Friday, December 30, 2016

The Fig Leaf Syndrome (revisited)

“Is that a gun in your pocket, Big Boy, or are you just happy to see me?”– Mae West

IT’S ALL A COVER-UP, FOLKS!

How often I’ve heard this uttered in connection with financial and political shenanigans of every strain which, disappointingly, always seem to fade from the public memory before anything can be resolved, or anyone brought to book.

And each time I hear about cover-ups, the image of a fig leaf pops unbidden to mind. Is there a connection? Of course there is. In moments of luminous clarity, the universe has always shown itself to me to be essentially one inexhaustibly funny, punny conundrum.

TRANSPARENCY is a much bandied about term these days. I’m not too comfortable with the word “transparent.” It implies invisibility – which, in turn, suggests unaccountability – a hidden hand, someone or something difficult to see. Like the Emperor’s multibillion dollar new suit. So why don’t we use the more organic description: NAKED?


Why do we get so steamed up by the idea of nakedness that we actually have laws against it? Indeed in some countries there are laws to prevent Official Secrets from being exposed. In effect, the Cover-Up is actually a protected form of official behavior, and my thesis is that this inbred fear of public exposure is ultimately linked to our attitude towards sex - whether we view it as a profane or sacred act.

The fig leaf was the preferred form of cover-up in Europe for parts of the human anatomy deemed “private.” You find it in old paintings depicting Adam and Eve after their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Why the fig leaf? Why the need to conceal this unmentionably delectable portion of our bodies? After all, the human body has been described as a Temple of Divinity, the Sacred Abode of God.

The Old Testament explanation is mind-bogglingly simplistic: having disobeyed God by eating the Forbidden Fruit from the Tree of Knowledge, Adam and Eve lost their innocence and knew Shame. But why did the Maker set them up for such a Fall? Is God basically a cosmic Peeping Tom masquerading as Scientific Curiosity?

Interestingly, the Malay word for genitalia is kemaluan – from malu which means (what else?) shame. However, the Arabs allude to the female sexual organs with the richly suggestive expression, al ghaib – “the concealed” or “the invisible” – in other words, “the Mystery of Mysteries.” (Male genitals do not enjoy such poetic licence, for obvious reasons. Colloquially, the penis is given names like batang and butoh – the onomatopoeic equivalents of “dong” and “dick” – with all their bluntly bellicose and brutal, yet cute and comical, connotations.)

Famous Nudes

SINCE THE FIG LEAF SYNDROME gained prominence during the Renaissance, we must assume that it was a purely aesthetic choice, reinforced by convenience – for, in Italy, which produced the famous nudes of Raphael, Rubens, Da Vinci and Michelangelo, the fig tree grows ubiquitously. It’s easy to imagine how the first fig leaf cover-up was conceived: here’s Leonardo happily painting his mistress in her garden under a fig tree, but when he reaches below the waistline he suddenly realizes that he can’t go for complete realism without inflaming papal passions and getting hauled up by the Almighty Church of Rome. Just then the fig tree sheds a leaf which flutters lazily down in front of his model – and gets strategically integrated into the final portrait.

In the Middle East such problems did not arise. Patriarchal notions of modesty forbade the realistic depiction of biological forms, so artists confined themselves to the abstractions of sacred geometry - wherein maleness could be represented by lines and angles, and femaleness by arcs and orbs. The dome-and-spire leitmotiv found in Christian and Islamic architecture gained wide popularity, not least because of its potent subliminal reference to forbidden pleasures. And don’t forget the genital worship suggested in the design of all pagan temples: lingams and yonis, phalluses and vulvas, lines and circles, plugs and sockets everywhere one looks.


At the root of the Fig Leaf Syndrome, a primal trauma lies buried beneath countless generations of guilt and resentment. All myths point to the source of our existential angst and collective schizophrenia: SEX! SEX! SEX! Yes, what Adam and Eve discovered after eating the Forbidden Fruit.



