Monday, January 19, 2009

" Know thyself" - Hunting for my body - life without the physical

Often when I've gone to sleep and then wake up, there is a moment when I am conscious of myself, I know I'm still sleeping but I'm not sure WHERE I am. To put is more accurately: I'm not sure where I'll be when I wake up, I don't know where my body is.

in those few moments I wonder: WHERE will I wake up ?
- Will I wake up in a bus going somewhere ?
- In a plane ?
- Having a nap at lunchtime and need to get back to work NOW !
- At home in bed and its a Saturday morning - bliss ?
....and so on.

then suddenly I'm more awake and I emerge from where ever one's consciousness goes during sleep.
Voila !
I'm ....... in a bus going to the Thai border.
There's a momentary surprise then I'm fully into where I am and planning the rest of the trip.... .

But for those few moments I'm hunting my body, chasing around in whatever levels before I emerge.
I know I'll emerge.

These things happen more when I'm tired, and stressed and have a quick power nap during the day (love power naps).

19Jan09 Monday: brief nap, 10mins using Chi-plates.
In my dream I looked at something which came at, into my face.
I moved away in my dream but my physical body also moved, jerked back a little in sleep. This brought me back a little more to normal awake consciousnes, and giving me back more of my normal thoughts, thoughts that I could remember.

What I remembered wondering was: The dream world I had inhabited was real while I was asleep.
I wonder, is life without a body like that ? All soft and unlimited and yet also NOT soft and NOT UNlimited either ? It's not limited because of the 'real ME' (see earlier blog: 'the real me')

I sensed a different world, which was at 'right angles' to the normal world we live in.
In this different world there are no sharp edges. I that I mean: there is no lack of food or money, or time.... things that are limited and restricted are not limited and restricted there, and Vice Versa.

In this different world without a body, dream world, whatever you want to call it, there is a different need and different hunger for something else ... and that need and hunger comes from the core of me, of who I AM (
'the real me').
It is a need to achieve something within myself, by doing it 'out there in the objective world' - it is more of an inner urge.

In normal physical life these urges are more like
- the urge to go off and help the poor
- achieve something you just KNOW you want to do. You don't know how you know, but you know you always wanted to
  • be a healer, nurse, doctor
  • ballet dancer
  • author
  • musician
  • inventor of new XYZ...
  • have kids, be a mother, father....
These urges in normal life can also be much simpler: - "I got to get a new job, this is somehow not 'doing it' for me anymore" - I will do that hiking trip and explore the outdoors like I've always wanted to - I'll start writing (articles like this, which I've been mentally rehearsing and writing for decades)

I'm talking about deep inner urges, the whispering of the 'still small voice within' not the more obvious solid things such as fear, greed, ambition, need for control, etc....
That still small voice will not force me to listen to it, it will not wrestle with me and shout or scream. I can easily avoid it and drown it out and push it aside, it is after all 'still', 'small' and deep inside. But after a few years of quietly ignoring it two things might happen to me:

1) life gets more and more dull and monotone and has no flavour and no taste ... - or

2) I just HAVE to do a particular task, or it will drive me nuts. That feeling of having to do something is for me, similar to the feeling of having spent a whole day in a stuffy office and I just NEED to get out and breathe fresh air and feel REAL sunshine in my face again.
Only instead of fresh air and sunshine I need to - face things I've run from - or - deal with s*** I've put off - or - see that person.... - or - do that course - or - write that letter - or - appologize to Mary - or - ....whatever it is, it will feel good when I do it. Like dislocated joint put back in.

How does all this relate to waking up from a power nap ?

Well, the above stuff went through my mind (a notoriously short journey ha ha) in the process of waking. It seems to me that if I lived in that different world, where the most solid reality was the core of ME, then I might want to actually find a world where I can measure myself against, where I can work on myself with hard sharp edges. Where I can achieve things where I need to deal with limited time, limited resources, where I HAVE to decided my priorities and focus on them... where the deeply hidden things in ME come out.... in short: I might really want to be alive in the world and the job, and situation I am in right NOW! And there I was thinking I just wanted enough of everything, never lack for anything, no limits and no constraints.... - but the core of ME has a shape, and a limit, and a 'flavour' - what we call a 'character'.

It reminded me of a quote I once read:
"Art consists of limitation. The most beautiful part of every picture is the frame."
"Art, like morality, consists in drawing the line somewhere."

