101

September 20, 2017

Early this morning while walking my lands. I came across two thin monkeys sitting on the wire between an obsese monkey, they made the number 101. Shortly after that one of my harvesters handed me the tonnage for yesterday’s yield, 10.1 tons. At mid day it rained, checked the level of precipitation…10.1 millimetres of rain. On the long walk back to the plantation house I came across two men haggling over the number of banana trees delivered. The tall one insisted it was 127. The other mentioned some other number I can’t seem to recall. But I remember just before I passed beyond earshot…the number 101 was mentioned. During lunch read an article on the internet about George Orwell. Again 101 came out again this time it was mentioned as a scary number of a room. Took an afternoon nap that lasted about 101 minutes. Phoned up the vendor that is supposed to deliver the new seedlings and was told there would be a shortfall of 80 trees. Later on the figure changed and if one adds it to the figure earlier in the day it all comes up to 101. Passed a land for sale, asked owner how much. He mentioned 120. But his better half gave me a look of hesitation and mentioned for you….101 only. Left a coffee mug on the only table in my room. When I lifted it up, it formed the number 0 with a stain between the fork and spoon and all read 101.

Now this number is stuck like superglue in my head. I see it everywhere. What the hell does it mean?

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‘If you ask the question – why do bad things happen to good people? Then you will probably see your life unfolding in terms of good and bad, happy and sad, light and darkness. But we all know life isn’t any where as dogmatic and clear cut as that, that’s to say nothing is truly ever bad even if it seems that way. Neither is good always good either. A man forgets his passport just when he’s about to check it. Maybe he losted it somewhere between house and airport. Whatever. He misses his flight. He kicks himself as it’s an important conference that can either make or break his fledging career. Later on he finds out that plane he was supposed to board crashed and burnt with no survivors.

Do you see how chimeric the distinction between good and bad really is? I guess what I am trying to say is life shouldn’t be experienced in terms of what has the capacity to make us happy or sad only. Instead it should be regarded philosophically as an unfolding series of events which all have to come together to produce the final outcome. Take the case of my first plot of land when I first dived into commercial farming – it’s hardly ideal land for oil palm. Too hilly. Water too high. Bone dry during the dry season and a veritable hazard during the rainy season with plenty of landslides to boot.

But one eventually learns to see and even appreciate things that no one ever does when trying to make the best out of a lousy situation. I am for example a subject matter expert on drainage. I can open vast tracks of land and even plan the drainage right down to exactly calculate how many feet the water will rise or fall under a given set of conditions. Can even roll dirt between my index finger and thumb and bring it to my nose and tell you precisely give or take a couple of millimetres whether your land would be inundated with water or dry under this or that conditions. Have even experimented with drains that are so big. You can even fit a double bus without too much trouble into them. That’s because I cut my teeth farming on hilly land that everyone once said was impossible to grow anything on.

I am very sensitive to light and shadows. I am acutely sensitive to the imperceptible arch of the sun during the course of a day. I can walk into a room and tell you that at this time. The sun will flood or recede in. The temperature will rise and fall etc. A thousand fractional minutiae on everything there is to know about how the sun archs indolently during its rise and fall. Again such knowledge can only be acquired by farmers who are accustomed to growing in high peaks and deep valleys.

It’s all about making the bad less bad and shaping the good to be better than good I guess. That at least is how I’ve always seen the unfolding process of life.

Recently. I brought down trees and cleared vast tracts of land to replant more trees. Many people didn’t understand. How could they. It was done expertly. Professionally like one of those mafia hit man who always seems to find the mark. Truth is it was a stroll in the park. Never once broke out in cold sweat. Not even when I had only the sliver of a narrow passage of only 23 dry days. Closed it up so nice with even a handsome bow.

Many people can’t seem to understand. All they see is a very experienced planter who knows his stuff so well. You best not talk nonsense in his presence. He’s cool as ice.

Yes I don’t imagine they will ever see a man who once struggled with so very little to make ends meet. No. I don’t suppose they can ever make out the man who once shivered like a rabbit, as he nurtures whatever courage he can muster to make the best of whatever little has been dished out to him by fate and providence – all they really see is the great planter.

Take my advice. Never take a set back so hard that you even look up pleadingly to the heavens and ask why? Suck it all in. Make the best of it. Even if you have to walk all alone and everyone laughs at you. Even if it’s heavy, carry it and smile. Because one day, it will come full circle. One day it will all add right up and the magic numbers will just line nicely. You see it is very simple – you can’t have the good times without the bad. It’s really one of the same reality. As without it, you wouldn’t really be where you are today.

