All transmission in the strangelands will be switching to a secured encryption line as all vessels converge on precinct 6 which is the virtual storyboard in Malaysia.

Procedure for enabling switch over.

-Go the menu section of the mainboard in the game. And select settings.

-ident “SLF 1.”

-An icon with a keypad will appear. Key in seven digit code and press OK.

-A box will appear with a countdown, BEFORE the count down reaches zero, press CONFIRM.

You are now in ultra silent and steatlh mode / all your relayed standard communications have been disabled / electronic signature is at lowest / speed setting for all vessels should be set at SP 982

Please relay this to all vessels in the strangelands.

Message sent by the Interspacing Navigation Guild of the Brotherhood.

Balance of Power

March 31, 2012

No one is just going to give you anything for free in life – you can pray 24 hours a day, trust me, nothing is ever going to happen – you can even leave it all to him, again fuck all is going to happen. The ONLY way to reliably way to get what you want is to develop the capability to damage your opponent or inflict such a heavy blow to his broadside that it will take out either his kidney or leave him limping.

Once you have developed this capability – then and ONLY then do you negotiate. This is life and anyone who doesn’t know this, just hasn’t lived at all, not even so much as one day.

Research and study this well, this applies to disciplining subordinates and those who are directly under your charge. This can also be used to blackmail your bosses for promotion or to take over his job. Can also be used to deal with power crazy politicians who believe the can fool the whole wide world. Is very effective in dealing with poachers and people who come into your land in the middle of the night carrying axes and machetes.

Darkness 2012 – The way of the farmer.

The world is mired with poverty. Hunger. Illiteracy. War. Environmental degradation. Fundamentalism. When you think about it, the world seems to be besieged by an endless list of problems; each event threatens to throw out boomerangs at humanity. Even without the real time media feed,  we would have to be blind and deaf not to realise that our world is ambling along like a drunkard in a pot filled road.

But why should we even bother about what is happening in the world?  If there is war, it’s happening in another part of the globe. Yes, there is evidence of hunger and poverty all around us – so we try to do our bit by occasionally feeding the poor, and then we carry on with our lives. We think we can save the planet by going green, so we make some changes in our lifestyle and feel suitably virtuous.

Does any of this engage our minds on an ongoing basis? Do were really feel happier when we consciously set our minds to save people and planet? Rarely. Most of us are too busy getting on with the business of earning a living and building and maintaining relationships and feeding the family to think of the larger picture. That’s how the game of life is structured in the glorious battery chicken life in Singapore – most of us have our nose too close to the grind wheel to ever realize there is a world outside our world of perpetual work and chores. Hence, most of us then to outsource, the many problems which we usually come across to someone else. “Let the governments sort it out,” we say. “Or let those activists who always jumping up and down about this and that take the baton and run with it. After all they have the passion.” As for most of us, all we really care for is to set some time to bask in peace and solitude.  

But this attitude of ‘let someone else handle it’ isn’t just a fleeting thought, as benign as it appears to be, it is a philosophy, in it’s own right. That is to say, it is a system of values by which one lives’; ‘a personal outlook or viewpoint’; ‘any system of belief, values, or tenets’. While most of us tend to think of ‘philosophy’ as an abstraction, it is nothing short of the highest expression of how you wish to live your life.

If I choose ‘to let someone else handle it’, don’t be surprise if one day, we just end up being so apathetic about the whole idea of life – that all we are really do is existing, instead of living. Many people can fall into this mindtrap, where they find themselves waking up every morning going to work only to immerse themselves in this routine, till there is very little left in their lifes. After a while, a sort of leaching and chelating occurs in their daily lifes, where they can’t seem to even get excited about people, events and even changes that may affect them in profound ways – when whole droves of people don’t even realize that whenever they take the attitude of, “let someone else handle it.” What they are ineffect doing is relegating their birthright to others to draw out the manifesto of what it means to lead a purpose driven life – that is a big problem to me.

It is a problem as I don’t believe the people who are supposed to “handle the problem,” simply don’t share the same philosophy of life with either me or you. Every time a nation neglects the well being of the larger number of its people to favour a few, it is following a philosophy of narrow minded self interest. The goal could well be to perpetuate a myth concerning a bloodline of a certain family who are closer to gods than humans. Or it could even be something really fundamentally simple, like what is the best way to prepare a child for adulthood? Why do so many people lead unfulfilled lives? It’s because those entrusted with their well being pursue a philosophy of selfishness above all – they all know, that most of us are too busy trying to ekk a living and no one is really checking on them. But, is it also because that person who is knows that life isn’t hunky dory and even realises he should do something about his terminal apathy refuses to take any interest in the lifes of those who are supposed to “handle it.” After a while most people come to accept the system that they live in, it may take them years of bitching and even silent resistance, but eventually, the system always wins.

