Monday, December 30, 2019

Proof that wearing absurd headgear can permanently damage your brain...

[First posted 14 March 2013]

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Portrait of a "Shoe-icide Bomber" (revisited)

Muntadhar al-Zaidi (Arabic: منتظر الزيدي‎ Muntaẓar al-Zayidī) is an Iraqi broadcast journalist who serves as a correspondent for Cairo-based, Iraqi-owned Al-Baghdadia TV. Al-Zaidi's reports often concerned the plight of widows, orphans, and children in the Iraq War.

During a press conference on December 14, 2008, at the Prime Minister's Palace in Baghdad, Iraq, al-Zaidi threw his shoes at United States President George W. Bush. Throwing shoes is an act of extreme disrespect in both the Arab and Islamic cultures.

"This is a farewell kiss from the Iraqi people, you dog," yelled al-Zaidi in Arabic as he threw his first shoe towards the U.S. president. "This is for the widows and orphans and all those killed in Iraq," he shouted as he threw his second shoe. President Bush ducked twice, avoiding being hit by the shoes.

Al-Zaidi was then pulled to the floor by another journalist, before being grabbed by Prime Minister Maliki's guards, kicked, and rushed out of the room. White House spokeswoman Dana Perino was hit in the face by a microphone boom sent flying by a presidential bodyguard resulting in a clearly visible black eye.

On December 15, 2008, thousands of Iraqis marched in Baghdad to demand the release of al-Zaidi. Crowds gathered in Sadr City district of Baghdad and called for "hero" Muntadhar al-Zaidi to be freed from custody. There were similar scenes in Najaf. The demonstrators in Sadr City and Najaf alluded to the shoes. Participants in Sadr City "waved shoes attached to long poles" and those in Najaf threw their shoes at a passing United States military convoy. The "vast majority" of viewers of al-Baghdadia who telephoned to the station in order to express their opinions said that they approved al-Zaidi's actions.

On December 15, 2008, al-Zaidi was given a bravery award by Libyan charity group Wa Attassimou, chaired by Ayesha Qaddafi. The group called for al-Zaidi's release. A shoe producer in Turkey claimed that it had made the shoes, and another producer in Lebanon suggested that it might have made them. Many shoes in Iraq are made in China. Al-Zaidi's brother stated, "One hundred percent they are Iraqi-made shoes" and that the shoes were made in Baghdad by a highly-reputed firm called Alaa Haddad. In Syria, al-Zaidi was "hailed as a hero."

A Saudi businessman has offered US$10 million to buy the shoes. "The shoes should be exhibited in a museum as they resemble a rocket that talks on behalf of all Iraqis," read a posting on website of Arabian Business magazine. The Lebanese television channel NTV offered a job to al-Zaidi. NTV said that if al-Zaidi accepted the job offer, that he would be paid "from the moment the first shoe was thrown." Al-Zaidi's family turned down an invitation by the Venezuelan President to come and live in the Latin American country. "We are grateful to President Hugo Chavez. However we are Iraqis, we live in Iraq," Oudai al-Zaidi said speaking on the behalf of his family. Al-Zaidi has also been offered a six-door Mercedes, had a song written about him, had his incident reconstructed in an Afghan comedy sketch, and been offered the hand of a man's 20-year-old daughter in marriage. The young woman Amal Saad Gumaa said she likes the idea of being attached to a man she finds so honorable.

In Lahore, Pakistan, around 150 journalists demonstrated outside a press club to demand the release of al-Zaidi. Al-Zaidi has also found much support on social websites such as Facebook, where he has groups dedicated to him called "I enjoyed watching that Shoe thrown at George Bush", "The Iraqi Journalist who threw his shoes at Bush is my new HERO!!!" The group has members from the Middle East, Europe, Africa and America. Inspired by al-Zaidi's actions, the anti-war group Code Pink pelted shoes at an effigy of U.S. president George W. Bush outside the White House on December 17, 2008.

[Extracted from Wikipedia]

Bush, to his credit, was able to shrug off this public humiliation minutes after the attack by quipping that he thought the shoes were size 10. Personally, I think it would have been much more effective if Muntadhar had flung his unwashed socks at Bush along with his shoes.

[Here's a classic song from 50 years ago to commemorate this outstanding event.]

[First posted 19 December 2008]

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Illustrated Puns with a Timely Sense of Purpose

Now you know why police are called mata-mata (eyes) in Malay.
First there was Nothing. Then it exploded. Oh yeah?
Is there a link between the colonial impulse & colon cancer?
Some are a bit slow on the uptake.
Is Selangor state a feudalism, I wonder? Think I'll PAS on this one!
Some say this hat rack once belonged to Samuel Beckett.
Remember, there are always greater forces at work.
Don't the police have better things to do?
He even survived being grilled by a military tribunal.
An apt metaphor for our current state of political apathy.

Thanks to Olivia de Haulleville who forwarded the puns.  
I just chose the images & provided the captions.

[First posted 25 August 2014]

Monday, December 9, 2019

Winning Orang Asli Votes (updated)

Just before the by-election of April 2010 I received an email from the political secretary of one of the candidates asking me for suggestions on how to effectively campaign among the Orang Asli of Ulu Selangor. I was happy to provide an overview of how things stand with my indigenous kinfolk from the perspective of someone free of tribal imprints. The following is extracted from my email response...

Siama anak Penengah (died 2012)
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to delineate the key issues confronting the Orang Asli in general - and the Temuan community of Ulu Selangor in particular.

