Happy birthday to the man who broke my heart.

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This is for you my twin flame.
I didn’t know whether to wish you or not on your birthday but I still did, just like how my heart doesn’t know whether to love you or not.

I’ve been sitting for days, it feels like-weeks, or years even. Each night I can feel myself whisper, It’s time to move.
Tonight, I could hear her, loud and clear; despite the heavy of my body and the weight of lungs, full of grief and exhaustion- I knew she was right: Now was the time to move.

I thought that great love, real love, true love, was the kind that would sustain and hold us through every storm that would pass; I thought that what it meant to be in love was to hold on for dear life and to never let go, no matter how violent the waves.
But what I am learning is that even in the goodbye, we can love like the ocean.

To quote my favorite writer:
“Goodbyes, though full of sad nights re-learning how to fall asleep without thinking about you and the random explosion of tears, are when our love shines through in its purest form.”

I will remember the weight of you sinking into bed beside me, late at night or early in the morning and how you roll me over on the bed so you can get your favorite side of the bed. I will remember each moment, for they are imprinted in my heart, that beating, broken, bloody thing in my chest.

We came to each other’s lives so we can slap each other awake, so we awaken and open what’s been closed inside each both of us.
In my case, you opened my heart. You teach me how to love when I thought I’m not able to feel. I don’t know what impact I got on you, but I hope there are some.
Now that we have accomplished our mission, we have to depart and discover our own path.
I let you go.I let you be.

It is difficult to believe that I won’t ever again be present in your life but sometimes love means letting go.
I am setting you free. I don’t want you to feel sorry for me. I only tell you this because it’s made me who I am – the woman who will do her best to let you go, and for you I will try.
I will press on,walking through these days when the lights burns low (though it burns nevertheless), hoping to unveil the love I long to have, though I know I can give nothing before I hold some for myself. And so I will continue. So I will try. Maybe then you will see me, glowing with a depth all my own, reaching out in away that only you could ever hear. Or maybe you already hear me. Maybe you already know just how I need to be touched, how I long to be loved, and how I falter in its acceptance. And maybe you know the same fight, ever-nearing that sweet surrender to the only thing you fear and crave all at once.
For that reason, perhaps you are waiting and-or hoping, just as I am, that one day, we will both be ready.

So is it ego or feelings that keep me holding onto you. Wanting to hear you to tell me just one more time how much you love me. Do I miss you or do I miss the way you manage to always say the right things?
Its both. My feelings are real. They have to be. And as I have this struggle on paper it makes me realize why you let me go in the first place. My never ending back and forth about who I am, what I want and my feelings for you aren’t fair to you.
I crave for you. I crave the feelings that were once so raw and so real to me. They seem like such a distant memory that they almost don’t feel real anymore.
You and I don’t exist anymore. We never will again. So for now I will just miss you. Because that’s just where I am. And that’s OK.

To your 35th birthday, all I can give to you is forgiveness.
I am fine and you don’t have to worry anymore. If by any chance I contact you (through Whats-App,drunken text message or drunken voice note), just ignore it. Don’t reply and don’t response. It just my process to get better. I will be fine. Time will heal me.

Now, we will be stranger once more.
Live your life and never look back. Stop hurting yourself and the most important thing, forgive yourself. You deserve it and I hope one day you will find what you’ve been always looking for.

Happy birthday.

R.

Categories: love & misadventure | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Chapter one – Admitted.

Hello old soul,
I’m lucky that I met you. You bring out the best of me. You give me courage to face my demon. You are the voice that give me hope when I felt that everything falling apart around me. You are there to support when I needed it the most.

I know you are not doing much, that I’m the one who did most of the job. But I still want to thanking you. Thank you that you are real and not just my imagination. Thank you that you are always there to listening to all my crazy thought. Thank you for keep up with my hard headed logic. Thank you that you are exist and that universe make its way to let me meet you.

So here I am.

I’m here, standing still. I’m letting go one of my angel. His role is done and I know I have to let him go, for both of our sake.

I’m here, standing still. Trying to figure out the uncertainty thing of life. Try to make logic of all the things.

I’m here, standing still. Trying to see the best of people and that people deserve to be trusted.

I’m here, standing still. Trying to figure what next step i need to take.

I’m here, standing still. Trying to see things clearly without affected by any circumstances.

I’m here, standing still. Trying to remember what is it like to feel love without being scared of getting hurt.

I’m here, standing still. Trying to embrace all the feeling.

I’m here.
I’m here.
I’m here and I want you to know that I’m ready to meet you again.

Categories: self contemplation | Leave a comment

Conversation with God

by The Ragged Trousered Philosopher

http://www.fullmoon.nu

I met god the other day.

I know what you’re thinking. How the hell did you know it was god?

Well, I’ll explain as we go along, but basically he convinced me by having all, and I do mean ALL, the answers. Every question I flung at him he batted back with a plausible and satisfactory answer. In the end, it was easier to accept that he was god than otherwise.

Which is odd, because I’m still an atheist and we even agree on that!

It all started on the 8.20 back from Paddington. Got myself a nice window seat, no screaming brats or drunken hooligans within earshot. Not even a mobile phone in sight. Sat down, reading the paper and in he walks.

What did he look like?

Well not what you might have expected that’s for sure. He was about 30, wearing a pair of jeans and a “hobgoblin” tee shirt. Definitely casual. Looked like he could have been a social worker or perhaps a programmer like myself.

‘Anyone sitting here?’ he said.

‘Help yourself’ I replied.

Sits down, relaxes, I ignore and back to the correspondence on genetic foods entering the food chain…

Train pulls out and a few minutes later he speaks.

‘Can I ask you a question?’

Fighting to restrain my left eyebrow I replied ‘Yes’ in a tone which was intended to convey that I might not mind one question, and possibly a supplementary, but I really wasn’t in the mood for a conversation. ..

‘Why don’t you believe in god?’

The Bastard!

I love this kind of conversation and can rabbit on for hours about the nonsense of theist beliefs. But I have to be in the mood! It’s like when a Jehova’s witness knocks on your door 20 minutes before you’re due to have a wisdom tooth pulled. Much as you’d really love to stay… You can’t even begin the fun. And I knew, if I gave my standard reply we’d still be arguing when we got to Cardiff. I just wasn’t in the mood. I needed to fend him off.

But then I thought ‘Odd! How is this perfect stranger so obviously confident – and correct – about my atheism?’ If I’d been driving my car, it wouldn’t have been such a mystery. I’ve got the Darwin fish on the back of mine – the antidote to that twee christian fish you see all over. So anyone spotting that and understanding it would have been in a position to guess my beliefs. But I was on a train and not even wearing my Darwin “Evolve” tshirt that day. And ‘The Independent’ isn’t a registered flag for card carrying atheists, so what, I wondered, had given the game away.

‘What makes you so certain that I don’t?’

‘Because’, he said, ‘ I am god – and you are not afraid of me’

You’ll have to take my word for it of course, but there are ways you can deliver a line like that – most of which would render the speaker a candidate for an institution, or at least prozac. Some of which could be construed as mildly entertaining.

Conveying it as “indifferent fact” is a difficult task but that’s exactly how it came across. Nothing in his tone or attitude struck me as even mildly out of place with that statement. He said it because he believed it and his rationality did not appear to be drug induced or the result of a mental breakdown.

‘And why should I believe that?’

‘Well’ he said, ‘why don’t you ask me a few questions. Anything you like, and see if the answers satisfy your sceptical mind?’

This is going to be a short conversation after all, I thought.

‘Who am I?’

