Friday, May 15, 2009



It could be strongly felt that the literature bureaucrat was serious in emphasizing the objectives of the workshop. If one were to say, he was a bit pushy or put pressure on the participants, absolutely he would deny the assertion. In his welcoming address on the official opening of the “Creative Writing Workshop for the Established Writers”, from the intonation of his speech he seemed earnest to implement the project under his supervision. He stated that it was a high time for Malaysian writers to come out with a great piece in literature with international recognition. “Beyond achievable” was the theme of his opening speech. The slogan was expected to motivate participants in accomplishing the workshop’s goals. To produce a laureate of world-class calibre was not just to match his new sky-scraping headquarters’ building in Kuala Lumpur. The nation could build the highest building in the world but to his disappointment, world best writers were yet a reality.

“Do not wait”, he said, “until a Malaysia scientist was the first to be awarded a Nobel Prize. The first recipient must come from literary fraternity.” He reiterated that it was not an easy task for a small nation like Malaysia to be recognised in literature if there was no avant-garde piece to be nominated. Cynically, he reminded the participants that do not expect certain form of Bumiputera mentality or subsidiary mind-set in order to produce a literary piece. The yardstick, he said, was based on meritocracy, not mediocrity. Though our ranking was petite, if we were to gauge our accomplishment in literary world; that did not mean we were hard up for the award without submitting a magnum opus. Nevertheless, there were sceptics who scrutinized the approach adopted by the literary bureaucracy to motivate writers in form of seminars and workshops as to signify a kind of subsidiary mentality. Besides, they had no initiative and lack of proactive characteristics to create a masterpiece.

Therefore, a small group of literary mediocre was selected by the regional literary organization to attend the workshop. They were accommodated at a three-star resort on the bank of the legendary Perak River. During their stay, they would be brainstorming sessions with knowledge-based inputs from renowned academicians of a local varsity. The professors and PhD holders, who specialized in world literature from all continents, were responsible to expose the participants with the work of genius in literature. With such exposure, it was an aspiring expectation that they could depart from their mediocre cocoons and launched an ingenious leap such as in the context of writing on themes of universalism and internationalism. They had to discard conservative approach of theme’s selection. They should no longer preoccupied in describing the melancholy of an old man, living at the foot of a mountain, searching for inner self and discovering wisdom from his natural environment. Or not to fixate over polygamous issue of cheeky andropause, because it was a local theme, it might not impress international juries.

In the pursuit of a unique work of arts, there was a writer who delved into a naive literature in hoping to transcend his creative work to the highest level by pretending to posses a sub-normal IQ. If naive paintings could sell, the rationale was, why not a naive novel. Though in gauging paintings and literary arts were different, however with the publication of the first naive novel written by a literary guru was deemed to be merely an academic exercise. That were the main issues mentioned during the workshop, nevertheless the arts critic cum professor gave an opinionated comment that the naive novel would not win any award despite being written by a literary persona. On the contrary, if the panel juries consisted of the people who were fond of naive writing, the result would be different. Perhaps, when the naive writing became popular and trendy, the organizer had to create a new category for naive writing. Then another genre of arts would emerge, it would be called native writing. Just imagined, novels were written in ethnic dialects. Many did not mind if there were novels written in Semang, Sakai, Iban, Bidayuh, Murut, Kelabit, Orang Hulu, Senoi, Melanau and etc. But a novel written hundred percent in Kelantanese or Kedahan was published by Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. Should we welcome such diversity? The parables were cited, as the speakers did not want the participants to write in naive nor native lingo.

Indeed, there were a lot rules and regulations imposed to the participants and other writers at large, whether explicitly or implicitly. One participant stood up and asked, “how come you expect us to write a magnum opus if our hands are tied at the back and there are a lot no entry signs on lanes of our brain maps.”

Some speakers advised writers to exercise a self-censorship manoeuvre. The question was so popular amongst participants. To almost all speakers, the participants reiterated asking the same question in spite of expecting a stereotype answer. As a matter of fact, one of the speakers had suggested that those who were interested to produce a great work of arts to publish it over sea if they do not wish their hands tied up and wanted their minds to be completely liberated. Some participants responded perplexingly, “to publish Malay novels in overseas with our own capital?” And some participants scratched their heads as to signify a regressive behaviour from Homo sapiens to a rhesus monkey.

