your perception of Ilmu in Silat

Discussion in 'Silat' started by Raden-Rahmat, Jun 12, 2008.

  1. Kertas

    Kertas Valued Member

    Yes I know, Orange juice is not as pure as spring water. It would be better if you could clarify what Ilmu batin actually was then we could get a better picture of what we are talking about.[/QUOTE]

    If Ilmu Batin was a Liquid, then what i meant was that the Drink you are speaking of could be different to the drink we mean. I didnt mean that your drink means less, as i do not knw entirely what you refer to when you talk about scientific ilmu. Maybe an example would clarify?

  2. Gajah Silat

    Gajah Silat Ayo berantam!

    Hmm, well originaly boxing contained kicks, throws and many other 'illegal' moves and we could perhaps say modern boxing was indeed influenced by a Christain mentality. So could we say it's a mainly Christian art or an art predominantly practiced by those who are nominaly Christians.

    However, did the British claim it was a Christian art not to be taught to outsiders or infidels? I think not:rolleyes:

    It seems to me that the emphasis on religion and dawah is much more prevalent among Malaysians than Indonesians. On the whole I think there is a much more tolerant nature towards other beliefs in Indonesia(most of!).

    For instance my wife's family has Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and's a little harder to condemn ones family isnt it? Consequently, Silat is rather more about fighting than religion, and religion is often not an issue. In fact, in a traditional sense family lineage is more important. Yes indeed there is ilmu batin, superstitions etc. but generaly before any of this is touched upon, the physical has to be mastered by sheer hard work!

    Anyway, aku bosan, I'm bored with all of this. It's been done to death.

    We seem to spend more time discussing religion than silat.

    Salam hormat semua
  3. tellner

    tellner Valued Member

    Kertas, you have very nicely demonstrates the difference between the two ways of thinking. You say that Islam places no limits on scientific inquiry but rejects various positions including "polytheism" and "darwinism". Science under such a version of Islam is limited in the questions it can ask and the conclusions it is permitted to reach. That means it has fundamentally ceased to be science.

    It's a difficult issue and always has been. Muslims aren't the first to crack a tooth on that particular nut and won't be the last.

    Getting back to djinn, let's just say that I haven't ever seen one or any evidence that would pass muster for their existence or characteristics, so I can't say "Djinn exist". They definitely come under "extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof". All the reports say they are alien, dangerous and best left alone the same way you'd avoid an old crate of dynamite with crystallization all over the sticks. You might be able to blast a stump with it and not take any harm. Chances are you'd blow yourself up. Best to tag it and let someone or Someone more qualified deal with the problem.
  4. tellner

    tellner Valued Member

    Pastafarians are followers of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. They believe that the FSM created the world starting with trees, a cow and a midget and even have a picture to prove it:


    It was all done last Wednesday, but the FSM arranged it all so that we'd be fooled into believing that everything is much older.

    Pastafarians eat pasta as a Sacred Food. They want to be touched by His Noodly Appendage. They dress up as pirates because pirates prevent global warming:


    They also believe in Unintelligent Design. The FSM is obviously not very bright which accounts for the state of the world.

    You can guess exactly how serious the whole thing is :p

  5. Gajah Silat

    Gajah Silat Ayo berantam!

    I believe, I have had a FSM epiphany, halelujah! Praise be to the FSM:confused: I will henceforth preach the absolute and undeniable truth of unintellegent design:)
    (BTW pirate ice is pure genius....divine inspiration?)

    Now to the ol' djinn malarkey. If anyone wants proof I can introduce them to someone in Jawa driven to complete insanity because of dabbling too deeply with such things. Wether this was pure psychology, or the effect of entities is largely irelevent. Belief, experimentation or actuality has had a drastic and permanent effect on this man's mental health.

    The thing that I don't understand is the need of some to have something 'extra'. Breathing exercises, yes very useful. Tenaga Dalam could also be interpreted as purely a way to strengthen the physical core. it does not need to be mystical, for me that is just an efficient way of conceptualisation....similar to think like a tiger, fight like a tiger I suppose.

