“The Egg” by Andy Weir

Every once in a while I would come across a good read. It can be either a good book, periodical or just a short piece I encounter whilst scouring the World Wide Web. This is one such find. A must read. Do so and be enthralled at the magnificence of literature coupled with the mystery of this thing called life.

You were on your way home when you died.

It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.

And that’s when you met me.

“What… what happened?” You asked. “Where am I?”

“You died,” I said, matter-of-factly. No point in mincing words.

“There was a… a truck and it was skidding…”

“Yup,” I said.

“I… I died?” “Yup. But don’t feel bad about it. Everyone dies,” I said.

You looked around. There was nothingness. Just you and me. “What is this place?” You asked. “Is this the afterlife?”

“More or less,” I said.

“Are you god?” You asked.

“Yup,” I replied. “I’m God.”

“My kids… my wife,” you said.

“What about them?”

“Will they be all right?”

“That’s what I like to see,” I said. “You just died and your main concern is for your family. That’s good stuff right there.”

You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn’t look like God. I just looked like some man. Or possibly a woman. Some vague authority figure, maybe. More of a grammar school teacher than the almighty.

“Don’t worry,” I said. “They’ll be fine. Your kids will remember you as perfect in every way. They didn’t have time to grow contempt for you. Your wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly relieved. To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it’s any consolation, she’ll feel very guilty for feeling relieved.”

“Oh,” you said. “So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or something?”

“Neither,” I said. “You’ll be reincarnated.”

“Ah,” you said. “So the Hindus were right,”

“All religions are right in their own way,” I said. “Walk with me.”

You followed along as we strode through the void. “Where are we going?”

“Nowhere in particular,” I said. “It’s just nice to walk while we talk.”

“So what’s the point, then?” You asked. “When I get reborn, I’ll just be a blank slate, right? A baby. So all my experiences and everything I did in this life won’t matter.”

“Not so!” I said. “You have within you all the knowledge and experiences of all your past lives. You just don’t remember them right now.”

I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders. “Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine. A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. It’s like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it’s hot or cold. You put a tiny part of yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out, you’ve gained all the experiences it had.

“You’ve been in a human for the last 48 years, so you haven’t stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we hung out here for long enough, you’d start remembering everything. But there’s no point to doing that between each life.”

“How many times have I been reincarnated, then?”

“Oh lots. Lots and lots. An in to lots of different lives.” I said. “This time around, you’ll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 AD.”

“Wait, what?” You stammered. “You’re sending me back in time?”

“Well, I guess technically. Time, as you know it, only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from.”

“Where you come from?” You said.

“Oh sure,” I explained “I come from somewhere. Somewhere else. And there are others like me. I know you’ll want to know what it’s like there, but honestly you wouldn’t understand.”

“Oh,” you said, a little let down. “But wait. If I get reincarnated to other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at some point.”

“Sure. Happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own lifespan you don’t even know it’s happening.”

“So what’s the point of it all?”

“Seriously?” I asked. “Seriously? You’re asking me for the meaning of life? Isn’t that a little stereotypical?”

“Well it’s a reasonable question,” you persisted. I looked you in the eye. “The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature.”

“You mean mankind? You want us to mature?”

“No, just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature and become a larger and greater intellect.”

“Just me? What about everyone else?”

“There is no one else,” I said. “In this universe, there’s just you and me.”

You stared blankly at me. “But all the people on earth…”

“All you. Different incarnations of you.”

“Wait. I’m everyone!?”

“Now you’re getting it,” I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back.

“I’m every human being who ever lived?”

“Or who will ever live, yes.”

“I’m Abraham Lincoln?”

“And you’re John Wilkes Booth, too,” I added.

“I’m Hitler?” You said, appalled.

“And you’re the millions he killed.”

“I’m Jesus?”

“And you’re everyone who followed him.”

You fell silent.

“Every time you victimized someone,” I said, “you were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you’ve done, you’ve done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was, or will be, experienced by you.”

You thought for a long time. “Why?” You asked me. “Why do all this?”

“Because someday, you will become like me. Because that’s what you are. You’re one of my kind. You’re my child.”

“Whoa,” you said, incredulous. “You mean I’m a god?”

“No. Not yet. You’re a fetus. You’re still growing. Once you’ve lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born.”

“So the whole universe,” you said, “it’s just…”

“An egg.” I answered. “Now it’s time for you to move on to your next life.”

And I sent you on your way.

The Choices We Make

It has been a while since I’ve last posted anything in this blog. Honestly, my work and lifestyle has taken over most of my free time so I no longer have the luxury to spend precious minutes writing about nothing. Fyi this entry is written as I’m sitting in an airplane on the way to work… such is my hectic schedule these days.

Another hindrance towards me writing to my hearts content is the confidentiality & privacy factor which I have to increasingly bear with due to my line of work. Yes, it is becoming a major hindrance. Gone are the times when I can write about anything which comes to mind. Or when I wish to express my excitement or sadness about a particular event or subject. These days I have to think twice about everything.

This situation is what is curbing my storytelling. Making azlano 2.0 almost a ghost town with fewer and fewer updates as time goes by. I guess that’s the effect of being in my profession. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do and I wouldn’t trade it for anything (yet). But sometimes I feel I have to act more times than I get to be me.

I used to write a lot but now I don’t. I used to speak publicly out loud in giving out my ideas but now I have to get permission. I also used to just go to any event I want but now it has to be justified. Boxed-in is the word I’d use now to aptly describe my feelings.

