Thursday, September 24, 2015

Aidil Adha was here...

Today, Muslims all over the world celebrate Aidil Adha or the Completion of the Haj celebration with the offer of sacrifice at the Mount of Arafat where the Prophet (pbuh) said His final sermon or Khutbah. Here the faithful in the millions gather on this final day of the Haj and today the News said that there was a stampede and over 2020 people were recorded dead. How tragic! Only a week ago a large crane had collapsed and killed some 200 people in Mekah where they were performing the Tawaf and i will google more accurate information now:
On 11 September 2015, a crawler crane toppled over onto the Masjid al-Haram, the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. 118 people were killed and 394 injured.[3][4][5]The city was preparing for the Hajj pilgrimage.[6][7][8]
Fifteen Indians, ten Malaysians, twenty-two Bangladeshis, fifteen Iranians, forty-two Indonesians,[9][10][11][12] six Nigerians, and fifty-one Pakistanis were injured.[13] Eleven Pakistanis, eleven Indians and two Britons were among the dead.[14] The accident has been cited as the deadliest crane collapse in modern history, with the previous most deadly incident being the collapse of a construction crane in New York City in 2008, killing seven people.[15] Wikipedia.
Some one thousand people have been evacuated following a fire at the eighth floor of a hotel housing pilgrims from Asia in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi Civil Defense agency said that at least two people were hurt in the blaze that engulfed the hotel early Thursday.
The agency would not disclose either the nationality of the pilgrims, or the cause of the incident.

The fire occurred at a time when thousands of Muslim pilgrims are pouring into the holy city to perform the annual Hajj pilgrimage.

At least 717 Haj pilgrims were reported killed and nearly 805 others injured in a stampede in Mina in Makkah province in western Saudi Arabia on Thursday morning where two million pigrims from across the world have gathered for the annual Haj pilgrimage.
According to a local report, the incident took place around 5 am (local time) as thousands of Haj pilgrims rushed through the Street 204 in Mina to participate in the 'stoning of the devil' ritual in Jamarat.
Jamarat is carried out on Eid al-Adha or the Feast of Sacrifice, and it  symbolises the rejection of sin and temptation. 
The stampede took place at the Street 204 in Mina, which is one of the two main roads that leads to camp Jamarat, where pilgrims ritually stone the devil by hurling pebbles. The pilgrims were allowed to continue towards the Jamrat complex for 'stoning of the devil' ritual after the civil defences forces cleared the bodies and took away the injured.
| Updated: September 24, 2015 18:19 IST  International Business Times.
What is going on? Why the violent deaths in the vicinity of the House of the Lord? The Holy land under siege? Perhaps just accidents and they do happen, accidents do. But i feel a little disturbed by the incidents even before the second one occurred. The Saudi King and countrymen are most probably also thinking beyond mere accidents by now and i hope that they do too. The blind eye cast at the carnage in Syria today by the Saudi government would piss off any God for that matter; not only Allah! The wanton acts of killing and brutalizing the people of Palestine, man women and child is unforgivable and yet the Saudi government plays minimal role in putting an end to this crimes against humanity. Something is not right when tons of meat is  being slaughtered and most wasted while in most African countries there is starvation and malnutrition of millions of man women and child, what is the sacrifice for? The amount of money changing hands itself is sacrilege when one takes a closer look at what it cost to do the haj and who is profiting from it big time.
My niece in Balik Pulau and I am sure ll over the country has already started saving accounts for her kids, one to three year old so they can do the haj when they get to by my age and that is if they are lucky. Their grandmother is till waiting faithfully with apprehensions whether she would get her chance this year or the next or the year after. Ironically i will never get invited to my Lord's House even if my eldest son lives a stone's throw from the Kaabah. That's karma, another story maybe will tell in the future when the subject arises. I dram of walking there through the continent of India and so forth but too late now as my physical condition is unpredictable; don't have what it takes or so it seems. But a man as they say can propose and God disposes.
On this Holy day of Aidil Adha, I wish all my family and relatives and Muslim friends all over the world, Happy Haj!

50 Years of Pink Floyd.

When I first listened to "Wish You Were Here." I knew i found my soul music. I had no idea who Pink Floyd was, never really cred to find out during those years for fear of disappointment? Or never did care too much for details, my bad. I thought Floyd was a character in the band or something and i loved his music.

It was in Green bay Wisconsin when i first was introduced to the Pink Floyd album, ' Wish You Were Here 'and i used to listen to it till I would past out on the floor with the headphones in my ears full blast and this was at a couple of rich Thai students' apartment at the University of Wisconsin in Green Bay. 

The songs touched me almost spiritually within and back then and i was most of the time either stoned or drunk and so it came to me quite naturally, this connection i had with Pink. I always found the songs actually were aimed at my inner being, right to the core. My mind was never more opened than when i spent my five years as a University student in Green bay Wisconsin. These were the years of discovering Jedu Krishnatmurti and Allan Watts both at he same time. These were the years when iI met Calrry neslson Cloe, my printmaking professor from Sierra Leone,; one of the 'Who Is Who' of the Printmaking Scene in America. This were times when I traveled the world through my studies program and was exposed to great minds and Artists all over the United States.