Nothing can break you. You are so bullet proof. Breathe……

Planting the new trees

September 18, 2017

We will start very soon….today the final plough commenced. Conditions are adjudged to be so-so only. As the soil is very damp due to the arrival of the rainy season and this makes it very difficult for the plough disc to slice into the earth cleanly. Work will be slow. But it will have to do. As this is as good as it will ever get from this point onwards. Weather conditions will get considerably wetter as the weeks go by.

There has to a period of fallow between the first and second plough. After this the positions for the new seedlings will have to be marked out. Thereafter planting will begin.

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‘I have a lot of hope that it will go well. There are many times when I say to myself – maybe you should keep your hopes small. After all it may not turn out well. Then I remind myself that I should trust my hopes rather than my fears.

After all to the very best of my knowledge. I have done everything to the very best of what I can humanly do. Even now when I reflect back on what was done. There is nothing that I would have done differently. Not long ago we had a round of very big rains – from what I could tell the trenches I dug performed very well. There was nothing that I didn’t foresee.

So why am I filled with fear and trepidation in the last leg of this project. I don’t understand. The hardest part is over and done with. I’ve even managed to do the impossible by clearing the land well before the onset of the rainy season with two whole weeks to spare. I’ve taken on something that is so big that most men would easily suffer a nervous breakdown just trying to wrap their heads round it. I’ve even looked directly into the sum of all my fears and seen it right to the very end without so much as flinching once. While others are caught in quicksand as they have miss timed their replanting. Those sods are in trouble….but I am in the clear….so what accounts for my lingering sense of foreboding.

Maybe it’s just my nature to worry even when there is no real reason to worry. Perhaps worrying has become a way of life for me that even should things go my way….there is still a part of me that cannot seem to quite accept things as they are, especially if goes well and even allow myself to be happy.

I do wonder have I reached a point in my life when I can no longer even bask in sweet repose and happiness should things go my way?

I should at least try to remain hopeful that everything will work out fine….as our problem is not so much that conditions doesn’t give us what we hope for, as it is that we don’t know the right thing for which to hope.

Maybe that is the problem.

To hope that things will go well and fine is the only thing one should ever hope for.’

Impending trade war

September 18, 2017

I do not want to get involved in politics. But it seems I cannot sit on the fence either. Lately many of the landowners have begun to form up into cartels. This is understandable as there is definitely safety in numbers. The problem with that arrangement is one has very little say and usually membership is predicated on agreeing to tow the line in the name of the common good – that would be OK with me, if the good is common enough to benefit everyone. The problem as I see it is, it benefits only a select few.

So I have decided to stand alone. This would naturally make me a target. As I am a pocket battleship. But I try my very best to keep a very low and stay beneath the sweep of the radar.

Hopefully they will leave me alone.

Never marinate a fish with salt or anything remotely salty like soya sauce or sour plum…if you plan to steam it. If you do this, the flesh of the fish will never be tender and sweet…not even if it is the freshest fish in the whole seven seas….it will taste only so-so.

So don’t ruin it!

Instead only add salt just before it is served.

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‘If you want the masses to take to a president with love and respect. Then you would do well to provision them such a thing as a choice. It would appear this is political strategy. But it’s origins are much more humble. As this is a kitchen trick that I once gathered from a Hong Kong Sifu Chef.

It is like the art of serving a very rare and expensive steamed fish.

The secret to a satisfying steamed fish that never fails to delight, is not in the preparation. Rather it is at the final moment when the fish is served.

In a five star Chinese restaurant where 1,000 gastronomical pleasures and delights are usually served.

At that very moment, the Chef will appear with a tray bearing what he claims to be the finest vintaged aged soya sauce brewed. This will be presented to the person who usually sits at the head of the table. The Chef will feign distress and insist that he doesn’t know how much salt he should add. Instead he seeks the wisdom of the person who sits at the head of the table to help him with this predicament of completing this masterpiece. The latter looks at the Chef sympathetically, then he turns to the other diners on the table and obliges with confidence.

Thereafter the first serving of freshest cut is tasted by the man who everyone presumes to have poured just the right amount of soya sauce and since this person nods his head with satisfaction.

Everyone can only tuck earnestly into the freshest and sweetest steamed fish in the world. Everyone is very happy. They must be.

