May 20, 2007

What's your deepest fear?

Out of many many different types of phobia that he could find, none indicates truly what happened to him. Maybe Prof Floyd and his successors have the psychological term for it, maybe.

Or maybe Cleptophobia terms the closest. Cleptophobia- fear of stealing. He met CodeName 'The Blue' and started to suspect CodeName 'The Blue' stole his talent. He never believed that talents can be stolen but now he firmly claimed that that was the only way that CodeName 'The Blue' owns his most precious ability -- the talent of building Fusion Web, and the ability of mixing himself into another colonial.

CodeName 'The Blue' appeared so much alike to him, he felt unsettled to think of another existence of 'himself' in the same world. "What if CodeName 'The Blue' did not steal ANYTHING from me? What if what he owns are what I own?" He thought to himself in one sleepless night, and suddenly he realized that the deepest fear of him was not about the fear of stealing, it was more than that. Maybe Eisoptrophobia could explain the deepest phobia of him. Eisoptrophobia- Fear of mirrors or of seeing oneself in a mirror. ... It was the 'another him' that feared him most-- which led to the fear of being not anymore special and unique, and original.

He decided to claim the privilege from CodeName 'The Blue'. He tracked him down, and finally they met face to face.

"What do you think is your deepest fear?" first question from CodeName 'The Blue'.

He was surprised as he thought the first question from CodeName 'The Blue' supposed to be 'why are you following me?' ..

"I thought mine was Symmetrophobia, cuz' I just couldn't stand to have two same things with same functions exist in a same space.." CodeName 'The Blue' continued.

Symmetrophobia- Fear of symmetry. Similar to his Eisoptrophobia. He realized that CodeName 'The Blue' had gone through the same reflection process too.

"I came from Zone K-1-579, same zone you're manufactured from, CodeName 'The Black'," apparently CodeName 'The Blue' tracked him down as well.

"... the Fusion Web..?" wondered CodeName 'The Black'.

"It is not a talent as what we claimed," CodeName 'The Blue' seemed to see through what's in his mind, "the Fusion Web was originally uploaded into our system, any spider who are from Zone K-1-579 can easily own this ability.." explained CodeName 'The Blue'.

Silence ensued. Meeting CodeName 'The Blue' made him sunk into deep thought most of the time. " you tracked me down too?" out of bunch of flying wonders in his mind, CodeName 'The Black' chose this to ask CodeName 'The Blue'.

"This is..." CodeName 'The Blue' paused and took a deep breath, then a long sad sigh, "..ironic...," he said, "... the ability of building Fusion Web allows us to mingle well with another colonial, and even sometime allows us to be transformable into their type -- this ability should have created the sense of embracing variety, but we just couldn't accept the fact of having another one of ourselves who could do the same..." explained CodeName 'The Blue' sadly.

"..even though the fact of having another one of ourselves IS a part of the variety..." CodeName 'The Black' finished up the untold part of the sentence , which is the most ironic part of their destiny..

"Yes.." CodeName 'The Blue' cleared his throat, "..that's why both of us tracked each other down after the day we met... it's not to get rid of, it's simply to reassure the sense of security to the meaning of existence of our own selves."

"To encounter face to face with our deepest fear.." CodeName 'The Black' mumbled when CodeName 'The Blue' turned around and left the spot.

What's our deepest fear? CodeName 'The Black' sunk in deep thought. The Cleptophobia, the Eisoptrophobia, the Symmetrophobia, all together they still couldn't quote the fear of loosing the privilege of being special and unique, and the sense of originality that boosted their confidence and molded their belief in life. Or, switching into another perspective, maybe it is Athazagoraphobia that terms the closest. Athazagoraphobia- Fear of being forgotten or ignored.


Footnote: Behind the scene..
This is NOT a post that inspired or altered from SPIDERMAN 3, for God's sake. This post, is inspired by the true feeling and the true meeting that happened just recently in my life. However, the pictures are not recently snapped. I took these spideys' picture the day before our last field trip of my MSc. study, when I was preparing the 'SpideyScale', spending my leisure moment doing some handcrafts. Never thought that the pictures I took early this year will eventually help to visualize my feeling right here right now after 137 days of keeping it in my picture folder. Special thanks to Dani for sponsoring the CodeName 'The Black' spider.