1. As with all indigenous peoples the most crucial issue is permanency of tenure on their ancestral lands. Without a sense of belonging to their tanah pesaka (customary lands), Orang Asli tend to become dispirited (and seek to numb themselves with spirits out of a bottle). An important case in point is Kampung Pertak, situated within a few kilometers of Gunung Raja, their sacred mountain which they call Pusat Negeri. In February 1965 the Jabatan Hal Ehwal Orang Asli and the Selangor state government approved for gazetting as a permanent Orang Asli Reserve close to 300 hectares of forest reserve, stretching from Gunung Raja to Sungai Luit which flows beside the present Kampung Pertak.

However, in 2004 the Land Office issued 99-year leases on an individual basis to the residents of Kg Pertak, effectively denying their claim to their tanah pesaka, and reducing their land holdings to a tiny fraction of what was promised them 45 years ago. [Dr Colin Nicholas of the Center for Orang Asli Concerns can supply you with the documentation for this.] Other Temuan settlements in Ulu Selangor are faced with different problems: those in Kg Tun Abdul Razak and Gerachi Jaya, for example, have been living in fear of being displaced by developers working in cahoots with the JHEOA and the Land Office. Kg Orang Asli Kolam Air, KKB, still has no electricity supply even though it is located less than half a kilometer from the nearest power line.

Amran @ Kuku
2. The feudalistic and patronizing attitude of the Jabatan Hal Ehwal Orang Asli (JHEOA) has effectively infantilized the Orang Asli, keeping them timid, intimidated and unsure of their rights. In Kg Pertak, for instance, the Batin doesn't have the authority to convene a majlis (village council) - only the JHEOA can call a meeting in the village. After more than half a century the JHEOA apparently has only three agendas: (i) forcing the Orang Asli to abandon their traditional ways by systematically destroying their forest habitat; (ii) cajoling them and offering them material incentives to embrace Islam; (iii) ensuring that the Orang Asli remain powerless and lacking in self-confidence so that the JHEOA can justify its continued existence.

What the Orang Asli urgently need are representatives in parliament and non-governmental agencies who can articulate their desires, bypassing the heavy-handed, short-sighted and self-serving JHEOA. Sincere and independent NGOs like COAC are underfunded and understaffed - but with regular funding and more staff they can do a far more effective job of bridging the gulf between the Orang Asli and the bureaucracy.

3. On several occasions I have helped Orang Asli widows, accident cases and the elderly to apply for financial support from the Welfare Department (Pejabat Kebajikan). In every instance I have been disgusted by the snail's pace at which the Welfare Dept staff operate. Sometimes it takes more than six months from the date of application for financial aid to be granted. Such a lackadaisical attitude cannot be tolerated as it can mean the difference between life and death for some Orang Asli.

What is urgently required is a special fund set up for the Orang Asli at the district level which can be used to provide immediate financial aid to those who cannot fend for themselves owing to unforeseen circumstances, e.g., accidents, ill health, old age, loss of family breadwinner. Red tape needs to be minimalized so the Orang Asli are not daunted by the process of requesting aid. This fund can also be utilized to help enterprising Orang Asli set up food stalls or build riverside chalets, so they can learn how to do business on a modest scale and remain their own bosses.

4. Before the construction of the Selangor Dam, a few Temuan from Kg Gerachi and Kg Pertak were earning good money working as river guides with whitewater rafting companies. Regular contact with tourists has made these Temuan conversant to a degree in English and their natural aptitude for the sport has given them a big boost in self-esteem. Unfortunately, the dam has severely impacted on the water level of the river, making whitewater rafting almost impossible. The Temuan river guides have repeatedly sought the cooperation of Splash Sdn Bhd (the dam operator) to release water every time they have rafting clients - but I'm told that Splash has simply ignored their petition. This is one instance where the JHEOA ought to take up their cause and negotiate with Splash, but the Orang Asli have long learnt not to bother asking for help from the JHEOA (whose officers tend to be malas and tidak peduli, unless there's money to be made, as in logging commissions).

Sibin Aus (died 2011)
5. After living among the Temuan since 1992, it has become obvious to me that the Orang Asli would swiftly regain their self-esteem if given the opportunity to excel in what they naturally do with ease, viz., "right-brained" activities like sports and the arts. I doubt the existing school curricula can encourage and foster such talents. What might be effective are informal programs to stimulate and inspire the youngsters on several fronts: (i) helping them access the Internet, thereby improving their language skills and exposing them to a far wider world of possibilities; (ii) providing them access to arts workshops (music, dance, acting, woodcarving, painting, and so on); and (iii) granting scholarships and sponsorships to Orang Asli kids who show promise in athletics and cultural activities.

A viable long-term project would be to fund individuals and NGOs who can set up regular learn-while-you-play programs in various villages to broaden the outlook and increase the knowledge pool among the youth (who tend to get into mischief when they are bored).

Recently I met a few Temuan in their mid-20s from Bukit Lanjan and other settlements around Selangor who impressed me with their excellent grasp of English and their facility with digital tech (they have their own websites and blogs and have been shooting and editing their own documentaries). At the same time these new generation Temuan displayed great pride in their own mythic traditions and have published books and comics in their own Temuan language.*

These are the way-showers and bridge-builders between the past and the future who will lead their people to a new era of self-respect and self-determination, free from the suffocating clutches of the JHEOA.


Note: Jabatan Hal Ehwal Orang Asli (JHEOA) was renamed Jabatan Kemajuan Orang Asli (JAKOA) in November 2010 - but apart from the change of logo, very little else has (apart from the disturbing fact that JAKOA appears to be working closely with Jakim to embed Muslim missionaries in every Orang Asli community).

*One of these Temuan youth, Shaq Koyok, has since made a dent in the art world and become a de facto cultural ambassador of the Orang Asli, receiving cultural awards and invitations to visit galleries and meet with other indigenous peoples around the world.