Darkness 2012

 

“Life can either be edifying or crippling. It can either be happy or intolerable. Beautiful or ugly. It is really in the palm of your hands. But whatever life throws out. It is NEVER a good idea to just leave it to others to “handle,” anything for you – I guess you can do this, whenever the aircon service uncle decides to pop in on a Saturday to overhaul your leaky aircon. Sure you can leave it to him and take the day off and go to the mall to unwind. But 9 out of 10 tens, if you adopt a bochap attitude, then others will just give you crappy service. You will that your aircon will leak again in no time – so its best to take an interest in what this aircon uncle does – look at his tools, ask yourself how well prepared he is. The same attitude or philosophy can be used to physicians. To me they are just mechanics and technicians, it never pays to just let them, “handle it.” If they are not happy to explain the reasons for their decision making process – make sure that physician gets marked down, make it a big issue that threatens his livelihood. Same applies for car maintenance, if you find something that is out of synch or just doesn’t sound right, take the trouble to look underneath the bonnet and follow through right to the end where you even know the name of the mechanic who once touched your car. As for politicians, it is really the same logic – they are just service providers, nothing more or less. I consider them just maybe two rungs higher than a food court manager – to behave otherwise would be to overstep the remit of their vocation and mandate. I don’t tell you how many times you should fuck your wife or in what way – so why should a politician even have the temerity to tell you what you should do and at what age you should retire etc. Sure they can come up with all sort of rules and regulations to rail road you and your loved ones towards a general direction – but providing you never ever just leave it to them to “handle it.” Then it is very unlikely that they will ever be able to shortchange you or even pull the wool over your eyes – as you are always one step ahead of them. Everything they do, you know why they do it, right down to who benefits and how along with why. By just taking a little interest in how things are regularly, “handled,” you will be very surprised how edifying life can actually be – you should never trust anyone, not even me, life is not so simple – you have every RIGHT to demand of others who usually “handle it,” to earn your trust. Anything less is to lead a life that is slightly better than a sheep and we all know where sheep end up at the end of the day.”

Darkness 2012  

The Way of the Farmer – transmitted by the essembled, KDD Nagasari, Broadcast space station – KDD Yap Ah Loy, Super Niberian Class Data storage vessel – KDD Beras Wangi, Super Niberian Class Data Storage vessel – KDD Taiping, dregnought class signal jammer veseel, KDD Alor Setar – JUMO class signal encryption vessel – KDD Bukit Bintang and her sister Tberrian Class Space station KDD Semangat – KDD Les Enfants du Paradis, death star – KDD Californian Server Data Vessel – KDD Kursk (E-16 Enryption vessel) – KDD Excelsoir (Data Storage vessel) – KDD Nariobi (Sapper vessel) – The Brotherhood Press 2012.

Joining the essemble at 1320 GMT / 3-04-12 will be the following heavy cruisers – KDD Germania (Intelligence and reconnaisance vessel) / KDD Stalingrad – JUMO class radio signal jammer vessel / the Thai Royal Observer vessel KDD Sasithorn / KDD Vanquish (data rerouter vessel – class 82, Type 7 variant / KDD Chingay (radio jammer) – The Brotherhood Press 2012 /

PLEASE NOTE: ALL COM-SAT WILL SWITCH TO ULTRA SILENT MODE / COMBAT MODE @ 1300 GMT / 2-04-12 – ALL VESSELS WILL SIGNAL ONLY IN K-SAT.

 

Warcraft

March 29, 2012

Apprentice: What is the highest level of warcraft?

Master: When you can make your enemy lower his sword and embrace you as a kindred spirit. This is the highest level of warcraft apprentice.

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“When your enemy believes that he has figured you out as a human being, that is when he has been completely defeated.”

Your Rights.

March 29, 2012

You have rights. Those rights may not be enshrined in law – but you still have rights. You have the right to think what you want. You even have a right to your own perspective of issues and events, irrespective of what most people want you to believe – you also have the right to react or remain as you are – no one can force you jump up and down or for that matter put you in a position where you are supposed to behave in a particular way. If they do that, you have a right to go tell them to fuck their mother and walk away. You have a right to even stand up on a soap box in the public square and declare that you’re in love or if you don’t hunch, you stand two inches taller – above all you have a right to do whatever you want with your hard earned money. You have worked hard for your money. You deserve that right and no one can possibly have dominion over that right, no one – unless you are dumb enough to hand them that right. Why should you just give 10% of your salary away, just because you see droves of people doing the same. Just because a whole lot of people are doing something doesn’t mean they are right. It just means, they don’t know they have a right.

You are an individual who knows his rights, from the inside out, that is. This is the second lesson in the way of the farmer. To know that you have rights and to be confident to foreclose on them and not care too much abt what others think about the decisions you make. Such a state of mind can only arise, when you know your rights like the lines in the palm of your hands.

Darkness 2012

Key pointers that will likely to feature in the Malaysian GE 2012

> The delayed pendulum: Ma­lay­sian GEs have tended to follow a pendulum-like movement, with swings to and from Barisan National (BN) in alternate polls.

