Friday, June 20, 2014

The Merry Month of May That Was (Part 1)

Star Commander Lee Ahau Ben Anoor-Antares in 2004

It was Bob Dylan’s 73rd birthday. My artist-astrologer friend Melissa Lin had invited me to dinner at Rimbun Dahan where she was on a 4-month residency. Met up with a few dear friends and renewed my acquaintance with the hospitable Hijjas family. Decided to continue to Bandar Utama where some young friends were hosting an open mic session at Paradox Café. We had a jolly jam session; met up with two old friends and made a few new ones. Got home around 3:30am and, as usual, didn’t get to bed till around 6:00. Heard my Vandalusian songbird Ahau Ben chirping merrily away. The sun wasn’t even up but my only begotten son was already at his laptop, doing his YouTube routine. It was a cheerful sound to fall asleep to.

Ahau asleep on 12 October 2012

Sunday, May 25th, 2014, around 11am: rudely awoken by Mary Maguire screaming at the top of her lungs, I grabbed my sarong and rushed over next door to find Ahau on the floor, having just puked on the mat. He looked wild-eyed and frightened and his hands were like claws. Mary said she had popped in from the kitchen a minute ago to find Ahau’s eyes unfocused and his fingers rigid. Thinking it might be an epileptic fit (though he has no previous history of that) she put him into recovery position on the floor so he wouldn’t swallow his tongue and suffocate.

As I knelt down and immersed him in my energy field, Ahau vomited again and his body went into spasms. While I whispered star language in his ears, Mary picked up the phone and called 999, hands trembling. She managed to keep calm as the police operator began interrogating her with absolutely no sense of urgency instead of passing her call to the nearest ambulance service. Finally, she got through to the KKB District Hospital and they said an ambulance would be despatched. Bonzo Dog came running in and sniffed Ahau all over, nudging him with his canine nose. He seemed as concerned as both Mary and me.

Anoora just looked dazed. I got her to take my place beside Ahau and ran back to put on some clothes. There’s nothing more nerve wracking than for a parent to contemplate the possibility of losing a child. True, I view life and death differently than most people and have never been inclined to wallow in grief and misery - always opting for the most inclusive, most all-embracing, and the most uplifting perspective.

Jolly joy boy Ahau Ben
Indeed, when Ahau was only 7 a psychic friend had warned me that Ahau may not survive long past puberty; that he had come on a specific mission and when he was done he would simply leave. I deeply resented hearing that but nonetheless took on it board.

In December 2010 when my beloved canine son Roger Reginald Putra was brutally murdered by a demonically possessed Orang Asli, probably for chasing after his motorbike, I was utterly grief-stricken. Imagine how much worse it would be to lose a human offspring.

Seeing Ahau in that scary state, not knowing the cause or outcome, I was prepared for any eventuality - but decided unequivocally that I would opt for our darling son to stick around, no matter what difficulties may arise around his “disabilities” and his almost complete dependency on others. It was a pivotal moment that brought into clear focus the totality and unconditionality of my love for that very special boy.

The ambulance arrived and we had to carry the unconscious Ahau down two flight of steps in his duvet because they had no stretchers with body straps. It’s a 12-minute drive to the KKB District Hospital but that ambulance was so horribly bumpy I was compelled to mention it to the attendant who said the problem was that the Health Ministry bought goods vans and converted them - instead of ordering customized ambulances with high-grade suspensions. “We are the ones who use these vehicles every day but nobody bothered to ask our opinion,” he confided.

Mary and Anoora arrived at the Emergency Room shortly afterwards while Ahau was being stabilized by the hospital assistants. Knowing the situation was no longer in our hands, I calmed down and held the beam for those attending to Ahau who appeared on the verge of another fit. They sedated him but his body resisted it and they increased the dosage. Finally the doctor had to switch to ketamine to knock him out so they could intubate him.

A bit of an overgrown baby
I kept popping into the emergency room to see if they had finished but the procedure took a long time. Dr Sashi explained that he had problems inserting the tube down Ahau’s throat. “I’ve never seen anyone with vocal cords like his,” the young doctor said. “One in a million!”

No wonder Ahau has had difficulty with human speech and opts to emit an incredible range of birdlike or dolphinlike sounds when he isn’t speaking his own take on human languages, Gobbledygook.

The KKB District Hospital isn’t equipped to handle any but the most routine of medical situations. Dr Sashi began phoning around to see which big hospital would admit Ahau. Incredibly, every ICU bed in hospitals within 2 hours of KKB was occupied, but Ahau was sent to Selayang Hospital anyway, in the hope that a bed in the ICU would become available when he arrived.