[First posted 29 January 2015]

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

The Road To Radiant Health (revisited)

On his deathbed Tim Leary was asked if he had any regrets whatsoever. His candid answer: "I really should have done a lot more fucking."

The 1980s saw a puritanical backlash that came in the guise of a new scare - AIDS. In the late 1970s herpes was the "in-thing"... but somehow it didn't really catch on as a deterrent to guilt-free and uninhibited eroticism. AIDS, on the other hand, was sufficiently life-threatening to frighten a whole new generation of teenagers into accepting "safe sex" as routine practice.

There are women now in their late 30s and early 40s who have NEVER once experienced lovemaking WITHOUT a condom! How sad. Follow the money and who's laughing all the way to the bank? That's right... the condom manufacturers (who have inflated prices about 600% since the AIDS scare started).

I want to state in print that this puritanical backlash has generated a dangerous level of psychopathology amongst the overall human population - which may explain why violence, rape, and sexual murders seem to be dramatically on the rise. More police patrols and electronic surveillance are DEFINITELY not the solution.... and the rapid proliferation of porn sites won't solve the problem either. Indeed, it completely defeats the purpose of healthy erotic practice, which is Nature's most powerful prophylactic. When you're getting well and truly and ecstatically laid (in other words, utterly without fear or guilt) your immune system gets a real shot in the arm. Your hair looks and feels better, and your breath is always fresh. And you regain a wholesome perspective on LIFE... which means you will no longer tolerate any form of external authority. In short, you attain psychic and emotional maturity. I know Wilhelm Reich said pretty much the same thing 70 years ago... and was MURDERED while under custody in a U.S. jail for his efforts to free humanity of its State-induced robotism. Bless you, Willy. Long live the Fourth Reich!!!!

[First posted 3 January 2007, reposted 3 December 2018]

Ten Puns for the Literate (repost)

1. A marine biologist developed a race of genetically engineered dolphins that could live forever if they were fed a steady diet of seagulls. One day, his supply of the birds ran out so he had to go out and trap some more. On the way back, he spied two lions asleep on the road. Afraid to wake them, he gingerly stepped over them. Immediately, he was arrested and charged with... transporting gulls across sedate lions for immortal porpoises.

2. Evidence has been found that William Tell and his family were avid bowlers. Unfortunately, all the Swiss league records were destroyed in a fire... and so we'll never know for whom the Tells bowled.

3. A man rushed into a busy doctor's office and shouted, "Doctor! I think I'm shrinking!" The doctor calmly responded, "Now, settle down. You'll just have to be a little patient."

4.  King Ozymandias of Assyria was running low on cash after years of war with the Hittites. His last great possession was the Star of the Euphrates, the most valuable diamond in the ancient world. Desperate, he went to Croesus, the pawnbroker, to ask for a loan.

Croesus said, "I'll give you 100,000 dinars for it."

"But I paid a million dinars for it," the King protested. "Don't you know who I am? I am the king!"

Croesus replied, "When you wish to pawn a Star, makes no difference who you are."

5. Back in the 1800's the Tate's Watch Company of Massachusetts wanted to produce other products, and since they had already made the cases for watches, they used them to produce compasses. The new compasses were so bad that people often ended up in Canada or Mexico rather than California. This, of course, is the origin of the expression... "He who has a Tate's is lost!"

6. A thief broke into the local police station and stole all the toilets and urinals, leaving no clues. A spokesperson was quoted as saying, "We have absolutely nothing to go on."

7. An Indian chief was feeling very sick, so he summoned the medicine man. After a brief examination, the medicine man took out a long, thin strip of elk rawhide and gave it to the chief, telling him to bite off, chew, and swallow one inch of the leather every day. After a month, the medicine man returned to see how the chief was feeling. The chief shrugged and said, "The thong is ended, but the malady lingers on."

8. A famous Viking explorer returned home from a long voyage and found his name missing from the town register. His wife insisted on complaining to the local civic official who apologized profusely saying, "I must have taken Leif off my census."

9. There were three Indian squaws. One slept on a deer skin, one slept on an elk skin, and the third slept on a hippopotamus skin. All three became pregnant. The first two each had a baby boy. The one who slept on the hippopotamus skin had twin boys. This just goes to prove that the squaw of the hippopotamus is equal to the sons of the squaws of the other two hides.

10. A skeptical anthropologist was cataloging South American folk remedies with the assistance of a tribal Brujo who indicated that the leaves of a particular fern were a sure cure for any case of constipation. When the anthropologist expressed his doubts, the Brujo looked him in the eye and said, "Let me tell you, with fronds like these, you don't need enemas."

[Courtesy of V. Cornelius. First posted 25 July 2011, reposted 3 December 2013]

Sunday, December 1, 2019

All Quiet on the Domestic Front... (updated)

It's the last day of 2010 and all is quiet on the domestic front...

Too quiet, in fact. Without Roger Putra to grace our scenic veranda and to amuse all and sundry with his galloping cute bum whenever he runs ahead (as he must) to the river for his daily dip and photo ops on the rocks.

Roger's wholly unnecessary and meaningless murder at the hands of a demented Orang Asli on 14 December 2010 has soured what has otherwise been an entirely sweet year for me.

For the nation and for the planet as a whole, whether 2010 has been sweet or sour - or a bit of both - depends on what constitutes your sources of information. If you subscribe to the mainstream news media and watch a lot of TV, then it has been a generally chaotic and frustrating year, with rogue regimes stubbornly (often violently) clinging on to power while natural (and unnatural) disasters continue to inflict massive hardship and suffering on the disenfranchised and the destitute.

However, if you've been listening to your heart more than to your head, you might have sensed that humanity is waking up very swiftly and spontaneously.

