Plato’s Dream

So I borrowed a random book from the library a few days ago, called ‘A Time for New Dreams’ by Ben Okri. I had no idea who the author was. He seems to be a poet and this book is just some collections of his essay. One essay caught my attention when I was flipping through the pages.. The first paragraph hit me right in the heart.

The university of the future will do one thing we do not do today.They will teach the art of self-discovery. There is nothing more fundamental in education.

I know that this issue has nothing to do with my life right now, let alone with the global issues this world is facing.. but well, I always a thing for education even though I am not working in education industry or volunteering as teacher somewhere.. Education will always have a place in my heart, especially the art of self-discovery.

I’m not gonna bore you furthermore with my thoughts and opinions. Who has the time these days to read a long post with no pictures in it. Probably our brains have gotten used to scrolling photos, videos, insta-stories, snap-chats in an auto-pilot mode. It is hard to find time to slow down, relax and just read.

But if you’re interested, here is the essay that I am talking about..

Plato’s Dream

The university of the future will do one thing we do not do today. They will teach the art of self-discovery. There is nothing more fundamental in education.

We turn out students from our universities who know how to give answers, but not how to ask the essential questions. They leave universities with skills for the workplace, but with little knowledge of the best way to live, or what is living for.

They are not taught how to see. They are not taught how to listen. They are not taught how to connect with the wisdom in the world. They are not taught the art of obedience conjoined with intelligence, and how it precedes self-mastery.

They are not taught the art of reading. True reading is not just passing our eyes over words on a page, or even understanding what is being read. True reading is a creative act. It means seeing first; and then a subsequent act of the imagination. Higher reading ought to be a subject in the universities of the future. As we read, so we are.

On the whole, people do not actually read what is in front of them. They read what is only already inside them. I suspect this is true of listening; and that is happening now, even as I speak to you, or as you read this page.

All our creativity, our innovations, our discoveries come from being able first to see what is there, and not there; to hear what is said, and not said. Above all to think clearly; to be nourished by silence. And beyond that – the art of intuition.

The universities of the future will have to engage the sublime value of intuition in our lives and work. How to make those intuitive leaps that can transform humanity, how to make this mysterious faculty available to all – this will be the true turning point in the future history of civilisation.

Discipline, hard work, rationality, calculation can get us only so far, and have become the norm. With these alone we produce efficient but mediocre citizens. But the art of intuition, the mysterious spark that separates the truly great artists and  scientists and philosophers form the ordinary, this will one day have to be studied and developed in every human being for the highest benefits of the human race.

We need to teach students the inevitable necessity of self-discovery. Higher consciousness studies ought to be a fundamental part of education. All students ought to be philosophers. All students ought to be aware that they are the true spark for the transformation of the world. All students ought to be practical dreamers.

Universities ought not only to turn out students for the various spheres of business, science, the arts, and the general running of the society. They also need to awaken students into becoming people who enrich the life of the planet.

We are more than the jobs that we do. We are the co-makers of this world that we live in. The moral force of citizen is too little used in the greater transformation of our world. We take the living potential that are young minds and turn them, reduce them, only into job-fillers and economy providers. We have regressed from Plato’s dream – the wonderful project of his academy.

Every student is a light, a creative spark, waiting to be of use in dispelling the darkness. The terms in which I speak might seem alien, but will become inevitable.

Every day the crisis of purpose grows larger in the lives of people; and prosperity and poverty does not diminish the paralysis it will bring if not addressed. A lack of understanding why it exists, or of its larger purpose in the scheme of things, is how society quietly perishes.

The universe grows more mysterious around us even as we find out more about it. The true reason is this: we are more than we suspect, but we are taught to see less in ourselves, to ask no questions about our true inner nature. And so the great mystery within peers into the greater mystery without. A mystery stares into a mystery; this is a hopeless position.

We ought now to conjoin faith in evidence with a need for self-discovery. Knowledge of self ought to be the great project of our lives. Knowing ourselves we will know others. Only by knowing ourselves can we begin to undo the madness we unleash on the world in our wars, our destruction of the environment, our divisions, our desires to dominate others, the poverty we create and exploit. Only through self-knowledge can we reverse the damage we do with all the worldly knowledge we have, which has been only a higher ignorance.

The true purpose of the university ought to be to unleash the sublime possibilities of the human spirit. Education is still in its infancy. The true education looms over the horizon, where our disasters are being born. There we will learn to avert what evils we ourselves have created. Then we will start again the great project of humanity, with humility and a new light.

Confidence

Just a quick update to let everyone (which equals to no one as no one reads this blog) that I am still alive! Living my life to the fullest. On a mission to maximize all my potentials.