When asked by another participant to one of the speakers during the ten-day workshop about writers who used excessive vulgar, crude and offensive phrases in almost all paragraph of their novels, as an academic analyst he regarded the use of bad languages in recent novels was a kind metaphoric symbolism. To him, it was a healthy liberation in Malaysian contemporary literature. Pioneered by a laureate cum religion-based politician, the vulgarism in literature had many young followers who blended cursing tirade into their creative discourse. According to the speaker, it was a work of art on bad language, artistic narrative of four-letter word and phallic verbalization of Freud’s subconscious psyche. The novel reflected a reality in low-class society, adopted by the writer for political mileage at the expense of his laureate status. The vulgarity was a part of a realistic description of certain quarters of an oppressed group. As stated by the speaker, the laureate did not abuse his demi-god status as a poetic licence to ‘decriminalize’ vulgarity in literature. The speaker reiterated that the laureate could not be induced by any kind of pricey award to silence him. Because he was a cherished name in Malay literature, any form of decoration bestowed, would not stop him from exposing about the propensity of swearing by the leftists in local politics, the speaker added.

It was obvious that the laureate still had staunch supporters from the academia especially this particular varsity, as many of his disciples were grateful to him. No wonder some of the speakers were annoyed by provocative questions put by the participants. Evidently, vulgarity was not only Okayed by the laureate but a religion-based politician, an ulama, also claimed that god also used vulgar language. Jokingly, a participant asked Professor Jaafar Sulong, amongst the Greek deity who was the one liked to utter vulgar words. Perhaps, the goddess of Aphrodite, replied the professor. If a young writer wrote '' or four-letter words in his discourse, most editors would guillotine him, not only the one in question but also the other decent one. Once already been labelled as an undesirable writer, he probably needed to negotiate a ministerial intervention to lift sanction against him. One of the participants complained that we used to condemn Uncle Sam for his double standard policy, the same policy also practised on our backyard, in particular of literary fraternity. The cleric politician alleged god not only swore bad language but also claimed that god behaved like a gangster. They said, in politics anything could happen. For political gain, it could freeze one’s mind that used to praise Allah with exalted attributes and His Al-Jabbar[1]'s essence was equivalent to a thug. Even ancient Greeks did not have a gangster god. Gangsters acted tough and violent when policemen were not around. The moment they saw the shadow of policemen, they immediately left. How come any body with sound mind could claim that god had such weird quality? But even the other quality of God, The Al-Qahhar[2], in any circumstance could not be equated as a gangster. A participant argued that needless for god to be a thug as claimed by the cleric politician. For the aspirant great writers, the discussion on various topics and issues with their learned mentors was very inspirational. During dialogue, at times heated argument propped up. Some participants had been writing for almost forty years. Obviously, they were simply reluctant to give an easy way to a few of young professors.

On paper, the objectives of the workshop were marvellously idealistic. During a ten-day-nine-night upgrading course, the mediocre writers were expected to launch a leaping paradigm and set a new strategy to become award-winning writers. The ten-day course would be a laughing stock if the organizer had expected to produce great writers as quick as an instant mee. That was the reason, a sceptic speaker in a cynical tone, emphasized that there was no need to put a high target like great, supreme or magnum opus. It was enough to set a modest objective like to produce a good work of arts. When mentioning a nominee of Nobel Prize winner amongst the aspirant writers, the speaker advised them not to be a dreamer but worked hard like other courageous Malaysians who had conquered Mount Everest, swam across the chilly English Channel, explored the icy Antarctica by foot and soon would be orbiting in space. For the time being, the speaker suggested to concentrate in writing a selected work of arts.

