Some mornings you wake up and you are greeted by a news that pleasantly surprises you (comedic in nature notwithstanding). This is one of those mornings.
Recall the bomoh who sat on a magic carpet ride with two assistants, two coconuts and one long bamboo pole (as telescope) to look for the missing flight a few years ago?
Well, he is in the papers today (26 April 2017), but it is not to brag about how he is world renowned as the King of Shaman. No.
He's in the papers to finally admit to this: "All of it was drama, the shaking of the bamboo sticks. I couldn't see anything inside. I was told to shake the sticks. I took the coconuts as if they were bombs. I didn't know what I did was wrong."
This was the same shaman king (alias Ibrahim Mat Zin or Rajah Bomoh) who a few weeks ago claimed with panache that he was using the coconut and bamboo cannons to save Malaysia from a North Korean invasion.
But what is most infuriating (to say the least) is what this hustler have to say about the fate of the passengers in MH370:-
"The plane is in a parallel realm. It will be missing for 25 years before it returns, but the people may still be alive because the air is different, a month is like a day to them." (How convenient...he may not be around then).
Alas, there ought to be a clear dividing line drawn between harmless, delusional gobbledygook and heartless, mindless horseshit. And he has crossed the line with that totally insane and insensitive statement.
And about his so-called "coconuts" craft, Rajah bomoh has this to say: "Bomohs are no different from Chinese sinsehs and faith healers of other religions, such as Christian evangelists."
Lesson? Just one.
Here, I recall a saying: "We live in a world of many illusion and many of human belief and behaviour is ritualized nonsense."
Mm...while some "rituals" are harmless and may even be helpful like conscientiously prepping yourself up every morning with a painted face to tell yourself that you are simply irresistible to psyching yourself up with boastful statements to boost your self-esteem just before exams, presentation or competitions, some rituals however are just plain silly, if not, incredibly nonsensical (cue in Mr Shaman King).
We by the sideline can laugh about it, but these bomohs, faith healers, spiritualists and prosperity preachers thrive all thanks to us. There is actually nothing divine about their theatrical acts. It is all about economics, silly.
It all boils down to demand and supply. You demand, they supply. You come, they perform. You pay, they bedazzle. And you cheer along, they wow even more.
It is an endless, ever-increasing loop that sucks in the crowd, money and delusion to give it a celebrated veneer of truth, veracity and reality.
Mindless crowd attracts even more mindless crowd until what is undeniably mindless mutates into an impenetrable citadel of mass delusion.
That's how they roll and that's how they are still around living in big houses and enjoying the ill-begotten fruits of their own ritualized nonsense.
You see, they may not believe what they say or do, but who cares...as long as if you do. Often times, it's not the leaders who feed the followers, but the followers who feed the leaders.
Let me tell you who is an honest godly minister to me. He is one whose main task is to prevent people from suffering for the wrong reasons.
This world has seen enough suffering. Scams of all kinds (whether religious or the irreligious) have effectively exploited, robbed and ruined the innocent of their money, hope and integrity.
So, the heart of a true minister is one who gives hope without exploiting naivety, who sacrifices self without sacrificing others, who leads by example without being hypocritical, who bears the Cross without reaping financial gains in return, and who tells the ugly truth without sugarcoating it so as to please the wealthy and influential members.
True, in this life, there will be struggles or suffering. But to suffer for the wrong reasons so that these fraudsters can benefit from it wholly is not only unethical, but offensively cruel.
Imagine a pensioner who gives away her life savings to fatten a preacher's coffer over time. Or a father denying urgent medical help to his dying son because he was told by a religious leader that seeking medical intervention is an act that shows a lack of faith.
Or worse, having tens of thousands blindly endorsing whatever a man or woman say behind the pulpit about secularizing faith to win faith, about repentance being redundant, or about divine love means you can embrace everything without discipline and consequences.
Please...let's suffer for growth, for maturity, for lessons learned and experiences gain so that we may be wiser, more resilient and morally courageous. And not suffer for a deluded cause from the horseshit of a deluded mouth.
Let me end with this: "The range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice. And because we fail to notice that we fail to notice, there is little we can do to change until we notice how failing to notice shapes our thoughts and deeds."
And trust me, what we fail to notice often shapes our thoughts and deeds that at times will cost us more than just our time and money. It may just cost us our life. Cheerz.