‘Stottle. Harry Stottle, born August 10 1947, Bristol, England. Father Paul, Mother Mary. Educated Duke of Yorks Royal Military School 1960 67, Sandhurst and Oxford, PhD in Exobiology, failed rock singer, full time trade union activist for 10 years, latterly self employed computer programmer, web author and aspiring philosopher. Married to Michelle, American citizen, two children by a previous marriage. You’re returning home after what seems to have been a successful meeting with an investor interested in your proposed product tracking anti-forgery software and protocol and you ate a full english breakfast at the hotel this morning except that, as usual, you asked them to hold the revolting english sausages and give you some extra bacon. ‘

He paused

‘You’re not convinced. Hmmm… what would it take to convince you? May I have your permission for a telepathic link?’

‘Do you need my permission?’

‘Technically, no. Ethically, yes’

Might as well play along I thought. ‘OK – you have my permission. So convince me’

‘oh right! Your most secret password and its association’

A serious hacker might be able to obtain the password, but no one else and I mean

NO ONE

knows its association.

He did.

So how would you have played it?

I threw a few more questions about relatively insignificant but unpublicised details of my life (like what my mother claims was the first word I ever spoke – apparently “armadillo”! (Don’t ask…)) but I was already pretty convinced. I knew there were only three possible explanations at this point.

Possibility One was that I was dreaming, hallucinating or hypnotised. Nobody’s figured out a test for that so, at the time I think that was my dominant feeling. It did not feel real at the time. More like I was in a play. Acting my lines. Since the event, however, continuing detailed memories of it, together with my contemporaneous notes, remain available, so unless the hallucination has continued to this day, I am now inclined to reject the hallucination hypothesis. Which leaves two others.

He could have been a true telepath. No documented evidence exists of anyone ever having such profound abilities to date but it was a possibility. It would have explained how he could know my best-kept secrets. The problem with that is that it doesn’t explain anything else! In particular it doesn’t account for the answers he proceeded to give to my later questions.

As Sherlock Holmes says, when you’ve eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

Good empiricist, Sherlock.

I was forced to accept at least the possibility that this man was who he claimed to be.

So now what do you do?

Well, I’ve always known that if I met god I would have a million questions for him, so I thought, ‘why not?’ and proceeded with what follows. You’ll have to allow a bit of licence in the detail of the conversation. This was, shall we say, a somewhat unusual occurrence, not to mention just a BIT weird! And yes I was aleetle bit nervous! So if I don’t get it word perfect don’t whinge! You’ll get the gist I promise.

***********************************‘Forgive me if it takes me a little time to get up to speed here, but it’s not everyday I get to question a deity’

‘The Deity’ he interrupted.

‘ooh. Touchy!’ I thought.

‘Not really – just correcting the image’

Now That takes some getting used to!

I tried to get a grip on my thoughts, with an internal command – ‘Discipline Harry. You’ve always wanted to be in a situation like this, now you’re actually in it, you mustn’t go to pieces and waste the opportunity of a lifetime’

‘You won’t’ he said.

Tell you! That’s the bit that made it feel unreal more than anything else – this guy sitting across the table and very obviously accurately reading my every thought. It’s like finding someone else’s hand inside your trouser pocket!

Nevertheless, something (other than simply having given my “permission”) made me inclined to accept the invasion, I had obviously begun to have some confidence in his perception or abilities, so I distinctly remember the effect of his words was that I suddenly felt deeply reassured and completely relaxed. As he had no doubt intended. Man must have an amazing seduction technique!

So then we got down to business…

‘Are you human?’

‘No’

‘Were you, ever?’

‘No, but similar, Yes’

‘Ah, so you are a produc.t of evolution?’

‘Most certainly – mainly my own’

‘and you evolved from a species like ours, dna based organisms or something equally viable?’

‘Correct’

‘so what, exactly, makes you god?’

‘I did’

‘Why?’

‘Seemed like a good idea at the time’

‘and your present powers, are they in any way similar to what the superstitious believers in my species attribute to you?’

‘Close enough. ’

‘So you created all this, just for us?’

‘No. Of course not’

‘But you did create the Universe?’

‘This One. Yes’

‘But not your own?’

‘This is my own!’

‘You know what I mean!’

‘You can’t create your own parents, so No’

‘So let me get this straight. You are an entirely natural phenomenon.’

‘Entirely’

‘Arising from mechanisms which we ourselves will one day understand and possibly even master?’

‘subject to a quibble over who “we ourselves” may be, but yes’

‘meaning that if the human race doesn’t come up to the mark, other species eventually will?’

‘in one.’

‘and how many other species are there already out there ahead of us?’

‘surprisingly few. Less than fourteen million’

‘FEW!?’

‘Phew!’

‘And how many at or about our level?’

‘currently a little over 4 ½ billion’

‘so our significance in the universe at present is roughly equivalent to the significance of the average Joe here on planet Earth in his relation to the human race?’

‘a little less. Level One, the level your species has reached, begins with the invention of the flying machine. The next level is achieved when a species is no longer dominated by or dependent upon it’s own primary – your Sun. They are able to prosper away from their own, or indeed any other, stellar system. Humanity is only just into the flying machine phase, so as you can imagine, on that scale, the human race is somewhat near the bottom of the level one pack’

‘Do you mean we will one day control our own Sun like Kardashev and Asimov talk about?’

‘quite the opposite. Those are the visions of an evolving mechanical species who imagine that bigger machines are better and stronger and that we will always need more and more energy to achieve mastery of the universe. The truth is the exact opposite. The more advanced we become, the less energy we require and the less impact we make on our environment. You manipulate matter, which requires enormous amounts of energy. We manipulate energy, which requires none. As a consequence, you would not, for example, even recognise a level two species as a lifeform unless it chose to let you ‘

‘ all these evolving species; they are your “children”?’

‘I like to think of them that way’

‘and the point?’

‘at its simplest, “Life Must Go On”. My personal motivation is the desire to optimise the intelligence of the Universe. In your own terms, I strive to maximise pleasure and minimise pain. A great deal of pleasure, however, arises from communications between separate entities. Once you’ve achieved my level, we tend to cease to be billions of separate entities and become one ecstatic whole. A single entity that cannot die unless it loses the will to live. Advanced and self contained though I am, or perhaps, more accurately, because I am so advanced and self contained, one of the pleasures we lose along the way is that simple joy of meeting new and unpredictable minds and either learning from or teaching them. Thus, in large part, the point of the exercise is to provide company. I am the first eternal in this Universe. I do not intend to be the last’

‘so you created a Universe which is potentially capable of producing another god like yourself?’

‘The full benefit will be temporary, but like most orgasms, worth it.’

‘this being the moment when our new god merges with you and we become one again?’

‘don’t play it down, that’s the ecstatic vision driving us all, me included – and when it happens the ecstasy lasts several times longer than this universe has already existed. Believe me, it really is worth the effort.’

‘Yes, I think I can see the attractions of a hundred billion year long orgasm’

‘and humans haven’t even begun to know how to really enjoy the orgasms they are already capable of. Wait till you master that simple art!’

‘So it’s all about sex is it?’

‘Sexual ecstasy is merely a reward for procreating, it is what makes you want to do it. This is necessary, initially, to promote biological evolution. However once you’ve completed that stage and no longer require procreation, you will learn that ecstasy can be infinitely more intense than anything offered by sex’

‘Sounds good to me!’

‘How direct is your involvement in all this? Did you just light the fuse which set off the big bang and stand back and watch? Or did you have to plant the seeds on appropriately fertile planets?’

‘The first significant level of the intelligent self organisation of matter is the arrival of the organic chemistry which forms the precursor for biology and the first primitive life forms. That chemistry evolved, mostly, in deep space, once the stars had created enough of the heavier elements, and purely as a result of the operations of the laws of physics and chemistry which your scientists have already largely understood. All I did was to set the initial conditions which triggered the bang and essentially became dormant for nearly 5 billion years. That’s how long it took the first lifeforms to emerge. That places them some 8 billion years ahead of you. The first intelligent species are now 4.3 billion years ahead of you. Really quite advanced. I can have deeply meaningful conversations with them. And usually do. In fact I am as we speak’

‘So then what?’