A few of the participants expressed that we suffered some forms of inferiority complex and still depended on foreign recognition. It was our own inferiority complex that prevented us from appreciating local creative writing because we were not as euphoric as our adoration to foreign literature. The admiration of foreign literature was invested through colonial education, argued one of the participants. Western literature industry had its army of advertisement and its local allies. Endorsement of promoted literature products had full backing of local critics, as whatever had been cooked up in the West, was unquestionable good. Western critics transcended their literature products and once upon reaching the East, we had no choice rather than swallowing it as great or magnum opus. The participant added anything created in the West was always regarded as good, if not created from the West; the western literary critics elevated it to support its publication industry. Once already cooked up, we remained as the end users of the western literature with imported-esteemed mentality. We were the western literature consumers and obviously looked down at ours. Whatever manufactured in the West was essentially ideal and perfect to the eyes of local literary critics who were once educationally formed by the western moulds. Those were the topics and issues discussed by the participants for the last nine days at the workshop.

“We received diverged in-puts from various speakers, at times; they are contradictory to each other. So professor, could you give us what are the real criteria to produce a great work of arts?” He asked again this time despite that he had asked previously the same question to the other speakers on different occasions. Nobody seemed to be bothered with his repetition. After all, you might hear a totally different version. He was like a spokesman for the group. That was the reason why; they were gathered at the resort over the bank of Perak River with a mammoth task of writing a magnum opus in Malay.

“In actual fact, there is no specific formula to produce a great work. No body could simply teach you how to write a great work of arts. Indeed, the writer must be visionary, an inner seer who could see with heart and soul. He or she dares to say truth without fear or favour and ready to face the music. What is more important that the writer should give the impression that he is a champion of humanity,” explained Professor Hong who was the last speaker of the workshop. Being a clinical psychologist in training, his lectures covered over the interpretation of dreams and Oedipus complex from Sigmund Freud. Again, the participants were brought to transverse time of the past to explore the ancient Greek myths in order to ridiculously understand the psyche of a modern man. The ‘time-traveller’ scholars who cited ancient myths in their academic papers became well known and be remembered in future despite of its absurdity.

After finishing the first session of his lecture, Professor Dr Hong invited participants to ask questions. The Q & A session was always full of enthusiasm as it raised more questions than answers. The participants were given bibliography handouts of Nobel Prize winners from 1901 to 2002 few days ago. Obviously, more questions would be come out from these handouts.

“Professor Hong, I found that most of Nobel Prize winners like Imre Kertesz, Gao Xingjian, Gunter Grass and others had been jailed. Are we willing, may I ask my dear comrades, to be jailed because of our novels and creative works?” asked Mr. Basir, the playwright, a teacher by profession.

“I’m sure none of us dares,” Mr. Basir answered his own question since nobody gave any response.

"In my opinion," said Mr. Lokman, a historian on Kedah, “there is no body in this conference room has the strength to win the prestigious award as we do not have the qualities like most of Nobel Laureates. We simply don't have 5 Js."

“What do you mean with 5 Js?” questioned Mr. Marwan, an archaeologist.

Professor Dr. Hong was also bewildered but did show interest to know what 5 Js formula was all about.

“Tell us. Common... doesn’t let us die in suspense,” uttered Ms. Hamimah, another participant who was also a school teacher.

“O.K., the first J is….. ‘jailed’.” Immediately the room roared in laughter. Besides participants, Professor Dr. Hong and Madam Harairah, the bureau representative of Northern Region, also laughed beyond reservation. “If you are not ready to be jailed, never have experience in a detention camp, re-education camp, concentration camp or to be a POW, you don’t dream to get a Nobel Prize. Imre Kertesz spent two years as POW, Gao Xingjian confined to re-education camp for ten years, Gunter Grass imprisoned for two years and Claude Simon detained for a year by the German Army because of his involvement in French Liberation Movement. ”

“We have Kemunting. An equivalent,” interrupted Mr. Basir.

“But none of you here had been to Kemunting,” replied Mr. Lokman.

“What’s about the second J?” asked Mr. Marwan.

“The second J is journalist. Most Nobel Laureates are journalists or have friends who are journalists or editors. Belongs to this group are Imre Kertesz, V.S. Naipu, Gunter Grass, Jose Saramango, Wirlawa Syzmborkska, Octavia Paz, Jaroslav Seifert and many more. By being journalists, they have access directly or indirectly to elevate their status and gain self-promotion. A part from that, they are close to literary critics, some of them are editors, some of them own publication company, obviously have powerful peer groups to transcend themselves as nominees for the award.”

