CommentaryConnexionOPINION

Connexion: Cave water’s power to restore minds

By Joachim Ng

A cave of ancient wisdom in which restorative waters flow that can transform you into newborns… this is one of the secret treasures awaiting your discovery in Kinta Valley Geopark, a massive 2,000 sq km natural wonder stretching from Ipoh to Kampar.

A million netizens live in this geopark and several million others have followed its food trail, but there is another trail that leads you into a wondrous cavern. Deep in its recesses is a bubbling stream, and above it stalactites hang down from the dome-high ceiling like chandeliers. Follow the waters some distance upstream and you come to a hot spring spewing out steam.

Eco-tourism is stirring in the city of limestone hills, and along with the awakening we hope to see pilgrims entering the caves that have long been a source of intuitive learning. More than 1,200 species flourish in the hills, all tracing their ancestral origins to the waters of the Kinta Sea many geological aeons ago. Diversity of plant, animal, and human communities is our natural heritage. Now with the science-based multi-faith Deep Nature Exploration retreat, you can also learn to harmonise the diversity of minds.

Soak your feet in the running water, gaze at the needle-shaped stalactites that hang down like icicles, and marvel at the hissing steam of a hot spring. Steam, ice, and water… three contrasting states of the chemical compound H20. What if they were like humans battling for supremacy? Steam would dissolve ice, and in the process is itself dissolved in water. Blast steam continuously into water and much liquid evaporates.

Strife-torn West Asia: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam share common origins like steam, ice, and water. The ablution and baptism rituals of Muslims and Christians should remind you of their linkages. Yet Muslims and Christians — even in Malaysia — hold unfavourable stereotyped views of each other, tagging the other with the label “unbelievers”. In Deep Nature Exploration you learn that water, ice, and steam originate from just one archaic fundamental element — hydrogen. The name “hydro-gen” means “genesis of water”. It is the first element to exist and remains present in all three states of H20.

In like manner, a fundamental substratum unites Christianity and Islam. Some of their doctrines appear contradictory, but doctrines are mental concepts shaped by particular situations and the character of language. Early followers were more interested in the details of right living than the details of correct beliefs. But present-day communities are letting doctrinal issues pull them apart. Knowledge of underlying truth can draw them back together.

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Joachim Ng

A veteran interfaith researcher and science enthusiast, Joachim Ng has acquired more than 45 years of research experience in studying the world's scriptures and harmonising them with latest scholarly findings in many disciplines especially science and spirituality. In the 1980s, he penned a weekly interfaith column that won him a Promotion of Unity award from the Malaysian Press Institute. In addition to five earlier books, he has delivered papers at international conferences held in New York, Los Angeles, Seoul, Bangkok, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Assisi near Rome. A Master's degree holder from the University of Hull, UK, he is a former chairman of the Interfaith Spiritual Fellowship and the recipient of an Ambassador for Peace award conferred by the Universal Peace Foundation.

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