anything at all, before taking birth.

My days and nights were spent reading, writing, thinking, observing everything around me, and discussing my ideas and insights with a couple of close friends. I didn't require much solid food, sometimes drinking only a bowl of soup and nibbling on a Marmite sandwich. Meat didn't appeal to me; often I chewed on some vegetables just to get their essence; and I couldn't be bothered or didn't need to sleep, though I would sit in lotus position and recharge my cells from time to time.

Soon I found my testicles retracting and my penis shrinking to a ridiculous size. All I did was burst out laughing because I suddenly understood why Indian yogis have traditionally subjected themselves to long periods of fasting and abstinence.

It was to focus their minds like a laser in order to cut through the crap of mundane existence and begin to stepdown and receive data from an extended range of the electromagnetic spectrum.

I've written extensively about my early initiatory experiences elsewhere so I'll fast-forward to the moment when, unexpectedly, I experienced a resurgence of my libido. I was absorbing the Sun's energy one morning and suddenly found myself with the most incredible hard-on ever. The word virile  came alive for me as I felt the solar force course through my throbbing veins. I gazed in awe at my rampant manhood, luxuriating in electric ripples of unmitigated concupiscence.

Priapus, Greek God of Fertility
It was as though my libido had died and resurrected itself as a hitherto unknown species of sacred sexuality wherein my own innate divinity was being expressed as a manifestation of the Primordial Progenitor. The Father archetype and I literally became one.

Omphalos stone
From that moment hence, I was liberated from a hundred thousand generations of hand-me-down sexual taboos. In a flash I understood the serpent symbolism underlying all pre-Abrahamic belief systems. The esoteric word kundalini  was unknown to me at the time, but when I later read about the phenomenon I knew it was what had spontaneously happened to me.

The electromagnetic basis of all existence in a bi-polar universe is grounded in the sacred union of shakta and shakti, male and female principles. This simply means that the ultimate goal of yoga - which means "union" in Sanskrit - is conscious fusion between polarities on all levels - from the biological (as in sexual conjugation) to the metaphysical (as in the alchemical marriage between our divine and human aspects).

Tantra teaches us that the ego-transcending act of sexual union is among the most powerful and direct methods of realizing our own inherent divinity - at least when performed as an act of worship by those who have cleansed themselves of negative emotions like guilt, fear and hypocrisy.

However, the erotophobic male priesthoods that sprouted in the wake of Abraham approximately 4,000 years ago have systematically perverted human sexuality with their erroneous doctrines of shame and false purity, wherein celibacy became promoted as a virtue unto itself.

Activation of the chakras above the navel was encouraged as a means to "get closer to God" - whereas activating the chakras below the navel was considered dangerous - even wrong - as it reinforced our animality and focused our senses on carnal pleasures.

Thus was sexual taboo entrenched in the Book Religions which gave rise to what I call the fig leaf syndrome. Humans became schizoid and a great divide separated their inner and outer personalities into private and public selves - with a hardwired conditioned reflex to cover up whatever was considered "private" and exaggerate or magnify everything regarded as "public."

This is why in patriarchal societies like Malaysia, issues of morality tend to revolve around sex. Corrupt and dishonest politicians are tolerated to the extent that they often get re-elected, but they must resign the moment they're caught with their pants down.

In effect, we're being given the message that it's okay to do just about anything - including abduct, extort, intimidate, torture, imprison and murder - so long as we keep our trousers on at all times.

By the same token, anything sexual is subject to strict censorship - no kissing, no nudity, no glimpses of genitalia. However, the worst forms of violence are acceptable: punching, stabbing, shooting, karate-chopping, beheading, crucifying, dropping bombs on crowded cities are all "okay."