What is seldom ever revealed in this diorama of kitchen Chinese opera is the soya sauce is really just darkened Chinese tea.

So you see, nothing resembling a choice was ever given. The correct measurement of salt had already been added. Rather it is the illusion of choice that was presented and that by itself has all the power to transform something quite mundane into something quite delectable and heavenly and memorable.

The moral of story: Every politician should work in a Chinese restaurant. Relax. I am just kidding. Rather it is this – never take the right of choice away arbitrarily from others. Never even if you have the power. If you do so – they will hold it again you. I tell you…it will not go down well.

Always give the masses the illusion that they have such a thing as a choice.

Now that I shared with you this story. You decide for yourself whether this is the wisest of all approaches…you see I have given you the final say. A choice that is. Or maybe it’s just a trick.

N.B: if you are a girl and you are serving your boyfriend’s parents a get to know me for the first time meal. Do consider steam fish in your menu. Use this strategy, it is known as the strategy of the fish that doesn’t know how salty it should be. If you follow my advice felicity, happiness and harmony between you and your in laws will follow thru out all your life. They will love you to bits.

If you are a taxi driver also pls consider using this strategy. If a customer steps into your cab and says he wants to go here and there. Don’t just step on the pedal and zoom off as if you have the whole Singapore road map in your head like a human GPS. Instead ask them which route would they prefer to take. You will find that at the end of the ride. They will be very satisfied and happy with you.

Q: How do you see the current Sino Singapore relationship? Do you see any way where the relationship can be taken to a whole new level from what it is today?

A: I think the current Sino Singapore relationship hardly requires much elaboration. As for your supplementary question. Yes, I think the relationship can and should be taken to a whole new level. It is surprising that it isn’t.

Q: What specifics do you see in Sino singapore collaborative efforts that may enhance trust?

A: China needs Singapore. She may not realise it presently. But my feel is when the various components of OBOR begin to take shape. China would need to scale accurately the risk and opportunities. To my understanding the political, economic, social and cultural attributes in South east Asia is likely to be dynamic and complex in the next ten to twenty years. Given that to be the case China should collaborate with Singapore to beacon out the murk so that she is able to position herself to win against this ever changing backdrop.

Q: Can’t the Chinese replicate these skill sets that you see Singapore playing a key role in?

A: It is very a very well publicised fact that is widely available in the public domain that one of the key weaknesses of the Chinese bureaucratic decision making process when it comes to foreign investments is that it seems to suffer from a chronic lack of not only accurate and timely economic intelligence inputs, but also complimentary information that may help China make better decisions.

This is very clearly seen in China’s foray in the African continent. Especially in many of their investments in East Africa. The Chinese there are often perceived by the natives to be arrogant, insensitive and in some cases downright callous.

Now if you ask me why that sort of negative perception continues to persist despite China being the No.1 foreign investor in the African continent. Then I say a lot of it has to do with an acute failure of imagination on the part of the Chinese to gather information at grass root level and most importantly translate that data base into something that they can use to plan better.

Q: But what is so complex about South East Asia?

A: Well that was exactly what George Bush junior and the CIA once quipped about Iraq – they invaded a country under the broad assumption that Arabs are essentially one monolithic homogeneous mass of humanity who essentially gravitate roughly towards the same hopes and aspirations. The problem with that sort of broad base generalised approach where one may conveniently lump whole groups of people into neat umbrella labels is while it may certainly facilitate decision making – it is usually a recipe for disaster as well, simply because all too often the devil resides in the details.

As I mentioned it is very very complex and the cost of getting it wrong can often be disastrous.

Q: It is interesting that you brought up the case study of the US invasion of Iraq as a case study to highlight what can and may go wrong if the Chinese planners get it wrong. But how does this correlate with the role that you see Singapore playing to enhance China’s decision making process?

A: I didn’t bring up Iraq because it is interesting. Let us be clear! It’s application is instructive. Because in the US Iraqi experience so many basic assumptions were wrong. We are not just talking about one or two isolated cases, but it was a series of botched up jobs that really snow balled into an epic catastrophic failure.

The causal factors for this series of errors was not only bad intelligence gathering that bordered on criminal negligence. But the inability to make sense of data that was in part due to lack of preparation and complacency which did not allow the US to carve a strategic advantage in Iraq.

Some of them are so glaring as to beggar the imagination.

