Thursday, December 7, 2017

GOODBYE, TONI! (Musings on the dreaded scourge called cancer)

Toni Kasim dedicated her life to speaking up for community issues

On the night of June 4th, 2008, around 10PM I suddenly had the urge to call Toni Kasim. But I figured I'd better call her in the day, as she might be already asleep. In the morning the first SMS I received informed me Toni Kasim died around dawn.

She had been battling duodenal cancer for several months. I only heard the news just before the March 8th elections, when she withdrew as a parliamentary candidate under PKR. Word got to me that her health wasn't all that good. I only learned it was cancer when Toni's buddy Shanon Shah posted an update on the Artisproactiv forum. I rang her mobile and had a brief chat with her, told her I would come visit her soon.

Well, that visit never happened. And I really ought to have tried calling her last night. If she was able to speak, I could have said a proper goodbye to her. But then, I wouldn't have known she was ready to check out. Toni Kasim was only 41.

Not too long ago, another friend I rarely bump into succumbed to cancer at the age of 44. Her name was Seha and I first met her when she was starting out as a singer with a group called Freedom. I remember her one visit to my bamboo hut back in 1996 or thereabouts when she had just married a fella named Chris Lund. I was shocked to read about Seha's passing in the New Straits Times in October 2006. Didn't even know she had two kids...

Toni Kasim's funeral is today but I won't be there to send her off. A few years ago another very dear friend died of cancer after a valiant fight that dragged on for two years. He was only 42, married a couple of years, and his name was Jesse Hang - but we all called him Chief, after he had an epiphany and saw the profile of an Indian chief etched on a rock near his favorite spot in the river. Following that incident Jesse began to report amazing revelations and was undoubtedly the first of many visitors to experience satori at Magick River.

Chief first showed up back in 1992 soon after I relocated from KL to establish a small community called Magick River in the Pertak Forest Reserve. He quickly became a regular and used to come up every week with a few sarongs, a pair of shorts, and a couple of T-shirts in a rucksack stuffed with packets of instant noodles and other goodies. Chief and I enjoyed our ritual midnight supper of Maggi mee under a full moon, listening to the undines' silvery voices that sounded, by day, like the river's neverending song.

When Chief told us he had been diagnosed with Stage Three lymphatic cancer, we figured he had a good chance of transcending the disease, as he was among the most enlightened members of Magick River. Indeed, Chief was the closest thing we've had to a resident Zen master. Anyway, he tried a variety of therapies - beginning with chiqong and special diets, including shark's cartilage. After a year, when the cancer kept growing, Chief turned himself in for chemotherapy. However, the one therapy that might have helped him he resolutely avoided - and that was emotional clearing. He had always been a private person and found it hard to expose his innermost feelings, especially to strangers.

When we first met Chief had just quit a job as a remisier and was looking into the possibility of managing a mango orchard. After several visits to Magick River, he began to get excited about painting and storytelling - and he turned out to be very imaginative at both. Anyway, during the last few months of his life, Chief began to draw his entire extended family together, by uniting them in their efforts to help him fight the cancer. Gradually, he began to explain the process of life, death, and rebirth to his clan - and when they saw how calmly he faced the prospect of his own death, many of them were spontaneously elevated in their consciousness.

Chief came from a family in Pahang that had enriched itself with logging and sawmilling. It was as if he had taken on all the negative karma of their destructive business to save them from even more serious consequences. In any case, Chief's death on 6 May 2003 was the most uplifting and graceful exit I have ever witnessed. The night before he departed I went to see him with my family and we sat in silence with him for about 15 minutes. Then as we got up to leave and I held his hand for the last time, he smiled beatifically at all of us and quipped: "Hey, there go my rainbow warriors!"

In the final months before he left his body, the cancer had caused Chief's handsome features to become deformed and discolored. His face had puffed up and gone dark and it was quite a struggle for him to maintain a façade of cheerfulness. The cancer was like a demon trying to colonize Chief's physical body - and succeeding despite the expensive chemotherapy and whatnot. However, several hours after Chief let go of his body, the cancer died with him and released its grip on his physical form, which reverted to its original state. When I looked upon Chief's face for the last time as he lay in his coffin, nattily dressed like some Falun Gong leader, he looked serene and victorious - and his face was no longer deformed or discolored. Hordes of tiny white moths danced around the fluorescent tubes at his wake - and when we scattered his ashes in his beloved river, there were thousands of yellow butterflies everywhere we looked.


That evening after the ash-scattering ceremony at Magick River, a few of Chief's closest friends stayed on to celebrate the passing of a great soul - and all of us were in telepathic contact with him as he reveled in his newfound freedom as Universal Intelligence. All these years after his death, I only have to think of Chief and I will spot a butterfly or rainbow - for those were his favorite symbols of life's mysterious beauty.

This blog was inspired by news of Toni Kasim's passing early on the morning of 4 June 2008, and I was prompted to remember with profound affection several other friends who were taken by cancer in their prime. I have other friends who are in the midst of battling various forms of cancer. I wish I could take away their cancer with a wave of my magick wand. It's always easier to dispense advice than follow it, and I have long pondered on the significance of this dreaded disease - what are its origins and are there ways to avoid it?

I have heard of so many alternative therapies - including the famous case of Norman Cousins (right), who experienced a miraculous total remission simply by refusing to feel morose after getting diagnosed with a terminal disease. Instead he began to watch hour after hour of the Marx Brothers just to enjoy a therapeutic daily dose of bellylaughs.

Two of my early musical heroes - Frank Zappa and George Harrison - died of prostrate cancer in their late 50s. Somebody told me recently that prostate cancer only happens to those who don't ejaculate frequently. I guess I'm unlikely to succumb to this particular affliction!