Is it any wonder that our police force - and a volunteer reserve force like RELA - has attracted such a large number of sexual perverts and psychopaths? These are men who have been brought up to believe that their sexual nature is demonic  and must be suppressed or controlled through harsh laws. Burdened with chronic guilt feelings, these men harbor a subconscious fear of being assigned to hell after they die. And if you're going to hell for masturbating too often, you might as well go the whole hog and commit rape, murder, brutal torture, the works.

Have you ever wondered why on earth in the 21st century we still have statutes against oral and anal sex? Not only are these activities ominously classified as "acts against the order of nature" - they are also punishable with caning and imprisonment of up to 20 years! Each day that such nonsensical laws continue to exist in our legal statutes, they make a complete mockery of reason and sanity.

Only a perverted male priesthood could visualize a deity dressed like a stern-faced judge who can routinely sentence anyone to jail for up to 20 years simply for enjoying a bit of mildly kinky sex. How can you argue with such a twisted mindset? The keenest legal mind in the world cannot get you off the hook except by proving your innocence beyond doubt or providing a watertight alibi.

The ISA may be an extremely cruel and unjust law - but what about the laws against anal and oral sex? They are utterly insane and totally insufferable. If this Victorian era legislation were to be enthusiastically enforced, I'd venture that more than one-third of Malaysia's adult population would right now be serving time (free at last to enjoy as much anal and oral sex as they can handle, just as drug addicts can always find a regular supply if they befriend the right prison warders).

Infamous arsehole Saiful Bukhari Azlan with Khairil Anus Yusof,
special aide to Najib Razak
But do you think any Barisan Nasional lawmaker would even consider revoking these archaic laws so long as Anwar Ibrahim remains poised to take over as prime minister?

The issue of sexual repression I have raised with this blogpost has a multitude of ramifications. Nature has designed our bodies in such a way that when we attain puberty, a psychedelic slew of hormones are secreted into our bloodstream which accelerate and enhance mental and spiritual growth. But if our early encounters with our own sexuality are fraught with guilt and shame and subterfuge, we shall find it much harder to attain mental and spiritual maturity.

This is precisely why patriarchies are invariably dead against sex, drugs and rock'n'roll - which may be considered evolutionary triggers in the context of modern living. Sexual freedom causes the young to mature more quickly. Drugs (specifically entheogenic substances like LSD, psilocybin and ketamine) - notwithstanding their potential negative side-effects - can facilitate neurological and sensory breakthroughs that provide otherwise unavailable glimpses of ordinarily inaccessible realities. And rock'n'roll  is essentially a code name for any innovative genre of music that serves to initiate young people into neo-tribal states of consciousness, often catalyzing new artistic and cultural forms into manifestation.


Going by the orc-like behavior of our policemen and security personnel, one can easily conclude that what we have in Malaysia is a sex-obsessed society of mental and spiritual retards. The more we attempt to suppress our sexual nature, the more obsessed we become with it. Four thousand years of religious erotophobia have produced only one significant result: the burgeoning of a multi-billion-dollar porn industry.

No sexually repressed society can ever produce great works of art. As long as our collective kundalini  is blocked or forced to express itself through "underground" routes, Malaysia will remain a mediocracy - where mediocrity rules unchallenged.

Think long and hard on this, people... and make sure your children do not grow up sexually repressed!

[Originally published on 20 April 2009 as part six of a series - Where Malaysia is headed. Reposted 11 February 2014 & 2 April 2016]


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Money, sexuality, illumination and the double helix (revisited)


The dollar sign is indeed a subtle variation on the caduceus which can be traced right back to Sumerian images of Enki, whose clan symbol was the serpent (probably denoting his mother's indigenous Snake lineage).

Enki, for those as yet unacquainted with the Anunnaki pantheon, was a master scientist-wizard whose son, Ningishzidda (better known as the Egyptian god Thoth), grew up to be among the greatest healer-scientist-wizards in history. The caduceus reappears in connection with Hermes Trismegistos, the Greek incarnation of Thoth, who initiated Pythagoras into the Mysteries. The caduceus was adopted by the Hermeticists as their emblem, indicating spiritual descent from Enki.