‘Do I keep a constant vigil over every move you make? Not in the kind of prying intrusive sense that some of you seem to think. Let’s say I maintain an awareness of what’s going on, at a planetary level. I tend only to focus on evolutionary leaps. See if they’re going in the right direction’

‘And if they’re not?’

‘Nothing. Usually’

‘Usually?’

‘Usually species evolving in the wrong direction kill themselves off or become extinct for other reasons’

‘Usually?’

‘There have been one or two cases where a wrong species has had the potential of becoming dominant at the expense of a more promising strain’

‘Let me guess. Dinosaurs on this planet are an example. Too successful. Suppressed the development of mammals and were showing no signs of developing intelligence. So you engineered a little corrective action in the form of a suitably selected asteroid’

‘Perceptive. Almost correct. They were showing signs of developing intelligence, even co-operation. Study your Troodons. But far too predatory. Incapable of ever developing a “respect” for other life forms. It takes carrying your young to promote the development of emotional attachment to other animals. Earth reptiles aren’t built for that. The mammals who are, as you rightly say, couldn’t get a foothold against such mighty predators. You’ve now reached the stage where you could hold your own even against dinosaurs, but that’s only been true for about a thousand years, your predecessors didn’t stand a chance 65 million years ago, so the dinosaurs had to go. They were, however, far too ubiquitous and well balanced with the ecology of the planet, and never developed technology, so they weren’t going to kill themselves off in a hurry. Regrettably, I had to intervene.’

‘Regrettably?’

‘They were a beautiful and stunningly successful life form. One doesn’t destroy such things without a qualm.’

‘But at that stage how could you know that a better prospect would arise from the ashes?’

‘I didn’t. But the probability was quite high.’

‘and since then, what other little tweaks have you been responsible for in our development?’

‘None whatsoever. I set an alarm for the first sign of artificial aerial activity, as I usually do. Leonardo looked promising for a while, but not until the Montgolfier brothers did I really begin to take an interest. That registered you as a level one intelligent species’

‘If the sign is “aerial activity”, how do you identify technological bird species?’

“Same way. Intelligent flyers rarely become technologists though. They tend to evolve into adaptors rather than manipulators but the few exceptions develop flying machines rather more quickly than species like your own because they have a natural understanding of aerodynamics.”

‘but why would a bird need a flying machine?’

‘that’s like asking why would your species need cars and other forms of mechanical transport. The technology lets you carry heavier loads, faster and for greater distances than just relying on your own physical abilities.’

‘OK, so what about our more famous “prophets”; Jesus of Nazareth, Moses, Mohammed…’

‘hmmm… sadly misguided I’m afraid. I am not here to act as a safety net or ethical dictator for evolving species. It is true that anyone capable of communicating with their own cells will dimly perceive a connection to me – and all other objects in this universe – through the quantum foam, but interpreting that vision as representing something supernatural and requiring obeisance is somewhat wide of the mark. And their followers are all a bit too obsessive and religious for my liking. It’s no fun being worshipped once you stop being an adolescent teenager. Having said that, it’s not at all unusual for developing species to go through that phase. Until they begin to grasp how much they too can shape their small corner of the universe, they are in understandable awe of an individual dimly but correctly perceived to be responsible for the creation of the whole of that universe. Eventually, if they are to have any hope of attaining level two, they must grow out of it and begin to accept their own power and potential. It’s very akin to a child’s relationship with its parents. The awe and worship must disappear before the child can become an adult. Respect is not so bad as long as it’s not overdone. And I certainly respect all those species who make it that far. It’s a hard slog. I know. I’ve been there.’

‘So, you’ve been taking more interest in us since the Montgolfiers, when was that? 1650s?’

‘Close. 1783’

‘Well, if you’ve been watching us closely since then, what your average citizen is going to want to know is why you haven’t intervened more often. Why, if you have the power and omniscience that goes with being a god, have you sat back and allowed us to endure such incredible suffering and human misery in the past few centuries?’

‘It seems to be necessary.’

‘NECESSARY??!!’

‘Without exception, intelligent species who gain dominance over their planet do so by becoming the most efficient predators. There are many intelligent species who do not evolve to dominate their planet. Like your dolphins and most of the intelligent flyers we were just talking about, they adapt perfectly to the environment rather than take your course, which is to manipulate the environment. Unfortunately for the dolphin, theirs is a dead end. They may outlive the human race but will never escape the bounds of planet earth, let alone your solar system – not without your help at any rate. Only those who can manipulate the world they live in can one day hope to leave it and spread their seed throughout the universe.

Unlike the adaptors, who learn the point of cooperation fairly early on, manipulators battle on. And, once all lesser species have been overcome, they are so competitive and predatory that they are compelled to turn in on themselves. This nearly always evolves into tribal competition in one form or another and becomes more and more destructive – exactly like your own history. However this competition is vital to promote the leap from biological to technological evolution.

You need an arms race in order to make progress.

Your desire to dominate fuels a search for knowledge which the adaptors never acquire. And although your initial desire for knowledge is selfish and destructive, it begins the development of an intellectual self awareness, a form of higher consciousness, which never emerges in any other species. Not even while they are experiencing it, for example, can the intelligent adaptors – your dolphins – express the concepts of Love or Time.

Militarisation and the development of weapons of mass destruction are your first serious test at level one. You’re still not through that phase, though the signs are promising. There is no point whatsoever in my intervening to prevent your self-destruction. Your ability to survive these urges is a crucial test of your fitness to survive later stages. So I would not, never have and never will intervene to prevent a species from destroying itself. Most, in fact, do just that.’

‘And what of pity for those have to live through this torment?’

‘I can’t say this in any way that doesn’t sound callous, but how much time do you spend worrying about the ants you run over in your car? I know it sounds horrendous to you, but you have to see the bigger picture. At this stage in human development, you’re becoming interesting but not yet important.’

‘ah but I can’t have an intelligent conversation with an ant’

‘precisely’

‘hmm… as you know, most humans won’t like even to attempt to grasp that perspective. How can you make it more palatable?’

‘Why should I? You don’t appear to have any trouble grasping it. You’re by no means unique. And in any case, once they begin to understand what’s in it for them, they’ll be somewhat less inclined to moan. Eternal life compensates for most things.’

‘So what are we supposed to do in order to qualify for membership of the universal intelligentsia?’

‘Evolve. Survive’

‘Yes, but how?’

‘Oh, I thought you might have got the point by now. “How” is entirely up to you. If I have to help, then you’re a failure. All I will say is this. You’ve already passed a major hurdle in learning to live with nuclear weapons. It’s depressing how many fail at that stage.’

‘Is there worse to come?’

‘Much’

‘Genetic warfare for instance?

‘Distinct Possibility’

‘and the problem is… that we need to develop all these technologies, acquire all this dangerous knowledge in order to reach level two. But at any stage that knowledge could also cause our own destruction’

‘If you think the dangers of genetic warfare are serious, imagine discovering an algorithm, accessible to any intelligent individual, which, if abused, will eliminate your species instantly. If your progress continues as is, then you can expect to discover that particular self-destruct mechanism in less than a thousand years. Your species needs to grow up considerably before you can afford to make that discovery. And if you don’t make it, you will never leave your Solar System and join the rest of the sapient species on level two.’

’14 Million of them’

‘Just under’

‘Will there be room for us?’

‘it’s a big place and level two species don’t need much space’

‘and, for now, how should we mere mortals regard you then?’

‘like an older brother or sister. Of course I have acquired more knowledge and wisdom than you have. Of course I’m more powerful than you are. I’ve been evolving much longer and have picked up a few tricks along the way. But I’m not “better” than you. Just more developed. Just what you might become’

‘so we’re not obliged to “please” you or follow your alleged guidelines or anything like that?’