    For me, it is the mostly about the physical techniques. Yes, there are mental and psychological tools too. Of course these will present themselves within the parameters of your own cultural framework.

    There is no right or wrong, just differing frames and interpretations.

  6. Kertas

    Kertas Valued Member

    Tellner, thank you for your opposition. Well, what i understand is that Islam does not oppose or restrict scientific inquiry,as it has answers which muslims adhere to. I would like to end the open debate there,but we could continue if you like to PM me. I like the pastafarian, but do they eat two minute noodles as well? Gajah id say you rite about the jinn part. They could drive u insane. Though there has been a group to south africa promoting Budi Suci Sejati. Im not sure thats correct spelling,but the practitioners put a spirit in a teaspoon and could kil u with it. Anyways, has anyone an idea as to why a keris is regarded as a magical weapon?
  7. Gajah Silat

    Gajah Silat Ayo berantam!

    Ya tuhan Mas Kertas,

    The Keris......where do we start? It's a huge subject but just to touch upon it in laymans terms.

    Due to the shortage of iron on Jawa many were made from meteorites. The iron from meteorites has a high degree of nickel and this is what gives the pamor!

    The application of warangan(arsenic sulphate) causes platination of the iron but not the nickel. So we get the characteristic look of black iron contrasted with silver nickel(and of course an arsenic laden blade).

    There are thousands of types of pamor and an almost unlimited variation of 'blade' designs.

    The keris was traditionaly made by an empu. The process was highly ritualised and may contain fasting, verses from the koran, maybe the invocation of a djinn to dwell within the keris.

    Imagine in the past, someone turning a piece of rock into something as wonderful as a keris:eek: It was a magical process in itself, sometimes the metal was folded hundreds of times to make the pamor, particularly pamor miring.

    In Jawa a keris is a pusaka and treated as a living thing.

    Hope this is a start:)
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2008
  8. Rebo Paing

    Rebo Paing Pigs and fishes ...

    As you can see ... I've "Moved On" ... I tried but can't resist the pull of this thread ... :bang:

    Religion in MA is personal ... and any attempt to "make" it a dependency for something that is inherently an approach to how to move is absolute rubbish ...

    Silat is what the individual make of it ... it is NOT dependant upon Islam, Christian, Judaism, Buddhist, Hindu or Frog worship ...

    All religion is in the dark ages ... just another socio-political smoke and mirror to subjugate the masses.

    Absolute codswallop ... :mad:
  9. Kertas

    Kertas Valued Member

    Ok no more rubbish for you or from you kembang. We get your point, blunt though:) . Terima kasih Gajah Silat. Speaking about meteorite, i met a silat guy who had a thin piece of it injected into his arm for magical reasons. He had a keris with an invisible blade,you could only see its handle. Anyway,have you guys read the Azure Keris on Saiful Azraqs blog? Quite an interesting series based on truth. The keris, its shape, history and power has always amazed me. Tell us more Gajah
  10. Narrue

    Narrue Valued Member

    Maybe he was deficient in Iron, he could have just taken iron pills like the rest of us:rolleyes: As for the keris, wow thats genius, I'm going to try and sell a keris handle on ebay now, nice one ;)
  11. Kertas

    Kertas Valued Member

    Good luck with your sale narrue...

  12. Gajah Silat

    Gajah Silat Ayo berantam!

    munkin kamu bercanda?


    This website has a lot of information and lots of nice pictures :)

    BTW there are many stories of magic keris......don't believe all you hear:rolleyes:
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2008
  13. Narrue

    Narrue Valued Member

    There are two important factors in the creation of what you might call a real keris, the physical and the non physical.

    Physically if the keris is to be good it must be made of the correct materials and be well crafted, meteorite Iron is often a requirement if the blade is to be empowered. Meteorite contains Iron, nickel and a mix of rear earth elements which gives it good magnetic properties. At this point the keris may look beautiful and be physically well made however it is a keris mati (a dead keris), this is the most common keris in circulation.

