PEACE PREVAILS

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Saturday, 17 December 2011

WAKING UP AFTER A 'HOT AFFAIR' - GARDENING AT THE PENANG INTERNATIONAL SCIENCE FAIR

This is another example of how transient life is. Just after that small 'I' (that I called 'me') had allowed this mind to create some mental concepts on the recently organized "Art Book Fair" (and then emotionally investing in being disappointed), came another hot 'affair'. But this fair has taught this mind to submit to a mental concept of fairness or adil (whilst allowing the emotion to bath it with enthusiasm and joy). Adil by the way, is the root term for my daughter's name, Adeela. 

Two 'fairs', one for the arts, another for the sciences. But both, really, should be in ONE fair together, to experience a 'hot affair'!

The one for the sciences was the recently organized Penang International Science Fair at the Penang International Sport Arena (PISA). Muzium & Galeri Tuanku Fauziah (MGTF) was invited. 

MGTF has for the past few years been a regular feature in science fairs around Penang, especially after being known for its very own 'Smart Art & Science Carnival' (SASC), organized in 2008, 2009 and 2010. This year, due to budget constrain, MGTF could not organize it again. What a shame, but we dance with the Will of the universe. We (my fellow gardeners and I, plus so many partners) managed to pull nearly 20,000 visitors to the 4 days SASC. But of course, you don't read that on the newspaper.

The Penang State Education Department had organized it's own science fair after witnessing the success of our SASC. Now came the Penang State government itself. Pity the State did not include the arts. No wonder our approach towards 'education' is not balanced (only develop and celebrate 'left' brain thinking, not the right brain too). Despite the call for a total or whole brain learning experience, even the state institutions mandated to take care of the 'education' are not embracing it.

How can we develop multiple intelligences? How can we create a balanced 'mind' that is 'at peace' with itself when we are too busy working on only half of its capacity (to experience learning)? How can we nurture creative minds? How can we induce sustainability with such an unbalanced approach towards how we use our brains? Not fair, dear science fair. 

But credit must still be given to the Penang State government for organizing this fair. It was a success, if numbers of visitors are taken as one of the yardsticks.

Anyway, the separation of left and right brain thinking is not fair to our nature. Working in isolated silo of our own so-called discipline of knowledge (art or science, positivist or phenomenological approach, quantitative or qualitative etc), only creates an illusion of separation. After all, what we take as our 'specialization', our 'career path' and our 'job prescription' are just a form of language and discourses meant to regulate stable meanings (but not to be obsessively attached to). If we totally identify our sense of self with those, we will only feed our ego and frozen sense of 'identity'. Well, I can cites so many theories and references on this, so let just stop there.  

Thankfully, that is not the case with MGTF. We have been known as a nurturing site for both left and right brain learning experience. So, we went to the fair with similar take. We brought our usual package, combining both the arts and sciences. We brought our mind teasers (that require the use of whole brain thinking to solve problems) and our own sustainable 180 degree cosmodome (only two in Malaysia, another one with the Petrosains in KL).

Our booth and cosmodome were swarmed by the enthusiastic visitors, from small kids to grandpa and grandma, in all colors. 


For the cosmodome, we screened an immersive video on a journey to the outer space with no narration and no textual description. It was a hit. Since we could only accommodate about 20 per screening (8 min), we had to screen it at 15 minutes interval throughout the one day fair. It was full house from the time we opened the show till the last screening at 10.30pm.


When we are dealing with the experience of learning (mind), we are dealing with the quantum field, the higher frequencies, the invisible waves or energy that are the root of this holographic mental projection that we call physical world and experience. 



The opacity of our obsessive attachment to artificial physical constructs (social, political, cultural, etc) can become more transparent during a revealing learning experience. In such experience, more light within us can be unveiled to shine with joy and bliss. With and through MGTF, I have learned to dissolve the opacity of my own visual artist 'posturing', submit and and just BE.


Kids especially, are already less opaque and more transparent than adults. Since MGTF has always been very kids friendly, MGTF itself has become more transparent and able to shine more light from within. 


Entertaining visitors with a clear heart and crystal mind doesn't need a 'budget'. If we invest or plant 'goodness', goodness will grow and prevail. If we plant joy of discovery, joy will grow. If we plant happiness, happiness will grow. If we plant wisdom, wisdom will grow. We have to become good gardeners (some 'seers' call it architects of physical reality).


Personal engagements with visitors bring lots of joy and smile that don't need a large 'capital'. I've been sharing (rather planting) this take on 'audience or visitors engagements' with my fellow gardeners in MGTF many many times already. I pray that it will be sustained forever.


The garden of the heart and mind within (the quantum field) must be well taken care off first, then only it will collectively manifest and grow into a beautiful physical (or mental projection/holographic 3D) garden for others to share in joy. Be it in a form of our premise in USM (Universiti Sains Malaysia) or outside, the garden will manifest and grow.

I am so grateful that I have been able to experience such joy with MGTF and all my fellow gardeners, including all our partners who have been working with us for so long (especially Dr. Choong and Nurul Fatini). 


In such joy, all the artificial needs to achieve KPI (Key Performance Indicators), numbers of visitors, press coverage, popularity, credits, compliments etc just dissolve into nothingness. After all, most government institutions have been perceived (by default) as not performing by some sections of the public. No need to expect a pat at the back, or a big and complimentary coverage (unless there is a political clown and issue to cover of course).  

Yes, everything will pass, everything is transient, but while we are playing out our roles in this holographic universe, let us create and project a world that is complimentary to our true nature....foremost is love.

And that is what it means behind MGTF's taglines "In the Name of Time" and "BEyond seeING".

Let us experience LIVING and BEING. 

Take the red pill and wake up (Bangun, in Malay), so that we may collectively attain freedom and progress (pemBANGUNan) in their truest sense.

(For an online book on MGTF USM's activities, click here)
http://issuu.com/mgtfusm/docs/smart_art___science_carnival

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