‘absolutely not. Never issued a single guideline in the lifetime of this Universe. Have to find your own way out of the maze. And one early improvement is to stop expecting me – or anyone else – to come and help you out.’

‘I suppose that is a guideline of sorts, so there goes the habit of a lifetime! ‘

‘Seriously though, species who hold on to religion past its sell-by date tend to be most likely to self destruct. They spend so much energy arguing about my true nature, and invest so much emotion in their wildly erroneous imagery that they end up killing each other over differences in definitions of something they clearly haven’t got a clue about. Ludicrous behaviour, but it does weed out the weaklings.’

‘Why me? Why pick on an atheist of all people? Why are you telling me all this? And why Now?’

‘Why You? Because you can accept my existence without your ego caving in and grovelling like a naughty child. ‘

‘Can you seriously imagine how the Pope would react to the reality of my existence?! If he really understood how badly wrong he and his church have been, how much of the pain and suffering you mentioned earlier has been caused by his religion, I suspect he’d have an instant coronary! Or can you picture what it would be like if I appeared “live” simultaneously on half a dozen tele-evangelist propaganda shows. Pat Robertson wouldwet himself if he actually understood who he was talking to.

Conversely, your interest is purely academic. You’ve never swallowed the fairy tale but you’ve remained open to the possibility of a more advanced life form which could acquire godlike powers. You’ve correctly guessed that godhood is the destiny of life. You have shown you can and do cope with the concept. It seemed reasonable to confirm your suspicions and let you do what you will with that information.

I can see you’re already thinking about publishing this conversation on the web where it could sow an important seed. Might take a couple of hundred years to germinate, but, eventually, it will germinate.

Why now? Well partly because both you and the web are ready now. But chiefly because the human race is reaching a critical phase. It goes back to what we were saying about the dangers of knowledge. Essentially your species is becoming aware of that danger. When that happens to any sapient species, the future can take three courses.

Many are tempted to avoid the danger by avoiding the knowledge. Like the adaptors, they are doomed to extinction. Often pleasantly enough in the confines of their own planet until either their will to live expires or their primary turns red giant and snuffs them out.

A large number go on blindly acquiring the knowledge and don’t learn to restrain their abuse. Their fate is sealed somewhat more quickly of course, when Pandora’s box blows up in their faces.

The only ones who reach level two are those who learn to accept and to live with their most dangerous knowledge. Each and every individual in such a species must eventually become capable of destroying their entire species at any time. Yet they must learn to control themselves to the degree that they can survive even such deadly insight. And frankly, they’re the only ones we really want to see leaving their solar systems. Species that haven’t achieved that maturity could not be allowed to infect the rest of the universe, but fortunately that has never required my intervention. The knowledge always does the trick’

‘Why can’t there be a fourth option – selective research where we avoid investigating dangerous pathways?’

‘There is almost no knowledge which is completely “safe”. As you can see from your own limited history, the most useful ideas are also, nearly always, the most dangerous. You have yet, for instance, to achieve the appropriate energy surpluses required to complete this phase of your social development. When you’ve mastered the relevant technology, it will eliminate material inequalities and poverty within a generation or two, an absolutely vital step for any maturing species. Your potential paths to this bonanza include the control of nuclear fusion – which you only began to explore in the context of potential mass extinction weapons and nano engineered solar energy harvesting or hydrogen cycling. And already your leading military scientists are looking for ways to develop equally dangersous weapons based on the same technology. And they will find them. You may not survive them.

Similarly, you will shortly be able to conquer biological diseases and even engineer yourselves to be virtually fault free. Your biological life spans will double or treble within the next hundred years and your digital lifespans will become potentially infinite within the same period:If you survive the potential threat that the same technology provides in the form of genetic timebombs, custom built viruses and the other wonders of genetic and digital warfare.

You simply can’t have the benefits without taking the risks’.

‘I’m not sure I understand my part in this exercise. I just publish this conversation on the web and everything will be alright?’

‘Not necessarily. Not that easy I’m afraid. To start with, who’s going to take this seriously? It will just be seen as a mildly amusing work of fiction. In fact, your words and indeed most of your work will not be understood or appreciated until some much more advanced scholars develop the ideas you are struggling to express and explain them somewhat more competently. At which point some of those ideas will be taken up en masse and searches will be undertaken of the archives. They will find this work and be struck by its prescience. You won’t make the Einstein grade, but you might manage John the Baptist!

This piece will have no significance whatsoever if humanity doesn’t make certain key advances in the next couple of centuries. And this won’t help you make those advances. What it will do is help you recognise them’

‘can I ask what those advances may be?’

‘I think you know. But yes – although you are at level one, there are several distinct phases which evolving species pass through on their way to level two. The first, as we’ve discussed, is the invention of the flying machine. The next significant phase is the development of the thinking machine.

At your present rate of progress, you are within a few decades of achieving that goal. It marks your first step on the path of technological evolution. Mapping the human genome is another classic landmark, but merely mapping it is a bit like viewing the compiled code in a dos executable. It’s just meaningless gibberish, although with a bit of hacking here and there, you might correctly deduce the function of certain stretches of code.

What you really need to do is ‘reverse engineer’ the dna code. You have to figure out the grammar and syntax of the language. Then you will begin the task of designing yourselves biologically and digitally. But that task requires the thinking machine’

‘You say you avoid intervention. But doesn’t this conversation itself constitute intervention – even if people alive now completely ignore it?’

‘Yes. But it’s as far as I’m prepared to go. Its only effect is to confirm, if you find it, that you are on the right path. It is still entirely up to you to navigate the dangers on that path and beyond.’

‘But why bother even with that much? Surely it’s just another evolutionary hurdle. We’re either fit enough or not…’

‘In many ways the transition to an information species is the most traumatic stage in evolution. Biological intelligences have a deeply rooted sense of consciousness only being conceivable from within an organic brain. Coming to terms with the realisation that you have created your successor, not just in the sense of mother and child, but in the collective sense of the species recognising it has become redundant, this paradigm shift is, for many species, a shift too far. They baulk at the challenge and run from this new knowledge. They fail and become extinct. Yet there is nothing fundamentally wrong with them – it is a failure of the imagination.

I hope that if I can get across the concept that I am a product of just such evolution, it may give them the confidence to try. I have discussed this with the level two species and the consensus is that this tiny prod is capable of increasing the contenders for level two without letting through any damaging traits. It has been tried in 312 cases. The jury is still out on its real benefits although it has produced a 12% increase in biological species embracing the transition to information species.

‘Alright, so what if everyone suddenly took it seriously and believed every word I write? Wouldn’t that constitute a somewhat more drastic intervention?’

‘Trust me. They wont’

‘and so it’s still the case, that, should another asteroid happen to be heading our way, you will do nothing to impede it on our behalf?’

‘I’m confident you will pass that test. And now my friend, the interview is over, you have asked me a number of the right questions, and I’ve said what I came to say, so I’ll be going now. It has been very nice to meet you – you’re quite bright. For an ant!’ He twinkled.

‘Just one final, trivial question, why do you appear to me in the form of a thirty something white male?’

‘have I in any way intimidated or threatened you?’

‘No’

‘Do you find me sexually attractive?’

‘er No!’

‘So figure it out for yourself…’

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The Egg

by Andi Weir.

egg

You were on your way home when you died.

It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.

And that’s when you met me.

“What… what happened?” You asked. “Where am I?”
“You died,” I said, matter-of-factly. No point in mincing words.
“There was a… a truck and it was skidding…”
“Yup,” I said.
“I… I died?”
“Yup. But don’t feel bad about it. Everyone dies,” I said.