May 14, 2007

Mystical experience.. anyone?

Inspired by true event.

"Yuuuuu~~~Huuuuu~~~"My signal yield sounded so loud and pierced through the quietness of the forest, no echoes, and then almost immediately I received a shout-back, the voice was too spread-out as the forest was so not confined. I believed it was from Amir or Boy, who were about few meters behind of us.

"... maybe we should wait for them, they are on their way to CP2," I looked at exhausted Sue, "what do you find in that another trail?"

"No," Sue drank up her bottle of water, "as you said, no sign of trails at all.. we'll follow the one you picked just now," Sue needed my help to stand up. Her knees pain was killing her, but her determination surprised me very much.

"Let's go. Maybe we'll see the white-red tape right in front," I tried to put on a light tone though deep inside I knew that we might have chosen a wrong pathway which might lead to anything.

TECHNICALLY, we were not lost. We were just confused with two choices of pathways, which both did not seem to be familiar at all for both of us. We eventually chose path 'A' as Sue and I agreed that path 'B' did not have any sign of trails. And things were not so optimistic as we still did not see any white-red tapes after half an hour of going downhill via pathway 'A'.

"Follow the white-red tape." This was the last advice or guideline that we received from Boy, our guide to Gunung Ledang, before Sue and I decided to move ahead of them.

"I don't think this looks familiar, " Sue claimed her intuition. I had to admit Sue got real sharp intuition, but in this scenario, even the least intuitive person like me could easily tell, the trail that we were stepping on, it was so new and unfamiliar.

The trail was so steep and slippery, covered by thick carpet of leaves and grasses. And it was broad, up to a feeling of weird. Too broad and too clear. No trees stood in the middle of the downhill trail, they were just aligned at the both side of it. And the thick carpet, so soft and green, I even thought I saw it glowing with a smooth diffused greenish glow, but it might due to some kind of optical illusion or any scientific explanation, like my drops of sweat hanging around my eye sort of created a diffusion effect to my sight , or maybe it was simply the glowing algae on the trail yada yada yada.. but.. the trail was different, I could tell, even Sue.

"I think this is the pathway for 4-wheel-drive.." she said while trying hard to get every step down on the trail. Yes the trail was broad enough for vehicle, but "do u see any tyre print?" I asked, helping her to come down to a little platform where I stepped on. The trail was so virgin that we couldn't even notice any traces of human footprints. PLUS, up to that moment I still did not see any white-red tape.

We might be on the wrong track. I thought to myself. Not telling Sue as she needed every concentration to make sure she din fall and slide down. The pathway was very slippery and I had to hold to a tree or make my heel-stop on any bulge on the trail, although my KANGAROO hiking shoe gave reliable grip most of the time.

"Do you see any tape ahead?" Sue's NIKE running shoe was obviously not for this type of outing. She had to sit on the steep surface and slide herself every inch downslope.

"Not YET." I started to pray.

"So you DO believe in spirits?" suddenly I heard a voice asking. A lady's, not from Sue.

"Yes I do," I tried to ignore the mysterious voice but I answered unconsciously.

"..because you prayed just now. " the voice smiled. I arrived a turn with all the worry and curiosity. "Sue are you alright?" I made it loud enough so that my own voice could pull me back to the reality.

"...any tapes ahead?" she was getting closer to me.

"Not YET..." I held on a tree trunk besides me and waited for her. Despite Sue's sit-down-and-slide way of going downhill, we relied on the trees or plantations on both side of the pathway very much while moving downward.

We moved on when Sue arrived my side. It was a turn, not really sharp one, but steep, and the broad clear greenish pathway extended downward after the turn. Everything seemed to be the same except a tree.

A tree that stood right in the middle of the trail, with 3 white-red tapes and 2 black-yellow tapes tied around the trunk.