For example Bush proclaimed, all Arabs yearn for democracy, but what he and his security Advisors did not reckon on was the vast majority of Arabs in Iraq don’t want the American variant of democracy. Their version of democracy just happens to be an Iranian Sunni inspired theocracy which incidentally just happens to be the root cause why peace is so elusive in the Middle East.

As I said, it’s very complex. And the same level of complexity features in South East Asia as well.

People who believe otherwise. Simply don’t know how jugular and pivotal good and timely intelligence is and most importantly the means to crunch it all up to make sense of it.

As I said, it’s very complex.

Q: So you feel China should collaborate with Singapore in the field of intelligence gathering and analysis. But isn’t this suggested position that you have recommended diametrically against Singapore’s long standing alliance with the US?

A: Look I will be very honest with you and speak plainly. There is no such thing as friends forever in realpolitik, only eternal self interest. So to my understanding there can’t be a Singapore US alliance just for the sake of alliance. Fundamentally that sort of arrangement has to be cemented with the real or expected prospects of mutual benefit. The way I see it – the US under Trump is going to remain schizophrenic for a very long time to come. As I don’t seem to be able to make out the thoughtful folk in Capitol Hill nor Washington winning the day.

But what I do know for a fact is many components of OBOR both the land and maritime chapters require smart people who are not farmers to scale the threats and opportunities accurately, navigate thru the social and political and cultural attributes to bring into fruition – these things are very real they are not theoretical and they exist presently in this time line even as this blog entry is published. So I believe there is a lot of scope for Chinese and Singapore collaborative efforts.

Q: Why do you feel the Chinese lack intelligence and data analysis skill sets. Can’t these skills be replicated. Why rely on Singapore? Why not the Thais, Malaysians or for that matter then consulate services?

A: The historicism of many south East Asian countries and cultures are not transparent and they are seldom discussed openly, that’s simply a function of a tacit understanding of detente in my considered opinion. Having said that the challenges are very real from the risk management standpoint. Sectarianism. Arabification. The rise of Islamic radicalism, race politics these are just a few areas where one cannot just go to a book shop and buy material and read about it.

There exist significant gaps in the knowledge chain that Singapore is not only familiar with, but it also allows her to act as a valued advisor or cousenlleri. As the subject matter is not only divisive, but it is also incendiary as well, but that doesn’t mean those forces are not operative. They are.

For example whole blocks of history have been gutted out of the compendium of what we regard today as South East Asian history. If you go around Orchard road and ask even Singaporeans whether they know that Indonesian commandoes were once sent by Sukarno to destabilise Singapore and Bornoe. Few will know. Less will know about May 13 in 1965 as well.

So it is complicated.

But let’s be real here, these subject are discussed in considerable detailed behind closed doors. They have to be. Because if you’re going to sink a couple of billion into a port or to lay tracks. That’s hardly loose change. Serious calculations have to be made. Risk assessment is part and parcel of the process that cannot be elided. That much I am certain. So don’t for one moment think just because you are born in Singapore and Singapore is a member of ASEAN and you have lived all your life in South East Asia – you know it all!

That’s like saying just because you live in a cave. You’re automatically a geologist.

I have absolutely no illusions as to the trajectory of where South East Asia is heading in the next ten to twenty years – it will be very shifty and to win. You need not only good intelligence, but also subject matter experts who are able to crunch the data to make sense of it all. Without this component China cannot succeed in OBOR.

Truth is it makes far more sense for China to work closely with Singapore to harvest many of the opportunities that OBOR hopes to generate.

Q: Recently a senior academic from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP), Professor Huang Jing, was identified as “an agent of influence of a foreign country.” According to the MHA.

“He knowingly interacted with intelligence organisations and agents of the foreign country, and cooperated with them to influence the Singapore Government’s foreign policy and public opinion in Singapore,”

What are your view concerning this development. Do you see this as a positive or negative development and how will it affect collaborative efforts between China and Singapore?

A: I do not know what is an agent of influence. This is the first time in my life I have come across this term. I know what an Insurance agent is. I even happen to know what a Tupperware agent does. So this is a very strange term. Besides the academics in the LKY school are not farmers. So how suspectible are they to being influenced. If they are a bunch of farmers all I have to do is time what I have to say with the appearance of the solar eclipse and I am sure that will be enough to hypnotize them on what I have to say. But these are very thoughtful folk who read broadly and they also happen to have the incomparable breadth of experiential knowledge and intellectual capital to synthesize new knowledge concerning their world view. So to me this is a very bizarre allegation. I will leave it at that as I will not comment further.