Ahau at 2: a very cheerful baby who loved water
Another bumpy ambulance ride, though minimally better than the first, and we were at the Selayang Hospital emergency and trauma ward, where the heavily sedated Ahau was wheeled off for a CT scan. The doctors at Selayang were young and reassuringly professional. They reported that the scan showed there was a slight edema (swelling) and there were symptoms of viral infection. Three doctors in particular had friendly, helpful auras – Drs Zetti, Haris and Amar. It was the latter who accompanied Ahau and me in the ambulance along with a nurse when Putrajaya Hospital agreed to take him. By the time we arrived at the southernmost part of Selangor state it was close to 11pm.


After 48 hours in the Hospital Putrajaya ICU Ahau was transferred to Ward 4A

Mary arrived at Putrajaya Hospital with Anoora and our dear friend Soon within minutes of Ahau being wheeled into emergency prior to being sent directly to the ICU. As I was taking the first watch Anoora had packed a small knapsack for me. Amazingly she had seen fit to include my Peruvian poncho and a book I had just started reading. I must have cut a surreal figure at 3 in the morning walking about the hospital grounds in my rainbow poncho. Dr Radha who was in charge of the ICU that night had taken my phone number and assured me that no news was good news as far as Ahau was concerned. I knew he was in excellent, dedicated hands. Dr Radha herself had the sweetest face and an angelic aura. It was hard to reconcile the cold-blooded colossal bureaucratic monstrosity called Putrajaya with the warmth and humanity of everyone I had met at the hospital.

PART 2

The Merry Month of May That Was (Part 2)

Blue Buddha (photo: Jaap Buys)

Lumbar puncture or spinal tap
During his first night in the Hospital Putrajaya ICU a lumbar puncture had been conducted on Ahau to get a sample of his cerebrospinal fluid, so they could test for meningitis. I was glad my boy was still under heavy sedation.

Early the next morning, I looked in on Ahau to see that he was awake but groggy and confused. His hands and feet had been strapped to the bed to stop him from pulling out his intravenous drip and ventilation tube. The doctors reported that his respiration pattern was swiftly normalizing and that the tube could soon be removed. They kept him on oxygen to ease his breathing as there was a slight swelling of his throat lining caused by abrasions the previous day when he was being intubated.

Heiko & Selina Niedermeyer, master healers
By midday when Mary returned with Anoora, Ahau was strong enough to struggle against his bonds. He only calmed down if Mary kept well out of sight. 

In the afternoon four friends visited – Heiko and Selina, accompanied by Robin and Michelle. As it was past visiting hours, only two were allowed into the ICU. Robin and Michelle opted to wait in the lobby while I accompanied Heiko and Selina to the ICU where they immediately began working on him by softly singing the medicine Buddha mantra, followed by one mala of the Dorje Gotrab (composed by the great guru Padmasambhava himself).

Ahau responded positively to the soft melodious chanting. I noticed he instantly calmed down and at one point touched Selina’s hand with his head, as if to thank her. This is what I shared on facebook:

Last night, Mary Maguire had trouble sleeping (understandably) so she did the Blue Buddha meditation to calm & center herself. Suddenly she felt reconnected through the heart with Ahau, who had been adrift in the astral while his physical form lay inert under massive sedation. She visualized placing a Blue Buddha upon his head, then finally fell asleep. And this afternoon Heiko & Selina, our beloved healer friends, showed up at the hospital and chanted (more like sang) a Blue Buddha mantra by Ahau's bedside for 20 minutes. He at first struggled to get up, then he focused clear, penetrating looks at each of us (I sensed an inscrutable smile twinkling at me as tiny teardrops welled up in the corners of his intense eyes). 

We were undisturbed the whole time the soft singing/chanting went on. I closed my eyes momentarily & saw Ahau at the center of a lotus unfolding its petals in infinitely expanding ripples, spreading from the room to infinity. Later as we left the ICU, Selina told me she saw Ahau sitting totally naked with eyes closed in lotus position while a Blue Buddha in his heart emanated healing blue light in every direction & dimension. I was delighted to note that both Mary & Selina had independently conjured the Blue Buddha in their mind's eye.

Facebook played a major rôle in Ahau’s rapid recovery. While he was being attended to by medics at the KKB emergency room, I posted this status update:

A surreal & terrifying day. Ahau had fits & is now under sedation. Not your typical Sunday. Will accompany him to whichever hospital in KL he's taken. Please help visualize him back in fine form soon, thanks.