"For the third J, first of all please don't regard me a racist, the third J is Jews. If you are a Jew especially those who migrated from Eastern to Western Block particularly during Cold War period, the chance to win Nobel Prize is great."

“No, the third J is not that right. There were a lot of non-Jews who won the awards as well,” interrupted Professor Dr. Hong.

“I partially withdraw the third J, but they dominated the awards, not just in literature but other categories too. The other J is ‘Jantan[3]’ (in Malay meaning male). More than ninety percents of the winners are male. For female contenders the chances are very slim,” said Mr. Lokman.

“Yooooooow,” protested the three female writers.

“The fifth J is JUNTA. We do not have a military junta or a regime that oppresses its people openly so the populace are tyrannised by oligopoly or military junta. There are no writers in Malaysia per se have been jailed or have been killed, or being given a persona non-grata or have to obtain an asylum from a foreign country. We simply don’t have the ingredients to be great writers. To be one, you need to feel being oppressed and to live in tyranny or you fake it so the west would welcome your condemnation. Then you’ll be a celebrated writer in the west.”

"I tend to agree with you, Mr. Lokman," uttered Haji Hashim, an irrigation engineer who had just completed his two novels,” I agree with the 5J formula - Jailed, Journalists, Jews, Jantina and Junta but I also have another formula equivalent to 5J."

"What kind of formula is that?" asked Professor Dr. Hong. "This is interesting; the participants themselves gave answers to their questions. I'll take a back seat and be a student."

"My formula is 5L," said Haji Hashim.

"Mr. Lokman has 5J while Haji Hashim came out with 5L," reiterated Mr. Basir.

“I’m pretty sure the first L is 'lelaki' (meaning men in Malay),” said Ms. Hamimah in cynical tone over typical male chauvinism amongst Malay men. Ms. Noriah, a lawyer who seated beside her, gave a nod in agreement.

“The first L is not for ‘lelaki[4]’. The gender is already included in 5J”, explained Haji Hashim.

“Then, what is it?” asked Ms. Hamimah.

“The first L is that a nominee or a Noble laureate must be a Linguist with the ability of mastering several major languages of the world. With multi-linguistic capability, the laureate could translate his works of art into other languages. Some of Nobel Prize winners are professional translators. They have friends and associates in overseas with better translation skill. Their friends and associates could transcend their works of arts through translation. Poor translation could be unfair to the writer but at the same time, it also could transform a good piece of literary work into a magnum opus. This is possible if the translator is also a writer, he could elevate the translated version even better than the original scripts. In doing so, he is no longer a translator but an editor who improves the novel to its greatest height."

"The second L is 'LARANGAN[5] or’ ‘legally prohibited'. His works of arts are banned from publication, printing, to be read and heard at public places by the authority of the country where the laureates are residing." Haji Hashim continued.

"The third L is a writer who is 'LANTANG[6]' or ‘Loudly’ voicing the feelings and minds of oppressed people living in tyranny."

“The fourth 'L' is that you need to be a LEFTIST. The chances of you becoming a nominee or a Nobel Prize winner are greater if you are a leftist in ideology or opposing the ruling government. Most of us here are rightists, right? Who amongst us are the leftists, please raise their hands.” Haji Hashim did not wait for a second to answer, “Nobody.”

“The fifth L is LAMA[7]. The writer must be ‘orang lama[8]’ or had a LONG duration of dedication to writing literature. The average winning age of Nobel Laureates is between the age of sixty-seventy and above. For those who are below fifty, forget about short term plan to be nominated, just keep on writing the best out of you, not a great work or a magnum opus. Wait until you have published thirty to forty novels then you may start dreaming. Otherwise don’t ever dream of it. When you reach that stage, start persuading, by crook or hook, you must get your works translated in various languages, especially in English and Swedish. Befriend with international literary critics, try to establish rapport with influential readers and fans in and outside the country. Most sure you don’t have enemies in literary fraternity and especially don’t antagonise literary critics from the local academia.”