On how this will affect relations between China and Singapore. I don’t think it’s helpful at all. Because all this would do is discourage all future meaningful collaborative efforts between China and Singapore at an intellectual level. Worst of all this move will likely create a mindless McCarthy like biase against anyone who even remotely suggest it is a good idea that China and Singapore should work together.

So I think it is definitely a very unfortunate set back. At a time when relations seem to be so bad between China and Singapore. I would have thought this is one area where we could at least sow the seeds of common ground and build trust. But that does not seem to be case.

In the very beginning when you stay all by yourself deep in the wild. You will blame everyone and everything that seems to go wrong with your life. That is only natural as the world inculcates the idea – one MUST always look out side the self to be happy and contented. By the same vein of logic – if we are sad and the opposite of happy, we will also be convinced it can only be due to events conspiring against us in the external world.

Hence modern man is programmed to always respond to external stimuli and to always search outside his self to answer many of life’ s questions.

This I believe to be the root of modern man’s source of suffering.

But I digress. Coming back to the point of staying alone…eventually somewhere around the third or maybe fourth year when solitude itself permeates one’s soul in the way a jerkin sits for years in a jar of vinegar – one can only come to realise the futility of blaming others for one’s own unhappiness along with coming to terms with the finality of how it all boils down to only you and no one else.

It has really been that way all along.

One can only begin to turn inwards into the mysterious self and search for answers there.

You see one is really so cut off from everything in the world…that there is really just you and no one else.

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How do you control your ego?

September 15, 2017

The short answer is you cannot. How do you stop a baby from blabbering? You cannot. How do you stop a siaow charbor from insisting you have untoward carnal designs on her. Again in my experience it is impossible to stop her.

The ego is a self contained thinking entity – it cannot be controlled. As it has a mind of its own. That is why all books that attempt to rein it in is in my humble opinion nonsensical.

The only thing that one can really do to exercise some form of control over the ego is just to be conscious of it.

Consciousness is presence. Presence is mindfulness. When one is conscious of the ego….then and only then can the ego be silenced.

Without knowledge. There can be no power over the self.

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‘Some time back ago. A taxi driver who regularly reads my blog stopped me on the street and told me, ‘I keep crashing my rental! Please help me! I don’t know what to do? Please help me!’ This man exclaimed. I merely asked of him – ‘who is driving your taxi?’ The man looked confused and replied, ‘me!’ that was when I asked him, ‘which one of you was driving when you crashed?’ Again he looked confused. When we parted company this man even cursed me. I merely told him in a calm voice – please replay this conversation at least one thousand times. I went to add, there is a moral here.

Many months later this same taxi driver came to me told me in a very happy tone, he had not had a single car accident since our last conversation. As he is truly the one driving the taxi now.

On another occasion. A man who is always rude and sarcastic to me in the bank – asked me why don’t I seem to ever get angry at him….don’t you have any pride as a man…he added. I simply told him – it is not the real you who is saying all these things….it is someone else…so how can I get angry with you?

The man looked confused and thought I was trying to insult me. He even tried to pick a fight with me. That was when I asked him to follow me to a corner faraway from the CCTV. This man was so frustrated. He got angry and I even had to subdue him with a judo throw. After that I apologised and asked him whether he was hurt. When he recovered, he commented – you are a very strange man.

Before we parted. I told this man please reflect on what I have shared with you today. As I don’t want to give people who I hardly know judo throws all the time. It is bad for my back. Please reflect at least a thousand times on our strange conversation.

Some weeks after the incident the man came to me and apologised and told me, I know who I am now. I so sorry. Will you forgive me?

And most recently a businessman who wanted to cheat me asked why I did not seem interested in his deal. Again I told this man, it is not you who is making all these ridicolous proposals to me. Once the real you comes out, please let me know – I will certainly study your proposal seriously, but if it from that other person then I am so sorry I have no time…..I went on to add. Besides murder is a capital offence and I have no intentions of spending time in jail ….please reflect on what I have shared with you at least a thousand times…..again some weeks passed eventually this fellow apologised to me and told me in a tone of utter humility and shame. I am sorry to have insulted you. I have not been myself lately. I do not even know what came over me….rest assured I am the person who I am sure you want to do business with now.

I simply told this man. It’s ok. The important thing is you have returned.’

Can $ buy you happiness?