Plants have been doing it for aeons – but, really, you can’t get too worked up over the mechanics of pollination. Animals do it but can’t really help it and, then, only seasonally – and therefore they feel neither good nor bad about it. With animals, sex is totally guilt-free and rarely kinky. However, when WE decided to get into the act by sliding down the Timechute into physical space, we externalized our male-female polarities and got titillated by the principles of attraction and repulsion: at last we could experience the hormonal rollercoaster ride of biological necessity and non-specific year-round lust. It was so wonderfully heady and exhilarating. At least for a while…

Then we realized with profound horror that we had traded in our original, immortal, asexual androgyny for the ephemeral delights and infernal agonies of mortal, animal being. We were packaged in meat. We were The Word made Flesh!

Wherever we turned we saw images of ourselves. This Hall of Mirrors was a regular funhouse, but narcissism eventually gets out of hand. As sexually-split entities inhabiting gender-differentiated bodies, we could now enjoy sticking our protruding bits into every inviting orifice and eventually turn SEX into the biggest business of all time – simply by making it illicit unless sanctioned by a secular or religious authority.

Moral Responsibility

I USED TO WAKE UP in a cold sweat, heart pounding, from dreams in which I would find myself attending a grand buffet where everyone was formally attired, and all of a sudden I’d realize I was wearing a T-shirt – and nothing else! Worse still were the episodes in which I would walk through a door and onto a stage, facing a packed hall, with absolutely no idea how to entertain the audience and no memory of any script. Slowly it would dawn on me that my predicament was even more ludicrous than I’d thought: people were squirming in their seats and tittering because I was completely starkers. Classic nightmares, boringly Freudian – but what did they reveal, apart from my modest assets?

Some people are very secretive. I’m the complete opposite. No question of right or wrong: it’s the way we’re horoscopically or psychologically constituted. However, I’ve always felt that one has a moral responsibility to evolve towards greater openness, greater honesty, greater transparency… in other words, NAKEDNESS.

In which case my scary dreams of public exposure weren’t necessarily a bad thing – merely an indication that deep down I was still afraid of getting hurt. To be more precise, my social ego was afraid of losing status. Without the protection of one’s fig leaf or sarong or double-stitched jeans, one is susceptible to malicious attack or ridicule. One is vulnerable – but is it such a healthy thing to be invulnerable? Isn’t it much healthier to be in direct contact with RAW REALITY and the NAKED TRUTH?

I’ve tried it. It doesn’t hurt. And once your reputation is ruined you never have to worry about it again.

All You Gotta Do Is, Act Naturally…

“… for Heaven, just Heaven, sends a fearful religion to cruel souls.” – Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, 1788

THE PATRIARCHAL RELIGIONS - the ones that see God as a father figure - have one thing in common: the misguided notion that the naked human body is an utterly reprehensible, prurient object – a terrible thing that must be covered up from public view. In such a society, it’s okay to exploit the poor and deceive the masses – so long as you keep your trousers on!

How else is it possible that some humans can wander into an old-growth forest with all its splendor and majesty and breath-giving beauty – and whip out their chainsaws? Me, I could only think of whipping off my clothes and jumping into the nearest river with a wild whoop of pure abandon. Call me a pagan. The raw beauty of Mother Nature is the only embodiment of divinity on this Earth that can make me fall to my knees and weep for joy.

A few years ago I was walking with a friend through the jungle towards a magnificent waterfall when I came upon a Land Rover full of forestry officers. I nodded a friendly greeting and one of the men came over, ogled my companion, and asked me point blank: “Have you seen anyone swimming naked around here?” I was taken aback. Was this guy a mind reader or something? I responded evenly: “Why do you ask?” The fat forestry officer with the sleazy aura of a Hollywood-type South American border guard explained conspiratorially: “We don’t want people to come into our state forest reserve and do immoral things.”