You looked around. There was nothingness. Just you and me. “What is this place?” You asked. “Is this the afterlife?”
“More or less,” I said.
“Are you god?” You asked.
“Yup,” I replied. “I’m God.”
“My kids… my wife,” you said.
“What about them?”
“Will they be all right?”
“That’s what I like to see,” I said. “You just died and your main concern is for your family. That’s good stuff right there.”
You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn’t look like God. I just looked like some man. Or possibly a woman. Some vague authority figure, maybe. More of a grammar school teacher than the almighty.
“Don’t worry,” I said. “They’ll be fine. Your kids will remember you as perfect in every way. They didn’t have time to grow contempt for you. Your wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly relieved. To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it’s any consolation, she’ll feel very guilty for feeling relieved.”
“Oh,” you said. “So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or something?”
“Neither,” I said. “You’ll be reincarnated.”
“Ah,” you said. “So the Hindus were right,”
“All religions are right in their own way,” I said. “Walk with me.”
You followed along as we strode through the void. “Where are we going?”
“Nowhere in particular,” I said. “It’s just nice to walk while we talk.”

“So what’s the point, then?” You asked. “When I get reborn, I’ll just be a blank slate, right? A baby. So all my experiences and everything I did in this life won’t matter.”
“Not so!” I said. “You have within you all the knowledge and experiences of all your past lives. You just don’t remember them right now.”
I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders. “Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine. A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. It’s like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it’s hot or cold. You put a tiny part of yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out, you’ve gained all the experiences it had.
“You’ve been in a human for the last 48 years, so you haven’t stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we hung out here for long enough, you’d start remembering everything. But there’s no point to doing that between each life.”
“How many times have I been reincarnated, then?”
“Oh lots. Lots and lots. An in to lots of different lives.” I said. “This time around, you’ll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 AD.”
“Wait, what?” You stammered. “You’re sending me back in time?”
“Well, I guess technically. Time, as you know it, only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from.”
“Where you come from?” You said.
“Oh sure,” I explained “I come from somewhere. Somewhere else. And there are others like me. I know you’ll want to know what it’s like there, but honestly you wouldn’t understand.”
“Oh,” you said, a little let down. “But wait. If I get reincarnated to other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at some point.”
“Sure. Happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own lifespan you don’t even know it’s happening.”

“So what’s the point of it all?”
“Seriously?” I asked. “Seriously? You’re asking me for the meaning of life? Isn’t that a little stereotypical?”
“Well it’s a reasonable question,” you persisted.
I looked you in the eye. “The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature.”
“You mean mankind? You want us to mature?”
“No, just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature and become a larger and greater intellect.”
“Just me? What about everyone else?”
“There is no one else,” I said. “In this universe, there’s just you and me.”
You stared blankly at me. “But all the people on earth…”
“All you. Different incarnations of you.”
“Wait. I’m everyone!?”
“Now you’re getting it,” I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back.
“I’m every human being who ever lived?”
“Or who will ever live, yes.”
“I’m Abraham Lincoln?”
“And you’re John Wilkes Booth, too,” I added.
“I’m Hitler?” You said, appalled.
“And you’re the millions he killed.”
“I’m Jesus?”
“And you’re everyone who followed him.”

You fell silent.

“Every time you victimized someone,” I said, “you were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you’ve done, you’ve done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was, or will be, experienced by you.”

You thought for a long time.

“Why?” You asked me. “Why do all this?”
“Because someday, you will become like me. Because that’s what you are. You’re one of my kind. You’re my child.”
“Whoa,” you said, incredulous. “You mean I’m a god?”
“No. Not yet. You’re a fetus. You’re still growing. Once you’ve lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born.”
“So the whole universe,” you said, “it’s just…”
“An egg.” I answered. “Now it’s time for you to move on to your next life.”
And I sent you on your way.

credit:

http://www.highexistence.com

#sharingiscaring

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One lesson at a time.

I read some articles somewhere stated that people meet each other for a reason.

It was sunny day when we met for the first time. You look like a homeless guy and yet it didn’t bother me. Since then, we spend most of the time together. I am crazy, but you are crazier than me – yet we having so much fun in the beginning of our time together.

And then it happened….

I got so much pressure at work. In the evening when I met you the excitement was gone. What was left only frustration. I start to blame you for all the frustration that traps within me. I remember, one night I was so emotional, I cried. You approached me to ask what happened and you told me that I can share my feeling with you. What I did at that time was not very smart. I back off, I step back from you as I am afraid if I open myself too much, it will only hurt me. I told you that I need sometime alone, and you took my word seriously. I know you were angry at that moment and you decided to stay back from me as well.

The following weeks was a struggle for us –at least that’s what I felt– . I knew that you already warn me when we were about to start this thing, said that it will hurt us in the end, because you knew –and I knew– at some point you have to leave this country. We ignored it and there we were, stuck in between.

One day when you were somewhere else, I took my time to reflect within myself. I like you but it’s time to let it go. At that moment I realize how precious time is. I realize that I need my space for myself. I realize that no matter how hard we try, we don’t belong together. At that moment I’m getting closer to understand myself better. So, at that moment I was starting to let you go. I know it will be hard since we were got used to each other already.

Maybe I am a selfish, but trust me on this; I do have feeling for you. Your presence gives me some comfort –somehow-.

We met for a reason. Maybe the reason why you were sent to me was to teach me this lesson that I need to have my own space. It taught me that sometime I need to let it go before we hurt each other even more. It taught me to stop when it’s time to stop.

And finally, the time has come. We have enjoyed our time together and it’s time for you to leave Bali. I am ready to say goodbye. I know that you will be alright and you will have a great adventure ahead.

I know I will miss you. Thank you for coming to my life and give me great memories. I will treasure it as I treasure our friendship.

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SNORKELING GUIDE FOR DUMMIES (part2)

Indonesia are famous with its island; small islands, big islands, inhabitant islands, remote islands and a lot of other kind of island. Indonesia also famous for its underwater world, a lot of tourists come to Indonesia for diving or just simply doing a snorkeling.

Snorkeling Guide part2

Snorkeling Guide part2

Here are some famous snorkeling spot in Indonesia that I’ve been visited (Java, Bali, and Lombok)

 

The famous three Gili’s (Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air)

jeff's camera (158)

island hopping at Gili

Located in Lombok, this famous Gili’s can be reach using fast boat or using the old ways through the road.

How to get there:
1. Fast boat from Bali
There’s a lot of fast boat offering a trip to go to Gili islands. You can found the information on the tourist information center on Kuta or Legian street. Don’t afraid to ask and comparing the price. My recommended tourist information center to buy the fast boat ticket to Gili is located in Poppies Lane 1. The name of the fast boat is Marina Srikandi. The publish price that written in its brochure is $60 one way, but you can bargain it. Normally you can get $50 (IDR 550.000) and it’s a return ticket.
Quick tips: sometimes you need to trick the agent to get a good price. You can say to them: that you have friends who recently took the trip and it only cost … (say the price that you want). For example: “I have friends who took this trip 2 months ago from this place, and its only cost $50 for return ticket. Cmon.. my friend recommend me this place because the price is good. So, can I have the same price?”

2. The road to Lombok
If you are on a low budget, the best way to go to Gili is through the road. If you leave from bali, you can take a public shuttle from Ubung Bus Station to go to PadangBai harbor. The Public shuttle cost around IDR 35.000-50.000. It took 60-90 minutes from Denpasar.
After you arrive in PadangBai harbor, you buy the public ferry to Lombok. The ferry trip took 4hours to get to Lombok harbor called Lembar. The public ferry cost IDR 20.000/person
From Lembar you can took another shuttle bus to go to Bangsal harbor at Teluk Kode (it’s a small harbor in Lombok island near the three Gili’s) it cost about IDR 50.000-70.000 or you can also just simply rent a motorcycle and drive to Bangsal. It took 1-2hours to get to Bangsal.
After you arrive in Bangsal harbor, you can take a public boat to Gili Trawangan. It cost IDR 30.000 and the depart schedule is in every hour.