However, in 2012/3 there will be a subsidiary trend at work in Sabah, Sarawak and Johor (dubbed BN’s “Fixed Deposit”) if there is a shift of Chinese support while the rest of the peninsula reverts to form.

> The democracy wave from Singapore: The vote in southern Johor will be impacted by the many Malaysians who live and work in the city-state.

Having observed the republic’s two nation-wide polls (parliamentary and presidential) in 2011 and witnessed the extent to which the PAP government subsequently reversed unpopular housing, healthcare and immigration policies, Johoreans will have learnt the value of tactical voting in order to engineer policy shifts.

> Sabah: West Malaysian/Umno leaders continue to underestimate the importance of the Royal Commission of Inquiry on Illegal Immigrants for Sabahans (especially the KadazanDusun and Murut communities).

> The Prime Minister’s two key performance indicators (KPIs): Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is slated to win the next GE.

However, victory is only the first of his KPIs.

The second is that he must surpass his predecessor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s 2008 showing (140 seats).

Indeed, the rationale behind Najib’s rise to the premiership was his unspoken promise of returning Umno (and BN) to its earlier glory. Failure to achieve this will lead to a reassessment of his leadership.

> Najib’s presidential style campaign: It has boosted the premier’s approval ratings. Given the fact that Malaysia has adopted the Westminster system, the PM’s popularity has not translated into greater support for Umno (or BN), leaving many potential candidates to struggle.

As such, there is no guarantee that Najib’s personal popularity will strengthen BN in the 13th GE.

> Newly-registered voters: Esti­mated at some 1.9 million, both sides are scratching their heads as to how to appeal to and win over this disparate and largely disinterested mass of voters.

There appears to be little party loyalty and commitment among this group. Their support may well depend on a last-minute and/or unexpected political “black swan-type” event triggering a sudden and massive swing in either coalition’s favour.

> Indian community: The community is no longer virulently anti-Barisan. While Malaysian Indians are by no means “grateful”, the Hindraf-connected anger has dissipated with the departure of MIC honcho Datuk Seri Samy Vellu and Datuk Seri G. Palanivel’s low-key leadership.

The Indian vote will help BN in countless marginal seats.

> NFC – “Istana” Mat Deros for 2012: In 2008 we had Umno’s Port Klang Assemblyman, the late Zakaria Mat Deros, and his infamous “Istana” built on allegedly illegally-acquired land.

In 2012/13 we have the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) scandal, which continues to unfold.

The NFC has been very damaging in rural Malay and Indian communities where voters are most familiar with the economics of cattle-rearing.

> Changing face of domestic politics: Malaysian politics is shifting. This will be the last GE for “institutional” players, the Umno warlords who refuse to court public opinion.

Most of these political dinosaurs can’t be bothered to engage with the public, debate and/or win support from the media.

Indeed, party hacks – from both BN and Pakatan – will become increasingly unpopular and loathed.

They have no future and will be replaced by those who can think, talk and argue in public such as Saifuddin Abdullah, Zambry Abdul Kadir and Shabery Cheek.

Emotional intelligence and humility will also be important. The absence of these two qualities will lead to the premature political demise of certain candidates.

> Kedah: Pakatan extols its successes in Penang and Selangor. However, the coalition is strangely silent about the Kedah government’s less than sterling record of administration.

> Public trust in the Government: Widespread cynicism and distrust will force the Government to shelve many policy and business initiatives. A thorn in the eye of most Chinese electorate will the proposed acquisition of vast tracts of Chinese owned land belonging to predominantly Chinese traders in KL i.e Jalan Sultan, Bukit Bintang to make way for Najib’s MRT project.

BN’s ability to command public support without extensive consultation and stakeholder engagement has evaporated.

Will Najib & Co win, I am sure he thinks, he will. But I have feeling the seers may well be right after all, “leaders plan only to be ruled by accidents.” We live in interesting times it seems.

————————————————————————————————————————–

“NA has incredibly lousy advisors and even crappier strategist. I am sure he is sitting with RA and counting his chickens before they hatch every evening. But I really don’t see how it can possibly go his way on this one – not when he has already planned to seize so much Chinese land in the heart of KL to build the MRT along with enriching his extended family and cronies – its best to allow him to have a false sense of confidence; polls are never right, they only offer a perception of what may come to past. Will there be an upset? Will the internet be weaponized again? – I have absolutely no idea. But even if I am aware of something in the wings, I would still say, I have absolutely no idea. Infact I have no opinions on what will or will not happen! Let us just say, whatever the outcome will depend very much on NA’s karma – and if he wins, then his karma is good, but if he loses his hands and feet and still wins, then again it is karma – but if he manages to lose it all like Al Gore, then that has to be a personal tragedy and a source happiness for most thinking Malaysians. But remember, it is still karma – you see it is quiet impossible to hold on to power when you have alienated so many intellectuals. No leader has ever managed to do that in 5,000 years of human history – so why should he be allowed to get away with it? Do people regularly get away with murder in this day and age?”