Some of the writers laughed. Some smiled and a small number did not give any response. It was no longer a secret that most of literary critics were from the academia. Some of them had been appointed as panel jury for local awards including Professor Dr. Hong.

“Bravo...excellent!” the astonished professor congratulated Haji Hashim. He seldom gave good marks to his students. At the university, he was known as Professor D, D for a donkey. He was famous for giving D for his mediocre students. There were a lot stories about how Professor Dr. Hong gave marks to his students. To him, ‘an A means an “Absolutely” better than me’. B was for those A’s who had Bad Behaviour. C, ‘your brain is slightly better than a Chimpanzee’, E, a big Elephant brain and F, a Failed Fatalist. “By right, I’m the one who suppose to give inputs to you but now you have re-educated me. Thank you.”

“Professor Hong, actually we formulate 5J and 5L from the lectures and notes given to us for the last nine days attending the workshop. Each speaker focuses on his or her specialty whether in African, Asian, Hispanic, European and Islamic literatures. But for the big picture we have to gather ourselves and search for common denominators in the profiles of Nobel Laureates, distributed to us by the secretariat.”

“I’m very impressed,” praised Professor Dr. Hong. “I will teach you how to write from your psyche while emitting theta waves,” promised the professor.

“Prof. Hong, let us be frank. Do you think that any of us here dares to take the risks if we choose to act like great writers with 5J and 5L,” asked Mr. Basir in serious tone.

"Well, you shouldn't have a negative attitude. Being jailed and not, leave it to 'Allah ta'ala', “said Professor Dr. Hong who was clever in choosing right nuances to Muslim writers. Only one non-Muslim writer was amongst fourteen participants of the workshop. He was fully aware of their sentiments.

“Evidently, if we write in tune to the panache and flair of Nobel Laureates but perceived as vilifying by others, our novels will not be published by the Dewan. If we publish it overseas, the Home Ministry will ban its sale. If we print outside the country, we must be ready to be awarded ‘persona non grata’ status as what experienced by Nobel Laureates like Imre Kertesz, Gao Xingjian and others. But the most important question that I would like to ask my fellow writers here, ‘are we ready to embarrass our countrymen?’ You have to tarnish the image of your country, condemn your culture and religion in order to clinch recognition from the West. Obviously, after you win there are a great number of people will feel proud of your accomplishment, but prior to that you seem to be a lone. You should expect to loose ties with your family, relatives, friends and village folks. Are you willing to live in exile? If you are not in exile, you will face many court cases because of your novel. You probably spent more time with your lawyer than your wife. I ask again, are you willing to undergo such horrible experience?” asked Haji Hashim.

“I dare not to bear such consequences but that never happen in Malaysia. Even for the worst novel written in Malaysia with all the swearing and what not, there is no action taken against the writer. In fact, the government just let public to be the judges and juries over the novel,” said Dr. Wan, a GP who was seating beside Haji Hashim. Since the beginning, he simply laughed and smiled. That was the first time he spoke. Most of the time, he kept taking notes, listening with deep thought and registering many interesting things in his mind. Perhaps, it might appear in dreams that painted ideas for his creative writing.

“We don’t have such thing in our country. There is no writer had been jailed or banished or exiled to another country. Though we do have ISA detainees but only used or abused for security threat. The most you got is not being promoted. Just like me, always being sidelined,” joked Professor Dr. Hong.

The Dewan representative, Madam Harairah reminded the time for coffee break. Apparently, she did not want to be blamed for allowing discussion on issues not relevant to the purpose and out of context as outlined in the workshop’s objectives.

The coffee break was still an exciting forum to discuss risks of becoming a great writer. While stirring spoon to dissolve his sugar, Professor Dr. Hong kept on thinking as fast as the spinning whirl of the coffee, trying to figure it out how to infuse the spirit of Perak River into the mind of the participants. The Perak River kept many secrets of past warriors whose spirits still lingered along its riverbank. The infusion of spiritual motivation to the writers would nurture them to be more audacious in writing.

Returning from coffee break, Professor Dr. Hong began his lecture a little bit earlier. Three of the participants were still chatting outside the conference room.