"Do not free a camel of the burden of his hump; you may be freeing him from being a camel."
all above quotes by G. K. Chesterton,
Actually DO want the limits, I need them, as a way of bracing myself against what I am, who I AM. It brings out what and who I AM. Physical life is made up of limits. There is a limit to its length of time, to how much I can work in one day, how much I can eat, and how long I can go without eating.... there is a limit to how much I can enjoy pleasure before getting sick of it. I can only be in one place at any one moment. I have a gender I can't change (well not easily), DNA I can't change, and I have a character that I AM (more or less).

When I choose ONE direction I choose against all others, - I can't have it ALL. That seems banal and obvious. But what hit me is that I actually WANT those limits, because when I imagine that world where there are not physical limits, and the only real limits are in ME, then physical limits serve as a good mirror, as a foil against which to 'know myself'.

Considering all these limitations, I'm incredibly lucky, I have a great job, even though I have remind myself of that occasionally. Living in a nice country is South-East Asia, working as an academic, teaching, writing, researching, I have a many things that most of the world only dreams of.... I should be deliriously happy. I'll make a special point of that from now on.. ! :-)

Yet it does not matter where we are, who we are, there are limits in every situation, different limits in different levels, but limits are what physical life is in its essence. Looking up to higher levels it seems there are no limits, but always there are constraints. Ask anyone who is really rich, are they free ? Sure they are free of one kind of worry/constraint but chained to other kinds :-P

White is the fullness of ALL colours, yet in any picture, the colours are what make it what it IS. The parts missing from the fullness of the white ARE the colours. Without those limits all would be white, upon white, on a white background, white foreground and there would be no shapes no picture.... (I won't carry this analogy any further).

Welcome to Earth.
Glad I'm here.

Tengra Ngiam

Friday, January 16, 2009

Mind over matter - will the real ‘Me’ please stand up ?

The idea brings to my mind a variety of popular images from my childhood or rather - from my geekhood!
One of them is the image of the crazy scientist:
Scientist stares at a ball with a crazy demented look, strange eerie sounds surround him and the balls lifts into the air by itself.

Another more domestic image is from popular culture:
“Another cup of tea, dear ?” From the other side of the table, I point at the teapot with my finger and the pot lifts up and floats through the air without anyone touching it. I curl my finger a little, the pot dips and pours and then I bring it back to where it came from. All by the power of my mind.

Mind over matter, pure will and volition causing objects to move, things to happen.
This is the stuff of science fiction and fantasy.

But when I think of it I’ve experienced similar things.

I remember the wonder of first playing with a computer: I would give a command and it did it. The power of it was thrilling, but even more I felt that there was an intelligence in the machine, it ‘knew’ what to do, and it could read the text commands in my program. Wow! (Guess this reveals me as a true Geek).

A similar thrill first grabbed me driving a car. I bought a car fairly late in life and was used to cycling or walking everywhere by my own efforts. Driving my first car, I felt the strange sensation of control and power. I would simply push the accelerator and this great heavy metal machine moved, it did all the hard work, it carried me UP the hills and did all the tough work for me. I just had to give the commands (push the accelerator) and off it went.

As a very young child I remember being fascinated with being alive. I simply had to think ‘walk’ and I would walk. I just had to think ‘lift hand’ and my hand would lift.
Actually it wasn’t even ‘thinking’, there was no need for words. If I wanted to get up and turn on the kettle I only had have the intent to do so, and then decide to move my body and to actually do it.
When I thought about this whole process a bit more I realized there was more to it.
Sure, there was the intent, but I still had to decide and then, having made the decision, I had to DO it. What had looked like simple intent, or simple action unraveled as three stages of the one process.
And behind all those three stages there must be someone, a person, someone I called ‘I’ who did all those things, who did the ‘intending, deciding, doing’.

That got me thinking about who was the real ‘I’ ? If I could talk about myself like an object, “I did this and I did that”, then that meant, the it was not the real ‘me’. Because the real ‘me’ must be the one doing the talking, doing the thinking, the one standing behind the whole process and looking at it.

As soon as I can step back and label that process, the real ‘me’ must be deeper in. An ever retreating ever deeper well ?

At this point I usually gave up. I’ve really not gotten much further in 49 years.

- science is observation AND experience. Experience, feeling and observation by all possible means of perception. Only then comes theory and abstraction. – However, at times, theory and abstraction clouds experience and observation - Hyco

I started out with mind over matter:
What is really surprising is that we live and use mind over matter every day, with every breath we take. Thoughts, feelings, ideas, and the world changes, our bodies move.