Measuring an artificially induced tumor in a laboratory mouse

Anyway, thinking holistically about cancers and tumors inevitably brings me to a vision of the web of life that connects us all, from the subatomic to the supergalactic levels. I've always felt that the temporary ego membrane that separates each of us from every other thing in existence can be compared to a suit of armor. The armor is designed to protect us from injury in battle; however, if we begin to live inside our own character armoring without frequently stepping out of it and becoming vulnerable, the armor turns into a psychological prison within which we experience a sense of isolation from the ebb and flow of life. After a few decades our sense of individuality can become so accentuated that we no longer feel we are integral parts of a far bigger lifeform - or series of lifeforms. Perhaps that sense of individualized selfhood - when overemphasized - is the seed of what subsequently develops into a full-blown tumor.

What, after all, is a tumor? It's a cluster of cells that have disconnected themselves from the rest of the body. Just as in any overly large city, there will usually be a small colony of social misfits (often the economically disadvantaged) who will cluster together in ghettoes and turn the area into a Crime Zone where the first rule of survival is everyone for himself or herself.

This suggests that cancers and tumors are an aberrant side-effect of the powerful force of individuation underlying the process of cell division. When division and separation (centrifugal motion) is allowed to continue without being offset by conscious experience of unification and cohesiveness (centripetal motion), among the potential long-term effects are disintegrative diseases like cancer and leukemia.

Prevention, as most folks know, is far better than cure. So let's start practising Unity Consciousness RIGHT NOW!

[First posted 4 June 2008]

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Behold the faceless corporate fascism of Facebook!

21st Century Cyber-Emperor Marcus Zuckerbergus
Just as the calendar rolled into December 1st, 2017, I found myself locked out of Facebook (again!) for posting a link to a book review which happened to contain a slightly ribald but perfectly harmless image - actually very amusing and hardly as objectionable as the many hideously gory images I have seen on my newsfeed.

The censorship happened INSTANTLY (within two seconds of my clicking 'POST') and the psychological effect was akin to a heavily-armed balaclava-clad inquisitorial SWAT team breaking down your front door in the middle of the night (remember that classic Terry Gilliams movie Brazil?). It was a vivid reminder on so many levels of the crazy sci-fi timelines we are all navigating and have been, especially since the end of 2012, some transcendentally numinous and others starkly ominous.

In any case, for a few moments I contemplated the option of simply turning my back on Facebook and using this as an excuse to finally detach from this artificial sense of community we have grown so attached to over the years (it's true there are so many positive features of digital interconnectivity and being part of special-focus Facebook groups, not to mention the comforting sense of being virtually in touch with everyone even if close encounters have become more difficult to manifest).

Then I realized that in actual fact nothing at all had happened. I could simply take a badly needed 4-week vacation from the Facebook Universe or I could get back in with my wife Anoora's account (which I manage, so what if she doesn't have the massive network I enjoy as Antares). As my initial sense of outrage and intense annoyance subsided I became aware that I was in a very strange place - between nowhere and everywhere, between being fully immersed in the hurly-burly world and feeling completely indifferent to any or all outcomes. Sort of like watching a football game on the screen and not bothering which team wins because I have no loyalty to any football club.

This can be placed in the general context of my current perspective on everything: I'm tracking developments on many different levels - from energetically supporting the anchoring of the Totally New and Unknown (as is occurring in countless spiritually conscious communities and networks everywhere) to keeping a close eye on the factional warfare that has broken out among the old-school control freaks (whether you call them the Khazarian banksters or Yahwehists or the virus-infected Zombie Apocalypse and the covert agents that have hitherto served as foot-soldiers of the so-called Military-Industrial-Financial-Academic-Religious Complex).

Although essentially an eternal optimist - and all the positive signs are to be found in the growing number of rapidly awakening, self-governing humans I have become increasingly aware of since the advent of the internet - I realize at the same time that the rot may be already too deep for the gentle transition all of us have worked towards; that the sheer inertia of our entrenched habits could be setting up too much resistance for radical transmutation to happen smoothly and painlessly.

And we have witnessed in just the last 6 months how unpredictably aggressive the elements can be when unleashed upon puny human aspirations. Fire, Water, Air or Earth can so easily erase all our fondest dreams built upon countless lifetimes - within hours, even minutes. So as we begin the final month of 2017, all I can say is: "Phew! ... we made it through all the bumpy patches so far ... and each time we successfully navigate the wild weather and scary waves and emerge intact, we gain so much more experience, expertise and maturity as individuals and as a species. It's a good time to relax and not feel so driven, perhaps? Maybe it's true that getting there is what it's actually about, not arriving?

Friday, December 1, 2017

Kiss My Arse ~ In the Name of Common Humanity (by Salleh Ben Joned)

Holey Man performs arse-kissing ritual to help the faithful find true love

I had a dream last night. Most of my dreams are quite weird, but this one was weirder than any I’ve ever dreamt. I think it was inspired by something that happened at the United Malay National Organisation (UMNO) General Assembly last Friday. At this gathering, this “Assembly” of the dominant party in the governing coalition, a Kelantan delegate, thoroughly disgusted with the dirty tactics (note “dirty”) used by ambitious Umno desperadoes in their premature campaign for the next year’s party elections, told an old filthy joke that brought the house down. The joke is about the quarrel among the various parts of the body as to which one is really powerful and therefore should be the boss. The brain says it is and should be in control of the rest because … Then the mouth, the nose and so on; each with its own irrefutable reason for making the claim. The anus, naturally, has the last say. It triumphantly declares that it is more powerful than any of the rest, including the brain: if one morning it decides to close up for good the body is finished, man. Kaput!