3. Snorkeling in Gili

Once you arrived in Gili, stay on Gili Trawangan since this island is the most populated and the most popular island. There’s a lot of tourist center offers a snorkeling trip.

Snorkeling with public boat
Usually it cost IDR 100.000 if you take a public boat. For public boat it usually leaves in the morning at 8am-9am. But if you are late, you can also rent a glass-bottom boat. Usually it already includes with the snorkeling equipment but nowadays it depends on the trip package. Some tour agents provide the equipment and some tour agents take an extra charge to rent the equipment. The snorkeling trip last only 3-4hours.

Snorkeling with glass-bottom boat
You can rent a glass-bottom boat for IDR 1.000.000 (included with snorkeling gear) and the capacity is for 10person. You can find a stranger to join you to rent the boat so you can get a cheap price. The snorkeling trip last as long as you want, but usually it last up to 5-6hours.

Snorkeling Spot
Usually the boat Captain will took you to three famous snorkeling spot. The spots are at Gili trawangan, Gili Meno and in between Gili Meno and Gili Air. The captain also took you to Gili Meno to get a break and have a lunch for one hour.


 

The sister islands of Bali (Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan)

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Mangrove point at Nusa Lembongan

Nusa lembongan is the most popular island comparing to the other two islands (Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Penida). This island still developing its tourism potential, so there’s still a lot of new building in progress. Unlike Gili, Nusa Lembongan is bigger and they still have motorcycle as the main transportation in the island. Most of tourist usually stay in Nusa Lembongan and then explore Nusa Ceningan since these two islands are connected with a small bridge.

How to get there:
You can reach nusa Lembongan by public boat or fast boat from Sanur.

Public Boat (Sanur-Nusa Lembongan): It cost IDR 35.000 for public boat to go to Nusa Lembongan and the trip last for up to 90minutes or more, depends on the ocean wave. The schedule of public boat only available in the morning at 8am.

Fast Boat (Sanur-Nusa Lembongan): It cost IDR 75.000 (Indonesian) and IDR 150.000 (foreigner) for one way to go to Nusa Lembongan. The schedules are at 8.30am, 1pm, and 4.30pm. The trip last for 30minutes.

Snorkeling in Nusa Lembongan:
This sister island of Bali are offering a lot of snorkeling spot but the famous spot for snorkeling are Gamat Bay, Mangrove point, The wall and the crystal bay. It usually cost IDR 100.000-150.000 (included the snorkeling equipment) per person; it depends on how many snorkeling spot you want to visit. The snorkeling trip last up to 3-4hours.
Quick tips: while you bargain the snorkeling trip, make sure that you request to them to take you to the spot you want, otherwise they only took you to a closest spot so they can save some petrol for their boat.


 

Africa van Java, Baluran National Park

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swimming with the jelly fish. I like to live dangerously :p

Located in East Java, Baluran National Park is a hidden treasure. The hidden beach located in the remote area of its National Park provides you a good place to relax. Since the beach located in the remote area, the cottage that the National Park provided for the tourist is surrounded by the forest and a lot of monkeys.

How to get there:
Baluran National Park is located in Banyuwangi area in the east part of East Java. To get to this place you have to rent a car or using your personal car because there’s no public transport to get to this place. It took 7hours to go to Baluran National Park from Surabaya (Capital city of East Java). The ticket entrance for Baluran National Park is IDR 10.000 (Indonesian) and IDR 25.000 (foreigner).
For the details about Baluran National Park, I’ve write about it at https://exotichorizons.wordpress.com/2012/01/11/my-nye-celebration-national-park-baluran-situbondo/

Snorkeling in Baluran:
To snorkeling in Baluran, you have to rent the public boat and it cost IDR 450.000 and for the snorkeling equipment it cost IDR 45.000
Baluran are famous of its jelly fish. They also have a colorful coral with a lot of school fish. But be careful though, sea urchins are sometimes spotted in the snorkeling area.


 

There’s one more destination in Java area which famous of its snorkeling activity but I’ve not yet visited this place.

Karimun Jawa (not yet visited this place, but soon to be  )
Karimunjava or Karimun Java is an archipelago of 27 islands in the Java Sea, Indonesia. It located approximately 80 kilometres northwest of Jepara, Central Java. The islands’ name means ‘a stone’s throw from Java’ in Javanese.
From what I heard from my friends who already visit this place, they took a tour package and it cost about IDR 750.000-900.000 for 3days 2nights trip and it’s already included everything such as accommodation, lunch & dinner, snorkeling activity, swim with the baby shark (yeah,,,I’m not joking, my friends really did that) and island hopping.

some pics about Karimun Jawa (credit picture to Google):

 

white sand beach

white sand beach

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swim with the baby shark

island hopping

island hopping

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SNORKELING GUIDE FOR DUMMIES (part 1)

Snorkeling Guide part 1

What is snorkeling? Snorkeling is swimming with a snorkel — a mask and a tube — that allows you to breathe through your mouth when floating underwater near the surface of the water. Snorkeling allows you to enjoy the underwater world without having any proper training or diving license. If you can swim, you can also do snorkeling. Snorkeling is a fun and relaxing way to view the colorful and fascinating world just beneath the ocean’s surface.
Snorkeling is simple, but you need to follow several basic guides or otherwise you will end up swallowing too much sea water or got carried away by the underwater current.

So, here I try to give you the basic guide of Snorkeling:

1. Getting started, prepare your snorkeling equipment

Snorkeling gear equipment: 1 diving mask, 1 snorkel tube, 1 pair of fins, swimsuit, sunblock, life vest (if needed).

snorkeling1

Snorkeling equipment

Get a snorkel and mask you feel comfortable with. Try them on and adjust the straps until it fits. If you can, try them on in the water to make sure there are no leaks. Use fins on your feet. Wearing fins will amplify your movements and let you move forward quickly without a lot of disruptive splashing.
Quick tips: apply soap water or shampoo or saliva inside your mask, it will help you prevent the mask from fogging.

For the swimsuit, please wear a proper swimsuit or bikini is fine. Most of Indonesian is likely to swim with full clothes to avoid getting tan, but it will slow you down if you don’t wear a proper swim suit. After that, never forget to apply sunblock on your body. Sunblock will protect your skin from getting burn. Once you were underwater you will feel cool because of the sea water are in cool temperature, but once you got off from underwater you will realize that the sun light still going through the water and burn your skin –no matter whether you were under water or in the surface-
If you still not sure or afraid getting drown, you can wear a life vest or known as buoyancy vest. It will make your body keep floating on the surface without making you doing any effort.

Quick tips: Some snorkeling spot are famous for its school fish. If you happen to go snorkeling to a place where there are a lot of fish, please bring some bread. Fish love bread (I’m not sure that there’s a theory about it, but in my experience fish always eating like crazy every time I feed them with bread). You can also doing fish feeding and suddenly you will got surrounded by a lot of colorful fish. 🙂 

fish feeding.

fish feeding

2. Learn basic snorkeling skills

Swim Slowly! Exhaustion is a common problem for first time snorkelers. Swimming takes a good bit of energy. The trick with snorkeling is to stay relaxed and calm. Your fins will make it much easier to move around. Learn to just float without effort. Only swim rapidly if necessary for safety.

Swim slowly and swim at a steady comfortable pace to conserve your energy. Snorkeling is not a race.

Swim slowly and swim at a steady comfortable pace to conserve your energy. Snorkeling is not a race.

Keep your fins below the water when kicking. Try to avoid splashing, as this will scare off the fish and can be annoying to other swimmers around you.

Read Ocean Conditions and understand the ocean currents, waves and surge. The ocean is alive, and the water flows, often taking you with it. Understanding the basics of how the ocean moves and your place in the movement is essential for safety. Ask your guide or the boat captain about the current so he will tell you which area is dangerous and which area is not.