You might also have noticed that there are vast numbers of amazing children incarnate on the planet right now - some already in their teens, others still toddlers - but all of them represent a new octave of evolution for the human species.

These rainbow starchildren (some might label them Indigo Crystals) arrived fully conscious with minimal karmic or neurotic impediments. Just look into their eyes and you will recognize them as Master Souls - entities from celestial realms who have volunteered to be physically incarnate at this crucial juncture of the planet's evolutionary process.

I met a large number of Indigo Crystals recently at a special gathering in Bali. The youngest, Eilidh (above, right), was only 10 months old. From the moment I laid eyes on her (she was playing in the hotel pool with her mother Elspeth) she focused directly at my energy field and her face broke out in a beatific smile. On the last day of the gathering of healers, shamen, wizards, magicians and starseeds, Eilidh's dad Anthony had her on his shoulder while he walked slowly around the grand ballroom. I noticed that Eilidh made eye contact with every single one of the individuals present - all 115 of them. I felt blessed to be in the same space - indeed, on the same planet - as her.

And then there were Akyuna (16) and Elena (24) who seemed to have arrived on earth riding the same beam of love from beyond the stars. Although Elena got here 8 years ahead of Akyuna, when they gaze lovingly into each other's eyes, they are both completely ageless - just a radiant unified field of divine love. With Akyuna and Elena I never really had to communicate verbally. Every time we bumped into one another, a tender hug was the only currency we traded in - and ear-to-ear grins that spoke volumes about the pure joy bursting from our hearts. Although Akyuna lives in Hawaii and speaks only English and star language - and Elena lives in Moscow and speaks Russian, English and the language of the heart - they communicate regularly via facebook, and all who love these luminous starchildren rejoice in their earthly reunion.

What about Tonatiuh and Taisia? He was born in Mexico, went to Germany for further studies and that's where he met his future bride, the exquisite Russian-born Taisia. The sacred union of North and South, Latin and Slavic royal bloodlines. In Peru at the second part of the 8th Gate Activation in 2009, Tonatiuh and Taisia awakened to the fantastic truth of their earthly incarnations as embodiments of the White Dragons - noble beings of magical and primordial wisdom that have not inhabited these dense realms for aeons.

I returned from Bali to the ecstatic embrace of a starry princess named Nannan (a true Indigo Crystal) who chose to incarnate in China, so she could embody the deep and ancient memories of a hardy and resourceful land that has seen heavenly glory and known the darkest despair, deprivation and sorrow. Her spirit so bold and fearless - yet as merciful as the compassionate goddess Kwanyin and wise as only a rider of dragons can be. Our reunion triggered long-buried echoes of memories from beyond the veil of forgetfulness, stretching across many lifetimes. To recognize and to be recognized is indeed the epitome of true love!

Beyond any doubt, I feel powerfully connected to an ever expanding network of incarnate souls representing all the Primordial Creator lineages - beings that originate from archangelic and angelic realms, volunteers from exotic star systems and wizardly technicians from all points in time and a staggering profusion of probable realities and parallel universes...

They are already here on Earth, in beautiful human embodiment, eating and chatting and laughing and making love with other awakened and awakening humans. Their radiant energy fields are luminescent and vibrant fields of limitless love and unbounded intelligence, transcending the 3-dimensional confines of the Matrix and immune to the primitive, fear-based, scarcity-conditioning and mind-control mechanisms installed in the early versions of Homo sapiens by the Anunnaki and other spiritually immature ET factions.

Each one of us is in the process of integrating our celestial and terrestrial neural circuitry and emerging as authentic masters, like a hundred million Krishnas, Buddhas, Padmasambhavas, Muhammads and Christs that have managed to sneak past the border guards right into the heart of the Occupied Zone. The Revolution we are fomenting is essentially a mental and spiritual one, without recourse to violence.

The Agent Smiths of the New World Order cabal and the evil priesthood of the ancient vampire bloodlines will, as to be expected, lash out in panic, thinking they can quell any large-scale rebellion through the force majeure of the police state at home and their military might abroad.

When physical violence erupts, as it occasionally will, physical bodies get damaged, even destroyed. As far as possible, we shall be extremely cautious when negotiating these dangerous political reefs - but none of us, in the ultimate sense, fears death or incarceration, if only because we have all been through this sort of low-grade scenario time and again. Yes, some of us remember the Inquisition vividly; some of us still bear the emotional scars of a dozen massacres and bloody wars. We have navigated labyrinths and resurrected ourselves from fictitious crucifixions countless times. We're veteran Jedis of numerous Star Wars.

We are fighting this war of enlightenment to liberate the human spirit from the fetters of deadly dogma and dull doctrine; from Neo-Darwinian notions and Malthusian misconceptions that have resulted in grotesquely iniquitous and unbalanced distribution of the planet's majestic abundance. We will not bow or cower before deformities dressed in the robes of earthly power, usurpers of and pretenders to the throne of heaven on earth. All the puffed-up honorifics and titles they bestow upon themselves will not protect them from our scrutiny and our scorn.

They believe they can cork the leak by arresting and harassing a cyber-revolutionary like Julian Assange. But can they cope with ten million Assange clones in Guy Fawkes masks?

Sooner rather than later their own children will recoil in horror at the stupid cruelty of what their parents and grandparents have done to the planet and all her lifeforms - and the psychosis they conceal behind their botoxed façades of respectability. And these children will open up the fortesses and palaces from within to let in some desperately needed fresh air and some pure new blood to renew the view from Pisgah and restore the divine blueprint of heaven on earth.


[First posted 31 December 2010]

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Escape from the Labyrinth (repost)

An Open Letter to Homo saps, c/o The WorldWideWeb (and to my West Essex High School chum, David George White, who inspired this!)