Hippocrates (possibly a student of Pythagoras) is called the Father of Medicine - and his symbol was the caduceus. All doctors were obliged to take the Hippocratic oath (don't know if they still do so today), which explains why the Medical Association also has the caduceus as its emblem.


The serpent represents not just an ancient tradition of scientific wisdom originating on earth from Enki's work as a geneticist (it was Enki who engineered the Adamic race with a little bit of help from Ninhursag, his feisty medical officer and half-sister). There is thus the distinct possibility that the entwined serpents on the caduceus (yes, there are usually two) symbolize the double helix of our DNA.

Kundalini - that mysterious bioelectrical force that supposedly surges through our chakras along the spine - has traditionally been depicted as a coiled serpent at the base of the spine. When awakened, the serpent uncoils towards the crown chakra, facilitating enlightenment, It is therefore highly likely that the early Illuminati (Enlightened Ones) revered the image of the serpent(s) entwined around the tree (or spine).

As in Tolkien - as well as Stars Wars - mythology, the Illumined Ones (aka Istari or Jedi, guardians of cosmic wisdom) were not immune to hubris, hence the occasional "fall from Grace" that produced renegade Illuminati (like Saruman or Annakin Skywalker). It is unfortunate that in our time, being labeled an Illuminatus is not necessarily a compliment. Indeed, everyone assumes you're a member of the New World Order Cabal. (This explains the moral ambiguity of secret mystical orders like the Templars, Freemasons, and so on. David Icke, for one, doesn't conceal his intense mistrust of the Great White Brotherhood and all the Ascended Masters - this is simply because the ones involved with manipulating human evolution are identified as the Archons, what Susan Ferguson calls the Phantasmal Hierarchy in her 'Inanna' books.)

Tree of Knowledge by Martina Hoffman

Tantalizingly, the caduceus image is contained in the story of Adam and Eve as the Serpent on the Tree, representing the potential of kundalini arousal, which would result in tantric consciousness - spiritual adulthood, autonomy from the dictates of a paternalistic deity. (There are actually TWO trees - one called the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, the other the Tree of Immortal Life.)

It's easy to see why the caduceus was modified into the dollar sign - after all, money is a universal symbol of energy, it's a form of sexual currency or current - it triggers activity, propels industry, and secures material needs. Hence the money-fixation of our sexually-repressed species - which shows the many facets of activated kundalini, as creative as well as procreative impulses. When we lust after money, it's really the sublimation of an insatiable desire to fuck and be fucked. Perhaps that's why sexual abstinence is often linked with voluntary poverty.

Mr Kundalini by Nathan Hopkins

Modern notions of sexuality are inextricably linked with money. Pornstars don't do it so much for fun as for profit. Me, I'm old-fashioned and prefer to do it for fun. How about it, sexy, doing anything this weekend?

[From an email posted 2 March 2003 on the Magick River Network, first published 17 June 2012, reposted 8 April 2013 & 25 March 2016]



Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Abrahamic Agenda (revisited yet again)

Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son to appease Yahweh.

I have pondered long on the history of the Abrahamic Agenda on Earth.... how one human being implanted with receptors to receive commands from a different dimension was able to spawn three major belief systems that have had such contradictory consequences (inspiring both great art and miracles as well as endless conflict, ecocide and genocide).

In the 15th Century CE, the Roman Catholic Church was at its most hideous and malignant - actively ferreting out "deviants" and "heretics" and arraigning them before the bloodthirsty Inquisition (actually an ancient cabal of "priests" who were secret practitioners of human sacrifice and energy vampirism). The cruelest tortures were inflicted on those whose property was coveted by these perverse agents of the Roman Church - and after a mock trial, hundreds of thousands (if not millions) were burnt at the stake, drowned as witches, or left to rot in foul dungeons.