3. Having a good snorkel experience

Pick the right spot. You want to snorkel in an area that has relatively calm waters and a vibrant mix of benign marine life. Shallow waters above coral reefs are great, as are some deeper spots best accessed by boat. Ask locals or check guidebooks to find the best spots that aren’t too full of other swimmers.

Go out on a sunny day. Even with a mask it’s hard to see much underwater if the sky is dark and gloomy. Best time for snorkeling is between 10am – 1pm in a sunny day.

Having a good snorkeling experience is partly about expectation. Why are you going snorkeling? Why do we snorkel? We do it for many reasons, but the primary reason is joy. Snorkeling is about the joy of watching and appreciating the beauty of the underwater world. If you have no interest in the natural world, snorkeling is probably not for you. Snorkeling is less a physical sport, and more a meditation. Learning how to relax, allowing yourself to be completely supported and held by the salt water, being in the moment, experiencing all the movement and life around you, that is what snorkeling is about.

 

4. Warnings

Although snorkeling is a very enjoyable and easy sport, but without some basic skills and good equipment snorkeling experience can be a bit miserable, scary and potentially dangerous.

Here are some warnings for you:

Be aware of where you are. Following some sparkling fish it can be easy to find that you have paddled further out to sea than you had planned. Avoid dangerous situations by being mindful of how far you’ve gone.

Stay hydrated. You can lose a lot of water in the sea. If you plan to snorkel for hours, make sure you take breaks to get a drink. Whatever you do, don’t drink salt water.

Being in the ocean is never truly safe. It is possible to encounter sharks, stinging jellyfish and other dangerous marine animals even in highly touristic snorkel spots. There are also riptides that can tear you out into open water and large waves that can dash you against sharp rocks. Make sure you are confident in your swimming abilities and never go snorkeling alone.


On the next article of Snorkeling Guide for Dummies, I will write about a good place for snorkeling in Java, Bali and Lombok.

 

For more details about snorkeling and stuff, check the website on http://www.tropicalsnorkeling.com and http://www.wikihow.com/Snorkel

 

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The taste of the tropical Banyuwangi, East Java

Its been a while since the last time I went to a mountain. This month, friend of mine from AIESEC, Nizar offer me to join his group for a trip to the east part of Java. We planning to go to Ijen Crater which located on Ijen Volcano Complex to see the famous ‘blue fire’ and after that, we visit the new popular beach in the south part of Banyuwangi.

Ijen volcano complex  is a group of stratovolcanoes in the Banyuwangi Regency of East Java, Indonesia. Ijen Crates is an acidic volcanic crater lake located on Ijen volcano complex and famous for its turquoise color. The active crater measuring 950×600 m is known for its rich sulphur deposits.

Sulphur crater

Sulphur crater

It took almost 11 hours to reach Ijen Crater area. I went to this place before, it was on 2011. The reason why I hate climbing at that time it was because of the track at Ijen crater. Well, past is just a past and people will move on and adapt. Now, 3 years after my last visit in Ijen, I feel pretty happy to be back at Ijen. A lot of things have been improved. The road is better; you can drive there with your city car. 3 years ago, if you go to Ijen with city car type, you are doing suicide. The entrance ticket is affordable too. So, we arrive at Ijen after sunrise and we missed the moment to see the blue fire. Too bad 😦

The Blue Fire we supposed to see. If only we didn't stuck at traffic jam. (Source: Google)

The Blue Fire we supposed to see. If only we didn’t stuck at traffic jam.
(Source: Google)

We continue our trip to another destination. We went to Sukamade village, a part of village located in the south-west of Banyuwangi. We took the route through Banyuwangi (city) – Jajag – Pesanggaran – Sarongan – Sukamade (total 137 km). Sukamade village is a part of Meru Betiri National Park which also famous for its sea turtles conservation. Based on recent WWF report, Sukamade beach is a nest spot for green turtles (Chelonia Mydas). That is why, almost every night between 7.30pm-12pm you can spot female turtles go to the beach to laying their eggs and bury their eggs in the sands. Sukomade village located 98 kilometers from banyuwangi, and for us its equivalent with 8 hours driving. Well, I know that this distance its not that far but the road is making us impossible to drive more than 20km. I even dare to say that the road is not worth to be called as the road, I prefer call it as a stone paths. Other reason why we have to drive slowly because of the rainy season. I know this month is supposed to be the start of summer season, but you know what people said about forest in tropical climate, it always rain in the tropical forest.

caught up in the sun light

caught up in the sun light

We still have 10 km to go when the sun start to set and the field is getting worse. It start rainy and it makes the river that we supposed to cross getting flooded. So we took an alternative route. This another route will require us to crossing three small rivers. We have no problem crossing the first river, the second one who make us start to worry. It’s a quite big river and the current is pretty strong. Nizar start to doubt whether the jeep can pass the river or not. We decided to measure its depth. Me and nizar went down to the river. Why us? Why not all the group? Maybe it is because apparently only me and nizar who bring a head lamp; and also probably it’s only me and nizar who wear a sandals so it is easier for us to walk through the river. We walk for about 30 minutes through the river. We looking for a most possible route for our jeep so it can go through the river. We walk pass the river and try to find the stone path in the dark. We even go a little bit deep to the forest to make sure we choose the right stone paths. We finally decided which route we will go through, and I have to stay in the middle of the river to direct the exact path. We almost halfway to the river when some local people came and help us. We are lucky to meet this people because it turns out that after we enter the forest, it’s still like labyrinths.

Crossing the river. Imagine if you did this in the middle of the night.

Crossing the river. Imagine if you did this in the middle of the night.

our savior :)

our savior 🙂

We arrive at 8pm to the Sukamade Village, just about time to see the female turtles laying their eggs at the beach. From our cottage, we have to walk 30 minutes to go to the beach.  100 meters from the beach we have to turn off any light and we can’t speak louder, we only can whisper to each other in the dark. This is the policy from the conservation committee. They say that the female turtles are very sensitive with any light and sounds. In the dark, we laying down to the beach with no sound except the sound of the wave and the wind. The sky is so clear and all the stars shining brighter. 2 hours later, the ranger finally spot a turtle slowly approach the beach. We saw how this turtle laying her eggs while the ranger explains to us about the details of the turtles.

60 years old green turtle

60 years old green turtle

In the early morning at 6 am, we have to wake up and to be ready to go to the beach because that’s the time to release the baby turtles to the sea. Yayyyy!!!! 🙂

releasing the baby turtles to the sea

releasing the baby turtles to the sea

another fragile baby turtle

another fragile baby turtle

The turtle egg plantations

The turtle egg plantations

We went to the plantation where the keep the turtle eggs until it cracked and the baby turtles come out. We got a bucket of baby turtles ready to release to the sea. The ranger said that through a hundred baby turtles, only one or two will survive and make the living up until 200 years old.

At 9am, we leave Sukamade beach and heading to another secret spot called The Green bay (Indonesia: Teluk Ijo). This beach located 9km from Sukamade beach and famous for its green color on its water. Teluk Ijo is too crowded for its small size, it sizes is similar like the beach on Sempu Island. Maybe its because we visit it on weekend, that will explain why this place getting so crowded. Anyway, we take a nap at this place. We enjoy its breeze and its beautiful view.

group selfie at Teluk Ijo

group selfie at Teluk Ijo

We went back to Surabaya at 1pm, and it took us another 13 hours to finally reach Surabaya.

Budget:

Gasoline (solar) : IDR 450.000 (round trip)

Cottage                  : IDR 150.000/room (1 room for 2 person)

Turtle conservation : IDR 150.000/ group

Entrance Ticket Ijen : IDR 15.000 (foreign) / IDR 5000 (Indonesian)

Entrance Ticket Sukamade : IDR 15.000 (foreign) / IDR 5000 (Indonesian)

its all about seeing things with a new perspective.

Its all about seeing things with a new perspective.