I am back down under, back to school. This school has been the best school I’ve ever been in my life. I have teachers who believe in me, can see through, and still give me chances even when I made a mess. This is a true education. My work placement couldn’t be better as well. I am so grateful with the trust they have given me which I never thought of when I first started.

If there is one important lesson that life has taught me this past one year, it is about how I realized that surrounding environment really matters. The people factor really matters. Not everyone’s gonna appreciate what you can offer. Not everyone can see through. Not everyone is your kind-of-people.

I was so down last year when I was faced with such difficult environment for me. While everyone else seemed to do just fine there, but me. I was so hard on myself that I tied my self-worth with it. It really did shaken my confidence, that FYI, was already pretty low.

I tried to find excuses as non-sense as I could, to ensure myself that I wasn’t that bad. That they were wrong. That I was not whom they thought I was. I was scared of failing as a human being, by not getting the right appreciation for my efforts. I told myself probably I hadn’t tried hard enough.. Still, I didn’t believe in myself.

What I was so blind to see was.. it was not all about ME. It was about them too. The people factor really mattered. They were not just my kind-of-people. It was just meant to not work out.

Today was probably a kind of breakthrough for me. For my confidence. Yeah, keep believing in myself. Find the right people who will help and challenge you to be a better human being.

Always aim high. Never settle for less than what you believe in.

There is no passion to be found playing small — in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living. (Nelson Mandela)

Believing in myself

I guess I still have a hard time to be comfortable admitting to be self confident and believing in myself.

I am not who I was one year ago. I didn’t believe in me. I only believed that I would fail. Only to become a homeless after an imprudent solo travelling. Only to make everyone who doubted my decision, laughed at me. Only to prove them that they were right and I was wrong and foolish.

One year later here I am. Hopefully closer to my dream. Hopefully on half-way to prove them they were wrong and I was right. But what is the purpose of proving who is right and wrong?

I am not who I am now because of my own capability. I am just a damn lucky little girl in a big, big world. I have no right to claim that all credits to be all mine.

But I have to admit I am pretty glad everything turns out fine so far… or maybe I am just still in my honeymoon phase? Well, things have not been all bed and roses. I was not always my best self during the past one year. Some things were rough. Some things were okay. Some things couldn’t be better. In fact, things have turned out to be much much much better than I thought. For an avid day-dreamer like me, it was really beyond my best possible imagination.

I once had a thought of how sad it was to be me. Many people have stories because they couldn’t satisfy others’ expectation because they were asked too much. But for me? No one expected more of me. They were just okay with the mediocre me. No one expected me to quit my stable and secure engineering job. No one asked me to chase my dreams because dreams were not meant to come true.

Finally still no one ended up believing in me, I guess. Many were worried but almost none believed, I guess. Until then I had no choice except to believe in myself.

The first step is always the hardest because it is a new  and unknown territory. I was scared on my first day for my first food-related part time job. I was scared to begin my first kitchen class, worried that I couldn’t catch up. Things were not perfect, though. But I survived. I turned out to be better than I thought I would. Each steps then equipped me with more confidence and knowledge about my own strength and weaknesses.

I think I have proved that they were wrong… I am not the girl who they thought I was, the girl who was suitable to do paper work all day behind a desk. What I am doing now requires me to stand on my feet all day…and I love, love, love it very much. No words can describe this satisfaction to finally realize that I am right about my true self that has been hiding forever.

But then again, I guess proving who is right or wrong, doesn’t matter anymore for me. No one really cares about it anyway. No one will truly believe unless I keep moving forward.

However, I do know some people, will still believe in me, no matter how miserable I am, even when I don’t believe in myself. You know who you are.

 

To write or not to write

I’m back home. Home home. I’ve been wanting to write updates since two weeks ago when I arrived home, but I just didn’t know how to write these thoughts…

I’m starting to question what is the purpose of me writing a blog? If it is for me, I already have a private journal myself. What is it in me that I have the right to share my life to everyone?

As far as I can remember the last time when I shared a link of a new post, it took my own friends forever to actually read the post. I literally needed to beg them to read it. Poor friends. They have already enough shits in life, and now they have to eat my shits as well. How selfish I am, am I not?

That’s what makes me so hesitant to write again. I just don’t see a meaningful purpose anymore.

Have I lost faith in blogging? I guess not. So what happened? I have no idea.. maybe it is just one of a writer’s block.

“I am one with The Force. The Force is with me.”

I watched Rouge One today. That’s enough reason why I am so in Geek-Mode-On right now. This is gonna be an annual ritual since The Force Awakens was released on December last year.

Oh my childhood! I really, really had a beautiful childhood, did I not?

I grew up with Star Wars.

