Monday, 29 May 2017

Purpose

"Move from being driven by a goal
to being pulled by a purpose"
(M. Beckwith)

Many of us have become good at goal setting.
When we reach the goal, we are happy
but sometimes we fall into a pit of nothingness.

Goals drive us and getting nearer to them is a thrill.
But once a goal is achieved, it tends to lose some of its glamour.

Purpose is a bit different.
Purpose is the reason for being here.
Something we are passionate about
A superior aim in our life.
It may be something we grow into rather than achieve
It is pulling us to itself.

Through reflection we can discover our purpose
It is perhaps the biggest thing we can do for ourselves
and for the rest of the world...

I hope you enjoy the little poem I wrote end 2015:



It is written in the sand
The purpose of our life
Millions of grains of sand

If the sea‘d have erased it from the shore
The grains will have whispered it to the drops
And waves, the braking waves will sing
The purpose of our life

If the heat of day erased it from the surf
Evaporating mist ‘ll carry it to the clouds
Where they will paint it in amazing skies
The purpose of our life

The clouds will rain and
And diamond beads will ornament the rose
The rose's scent will tell it
The purpose of our life

But if we fail to find it
In the sand or song of waves
In the clouds or scent of roses
The purpose of our life

We may have to make it quiet
And look deep within our heart
Where it will be dancing all around
The purpose of our life.

If we do not find it in our hearts,
We may have to return to sand
It is written in the sand. 

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Vastness

Most of us may have seen the videos
depicting the earth, and the other planets
and then the sun and then zooming
to show the size of bigger stars
and give an impression of the galaxies
Impressive, truly impressive!
BUT
No matter how impressive and colorful the images
of taken of our skies with telescopes powerful beyond imagination,
what we see may not be all that is.
A rainbow in the sky is nothing but refraction of light.
How many "rainbows" may be mistaken for material stars or planets?
BUT
No matter how nice it is to revel in the vastness of the universe
in the dreams of other creatures throughout space who may be more or less intelligent,
more or less advanced than us,
IT IS
our duty to live in harmony on this planet which is ours.
IT IS
our duty to get back in focus on what is most important to you and me
IT IS 
our duty to embrace kindness, love, honesty, integrity, tenderness,
IT IS 
our duty to make life here on earth, what our Creator had intended it to be
Peaceful, easy, helping, accepting,
LOVE

Hans says:
Let us enjoy the dreams of vastness of the universe for awhile
Let us revel at the stars.
But then come back to earth, our lovely planet
and make this life of us
the focus of everything
make this life a life of service, a life of peace. 
a life of purity, a life of kindness
a life of helpfulness, 
Hans wishes you the very best. Peace  


Saturday, 27 May 2017

Plasticity

I have been watching some Tedx videos today and the last one I saw was on brain plasticity.
I had seen it before, but it really enforced my belief about the wonderful capacity of our brain.

I am working quite often myself with children who are born with severe brain damage and it is often amazing how many of these children can function quite well provided they get the right exercises and the right stimulation.

Our brains can adapt and learn through many ways. One is the chemical signals; two is the structural changes in which the long tails of the cells can connect to many other cells and this influenced by our behavior and our thinking. Then three, the brain can function in different ways based on the amount of training and stimulation we get.
on learning
When I was talking a friend, occupational therapist, he told me the story of the tree. If we look at a tree, we cannot see it growing. But if it gets enough light and water and nutrients from the soil, after one year the tree will look very different from the tree we see today. So is it with the exercise we give to children with brain damage. If we give exercise for a day or even a week, we may see no changes. But if we persist giving the exercises for a year, we may see a huge difference.

We can do a lot for damaged brains. That is true. But, then, imagine what we can do with our normal brains. Suddenly positive thinking and positive action gets a whole new dimension. Kindness and love and feelings of happiness. We can affect this. If you read my previous  post  on learning (can click on the word, 'post'), it will become more likely that what we think and do has so much influence on our brain, on our cells, on our world.

Bosons and quarks

Just now I made a small intention to learn at least for half an hour a day something new
I hope I can do it and I have he enthusiasm and motivation to follow through with it,
because today, my first day, has been really interesting.

Instead of 30 minutes, I spent 75 minutes trying to learn something new.
I do have a bit of a fascination with physics. so looked for some videos on that.

