‘I shall become what no mind e’er conceived’

‘Flee to God’s Qur’an, take refuge in it
there with the spirits of the prophets merge.
The Book conveys the prophets’ circumstances
those fish of the pure sea of Majesty.’

Rumi qouted in Lewis, 2000, p. 408

Jalal ad-DÄ«n Muhammad Rumi or known as Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi

“I died as a mineral and became a plant,
I died as plant and rose to animal,
I died as animal and I was Man.
Why should I fear? When was I less by dying?
Yet once more I shall die as Man, to soar
With angels bless’d; but even from angelhood
I must pass on: all except God doth perish.
When I have sacrificed my angel-soul,
I shall become what no mind e’er conceived.
Oh, let me not exist! for Non-existence
Proclaims in organ tones,
To Him we shall return.”

از Ø¬Ù…Ø§Ø¯Û Ù…ÙØ±Ø¯Ù… Ùˆ Ù†Ø§Ù…Û Ø´Ø¯Ù… ” وز نما مُردم بهحÛوان سرزدم

مُردم از Ø­ÛÙˆØ§Ù†Û Ùˆ آدم شدم ” پس Ú†Ù‡ ترسم؟ Ú©Û Ø² مردن Ú©Ù… شدم؟

حمله دÛگر بمÛرم از بشر ” تا برآرم از ملائک بال Ùˆ پر

وز ملک هم باÛدم جستن ز جو ” Ú©Ù„ Ø´ÛØ¡ هالک الا وجهه

بار دÛگر از ملک پران شوم ” آنچه اندر وهم ناÛد آن شوم

پس عدم گردم عدم Ú†Ùˆ ارغنون ” Ú¯ÙˆÛدم کانا الÛÙ‡ راجعون

Rumi quoted in ‘The triumphal sun’. by Annemarie Schimmel, p. 328

Episode 1: How hard is hard?

I would like to share this stories,
or experience (some are mine and some are from friends who have gone through similar path) and thoughts with you and with future PhDs.

When you started doing your research, you will get used to hear advice from your supervisors, PhDs candidates, postgraduate discussion forum, and etc. that you need to discuss and talk about your research topic with others. The question you need to answer when people asked you after knowing that you have dedicated full time to do research, is ˜So, what is your research about? Then you go¦ ˜Hmmm… How do I start? Now indeed, this kind of conversation, the more the better according to many researcher, will be able to help you and your research. What will it help? It will help you 1) understand your own research, 2) to learn to articulate your research ground/areas, and 3) to gained new ideas and approached from others.

Well, that is the advice I received when I started my PhD and indeed, I cannot agree more that it does achieved the three goals, plus it help the new researcher (you) to find your own voice, and gained confident in discussion about their research. What they did not tell you, is that you need to be able to construct your conversation, and managed the discussion. You need to be aware that this research is not a short time research, instead it is a long years process, some takes 2 at least for Masters, 3 and half for PhDs and the years can go on till 20 years. How do you construct your conversation and managed them till that long? How do you keep your research stories ˜fresh and exciting so when you talk to the same people again after 3 years, it will not bore them?

My story:

When I started my PhD, I talk and discuss about the topic and areas that interest me with my husband, and we can talk and talk about this for hours, and almost every weeks. That was the first year I started my research. It was full of excitement, discoveries, exploration and most of all it has gained lots of my confident in talking about it to other people besides my husband. And for him, is the same, he is so interested to know more, we argue, debates, disagree, research and get to some sort of resolution. The research grows with us¦

That means, we grow to be part of the whole research process¦ that happen most of the time and we do brings our family along with it. Anything and almost everything we see, experience and do, somehow we managed to associate or to trigger link to our research topic. For some, it might not go that far or they are smart enough to find line to put stop at it. They did not allow research take over their life and decided to take over the research life. So they discontinue their research. Me, I continue till the end. But there are prices to be paid. Research has taken over me.

It was not that bad, not how it sound like here in this story of mine. Life was good, I feel good, confidence sometimes can be over exited and over confidence, which is normal in this process. Oh yes, another ˜normal process would be experiencing a ˜roller-coaster life and mood. This process is as much as annoying and upsetting, it can also cause lots of stress. Life is like as a new researcher is like roller coaster. Lost is the words that many would be saying such as ˜Oh! I am lost with this research. But what you dont know you also have somehow lost with your own self. You have misplaced yourself. Deep in your thoughts, you deeply belief that this is not hard, come on! You can do this, you have been through harder times than this study, this should not be taking so much impact on your life. Yes, that is what you keep on telling yourself about again and again¦ that you are not misplace yourself but you have decided to take this challenge. Just for a thought, imagine that this process in your mind right now. Imagine that this process continue for a long long long long years¦ to be continue.