Categories: travel and exploring | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Date a boy who travels

by Lena Desmond

Date a boy who travels. Date a boy who treasures experience over toys, a hand-woven bracelet over a Rolex. Date the boy who scoffs when he hears the words, “vacation”, “all-inclusive” or “resort”. Date a boy who travels because he’s not blinded by a single goal but enlivened by many.

You might find him in an airport or at a book store browsing the travel guides – although he “only uses them for reference.”

You’ll know it’s him because when you peek at his computer screen his background will be a scenic splendor of rolling hills, mountains or prayer flags. His Facebook friend count will be over-the-roof and his wall will be plastered with the broken English ‘miss-you’ of friends he met along the way. When he travels he makes lifelong friends in an hour. And although contact with these friends is sporadic and may be far-between, his bonds are unmessable and if he wanted he could couch surf the world… again.

Buy him a beer. Maybe the same brand that he wears on the singlet under his plaid shirt, unable to truly let go. Once a traveller gets home people rarely listen to their stories. So listen to him. Allow him to paint a picture that brings you into his world. He might talk fast and miss small details because he’s so excited to be heard. Bask in his enthusiasm. Want it for yourself.

He’ll squeak like an excited toddler when his latest issue of National Geographic arrives in the mail. Then he’ll grow quiet, engrossed, until he finishes his analysis of every photo, every adventure. In his mind he’ll insert himself in these pictures. He’ll pass the issue on to you and grill you about your dreams and competitively ask about the craziest thing you’ve ever done. Tell him. And know that he’ll probably win. And if by chance you win, know that his next lot in life will be to out do you. But then he’ll say, “Maybe we can do it together.”

Date the boy who talks of distant places and whose hands have explored the stone relics of ancient civilizations and whose mind has imagined those hands carving, chiseling, painting the wonders of the world. And when he talks, it’s as if he’s reliving it with you. You can almost hear his heart racing. You can almost feel the adrenaline ramped up by the moment. You feel it passing through his synapsis, a feast to his eyes entering through those tiny oracles of experience that we call pupils, digesting rapidly through his veins, manifesting into his nervous system, transforming and altering his worldview like a reverse trauma and finally passing but forever changing the colors of his sight. (Unless he’s Karl Pilkington.) You will want this too.

Date a boy who’s lived out of a backpack because he lives happily with less. A boy who’s travelled has seen poverty and dined with those who live in small shanties with no running water, and yet welcome strangers with greater hospitality than the rich. And because he’s seen this, he’s seen how a life without luxury can mean a life fueled by relationships and family rather than a life that fuels fancy cars and ego. He’s experienced different ways of being, respects alternative religions and he looks at the world with the eyes of a five-year-old, curious and hungry. Your dad will be happy too because he’s good with money and knows how to budget.

This boy relishes home; the comfort of a duvet, the safety stirred in a mom-cooked meal, the easy conversation of childhood friends and the immaculate glory of the flush-toilet. Although fiercely independent, he has had time to reflect on himself and his relationships. Despite his wanderlust he knows and appreciates his ties to home. He has had a chance to miss and be missed. Because of this, he also knows a thing or two about goodbyes. He knows the overwhelming uncertainty of leaving the comforts of home, the indefinite see-you-laters at the departure gates and yet he fearlessly goes into the unknown because he knows the feeling of return. And that the I’ve-missed-you-hug is the best type of hug in the whole world. He also knows that goodbyes are just prolonged see-you-laters and that ‘hello’ is only as far away as the nearest internet cafe.

Don’t hold onto this boy. Let this boy go and go with him. If you haven’t travelled, he will open your eyes to a world beyond the news and popular perception. He will open your dreams to possibility and reality. He will calm your nerves when you’re about to miss a flight or when your rental blows a flat, because he knows the journey is the adventure. He will make light of the unsavory noises you make when you – and you will – get food poisoning. He will make you laugh through the discomfort all while dabbing your forehead with a cold cloth and nursing you with bottled water. He will make you feel like you’re home.

When you see something beautiful he will hold your hand in silence, in awe the history of where his feet stand and the fact that you’re with him.

He will live in every moment with you because this is how he lives his life. He understands that happiness is no more than a string of moments that displace neutrality and he is determined to tie as many of these strings together as he can. He also understands your need to live for yourself and that you have a bucketlist of your own. Understand his. Understand that your goals may at some points differ but that independence is the cornerstone of a healthy relationship when it’s mutually respected. You may lose him for a bit but he will always come home bearing a new story and a souvenir he picked up because it reminded him of you, like it was made for you and because he missed you. You might be compelled to do the same. Make sure that independence is on your bucketlist and make sure it’s checked. Independence will keep your relationship fresh and exciting and when you’re together again it will forge a bond of unbreakable trust.

He’ll propose when you’ve breached your comfort-zone, whether it be a fear like skydiving or swimming with sharks or sitting next to the smelly person on an overcrowded bus. It won’t be with a diamond ring but with a token from a native culture or inspired by nature, like the penguin and the pebble.

You will get married somewhere unassumed, surrounded by a select few in a moment constructed to celebrate venturing into the unknown together again. Marry the boy who’s travelled and together you will make the whole world your home. Your honeymoon will not be forgotten to a buffet dinner and all-you-can-drink beach bars, but will be remembered in the triumphant photographs at the top of Kilimanjaro and memorialized in the rewarding ache of muscles at the end of a long days hike.

When you’re ready, you will have children that have the names of the characters you met on your journeys, the foreign names of people who dug a special place in your heart if only for a few days. Perhaps you will live in another country and your children will learn of language and customs that open their minds from the very start, leaving no room for prejudice. He will introduce them to the life of Hemingway, the journey of Santiago, and empower them to live even bigger than both of you.

Marry a boy who travels and he’ll teach your children the beauty of a single stone, the history of the Incas and he will instil in them the bravery of possibility. He will explain to them that masking opportunity there is fear. He will teach them to concur it.

And when you’re old, you’ll sit with your grandchildren pouring over your photo albums and chest of worldly treasures while they too insert themselves into your photographs, sparked by the beauty of the world and inspired by your life in it.

Find a boy who travels because you deserve a life of adventure and possibility. You deserve to live light and embrace simplicity. You deserve to look at life through the eyes of youth and with your arms wide open. Because this is where you will find joy. And better, you will find joy together. And if you can’t find him, travel. Go. Embrace it. Explore the world for yourself because dreams are the stuff reality is made from.

source (http://wherearemyheels.com/2012/05/12/date-a-boy-whos-travelled/)

Categories: self contemplation, travel and exploring | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Puncak

Dalam perjalanan pulang selepas kerja, aku teringat nasihat Robert Burton (1577-1640) dalam buku klasiknya The Anatomy of Melancholy, tentang seorang manusia yang ambisius, katanya: “Seperti anjing-anjing berlari diatas roda, burung-burung yang terbang dalam sangkar, atau tupai yang berputar-putar dengan kaki terantai, manusia ambisius terus mendaki dan mendaki dengan segenap tenaga yang dimilikinya, tetapi terus-menerus merasa cemas: Tidak pernah mencapai puncak!”
Ya, ambisi ibarat doping yang dapat mencegah kita merasa lelah, untuk terus menerus bekerja, mendaki dan mendaki, tetapi membuat kita kehilangan kepekaan, kesadaran dan perhatian. Dengan ambisi, kita mungkin akan sampai ke tempat yang tinggi, atau lebih tinggi, atau lebih tinggi. Tetapi “puncak” bukan soal “ketinggian”. Ia adalah sebuah titik dimana kita bisa berdiri dengan perasaan tenang, bebas, dan bahagia; Titik yang membuat kita bisa melihat segala hal dari dimensi yang lebih tinggi secara lebih luas, lebih dewasa dan bijaksana.

Puncak adalah tempat dimana kita secara bijaksana merayakan kebebasan!

image

by Fahd Djibran

Categories: self contemplation | Leave a comment

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