Monday, 30 June 2014

Reflection 62 (Awe)


Some days we are so absorbed by the petty stuff in our life that we have not the time to stop for a while and stand in awe for the miracles that happen around us all the time. Some times I only realize at night how foolish I have been been to be stressed out about small matters without appreciating the magnificent beauty of nature that I was passing by, without fully enjoying the wonderful human interactions I was encountering, without being amazed at the capabilities of my own body, mind, heart and soul.

When one night, I had such an experience, I wrote it up in a small poem, titled unblind . If you click the link you can enjoy the poem, but much more important, enjoy for the rest of the day of for the whole of tomorrow the wonders and miracles around you.


Saturday, 28 June 2014

Reflection 61 (listening)


This afternoon we got a visit from an ex-teacher and she was talking, talking and talking and we tried hard to say something or ask something, but most of the time she just went on talking without even paying attention to what we said or asked.

This is quite a problem with many people in a leadership position. I think it is so important to listen. A good listener is definitely much more valuable to the community and is far more successful in building lasting successful relationship than an avid talker.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Reflection 60 (tutelage)


Immanuel Kant wrote that many people are suffering from a self imposed tutelage and are scared and too lazy to think for themselves. People in control are willingly pointing to the  dangers of doing things without their approval. This is not good

Some people however want the opposite, absolute freedom to do what their desire dictate them to do and that also is  not good.

A good comparison of the first paragraph is the fish in a fish bowl. People take care of the fish by providing the fish safety and daily fish food and may actually think they do a favor to the fish but the fish is extremely limited in his movement, the fish may go crazy. It is not difficult to see that keeping the fish in a fish tank is not good for the fish but quite an egoistic act by humans who want to see fish.

Extreme religious control of people is sometimes compared to this image of keeping people in a fish tank. they control the people in the name of their safety and "well-being" but as a matter of fact they only want power and control and the whole thing is serving the egotism of the person exerting control.

Fish are not meant to be in a fish bowl, people are meant to think for themselves.

On the other extreme complete freedom is also not good. Sticking to the image of the fish. The fish has to remain in the water. the fish cannot just go anywhere, especially not out of the water. So are we humans to a certain extend bound by human priniciples and values which are universal and cannot violated, unless to our own detriment.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Reflection 59 (ideals)


If you ask a sailor about the hazards of the sea, he points out: where are the old sailors, all are young. Similarly in the sea of thought of the idealists, we cannot find old idealists. (RW Emerson in "the transcendentalist")

What happened to the idealists?
Do they die young or do their ideals die young?

It is the poverty and insignificance of the older generations that kills the ideals of the young. Relying on the memory of their own failure they like to kill the ideals of the young. Let us break the circle the now. We may not have achieved great things ourselves but at least let us support the great dreams of our youths. They can eradicate hunger, they can eradicate poverty. If the ideals live in them, please let the ideals mature and become reality. Everything is possible.

Idealism is not naive, is not stupid, is not immature. We need idealism more now than ever.
Let us celebrate our ideals, let us revive our ideals from when we were young now. Let's not be afraid of potential disappointment. Let us fulfill our ideals all together.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Reflection 58 (we are not beings)


You may not like the title of reflection 58
But please read on

One day I read in a book by Osho:
"Man is not a being
Animals are beings
God is a being
We are merely a bridge, a becoming

Man keeps on changing, becoming evolving
Remain in divine discontent until you explode in light"

I think this is so extremely nice.
A very powerful way of saying that we should keep on searching for the Truth,
never be too satisfied with what we know already.

A bit too often perhaps we are very satisfied with ourselves and we think we are living the highest truth without attempting to read more about and from people thinking differently from ourselves. 
Let's keep reading new ideas with a critical mind. 
Let us become eternal searchers for a higher truth than the one we know already, unless we want to become a being and no longer be a becoming. 

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Reflection 57 (humiliation)


I have had humiliating experiences
Not a long, long time ago, but just two years ago.
Humbling, no not only humbling, humiliating.
While extremely painful in the moment
now two years later, I can see the lessons I have learned
These experiences have really made me a different person.
I have learned to put my ego more aside than before.
I have learned to see the relativity of many things in life
I have learned to practice a bit more unconditional love.
I have learned to stick and stand up for principles.

We can learn a lot without having to be humiliated
but if humiliation comes your way anyhow,
do not let it break you down,
Two years later you may look back
and you may have learned from it a lot.

I wrote something about it in poetry format as well.
Can click the link below, the name of the poem is
the light

Friday, 20 June 2014

Reflection 56 (soul)


I like very much to read RW Emerson and here is what he was writing about soul:

"The soul is not an organ but it animates and exercises all the organs, It not a function like like the power of memory, of calculation, of comparison but it uses these functions as hands and feet. ~The soul is not a faculty but light, the soul is not the intellect or will but the master of the intellect and will. It is the background of our being in which they lie."