Within minutes my timeline was flooded with supportive responses from friends and strangers near and far. Indeed, facebook was the crucial link between Ahau, Mary and me - and the rest of the world. Friends immediately included Ahau in their thoughts and prayers - and many happen to be human angels and powerful healers connected to healing circles around the planet. By updating them via facebook, I was keeping them energetically linked to Ahau. 

An intubated & heavily sedated Ahau being transferred by ambulance to Selayang Hospital

This note was posted on May 27th:

On the mundane plane it has been distressing to watch helplessly as Ahau assumes the role of a trapped bird in the medical Matrix. The horror of hospitals has been magnificently mitigated by the compassion, helpfulness, competence, dedication to duty & humanity we have encountered every step of the long road from Kg Pertak to Putrajaya Hospital. He cannot comprehend why he has awoken to being strapped to a strange bed, surrounded by electronic blips, with tubes sticking out of his wrists. Whenever he senses the presence or sees a familiar being his impulse is to sit up & escape from this weird nightmare where he is utterly powerless. When he finds himself bound like a contemporary Prometheus, his heartbeat triples & he becomes enraged, Any free, unformatted spirit would react likewise to waking up on a Prison Planet!

A thoughtful Ahau contemplates life from Bed 17, Ward 4A, Hospital Putrajaya

And yet, on the transcendental planes, everything is unfolding as it should & must, The shock of witnessing the sudden & unexpected system crash of our beloved Bunyip Ahau Ben has only magnified a millionfold our love for this exasperating yet utterly adorable being & our gratitude for being his closest buddies. Within a minute of my posting word of Ahau being unwell, pure heart love began funneling in from all directions through digital portals. It was overwhelming & uplifting at the same time. Regardless of friend or stranger, humans somehow always rise to the occasion, we were poignantly reminded.

Mei Watson, wounded healer
On the afternoon of May 27th, more friends arrived at Putrajaya Hospital offering help. Mei Watson, my wounded healer buddy, came with a whole set of essential oils which she proceeded to apply on Ahau, who responded very well to her tender ministrations. Shortly afterwards, two more soul-buddies showed up: Gerald Wee and Joel Low, both regular visitors at Magick River, had come to my rescue in January 2010 while I was tied to my bed in Sungai Buloh Hospital and freed me from my bonds, thereby breaking the spell and facilitating my discharge a few days later.

Gerald Wee, master of dragon chi
Gerald Wee comes from a shamanic lineage and works with dragon energy. He simply stood near Ahau and immersed him in a pristine and primordial energy field, supporting Mei Watson’s work with essential oils. While they were there, word came that Ahau was to be transferred to a normal ward. It was heartening to see Ahau out of the Intensive Care Unit and in a more relaxed room with a view.

Mary and Anoora arrived later with Ahau’s laptop and a magazine, which considerably perked him up. But he still had no desire to eat solids and was even refusing water. At least he no longer required oxygen and his hands and feet were free, so he could be helped to the toilet, a big step towards full recovery.


My beloved rinpoche, Ahau Ben, exploring the astral while fast asleep
PART 3

The Merry Month of May That Was (Part 3)

This quickly became a familiar sight

Ahau Ben at 6 (Photo: Emanar)
Before Ahau was born I telepathically enquired of the incoming soul: "What's your mission in this incarnation?" It responded: "I come to demonstrate the power of love." Even though we still do not know what triggered the terrifying fits on the morning of May 25th - & despite CT scans that show the presence of some fluid in his brain, symptomatic of possible infection - I no longer doubt that this strange lad who chose to be born as my only begotten son is on a very special mission & it has just shifted gear.... in Putrajaya! Thanks, Yehokhanan Ishtar, for your extremely timely, insightful & pertinent message. Ishtar said: "Be grateful for what Ahau is going through right now." Indeed, it's not always pleasant work, demonstrating the power of love.... {Facebook update on 27 May 2014)

The doctors had analyzed the preliminary results of Ahau’s cerebrospinal fluid sample and ruled out meningitis. There had been no relapses since his admission to the Hospital Putrajaya ICU. Indeed, his metabolism was completely back to normal, and he had begun drinking water and eating solids by the third day.

Ahau usually doesn't like wearing hats but in this instance he didn't resist

During his recovery Ahau had been uncharacteristically cooperative with the doctors and nurses, allowing his blood pressure to be recorded several times daily, blood samples taken, even stoically enduring multiple attempts to reinsert his intravenous antibiotic and saline drip, which kept getting displaced. Everyone who attended to him was extremely kind and patient and he certainly was more open and responsive to people around him than he had previously been wont to.