If I could beam myself back to that instant in time and space, I would have retorted: “Do immoral things? What, you mean like LOG the place? You don’t wish to see this beautiful country DENUDED, is that right?”

Instead, I merely smiled sardonically and walked on, shaking my head in disbelief. For hours afterward I felt an involuntary shudder whenever the image of that hypocritical sleazebag flashed into my head. Good heavens, the wriggling can of worms some folks have for brains! Perhaps I ought to put up a sign outside every forest reserve: “SNOG, DON’T LOG!” Or “DON’T BE RUDE, COME IN NUDE!”


Is it any wonder, then, that in a patriarchal society, prominent people are often the target of sexual innuendoes and outright scandal? The idea of “immorality” is always applied to sexual indiscretion, but never to breaking the Golden Rule - Do as you would be done by – which is, essentially and ultimately, the only true measure of morality.

[Originally published in JOURNAL ONE, 1996. First posted 1 February 2007. Reposted 7 August 2014 & 5 June 2015]

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

WARNING: THIS INFORMATION IS NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH!



Published 15 July 2015

Harald Kautz-Vella (a perfect blend of wizard, scientist & mystic) presents his detailed lecture on the two types of Black Goo, Morgellons, and Artificial Intelligence at the Bases Woodborough conference held on June 20th, 2015. 

WARNING: THIS INFORMATION IS NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH!

Call them Predator ETs, Archons, or Retarded Jinns... it's hard to ignore the evidence that this insidious blight on Life & the Evolution of Consciousness has managed to insinuate itself into the deep psyches of many generations of aberrated human egos - the same way Saruman the White was seduced by contact with palantirs into submitting to the Will of Sauron & allowing himself to be transformed into an Evil Scientist & would-be World Conqueror. (As far back as the 16th century CE, such a diabolical scenario was already envisioned by Christopher Marlowe in his Faustian play.)

After listening to Harald Kautz Vella, I experienced at first a sense of utter helplessness in the face of such nefarious revelations about the delinquent way R&D resources have been squandered on establishing a permanent Hell on Earth, rather than the opposite... then suddenly I was reminded that the Original Spark of Divine Consciousness within every atom of my physical & metaphysical being would never have permitted such a travesty to occur, if there was no possibility of our deactivating or neutralizing this nihilistic agenda.

Just as Gandalf fearlessly threw himself into mortal combat with the Balrog & transcended his own mortality & previous limitations, what we essentially require is to let our capacity to understand, love & forgive increase exponentially, while becoming fearless of our own hypothetical non-existence... & in so doing attain natural immunity against inane & demented notions (like killer smart dust & ninja nanoparticles) concocted by the insectoid Archons & their psychopathic human agents.


Sunday, December 25, 2016

The Holy Trinity of My Mental Health (revisited)



Mr Wong, Booboots and my beloved Bunyip have an immense therapeutic effect on me, thank heaven!

Today was one of those days when I went to bed as Vishnu (the Preserver) and woke up as Shiva (the Destroyer). What happened? NOTHING! But the silly season approaches and, as usual, it brings out the worst in me. If I had my finger on a Red Button I'd be sorely tempted to press it and let the whole shebang be blown to smithereens like some unnamed Mongolian woman (who, Imigresen insists, never visited Malaysia). On days like this I tend to view the entire human experiment as an abysmal failure - Homo sapiens, my foot! More like a nest of contentious lice with all their stupid conflicts over primitive belief systems.

This year it was compounded by the fact that yesterday was a public holiday (Hari Raya Haji) and the banks were closed - which meant some money deposited in my account on Thursday won't clear till Christmas Eve or maybe even after Boxing Day, leaving me with exactly RM111.70 in my wallet plus a residue of RM9.12 in my Maybank account. Of course, I wouldn't be quite so cheesed off if this pathetic country called Bolehland believed in paying freelancers on time.