Almost running and skidding, I rushed to the tree and leaned against it, before I fell down and slided all the way down the trail. I held the tapes and felt them, making sure that they were not any illusion or mirage.

"Sue I think we got the tapes, A LOT of them." I declared carefully, while looking up to the tree. This tree stood in the middle of this trail was... ... I dun know, it seemed like a man to me, maybe a lady, standing in the middle of our way, welcoming our arrival with all the tapes that Sue and I were looking for.

"This is the answer for your prayer, cuz you'd never prayed like that before, right?" The voice.

"What?" I turned around.

"I SAID, so are we on the right track now?" Sue repeated, with a tone that full of hopes.

"Oh.. yeah, I think so.." I looked up to the tree, touching it and feeling it. The tree was real, ".. you OK there?" I was about to ask "did you hear anything just now" instead.

"Be careful, make your step over here. This tree is firm enough to lean on," I instructed, while leaving the tree so that Sue could have the space to catch her breath.

My steps moved on, but not my mind. "What was that?" I kept on wondering, and "Where am I?"

"This is the walkway for royalty of this mountain, that's why it is different, and you two stepped onto it," The voice.

"Huh?!" it was rude to gasp, especially when everything in my mind seemed to be read by this somebody.

"I thought you believed in spirits?" see I told you.

Yes I do. ".. but you seemed to be confused. The prayer just now, it was a mess. Why?"

Maybe I din know which God to call for.. "Funny," the voice cut off my non-sense explanation. I was embarrassed. The voice continued, "it is the heart that we listen to," the voice consoled me, "like what you always believe in, the differences possessed among human beings are just different in forms..."

Yes, the languages, the cultural, the skin colors, the religions...... they are all just various forms of human appearances, "it is the heart that matters,"I agreed. The voice smiled.

"So why are you still confused?" She asked.

"Maybe I absorbed the variety too much and too easily that I couldn't sort them out when to think of my own root," I tried to explained it in a better way.

"WHAT? Now I'm confused. Did you not listen to my question?" Sue gave me a punch, "I SAID, we got the markers now, then WHY ARE YOU STILL CONFUSED?"

"Oh..." I suddenly realized that Sue was walking in front of me now. She found a tongkat which helped a lot to her movement. ".. I... I mean.. because we only have one marker .. I mean 5 markers tied on 1 tree..., and there's no more ahead," I tried to recover from my 'day-dreaming'.
"C'mon buddy, we only have one way down, this IS the right way," Sue suddenly sounded excited. I thought I saw what she saw: the end of the this steep broad greenish trail, or the glowing carpet royalty's walkway.

"Go. She's right. At the end of this trail you'll find your familiar track back home," The voice again, "as at the end of your confusion, you'll find out that we'd never run out from your root, it is inside your heart."

"Embracing variety is not meant to make confusion, only those who are able to overlook the differences can celebrate variety." This was the last statement echoing in my mind, not sure it was from the voice or it was actualy from myself. We arrived the end of the mysterious trail and came to our very surprise, we saw the entry of this trail at the bottom of it was blocked by tree trunks and branches -- the road block was apparently setup by the authority of Gunung Ledang, indicating a clear 'NO ENTRY' sign for those mountain climbers.

We found our confidence back when we saw a signboard showing the direction to CP1, and white-red tapes were seen at the distance of every 1 meter. Sue and I were the last to arrived the headquarter of Gunung Ledang. Sue was surprised as she thought the group of Amir and Boy was behind us at CP2.

Everybody was concerned bout us, even Amir did not realize that they overtook us. "We used another track down, perhaps was not the one we used to hike up," This was my answer plus apologies to everybody, "but we still followed the white-red tapes." I tried to put on a light tone, even though I wasn't sure about the ONLY white-red tapes we had throughout the mysterious 'walkway'.

..but what was the voice and who was talking to me? I had no idea at all. The royalty, the fine sense to the complicated feeling deep in my heart, the wisdom, the gentle way of talking -- the only name I had in my mind was related to the legend of Gunung Ledang, which it shouldn't be mentioned throughout our journey in the legendary Gunung Ledang.