It certainly seemed like the entire medical crisis had been a massive wake-up call not just for Ahau, but also for Mary and me. We had been content to leave well enough alone and hadn’t been firm enough with regard to how much time he could spend in front of his laptop, replaying specific cartoon scenes over and over again.

Ahau perks up at the sight of his beloved laptop

Over the years I had more or less given up trying to get Ahau interested in other activities – taking walks, playing music, drawing, and so on. Mary and I resolved to keep the pressure on Ahau to shift beyond his comfort zone, but for now, we were just overjoyed that our beloved Bunyip was back on track and ready to walk out of Hospital Putrajaya – which he did around 6:30pm on 30 May 2014.

Ready to go home after paying a very reasonable hospital bill of RM402

Looking back almost a month later on the entire episode, I feel profoundly grateful that Ahau’s medical crisis lasted no more than five days and that it had brought out far more positive side-effects than anyone could have imagined. 

Surprise visit from an old friend, Ras Adiba Radzi,
closet elven queen & fairy godmother to Ahau
The emotional and energetic support of a wide circle of friends kept us calm and centered, focused on Ahau’s swift recovery and emergence from his hospital ordeal with palpable gains in awareness, maturity, and a willingness to engage with other humans. Old friends suddenly popped up in my inbox asking about Ahau and offering useful advice and energetic support. Someone I haven't seen in years couriered a consignment of Transfer Factor to help boost Ahau's immune system and accelerate full recovery. Ahau even had a special visit from Ras Adiba Radzi the day before he was discharged.

Mee rebus served at Cafe Hospital Putrajaya
(photo: Ben Ashaari)
Every step of the way – from KKB District Hospital to Putrajaya - we encountered only helpful, dedicated and competent doctors and nurses. Even the ambulance drivers, security guards and maintenance staff were friendly and understanding. I found myself looking forward to the amazing variety of food served in the Hospital Putrajaya cafeteria. One of the staff told me this was actually a branch of a well-known restaurant franchise – not any run-of-the-mill hospital canteen.

Apart from that, I could sense that Ahau’s other-worldly energy field had the effect of neutralizing or at least softening the cold, impersonal atmosphere of the nation’s administrative capital. Throughout the period of commuting between Pertak Village and Putrajaya Hospital, I found myself operating on overdrive, far more alert than usual to changing frequencies. After this experience, the whole idea of Putrajaya has lost its erstwhile reptilian clamminess. I know there are still many befriendable and admirable human beings to be found in its vast precincts.

20 June 2014

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Carnivorous predators and the food chain: enough to drive us into vegetarianism!



It's a dog-eat-dog world, some say, pointing at the primeval principle of kill-or-be-killed underlying all political and economic conflict. The smell of blood is all it takes to trigger a feeding frenzy among sharks. We see it around us, every single day, and so we become desensitized to the blood and gore of the abattoir (a word we borrowed from the French, because it sounds a lot more genteel than "slaughterhouse").

Few of us have had to hunt and kill and skin and gut and cook the meat we consume. We buy it from the supermarket, neatly wrapped in cellophane and kept fresh in the freezer. No protruding heads or feet to remind us what the animal looked like when it was alive. Often the meat comes in tidy, bloodless, machine-sliced fillets, ready to stick in the oven or frying pan.


That's the only way we can deal with the horror of being part of the food chain. When children become aware of what being a carnivore actually entails, many become horrified and vow to get off the bloody wheel by turning to vegetarianism.

Eating fruit and greens doesn't seem so hideous, perhaps because plants don't scream or bleed when chopped up. And, even if they do, their blood is green or colorless, and their screams are beyond our hearing range. Fruits and nuts, of course, are aesthetically the least offensive, since they grow off trees - and no matter how many fruits or nuts we consume, at least we're not harming the trees themselves.

I wish I could live on fruits and nuts - but that would require a monumental, almost fanatical, effort. And it's no fun being a fanatic about anything. Nevertheless, after an ayahuasca experience I had in July 2011, I'm beginning to feel more tolerant towards vegetarians.


Hishamuddin Hashim,
Teoh Beng Hock's  tormentor
It's not every day that I'm so vividly aware of being part of the food chain. In theory, it seems only natural that one species devours and consumes another. Animals whose flesh we find delicious usually feed off plants and grains. And because we humans consider ourselves "the crown of creation" with our access to technology, we are no longer prey to other species of carnivores - apart from our own.