Related to such an august gathering as the Umno General Assembly, the joke was truly edifying; so edifying that it inspired my weird dream. I dreamt I was invulnerable (kebal in Malay). Neither the keris nor the parang could penetrate my skin; even the notorious Kelantanese kapak kecik that flies in the night at the bidding of its frantic owner couldn’t harm me. It seemed that I had finally attained (in the dream, that is) the much sought-after ilmu kepala tahi.[1] Ilmu what? Kepala tahiKepala what? Tahi. This is no ordinary ilmu, man; this is esoteric ilmu. But tahiTahi??? I think you’re just being your usual vulgar self again … Of course I’m being my “vulgar” self. I’m always “vulgar” – vulgar in more than one sense you know: not only “coarse or “filthy” (your meaning), but also “common” as in “common people” (i.e., ordinary people, unashamedly close to the earth, and reveling in it).

But back to the IKT (less offensive thus abbreviated?). I tell you it’s not something I dreamt up, though its “reality” and efficacy were confirmed for me only in my dream. IKT is a form of magic power which the Malays used to believe in; some in the remote kampungs (villages) probably still do. (No, you won’t find it in Skeat’s Malay Magic; it’s apparently too vulgar even for that huge tome) IKT can be acquired (so my uncle told me) by snatching the sausage-like T (it has to be a “sausage”; watery stuff’s no good) as it emerges out of somebody’s anus. This might be done on a Thursday night (Friday night to the Malays). I won’t strain your tolerance of the “vulgar” by going into the lurid details of the messy business. It’s sufficient to tell you that it must be done in a certain way, and that after you have acquired the precious substance you must wipe your body thoroughly with it, the wiping accompanied by the recital of certain mantras. Then you must avoid water for the next three days. If you observe all this, you’ll be kebal.Insya-Allah. (And please don’t listen to envious cynics who say that you’re kebal because nobody would come near you anyway.) With IKT, you don’t need your brain anymore; or rather your brain has come down and joined forces with your anus. What you’ve got now is a sort of “thinking anus.” The unity of the body, of the highest and the lowest, the refined and the filthy is now truly yours. Hang on to it for dear life. Now, what has all this stinking business to do with literature? Literature … yes.

Well, the dream, the old joke dredged up at the Umno General Assembly, the mysteries of IKT – all this reminded me of a curious novel I read earlier this year. And with it, the thought I have been thinking about on and off quite sometime on the subject of the vulgar, the filthy, the taboo, the “last frontier” of the body, physical-spiritual, sensual-mystical body, in both literature and folk imagination. The novel is by a Tongan anthropologist-writer Epeli Hau’ofa and titled Kisses in the Nederends (Penguin, New Zealand). This comic satirical novel is literally and symbolically about an arsehole. As far as I know, Epeli Hau’ofa is the first writer to devote a whole novel to the hole. And in a way it is a perfect illustration and proof of the anus’s claim in the Umno General Assembly joke that it is the most powerful part of the human body; it can abuse its power to become the most tyrannical dictator and capable of subjecting man to the worst humiliation imaginable. 

Kisses is a tall tale, one of the “tallest” I’ve read. Written in a style that is clearly influenced by a grotesque realism of Francois Rabelais, it is about a Tongan who suffers from an incurable “pain in the arse,” an ulcerous fistulated anus. The book opens with a bang, a stinking assault of farting, followed by a duet between the mouth (snoring) and the anus (farting), and the hero’s waking up in excruciating pain in his bottom. Then the rest of the book takes the hero on a mock-epic search for a cure, from the bizarre treatments of traditional medicine to an organ transplant in an ultra-modern New Zealand surgery. (Yes, the hero ends up with somebody else’s anus, a white woman’s down there.) This disgustingly hilarious Tongan tall tale ends happily with the cured hero triumphantly proclaiming a new religion of true brotherhood (and sisterhood) of man. Its slogan? “Kiss my arse!”

Epeli Hau'ofa, author of Kisses in the Nederends

You need to have a strong stomach to read and enjoy this book to the end. My wife doesn’t; after a few pages she threw the little Penguin out of the window in utter disgust. The writing of Kisses was actually inspired by the author’s own experience. Poor Mr Hau’ofa actually suffered from a terrible pain in the arse much like his hero’s, a sort of piles which the Tongans call kahi (k not t). True to the South Pacific philosophy that laughter is the best medicine, the novel proved to be the best therapy for the author, who suffered from a psychological malady even after the successful operation on his anus. But the novel is not only a therapy in the form of a tall tale; it’s also an allegory that carries a serious social and spiritual message for the Tongans and other island peoples of the South Pacific, and by the implication for modern man in general.

Francois Rabelais  (1494-1553)
Kisses in the Nederends is to me a triumphant demonstration of my belief that there are many varieties of vulgarity – from the childishly obsessive to the soberly purposeful. In the hands of a comic of satirical writer with a talent and fundamentally weighty intention, the vulgar and the flighty can be redeemed by art in the cause of a vision. Francois Rabelais in his Gargantua and Panatagruel, Jonathan Swift in Gulliver’s Travels and James Joyce in his Ulysses and love letters to his Nora are among the world’s greatest “filthy writers” in this sense. Epeli Hau’ofa is part of a long tradition, and Kisses shows he has the makings of a mini Swift of the South Seas. Swift is probably the most familiar of the three, thanks to his Gulliver’s Travels, a book which every reasonably well-read kid knows. Kids reading filthy stuff? Not quite, because the Gulliver’s Travels that kids read has been cleansed of all mind-polluting filth. Children’s editions of the classic work are either simplified (for young kids) or published (for older kids) without the third and fourth books: A Voyage to Laputa and A Voyage to the Country of the Houyhnhnms.
           