 I think that this is one of the most accurate descriptions of the soul that I have read. Especially the part where he describes the soul as a light. I think it is the divine spark sitting deep inside each of us. A spark we may choose to give lots of air and let it become a flame or even a fire that gives light not only to ourselves but also to our fellow humans as well.

If we could live a life governed by soul, I think it would be soooo good.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Reflection 55 (double face)

Double face

In conjunction with reflection 54, I elaborate a bit more on the extreme double faced lives some people live. Within very religious communities the most heinous sexual abuses do take place. Poor young men and boys are exploited to have sex with other men for payment. Children have been abused within the most strict religious circles. Can you imagine?

Even though not many of us would be involved in such extreme hypocrisy, on a much smaller scale we can improve our integrity. It just takes a few minutes to reflect and see where we did not live up to the ideals and principle we stand for or claim to stand for. Let us stand for our principles.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Reflection 54 (integrity)


Our own thoughts should really match our words and acts.
If not, we generate an internal conflict. Seneca said it as follows (quote):
"I will govern my life and thoughts as if the whole world were to see the one and read the other"

I sometimes feel it is a bit dangerous to share all our feelings and thoughts with the world.
However if we could manage to think and feel in such a way that all can be safely known by the world, we reach a high level of thinking and feeling, perhaps almost sainthood.

Anyhow an interesting quote from Seneca, above, worth to think a bit deeper about and perhaps a worthy aim to guide and direct our thoughts and feelings towards a right direction. To a certain extent we have the capability to choose our thoughts and feelings...

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Reflection 53 (books)


I have been to international congresses with international speakers and amazingly some of these speakers did not know how to speak.
I have attended high profile meetings and amazingly the chair person of the meeting did not know how to chair a meeting

I could go on like this about so many things, people do and quite a number of them are not prepared.

There are books written about virtually everything. We do not have to start any of our tasks from scratch. We can benefit from the trials and errors of others and from the wisdom of experienced people. When we read these advices from the so called experts with a critical mind we can often distill gems of wisdom from so many books. I was lacking all confidence for public speaking until I read a book about it. I was not capable of chairing a meeting effectively until I read a book about it.

Perhaps the big exception to this is parenting. I did not know how to parent effectively, I read many books about it and I still don't know how to be a real good parent. I want so much to be the best parent in the world, but I tend to fail so often. Perhaps the most helpful book I read regarding this was titled: how to talk to children so children will listen and how to listen to children so children will talk. They have a variant to it for teens as well.

Reflection 52 (comfort)


It is nice to have enough comfort or even a bit of excessive comfort.
Traveling comfortably, a reasonably good car and house.
At the same time it is our duty to achieve this comfort for a reasonable price
We don't need brands. Sometimes non branded items are as comfy or even more so than the branded ones. Quite often branded items reflect vanity rather than the search for comfort.

I'd say, comfort yes, vanity no.

reflection 51 (time)


Life is made of time
Every second of time we waste is a second of life wasted.
True? True!

People who have most time have the richest life
People without time have 'no' life
Richness expressed as a matter of time
gives a new dimension to it and makes more sense
than richness expressed in terms of money or possessions

I revisited this reflection and thought of the people who have too  much time.
I guess it is not a matter of quantity of time, all of us have the same amount in a day.
It is really a matter of quality.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Reflection 50 (understanding beauty)

The beauty of not understanding beauty

I can truly enjoy a night sky full of stars. The heavenly lights make a visual spectacle more beautiful than any painting can be.  Often I wonder whether I would enjoy the nightly skies as much if would know all constellations of stars. Somehow I think I my mind would be busy looking for patterns rather than just soaking in the beauty of the whole sky. 

When we were in Oslo, I had an experience that perhaps could answer at least to a certain extent this question. We went to visit Vigaland park. A beautiful park with wonderful trees, large areas of grass and 200 granite statues all made by and under the supervision of the artist Vigaland.

In the morning we went to visit the park by ourselves and we truly enjoyed the beauty of it all. We did not fully understand the meaning of it all but still had a very good time in the park

In the afternoon we had a guided tour in Oslo and the park was part of the tour. The guide was explaining the concept of the artist and was really passionately explaining all emotions that the artist had expressed through his many works that were shown in the park. It gave a new dimensions to it all. It was a completely different experience.

I had enjoyed both, the morning visit and the afternoon visit but the two visits were completely different from each other. So I think now that understanding and knowledge of things of beauty is resulting in a rich experience but is not essential to let us enjoy the beauty.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Reflection 49 (daffodils - story))


I was on a guided tour through Oslo this afternoon and the guide was from there. She mentioned how fond the people form Oslo were about their summers with their very long daylight and how the winters lasted so long with their very long nights. But, she said, we Norwegians have learned to love our winters as well. We have started to love to read books by the wood fire.

And this is a wonderful piece of wisdom. It made me think of the story about the daffodils. 