WHY do people think they need to have their heads shrunk when what they actually want is to have their minds expanded?

My response to psychiatry: if you really want to shrink heads, go back a hundred years to Borneo, where it was a noble tradition amongst Iban warriors, not just another lucrative priestly profession.

So I’m going to tell you a little about my crazy adventures in the labyrinth of consciousness. How I met and befriended the Minotaur and named him Chief Shitting Bull. You can imagine the mountains of manure accumulated over the aeons.

Flossofy is a load of bullshit, I can almost hear my transgendered virtual shaman friend Sha’Tara quip. I’m into goddesses myself. And to the ecofeminist in me bullshit’s the same as cowdung - a useful source of fuel, fertilizer, wall-filling, and psychedelic fungi. My aunt Hathor, the cowfaced Egyptian goddess, taught me everything I know about the Milky Way.

I’m doing this for myself and for you, Dave. When the Maya meet they greet each other: “In Lak’ech!” I am another yourself. Let’s see if life improves when I start addressing you as another aspect of myself. The aspect that can’t help ratiocinating. I’ll present myself as the aspect that hasn’t stopped hallucinating. No email smiley, but I’m sure your well-honed sense of irony will feel right at home here.

UPON returning from my eventful year in the US, I wasted no time getting laid. We did it in the White House (that was the name of the Chinese hotel in Singapore I selected for our tryst). White features prominently in the story. My first real fuck and I became a father at 19.

But the real turning point was on Christmas Day, 1968, when I borrowed my brother’s 250cc BSA and took my de facto wife for a spin – literally! A car abruptly made a turn as we were overtaking it. I remember the sensation of flying through the air, suspended in eternity, and then landing on soft grass and springing almost instantly to my feet to check on my wife who was four months pregnant. To my relief she regained consciousness after a few seconds and it seemed like neither of us was hurt, only badly shaken. Someone drove us to the nearby hospital just in case, and it was a couple of hours later that I found the strange wound on my back - two circular burn marks along my spine about eight inches above the bum and an inch apart. Couldn’t figure out how I’d sustained that injury, but it didn’t hurt and healed within a day, though tiny scars are still visible.

It took me twenty years to find a funky twist to that incident. In a parallel universe, a teenaged father-to-be died in a motorcycle accident 13 days before his 19th birthday. However, on this time-track, the kid spent the next 15 months integrating a totally new personality. From my parents’ perspective, the “psychotic” episode was triggered by a combination of factors: the life-changing experience of watching the birth of my first daughter in May 1969, two weeks after bloody mayhem broke out in the streets of Kuala Lumpur (a safe distance from Batu Pahat, my hometown in the south); and then there was the heavy pot-smoking and listening for hours on headphones to psychedelic rock.

No wonder the kid flipped out and thought he was God, staying up nights, chanting “Om mani padme hum” like a mad monk in the streets, throwing away his pocket money (a sure sign of lunacy), forgetting to eat, watching the skies for dancing lights, chuckling spontaneously, announcing to friends and family that the kingdom of heaven was right here, pointing to pictures of Jesus and saying with a mischievous wink that he was back, don’t worry, everything’s perfectly okay now, everyone made it through the needle’s eye.

Another way of describing what happened is that my ego membrane dilated, became porous, and somehow the Cosmos seeped through my pre-programmed defences. I became everyone and everything around me. All faces, forms, and names were my own. Everything spoke to me: mineral, vegetable, animal, human, angelic, and beyond. A classic case of satori – I was absolutely ecstatic and never wanted to return to mundanity, the prosaic (Prozac?) state humans have been conditioned for countless generations to accept as “real.”

If I was inclined towards an open-minded agnosticism before this pivotal peak experience, I now embraced the Gnosis with my entire being. God the Father-Pater-Pattern took the omnipresent form of Electrons and Electricity, speaking the language of Light and Lightning. Goddess the Mother-Mater-Matrix was the entire Matter Universe, the insulation and the copper wire through which the masculine principle coursed, the finite, physical sheath for the metaphysical sword of infinite intelligence. She was the rain, the rivers, the ocean of bliss (and sorrow) within my cellular being. Their lovemaking created the eternal Yin and Yang, and I was born of the everchanging pulse of their majestic dance as Chronos, as Time; and simply through remembrance of my origins I could reconnect with Eternity.

All rather simplistic but it did the trick for me then. These days, the idea of God as electricity would immediately strike me as unrefined. What manifests as “electricity” is merely how we interact with it at our level of perception. My adopted grandfather, R. Buckminster Fuller, was fond of associating electricity with radiation and magnetism with gravity. But even so, we can never really grasp these notions with our very limited intellects and our even more limited vocabulary. It’s like trying to put your arms around a sequoia – it takes teamwork to do it, perhaps a dozen pairs of linked arms, depending on the girth of the tree. Attempting to intellectualize about the Mystery is doomed to futility – but we can have endless fun trying.

Still, at the time there was nothing I didn’t know, no memory beyond recall. Before the Big Bang, there I was. Micro, macro, and everything in between: subatomic and transgalactiic, immanent and transcendent, sublime and ridiculous, it was all just ME! The Mystery was really just My Story!

But WHAT or WHO am I???

I stood before mirrors gazing into the multitude of faces looking back at me. Was I the Planetary Logos? The Cosmic Christ? The Paraclete Incarnate? Words are inadequate, inaccurate, misleading. Human languages do fairly well within a specific range of experience, but as soon as we move into metaphysical zones, they invariably falter and fail. In any case, I was in an exalted state and my excited bioenergetic field was creating ripples of anxiety and incomprehension around me.