Well, ironically, the current era happens to be Islam's 15th Century... and we witness the same bunch of power-hungry fiends preying on humanity by pretending piety. Today, the pervert priesthood is mostly found in decadent regimes like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, and Malaysia and whether they call themselves ulama, ustaz or ayatollah, they seem addicted to the psychological stranglehold they wield over unquestioning believers.

Like their Roman Catholic predecessors and counterparts, these psychic predators trade mainly in fear (of hell) and guilt (usually sexual). I'm sure the majority of so-called Christians were decent human beings capable of reason and common sense - and yet, why were they afraid to speak out against the diabolical Inquisition? Why did they not revolt against the clergy? Simply because the clergy had convinced the masses that they (the priestly caste) represented God's Will on Earth - that's what is claimed by the Pope, hence the regality and splendor of his professional raments.

The same applies to the so-called Muslims in Malaysia. I have absolutely no doubt that the vast majority of Malaysian Muslims are completely reasonable and even compassionate human beings - yet why do they keep quiet and allow a few self-appointed "religious" fanatics to inflict the cruelest, most barbaric forms of punishment and mind-control on the ummah?

Ultimately, these issues have little to do with spiritual experience or religious practice - they are essentially political black ops designed to keep the masses constantly in a state of anxiety, self-doubt and moral cowardice. Imagine if a cabal of ulama were to decree that anyone caught masturbating would have his or her genitals surgically removed - would the ordinary mosque-going Muslim burst out in whoops of uncontrollable laughter and tell these crazy ulama to get a life or eff off? Or would they react by keeping a deadly silence and lowering their eyes, hoping nobody would single them out for questioning?

Meanwhile, truly outrageous crimes committed by the ruling elite pass unchallenged, uninvestigated and unprosecuted...

This is precisely the strategy UMNO is using in their desperate attempts to thwart Anwar Ibrahim's political destiny. Little do they realize, in so doing, they are only strengthening Anwar's mythic status as a folk hero - in the tradition of erstwhile messianic figures like Moses, Yeshua (Jesus) and Muhammad.

I have no vested interest in any particular belief system - whatever resonates within my cellular consciousness as "true" I will accept as inner guidance, inner teaching (intuition)... and having observed the power of semantics and semiotics on the mass psyche, I can only conclude that all humanity would be far more integrated and harmonious were it not for the divisive effect of religious dogma.

[First posted 15 October 2011. Reposted 13 December 2014, 12 April 2015 & 13 October 2016]

Thursday, July 6, 2017

TAK BOLEH BOGEL (NO NUDITY) IN MALAYSIA (HERE WE GO AGAIN!)

Spencer Tunick
Another unpublished Letter to the Editor... 

It’s been ages since I felt moved to write a letter to The Editor. The urge to air my views in print has been building up since the Nude Squat furore erupted (seems like the only “legitimate” way you can see people naked is to arrest them first). City Hall’s declared intention to penalize folks caught smooching or even holding hands in public was irksome news to me (some of my fondest memories involve exactly that). But the final straw was the email I received announcing that free screenings of international films organised by Kaki Kino at FINAS have been suspended till further notice, after a shrill complaint about uncensored “babak lucah” (nude scenes) appeared in a leading Malay daily.

Imagine a lush lagoon, festooned with giant ferns and flirtatious mermaids. A man and a woman, both well-tanned, are strolling hand-in-hand along the sandy shore, gloriously naked. Is that not a veritable vision of paradise? Granted, the couple could also be modeling chic beachwear by Jean-Paul Gaultier (but that would be too much like a glossy magazine ad).

Now imagine a fast-motion sequence showing Tokyo commuters at rush hour – all respectably dressed in office apparel and suffering from gastritis. Or a slow-motion montage of KL traffic after a heavy afternoon downpour. Cut to the gory aftermath of a car bomb attack in Baghdad and then crossfade to a wide-angle closeup of an American-made Israeli bulldozer, demolishing a Palestinian neighborhood, as terrified women clutch babies to their hearts and wail in despair. Hellish scenes, for sure – but they would get past the censors, no problem.