My legs move, my fingers type. All I need to do is ‘intend’ and decide, and act… and those things are all one fluid movement, I do it automatically and forget the wonder of it.

Every man made object was once just an idea, without physical form.

Mind over matter.

Every movement of my body - mind over matter.

The thoughts of mind, the words I type here, were once just a pre-verbal urge, an idea, without words, just a shape and a ‘something’.
Then I tried to capture it in words, to give it a shape and a form.
As I wrote this article I compared the wordless image of it with the words on the computer. Was it really what I wanted to say ?
Yes, some of it was, other bits were not. So I go back over it and try or a better fit. Cut a bit here, trim a few words there. Move this paragraph up there, yes, that’s more what I have in mind. But I won’t know what that is until I give it form, until I act. [note to self: elaborate on the pre-verbal form of language, see your language learning writings, a future article!]

And so it is with the purpose of my life, I act, I move, I compare my inner compass, the wordless, something where I KNOW deep within myself, with the things my life is writing on the world out there…. Hm…. A bit of a cut here, a bit of trim there…. That’s better, getting there now. Oooops that part was a bit too far from the blueprint….Better not do that again.

Mind over matter research research here.


Recently I’ve come to think of another step, going deeper into the question who is the real ‘me’ ?
I think it is beyond thought.
I has to be beyond thinking, because thinking simply gives ever deeper more nested loops, wheels within ever smaller wheels in a fractal like pattern [add reference to fractals here even show a picture or spiral-like fractal patterns].

But there IS something I cannot step back from, something I cannot escape from, or abstract myself from: It is ‘Feeling’. I mean core feelings, not shallow whims of the moment.
On the mind levels, I can always distance myself, always step back, ever deeper but I feel like I’m not going anywhere other than into an eternal loop.

But when I truly FEEL something I just feel it. In fact it feels like this IS ‘me’. I feel therefore I AM.
There are feelings INSIDE ME, which I cannot escape from, they stay there no matter what I do. I might mentally decide to ignore them, but they remain. I can run from them, using drugs, alcohol, and a hundred other distractions, but deep inside myself I KNOW I’m running, and I know what I feel.
I might be afraid to face what is there inside me, to face those feelings.
But the feeling remains.
I cannot erase it with a thought alone.

Yes I can change the feeling, but I cannot change it without facing it, fully and squarely and most importantly I cannot change those feelings without FEELING them. Once I feel them, once I become who they are, who in fact I truly am, then they change, in THEIR own way, in their own time.

Let me give an example: @@@ add example from own life here.


There are examples in history, of people who felt they simply had to do and be what they did. It didn’t always work out the best way for them, some of them died, others suffered greatly, but they still had to do it.
Not doing it was would have been worse for them.
Romeo and Juliet, St Joan of Arc, …@@@ add more examples here.
There is no simple pattern



I’m starting to think that maybe, just maybe, many of our modern illnesses come from the conflict between the real core feelings of who we are, what we want to be and do, and what we make OURSELVES do [add reference: Dr Sarno and Co. on mind body illnesses, how he has treated them, how people came to him].

There is a temptation to blame the outside world, society, parents, life, god, whatever… for not letting us be who we are.
But we are dealing here with intelligence, deep core intelligent feelings. That deepest, most honourable part of me knows what I am able to do, and he will see whether I’m really trying.
In my core I KNOW the truth.
No if’s, no but’s I KNOW.
What is more, really trying and doing my best, in the most honourable way is all that deepest part of me asks. The deepest part of me is not some impersonal demented tyrant, it is the most human part of me.
He/she will not be fooled by stupid or weak excuses, nor will she be harsh when in all faith I have done my best.
In the end the Universe is personal, loving.
In the end we only see and experience what we allow ourselves, what we believe.

I still remember the surprise I got one day, when I found out that I could not simply decide, erase and re-draw my life to be whatever I wanted in my mind. The surprise was that no matter what I told myself or what reason told me, there were certain things I REALLY wanted, they were part of ME.
I could not chop them out and erase them like code from a computer program. They were hardwired into ME, they were part of ME. Oh sure, I had pushed the aside, and buried them, and kept them out of directly conscious awareness and all the usual tricks of denial – but in the end, I had to admit: this is what I wanted. All my rational arguments fell way like leaves in the wind. I knew what I wanted, this was ME.
Please understand I’m not talking about things that were totally beyond my control (such as being a ballet dancer, or a world heavy weight boxer/ruby player or whatever), I’m talking about things within my life which I could decide and DO. Things such as: having a family, having a girlfriend at all (as much as that is ever within any man’s control ha ha ha :-P ), being in a relationship, accepting responsibility for my talents and gifts in life etc….