“Despite of Mr. Lokaman’s 5J and Haji Hashim’s 5L formulae seem to convince that none of you is fit with the profile of Nobel Laureates, but actually not many of them had been jailed. Those who were jailed or detained in re-education camp were from developing countries of the third world. If we take for an example Toni Morrison, the 1992’s winner of Nobel Prize from USA, is a woman. She has never been jailed. Nadine Gordimer from South Africa has never been imprisoned. We must see the positive side as well, not just preoccupied with the negative. The negative should be used as a limit whereas the positive aspects should be your guidance. Nevertheless, only the negative sides would attract media. The negative sides are bread and butter for tabloid newspaper. Usually, the Nobel Laureates are pleased with such publicity no matter how much they deny it.”

"O.K., in the previous lecture, I promise to give an account on the status of mind while performing creative writing through scientific approach." Professor Dr. Hong stopped for a while allowing the three participants who had an extended coffee break to seat comfortably before he continued his lecture.

"Indeed it is irrefutable,” continued Professor Dr. Hong, “each writer has a unique style to write. One can not impose particular type of writing which went well with him but to other writer, it may not be suitable. To be a flamboyant writer with elegant poise is not something you get overnight. The finesse is a gift.”

“According to scientists, the best period to write creatively is while your brain emitting theta waves. Our brains emit four types of waves, namely alpha, beta, delta and theta depending on various different situations. The alfa wave is emitted when we are relaxing in unwinding state like putting your feet up while smoking at the veranda of your hut, facing a serene lake after toiling at your orchard farm or take it easy on Sunday morning at the patio of your home with a cup of hot coffee. That is an alfa wave. When you wake up from sleep, then the beta waves would be emitted. It is a common wave associated with activities like attending a routine briefing, waiting for your daughter outside school compound or like watering your garden, thus your brains emit beta waves. If you write using this wave, your discourse would be a common one just like the work of a mediocre secondary school’s student. The delta waves are produced while you’re asleep. I can’t imagine what kind of literature produced while delta waves are operating. Probably naive writers prefer to write under the influence of this wave. They should be called a delta wave’s writer,” said Dr Hong jokingly.

“The best wave for an aspirant writer to write a magnum opus is to continuously working in the inundation of theta waves throughout the writing process. It is not an easy task but you could develop the skill though training. These marvellous waves are produced while you’re in deep thought, in creative trance and in deep meditation. This is a space of the most special part of our mind where the operating brain is trapped between sleep and awake. It is not asleep neither awake. This is the space that you could explore and cruise a supra-conscious realm, not the subconscious realm as put by the legendary tale-telling Freud. In such state of supra, some said super-conscious or hyperconscious, which I disagree, images of the past would magically surface in realistic and psychedelic forms like a well composed and beautifully arranged daydreams. It is just like a perfectly edited film by an award-winning director. ”

“It is in this sacred space that you could profoundly understand the insight of your good self. Writing in full and deep concentration, you may encounter difficulties to a complicated creative situation but out of blue, an elucidated solution or a way-out notion simply appear to overcome the seemingly a baffling problem. And that is the moment you have emitted the high quality of theta waves. I ‘m convinced that some of you have experienced such psychic phenomenon that offers tranquillity and blissful ecstasy in which your awakening’s mind is able to focus deeply on a very challenging subject. This is the situation whereby you could experience transcendence meditation in which you would return to celestial realm that once was a space for matters and atoms resided but now they have united with our mind, body and soul. The homecoming and reunion became a mystery throughout ages until Sufis acclaimed that they have reach the realm of god. Amongst those who write creatively through this technique is Iqbal as mentioned in the lecture of Professor Jaafar Sulong about his mystical poetry.”

The workshop participants were astounded by Professor Dr. Hong's lecture. What puzzled his 'students' was that he probably pretended to be impressed by their presentation of 5J and 5L, but now he had mesmerized the participants with the knowledge that rarely ventured except for Dr. Wan who was familiar with EEG waves. Professor Dr. Wong had brought the participants to be acquainted with Freud and Jung in a close encounter with an introduction to the realm of psychic voyage in a hyperconscious state.