Interesting to note at this point: according to Bucky Fuller (pictured right), the PHYSICAL world in which we “normally” function represents less than 0.1% of the electromagnetic spectrum - more than 99.9% of which is what we call METAPHYSICAL, in effect, beyond the measurable range of our physical senses and scientific instruments.

Perhaps in India I would have been recognized instantly as an Avatar and a thriving ashram might have sprung up around me! But in middle-class, materialistic Malaysia, sharing space with well-meaning but utterly clueless parents whose Reader’s Digest worldview was suddenly confronted by an immortal spirit walking around in a 19-year-old body that resembled their youngest son, it was unequivocally decided that I was quite mad and in urgent need of psychiatric assistance. If I knew then what I now know – that I was actually a walk-in, and told them as much, they would have committed me all the same (okay, insert smiley here, if you like). You may ask, what the fuck is a “walk-in”? We’ll come back to this fascinating topic later (or you can click on the link and read about it).

The next three months was a fun-filled period of in-depth training in navigational skills. José Argüelles came out with an instructive and entertaining book called Surfers of the Zuvuya (Bear & Co, 1989) in which he recounts his interdimensional explorations. This is how Argüelles defines zuvuya:
“Zuvuya is the Mayan term for the big memory circuit. It is the memory hotline. It connects equally to the future as well as the past because it is an interdimensional thread. It is what fuels synchronicity , and consequently, it is the pipeline for magic.”
During my brief sojourn in the madhouse, I had weekly chats with a shrink named Edward Tan whom we shall call Dr ET. He was a smart cookie and knew he was on to a good thing – an articulate and self-aware inmate! Tried every which way to persuade me to extend my stay so he could use me for his personal research (an ambitious chap) but I told him no way, I’d completed my internship and was ready to be released. To please him, I agreed to address a panel of psychiatrists. Can’t remember everything I said, but I recall they were all suitably impressed. But, still, Dr ET wouldn’t relinquish his hold on me.

“You’re not well,” he intoned, “you may be highly intelligent and knowledgeable but you’re still schizophrenic. In fact, statistics show that a lot of intelligent people suffer from schizophrenia.”

“Of course I am!” I grinned. “EVERYBODY is schizophrenic. Only difference is that I KNOW we’re many different selves operating at different and occasionally overlapping frequencies. Okay, perhaps you could describe my condition as megalomania; but, then again, what is megalomania? Megalo means ‘great’ in Greek. So what’s wrong with knowing that I’m great? Truth is, everyone’s great – yes, even you! But we’ve been taught that it isn’t modest or polite to acknowledge our essential magnificence and vastness. We’ve been told that we’re lowly creatures, prone to seven deadly sins and whatnot, in desperate need of salvation. Hey, you’re Roman Catholic, aren’t you? So what’s that Star of David placemat doing on your desk?” [Dialogue reconstructed from memory and slightly embellished for dramatic effect.]

Dr ET absolutely insisted that I needed electro-shock therapy and made me sign a document of acquiescence. “Only then I’ll let you go home,” he smirked. I had no fear of electricity (‘E my Daddy after all), so I said okay, deal. The price I paid for my freedom was three shock treatments. They were painless – but what happened was that my synaptic connections were thrown into disarray. It was as though a thief had broken into my office and scattered the entire contents of my filing cabinet.

I vegetated for about four months afterwards, stuffing my face with peanuts, chestnuts and steamed corn-on-the-cob – and feeding my brain with at least 200 books. Finally I had enough of that existential limbo and applied for a job in advertising (not knowing it was just another brand of limbo), just so I could move out and move on. Decided to stay with my maternal aunt in Kuala Lumpur and, a few months later, took over her apartment when she moved to her own house. Lotus-Lily dropped out of university to join me in our humble nuclear family experiment. In late 1970, high on acid at a friend’s birthday party, our #2 daughter, Belle, was conceived. The few acid trips I took reinstated my earlier experience of Divine Madness and convinced me that it was precisely the state of consciousness sought after by alchemists, magicians, and shamans throughout the ages.

An English anarchist and dope-smuggler introduced me to psilocybin mushrooms in 1972. They were freely available at certain power spots and 100% laboratory-proof. Mushrooms, though milder and smoother, also have the effect of restoring my original state of God-consciousness. Other ways to reconnect with Source are through the ascetic-yogic path (which requires immense self-discipline and resolve, as I soon discovered when I was initiated into a Tantric warrior-monk cult called Anandamarga and turned vegetarian for all of three months); or in the company of others with exceptionally high-frequency bioenergetic fields.

Speaking of UHF bio-fields, I recently stumbled upon the astonishingly stimulating musings of the late Terence McKenna (author of The Archaic Revival: Speculations on Psychedelic Mushrooms, the Amazon, Virtual Reality, UFOs, Evolution, Shamanism, the Rebirth of the Goddess, and the End of History) whose eloquence is matched only by his elvish erudition. Last year, a Canadian internet friend sent me a set of 8 cassettes with McKenna rambling on about everything. Hard to find time to listen to it all at one go, but very good to have in the archives.

It took me twenty years to piece the puzzle back together. All this while I vividly remembered the delicious sensation of cosmic bliss and all-knowingness – but couldn’t for the life of me figure out the hows and wherefores of perfect ease and total ecstasy. What was it that had (in 1969) made me believe heaven on earth wasn’t merely possible, but was actually just around the bend (pardon the pun)?

In 1989 I met Mary Maguire at the launch of my first book and within a couple of weeks we had become firm friends and companions-in-lunacy and reincarnational research. Mary is Irish and witchily so, down to her flaming red mane now turning grey (which she religiously dyes every month). We soon became acutely aware that the Dark Side was no longer in outright control of the Earth (not since 1987) – but it wasn’t about to let go of its grim outlook and surrender to joy. At least not without a last, all-out, desperate effort to clamp down on a fast awakening humanity.