Then as i got a little bit more sophisticated and was dating the assistant dean of student who also happened to be the International student coordinator at the University I became attentive to 'Dark Side of the Moon' because 'Bare foot Lizzy' ( my Lady), liked it. and "The Wall." Still never did found out who Dave Gilmore or Roger Waters was; details. The Wall evoked memories of my school years in Penang and Kuala Terengganu and how I hated school and at the same time enjoyed the hell out of it by being rebellious. Tear down the Wall! when i first listened to this vibrant music pounding in my head i felt the surge of freedom from my childhood years of being abused by adults especially my teachers.

Most of my relationship fell through the cracks and i can safely say that I had an average of one lady friend for every two years  ever since i was divorced from my first wife, but Pink Floyd lived on in me. In some weird sense their music almost led me through my life experiences somehow back then, like it all made sense to me even if i was getting nowhere in reality.

Then one year 1982?, I took a trip home to Malaysia and visited my twin brother who was then working and living in Kuching, Sarawak. Early one morning as i stepped into the living room there was the album, "Wish You were Here," playing on the phonograph and his little girl handling the album cover; it was spooky. I was sure my twin had no idea how connected i was to the album and yet there it was in the heart of Borneo. 

Now that i am about to kick the bucket myself i must say how much I appreciate having had the opportunity to be a part of a legendary Rock Group that has survived till this date with their concerts all over the world. I only wish I had been able to see them perform live; I only wish that I was there. Now i know who Roger waters and David Gilmore are and how far or how near they have been to me.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

We are Captains of our own Destiny.

So as the walls closes in on us from all sides including above and below, we are squeezed so tightly that we find it hard to breath and gasping for breath we ask yet still who am I? Why am I stuck in this quagmire of dissolution, like a broke record repeating time and again the same routine of  feeling trapped in a nest full of vipers and not being able to do a thing about it. What is more disturbing is to see that my children are facing the same quandary with even less means to cope with as their experiences are yet to mature enough to be able to see through the Illusions and delusions of this so called life. I know how much a cliche it is to say we are spinning out of control as far as humanity is, but sadly enough given all the events that are transpiring around the globe there is very little left to be excited about and a great deal more to be worried for.
Is there hope beyond this our present state of affairs, is there a silver lining beyond these looming dark clouds? I want to believe there is and it is in everyone of us to be able to come together and make it happen through what those who have been weary of such issues are sharing; our collective consciousness. Today more than ever there millions of us who are into deep transcendental meditation, Zen form of sitting meditation, Sufi form of Zikr meditation, Yogic form and Tibetan forms and not to mention the Shamanistic practices of mind control and so forth, what is to stop us from coming together and make a collective effort to shower this Planet of ours with a protective veil from being overcome by so much negative energy as she is presently suffering from? Is it too far fetched an idea to buy into? What else have we got to counter the negative with otherwise other than wars and annihilation of the specie? Only the blind and ignorant fail to see how we are drifting towards a  vortex of chaos and destruction and yet most of us are feeling helpless or in a state of denial making it as thought everything is copper static and AOK. So long as there is food on the table and gas in the tank, so long as the kids are in school and the bosses are happy, life is as it should be, so let's live and let live.
I cannot cry out loud enough that we are in deep shit status and if nothing is done to change the course of our destiny soon enough we will be up shit creek for good and God have mercy on us all when its to late to say, I told you so. Sit! Meditate! let your Mind expand throughout the Universe and Connect with the All and become One. Become that which is our inherent spiritual essence, the which is our Divine nature, that which is our Birth right; our presence, our Being. Not as a Muslim or a Christian, a Buddhist or a Hindu, not as native American or an Australian Aborigine but as who we are, the essence of Being; Pure Consciousness Itself. Let us unveil ourselves and reveal our inner nature beyond that which we are conditioned to believe who we are and reach out and touch those who are already awakened to the same spirit of being and let us join our forces and enlighten the rest of humanity and spread the light of Right Understanding and overcome the darkness that is threatening to suck us into a Black Hole of Ignorance. 
We are given the brain for a reason and the reason is more apparent than ever in our human history; the Planet needs us to deliver ourselves and save her in the process. This cry out for salvation comes from the ancient ones and their wisdom of ages which have been preparing us to face our own self destruction and it is for us to heed their call and put to use what they have tried to impart for us throughout history. he internet is the latest of the'gifts' for us as a tool for us to accomplish the almost impossible task of uniting in common spirit an meet the task at hand which humanity is faced with; self destruction. Wake up! Stay Awake! Wake up your brothers and sisters and let them know that there is hope and that together we can alter our course from smashing ourselves upon self destruction because we are rudderless; a ship without a captain.  

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

What of the iNDIANS?