Khir Toyo,
political predator
Even so, we can still be killed by the tiniest lifeforms. A disease-carrying mosquito or flea, even a bunch of hostile bacteria - or something totally invisible, like a mutant strain of virus - can take us down, no problem.

Those who have seen Apocalypse Now - Francis Ford Coppola's 1979 film adaptation of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness - will recall the spine-chilling last words of Colonel Walter E. Kurtz: "The horror... the horror!"

That was exactly how I felt when I was granted a vision of what Malaysian politics looks like from the astral perspective. We live in a multi-tiered social hierarchy defined by genetic heredity (traditional aristocracy) and financial inheritance (the nouveau riche). Those not born into one of the nine royal bloodlines have to buy their perks and privileges with hard cash.

Everybody wants to scrabble up the status ladder - and those who have to start from scratch place their hopes on their progeny. So they invest every cent they can scrape together in "higher education" for their offspring - which they believe will grant them access to the upper tiers of society through membership in various professional guilds.

Strong egos dominate, exploit and oppress the weaker ones - that's the way the world works. That's how it has always worked and that's how it will forever be.


Mahathir Mohamad,
Tyrannosaurus rex
The battlecry of the French Revolution - Liberté, égalité, fraternité - sounds noble and stirring, but it can never happen. Liberty, equality and fraternity for all means no more slave labor. We would be forced to clean up after ourselves, do our own dishes, nobody to carry bricks on their broken backs to build our dream castles!

Can you imagine: who would risk their lives balancing on precarious scaffoldings, day in and day out, to construct a 100-story skyscraper, for a measly RM100 a day? Would you do it? Would you want your children to do it? Let those foreign workers from impoverished countries do the dirty and dangerous work!

Najib Razak, cold-blooded and vicious
But why are some countries "impoverished"? Do they not have their own natural resources? A cursory probe into the history of these "impoverished" lands will reveal the same age-old pattern: the extreme gulf between the haves and the have-nots is an artificial one, created by a feudal social structure wherein the privileged few live like gods, while those at the bottom have to be content with the most basic of necessities.


Gani Patail,
High Priest of Iniquity
In between you will find the lower, middle and upper classes constantly pushing their way upwards, towards the top of the power pyramid, presided over by a complacent and corrupt priesthood whose function is to sanctify the status quo and assure everyone it's all part of God's plan.

Is there a way out of this endless loop of energy predation, this neverending nightmare of master-slave, victor-victim relationships?

Hishammuddin Hussein,
fang-and-claw politics
Yes, of course, there is. Twenty-five centuries ago, a young prince named Siddhartha Gautama walked out of his cushioned existence in his father's palace - after he was inadvertently exposed to the horrible sight of disease, decay, death and inescapable debt.

Prince Siddhartha realized he was living in an artificial bubble of comfort, insulated from the raw reality beyond the palace walls. Unable to enjoy his creature comforts, knowing they were merely transient, Siddhartha set off quietly to live like an ascetic. He learned to meditate from a variety of spiritual masters and eventually broke free from the robotism of physical embodiment.


In short, Siddhartha awakened from his cultural trance and was henceforth called Buddha - the Awakened One. The title "Buddha" (like "Christ" or "Christos") is not a personal name - it's a state of consciousness each of us must attain if we wish to gain true liberation from the wheel of life, death and rebirth - from the feeding frenzy of the biological food chain.

It's not enough to believe in or revere what Prince Siddhartha achieved. We have to become Buddha ourselves. And that's just a start on an inner journey back to where we began, as the Source of All Energy and Consciousness. But, once we attain our own enlightenment, we will never again wallow in the abysmal ignorance of automatism. Every word we utter, every thought we bear, and every action we take will be done consciously.


We may continue to devour the flesh of other species, but we shall do so with apologetic humility and gratitude - and, in so doing, we shall consciously bless the animal whose death now feeds our life and whose body now becomes part of our bodies. The soul of the animal, thus being acknowledged and blessed, will depart in peace and continue its adventure, perhaps in different embodiments, and it may even opt to experience being human.

Zahid Hamidi, ready to pounce
For the slayer and the slain are bound in a karmic knot, so that any human who kills and devours an animal is actually granting the soul of the animal entry into the human domain.

Personally, I would rejoice in the ability to live entirely off sunshine, fresh air and love. Occasionally, as a special treat, I would allow myself to be devoured and consumed - and to, in turn, consume and devour - but only as a ritual of sacred union performed with a lover in the celebratory spirit of tantra.



[First posted 26 July 2011]