Why is this so? Are we being indoctrinated to perceive pain as okay and pleasure as not? Is it any wonder that crime reports are getting more gruesome by the day? Maybe it’s time to reassess what sort of messages we’re being programmed with.

There’s no way I can conceive of a kiss or a hug, regardless of who’s doing it and where, as being indecent or offensive. These are signs of love and affection. Are these warm feelings WRONG? Folks who react negatively to romance and sex were probably deprived of cuddles as kids. They’re likely to inflict corporal punishment on their own children as a matter of routine. Those who express alarm and outrage at the sight of female nipples are undoubtedly some inorganic lifeform in human guise that never experienced the life-sustaining comfort and nourishment of mother’s milk. How do you think a baby would react to seeing a bare breast or two on the screen? Lodge a self-righteous report with the religious police... or gurgle with happiness?

Spencer Tunick
All it takes is a bit of common sense and reason. There’s nothing shameful about our bodies. Fat or sinewy, hairy or baby-smooth, the body is our sovereign domain, our physical home. Naked or adorned with sparkling gems, bodies are magnificent by divine design. Everybody loves being naked. In the bathroom or the bedroom, being naked means you’re enjoying a hot shower or some hot sex. Or maybe you’re just relishing a good poop or your private space after a marathon immersion in public affairs. What’s so scandalous about that?

We live in the hot and humid tropics. The sort of place where clothing is merely a fashionable option. You won’t find too many nudist colonies in Alaska or Tibet. Arab women have traditionally had to cover up to protect themselves from desert sandstorms, camel farts (possibly radioactive since Gulf Wars I and II) and temperature extremes. Were it not for fear of their control-freak husbands, don’t you think they would celebrate being in their own skins if they were magically transported to a balmy beach in the South Seas? Talk about “inappropriate attire”... being wrapped in thick cloth from head to toe on a sweltering day in the city sounds like a portable sauna to me. But to each his or her own - I’m happy in my sarong and flip-flops.

Spencer Tunick

I have to be honest with myself. I love looking at beauty, and women are embodiments of the Great Goddess, deserving of admiration, love and respect. If a naked woman walked past me in the street, I would certainly turn my head for a second look. And I’d feel absolutely no guilt or shame about doing so. Nor would I - uncontrollably overcome by animal lust - drag her by the hair off to my cave and show her my etchings. Unless, of course, she handed me a perfumed note with precisely such a request. Even so, I’d rather she walk back to my cave on her own two feet than drag her all the way. I have a different concept of exercise.

Immaturity has its place, I grant that. However, let it not be exalted as the arbiter of our behavior and our moral code. There’s no immorality in portraying the human form in various stages of dress or undress in the adult cinema. What’s truly immoral is imposing on others our own limitations and limiting beliefs. Do we really value the grotesque hypocrisy censorship encourages? Are we to blinker our cinematic vision (like the proverbial katak under a tempurung) in a knee-jerk reaction to the poisonous outpourings of a pusillanimous prude?

Sincerely,
Antares
Kuala Kubu Bharu
27 April 2006

[First published 12 January 2007, reposted 1 July 2012 & 20 September 2016]

Excerpt from an open letter to Akmal Abdullah, deputy editor of Berita Harian (published 1 August 2006)
Dear Akmal Abdullah, I am not particularly pleased that you exist. Why is this so, when we haven't even met and you don't know me from Adam? But is that so surprising - considering your predilection for campaigning to ban movies you haven't even seen? Well, Akmal, I think you ought to be banned from paradise - unless you wise up and 'fess up to having been an outright obstruction. Akmal Abdullah, you stand accused of suppressing art and denying life. Have you anything to say in your own defence? When you look into a mirror, are you happy to be the person looking back? Do you see a frog trapped under your own obscurantist coconut shell? Will you repent and henceforth channel your energies towards being creative rather than destructive? Or will you dig in your reactionary heels and doggedly remain a blight on the face of the earth with your acute case of 'cemburu kampungitis'? The Chinese have an instructive saying about this: "The midget does not grow taller by chopping off other people's heads."
Please heed these words if you'd rather be greeted by decent folk with a pat on the back instead of a kick in the butt.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