How far would you go to liberate yourself from the confines of bureaucracy and corporate expectations? Would you trade everything that you hold dear to be able to regain your freedom? Or do you succumb and meander slowly whilst suppressing your beliefs? Hard questions indeed.

Posted over-the-air from WordPress for Android.

The Hope In Us All

In life normally we would usually get one chance to get things right, to make things go our way. No doubt those chances invariably come and go, and it is up to us to capitalize on them should we choose to. That’s the key point; ‘should we choose to’. Like it or not, believe it or not, most of the time we choose not to. Why? I believe it’s the human condition. I find we usually are way too optimistic or way too scared. There’s no in-between. Strange don’t you think?

So how do we overcome this ‘condition’ you ask? I’m no expert (and this blog entry is nothing more than simple thoughts from a troubled mind) but I feel the audacity of hope plays a role. Everyday we place hope onto the things in our life that we do not have control over. That long overdue promotion, the shiny diamond studded watch behind the display glass, the probability of conception by a hopeful couple, the longing of love from someone so near and yet so far. Hope. A small word with a monumental effect on you and I.

Granted we all fall prey to hoping for things we cannot have. But on the other hand, we cannot do without hope for the emotions make us human. It gives us a beacon of light in an otherwise dark journey, it guides us to move on in times of despair and sometimes it serves as a lifeline for just a fleeting moment to gather our wits to face life’s challenges. So yes, one cannot do without hope.

What have you hoped for recently? Whatever it may be never, never ever lose the feeling. Drive the emotions and strive to achieve that dream. You may seem to merely live the moment but trust me, without the audacity of hope you will cease to become part of the world’s greatest asset, and that asset is humanity.

Posted over-the-air from WordPress for Android.

My Long Absence

Dear readers,
Firstly allow me to apologize for not updating this blog as regularly as before. It has happened but I think this is one of the longer ‘silent modes’ where I’ve not been updating really meaningful entries (by meaningful I mean those relating to design and cars). I also know there are a lot of you out there who want to hear about the going on’s with Proton Design…

A lot has happened during the run up to Geneva and even more so after that big event. Even now, a good 2 months after, I’m still reeling from the effect of ‘managing’ that trip. Having said that I am content with what we have achieved and the thought of what’s coming is certainly very exciting indeed.

Work aside, the past 2 months have given me a new perspective on life and how we all have full control on how to make it the best it can be. Really. This realization has lead me to review my priorities and aggregate what’s important vs what’s not. So far things are falling into place but the reality is that it will take time.

On a lighter note, I was reading an interview the other day about whether captains of companies (CEOs, MDs) should gravitate themselves to social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. Very interesting indeed as it illustrates the importance of participating in what will inevitably be the future of communication, marketing & sales. Captains of industries take heed or else it will be your undoing! On my part, I need to also put my online presence into perspective and review the amount of actual time & material I generate. Honestly, there have been comments by certain quarters that I’ve been overzealous in in writing, especially on material concerning Proton. You know, comments such as that make me think twice about the term ‘freedom of speech’ and ‘digital age’. In essence there is nothing to stop the flow of information in the Web but whether people understand that is another story. Earlier I wrote about how companies should embrace social networking and proliferate it to their advantage; the thing is how many are actually willing to do that. More importantly do they even want to understand it? Therefore, I think you can tell now how these reflections have inhibited my writings of late. It’s such a fine line which I’m treading. Sometimes it doesn’t seem worth it.

So, rather than bore you with my rants I’d better sign off for now! Actually I have many things to share; on my first month using the Android powered Google Nexus One (awesome!), on my upcoming contribution to Thinklab’s blog and future seminars, on my recent invitation to be a panel member for the Malaysian design education syllabus review, my thoughts on design & brand association, my views on social networking vis-a-vis corporate work cultures, and many more topics that come my way every single day.

Catch me if you can.

I’ve Being Plagiarised!

Plagia-what? Look the word up in the dictionary-lah!

I came across a rather disturbing blog recently. Here’s the link: Wierd.

If you read through the profile you’ll see that some of the words are taken from my ‘About azlano’ page. Amazing! I don’t know if I should feel flattered or annoyed!

If the owner of that profile and blog is reading this, may I ask you reflect on the word ‘plagiarism’ and do some editing pronto. I mean, why does one have to resort to such acts?

Let me enlighten you why people should write their own blogs. Blogging is about having the freedom of free speech and finding an outlet for self expression. In essence, it’s about finding your own voice. Not copying others or trying to be someone you’re not. I must attest it’s not easy to do that so if you’re not up to it then just stop. Start again when you’ve committed yourself to this craft and all that it stands for.

On that same note, read ‘Blogging for Dummies’! It’ll shed some light on how to be an original blogger!

I Miss ‘Remembering’ Sometimes

There are times when I have so much I want to write about. That normally happens when I’m walking around heading somewhere or when I’m in a (boring) meeting or (god forbid) when I’m driving after a long day at work. I can think of so many things to comment, express or just banter about.

And then they all disappear! Especially when at times such as this, when I’m staring at the computer screen and looking at my WordPress page. Can anyone tell me why?!

I do hope it’s not because I’m going senile and old. I’m way too young for that. Besides I’ve got so many juicy stories to tell! Hehe… Stories like <censored> 🙂

Later peeps!