The third book, a sort of proto-science fiction, recounts Gulliver’s experience on the flying island of Laputa when he visited the School of Political Projectors at the Academy of Lagado; there he meets weird professors or projectors who are distinguished by their ingenuities in the service of the state. They have, for example, developed a special technique for discovering plots and conspiracies against the government. The technique involves examining the diet of all suspected persons; finding out “times of eating; upon which side they lay in bed; which hand they wiped their posteriors”; then to take “strict view of their excrements, and from the colour, the odour, the taste, the consistence, the crudeness or maturity of digestion, form a judgement of their thoughts and designs.” The whole business is based on the belief that “men are never so serious as when they are at stool,” and because of that their stool can tell us all kinds of things; for example “if the ordure has a tincture of green” that means when the suspect was having his stool he was “straining to think of the best way of murdering the king, but quite different when he thought only of raising an insurrection or burning the metropoles.”
           
Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)
The fourth book of Gulliver’s Travels, the one generally considered the most important of the four, narrates Gulliver’s encounter with the tribe of super-rational horses, the Houyhnhnms, and their opposites, the filthy Yahoos, whose resemblance to himself Gulliver tries to deny. He is so seduced by Houyhnhnms, creatures which embody for him the ideal of civilized being, and so disgusted by stinking Yahoos (who warmly welcome his arrival on the island by defecating on him from a tree), that he goes mad in the end; back home in England he tries to live with horses, behaves and neighs like one, spurning the company of his fellow human beings who are all Yahoos to him. 

There has been much debate among scholars and critics about the meaning of Gulliver’s Travels, especially Book Four. The debate has to do with Swift’s real attitude to the Houyhnhnms: does he share Gulliver’s admiration for the cold-blooded super-rational horses or doesn’t he? Related to this is the question of Swift’s scatology, what its very pronounced presence in his writing means when we try to determine his attitude to man and to human nature.
           
Distinguished modern writers Aldous Huxley and John Middleton Murry were apparently the first to confront the blatant fact of Swiftian scatology which earlier writers on Swift had ignored or pretended didn’t really exist. Huxley especially recognized the central importance of the scatological theme in both Gulliver’s Travels and three of his later poems (The Lady’s Dressing Room, Strephon and Chloe and Cassinus and Peter). But Huxley and Murry’s conclusion, that Swift’s scatological obsession (in Murry’s highly suggestive phrase, “excremental vision”) reflects a fundamental neurosis in the writer, a neurosis that made him a misanthrope or hater of human nature – this conclusion, I believe, is based on a misreading of Swift. 

I am with the American writer Norman O. Brown here. Brown, whose breakthrough book Life Against Death (1959) first offered a balanced reading of Swift argues convincingly that Gulliver’s misanthropy is his, not his creator’s. Similarly, Cassinus, in the poem Cassinus and Peter, who “lost (his) wits” on discovering that “Caelia, Caelia, Caelia sh_t”, shouldn’t be confused with Swift. (Swift did go mad in the end, but not because he couldn’t stand the fact that women “sh_t“, as critics like Murry seem to suggest.) Cassinus is obviously a projection of the universal neurosis of civilized man who cannot accept and revel in the fact of nature that the body is a wondrous unity – of the higher and the lower, the spiritual and the bestial. Civilized man (or rather over-civilized man) is haunted by that reality of our human nature immortalized in the famous words of St Augustine: “inter urinas et faeces nascimur” (the seat of love is the foulest place in our body – implying that our most exalted, most spiritual aspirations are bound to our soiled flesh). Over-civilized man represses and sublimates his animality and that’s why he is sick.
           
Epeli Hau-ofa is a mini Swift of the South Seas and is clearly a writer who affirms that wondrous unity. The phrase “mini Swift” though, may not be quite accurate, it can suggest something that is more Swiftian than “Hau’ofian.” Swift, that “tiger of the 18th Century English literature is a master of satiric comedy that is distinguished by its uncompromising fierceness; a fierceness that is not quite “Hau’ofian.” 

Hau’ofa in Kisses in the Nederends is relaxed where Swift in Gulliver’s Travels and the satirical poems is Fierce and Furious; Hau’ofa’s hearty comedy is more Rabelaisian, wild and rompy – and hilariously breezy. In an interview with the New Zealand literary magazine Landfall, Hau’ofa says: “I am by nature playful, and playing with words, obscene or otherwise, is an aspect of that nature. But that is only one aspect of my use of dirty language. I use it also for other purposes. Firstly… I resorted to it as a way of presenting the effect of physical agony (that unrelenting “pain in the arse,” remember?) on Oilei’s psyche (Oilei is the aptly named suffering hero of Kisses), and on his relationship with those around him. But most importantly, I used it as a most unlikely tool for a discourse on love, purity and harmony…” 

A comic satirical novel with an ulcerous fistulated anus as the prime mover and focus of the narrative – that kind of novel is “discourse of love, purity and harmony”? I’m happy to say, yes. Unlikely? Well, the author himself is fully aware that his use of “dirty language” is “a most likely tool” for such a discourse. He knows that “it’s never been done or even thought of before.” But that’s what makes it fun; it’s a form of creative experiment that shows that Hau’ofa the anthropologist is also a true writer. Hau’ofa asks the question that Rabelais asked centuries ago: “Why should we continue to loathe references to our organs of procreation and elimination, and not to other organs? Such questions have implications that go beyond mere body matters. 

As Hau’ofa puts it they lead to “other questions about social and cultural institutions.” As he worked on the novel, laughing as he furiously scribbled (“I could not but laugh as I wrote”), the fundamental seriousness of the theme became more and more crystallized in his mind. The idea or ideal of bodily unity (and equality) came to suggest other forms of unity (and equality) – such as the social and political (thus the use of language with political connotations in Hau’ofa’s descriptions of the “rebellion” of the body’s lower orders, the bowels and the anus).