In fact I had run into something really solid: I had run smack bang into my purpose for being born, for being in a physical body. This surprised me, I had assumed my real deeper ME, was just a nebulous something, I could mold at will. I don't know why is surprised me, after all, my physical body is tall and skinny and suited to academic, artistic pursuits. My physical body has a certain shape character style and is suited for some things and not others. So it makes sense that the core of me, the invisible non-physical part also has a shape and character and is suited to some things more than others. Hm... kind of obvious once I see, but not at the time it wasn't.

I know that there are a million beliefs about life and death and the purpose of life, so here I’ll just add my little bit and make it a million and one.
Actually it’s very simple: at the very deepest level of who the real ‘me’ is, there is the purpose and the things I came here to do. I have a choice, more or less. Nothing is simplistically and stupidly simple, but things are ‘right’ and fair deep down.

I see it a bit like the example of getting up to make a cup of tea. The basic idea is to make a cup of tea. HOW I make it, when I make it, with what ingredients, what type of pot, - all those things are up to me, and outside the basic idea of “make a cuppa tea love!” (pardon the Australian slang). I might even change my mind, or friends might drop in and I make three cups of tea. Whatever.

Similarly, I have the basic purpose of my life. How and when and what I do about it, is like the cup of tea, very much up to me.

I’ve wasted a lot of time, wasted it working for things I didn’t really want, or other people told me had to want and get. I’ve wasted a lot of time running away from myself and not wanting to know, because it was all ‘too hard’. And I’ve wasted a lot of energy on regretting decisions I made, and then found out that was even more of a total waste of time and energy.
And I’ve actually done a little bit of what I came here for.
Writing this article is one of those things… 

Tengra Ngiam.

PS: “Omnia Mutantur, nihil interit” – everything changes, nothing is wasted.

Research site here.

PPS: later thoughts: 19Jan09 Monday Melbourne: the idea that the deep core of ME has a shape comes to me in other ways as well:

I had learned fairly early in life that I could argue whatever side I wanted and that to any choice there were as many arguments one way as the other way, - thus reason and logic didn't provide the answers, something much deeper had to [refer to the Sophists of ancient Greece as a good example].

Something much deeper made me listen to and accept one side against another, and that 'something' was deeper than reason and logic. These deeper things were such things as: fear, courage, desire, dislike, honour, guilt, anger, spite, love, joy....and in the final analysis: it was the core of WHO I AM. Simple.

We don't argue whether Vanilla is better than strawberry flavour, it's a matter of taste ! Well I found that much of life in it's final analysis was a matter of taste. Why this job, this field of study, this country to immigrate to ? Because of what I like and what I like and want are in a strange way connected to who I AM, and the shape and nature of ME.

For example, I've argued all my life that being single was a really a 'better' way, and that NOT having kids was what I really wanted. But deep inside it wasn't really true. There has always been a deep desire to share my life with another. I've always known that too. But I also know that anything can be underpinned with reasons, and logic and arguments, and seem "justified".

But in the end, it was a simply a matter of taste, Vanilla or Strawberry. Take your pick.

This is not to say it does NOT matter, it is simply to say: it matters, but the reasons are not reasonable reasons, they are in the end CORE reasons.

Disclaimer: To understand the above, you will need to use your sympathetic intuition, because if you are not sympathetic nor using your intuition, then none of this will really make any sense. In other words if your deeper intent is to nitpick, you'll always find a good reason to do so.

I'm here talking about subtle matters, questions of whether to get a job to feed yourself and your family are a different order or magnitude.

- commonsense, that's all.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Knights of Heart


Knights of the heart.

A long time ago, in a city full of people, there lived a boy who could feel the thoughts of others.
He knew what they were thinking in their heart.
The words people said to him meant little to him.
“Hello young man, how are you today, so nice to see you”, the shopkeeper smiled at him.
“You mean: ‘I hope this little bastard buys something today and doesn’t just look and touch everything’ ”, the boy replied.
He looked at the man, “Don’t you?”.

And the boy found that people did not like to know the truth.
They did not like it when he told them what he saw.
They wanted him to believe what they said, even if they did not believe it themselves.
As he grew up the boy found that the world was a game of make believe.
Everyone thought they were fooling everyone else.
“You are but fooling yourselves”, he told them.
“How dare you insult us and think such things ?”