September 15, 2017

The question is not whether money can buy you happiness. Rather it is only this – why do even expect money to buy you happiness? Coming to think of it – who planted the idea in your head that money has anything to do with your happiness?

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It has come as a great surprise and even shock to many that I decided to present seasonal gifts of moon cakes and wine to my business rivals. Recently someone asked me, why do these things…after all it is not as if they respect you to reciprocate your good will.

I told this person. You must always respect your enemy even if he doesn’t respect you.

I did not elaborate further.

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‘Never disrespect your enemy. Because the moment you break this cardinal discipline, you are likely to convince yourself that you are smarter and more capable than your enemy and this can only lead to arrogance and complacency. It is very easy to be lulled into this mind trap.

Infact skilled practioners of war will frequently provoke their enemies into anger so that their adversaries are so consumed by emotions they can no longer see their opponents intentions and strategy objectively.

Disrespecting your enemy is as good as being blind, deaf and thoughtless to him.

A highly skilled practioner of warcraft will always have the highest regard and respect for his enemies….infact it is always better to over estimate than to under estimate one’s enemies. This way one will always over plan rather than under plan. This way one is always cautious and not cavalier. This way one will only engage with plenty of reserves.

Beware of men in business who have managed to acquired this level of mental discipline. As to know of these things is highly unnatural and does not come about casually – such characteristics points to either formal training or in depth experience in warcraft that can only be acquired at a very senior level of theatre planning. Find out more about the history of such man, do not engage in any sort of aggressive manuevers. As you will lose everything.

Not very long ago. A man told me he wanted to buy out his business rival even if it would mean exposing himself to the real risk of financial ruin.

I told him that is NOT you who is talking…it is your ego.

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‘This is something smart people should teach in Harvard Business School. But unfortunately they don’t. To know who you really are. You must first be mindful that there are actually two people running around your head. Yes…I am not kidding. There may well be more that I do not know of…but there is definitely two that I am convinced exist in all human beings.

The first is the real you.

The other is your ego.

Do not be fooled. They are two different individuals. They are not one!

You must always be mindful of WHO of the two is listening, observing and commenting about the many objects of interest that constantly flit like clouds thru your mind.

BE CLEAR ON THIS!

Only then is it possible to differentiate between the real YOU and the outer manifestation of you in the form of the ego.

The ego does not live in the real world. He is a permanent resident of the fantasy realm, that may well explain why he likes to be regarded like the Aga Khan and the Shah of Iran all the time. As since so much of who he actually is, is invested in the external world. The ego derives ALL his self worth along with sense of confidence from the external world. If people praise and flatter the ego, he will be happy and on the top of the world. If they are critical of him, he will take it personally and get angry and probably sue their pants off. If they slight him (real or imagined) he will be vengeful.

This is the way of the ego. When this fellow is in cockpit of your brain…you are in trouble. If you are not in trouble…you will be very soon.

The real you on the otherhand does not require emotional nourishment from the external world – it is good to have it, but it’s optional. As the real you draws strength from within. That is the dynamic. It cares very little about what others may think or say about you…as the real you unlike the egocentric character lives in the real and not the fantasy realm.

Hence it is very important to be conscious of WHO is actually in charge. This insight applies not only to managing oneself. But it also applies to managing others as well. Knowing WHO is listening, talking, thinking and acting is key.

Unfortunately most people are not conscious of this two characters running in their heads – that is why they continue to suffer unnecessarily. Once you make an effort to trace out the origins of your thoughts and actions….as you hold on to this insight and observe yourself and others…you will find what I say to be very true.

I guess what it really means is this – even if you don’t see anything lovable about yourself at first. You should always dig deeper into who you really are and if you put in enough effort and sweat….it’s possible that you may even come up with a couple of good reasons why you much rather be yourself than someone who isn’t really you.

Above all you have some reasons to love yourself.

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‘I guess when people say, you need to love yourself. What they actually mean to say is you shouldn’t try so hard to run away from who you really are. Neither should you put in so much time and energy to be someone who you’re not. Instead you should just take a long honest look at yourself along with the sum of your life and say to yourself – this is who I am.

I think the idea of coming to terms with who you really are can indeed be a very frightening proposition to most people; only because the vast majority of humans much prefer to live their life’s vicariously thru their imaginary avatars – where it could be said, they have managed to successfully sell to everyone else is who they actually are, when in reality that public persona of who they are has nothing whatsoever to do with who they actually are. To heighten this unreality further into the illusion of reality. Society even makes it possible thru instagram and other devices to adorn and preserve this lie. And it could even be said society even gives us the permission to neglect the real aspects of we really are to such a level of completeness that if we show empathy, or generosity, or honesty, we are eager to make it known as features of our imaginary character rather than who we truly are.