A TIGER'S TALE ~ by Remez Sasson


A teacher and his student were walking from one village to another, when they suddenly heard a roar behind them. Turning their gaze in the direction of the roar they saw a big tiger following them. The first thing the student wanted to do was to run away, but as he has been studying and practicing self-discipline, he was able to halt himself, waiting to see what his teacher was going to do.

"What shall we do, Master?" asked the student.

The teacher looked at the student and answered in a calm voice:

"There are several options. We can fill our minds with paralyzing fear so that we cannot move, and let the tiger do with us whatever pleases it. We can faint. We can run away, but then it will run after us. We can fight with it, but physically it is stronger than us."

"We can pray to god to save us. We can choose to influence the tiger with the power of our mind, if our concentration is strong enough. We can send it love. We can also concentrate and meditate on our inner power, and on the fact that we are one with the entire universe, including the tiger, and in this way influence its soul. Which option do you choose?"

"You are the Master. You tell me what to do. We haven't much time," responded the student.

The master turned his gaze fearlessly towards the tiger, emptied his mind from all thoughts, and entered samadhi (a mystical trance). In his consciousness he embraced everything in the universe including the tiger. In this deep meditation the consciousness of the teacher became one with consciousness of the tiger.


Meanwhile the student started to shiver with fear, as the tiger was already quite close, ready to make a leap at them. He was amazed at how his teacher could stay so calm and detached in the face of danger.

Meanwhile the teacher continued to meditate without fear. After a little while, the tiger gradually lowered its head and tail and went away.

The student asked his teacher in astonishment, "What did you do?"

"Nothing. I just cleared all thoughts from my mind and united myself in spirit with the tiger. We became united in peace on the spiritual level. The tiger sensed the inner calmness, peace, and unity and felt no threat or need to express violence, and so walked away."


"When the mind is silent and calm, its peace is automatically transmitted to everything and everyone around, influencing them deeply," concluded the teacher.

[First posted 23 April 2010]


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The Great Capitalism vs Communism Debate (revisited)

It appears that the Umno home ministry has come up with a new political strategy. It wants to associate the Chinese-dominated Democratic Action Party (DAP) with the creeping return of communism.

Indeed, this vile strategy is laced with the usual Umno brand of racist arsenic. It seeks to create - or, rather, resurrect - the illusion that all Chinese are actual or potential communists. Which is patently an infantile, stupid and shallow notion easily rebutted.

Russia and Cuba are known to be communist nations - yet there aren't too many Chinese to be found in either country. Of course, this has never occurred to the rabidly racist editors of Utusan Malaysia, Umno's propaganda rag.

Communism as a political ideology transcends race - just like its Siamese twin, capitalism.

Being infantile, stupid and shallow is par for the course when it comes to Umno politics. To anyone outside Umno it must be clear as crystal that Umno isn't really interested in anything apart from ferociously clinging onto the political dominance the party has enjoyed - or, rather, abused - since 1957. Nothing else matters to Umno: certainly not issues of justice, human rights, fair play, accountable government, and democratic space (without which no healthy mental, moral or social development can occur).

The most intelligent contribution to the capitalism versus communism debate I ever came across was from a most unlikely source: I read it in a 1976 book by Osho (then known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh) titled I Am The Gate.