“I seriously said to myself,” Hau’ofa recalls in the interview, “that if we give due respect to the nether parts of our bodies, we would eventually eradicate most of the obscene expressions in language and therefore in thought. That should go a long way towards helping us to be more loving and caring of each other… Oilei’s search for a cure for his physical ailment is also a quest for purifying himself of violence and obscenity in language. Having attained his goal he invites everyone to kiss his arse. It is a joyous statement of the end of hatred, and a declaration of love for all mankind. It sounds bizarre but I’m serious about it… “ Bizarre maybe, but I can’t agree with Epeli Hau’ofa more.
           
In the novel, the character who helps to bring the light to Oilei is a guru and yogi named Babu. Babu is a wily character who can be both a clever entrepreneur and a prophet of spiritual and social liberation. Babu’s mission is to convince the world that “the anus is good, beautiful, lovable and respectable.” He declares that “It’s time that the status of the repressed lower organs” (note “repressed” and “lower” in both its psychoanalytical/biological and political meanings) “is recognized.”

He pointedly adds: “We treat our heads with respect and call our leaders heads. We could, with equal felicity, call them anuses.” Babu prescribes yoga exercises for his patient, designed to make him learn to respect his own anus so that it becomes truly part of him – and smells to his nose “as the fresh bud of spring.” One begins by learning to love one’s beautiful anus, kissing it meditating on it, inhaling its spiritual as well as physical aroma. Then the next step is to learn to love the anuses of our brothers and sisters. Babu demonstrates the truth and power of his teaching by kissing Oilei’s anus with love and respect. The guru declares “if the President of the United States and the Soviet Union do likewise at their next summit (sic) meeting there will be no threat of nuclear annihilation… As in most things we must begin from the top down. When the top meets the bottom, there will be eternal peace. The real obscenity, the novel says, is not the so-called “dirty language,” but man-made horrors like nuclear war. To ban that sort of obscenity from the life of man altogether we must learn to “greet, love, laugh and dance with each other in the middle of our zones of taboo.”

11 & 18 November 1992


[1] Ilmu: mythical knowledge or power
  Kepala: head
  Tahi: shit


[Originally posted in Salleh Ben Joned; first posted here on 25 February 2016]





Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Hypocrisy keeps the Status Quo static... (repost)

A few years ago I received an invitation to what was billed as "a global conference on Enhancing Philanthropy in Challenging Times." Hmmm.... that's intriguing, I thought. The idea of encouraging corporations to give back more to the community during a financial meltdown is certainly refreshing...


Then I read in the next line that the conference would be officially launched by the Crime Minister of Malaysia.

The third line boasted "a host of international speakers, including the wife of the PM."

Pukimak! That did it. I almost retched on my keyboard!


As if that wasn't sickening enough, the conference was going to be officially closed by the spineless minister of national unity, Koh Tsu Koon!

I immediately shot off a response to the perfectly respectable gentleman who had sent me the invite:

"No collaboration with the Irredeemably Corrupt, Greedy & Murderously Wicked!"

Almost instantly I received a reply: "Thanks for your frank and realistic comments. The challenge is how to manage the wicked to do some good... can we con them too or get caught by them?"

Well, at least my friend didn't attempt to deny or dispute the fact that the conference had invited, for the sake of political correctness and expediency, some notably wicked people to officiate. In any case, I felt it was my moral duty to elaborate on my visceral response to receiving such an invitation to participate in the philantrophic conference (for only RM900), so I wrote the following clarification, which I post here for the public record:

Anyone who publicly or privately endorses the crime ministership of Najib Tun Razak and Rosmah Mansor is tacitly expressing complicity with Umno/BN's abysmal track record on issues of justice, human rights and abuse of power.

Just as lending support to tyrants like Robert Mugabe, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush is tantamount to acquiescing with oppressive laws that allow the state to detain dissidents without due process, inflict torture on those suspected of political or religious heresy, and manipulate the mass media so that the public remains unaware of the colossal crimes committed by those in high office.

Corporations "play footsie" with such degenerate entities because they themselves are degenerate and hypocritical and are almost indistinguishable from their counterparts in politics. That's why there is a revolving door that facilitates a smooth exchange of personnel between big business and government; and that's exactly what keeps the nightmare carousel of human suffering going around and around seemingly without end.

However, the end is undoubtedly nigh for this despicable kind of self-serving "pragmatism" - all for the sake of an extra buck. This kind of cynical self-justification is what characterized the Pharisees and Sadducees in Judea. We seem to have learned nothing and made no spiritual progress after 2,000 years!
 

Nevertheless, the moment these archcriminals resign from office or publicly demonstrate remorse for their gross transgressions, I am of the opinion that they be should be offered the opportunity to restore their "good standing" in society by returning at least 80% of their ill-gotten gains to the national treasury and accepting that they are henceforth disqualified from wielding political power. No need for lynch mobs and lifelong incarceration.

I absolutely do not agree that you can cooperate with them in any positive or wholesome way - just as it would be suicidal for PAS or Pakatan Rakyat to form a political alliance with the ravenous and morally depraved Umno which deserves to exist henceforth only in cultural museums as an instructive relic of the Kali yuga.


Those of you who profess to be Christians: quit playing the role of Pharisees, Sadducees and Scribes for whom the Bottom Line is all that matters! Whose side are you on anyway? Yeshua the Reformer... or The Corrupt and Evil Establishment?


How will things ever improve if you keep smiling for the camera and shaking the Sheriff of Nottingham's pudgy hand to clinch a couple of lucrative contracts... while secretly applauding and rooting for Robin Hood?