This is how much we have given ourselves to this idea of that other truth.

My point is man is so accustomed to living vicariously thru the imaginary projection of his avatar. Rather than who he really is….he has institutionalised escapism from the self along with rendered kosher self deception along with everything to despise the real him at the expense of self discovery.

This I imagine is the real reason why it is so difficult for one to come to terms with who one really is and to even find the courage to love oneself.

I first came to such realisations that I can only refer too as ‘awakenings’ when I removed myself from the world.

I think that foreign idea of being so completely removed from the world is often confused with loneliness or the fear of being lonely. Rather the underlying reason why we fear this idea of being alone is simply because without an audience – our real selves can only emerge out the facsimile of who we claim to be.

So to me this broader idea of liberty and emancipation has very little to do with democracy. As how free can one really be when one is still marinating in a life that has nothing whatsoever to do with reality….there is something awfully stupid about that idea. So to me, true freedom begins by reclaiming the self that the world has robbed of us….and the first thing you need to grab back from the world is idea of who I really am!

I think it starts off from that idea, only because who I really am! Is like a Christmas tree…that’s the main platform that you will use to hang other things on. But if you didn’t have that, then there would be no place to build on.’

Year of the durian

September 13, 2017

Spurred on by the exceptionally high price of durians this year. Many farmers have started to grow durians on the side. Some are even considering switching from oil palm to grow what they consider to be the next big thing since the internal combustion engine.

The China factor is definitely one major reason. Mainland Chinese it seems have taken to the fruit in droves sky rocketing the prices further. There is even talk of canning durians like abalone. The other factor is weather related, freaky weather means durian is now accessible all year round. The third factor is many durian orchards no longer exist as in the last twenty years the vast majority of durian growers have switched in earnest to perennial (e.g oil palm) instead of focussing on seasonal crops such as durian. Hence the unusually high price we are witnessing now for durians has more to do with systematic inefficiencies (lack of competent durian growers) and a heavy emphasis on perennial rather than seasonal crop in agricultural output.

But this is not a new story. During the mid eighties. There was the D24 boom that mirrored the same price exuberance we see today. Back then the story read the same as well…no one then could get enough of durians….they were all willing to pay premium…farmers grew high yielding D24 strains of durians that took only three years to bear fruit instead of the obligatory wait of ten years using old strains. Eventually the price for durians bottom out due to over supply that took decades to stabilise.

Many farmers have forgotten this bitter lesson…many are blinded by greed and this can only cloud their judgement.

The modern farmer needs to hit the books, specifically on economics…otherwise he will end up painting himself to one miserable corner.

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They really shouldn’t have made it so dead pan obvious….as it is, it’s really all about the story of one man. As for the woman. What can I say….she’s just there for the ride.

That’s really how I see it. I wish I could some how bring myself to say, ‘what a ride!’ But I can’t. You see it’s too predictable. Nothing is left to the imagination. No Da Vinci code there.

Too obvious.

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Ambush?

September 13, 2017

Today I went to town to run a few errands. Two events stood out from the norm. Taking each event as isolated incidences, they may well amount to a big fat nothing. However when seen as one sequence of events – it certainly points to a set up.

I need to be very careful. I have too many enemies. These fucks they don’t play fair.

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‘Marked car ahead. Two men. Drives slowly. Then proceeds to make a three point turning ahead of me. Not suspicious as I was behind that car. Besides earlier on I had pulled to the side to pop into a shop. So that car probably passed me ahead by a whole block. Or maybe it was just there all along. If those people were really tailing me, they would have pulled some distance back and waited for me to get back in. I drove to the car that was ahead of me….so nothing there.

But the three point turning is very odd. Not something anyone would ever do. Unless they didn’t want to lose visual contact.

Much later on. Van with three men. Takes a turn at high speed. They were in a rush. One man. The one in the passenger seat turns back and looks at me. So I think. Maybe something caught his eye on the same line. Again makes no sense. As if I was the target, they would have driven straight ahead of me at a regular speed not to raise suspicions. The speed is all wrong. Maybe they planned to redenvous with another team. That makes no sense either. As the second team should have been planted where I was and not on the street after the corner. Doing so robs them of element of surprise. Too many resources in the wrong place.