A good way of understanding things we are not familiar with is to watch Tedx videos.
I started watching one on physics and was quite intrigued by the guy talking about the Higgs boson.
I tried to understand, at least a bit, what a Higgs boson might be: I want to know something about quantum physics. So I watched three 15 min videos about that. Each speaker explained in his own way something about the quantum physics. They say electrons can assume wave or particle forms interchangeably, they can spin in left and right at the same time, they can break through barriers quite easily (tunneling) and they can be at different place at the same time (superposition) and somehow they have an amazing completely unimaginable way of communicating with each other. Based on these hypotheses, they can predict the probability of the location of a particle (or wave for that sake) Based on these hypotheses they can do mathematics and create machines that effectively work (laser and computer, telephone chips are examples). Whatever the quantum physics say, I think I am super far away from understanding it, but watching these videos can increase our own curiosity and somehow gives small bits of insight that may be helpful in our life.

Thus far I have only described 4 videos of each 15 minutes. the last video was on brain plasticity.
I am writing about in the next post, you can see by clicking this link.


Friday, 26 May 2017

Knowing ourselves

 Not very long ago, I wrote the poem at the bottom of this page. 

It was a bit like a deep search for who and where I am. No, I am not demented, it is not about where I am physically but I am talking about the I, the one that sits inside, that makes the decisions on what to do, on what to think about, that has the choice to focus on something and ignore other things. That piece of myself has every day so many choices. And how do I make these choices. 

 

The easy answer is to say I make my choices based on my values and principles. And I think my principles of doing good and my values of honesty, integrity, love and kindness are strong and should guide all my choices in a major way. Yet I catch myself so often making different choices, not in harmony with the principles of loving kindness I claim to be my own.

 

If I connect the values and principles to a word, named soul, and my decisions not in harmony with it I connect to a word, named ego, I sometimes feel that my ego is too loud and my soul too quiet. 

 

But then, at other times, I seem to reach a certain understanding, that love and kindness and all the values seated in the soul are inherently soft and tender. They are to be discovered in silence and if my soul would be as loud as my ego, the qualities of my soul would be very much like the qualities of my ego. The necessity to calm down, sit down in silence and reflect in awe for our Creator and our Creation, makes soul so very special. Silence becomes a way to connect and going through it seems such a blessing. In these moments of a bit of a deeper insight, I do not wish my soul to be loud.

 

And yet we are so human...

Here comes the little poem:


 

Knowing Ourselves 

Whenever I think I know myself
Something happens that makes me doubt
I do know a bit about myself
I set out my own principles
Principles I love, I want to live by
But then so often I fail

Why do I fail?
Which part of us fails?
Which part of us sets the principles?
I think I can experience my soul,
Am I my soul?
Is my soul owning my mind, my heart, my body?

Why does my soul not take charge all the time?
My heart and mind seem to have to search
To search so intensely for my soul
to put my big ego aside
Is my ego competing with my soul?
It seems to be never quiet
Why my soul does not compete harder?

And then my thoughts, flying coming in, going out
I have written them down.
If I read my thoughts from the past
I feel I get to know myself a bit better
'cause thoughts come from the mind
They come from the soul, from the heart
And yes, also from the ego.

Perspective

All of us make mistakes.
All of us have some ups and downs.

But whatever happens around us,
the big order of the Universe is still standing.
No matter how much racism is coming our way,
how loud some wicked politicians shout,
the big order of the Universe is still standing.

The big order of the Universe
underlines the value of compassion,
gives instant peace of mind for good work,
gives happiness in return for service,
has planted love in our hearts,
has planted kindness in our soul,
has given each of enough reason to see the nonsense of violence.

A large number of people seem to refuse the gifts of love,
compassion, kindness, peace of mind,
A large number of people turn a blind eye to the wisdom of the universe.
It looks like extreme right politicians are giving nowadays  more voice to these people.
This is not necessarily a bad thing. Now we know that half of Americans
had suppressed for so long their white supremacy feelings.
Now we know how strong racism and egotism is still present in such countries.
Now we know that half of the Brits are still living in their grandiose illusion of colonialism.

The big order of the Universe has not changed
It still favors love, compassion, unity.
To have these people, refusing love, expose their true feelings
serves as a nudge for all "good" citizens of the world.
By "good", I mean those who are bit more evolved,
those who are a bit higher on the ladder of evolution,
those who understand the big order of the universe a bit better,
those who put service first, and understand the great peace of mind it brings.
It serves as nudge to work harder,
to become more vocal,
to not take it as a given that racism has died,
to not take it as a given that violence is not desired.

Let us all become more vocal
more active in spreading kindness.
We need leaders who spread kindness, not fear
Fear is the weapon of politicians.
It is high time that large majorities become clever enough to see through them
It is high time.