The user, consumer and seller

Kita Pengguna, pembeli dan penjual (we are the user, consumer and seller)

An interesting speech by Dr.M reminding Malaysian about the their roles and status as citizen at the World Consumer Day & launching for the Harmonious Family competition on the 4 June 1996. Most of Dr. M speech can be obtained in the online achieve (most of it is in Malay language). The speech is related to the government efforts to create an awareness among people in understanding the roles they play as consumer in their everyday life. Dr. M reminded the people that their everyday life can affect the country’s economical status, thus, they need to understand how they conduct and managed their everyday life. In his speech he discussed about roles as individual, a seller, and a buyer. He also includes in his discussion about the services that is provided by the government staff, that every services offered have to be acknowledge that it is part of the circle between user, consumer and seller.

consumer-SydneyCBD crossroad 2010
Sydney CBD Crossroad-Image NurulRahman2010

For example a person who is a government clerk is also a user (which means he or she still have use the other services provided in everyday life, she or he still will be using the hospital facilities, paying electric and other household bills, etc). The same person is also a consumer, he or she will have to buy products for everyday life, going to the market, buy the household products, and other necessary needs for day to day life. In many ways, the person, is also selling or promoting a service, where he or she as a government staff is providing some sort of services to the others. If the process of productivity work accordingly the level of the inflation will be stable, and everyday life circle will be secured.

There are other point highlighted in his original speech but these are among the significant one.

    6.    Hakikat  asas ini perlu kita ingati  sepanjang
masa.   Terlalu  ramai daripada kita  hanya  memikir
diri kita sebagai pengguna dengan tidak sedikit  pun
sedar bahawa kita semua adalah pembekal.

7.    Mungkin  kita percaya kita tidak  mengeluarkan
apa-apa untuk dijual kepada sesiapa.  Mungkin secara
langsung   tidak.   Tetapi  secara  tidak  langsung,
dengan  kesan  yang  tidak sedikit,  kita  `menjual'
khidmat  atau  barangan  sekurang-kurangnya   kepada
majikan yang membayar upah kepada kita.

8.     Kerani   dalam   pejabat   Kerajaan   menjual
khidmatnya  kepada  Kerajaan  dan  khidmat  Kerajaan
kepada orang ramai.  Jika ia tidak cergas dan  cekap
dalam  memproses  atau menaip surat,  kelewatan  itu
mempunyai   kesan  kepada  bekalan  khidmat   kepada
pengguna.     Budak    pejabat   yang    melambatkan
penghantaran  surat  pun boleh  merugikan  pelanggan
khidmat  Kerajaan.  Jika kerana ini Kerajaan menjadi
tidak   efisien   maka   kos   segala-galanya   akan

9.    Dalam syarikat pembekal khidmat atau barangan,
tiap  seorang kakitangan menyumbang kepada  kejayaan
membekal   apa  sahaja  kepada  pengguna.   Daripada
kerani   dan  pemandu  kereta  hingga  ke  eksekutif
tertinggi, semuanya bertanggungjawab dalam  membekal
keluaran syarikat.  Kelewatan atau mutu yang  rendah
barangan yang dihasilkan bermakna kos meningkat  dan
pengguna  tidak  mendapat haknya.  Kemajuan  ekonomi
negara juga akan terjejas.

10.   Jika  kita dapat ingat sepanjang  masa  bahawa
kita  semua  adalah  pembekal  dan  bertanggungjawab
kepada diri kita sendiri sebagai pengguna, maka  hak
kita  sebagai  pengguna  akan terpelihara  sepanjang
masa. Jika hari ini pengguna berasa hak mereka tidak
diberi pertimbangan yang sewajarnya, sebabnya  ialah
kerana kita hanya melihat diri kita sebagai pengguna
dan lupa akan tanggungjawab kita sebagai pembekal.

11.   Pengguna  dan gerakan pengguna memanglah  baik
untuk  memelihara kualiti khidmat dan barangan  yang
dipasarkan.   Tanpa  gerakan  pengguna  khidmat  dan
barangan   akan   jatuh  mutunya  dan   harga   akan
meningkat.  Dengan itu bermacam-macam  masalah  akan
dihadapi oleh masyarakat dan negara.

12.   Barangan yang bermutu rendah atau/dan harganya
yang  tinggi tidak akan berdayasaing dalam  pasaran,
baik di dalam mahupun di luar negeri.  Untuk pasaran
dalam   negeri  Kerajaan  akan  diminta   melindungi
barangan   tempatan.   Perlindungan  oleh   Kerajaan
sebenarnya   bermakna  memaksa   pengguna   tempatan
membayar harga yang lebih atau menerima kualiti yang
rendah.   Dengan perkataan lain bukan Kerajaan  yang
melindung  pembekal tetapi pengguna  yang  melindung
pembekal  dan memikul beban.  Ini sudah tentu  tidak
adil kepada pengguna.

13.   Sebaliknya  barangan yang  kos  pengeluarannya
mahal  atau kualitinya rendah tidak dapat dieksport.
Dengan  itu jumlah keluaran tidak tinggi  dan  tidak
dapat menolong mengurangkan kos pengeluaran.  Sekali
lagi pengguna tempatan terpaksa menanggung beban.