What about the Indians? As I might have mentioned somewhere along my lengthy Blogging, I have very close relatives who are Indians as my grand uncle was married to one; he was a Sinhalese from Ceylon or Sri Lanka as it is known today. Hence a few of Aunts and an uncle are half Tamil Hindus and I make it a habit to visit them every Deepavali if I am able to. The Indians are not much different from the Chinese when it comes to the matter of survival of the family and culture and the clinging on to age old religious rituals. They are willing to die in protection of their faith and their way life even if they claim to have been born and raised in a country like Malaysia. Many episodes of confrontations between Hindus and Muslims in this country is over who gets to built the mosque or temples and where. Whenever there is political issue that is pending involving the two racial groups the desecration of and religious insults becomes the norm. You insult my religion and i yours what more can be as volatile an issue that can garner a good number of ignorant to get all riled up on and politicians are well versed in this weapon of segregation. When all else fails get them to fight over their religious beliefs, get someone to throw a cow's head into the Hindu temple or a pig's skull into the mosque and sit back and watch the fireworks.
he Indians unlike their Chinese counterparts are prone to be a whole lot more emotional when it comes to expressing themselves over matters concern with their race or culture. The Indians deep within holds a kind of inferiority complex that needs to be overcome or so they feel and thus every now and then you see an outburst of energy when Indians are involved in a riot or collective expression; a whole lot of shouting and saber rattlings to make their points. Today more and more Indian youths are getting into the drug scene and this compounded with their inherent demeanor makes it very volatile and it is a common thing now to hear how Indians are becoming more violent in the crimes committed by them. It is not far from the truth to assume that the well to do Chinese hire Indians to do their dirty works and rarely do you hear the Indians and the Chinese up at each other's throats. There is like an unwritten understanding between the two races over the whole claim of who gets what in this country; the spoils are pre-devided as so are the territories, as to who operates where.
However there is a growing awareness just as it is among the Chinese as well as the Indians especially the youth movements, the educated and the intellects who sees beyond the racial divide that has made them victims of their own devices. These youths, the future generation of awakened beings will hopefully liberate the mental conditions that has been imposed upon them by the powers that be. Through right  education and right guidance these youths and I might add the Malays included, will find the united path through which a new and healthy coexistence can be forged by the three main races in this country. The youth of this Nation must want and will overcome all the prejudices thrown against them and awaken with pride of their heritage and historical past. Their past glory is what they have from their ancestors and each Race has its story to tell of the contributions made by the forefathers in the building of this nation. It is with this pride that the Chinese, the Malays and the Indians must fall upon to foster a greater hope to unite the three main cultures into one and call Malaysia for Malaysians.
The Indians in Malaysia has been here long before the coming of the British and the influences that the Hindu culture has upon the Malay cultural heritage can never be denied and is a historical fact still being discovered in the jungles of Northern Malaya and elsewhere. Watch the short documentary made, Malaysian Indians - hidden history on You tube to get good glimpse of what the Indian contribution is like towards Malaysia. This short story depicts the average Indian mind and concerns towards the future of the Indians in this country and how we can turn defeat into success. It is never too late so long as we have the will and desire to do so and our youth understands their roles into the future; the future lies in their hands.
I write this in honor of all my Indian family and friends who I have grown up with, those alive and those who have departed. And the 1.2 million Indian Malaysians' sacrifice in developing this land; Malayisa.

Monday, September 21, 2015

What i think of the Chinese?

Had a lengthy chat with one of my daughter's bosses, the man who invited her to join the Merchant Hotel staff after watching her performance and fall out with Gala House Western Food restaurant. Mr. Poon Keat is as unique a character as they come despite being a Chinese; I find a unique Chinese to be a rare specie and in my lifetime i found a handful that I became close with. Among the few I encountered were my former Secondary School teachers when I was a student at the Sultan Sulaiman Secondary School in Kuala Terengganu  on the East Coast of the peninsular. Mr. Andrew Heng my math teacher, Mr. C.K. Lai my Art teacher and Mr. Ong Them Loon, my industrial design teacher. Most Chinese that i have had the opportunity to have some form of close relationship with were loyal friends and acquaintances who I could turn to in times of need and the rest are the run of the mill Chinese who for the most part are self centered and self serving, take care of number one and screw the rest, all in the name of survival.
If given the opportunity i know that most Chinese would leave this country to settle in the west somewhere. where they would be among equals  as they have always assume that the Chinese are the most civilized and oldest culture in the world compared to the rest of mankind. Perhaps it is true in more than one way, however the problem that they have is the capacity to reproduce on a large scale and thus suffer from over population. There is so many Chine around he world and not to mention in the mother land of China itself that anywhere you go on the planet where there is a city chances are there will be a Chinatown. I will maintain that the Chinese will invade by population and no so much by war in the future. China's population is phenomenal not counting those living abroad and in time China will need to export more and more of her population to ease the congestion that is ever building up within the Republic itself and most countries already are set up to receive these outpouring of the Chinese overpopulation through the China towns and those that are already assimilated into host countries as citizens, Malaysia in time will become like Singapore and this is what the Malays in this country fear deep down in their subconscious minds.
To the Chinese life is a matter of survival and nothing stands in the way of survival of the race and the family for so long as time will allow, the Chinese will dominate the world by population. The Chinese invasion by population is not something evil or bad, it is just is; it is the solution to overpopulation and overseas expansion is also a deterrent from inbreeding. The Chinese will adapt and adopt any foreign culture of their host country but inherently deep within their hearts and minds, the Chinese remains. Thousands of years of cultural history will not be given up or disappear within  a few centuries of migration. In the hearts and minds of the Chinese, being Chinese is paramount and the rest is catered towards survival of the masses.
When i was a child in school I read of the story of the camel and the Arab in one of my English lesson. The camel and its master were camped in the desert out in the cold and so the camel sitting outside id the cold asked it it could at least lay its head inside the tent. Out of pity the master allowed and later on the camel asked if it could move its forelegs and shoulder to get a little warmer and this too the master out of compassion allowed. And so ti went on until the camel found its way inside totally and kicked the master out into the desert cold. This is to me the parable that comes to mind when I think of what the Chinese are like when it comes to occupying spaces that belongs to others; it is a gradual process often gone unnoticed til too late.
Call it Chino phobia or call it racial bias and perhaps it is so, however, truth be told, I would enjoy to listen to other opinions on this matter and my concern for Malaysia is the fact that it is made up of almost forty percent Chinese and growing. I love my Chinese neighbors and friends, those that i grew up with and go to school with and those who took the trouble to at the very least learn the national language and aspire to become a complete wholesome citizen of this country, but most i feel are here still harboring deep within them the Chinese mentality where survival of the race and culture comes above all else and loyalty to China is paramount when it comes to making the final choice.