The Dark Side, as it turns out, was the aspect of ourselves that had suffered extreme disillusionment and pain when it felt abandoned by Mummy and Daddy, shortly after inserting itself into the dense world of physical form and experiencing complete amnesia. To block out the pain it had armored itself within a crustacean ego – and learned to minimize its emotional responses to the extent that it appeared to be utterly devoid of empathy and incapable of compassion.

LET’S back up a little, as I’m racing ahead of myself. What transpired when Mary Maguire and I reconnected was a surge we both experienced in our bio-fields. It wasn’t sexual, though for a while we were lovers (indeed, we did it on our very first date, both of us agreeing it was best to deal immediately with the erotic tension and get down to the real fun, which was just to hang out together a lot and discuss everything under the sun). The synergetic effect of our unified bio-fields significantly increased our neural voltage and all it took was a third coordinate to lift us to a whole new level of awareness.

The Third Man wasn’t Harry Lime, but a Canadian Briton named Dave Cawson whom I had first met in Kathmandu around Christmas 1984. Dave is married to Shanthini Kandiah, a Malaysian whose father, it turned out, was once my dad’s colleague and drinking partner, yup, small world. The Cawsons were somewhat nomadic at the time, going wherever there was cash to be made teaching English – but they returned sporadically to visit Shanthini’s folks. Anyway, with Dave, Mary and I linked once again on the physical plane, really extraordinary phenomena began to occur. I wrote a fairly detailed account of the pendulum and ouija experiments we conducted in November 1989.

Dave himself had had incredible experiences around 1971 when he was living in Red Deer, British Columbia. They were X-Files episodes not unlike my own in 1969. Subsequent research revealed that the years 1968-1971 were a supercharged period of cosmic initiations on this planet when the Christ consciousness grid was experimentally activated. As a result thousands, if not millions, around the world spontaneously turned on, tuned in, dropped out – or freaked out, claiming to be Jesus. Some might say this was an instance of benevolent ET intercession. Others might attribute it to a particularly turbulent and prolonged period of sunspot activity – not unlike what we’re experiencing at this writing.

There is a vast body of literature available that probably never crossed your path, considering that your personal interests and tastes would have led you down an entirely different path, but in case this communiqué arouses more than mere intellectual curiosity, I’ll mention some of the books that have helped me formulate and consolidate my perspectives.

Dane Rudhyar, who died in 1985 at the age of 90, is best described as a Renaissance Man who coined the term “holistic” – which has taken about 25 years to infiltrate the mainstream vocabulary. Rudhyar was best known as, strangely enough, an astrologer; but his crystalline intelligence made him an exceptional philosopher, psychologist, and transducer of esoteric knowledge into accessible language. Apart from that, he also painted geometric abstractions and composed intricately contemplative music. His numerous books, unfortunately, bear somewhat suspect titles like:

WE CAN BEGIN AGAIN - TOGETHER: A Re-evaluation of the Basic Concepts of Western Civilization in terms of an emergent Future for Mankind (Omen Communications Inc, 1974).

Even more suspect:

Occult Preparations for a New Age
(Quest Books, 1975)

Less suspect, but perhaps overly grandiose:

The Planetarization of Consciousness (Aurora Press, 1970)

Nevertheless, I found Rudhyar’s meticulous, occasionally ponderous writings of immense value in establishing a rigorous conceptual framework for my own cottonwoolly ecstatic visions. This was powerfully complemented by my exposure to R. Buckminster Fuller’s pioneering work in Whole Systems Theory and Energetics-Synergetics. My sceptical left brain received further reassurance in 1997 when I turned myself in for a 6-day experiential workshop called Flower of Life which was essentially a refresher course in evolutionary history covering 500,000 years of Earthtime.

Another visionary thinker and writer who bolstered my conceptual confidence was William Irwin Thompson (former historian at M.I.T.) whose Passages about Earth: An exploration of the new Planetary Culture (Rider & Company, 1975) was tremendously inspiring to me. Thompson founded the Lindisfarne Association, an alternative commune on Long Island based on the Esalen Institute at Big Sur and Hermann Hesse’s Castalia Foundation (of Glass Bead Game fame).

On a whole different imaginative tack, I was greatly impressed by Akhunaton the Extraterrestrial King (Frog Ltd, 1995) – a first novel by Daniel Blair Stewart whose far-out prophetic insights are being vindicated by the extremely weird twists in the present planetary plot.

However, the biggest mind-boggler I’ve encountered to date has to be THE MAYAN FACTOR: Path Beyond Technology by José Argüelles (Bear & Co, 1987). Argüelles also wrote and illustrated the equally astonishing EARTH ASCENDING (1984) but this isn’t one of his more accessible works; and THE ARCTURUS PROBE: Tales and Reports of an Ongoing Investigation (1996) sounds truly intriguing but is practically unreadable (though the illustrations are astounding). His latest effort, which I have yet to read, is TIME AND THE TECHNOSPHERE (Bear & Co, 2002, now available as a pdf download).

The extent of Argüelles’s commitment to his mission is demonstrated by his dropping completely out of academia (he received his PhD in Art History and Aesthetics in 1969) and changing his name to Valum Votan, Arcturian Minister. His wife Lloydine became Bolon Ik and they have been tirelessly campaigning for the World Thirteen Moon Calendar Change Peace Movement and the Planet Art Network (PAN). Their website contains paradigm-shattering information.

Now, how is any of this stuff relevant to the harsh and hellish geopolitical climate we now face - as Bush and his Cohorts brazenly frogmarch Homo saps towards the endgame scenario of our worst Orwellian nightmares and the nuclear winter of our ultimate discontent?