Wrote a feature for a national daily back in August and I'm still waiting for the measly payment of - what, RM250? It's absolutely indefensible and outrageous - and Malaysians have the gall to publicly lament the dearth of full-time writers. Where are all the great novelists? Well, you'll find a pile of skeletal remains on Desolation Row with notably large skulls who all perished waiting for checks in the post.

What is it about Christmas - or Kerismas (as Dean Johns recently called it in a barbed piece he wrote for Malaysiakini) - that brings out the Beast, if not the Scrooge, in me? When I asked myself many, many years ago why people living in the tropics would send each other greeting cards with images of reindeer, wintry landscapes, pine forests, and white-bearded fat men in red suits, I realized that most folks are totally unoriginal - and, what's more alarming, they hardly ever think, except perhaps in pre-programmed loops with default settings. After 130 years of British rule, many Anglophile middle-class Malaysians have adopted "Xmas" as their own celebration, without researching the origins of what once was a pagan celebration of the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere. December 21 or 22 marks the longest night of the year in the north and the mid-point of winter (in the southern hemisphere it would be the peak of summer). To cheer themselves up after weeks of dreary weather, folks celebrated the symbolic renewal of life after a period of hibernation with a big feast and lots of wine. Sometimes these parties would get a little orgiastic, especially with guys carrying mistletoe sprigs around just so they could kiss any girl they chanced upon. People sure knew how to have fun back then.

Then the reptilian Roman Church came along and co-opted the pagan festival, declaring it to be a celebration of the birth of Christ Jesus (whose actual birthday, according to some scholars, was October 4th). It was all a matter of political expediency and mass mind control. Centuries later, December 25th was hijacked by the retail business and turned into a paean to gross consumerism.

Flashing lights, sparkly baubles, and plastic pine trees became a billion-dollar industry - along with gift wrapping, fancy ribbons, frozen turkeys and imported Christmas pudding. Knowing all this, I found it hard to go along with the fake jolliness and greed-driven bonhomie of this aggressively marketed consumerist festival. Okay, so it was an excuse for far-flung families to get together - well and fine - but the pressure of exchanging gifts invariably gets to me. I enjoy giving presents spontaneously, when so inspired - not because it's expected. Five decades after I discovered the truth about Christmas, the tradition rages on undiminished - with the same old mindless carols and silly Santa songs blaring from every department store p.a. and vaguely Christian household.

Most folks say they love the cheery atmosphere around Christmas. Something must be wrong with me, I'm more likely to feel depressed. But then I've always been one of those misfits who absolutely detests campfire songs. Guess I'd never make the grade as a populist politico. I despise the Lowest Common Denominator far too much. People who subscribe to the Lowest Common Denominator know how to write hit tunes according to formulas decreed by market surveys; they know precisely what the public wants - and unabashedly dish it to them. Sensational tabloid headlines, mindless slogans like "Malaysia Boleh!"... wrestling videos... T-shirts emblazoned with popular football club insignia... great stuff, it sells like hot cakes!

Well, I allow myself to rant and rave and turn my nose up at the great unwashed one day out of every year - the other 364 days I'm a pretty upbeat and positive-thinking sort of fellow. In any case, those who spout idiocies like the Bottom Line and capitalize on the Lowest Common Denominator will probably end up in the Lowest Consciousness Domains come Non-Judgment Day.

Anyway, Happy Solstice, folks! I'm okay now. My mood lifted as soon as I saw Mr Wong smiling at me like the Dog of Dogs he truly is. Then I went down to the river with Ahau and Anoora (escorted by the canine corps) and after a minute under the best jacuzzi in the universe, my grumpy feelings were washed clean away. There was an Indian family picnicking at our usual spot and I felt my heart chakra expand as I silently blessed them all on this sacred day - and I realized I don't have what it takes to be a Great Dictator or Evil Emperor, since I can't stay angry with humans for more than a few minutes.

[First posted 21 December 2007]