And thus the boy learnt that he could not believe the words of his fellow humans.
He realized that they hid the truth even from themselves.
The people wanted to believe their own words rather than feel the true thoughts of their hearts.
And believing their own words they acted on them.
And acting on them they wondered why they became unhappy.
Their lives became difficult and confusing.
So they asked their clever men to help them. The clever men brewed up strange concoctions that made people forget who they were and what they wanted and allowed them to feel happy for a time.
The clever men said they only did this to make people happy.
But hiding the truth from themselves they found only pain.
So the people asked to be free of pain.
And the clever men brewed and built special foods that made the people forget their pain – but they also forgot their reason for living.
And forgetting their reasons for living they fought amongst themselves. They killed each other and the plants of the Earth.

And so it was that in those days, the truth of men’s hearts became more and more precious and only a few warriors of the heart had the courage to look into its face.
And of those few, only those brave enough to enter the flames of truth found the sweetness of truth returned unto them.


Living in the city, the boy felt great pain. He felt alone even in the city of millions.
One evening at sunset, the boy quietly left the city of men and went to live in a cave by the sea.

Sometimes visitors would come to visit the boy in his cave.
“You are very lucky to live here”, they would tell him.
The boy only shook his head.
“I live her because I cannot live in the city of millions of men”, he said. “to be honest I am also running away,” and he looked sad.

Once a rich man came to visit him.
“What is truth ?”, his visitor asked him.
“Truth is like money: you may borrow some and use it. But you must pay back with more of what you took.”
“I must pay back”
The boy nodded.
“What if I do not? “
“ The light of truth should increase”, the boy replied.
“What if I do not? “
“Why is this so ?”
“I do not know. It is.”
“I do not believe you”.
The boy walked away.

One year later the rich man came back to see him.
“Why are you here?”, the boy asked him.
“Ah... yes. The compass to truth beeth pain”, the boy sighed and he asked the rich man to sit down and share a cup of hot tea with him.
They did not speak again that day, but only drank tea.

The next day the rich man said:
“I have asked the clever men in my employ to find more truth, and they did. But I have only earned more pain in my heart. - Why ?”.
The boy saw that the man’s question came from his heart.
“You have borrowed from truth again and again. But to multiply truth is not the same as paying it back”, the boy smiled because he knew the rich man understood this language well.
“You have not yet paid back and you have not even paid interest”.
“How do I pay back truth ?”, the rich man asked.
“If I borrow the fire from a candle, how do I pay back its light ?”
“By lighting other candles”, his visitor said.
The boy smiled and sipped his tea.

“I will go and tell this truth to my fellow men. I will start a great movement of truth”
The boy shook his head.
“No, the truth of the heart cannot be given or forced onto another, it must be chosen freely by each man. The battles beeth in thine own heart. Many will offer thee ‘shortcuts’ to bypass this battle. In truth they beeth only shortcuts to greater pain.” The boy shook his head.
He felt tired and sad.
“Each man is called freely to be a warrior of the heart, though few are chosen”, he smiled at his visitor.
“Someone said this a long time ago”.
“Indeed”, he boy bowed in acknowledgement.

One more year passed and the rich man returned again to visit the boy by the sea.
“Thank thee for thine words”, he said, “I have found peace in mine heart”.
“Tell me”, the boy poured a cup of hot tea for his visitor.
“I have found the secret in lighting other candles”, the rich man said, and he told his true story that day, leaving nothing out.
In the evening the boy said:
“Thou hast truly become a Knight of the Order of the Heart. Arise Sir Knight”.

Thus was born the “Order of the Knights of the Heart”.

The rich man returned to the city and after one year he again came to see the boy by the sea.
“You have taught me well”, the rich man said to the boy.
“Thine heart hast taught thee”
“The secret I found and the peace I had has gone”, the rich man said.
“The truth of thine heart beeth not one thing. Like skins of an onion, it has many layers.” The boy replied.
“Thine visits have taught me much”, the boy said, “I thank thee for thine teaching.”
The boy took off his coat threw it in the fire and said: “I too, have run from the truth of mine heart. It is time for me to return”.

Then the rich man remained in the cave by the sea and the boy returned to the city of millions of men.
The boy became a man, took a different name and wrought great changes in the world.
But of this many many books are already written by others.
This beeth the chronicle of his beginnings.


29- 30Jun08 Princes Hill, Australia
Heiko Rudolph