Lords of the Rim is book by American historian Sterling Seagrave first published in 1995 and substantially updated in a second edition of 2010. It is a history of Chinese expatriate economics written for the lay person and has received mainly positive reviews.[1] Presenting an in-depth overview of the outstanding success of expatriate Chinese business people around the Pacific Rim, the author begins with a potted history of China’s finance and business practices over the last three thousand years and the political reasons for the first tide of entrepreneurs to chance their luck overseas.


Slowly but surely, over the last two to three thousand years, Chinese expatriates have gained a firm trade and business foothold in almost every country around the Pacific Rim area, from Vietnam and Indochina to the West Coast of the United States and Canada.
Seagrave attempts to disclose the way these Chinese merchants do business, with each other and with others. He claims that many of these entrepreneurs, despite how many years or centuries they may have been settled in a particular country hold no real allegiance to any government or people except their ancestral clans and ‘home’ villages in China. The author also reveals some of the dubious and aggressive business practices these Lords of the Rim have adopted and mastered over the years. These tactics and their traditional work ethos go some way to explain their astonishing success in the past and up to the present day.[2][3]--Wikipedia.
In the same manner i can say the same of Indians too.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Kyoto COP3 Convention.

A Three day visit to Kyoto for the Cop3 Convention Event
Miyagi Prefecture Art museum, Open Art Studio Staff and participants.
Painting demonstration at the Museum

I was once a Japanese, in my previous life.

My preceding entry, "Letter of Proposal" to the Japan Foundation has been emailed and so lets see if it gets any feedback from them. I had wanted to do this for quite while now but has been putting it off on the back burner for one reason or another, now it is almost over ten years since I was in Japan and the time of my being around much too long is getting slimmer by the day and so why not have a retrospective show if possible in memory of my late wife who loved Japan more so than she did America. Nancy Buss Bahari was a world traveler and an educator with a Master's Degree in Linguistics. She was an ESL teacher and later became certified as a Japanese language teacher; she spoke, read and wrote in Japanese.
She had spent a total of over ten years of her life living in Japan and assimilated the Japanese way of life pretty much so when we met in San Francisco.
My wife and children with two of her students in Sendai.

As for myself, I had always believed that in one of my past lives I was a Samurai! Perhaps it is because I am an admirer of the Japanese male culture with their strict code of ethics and discipline of character and dedication to work as a 'Way of Life'. Even at my early age growing up on the East Coast of the Malay Peninsular my brothers and I never missed a Japanese Samurai action movie at the theaters. One of my favorites was 'Zatoichi', 'The Blind Swordsman', which came in a series. This was followed by movies based upon the exploits of the most famous Japanese swordsman in history, by the name of  Miyamoto, Musashi. Later still came movies made by Akira Kurosawa, the ost well known Japanese Movie director with his works such as 'Yojimbo' and the ' Seven Samurais'. "The Last Samurai" with Tom Cruise is still my all time favorite.
 Later in my life i began reading books by Japanese authors and among them one being my favorite was 'The Tale of Genji' as written by Lady Murasaki Shikibu. I was introduced to Haruki Murakami later in my life while living in San Francisco by my Argentinian friend, Memo Folco and became a fan of Murakami's works. Ironically i discovered that the author and I were born on the same date the 12th. in 1949, except for the difference of the month, where he was born in January and I was born in August.

