Thursday, March 20, 2008

What Would Life Be Like?

There's this book I am currently reading. By right, I think I should not as I know next to nuts about the subject which is about neurology, but somehow I found myself hooked by it. Hang on, before anyone think I'm nuts already for buying a book which I know nuts about, well I did not! A very dear friend has asked me to safekeep the book till a later time. However, I may well have to agree to the label, for reading a book which I know nuts about. Hmm...

By the way, this entry is not about the book as currently I am only at page21. But, I went visiting a cousin today; he suffered a less-than-major stroke a few months back, yet his condition seem to be progressing well now. Still, his legs cannot support his body as they once used to and he either lie or just sit on the bed. Compared to many other stroke patients I have met, I would consider my cousin to be a lucky man. And as per norm with someone who knows nuts about nuts, I try to imagine how life would be like to be in such a state. I never got far, I don't mind telling.

One of the first things that came to my mind for situations as such, was learning that most people who became an invalid, would be overcome with despair and resign themselves from life. Statistically we were told (I was in a lecture given by an Actuarial some many years back), patients in this condition would not live past several years. Many feel humiliated about their inability and dependence on others, and are unable to accept their state-of-being. After years of independence of movement, the most simple matter of answering nature's call has now become a major problem - not because of bowel movement or urinary tract problems - but the inability to move independently to the toilet. This is most especially in the mornings. And that, is as far as I could imagine myself in.

I remember a time when I was hospitalised due to fatigue compounded by ulcer which caused heavy vomiting with bloody stains, I lay motionless on the bed unable even to think. At that point of time, it was the Thomas Cup Final where Malaysia was up against either China or Indonesia, I can't remember. The gentleman in the next bed, seeing I was already awake - how could I not with the noise from the TV - was kind enough to switch on the telly for me. However, his efforts were wasted as I just could not stay awake and was soon slumbering like a baby, only to wake up feeling still sleepy and sick 12 hours later. What I mean to say is: what had I not been able to sleep, and yet unable to move. I would be confined to such a state where only the mind is part of me which is alive. That is, a scary thought.

Back to the book - Phantoms In The Brain by Sandra Blakeslee & VS Ramachandran - it brought my thoughts to another book I read some very many years ago: The Truth About Life In This World by Harun Yahya. While the former approach the suject matter - the brain - from a medical perspective, the highly esteemed Harun Yahya used an Islamic approach, relating to the brain, but more on the spiritual aspect (if I remember it well).

Harun - the man and the book have aroused some controversy amongst some quarters - expounded on the human brain's frailties and capabilities, to the point of putting a notion forward that the entire universe and everything in it does not exist in physical form, but just a figmentation of our minds. Though not to be taken literally, I think I may see his point of view, though understanding it may be entirely different. I mean, hey, I'm just an average Joe or cakapaje with an average mind! To lay emphasis on that, I'll tell you how I managed to relate the book by Harun - by watching a movie!

Some 4-5years back, I watched this movie at a friend's place. The movie 'Dark City' had Keifer Sutherland playing a doctor in a world he thought was real as Earth is. Turned out to be, the entire human population there were prisoners on some alien satellite and there were no escape from it. Hmm...not actually an intellectual level of thinking, is it? I mean, when one relate 2 books written by some intellectuals to a movie from Hollywood, it just go to show how intelligent the mind is - that cakapaje's mind lah!

Anyway, I do think books are a dangerous thing and should be locked away! From one book, one is led to another, and another, and another like it will never stop! Its addictive and there is no cure to it...except for laziness, which sometimes, ok, make it many times, does afflict that cakapaje bloke. And it open the possibilities of one's life and get the mind thinking endlessly. Like right now, I'm beginning to think: What would life be if there's no books at all?

Guess you don't need an intellect's mind to wander or wonder that far eh?


Kata Tak Nak said...

Books are evil inventions. They destroy the minds with ideas. Ideas are bad and since books carry them then books are bad. Burn all books and with them all ideas are destroyed then we will do nothing and when we do nothing we don't go to war, we don't scheme, heck we don't think. (The doing nothing part is borrowed from the Essay, On Doing Nothing by I can't remember his name)

cakapaje said...

Salam Cikgu,

Lol! Then we will be reliving China's Cultural Revolution and Khmer Rogue's People's Re-education! But, that is scary.

On Doing Nothing eh? Hmm...will google that. Thanks :)

acciaccatura said...

hmm...interesting, what will i do without the internet!

cakapaje said...

Salam Accia,

No, not you, but we - all of us! Ah, there's a phrase, an old at that which may be appropriate: mati kutu lah aku! lol! :)

Minci said...

I love books. Sekian.

cakapaje said...

Salam Minci,

Well, so do I. Tak sekian [kerana lum habis baca :)]

tokasid said...

Salam Shah:

1-You reading Neurology? Wow!That is sure heavy stuff bro. Its a sleeper for me. During varsity days if I cannot sleep, just pick up a nuerology or embriology book. In 5 minutes L'ii sleep like a log.

2-Books are bad? Well in such a way it is. But in other ways it is not. But if we start banning books...I think sis Elviza will go cuckoo!!( Elviza! Elviza!!...)

3- Harun yahya created controversies becoz some of his views are somewhat against the popular scholars' beliefs. And I suspect it also have to do with Harun Yahya incorporating his opinions with Al-Quran and hadith.

cakapaje said...

Wa'alaikumusalam Doc,


1. Yup! You have to blame my friend for leaving the book with me. Could have been a novel (ada, 3!), a diary, a set of encyclopedia, but no, it had to be a book on neurology! But hey, I'm loving it :)

2. Yo! Books are bad! Ask Cikgu...and he's a teacher! :)

3. Yup! Harun did stir some controversy that at least one person has called for him to be imprisoned...again! Have yet to read more of his works to make any judgment. And that too, if I qualify.

Kata Tak Nak said...

If I am not mistaken its by Hazzlit.

cakapaje said...

Ok Cikgu, found it but had no chance to read yet. Thanks :)

Mior Azhar said...

Books can be really bad for my wallet! Ever so often I wanted to just browse at MPH and (mesti punya) went home with at least a book. Like yesterday, I was waiting for my colleague at MPH Mid Valley and ended up buying two Stephanie Meyer's books for my daughters. Budget lari lagi...

cakapaje said...

Salam Pak Mior,

Yup! Can wholeheartedly agree with you there. Let's follow Cikgu's advice then :)