 

 

The Stonecutter

March 29, 2012

Once upon a time there was a stone cutter. The stone cutter lived in a land where a life of privilege meant being powerful. Looking at his life he decided that he was unsatisfied with the way things were and so he set out to become the most powerful thing in the land.

Looking around his land he wondered to himself what is it to be powerful. Looking up he saw the Sun shining down on all the land. “The Sun must be the most powerful thing that there is, for it shines down on all things, and all things grow from it’s touch.” So he became the Sun.

Days later, as he shone his power down on the inhabitants of the land, there came a cloud which passed beneath him obstructing his brilliance. Frustrated he realized that the Sun was not the most powerful thing in the land, if a simple cloud could interrupt his greatness. So he became a cloud, in fact, he became the most powerful storm that the world had ever seen.

And so he blew his rain and lightning, and resounded with thunder all over the land, demonstrating that he was the most powerful. Until one day he came across a boulder.

Down and down he poured and his thunder roared, lightning flashed and filled the sky, striking the ground near the boulder. His winds blew and blew and blew, and yet, despite all his efforts, he could not budge the boulder.

Frustrated again, he realized that the storm was not the most powerful thing in the land, rather it must be the boulder. So he became the boulder.

For days he sat, unmovable, and impassive, demonstrating his power, until one day, a stone cutter came and chiseled him to bits.

The Moral of the Story
Sometimes the most important thing to remember is that you have everything you need already, right inside of you. Power is an illusion.

Here’s an interesting ad from Burger King Netherlands featuring burger-inspired eye shadow. Can’t say it makes me want to eat a burger, though.

hyiu

Emptiness

March 27, 2012

Apprentice: Master, my wife does not love me any more. What shall I do?

Master: All that we are to ourselves and others is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything and much more. What we think we become to ourselves and others as well. Tell me what are you to your wife? And what is she to you?

Apprentice: I do not know master. I have not thought about her or myself in such terms till now.

Master: And so you know why she does not seem to love you any longer.

Apprentice: What do you mean?

Master: What do I hold before your throat apprentice?

Apprentice: A dagger.

Master: You do not seem to have any problems understanding the nature of this instrument that is held before your throat. Neither do you seem to have any difficulties in understanding what can happen. Only perhaps why remains a mystery. 

Apprentice: I understand now master. I understand completely and absolutely.

The Singaporean Dream is vaguely described as a goal that everyone is supposed to strive for. Yes, it has been describes as part of the 5C’s or is the 5C’s part of the Singaporean dream – not sure.

Generally the goal is to live a better, richer, and happier life. But better than who or to what end? Richer at what cost and in what way specifically? Happier by whose metrics and by what measure of definition? How does a person even know if they have reached the Singaporean dream? Is it an individual dream for us each, a particular dream for similar groups of people, or a generalized dream determined by the will of the majority?

The ONLY reason why I am asking these question is, I’ve noticed most of us aren’t really conscious about WHY we even chase the Singaporean dream in the first place – take home ownership for example. Why is there a need to buy a flat? Why not rent? Same logic could just as well apply to cars – why not settle for a second hand car instead of forking out a small fortune for a spanking new set of wheels? What about that dream job? Is it worth busting your arse and ruining your health over?

Experience informs me, most people don’t really ask themselves these questions before they decide to jump into a commitment, be it a new job or even signing on the dotted line to buy a big ticket item – one big reason why they never see the wisdom of conducting a trade off analysis between buying brand new and settling for not so new may have something to do with how we all have been subliminally programmed to chase well paying jobs, a home and car along with probably pricey club memberships and the odd diamond solitaire for wifey.

But, let’s just step outside our own skin for a moment and take a closer look at the innards of the Singaporean dream. Now in an ordinary dream-the kind you have when asleep- things are often pretty senseless as they play out. Sometimes these turn scary, other times, it’s just weird or happy, but you always wake up knowing you’d only had a dream, a bad one that is. Now step back into the Singaporean Dream. In this dream – things are pretty senseless as they play out. Sometimes these turn scary, other times, it’s just weird or happy, but you know that you can never wake up from this dream. To add an edge to the whole Singaporean dream, you know almost instinctively that no amount of hard work will guarantee a happy ending. That’s because to even come close to foreclosing on the Singaporean dream, there are certain steps that you must take, and once taken, you must take them again and again and again until you probably die standing at work or suffer a heart attack, whichever comes first. At the heart of the Singaporean dream is a furnace and to make it work, it needs to be fed continuously by copious amounts of money. Without this key resource, the Singaporean Dream is always beyond reach. So most of us work and toil day in and day out to amass as much money as it’s humanly possible – some even go as far as taking on two jobs. Then we feed it all back into the dream machine and hopefully, we can all claim our prizes. The more we work, the more money we may get. The more money we get, the more things we can buy. The more we can buy, the closer we are to getting that dream girl and fulfilling our life aspirations on this planet. Somewhere along chasing the elusive Singaporean dream – we also learn to dehumanize ourselves by measuring our and others sense of worth through how much wealth they have created. Given enough time in the game, we may even automatically equate happiness to the whole process of mindlessly accumulating stuff. Somewhere along the way, we trade the REAL for the FAKE, the PERMANENT for the EMPHEMERAL, the DEEP for the SUPERFICIAL, the IMPORTANT for the VAPID – wonder no more why so many people these days are jumping into the bandwagon of buying stuff that they can ill afford – and worse still slaving away to service their debts for stuff that they could well do without, if ONLY they bothered to work through their options – in essence what we may be witnessing in our age of endless consumption is a whole generation of people who have abandoned the real world for reality-based entertainment. Since we are driven primarily by feel good stimuli – is it a wonder that we never quite reach the end of the Singaporean dream, as the game is programmed in such a way where you are always just a little bit farther away from your goal.