Good people on this planet,
let us all start a kindness revolution.
Let us start it now.
Be vocal about it, be as loud as wicked politicians.
If we are as loud as them, no way they will have followers.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Purple


:
I took a walk this morning
On the beach
I could see so many flowers
Growing in the wild

All of them were coloured purple
So beautiful
Perhaps God’s favourite colour
Is purple

Looking at the bright white sand
So delightful
God's favourite colour could also
Be white

A bush with small yellow flowers
So exquisite
Perhaps God's favourite colour
Is yellow

The sea so blue, the grass so green
So soothing and lovely
Gods favorite colour might as well be
blue or green.

But then on my way back I see again
all the purple flowers
It must be purple ) 

 Our creator is such a fantastic Artist.
There are so many superb views, so colourful
When we see them, we are totally in awe.

All of us know our Creator has no favorites among the colours
But some things are made so exquisite, so beautiful
that we cannot but think, that must be our God's favorite.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Thoughts of Love

Thoughts of love are so much involved in the process, whenever I pray, . It is almost impossible to think about our God and not think about love, or Love (with the capital L). And yet for so many people in this world, prayer is more of mechanically repeating a few phrases they memorized a long time ago without giving it a lot of thought. Once we start to think, and think deeply while we pray, our prayers tend to get so much more meaningful. 

Many people see prayer a sacrifice of their time, that they make for God.
Once we pray with mind and heart and soul, it does not longer feel like that.
It starts to feel like prayer is something we do from within,  for ourselves.
The deep thinking somehow brings us a bit closer to the highest spiritual level
and this experience is so important, so good, that prayer becomes a joy.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Respect

On my way back to Malaysia from Indonesia.
I was surveyor for an ethics research committee.

While we were making suggestions for the committee to improve,
the coordinator was, multiple times, helping us to rephrase our suggestions
so that the committee would feel utmost respected while the suggestions
for improvement would still be transmitted clearly.

That is really something I learned in the past few days.
Especially if we make suggestions for improvement to anyone,
let us weigh the wording, let us give it lots of thought,
to do it as respectful as possible...


Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Good men

I always tell my son:

"We are good men. You and me are good men.
If someone does nasty things to us,
this does not change us from good to nasty.
We just choose to remain good men.
In case we would respond to nastiness
with our own nastiness,
then we would allow the nasty men
to turn us, who are good men,
into nasty men.
We are good and have chosen to be good
We do not give the power to anyone
to take away our goodness."

So if someone treats us good,
we treat them good.
If someone treats us in a nasty way,
we treat them good.
If someone ignores us
we treat them good

No one can take away our goodness :)

PS: of course we are not perfect, we do lose our temper sometimes,
we are not "always" good. But if we stray, we will choose not to do so for long.
We will try to quickly come back to be just...... good men

Thursday, 11 May 2017

The rose

I think...

Je pense, donc je suis!
A famous phrase, perhaps never intended to carry the importance, it has been given through the years.
But standing there, isolated from the rest of the story, it is an impressive phrase: I think, thus I exist.

Thinking is such a fantastic, fascinating, fabulous skill we were born with, or if we did not have it fully at birth, something we developed over our youthful years.It makes us human, it makes us special and yet so often I have lived for days and days or even weeks, without stopping the daily activities and not taking some specific to think, to think about myself, to think about the world, to think about my beliefs and faith, to think about important things. But I count my self lucky that quite often I manage to think, to reflect on a regular basis. 

If we make it silent around us and silent within, this wonderful train of thoughts seem to come, some thoughts from within, but some seem to come from we do not know where. If I walk in nature and think about difficult questions, complex problems, sometimes answers do appear in my mind. I assume they come from our God, because I believe in a God, but I often wonder where do people not believing in a God, think these thoughts come from, or do they not have experiences as such?

There are periods where thinking is not as easy and these are the times that books and wisdom from our ancestors becomes so useful. Sometimes reading a few verses from scriptures or from philosophers or psychologists or simply a touching story can start a thinking process. I feel that we can learn all from each other. We think spontaneous thoughts. If there seems to be a period of lack of thoughts we look at books, at nature or anywhere from without and we can build up our own wisdom. 

I love to reflect.





Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Acceptance

Just a few moments ago, I received the shocking news that one of our young colleagues, trainee pediatrician, tragically died in a car accident.

She was brilliant, goodhearted, humble.
So true!

When things like that happen, we are struggling with the question of why.
Why this has to happen? A mother of 3 young children, a wife, a sister, a daughter!
A wonderful doc with a huge potential to do so much good and to make a wonderful difference for the children she would treat.