I can't find the book in my library. Someone must have pinched it "by accident," as often happens with so-called friends who solemnly swear they will return my books and then disappear from my event horizon for years, until I've forgotten those books once existed within easy reach. So I shall have to paraphrase instead of quote Osho verbatim. What he said on the subject immediately struck a chord and has remained permanently embedded in my memory.

Communism and capitalism are actually two ends of the same stick, Osho said.

They are two extremes of a pendulum's swing, the apparent beginning and end of what is essentially a connected circle, the in- and out-breath of the respiration cycle. How so?

Let's say that capitalism involves the accumulation of energy, experience and expertise. We shall call it the inhalation phase.

It must be followed by an exhalation phase wherein the accumulated capital (in this case the intake of air) is redistributed to all parts of the body via the lungs, while carbon dioxide is released as exhaust, so that the plant kingdom can breathe. Isn't it extraordinary that the plants then exhale oxygen which animals (including humans) vitally need?

Well, says Osho, breathing out - redistributing and sharing - may be regarded as the communist phase of the breathing cycle. It usually follows a capitalist phase, simply because we must have some something before we can attempt share anything with anyone.


What happens when you attempt to hold your breath indefinitely without exhaling? You die. Same effect applies if you breathe out and don't bother breathing in again. In effect, there really is no conflict or contradiction between these ideologies.

Capitalism recognizes that genius - the curiosity to explore and the capacity to innovate - resides in individuals, never the collective. Therefore, the unquantifiable value of the human individual must always be honored - because each of us has the unlimited potential to creatively contribute to the whole. Classic examples of capitalists would be Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, and Mark Zuckerberg.

Communism recognizes that experience, expertise, knowledge and wisdom - which constitute our real capital - have to be shared as widely as possible. Otherwise the accumulated capital will turn toxic and kill the hoarder. Anything of genuine value - say a loaf of bread - has to be shared and consumed before it becomes moldy and therefore potentially hazardous to health.

Same goes for fuel, whether you're talking about huge tanks of petrol or a massive woodpile. Those who hoard fuel are only endangering themselves. Would you be able to sleep peacefully knowing there's a stack of 50-gallon tanks of flammable substance right under your bed? And if you accumulate a 10-year supply of firewood and keep it carefully hidden from your neighbors shivering in the cold, what happens a few years down the line is you'll discover termites have eaten their way through most of your fuel stockpile and have now digested your roofbeams. Don't be too surprised if the entire roof crashes down on your head while you're fast asleep.

How about those who hoard cash? Well, if you stash a few billion US dollars under your floorboards, chances are you'll find the currency notes are worth less than 10% of their original value after an unforeseen depreciation triggered by a financial meltdown like the one that happened less than a year ago.

The moment you understand the simple truth of what Osho stated, you'll realize that capitalism and communism are natural expressions of dynamic cyclical processes - like wet and dry seasons, hot and cold spells, day and night, inhalation and exhalation, expansion and contraction.

In other words, we are all at different times capitalists as well as communists.

So what's the problem? The confusion often arises when capitalism is equated with democracy, and communism with totalitarianism.

I can't imagine what would make a sane and rational human being opt for tyranny over freedom - but the amazing fact is, some do. I hear people opine that they prefer a strong leader who will govern with an iron hand. Leaders who tend towards egalitarianism and democratic ideals are regarded as weak and wishy-washy.

Perhaps those who choose despotic and authoritarian over democratic and accountable government are the ones who feel lost without a parental figure to guide them. Often, their loyalty to even the cruelest, harshest leader makes them identify the state as a father figure. The fear of losing their patriarchal deity turns them aggressive. Like a bird in captivity that has gotten accustomed to its confinement, they might even peck your eyes out if you attempt to open their cage door so they can experience freedom.

So what do we do? Well, we can either leave them to die in their (mental) cages... or wear protective glasses when undoing the latch on the cage door... just in case the bird panics and turns vicious... or starts calling you silly names like Sylvester.

[First posted 7 June 2009, reposted 5 February 2014]