It’s a game that only a fool will play.

Darkness 2012

 

“Whenever you find yourself chasing a dream. And you see everyone else doing the same. That simply means you are in a dream and so the set pieces of the dream continues to wield its silent power over your thoughts, keeping you in line by making doubly sure your head is kept down on the grind wheel. And most of us, just go along with it – why? Because, we see everyone chasing the same sets of dreams and so its natural for us to even conclude: surely so many people can’t be wrong – as what they are chasing has to be good for them and probably us as well  – so if you decide to sit out the chase – you may feel that, you have failed or not good enough to be part of this dream. This is how we all live whether we are consciously aware of it or not. When this happens you are doubly fucked, sorry, I meant to say, quadrupled fucked, in the arse that is – shafted fast and furious – because that just means, it is not how well you play the game from that point onwards, but rather how the game decides to play you and your loved ones. That is one reason why, whenever you walk into ANY social setting, be it the office, a church or even a weekend BBQ  – it always pays to read the instructions of the game first – if there is no instruction, then don’t make any hasty decisions and never commit to anything – watch it and evaluate and move cautiously, one step at a time, till you have fleshed out your version of the rules of the game.

This way you never ever have to wake up one morning and wonder to yourself, how the fuck did you end up digging such a big hole for yourself? Knowing this means you are already richer than the next person who is probably driving a Mercedes Benz. You may be on your bicycle, but let me assure you, you have got it figured out, as the game is not playing you – the same cannot be said about those who seem to have everything and yet really own nothing least of all themselves – INVEST in only the REAL things in life, your AWAKEN STATE, YOUR WIFE, KIDS AND EXTENDED FAMILY and FRIENDSHIP – in that order of priority, the rest can come and go, but the REAL things in life will always stay and increase in value over time. That is what the wise farmer does all the time, he only has X number of seeds in the palm of his hands and he’s always thinking about where to plant it to get the best yield – it is the discipline to draw a line on sand and say to the world, this is my world, you have no dominion over it! The rest you can just as well throw right out of the window, it wouldn’t matter in the slightest – as it fool’s gold.”

The Way of the Farmer – The Brotherhood Press 2012

Inertia

March 27, 2012

Inertia is a terrible force, strong enough to wipe out even the best intentions and ideas. Stronger still when there are no courageous men or women to stand against its suffocating mass. Inertia is the power of the old guard refusing to gracefully leave governing to subsequent generations. Inertia is what overwhelms the fresh forces of democracy and ensures that the deeds done in the past continue to haunt the future. Inertia hides and dodges attempts to break it down.

There is ONLY one logical response to Inertia. It is NEVER to be associated with it. Those who claim to be able change the system from within, probably know less abt themselves than what they claim to be able to change – inertia is like a mountain. Even when you close your eyes, you can feel inertia casting a cold shadow over your being.

I have thought long and hard over this matter – there is ONLY one thing to do.

Darkness 2012
 
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In life, no one owes you fairness or even justice. If you leave it to your pastor or someone who wears a white shirt that you saw on TV, to be fair and just to you and your loved ones – you and your loved ones will probably be royally screwed. I have found the best way to ensure that others are on the level and above board with you is to always position yourself in a strong bargaining position where you can even consider their fairness and justice dispensable and better still optional to your wellbeing – in other words, you can say, I will take my business somewhere else or I don’t want to deal with you or I want this or that terms and conditions, otherwise bye bye – once you have developed the power to say No. And you are even perfectly comfortable with it. That is when you really become your own man, till then, you were just a man who had a lot of dangerous nonsense in your head.

A wise farmer has absolutely no hang up’s with saying NO. You could say in life, this is the one power that you cannot run away from mastering thoroughly, if the goal is to lead a purpose driven life – anything short of this is settling for seconds and it’s no bloody good.