[First posted 19 June 2009, reposted 4 April 2017]

Sunday, November 26, 2017

FORNICATE FOR FREEDOM! (revisited)



James Thurber (pictured right), the late great humorist, wrote a book called: IS SEX NECESSARY? I doubt he satisfactorily answered the question - but he sure came up with some hilarious cartoons.

I’ve spent years investigating sex and heaps of energy exploring its possibilities. I’m tempted to conclude - after five decades of extensive research - that sex is utterly incomprehensible and only good for selling breath mints, condoms, and earthmoving equipment.

Nevertheless, I won’t succumb to that temptation. Because sex keeps your hair looking great and your breath fresh. Bad hair days and stale breath only happen when you haven’t been laid for a while. Besides, I’m a Reichian at heart. Dr Wilhelm Reich, the late great psychoanalyst and student of the Life Force, maintained that a community of sexually gratified adults would never tolerate a dictatorship. What does this reveal about sexuality in Najib’s (or should I say Rosmah's) Malaysia?
Cartoon by James Thurber
Sex has very little to do with LOVE - which is mainly about being comfortable enough with another person to be able fart freely and gleefully in their presence. In the old days kids were introduced to the forbidden topic via the birds and the bees. How utterly boring. Animals, insects and plants simply reproduce their species. They don’t have sex for sex’s sake, like humans do. With animals, insects and plants sex is merely procreational - with us, it’s recreational.


But, then, basketball, ping-pong, snooker and tenpin bowling are also recreational. Why aren’t humans content with banging a few balls around and competing for points? Have I discovered some other activity as pleasurable as sex? Indeed I have. Turn me loose in a studio equipped with a wild assortment of musical instruments. I could make music for hours, and then light a cigarette and listen ecstatically to the playback. Making music is a joy that lasts for years. One way to make sex last for years is to make BABIES - but we won’t get into that now.

Cartoon by James Thurber
Everybody knows sex has two occupational hazards: pregnancy and disease. The lubricated latex sheath popularly known as a condom is touted as a prophylactic against either condition. Politically correct modern young women (those who grew up bombarded with scary HIV ads on TV) carry condoms in their handbags. I suppose older guys keep tongkat ali in their pouches to suck on whenever an opportunity arises to display their tantric prowess.

Folks, there’s nothing ELECTRICAL about sex. Don’t believe all that mystical mumbo-jumbo. Sex is all mechanical pumping action - and we’re only hydrocarbon-protein machines. Feelings? Hrrrmph, just a fancy option, a fashion accessory, that’s all. And BIOMAGNETISM has little to do with the passionate desire to fuse with another aspect of oneself. But hold on a friggin’ second: aren’t we ultimately aspects of one another, somehow interconnected, genetically or karmically, etherically or financially, mythically or science-fictionally?

Forget it! Go ahead and rubberize your erotic experience! Lace your sexual intercourse with latex! Insulate your appendage (if you have one)! Better safe than swollen, heh heh!

Quite frankly, "safe sex” with condoms conducted in condominiums sounds like we’re more than halfway to hell. Some say danger is a potent aphrodisiac, and I’m no stranger to danger, though we don’t often meet (indeed, we tend to avoid each other). But amor omnia vincit. True love ultimately triumphs over tragedy, I say.


Of course, we could easily bypass all these sticky problems by breeding sex entirely out of our bastardized gene pool. Let’s sew up those tiny slits at birth. Lop off those dangly bits - why stop at prepuces? Within a few in vitro generations we won’t even remember we once “did it” just like the chimpanzee, the donkey, the duck, and the dog does it. Ah, let me wax lyrical here...

Never too late to self-castrate
And change your name to Fidel Castro.

Sweet is the date that grows on palms

And fills our calendars.

Why masturbate? Emancipate

Your hand from demeaning work.

We anticipate, as we replicate

Ourselves by scientific procedure,

A cleaner, purer world

Totally devoid of jerks.



My answer to James Thurber’s question: IS SEX NECESSARY? Probably not - but it’s essentially how humans can briefly experience the Grand Unified Field. The urge to conjugate and unite is well-nigh irresistible, and our souls certainly derive nourishment from physical intimacy.

However, the insertion of fear and guilt into the copulation equation has made sex a mere commodity. Labies and genitalmen, we cannot allow that to happen. Fornicate FEARLESSLY and GUILTLESSLY and regain your freedom. At least from bad hair days and sewer breath.

[Originally published in the January 2005 edition of  VIDA! First posted 24 October 2013, reposted 8 April 2016]



Monday, November 20, 2017

THE ERROR OF YOUR TERROR (revisited)



BOMBS GO OFF. A bunch of people blown to bits. Everybody else terrified. Not a jolly time to be in Baghdad - especially if you tan well, tend to overdress, and look Iraqi. The Dalai Lama says war is already obsolete and every sane soul agrees. Except a cabal of well-connected fraternity bozos hell-bent on establishing a planetary empire founded on perpetual war.

We’re dealing with desperadoes heavily armed with WMDs. No blow too low for this mob. Human sacrifice is standard practice in their warlike cult. The end always justifies any means. If a “better” world calls for a drastic cull, unleash the radioactive weaponry, the earthquake and hurricane machines and laboratory-manufactured epidemics... three thousand casualties or three hundred thousand, what’s the difference? Collateral damage!

Those who wage war, whether by obvious or subtle means, are the true terrorists. After all, what is war if not a crude excuse to eliminate the perceived enemy by brute force. And since when did brute force ever accomplish anything constructive? The only effect of brute force is to intimidate, terrorize, abuse, disempower and enslave.