“How could we reach the hyperconscious state?” asked Dr. Wan who used to be a good listeners and now started to speak out.

“Meditation, 'bersemedi[9]', ‘berzikir[10]’ and ‘bertapa[11],” replied Professor Dr. Hong short but precise. After a while, he continued, "actually Dr. Wan, hyperconscious states can be divided into two types. Type one, we call super-conscious state as what experienced by F1 race drivers and the other one, type 2, is called supra-conscious state, as has been practised by the Sufis and Neo-Platonist which enable one to be a Cosmic Man. According to orientalist, the Sufis adapted meta-physical transcendence techniques from Neo-Platonist of Greek civilization.”

“During meditation, we are neither sleep nor awake, how could we write under such state? The writing process itself requires us to be fully alert and conscious to enable us to translate ideas and notions on a piece of paper. How could we combine the situation and writing activities? ” asked Dr. Wan with great interest.

“As I had mentioned it before, there are two types. Firstly, do not get confused between super and hyper-conscious states. Stick to what I had told earlier. I tend to differ from other analysts who confuse with super-conscious state. Both states are more or less the same in which hypothalamus generates theta waves that emitted to the whole body including the nearest structures to the limbic system such as hypothalamus, amygdala, hippocampus and pituitary gland and as well its delicate pathways to neo-cortex of both hemispheres of the brain. These structures are extensively connected with sensors inside and outside the brain coupled with the fortification of theta waves; one could possess the sixth sense like ESP that allows you to travel to remote corners of your past memory. These abysses of memory could not be retrieved by common perceptions. Whole brain user operates with both left and right hemispheres could facilitate the possibilities of parallelism between the space created in the brain and the space in celestial heaven. Transcending experience is recorded into hippocampus," Dr. Hong pointed over the LCD screen the location of the hippocampus, he then continued, "when he regains his consciousness from supra state, he could write about his celestial voyage from memories registered in hippocampus. But he still maintains the production of theta waves while writing. Under the influence of theta waves, you would be able to transform your flat style and awkwardness in writing into panache of elegance, when flat turned into flair.”

Professor Dr. Hong stopped a while to drink a mouthful of water.

"Could you tell us what's about the second one?" asked Dr. Wan impatiently as if he represented the other thirteen participants. Indeed, every one was stunned and paid full attention to the lecture in astonishment. Little did they realize that they have already generated theta waves regardless of its quality. But it was still a theta wave.

“The second type is basically almost the same one except the writer is under a controlled trance. Under such trance, the writer could simultaneously write and type. There is a synchronization and synergistic coordination between components of the brain and the intricate musculature of the fingers. Writing in psychedelic trance with stream of ideas and surrealistic images is at times mistakenly associated with divinity. The stream of ideas floods the mind with relentless rhythms that resonates the dancing muscles that levitate worshippers to cosmic realm. At that clandestine moment, the body, mind and soul become unison of undivided entity,” said Professor Dr. Hong in poetic manner.

“Is it true that the Sufis including Iqbal are endorphin addicts? “ Dr. Wan’s question surprised other participants as it implicated Iqbal with addiction.

“Yes, I’m sure Dr. Wan is familiar with beta-endorphin because he is a medical doctor. As a matter of fact, nobody has ever gauged the level of beta-endorphin amongst Sufis practitioner. During Iqbal, there was no medical technology to measure the level of endorphin. It was only discovered in the 70’s. If there is any allegation that Iqbal wrote Sufis’ poetry under the influence of beta-endorphin, it was probably that Iqbal’s brain synthesized beta-endorphin while meditating in deep zikir that hallucinated him as experienced by a morphine addict. This allegation is entirely based on assumption. But it is the nearest smart guess based on the latest knowledge of medical science. That was the reason why, the western orientalist regarded Sufis practitioners as The Sophist who were good at hal and qal but like to exaggerate. The Sufis practitioners claimed to be able to levitate to the twelve-strata of celestial heavens were considered as Divine Comedy by the western thinkers,” uttered the professor, who confessed that he was the representative of ‘Kafirdom’ or The Kingdom of Infidels. So he had to scrutinize everything from the eyes of an infidel without apology.