One lady had a lot of daffodils in her garden and she called her gardener to do away with the daffodils. The gardener tried every method he knew but failed to get rid of the daffodils. A national expert was called and he also tried so many other things but could not get rid of the daffodils. An international expert was called and also he failed to get rid of the daffodils. She desperately asked the international expert what she should do now. The answer was: you better start to love the daffodils.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Reflection 48 (race=story)


Few reflections ago, I posted about race with the meaning of car race.
This time a bit different:

I came across this wonderful story:
A small black boy went to a fun fair and saw this man selling balloons.
He let one red balloon free and it soared very high, attracting a few new buyers.
Then he let soar a yellow one and then a white one.
The small boy went to the man and asked:
'If you let the black balloon go, will it soar high as well?'
the man replied:
'Yes, The outside color does not matter, what matters is what is inside the balloon.'

Isn't this a wonderful story?

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Reflection 47 (hunger)


This morning I was having breakfast in a hotel.
There was a signboard stating that children could eat for free.
Just the thought occurred to me, if all children in the world could eat for free, wouldn't it be great?
If I could bring into the hotel a thousand hungry African children, would it not be nice?

I still think each of us have gotten the responsibility to contribute at least in a small way to eradicate the hunger among children in the world.

Let us start a blog or website where we post poems, or small pieces of prose that could touch the hearts of many about hunger in the world.

Please click on the following link.
humans against hunger
Please write something in the comments about that will touch our fellow human beings


Friday, 6 June 2014

Reflection 46 (diy)


This evening, I was in a meeting.
Someone expressed the stress he experienced because of the littering of others.
He was describing one bag of litter that was on his nerves for more than 1 month.

So many people prefer to be stressed about something for a prolonged period of time

rather then making a small effort to adjust the mistake of others, which could make the stress disappear in a few seconds. If he had removed the bag with litter after 1 day, he would have avoided  stress for at least 29 days....

If something is on your nerve and you can remove the irritant easily yourself, it is best to do so as soon as possible. It may feel not good in the moment to clean up the litter of others. but on the other hand it is not worth it to look at something you don't like for months if takes only seconds to clean it up ourselves.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Reflection 45 (complex)


Life is complex.
very complex

Some people cannot think
Some people cannot reflect
Most of us can think and reflect
But some are not ready to do it

A very  important step towards wisdom
is the readiness to think and reflect
about our own life
with all its complexities

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Reflection 44 (readiness)


Are we ready?
Are we ready for genomic medicine?
Are we ready for nanotechnology?
Are we ready for brain modifying drugs?
Are we ready for advanced robotics?
Are we ready for the huge technological revolution that is going on at ever increasing speed?

We have seen it coming and what was once futuristic is now already here.
We can steer planes remotely, we can analyse functions of the brain like never before.
We can see from brain waves whether people are happy or sad.

Are we ready?
Or is there space for abuse.
Or are we inventing so many dynamites that can be used for excellent purposes but also for extremely bad purposes by wicked minds.
I think it is a bit scary.

We do need a kindness revolution and a change of mindset.
We do need to give up greed and start to understand that true happiness has nothing to do with greed.
The only way to get ready is to all take part in this enormous kindness revolution.
Start it today in your own small community and see it unfolding 

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Reflection43 (relax)

Yesterday I met in a restaurant in Brussels Robert, a real 'Brusselaar' (that is what inhabitants of Brussels are called in the local language). We were talking and along the way he asked what was the difference between Belgium and Malaysia (where I live and work)

Of course the weather was one of the things that came to my mind. I can eat breakfast outside of my house virtually every day of the year. He wanted to know beyond that. A quick thought made me talk about the different levels of stress people experienced.

In the rural area where I live (Kelantan) the pace of live is very different. People are generally much more relaxed than in European cities. I remember standing in front of the traffic light and somehow I searched for a key in one of the compartments between the two front seats. Suddenly I looked up and the light had turned green already. I looked in my rear view mirror and the cars behind me were just patiently waiting for me to start driving, which I immediately did. This is no exception. In traffic generally if you are slow, other drivers accept, if you are in a hurry, they equally accept.

Also the happiness about simple facts of life. I just give the next story which illustrates perhaps in a great way the difference:

One day a rich American was walking along the sunny beach during his vacation to a tropical resort. He met with a fisherman who lay relaxing next to his boat. He talked to the fisherman for a while and then asked: why are you not out fishing, this is only the middle of the day?
The fisherman replied: I have caught enough fish for today. 
The rich man replied: How can have caught enough? perhaps if you went out and catch some more you could sell the extra fish. 
Fisherman: and then?
Rich man: then you could perhaps buy a better boat and catch more fish still to sell
Fisherman: and then?
Rich man: then you could get rich like me and enjoy your life, like I am doing now.
Fisherman: what do you think I am doing now. I fully enjoy my life.