  1. Murasaki Shikibu was a Japanese novelist, poet and lady-in-waiting at the Imperial court during the Heian period. She is best known as the author of The Tale of Genji, written in Japanese between about 1000 and 1012. Wikipedia
    1. Writer
    2. Haruki Murakami is a contemporary Japanese writer. His books and stories have been bestsellers in Japan as well as internationally, with his work being translated into 50 languages and selling millions of copies outside his native country. Wikipedia
    3. BornJanuary 12, 1949 (age 66), Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
    4. Full nameHaruki Murakami

As an artist I stumbled upon one one of my two favorite Masters Katsushika, Hokusai. Hokusai'd manga or comics I discovered at the library at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay when I was a student librarian there. I borrowed the two volumes for good as I was so obsessed by them; Hokusai reminded me of my late grandfather who was also and artist and had kept similar journals/sketchbooks full of weird drawings. I must admit that the life and works of Katsushika Hokusai has a tremendous affect on my creative impulses.

Spiritually I might add I became a member of the Soto Zen School of Buddhism and spent two years of my life doing the Practice Periods at the Zen Buddhist monastery in California where the teachings of the late Sunryu Suzuki was prevalent. I read and studied a great deal on Zen Buddhism and was fammiliar with the works of D.T.Suzuki and Alan Watts and one of my Zen teacher was the late Daini Katagiri Roshi, who was at one time the Abbot and founder of the Minnesota Zen Center.  Later while living in Japan, visiting Japanese temple sites was top of my priorities. 
Yes I have an inner connection with the Japanese people and culture and perhaps I was once a Japanese in my previous life.

Among my Japanese friends in Sendai.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Letter of Proposal to Japan Foundation

To the Japan Foundation;

Dear Sir/Madam,

A Letter of Proposal -  
Art Exhibition entitled "3 Years in Sendai." (1995-98)

The exhibition will comprise of works done by the Artist - Shamsul Bahari while being a resident of the City of Sendai for three years along with his wife and two children. Most of these works were executed while the artist was a resident artist at the Miyagi Prefectural Museum of Fine Arts in Sendai.

Works includes 3 major journals- sketchbooks, printmaking, water colors, pen and ink and photographs and Sumi-e Paintings on handmade Japanese papers.

3 Years in Sendai tells the story of a family relocated from San Francisco, California to Sendai in Japan. It tells of the life of a Malaysian Artist and his late wife who had spent as a ESL teacher for a total of 10 years in Japan and their two children who attended 3 years of their Kindergarten education at the Mukaiyama Yochien in Sendai.

The purpose of this letter of proposal is to seek financial sponsorship in making this project a reality. The financial support will include the framing and packaging of the artworks as seen fit by the artist and the eventual shipment to Sendai for an exhibition preferably at the Miyagi Prefectural Museum of Art.
It would also include the traveling expenses of the artist to accompany the works and make a presentation for the exhibition.

The aim of this project is to help foster a closer relationship between Japanese Artists in Sendai and those in Malaysia. During my stay in Sendai I made  many good friends of mostly local artists and those living around the area close by such as Akiu. It would be an honor to invite a few of these masters over to Malaysia and share their expertise. It would also help Malaysians to experience Sendai beyond her borders to such historic places such as among others. Yamadera, Matsushima and The Haguro Mountains as these are the places I have visited and did some art from.
It is my sincere hope that before i die i could revisit Sendai and pay my respects to those who had made my family and my life richer for three years. It would also be a journey that would remind me of my late wife Nancy Buss Bahari whose love of Japan is a tribute to the country where she spent ten years of her life teaching and later became a certified Japanese Language teacher as well. 

For more detailed information i would gladly visit your offices here in Penang or Kuala Lumpur to discuss this project.

Thank you,
Yours truly.
Shamsul Bahari.


Monday, September 14, 2015

It's that hazy time again.

Driving over the hill from Georgetown to Balik Pulau yesterday with my nephew and his family was like driving in the misty mountains of a Japanese countryside. The illusion made more real by the cool air conditioner inside the car as a drizzling rain outside. In actuality the weather outside was hot and humid with a thick soupy layer of haze that has been hitting the island mercilessly for the past week or so. Yes the haze is back and with a vengeance spreading its smog-like blanket all over the island and in some places one can hardly see the landscape and the best place to be naturally is indoors where there is good air conditioning and do what one is best at under these circumstances; read good novel, work on some sketches, catch up on your watercolors or if you are lucky make love to your partner.
What can you say of haze as it has become an annual event where the forests in Sumatra are being slashed and burnt to make way for plantations especially palm oil. If you look into the matter n no doubt you will find a Malaysian company or two involved in the whole affair. It would be like spitting up at the clouds having it fall right back on to your own face. There is no more sense in complaining as it falls on deaf ears and there is no sense in banging your head against some mad bugger's wall simply because there will always be an excuse to justify even the worse of environmental degradation in our world today. All i can see is nature herself taking matters into her own hand and in time exert her own repercussions in the form of some natural disaster that would affect human lives; like the recent floods in Kelantan primarily caused by the deforestation and logging in the interior of the country.  
Ah, but we never learn and even if we do there are those who are beyond learning blinded by the pursuit of material wealth and comfort.
“Seldom in history has humanity been so shaken, so beaten, so overwhelmed as in these times. Violence, fear, terror, intolerance stalk different regions of our planet,” he said in his inaugural address.
Uruguay president - Vazquez
How sad it is to envision a future bereft of nature's blessed beauty after all the forest have been rendered barren and all its life has been extinguished to be replaced by miles and miles of sterile plantations making the landscape looking like a huge factory where fences and roads dissect through crisscrossing to allow for lorries and tractors to come and go raising dust behind them. The jungle and forests that once was is no more and with it is gone the wild life, flora and fauna some forever never to be seen alive again. More and more of our majestic wild life is on the brink of extinction, tigers, rhinos and elephants are an endangered specie and we still keep on burning to make way for the propagation of the oil palm that would fill the shelves at our supermarkets. Ironically, no matter how much land is cleared the price of the oil on the shelves never decreases but seems to ever be on the increase and the more the price increases the more land is cleared...more Haze.