And the only real enemy is our own unacknowledged and unbefriended shadow selves. Just as the shadow aspect of greed is lack, the shadow side of militant self-righteousness is cruelty, intolerance, and fanaticism.

Fear is a very effective means of mass mind control. Fear as a primary response implanted in the hypothalamus to retard our evolution. My maternal great-grandfather carried a strong negative emotional charge, which passed down the genetic track to my late mother and one of my brothers. Both see the world as dangerous and hostile, and invest a great deal of energy on “security” – arming themselves against bacterial and viral attacks with a huge arsenal of prescription drugs; living within a self-created prison behind steel bars, high fencing, and heavy-duty padlocks; and never trusting strangers (thereby never admitting any fresh data into their stale belief systems).

But all the “security” in the world can’t keep out death when your life contract ends and doesn’t get renewed. My childhood friend, whom I hadn’t seen in over a decade, was viciously murdered in the sanctity of his own home along with his partner in July 2005. Apparently, a psychopath had been stalking them for some time and was driven by drug-induced demons to strike terror into what was once a quiet residential neighborhood. The London bombs went off a couple of days later, prompting me to revisit the origins of fear.

It all starts with the crude concept of “God” as an External Force to be feared, worshiped and appeased. We’ve all heard the phrase “God-fearing” touted as something positive. Well, any “god” that enjoys being feared is more demonic than deific. Where did this “God-fearing” implant come from?

If you travel far enough down your genetic timetrack, you will encounter a blind spot in your deep memory where the universal trauma of abduction and rape occurred. We were violated as a species before our awareness had sufficiently matured to be able transmute and heal the psychic shock. Who raped us? Some wicked “stepfather” creator god or gods whose cold-blooded DNA now flows in our veins (along with a whole stew of strange and familiar bloodlines)? Or maybe, as Gnostic shaman John Lamb Lash suggests, these Archontic ET intervention hypotheses were seeded into the collective psyche as false genetic memories. And the spindoctors are still at - only now these red-herring scenarios are called internet memes.

You can identify this aberrant gene or meme as the aspect of ourselves that is numb to our own feelings - that is incapable of empathy, knows no compassion, and is interested only in its own survival. It raped our planetary biosphere in a desperate attempt to stave off total extinction, caused by an irreversible loss of vital force after too many generations of cloning.

Biological reproduction was deemed too messy and unpredictable, so this criminal reptoid species opted to reinvent itself as a Master Race of Empire-Builders destined to rule over the holographic worlds as the All-Seeing Eye of the Illuminati (Tolkien depicted this as the Eye of Sauron and you can spot this symbol on the back of every dollar bill issued by the Federal Reserve). This bogus deity favors Intellect over Intuition, the Male Principle of Will over the Female Principle of Desire. It installed a corrupt male priesthood to serve as its human agents on Earth, preaching hellfire, brimstone, and planting the fear of God into our hearts (where only Love ought to dwell).

It staked a claim on the dissemination and interpretation of scriptures, labeling as “deviationist” all ideas that liberate rather than entrap. Call it the economics and politics of Monopoly: control the only bridge across the river Styx, set up tolls on every highway to Heaven. Patent everything, make everyone pay royalties and taxes, amass a vast fortune, gain even more power over others, and so the game goes on. When any of us refuses to play, the game is over... it’s as simple as that.

That’s why the “sheeple” must be kept in line through sheer terror. Serve them a daily diet of bad news and mediocrity, let paralysis set in, along with a sense of abject powerlessness – so they always vote in strong leaders to guide them to the Promised Land. Above all, make sure they never reclaim the authentic, primordial, sovereign power within the very atoms of their own cells...

Let eggheads write lengthy tomes about the “Colonized Self.” Let George Lucas churn out blockbusters about the “Evil Empire.” After so many generations of systematic conditioning, most folks are simply too chicken to ever break free of the insidious frequency fence. Here’s a clue for you: The Matrix is a fourth-dimensionally generated 3D illusion (very realistic special effects, folks die gruesome deaths and their bodies stink as they rot).

Speaking of chickens, a shaman colleague recently remarked: “If this Rooster Year transforms itself into a Phoenix, everybody on the planet resurrects and ascends.” So do it NOW, folks, free yourselves from fear conditioning... before another Year of the Dog arrives to find us still barking up the wrong tree.

[Originally published in the August 2005 issue of VIDA! First posted 8 January 2007]

Sunday, November 19, 2017

INTEGRITY IN THREE EASY STEPS (revisited)



The First Step. You have to expand your self-awareness to include the possibility that you are not merely a one-dimensional social ego forever seeking approval, recognition, and status. You are, in fact, a multidimensional entity with personality aspects known and unknown – and you exist on many levels of consciousness simultaneously, from the ridiculous to the sublime. In short, you have to acknowledge that there’s a whole lot more to being YOU than meets the public eye.

There’s that poor little neglected kid, for instance, that nobody paid any attention to in your early years – and who silently swore to someday make a big splash in the tadpole puddle of existence (and who ended up being a major control freak with tyrannical tendencies). There may also have been the severely traumatized little you, innocently playing with your genitals in the bathtub one morning, when your mum or your maid caught you at it and screamed, “Hai-ya! No shame!” and then whacked you a hard one. These are just some of the more common forgotten aspects of ourselves that are permanently embedded in the subconscious regions of the mind; but no matter what we later become, they still occasionally impinge on us as restimulated memories, causing us to react to specific circumstances or personalities in irrational and erratic ways (often inappropriately and counterproductively).

And of course there are the heroic, sagely, saintly, angelic, or deific aspects of ourselves that must be incorporated and reintegrated with our conscious beings – without which our existence would be pathetically inglorious and prosaic indeed.