So if you find yourself in an abusive relationship – don’t blame others, blame yourself for not being able to walk away by saying NO! If you find yourself having to regularly put up with an inconsiderate boss – again, don’t blame others, blame yourself for staying on and for not having the manliness to take over his job. Because that is precisely what I will do and I wouldn’t even have any hang up’s abt it. This attitude has always been mistaken for ruthlessness. But it is simply your elemental right, your birthright even as a human being. So don’t blame others, if life has not be fair or just to you, as since you did not really bother yourself with mastering the most powerful word that would have allowed you the right to freedom – what did you really expect? Freedom and justice to just come down from the skies like mana? – as true freedom really ONLY begins from one place – yourself – by knowing your rights, what you want and how to get it.

Study and research the word, “NO.” Know it, in all it’s various forms. Practice using it. Be at ease with it. As this applies to most things in life.

Darkness 2012 – the way of the farmer – the most powerful word in this universe – the brotherhood press 2012  

Shadow Play

March 26, 2012

 
I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.
The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow—
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,
And he sometimes gets so little that there’s none of him at all.
He hasn’t got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close beside me, he’s a coward you can see;
I’d think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!
One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an errant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

Source: The Golden Book of Poetry (1947)

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“Many years ago, when I used to be a salaried man – I had a small cubicle with a window overlooking a park. Every morning, a kid would prance up and down making funny gestures. Everyone thought he was crazy. This was quite a distance away. I was curious. So one morning, I decided to walk and see for myself what the fuss was all about – then it hit me, the kid was shadowing playing. And from the look of the people from the office window – I realized, they now saw two crazy people prancing up and down the pavement – they didn’t know, I didn’t tell them. Sometimes appearances can be deceptive, it always pays to reserve judgement till you have taken a closer look.”

Darkness 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I find that it helps alot to try see the challenges in your life in visual terms. That’s one way for me to get a handle on things, people and events. And usually it allows me understand issues rapidly without getting confused and tangled. Using metaphors is also a very effective way to communicate ideas to others in a very simple yet memorable way – you could say, it’s my way of making sense of the world – for example when I am dealing with a head strong negotiator who is accustomed to having his way all the time, I visualize myself as a Ninja standing before a fortress and this gives me a sense of mission and perspective of what stands before me – I visualize climbing up stone walls with grappling hooks etc. When I come face to face with a messy problem, I always try to see it, in terms of an air crash. In my minds eye, I’ve already classified the various segments of the problem into very neat and precise headings, like electrical, hydraulics, power train etc. When I am dealing with difficult people, I always imagine myself diffusing a time bomb – red or blue wire? Which do you cut? The best thing about seeing the world in metaphoric terms is when you blow up, you can always play again.

Darkness 2012

Drifting

March 25, 2012

Whenever I cruise along on my bike – I am just drifting. Drifting is what one does when one is in a deep meditative state during a ride – you are aware of everything unlike sitting in a hermetically sealed capsule of a car. On a motorbike, you’re marinating in air, noise and bugs that from time to time slam into you at 60 mph – one is aware of the sound of the wind of cutting the spokes, the sympathetic vibration of the cylinders chugging away between one’s legs and the way the bike glides through the wind.

Drifting has taken me to many places – some of them familiar others new. There are no rules to drifting, it’s formless, you just make it up as you go along – there is plenty of room for improvisation. That I feel is what an ultimate ride should be. You start off with a rough plan where you want to go – a general direction like East or West, vagueness has to be built into the ride, the more abstract your destination and goal, the better it will be for drifting. Along the way, you may decide to stray from the path, could be that you have come across a group of bikers and decided to join them. Maybe it’s the way the road unfolds before you – dark clouds mean, you take the less travelled road and there you are just moving along in a place that you have made up in your mind – there are no real expectations, no need to reach where X marks the spot before lunch, it’s free and easy, loose, yet sufficiently structured for you to be assured that wherever you choose to go, you will be back home tonight sleeping soundly on your bed.

And where did you really go? That’s not important – the drift is the destination and the journey is really what matters most.

For me the art of motorcycle drifting is a metaphor of how most of us progress in life – progress isn’t necessarily linear. Usually, it’s haphazard, the stuff of dipping your hand into a hat and picking out a random number – it may not be the number that you want. But providing you go with the flow, something is bound to turn up (hopefully not a traffic policeman with a big moustache) – you met others and they decide to go to a bar, play a bit of jazz, cook abit, drink like a fish – somewhere in this chaos and mess, great things always emerge as what you are really doing is experimenting with the basic raw material that makes everything possible, even the impossible it seems as you and those who, you chance upon when you drift are part of this human cocktail experiment called life – throughout the drift, you are acutely aware of what’s happening around you – you’re really just a witness watching the world go by as you immerse yourself deeper and deeper into the lives of the people who you have chosen to drift with – it could be a conversation in a bar, an exchange in a thread in a blog or maybe just a conversation with yourself.