From bad to worse... the air quality in Kuala Lumpur has deteriorated further this morning as the API reading for the city hits the 188 mark as at 6am this morning.  – The Malaysian Insider pic by Najjua Zulkefli, September 15, 2015.From bad to worse... the air quality in Kuala Lumpur has deteriorated further this morning as the API reading for the city hits the 188 mark as at 6am this morning. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Najjua Zulkefli, September 15, 2015.Thirty-three areas nationwide still recorded unhealthy air - See more at:


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Jose Mujica - Former President of Uruguay- 2010 - 2015

Jose Mujica - President of Uruguay- 
José Mujica
40th President of Uruguay
In office
1 March 2010 – 1 March 2015
Quote - What is the secret to happiness?
             " To live in accordance with how one thinks... to talk yo the man you carry inside. It's the companion we carry to our grave. Be yourself and don't try to impose your criteria on to others."
  I worked the fields, as a farmer making a living, in the first part of my life. Then I dedicated myself to the struggle for change, to improve life in my society. And now i am the president. And tomorrow like everyone, I will just be a pile of worms and disappear.
I had many setbacks, many injuries, some years in prison. Anyway. The routine for anyone setting out to change the world.
Miraculously I am still here. And above all, I love life. I hope to present myself for the final journey like someone who goes into a bar and says to the bar tender, "This round is on me!"
I stand out because my ways and values of life reflects those of the society to which I am honored to belong. And I cling to them. Being the President doesn't matter! I have thought allot about all that. I spent almost ten years in solitary, in a hole. Plenty of time to think...I spent 7 years without one book. They left me time to think. And this is what I discovered. Either you are happy with very little, free of all that extra luggage because you have happiness inside, or you don't get anywhere. I am not advocating poverty. I am advocating sobriety. But since we have invented a consumer society, the economy must constantly grow. If it fails to increase it is a tragedy. We have invented a mountain of superfluous needs. Shopping for new, discarding the old... That's a waste of our lives...And it is pitiful to waste one's life and freedom that way!
What I do recommend is that we stop wasting resources on useless things, on luxurious houses that requires six servants to maintain. What good is all that? None of that is necessary. We can live much more modestly. 
We can spend our resources on things that are really important to everyone. It is not the lack of resources. It is the lack of governance. Governments are preoccupied with winning the next election, with who is going to be the boss. We fight for power and we forget people and world issues. The crisis is not environmental. It is political. Our civilization has reached a phase where we need a planetary consensus and we are looking away from it. We are blinded by chauvinism and the thirst for domination, especially the most powerful countries. They should be setting an example. It is shameful that for 25 years since the Kyoto accords we are still dragging our feet to take basic measures. It is shameful! 
Man may very well be the only animal capable of self destruction. This is the dilemma facing us. I hope i am wrong. Human nature is constructed in such a way, that you end up learning much more from suffering than from life of ease. This does not mean that i recommend a quest for suffering or anything like that. But this is what I want. To make people understand; you can always pick yourself up again. It is always worth it starting from zero again, once or a thousand times, as long as you are still alive. That's the biggest lesson in life. In other words you  are not defeated until you give up the fight. You give up the fight by giving up the dream. Fighting, dreaming, being down on the ground, confronting reality, that's what gives meaning to existence, to the lives we lead. You can't live life when you nurse a grudge. And you can't live going in circles. The grief I have known in life will never be healed. No one can take it back. You have to learn to pack up your scars and keep going headed for the future. If i spend my time ;licking my wounds I will never move ahead , I see life as the road that lies ahead. What counts is tomorrow. I have been told, I have been warned, it's an old saying, you must remember the past or be condemned to repeat it. I know how humans are. The only animal who stubs his toes twenty times on the same pebble. Each generation learns from its experiences, not from others. I do not idealize humanity. What could one learn from someone else's experience? We learn from what we go through ourselves!
Anyway that's my vision of life! I don't any scores to settle.
HUMAN -Interview on You Tube.