I later asked Fariz which way should we actually take after CP2 since pathway 'A' was THE ONE we chose and it proved it wasn't the right one while pathway 'B' did not seem to have any trails. The answer of Fariz was rather simple: "Din u see the sign board showing the direction RIGHT AFTER the CP2?"

No I did not see any signboard there, neither did Sue.

May 6, 2007

A mountain awaits.

Yes it would be perfect to declare an adventurous expedition as a birthday gift for an outdoor guy, as what I did for my own.

"A mountain awaits" -- I put this as my Yahoo Messenger's status message on 30th of April, my birthday, and it sounded like "A party awaits" or "A Lamborghini awaits". I hate the arrogance behind this status message but I couldn't help to think of the excitement that I'd have in another adventurous outing. This time round, after Mt Kinabalu, I went to Mt. Ophir, a.k.a., the legendary Gunung Ledang.

No I did not underestimate the expedition of Gunung Ledang, in fact, I've been advised by my friends about hiking up this mountain. After all, Gunung Ledang is a mysterious mountain which bears many myths and legends. Gunung Ledang is not as high as Mt Kinabalu, in fact, the mountain is half shorter than Mt Kinabalu, but on the other hand, difficulty wise, Gunung Ledang is ranked 6th while Mt Kinabalu is 12th.

The ranking has all said, and we did experience some toughnesses along the journey of hiking up and down. The programme of hiking changed a lil bit from what as planned. We needed to hike up straight to the top of the mountain CP8 after setting up our camp at CP4, instead of having a good rest at campsite CP4 and proceeding our journey up in the next morning.

The changes of the schedule created a mentally-challenging scenario to 17 of us besides the physical toughness which we needed to go through along the hike. Hiking up to the peak of the mountain on the same day meant we have to climb down to our campsite right after that -- and the time we gathered at the peak of Gunung Ledang was already 7:30pm, and the way back to campsite needed about 3-4 hours during day time, expected to be n times longer when we moved closely together in the dark.

So the story went on. The obstacles that we'd made through when going up came back to us with a leveled-up difficulty with low visibility and more slippery track, plus tiredness, and some might have injury and body pain here and there... .....but 'moving closely together' was such a huge motivation generator I can tell. Nobody cried nobody gave up nobody left behind, and we reached the campsite at 2:45am.

As I always believe in, the strength of mentality is much much greater than of our body. The journey in the dark further convinced me of the power of 'I AM IN WHERE I AM, I AM HERE'. I think my childhood made me learnt this and Gunung Ledang reminded me the belief: I am in where I am, so I enjoy the most out of every bit of my surrounding.

So you say a journey of 4186.4 feet up and another 4186.4 feet down was not supposed to be a perfect birthday gift? *LOL* well I enjoyed it. To the most least, this journey had shown me approval that what I've been believing in so far is correct, and the nature had given me allowance to proceed with the belief I hold on until my age of 26.

-- it's like you passed the mid-term evaluation and you're allowed and ready to shift to the next level. Wasn't it an exciting birthday gift?

I am glad to have Fariz and Amir again in this journey -- comparatively my experience of mountain hiking is considered ZERO among three of us, so by having them in the troop I always know who to learn from, beside our mother nature, and the mountain. And this time round we have Sue and Fariz's wife Rina following. Sue and I have a lot of OUTDOOR activities together which include shopping shopping and shopping. So hanging out with Sue deep in a jungle without her shopping bags was something new and.. erm.. interesting. And Kak Rina, an adventurous tough young lady that surprised me with her craving for shopping... (well, they are ladies..).

Besides five of us, we also had Adi the sempoi (the only chap from HR), Nazreen the hot-red, Hasni the cekal, Marina the pretty, JC the optimist, Ana the sporty Ms. 'Adidas', Soon the Mr. 'Men'sHealth', Lai the 'lai-lai-lai', Boy the superb guide, and his cousin Arif, plus Suren and Raj, our agents for this trip. 17 of us, survived, and had good time on Gunung Ledang.