Allow me to quote at length from José Argüelles’s 1996 Update appended to a new edition of THE MAYAN FACTOR:
Since that halcyon era when Mr Gorbachev was more popular than George Bush, the world has taken a bad turn for the worse – or so it would seem. The materialist civilization critiqued by The Mayan Factor is now boldly stepping up its own apocalyptic demise and spinning out of control faster than it can rewire itself. What is going on? What comes next? 
Instead of breaking the chains with the past, the course of materialist civilization took a deadening turn. An unprecedented and unprincipled hegemony of world power had taken control, bringing on the dreaded ‘end times.’ This power play occurred in mid-1990, precisely the point at which the dialectic of history had dissolved in the rubble of what had been the Berlin Wall. When the phoenix of post-history should have been rising from the ashes of the Cold War, a sinister plot, long incubating, was calculatedly hatched and imperceptibly woven into the collective mind of the human race.
This plot was publicly disguised as George Bush’s ‘New World Order.’ It was originally conceived in 1974, when George Bush was the director of the CIA. The plot was dependent on the Russians being the first to throw in the towel. Once this occurred, the plot was set in motion. The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait on August 2, 1990, was the pretext. Within weeks, the G-7 (the group of seven most industrialized nations) held its first public meeting in sixteen years, i.e., since its inception as a covert operation by the CIA in 1974.
Five months of unprecedented brainwashing of the American public - and, via CNN, of the world at large – in preparation for Operation Desert Storm was the perfect screen for placing the G-7, and its policy of ‘monetary politics,’ at the helm of world political control. The G-7 was George Bush’s master plan. The success of the Gulf War and the acquiescence of the majority of the American public in this endeavor sealed the fate of the planet in an evil dumb-show in which the only option is enforced enslavement to an out-of-control machine.

With the dialectic of history over, the monolithic G-7 tyranny of monetary politics and its domination of the electronic media has created a visionless wasteland of monstrous proportions. Truly humanity appears to be settling for a fate in which it is little more than the sex organs of the machine. But these are the end times. From the point of view of The Mayan Factor, it is the end of time, of artificial machine time, of the time controlled by the twelve-month Gregorian calendar and the sixty-minute hour.

So there you have it. My conceptual development since 1968 in a nutcase, I mean, nutshell.

The reason – or rather, unreason – for my optimism has nothing whatsoever to do with current affairs - or rather, currant affairs. It has everything to do, however, with the spontaneous recall of my having “walked in” on the Malaysian Chinese lad named Lee Kit Fong on Christmas Day, 1968. This prompted an “identity crisis” which I ingeniously resolved by adding an ‘E’ to my family name, thereby openly declaring my intention to constantly reinvent myself.

I subsequently went through an amusing series of nominal transformations, acquiring eccentric appellations like Magruser Eeel (revealing an obsession with resurgence through a reversal of the Latin word resurgam); Avalokiteshvara (in Tibet the personification of Universal Compassion, masculine aspect of Kwan Yin, Goddess of Mercy); C.Y. Bernet (sardonically acknowledging my own bionicity or robothood); Michael Zodiac (an allusion to the Melchizedek Order of which I am a de facto member by dint of my lifelong absorption in mysticism, shamanism, and arcane research); even the rarely used Lee Bee Doh (in honor of my rampant gonads).

In 1992, while performing a star alignment meditation, I received my present galactic tag – Antares (in Chinese cosmogony, the Red Phoenix Star; in Hindu astronomy, Jyeshtha, the last portal souls have to pass through on their return journey to Source) - but it wasn’t till 1996 that I was prompted to go public with it. The impetus behind this was to consciously jettison the ballast of my personal past, my cultural and ethnic moorings, and set off anew for shores unknown.

Sometime in 1970 I had come across an unusual book called The Ultimate Frontier, by Richard Kieninger (founder of the Stelle Community based near Chicago). A mysterious “Dr White” appears to young Richard, gently initiating him into the Cosmic Secrets and revealing the occult influence on human affairs of the Great White Brotherhood and its shadowy counterpart, the Dark Lodge. That’s right, the archetypal duality of Good vs Evil (Judaism, Christianity, Islam), Ahuramazda vs Ahriman (Zoroastrianism), Yin vs Yang (Taoism).

The trick was to transcend bipartisan politics, dispense altogether with the “versus,” and transmute these polarities into symbiotic partnerships – in which event the Great White Brotherhood (eerily, the same initials as George W. Bush!) would act as an evolutionary accelerator, while the Dark Lodge would serve as the braking (breaking?) mechanism. Since those heady days, there has been an exponential increase in esoterica and spiritual literature, much of it saying the same old thing.

In 1997 I wrote a summary of the Flower of Life teachings and posted it in two parts: here and here.

Although I have since come to rely mostly on inner rather than outer authority – paying close attention to all belief systems but not taking on any as my own except when they resonate with direct experience – Drunvalo’s FOL material carries an undeniable fascination, if only for the complexity and scope of the information it encompasses.

I met a couple from Singapore (Heiko Niedermeyer and Selina Lau) in September 2001 who practise a form of deep emotional therapy called RELEASING. They invited me to a couple of weekend workshops and I found Releasing a pretty effective and painless way to clear out the inner circuitry. Sounds like you could use something like this to free yourself from the debilitating effects of emotional trauma.

Have you, by any chance, heard of or read Philip K. Dick’s Valis? You must, in any case, have heard of or even seen The Matrix, which hints heavily at some of the utterly bizarre reality options being played out right now on planet Earth.

HOLY SHIT, WE ARE ALL THE ONE! (Triple smiley)

Antares © 2002, first posted 8 May 2007, reposted 26 July 2016]