Step Two. Forget about doing it “right” or doing it “wrong.” Grown-ups spend so much energy trying to teach their kids the difference between “right” and “wrong” – and then, many years later, spend thousands of dollars on all kinds of therapies unlearning deeply ingrained notions of “right” and “wrong” – just so they can feel INNOCENT again. No matter what you think you’ve done at any point in your existence – even if it’s an act so shameful and, to your mind, so heinously disgusting you would never want to share it with another soul – you are, in truth, INNOCENT!

Innocent in the cosmic context. Innocent when you arraign yourself against the vast backdrop of The Big Picture. Innocent in the eyes of whatever or whoever you have chosen to identify as God. Yes... even if you were Idi Amin’s personal chef, or Idi Amin himself... you are ultimately (and were originally) innocent and no proof of guilt is worth the paper it’s printed on. How so? Simply because the Divided Self is purely an ephemeral condition – and a totally illusory one at that. The Divided Self, better known as the Smeagol-Gollum Syndrome, is what happens when society tries to impose an artificial “moral code” on real people, especially when they are young and defenceless against erroneous notions of “acceptable” behavior.

Our vital essence is on the side of our animal nature, which has been so severely suppressed over countless generations, that it has literally “gone underground.” Our so-called ids, our shadow selves, our Gollum sides, if you like, cannot be destroyed – only denied and swept under the carpet or locked away in some dark cupboard or packed away in a box and left in some ancient attic to collect dust. Where we do not label any action as a crime, no punishment need be meted out; and where no punishment is feared, no action is concealed; and therefore no hypocrisy exists. In that state of undistorted clarity, all situations can easily find their own resolution – without the use of coercion, without the rule of fear.

For in the end it is always fear that drives out all possibility of compassion and true understanding. And without true understanding, we can only exacerbate whatever problems arise in our lives with our mindless reactions to other people’s actions. Remember: the person whose behavior most upsets you is really holding up a mirror so you can examine hitherto unexamined aspects of your greater self. Instead of chasing him or her out of town, out of your reality, you would do much better to simply say, “Thank you for the feedback.”

The third and final step is as easy as 1-2-3
. Knowing now that you are a whole lot bigger and more complex and more mysterious than you ever imagined you were, you can set about INTEGRATING all those aspects of yourself and aligning them with your own Core Self – that’s the Innermost Self you’ll find seated majestically on the throne of your own kingdom or queendom. Every one of us is a king or queen in exile, subject to external authority and life’s vicissitudes – until we reintegrate ourselves and locate the very core of our beings.

Integrity, you see, is a purely technical condition and has absolutely nothing to do with man-made concepts of morality. When all aspects of yourself are integrated, you attain the status of an Integer, and thereby leave behind the emptiness and meaninglessness of Cipherdom. Only as a whole being – an Integer, in effect – can you possibly manifest Integrity as a tangible quality. Integrity goes beyond mere honesty in that it considers all perspectives as potentially its own. Without integrity, you cannot experience honor and your own nobility – and will be condemned to seek it in others, a search doomed to perpetual disappointment.

And what’s so cool about being in conscious integrity? Things fall apart, they disintegrate, according to the Second Law of Thermodynamics – a condition otherwise known as Entropy. In other words, the 3D reality of Decay, Disease, and Death... in other words, Holographic Hell!

Being in conscious integrity nullifies and neutralizes entropy, and leads to syntropy (a term coined by Buckminster Fuller, who also gave us the word “synergy”) – a condition wherein everything just keeps improving and renewing itself. Now, that’s what I would call Heaven on Earth. Get my drift?

[Originally published in the August 2005 issue of VIDA! First posted 8 January 2007]

Ideas about the Nature of God... (repost)


Well, ideas is all most of us have about the Nature of God - and the word "God" itself is pretty loaded with all sorts of false notions (that God is male, has an only begotten son, disapproves of human sexuality, hates alcohol, spurns the flesh of pigs, the list goes on...).

Let's say that some ideas about God resonate on many levels - from the cellular to the cosmic - while others are just plain ridiculous.

It's really a question of maturity.

God of Nature
When a 2-year-old says something silly, a sensible adult response would be to laugh with the kid, not at the kid. However, when it comes to institutionalized religion, we often find rabid septuagenarians ranting and raving in an utterly stupid manner - and because they have Ayatollah/Cardinal powers and can order your head chopped off or worse, people tend to keep quiet and avoid arguing with them.

The good news is: even if you believe the most preposterous things about God, it doesn't disqualify you from being as lovable as anyone else in the eyes of God.

How so? Simply because God isn't caught up in semantics and exists not just as a bunch of ideas - but, indeed, as the nuclear intelligence within every atom and also as the totality of all existence itself. Whatever anyone thinks of God... God is most certainly never petty.


Is the truth the same for everyone? Definitely not! 

Our human apprehension of "truth" constantly evolves as we acquire experience and expand our vocabulary.

A 9-year-old girl would look upon truth quite differently than a 90-year-old great-grandpa. And we're still talking about the realm of human experience and understanding - what about non-human or more-than-human consciousness?

It's not healthy to get addicted to anthropocentrism when dealing with the nature of God.

The Original and Ultimate Essence of Being caters to amoebae as well as nebulae - elemental, mineral, vegetable, animal, human, angelic, archangelic, deific and so on - it's All-Inclusive and All-Embracing.

Truth is just another way of valuing one's Integrity. Only those with a wholesome attitude can know the Whole and be mindful of being an integral aspect of the All-in-One and the One-in-All.

As you achieve Integrity or become an Integer (instead of a Cipher) you will experience Existence as a holographic construct, and your Core Self as a perfect fractal of God.

Celebrate that!

Mother Nature by Father God

[First posted 16 September 2010, reposted 27 June 2012]