José Alberto "Pepe" Mujica Cordano (Spanish pronunciation: [xoˈse muˈxika]; born 20 May 1935) is a Uruguayan politician who was the 40th President of Uruguay between 2010 and 2015. A former urban guerrilla fighter with the Tupamaros, he was imprisoned for 13 years during the military dictatorship in the 1970s and 1980s. A member of the Broad Front coalition of left-wing parties, Mujica was Minister of Livestock, Agriculture, and Fisheries from 2005 to 2008 and a Senator afterwards. As the candidate of the Broad Front, he won the 2009 presidential election and took office as President on 1 March 2010.
He has been described as "the world's 'humblest' president" due to his austere lifestyle and his donation of around 90 percent of his $12,000 (£11,760) monthly salary to charities that benefit poor people and small entrepreneurs.[1][2]

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Attachment to Life itself is an attachment.

It is a tough act to follow and there is doubt about it, this whole idea about being nothing and doing nothing and so forth. Why or what makes one wants to take on life as such is not something that one can easily rationalize without one self feeling like an odd ball swimming upstream against the current. At the risk of loosing it all, including loved ones and friendship, at the risk of being deemed as lazy and good for nothing, at the expense of being dependent upon others and so forth, this whole idea of living as 'I am nothing' is quite daunting least to say. But be as it may once a commitment is made towards an experiment that would proof  a point in life about living as a renunciate or as close to the idea of giving it all up, as possible, I have to see it through and write my conclusion; what else is there to do otherwise - nothing?
I can pretend to be an artist and sit in a street corner somewhere and do my sketching like i used to to justify to those who have accepted me as who I am but, i am not what they expect me or want me to be: I don't mind not being an artist. I can get a job at my age as security guard and sit spend my days taking care of some apartment building or parking lot while finishing one novel after another, but this too is a waste of my time and energy accomplishing nothing worth calling anything: there is more to life than just earning a living so you can stay alive. As i always have been pointing out in the past, you end up just breathing air and occupying space waiting to die after having led a meaningless unproductive non-challenging life. What have you got to offer in return after all these years soaking in all the good stuff life has offered you? Prove that you can make more money and that your life is so well lived that you own three cars and two houses and married to four women? What good does that do to the rest of the society that is in need.Your neighbors, your relatives family and friends, how do they benefit from your so called hard earned wealth?
Personally i do not have too far to look at as I have  twin brother who fits the image of the kind o person i am talking about, a man and whose wife has worked most of their lives earning more than most to the point of being in the status of millionaires as far as material wealth is concern. Without delving into too much stuff that would lead to back biting or incriminate me against my sibling and his wife, suffice to say that I have lost any sense of respect i have had for them despite who they have become. I have come to this conclusion after years of witnessing and observing how they had carried themselves in relationship others especially those relatives family and friends who had approached them for help of one kind or another. I tried to convince myself that i was wrong about them but this last episode has nailed my conscience to the wall; only the All Mighty now is the judge between us in the after life as in this life our relationship as two individuals who came out of the dame womb with the difference of half an hour is as good as as if we were born on the opposite sides of the planet. I have learned my lesson about 'silaturrahim', in Islam and how it can end. 

HUMAN - ( The Movie) What is it that makes us human? Is it that we love, that we fight ? That we laugh ? Cry ? Our curiosity ? The quest for discovery ? 
Driven by these questions, filmmaker and artist Yann Arthus-Bertrand spent three years collecting real-life stories from 2,000 women and men in 60 countries. Working with a dedicated team of translators, journalists and cameramen, Yann captures deeply personal and emotional accounts of topics that unite us all; struggles with poverty, war, homophobia, and the future of our planet mixed with moments of love and happiness. 

"Life itself is supporting the discovery of who you are."

In letting go of life itself one ultimately find the meaning of living; living as a free liberated spirit not attached to anything, to  knowledge, to philosophy to concepts and ideas, one is free from being conditioned by anything external, one is like a cloud, now here and now no more; only consciousness remains like the sky or the space and it is only within this space that everything is manifested, that everything finds expression. This is being in the presence, in the here and Now. This is where the ego ceases to be and the universal consciousness manifests itself through Love, Compassion and the spirit of Unity - The One...and this too will pass.  

Being Presence and not personal.