My phone was switched on, on the first occasion. They could have tracked me. On the second occasion I made sure all my phones were off – they could have only tracked my last beacon signal. Again makes no sense. How did they get a fix on the second run?

Maybe I am just paranoid. But it’s best to give that place a miss for a few weeks.’

Shadow & Jaswan

September 13, 2017

Loneliness

September 12, 2017

When I was a little boy. Someone who loved me very much cupped my face and told me this…there are three things in life that you must get used too. The first is people will always misunderstand you…so you best learn to keep quiet. The second is they will always be frightened of you….as there are many things you can do and since they can never understand they can only fear what they don’t understand…you must hide your powers…and the third is the saddest…you will always be alone….as no one can ever understand you….so this is something that you must come to terms with or it will destroy you.

I asked this woman why? Why is the world so unfair. The woman told me – do not ask why…it just is.

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‘Silence in between words. Silence in the creaking sobs of forlorn rooms that are always empty and lifeless. Silence of a mug of coffee on a window sill long cooled. Silence after the rains in empty streets in the indigo dawn. Silence of old yellowed magazines left to one corner. Silence in the rattle of a branch against a solitary window pane. Silence in the preamble of awakening and sleep that knows no time or space. Silence in my solitude. Silence in the meditation of my daily chores…silence in the lingering pain of my wound that I carry quietly as best I can. Silence. Deep silence. Silence that runs the depths of one’s soul like mysterious roots beneath the ground…unseen, yet furiously burrowing ever deeper into the depths of darkness in search of silence.’

Poetry: Silence. Darkness 2017

All the good and happy memories we once shared together. You may no longer be in my life any longer. But I can always replay those precious memories in my head again and again like a tape recorder and bring you back to life again.

I am not like other people….I don’t need a lot…I am autistic a little goes a very long way with me…a morsel is all it takes to bring a smile to me.

I don’t care what anyone has to say about the perils of living in the past – what they have to say is not important to me.

What is important is I know how to relive those moments and experience them in the way it was and what I have in my heart. The rest I have the power to ignore and obliterate completely and totally with the power of my mind.

Because at some point if you are not mindful….the things you own will definitely end up owning you.

This may seem like a very good problem to have…but it can also be very intimidating as well.

Then keep to yourself. Above all learn to disappear….poof! You are gone!

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‘There is no shame in admitting this is an emotion that may get the better of you and to even react to it by taking to the hills. At least when one is prepared to do just that, one is able to do two things right. First one is able to accurately scale threats along with truthfully appraise what one can and cannot do. Secondly, one is very honest and realistic as to how best to respond under X or Y conditions and in this simple way trouble and embarrassment can often be avoided.

Never allow your enemy to read you like a book. Always be inscrutable.’

Trap

September 10, 2017

Never allow people to game you. That is to say never allow them to pull you by the nose and lead you here there and everywhere. Instead practice mindfulness be very alert where they are leading you and just when they think you are right behind them following…at the last minute when they look back. You are not there any longer and they are all alone.

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‘Three things will lead a man to act rashly and cause much regret and unnecessary suffering. The first is greed, the second is ego and the third is fear.

When a man is greedy, he is as good as blind – time and opportunity can be weaponized to draw him into a trap where at the end of the hook is $.

If he does not have the discipline to keep his ego small. This man can easily be humiliated and cornered into a trap and if he is afraid and lacks courage.
He will always fear failure so much so that he will even rashly sign off on a lousy deal without first doing his due diligence and feasebility study.

Three things will usually feature in a trap in business – alcohol…good food and women. These are common weapons that will usually be deployed. One way to avoid this is NEVER go out after seven at night. You must always stay indoors and cultivate the reading habit to steady the wandering spirit. If you need to drink go and buy ABC stout or Baron’s beer and get high all by yourself.

As once women, alcohol and good food come together, this is a recipe for 3 in 1 matilah! You will find yourself in a spider’s web.

The superior man however can never be trapped by charlatans, hucksters and knaves. It’s impossible. That is because his worldly desires are always kept very small even should they happen to be very big.

When a man’s desires are few and small. It is impossible to game him. As he will follow not the confidence trickster. Rather it is the con man who will end up walking out of the front door without his under pants.

Beware of men who seem to come across a having few if any worldly desires….they are truly the most dangerous category of men on this planet.’