Darkness 2012

 

“When you look around, you will notice that many people are living a life of expectancy – they expect certain things to happen and others to remain far apart from their daily existence. Most people go through life with this preferred state of mind, till they find themselves so marinated in it, that, they can no longer deal with something or someone who doesn’t seem to accord with their conception of normality – so what invariably happens is they all end up, going to the same place every weekend and even mixing with the same people with the expectation that their life will somehow change for the better. But nothing ever happens, the weekend comes and the next thing they realize is, it’s Monday. They do this week, month and year after year, totally oblivious to how they are really like a stylus stuck in a groove as the tune repeats again and again – that to me has to be a form of insanity – as insanity is defined as doing the same thing again and again with the expectation of different results.

What I’ve found is, it never pays to have a rigid plan whenever you decide put your mind to accomplishing anything – you can be focused, but leave enough widget space there for you to stray from the tried and tested path – leave a lot of room for improvisation and most importantly get out from the idea that the world revolves around ONLY you – when you do this, you’re drifting, you’re not moving forward as you are sideways, exploring all pathways to get to your final destination. Only it’s never linear, rather it’s a haphazard and messy path, one where you will come across new things along with new ideas, some are great, others not so great. And even if you are really doing nothing or don’t seem to be dedicating yourself to your goal – trust me, you are progressing. And progressing very well – that in a nutshell is the art of drifting.

Study and research this well – this can be used for making church tours very interesting instead of boring, cultivating unusual friends who have nothing in common with you, connecting with young people, developing a rapport with troubled teens and going out with spoilt women who always expect you carry their shopping.

Darkness 2012

The Way of the Farmer – Drifting – Chapter 41 – The Brotherhood Press 2012

 

 

March 24, 2012

Anyone who is looking out for   is searching for their missing other half – they’re not so different from treasure hunters – from time to time, they pick up something and say, “that’s neat”, only to set it back. But there are times, when one comes across things that just takes your breathe away and somewhere amid the allure, you still have enough of yourself to realize that this “thing,” that has become a source of fascination and intrigue can either make you or break you in half. So you are not sure – you don’t know whether you should set in down or carry it with you and make it part of your life. Meanwhile it just walks away and as you stand there in it’s wake, the only thing that remains is the bitter sweet memory of what could have been. Most people know this feeling. 

But whose to say what works or even what’s good for you? That’s why you need to grab whatever chance you have of happiness where you find it, and not worry about other people too much. My experience tells me that we get no more than two or three such chances in a life time, and if we let them go, we regret it for the rest of our lives.

Learning when to put things down or just grabbing it and not bothering what others think or may say and running as fast as you can has to be one of the greatest skills that a human develops in the course of this great journey called, life.

Darkness 2012

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“No! I don’t want to share my trees. There are somethings in life, I never ever share – don’t share my toothbrush, underwear and those sort of things. I am open to buying you out, you know my word is good. We can even negotiate or we can even duel over it like gentlemen, but I am not just going to give it up. I’ve come too far to turn back. Put too much of my being into this and so what is there left, but to see it through to the very end. Please do not take this personally, it is strictly business. I shall wait for your answer in the Eastern side of my lands tomorrow morning. I hope you will be there.” 

Darkness 2012

I Love my trees

March 23, 2012

I love my trees. Love them very much. And they love me back in return. That is all I ever wanted in life. The seers were right after all, it seems – the greatest thing in life is to love and be loved, in return.

Darkness 2012

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Hits the Spot!

March 21, 2012

If I told you that happiness is there for the taking and it’s absolutely free and you don’t have to do anything to enjoy. You probably wouldn’t believe me. It’s not because I am far from the truth – it just sounds too simple to believe. One reason why we have so much difficulty in buying into this notion of easy happiness has a lot to do with our scripting – and how through the years, our parents and various institutions e.g schools, churches, friends etc have drummed into our heads – nothing ever comes free and if good won over evil, it was because someone who loved you paid the price.

To me that’s a crock of shit and I reckon it has more to do with how we have become victims of our own “intelligence.” Truth is the complexity of our minds frequently robs us of a default state of happiness. In fact the very idea of a default state of happiness is so absurd precisely because it presumes that all human desires are satisfied without having to do anything. The truth about human DESIRE is it doesn’t come from deep down inside us. Rather we are conditioned to accumulate stuff that you don’t need – it could the idea that if you buy the latest iPad that would make you happiest. Or if you get that job promotion that allows you to travel, you will be happy. Or that if you are able to satisfy the DESIRE of what it means to live a purpose driven life, then you will be happy – DESIRE is something that has been programmed into our existence.

And as we begin to sit down and audit our thoughts very much like people who live in the jungle, its only then, that we begin to realize how encrusted our minds really is – and how much of our DESIRES stems from the yearning to be accepted and to be part of the community that we are even prepared to sacrifice our right to happiness just to chase these useless desires that have been placed there by others.

The greatest irony is it has always been in the palm of our hands – happiness is a decision, it’s a choice, the rest can more or less go to hell, it wouldn’t matter one little tinnie bit either.