“So the ‘berzikir’ could stimulate the production of beta-endorphin and at the same time it generates theta waves ceaselessly. Is it true that beta-endorphin is responsible for making Sufis practitioners craving to return to the realm created by trance and remain ‘high’?” asked Dr. Wan again.

“If we compare the chemical properties and pharmacological actions of endogenous and exogenous morphine, there are almost the same except morphine taken by the drug addicts enters rapidly into blood stream by intravenous injection while endorphin or endogenous morphine is being gradually produced while berzikir for hours. Those who are expert could reach hyperconscious state in a relatively short period of time. They don’t need many hours to meditate till dawn; it’s enough for a mere twenty minutes they could already be in the realm of supra-conscious state,” responded Professor Dr. Hong. He was regarded by some, able to demystify Iqbal from the western perception. Is Iqbal a Sufis addict?

“Morphine is like opium. Isn’t it?” Mr. Marwan asked to end Dr. Wan’s domination.

“Morphine is a chemical compound extracted from opium, which is a vegetation from the Plant Kingdom whereas endogenous morphine or conveniently abbreviated for endorphin is a naturally occurring opiate derivatives produced by the hypothalamus of the brain under certain special conditions such as 'berzikir' in deep meditation or under severe pain. The same thing happens to the kadavi worshippers during Thaipusam festival. Due to the surplus of endorphin production, they are converted into a trance in which they do not experience pain and appear bloodless despite being pieced by multiple penetrations of sharp iron rods. How do we explain this phenomenon? It is believed there is a harmony amongst the body’s cells mystically gives ways to the penetrating iron rods without causing any injury to the tissues,” explained Professor Dr. Hong.

“I also believe that the same thing happens to the legendary Malay warriors who were impenetrable to keris[12] and other sharp objects. These warriors practise meditation such as bertapa and bersemedi,” said Mr. Marwan who conducted archaeological study on claims of the immortal Malay warriors. Perhaps, endorphin could partially answer the riddle of their legendary claims. But they did die from western colonial bullets.

“Is it true” asked Dr. Wan, “that creative works written under the influence of theta waves and supra-conscious state, could give a deep and lasting impact to the readers? It is said that the readers themselves would produce a significant amount of endorphin and becoming euphoric and elated while reading a great work of arts.”

“Perhaps, yes. You have to ask those who read Umar Khayyam’s metaphysical poems or the mystical poems of Mohammad Iqbal. Usually, they feel ecstatic and jubilant. The euphoria is probably due to the same effects of endorphin transpired by the recital of the poems. That is the reason why people keep reciting their poems, as it is addictive. And that what does make a creative work great or a magnum opus. It is mesmerizing. You better ask these things to Professor Dr. Jaafar Sulong," reacted Professor Dr. Hong who adopted new approach of an Eastern orientalist.

For the participants, each of them had different interpretation of the phenomenon. Nevertheless for Dr. Wan, he could see another space of opportunity to explore the realm of the Learned Guru in his coming dreams. That is the way to seek verses from hidden part of his mind for the chronicle. And yet at times, the verses were not within his psychic reach. Only through hyper-endorphinism, which had demystified Iqbal, would be able to levitate him to the chronicle of the Learned Guru. His zikir would be further deepened until spiritual levity lifted him to the twelve strata of celestial heaven simulating the transcendence of Iqbal as the great poet.

After the lecture, Dr. Wan wrote a mantra poem.

Picking up the glittering fireflies
To bestow twinkles to a starry night
Upon seeing scintillating sparkles
Levitate my soul to the celestial sky.

[1] The Compeller: He Who repairs all broken things, Who completes that which is incomplete, and Who has the ability, with force, to make people do whatever He wants,
[2] He Who is victorious and dominant in a way that He can do anything He wills.
[4] Men
[5] Banning
[6] Out-spoken
[7] It means established/old/ duration.
[8] Seasoned/veteran/ experience.
[9] A Malay traditional meditation with Hindus influence.
[10] An Islamic meditation.
[11] A Malay mystical meditation.
[12] Traditional Malay dagger.

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