Recently, I have been watching Final Fantasy VIII gameplay too on Youtube. FF VIII is not my favorite FF, but I dunno, somehow  I just feel like going down the memory lane through the world where Balamb Garden and Fishermen Horizons do exist.

I did grow up with these guys. To think about it, I’ve never really grown up with Disney Princesses. The only Disneys I grew up with were the world where toys and bugs could talk, and the lions ruled the world. (Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, and The Lion King).

It made me realized though.. It somehow made sense: who I am today is an accumulation of these guys that I grew up with in my childhood.

Oh well never mind. Probably I am just being swayed over the current Rouge One and FF XV hype.

My new reading rooms

It’s just a simple reading room. The wall and ceiling are painted sky-ish blue. There is an invisible fan from where the breezy wind blows. The lighting is solar-powered. The background music sounds like birds chirping, sometimes car engine, wind blowing or just a peaceful silence.

I have two new reading rooms. One is 2km walking distance from my place. The other is 3km. Not bad, huh?

I don’t have to pay for maintenance or any electricity bills. And best, they have a toilet nearby. I don’t have to worry about pee or poo.

 

“I don’t have what it takes.”

When I first signed up for the Patisserie course, I remember I said clearly to myself, “I don’t know what I’m getting myself into.”

I really didn’t know what I was getting my self into.

I was scared about, “I don’t have what it takes.”

This is definitely a tough industry. What made me think that “I have what it takes”?

Being able to bake up a storm at home does not reflect how the real industry works. It does not prove that I am really capable. What if I am just meant to be a home baker? What if this is just meant to be a hobby?

What if, “I don’t have what it takes.”

Now with Term 1 and 2 are done, I can finally sigh a relief. I survived.

I did survive.

Other than the failed club sandwich, I did really well. It is very rarely for me to acknowledge that I am proud of what I have done. I am usually not good with praise and compliments, or taking credits of what I have done. But for this, I do know that I have done very well.

There were many moments when I doubted myself. Thousands of them to be exact. Countless times where I thought, “Who do you think you are to become a chef? Are you out of your mind? This industry is not for someone who is known to be soft like you.”

And yeah, many other similar monologues inside my head. I didn’t really believe in myself. I doubt others did too.

Perhaps, you really would never know what you are capable of, unless you try.

One of my proudest creation at school so far:

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Deconstructed Strawberry Mousse Tart with Caramelized Rice Bubbles and Chantilly Cream

So there was a Masterchef Challenge where 2 people were given some ingredients, like the Mystery Box Challenge. The teacher assigned us a partner to work with. Since it was an odd number class, I was the lucky odd one. I was given two options. First, I could join any group that I wanted, but one extra ingredients would be given and we had to make 8 identical plates instead of 6. Or second, I could work on my own.

I didn’t know what came into me that day, but I was crazy enough to challenge myself to go solo. My original plan was nothing like the photo. It was too unrealistic to be produced in 1.5 hours. So I had to change plans on the spot but I was happy enough to still be able to produce 6 identical plates. It was one of the most handsome desserts in the room. I was a proud (soon-to-be) pastry chef!

I instantly knew at the moment that I am at where I really belong. Never once that it occurred in my mind so far, to go back to where I used to be.

I was also so damn lucky (like winning a lottery) to be assigned in my current work placement. I had a fear at first. Fear that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the pace. I have never been any favorite employee to any bosses in all my professional life. I have always been the mediocre employee. History could probably repeat by itself, right?

But I’m truly lucky, blessed and grateful. I couldn’t imagine any better supervisor to work with. I was over the moon when she handed me back the evaluation form. I know that this sounds so bad. It makes me look like I am very hungry for approval, which I am.

This is the first time ever in a professional setting where I have ever received a good feedback. So this means a lot to me. I do know that I must not depend my self-worth on this one piece of feedback sheet, but still it does mean a lot to me. For I finally know that I am not such a pain-in-the-ass person to work with.

Riesta worked very hard during her time here. She is very interested and eager to learn about pastry. It was a pleasure having her work with us as she has a pleasant ‘can-do’ attitude.

And that’s how I ended my the first chapter on my way to be a pastry chef. There is still a story about a failed sandwich. Probably next time.

End of Term 2

The last post was written just when I finished Term 1. Now, Term 2’s done. How fast time flies. It’s been almost a year since I quit my full time job, 8 months since I have moved here.

It’s also been 27 years since I have come to this planet, been wasting oxygen. What a life-changing moment my 26 was. As exciting as it looked from the outside (solo travel, enrolling in a pastry school, starting a career change, moving to a new country), the fact was: life was not that easy.

I was still the same me, with insecurities here and there; and imperfections all over the place; probably with the most failures I have faced in my whole life; being misunderstood and so on.

That’s life though. Just get away with it.

Life’s good.