Darkness 2012

All of us instinctively search out for others like ourselves – most of the time, we aren’t conscious of our inclinations and biasness. But when we audit our past experience, it wouldn’t be too difficult to seek out, why we seem to lean towards the friends who embody our own values and worldview – we feel comfortable and it’s edifying to be with others who seem to mirror ourselves.

But what happens when all we do is confine our circle of friends to only those who are like us? Something has to give and usually it comes at a terrible cost to our capacity to understand others who may be very different from us. Worst we may even develop a phobia for those who don’t seem to share the same worldview and values as us. As a result, our view of life begins to narrow down, instead of seeking out new opportunities and possibilities we begin to calcify and fossilize, till many of our beliefs become so misaligned with the world’s – when that happens, we become disconnected, communicating becomes almost impossible as we have nothing in common with others – neither can we bridge the minds and the hearts, as we don’t even know where to start.

If you are just a student, then this applies to you – look at your list of friends and acquaintances and ask yourself who do you like to hang out with the most? 9 out of 10, it’s usually with the people who understand you and value the beliefs you choose to align yourself too in life. If you happen to be a salaried man just eking out a hand to mouth existence, then look at management and do you find yourself wondering why, they (the management) all think and talk in a certain way – could it me, the culture of the company is so narrow that it only seems to attract one type of people – the same corrosive logic of narrowing and parochialism can apply to firms, political parties, a group of bloggers and virtually to any knot of people who share some commonality with each other. My point is when we are not MINDFUL of how we so often surrender ourselves to the course of least resistance when it comes to cultivating friendship, then what invariably happens is it does absolutely fuck all for our own personal development.

Most of the time, the casualty of not diversifying our pool of friends to include those who may even hold diametrically opposite views from us – hardly does any damage to us. But in other cases, where we may wish to rise in a multination or do business in an alien environment, then it will work against us big time. If you happen to work in a multinational, then you would probably realize that at the very apex of management, there is a new to continuously deal with people who may have absolutely nothing in common with us – the VP of marketing could be a Briton, the chief financial officer a Hong Konger and the rest of the world makes up the entire hierarchy. To succeed in such a diverse environment, one often needs to be a microcosm of the world – only then can we be in a position to influence others and get buy in. Somewhere in this melting pot called diversity, networking along with promoting ourselves becomes much easier when we know what makes others tick.

When we develop deep friendships with those who are different, we experience an irreplaceable exchange: we facilitate another’s growth and our own world is expanded. Sometimes this expansion comes when our unconscious prejudices are challenged. Sometimes it comes when a friend illustrates a preferable set of values or helps us shift our aspirations. In whatever form, these exchanges help us become better and more confident when it comes to dealing with people who have absolutely nothing in common with us.

Darkness 2012

“If you look at those stupid Americans and Europeans who regularly drink so much that they drive their sports car into crowds and get into brawls – you will find that those imbeciles have absolutely no motivation to understand the people. They have even less inclination to cultivate friends or learn the culture off others. All they seem to do is shoot beer with their own kind. And after a few years of working in Asia, when they go back to whence they came from – they know absolutely fuck all about the country or people – since they bring zero into the whole relationship, they also leave with a zero. And in this way, after many years of working in Asia, it is still a great mystery to them. No wonder the Chinese are arse fucking them in virtually every sector of industry.

The same can also be said of our blogging community, if you take a close look around, you will find the same faces writing about the same people in favorable terms – it is a giant mutual appreciation club, where people with roughly the same worldview and share the same beliefs clump together. That is why they see things and events unfold in only THEIR way and they have no means to perceive other fields of possibility – I rather be alone than get up mixed up with severely confused people.

Even the political sphere is not immune from this phenomenon. That means if we take a bird’s eye photo of most organization, institutions and constructs like the internet or a game, what you have is balkanized tribes of people who are each segregated from one another very much like people living in gated communities. And when you can hold on to this idea, then it shouldn’t be too difficult to understand why we can only succeed PROVIDING we remain in our comfort zone – hence when we are expected to operate in the no man’s land of the discomfort zone, we usually fail to make the best of any given situation.

Now you understand why diversifying your point of view is not a matter of choice, as it remains very much a necessity, if we are to maintain our high performance cutting edge. Because when a man cannot even transpose his thoughts to others who may be different from him, then how is he going to influence others? And if he cannot even do that, then how is he going to succeed outside Singapore? He is just as the Malays say, a kampong hero, someone who is a big shot providing he stays within the apparent familiarity of his own territory. Put this same man in the middle of Africa or the Karen infested jungles of Burma, such a man would put a revolver to his head and end it all – now do you see why this is jugular, if anything it is like the air, water and food that regularly nourishes us – we would do well to include diversity into our daily diet by deliberately seeking out strangers and bringing them into our fold. The more, the merrier.”

The Way of the Farmer – The Brotherhood Press 2012

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