We will all miss her very much.
And this feeling of missing makes us really sad.
Not only sad, struggling to accept that it happened.

But young people do die.
and we cannot but accept
Faith can help in these situations but the explanations given, even though softening the sharpness of all the deep pain and sadness of those closest to the person who is no longer with us, tend not to be easily understood. The question of why a loving almighty God would want such a thing to happen remains.

As a doctor myself, and as a son of my late mom and dad, I have asked these questions again and again and thought about them for so long. The only answer that makes sense to me is that we as simple humans cannot understand. Surely we have a superb and unbelievably complex mind, but it is really to small to understand all things that happen.

I do believe in a loving almighty God, but over time I have come to accept that things do happen that I cannot understand. Many of the common 'religious' explanations seem to put our Creator in a rather cruel or 'selfish' perspective, which makes me feel worse than simply accepting that we cannot understand :(

As time moves on, the sharp pain and sadness of the feeling of loss, do soften a bit and moments of gratefulness for having known the wonderful person who passed on tend to occur. It seems like nothing is permanent in this world, but while we are alive we meet so many wonderful persons, have so many wonderful experiences, encounter so many wonderful things. When we lose them it makes us sad, it can cause us a huge pain. But the great miracle of life is going on and while not understanding the non-permanence, a sense of forgiveness, love and gratefulness tends to bring us a bit closer to acceptance

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Fame and name



I came across the following verses, written more than 2500 years ago by Lao Tzu:
(part of verse 44, Tao Te Ching)

What contributes more to you:
Your self or your fame?
What matters more to you:
Your self or the possessions in your name?

When I read these verses, at first, I was revolting a bit against them.
These were questions and I felt I could answer as I wanted.
I wanted to choose the fame. Somewhere deep inside of us resides this longing to be renowned, to have some fame, to have a name that will be remembered. And I think it is good. If we are living in a corner, in anonymity, what can we possibly do or mean for the world? It was quite clear however that these verses were written and intended to make the reader aware of the opposite. The author intended us to become aware, to come to the conclusion that fame is less important than self.

Is it really? I refuse to put fame and a good name in the category of unimportant things. They are very important. When thinking then about how could I reach to the deeper meaning of these verses, I thought about the meaning of my Self. The I inside of me, my Self, is that part that has the values and the principles, the soul. But I am not only soul. I am also heart and mind and body. It may well be the soul that controls the rest of me in a certain way. When I manage to make it quiet enough to listen to my soul and when I manage to live up to my values of love, kindness, integrity, honesty, compassion and so on, I feel at peace with myself. Whenever I violate some of my inner self-values, I feel a lack of peace, an excess of stress.

While thinking like this, the meaning of the verses became a bit clearer. I think the verses do not condemn fame and possessions, but if in the process of acquiring them, we give up our values, our principles which are basically belonging to our soul, it may be all not worth it. Because without these values, we lose our peace of mind, our own sense of purpose our own happiness. I think the author meant: if you cannot get fame or richness without giving up your soul-values, you may be better off for the future not to have (yet) fame and wealth. And that is a great message for all of us, I think…

Thursday, 4 May 2017

The missing link

Is it better to serve
and be happy
or to reign 
and be upset?

I hear your answer:
You want to reign 
and be happy

But life is filled with paradoxes
Somehow we were made in such a way
that if we serve selflessly
we will get peace of mind
and so much happiness

Somehow we were made in such a way
that if we force something on others
there will be always a bitter taste
to the sweet victory

the more we serve 
the more true power we get... 
the link between service and happiness
the link between  force and bitterness
the secret that will bring happiness to the world

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

The power of love

The power of love,
a wonderful song by Celine Dion.

But come to think of it,
the power of love,
so much more than just a song.

Surely, Celine has her point:
Romantic love
extremely powerful!

But there is so much more to it


Think of it,
What makes mother a mom
a father a dad,
Tremendously powerful stuff!

A brother, a sister,
an auntie, a nephew

A neighbor, a friend,

What would the world be without love?

And yet,
so many days of my life
have passed by without even thinking
without even a grain of gratefulness
for all that love in my life,
love i can give, love I receive.

And yet,
so many opportunities
to take a loving approach
gone by without noticing,
lost .

The power of love,
the power to make this life of me
truly worthwhile
the power to make this life of me
a happy loving life
the power to change my life,
to change your life
to change his life
to change her life
to change our life,
to change all life on earth.

Let us grasp the power!
The power of love!
Give it, receive it, fully enjoy it,
live it, love it, truly do it
be super grateful for it

Let us live the POWER OF LOVE :)