Two days ago with RM300 in my wallet from my daughter I decided to leave the City and head for the mountains or what my son Karim calls an escape and what i justify as my retreat from Georgetown. I woke up and performed my 'Fajr. or morning prayer and after that threw some cloths together and set out in my Kancil, (small car) headed for my first pit stop, the Shell Gas station where i topped her up. Then I got into the car and she just simply refused to start! Dead! Kaput! Had it pushed to the side by one of the Bangladesh employees and tried to get it started but no dice. Stuck at the station I called one of my cousin's employees at the catering business and he came with one of my grand nephews and they tried to push it back and forth to get it started, nothing happened. Left the car there at the station and had the boys drop me off at USM where i waited till my friends at the garage opens and had one of the USM employees sent me on a motorbike to the shop. Later i was taken at the back of another motorcycle to the gas station where with a new battery installed i drove the car to the garage. Spent all day with my friends at the shop, Ah Huat and Ah Siang. Later in the evening Ah Huat offered me his Kancil to use as my car was still not resolved and so it was left overnight to be worked on. So much for my 'escape', my retreat.
While waiting at USM I made my last blog entry, "Where do I begin and where will it end." It was needless to say written with a heavy heart and perhaps even a sense of despair and anger. But it was also written as a catharsis, to let it out of my system these negative feelings when confronted with setbacks. It was to admit to myself that i really have no clue as to what I was doing or what i expect to happen in a day in my life as i took one step after another and perhaps even enjoying it at the end taking note of all that had transpired. Instead of ending up in Belantik, Sik in Kedah where the organic farm is I spent all day long handing out with car mechanics and University employees, made and entry in my blog and finished a novel by Simon Scarrow entitled, "The eagle and The Wolf," one of a series of books written by the author about the Roman Legions. Thus in an effort o 'do nothing' I did a whole lot of things or perhaps had to and it was not a problem; just a day in my life.
Yesterday after picking my car up as it was fixed at the cost of RM200 the cost of a replacement of a carburetor, I decided to give my son Karim a ride to his work as soon as i got home but when we got in the car it went dead again, nothing! Kaput! So called the mechanic and had him come to my home with another battery and I drove the car to the shop again where it was finally fixed at least i hope so. Was able to take my son to work and spent the rest f the day with my daughter doing her shopping as it was her off day. Spending the day with Marissa is something I look forward to as she is a smart young lady with a mind of her own and we discussed her work mostly and how i am coping with my experiment of not doing anything.

" The one who wants to do nothing they call him wise; Socrates said, 'I know nothing' Being nothing it does not mean that you perform less in fact sometimes you perform much more , much better because you are not so attached...The presence can be without the person but the person cannot be without the presence.   Outside you can appear as being something but inside you are nothing. The perfume of being nothing is Peace, Joy...Love"...Mooji.

When you hope for nothing, expect nothing, everything happens and happens in the most positive ways that you can imagine as i have been writing in my daily encounters, even the above quote came to me at 5:19 AM just this moment when i listened to the Satsang given by Mooji on Enlightenment ( on You Tube), which I would highly recommend to everyone who read my blog. I am slowly but surely am beginning to experience being presence and not being personal.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Where do i begin and where will it end?

Being nothing, doing nothing, having nothing knowing nothing; what have i to look forward to? Not a thing! It is the most boring  tedious and empty kind of place to be or so it seems. Is there a silver lining of any kind behind this experiment? Is there any hope for a better place or state of being  to achieve? Nothing. I feel my life drifting into a hollow space a vacuum that is physically making me ache all over as there is no sense of direction or aim that i need to head for make any effort to get to. It feels like i am falling to pieces while the world around me spin into chaos of darkness and destruction and i am helpless to do anything about it; I am drowning. Not a good place to be, not a good feeling to have. 
How did i go wrong or where am i going wrong with this experiment or living in a state of being nothing or short of living in a state of Emptiness? How come i am having all these doubtful thoughts about my future or even my present? Am I becoming afraid actually of amounting to nothing as compared to those who have everything? Am I beginning to feel like i have mad a gross error in taking this route in life in wanting nothing and hoping for nothing or am i not fully committed towards this experiment and somehow and somewhere have faltered into wanting to be something as it gets clear that i am afraid of amounting to nothing in this so called life that i am leading/ Questions! Doubts and trepidation, fear and unsure. Is all this simply an escape from living life just as it is, having a 9-5 job and earning a salary to pay for everything just like everyone else and justify my existence.
Thoughts! Ideas! The more deeply i am drifting into my practice of self discovery or getting to know who I am or whatever spiritual exercise I am into, I am not as confident as i thought i could be or should be. How did i go wrong? Did the realization that i am growing older and really am devoid of any material means to support myself in my old age triggered this self doubt? Or did the short illness that I had experienced not too long ago raised issues of what would become of me in times of dire need. I am asking these meaningless questions of myself as a way to slow down my mind from gathering momentum into drowning my further into oblivion of despair and desperation. I am at my crossroads of giving in to defeat or pushing on towards the unknown of what lay there beyond on this path that i am taking. This path of renunciation, of letting go, of giving up or giving in or whatever it is that i am suppose to accomplish in order that my experiment with life as a nothing can proceed towards its conclusion.
Perhaps out of weakness i have become trapped between wanting something more rather than face the consequences of being nothing. Perhaps true to my nature i need action, i need to do something, or that I cannot be seen by others as a hopeless non entity with nothing to speak of. Perhaps i am comparing myself to all my brothers and sister and my cousins who have achieved something of their lives. Perhaps i am ashamed of who I have become in this material world of having everything and feeling like a looser when i don't. Perhaps I am ashamed of how my children would see me at the end of the day, their father the wannabe nothing. Perhaps it is all of the above and the game is not yet over or that it has hardly began. The the fruit of my practice for whatever it is worth has yet to materialize for better or worse. I have yet to dive deeper and bear the depth of being deprived of having anything; I have hardly touched the state of emptiness of my soul.
And this too will pass...