    Following a process the keris can be empowered which may mean the keris has an isi in it (a remnant of the empus mental energy (manas) which gives the keris a meaning (like a computer program). The keris may also be magnetized with an energy so a current flows through the blade, the origin of the storys of blades from which a stream of water can be drawn. A bad keris may even have a djin attached to the blade. If a keris had one or more of the above then it’s a keris hidup ( live blade).

    In all situations the keris is below the human and the person who holds the keris is more important then the keris itself.
  14. Kertas

    Kertas Valued Member

    Ya gajah... Of course i dont believe evrything i hear or read. What is amazing is that the Keris is one of the only weapons which has so much value and status amongst its people. It has an idenditity and even treated as a living being in some places. It has its ettiquette and commands the respect of its owner. It has produced many tales and comes in many sizes, even tiny ones which fit in your wallet. It plays an important part of melayu society and culture. Ajeeb!
  15. Saiful Azraq

    Saiful Azraq Valued Member

    Salam hormat all,

    Took a long break to tend to my daughter's aqiqah and head shaving. Looks like everyone's been busy. Anyway, just so I feel important, here are my comments on the comments.

    (By the way, this is a great thread, if only we could get it back on track).

    "Has anyone had experience in this field, exposure to it or have you studied it and then turned away...then tell us what your reasons for turning away was if any."

    I have both studied and socialised with some esoteric practises, but can't really say if they would work or not. Most of the arts I studied which had these 'bonuses' weren't directly related to the physical martial methods and seemed like add-ons (I later found out they were).

    I was raised Muslim and inquisitive (I know for some that's an illogical combination) and generally memorised these practises and kept them in a notebook. My policy was never to throw anything away, just in case it actually works. I just continued my physical training and it worked irrespective of whether I used those 'amalan' or not.

    The biggest problem I had was attitude. Many masters and senior pesilat either don't want to give or don't have the answers I sought to explain away how those practices worked. They just said, 'trust it'. But trust comes from buy-in, which they never understood. So, for the first few years of my life in silat, I've had a generic mistrust for everything I couldn't touch or understand. I questioned the authority and Islamic legality of the practices.

    "If it’s practical and it works then keep it, if its superstition and impractical then dump it."

    Something might not be immediately practical. Throwing out the trash makes sense because it takes up physical space. But dumping knowledge is unwise. The FSM phenomenon attests to this.

    "I believe silat in its early days was more practical/scientific but the Sufi tradition introduced lots of techniques which are not so useful in real fights. Saying a spell into your open palm before you strike someone would be an example of Sufi influence in Silat."

    Any warrior method will be practical, and traditional scientific thought by way of trial and error and observations made sure it stayed that way.

    However, the Nusantara was a hodge podge of belief systems and there is no way that silat was not influenced by any of these. These, too introduced 'useless techniques'.

    It is only through the personal belief systems held by successive masters that these elements were either purged or placed in a different worldview.

    Amazingly, irrespective of how many detractors naysay them, these methods are still passed on, taught and practised by hundreds, if not thousands of practitioners in Malaysia and Indonesia.

    "who is more dangerous? The keris or its owner?"

    Metal doesn't kill. People do. Practically, though, the keris is pretty dangerous when wielded by a novice or a master, so my vote would go to the funky shaped knife. You'd be much less dangerous with a stabbing fist.

    "It is my belief that Silat was already complete in all its aspects (including the ilmu knowledge) before Islam even set foot in Indonesia."

    I don't believe this to be true. If it was complete, there would be no growth and no adaptation, which is the antithesis of silat. The masters of old saw value in sourcing from Islam, and they saw empowerment by adding in what they felt was missing and if I may be so bold, what was impure.

    "real ilmu is Scientific (not religious) and works on a scientific basis."

    I understand your frustrations and where you're coming from, but this is a problem of definition, which I asked Raden-Rahmat to provide early on in this thread.

    I know Tellner made a fantastic rant on science, which I'll address later, but Sufism is also a well-known science, which has a solid history of tried and tested methods. If by religious, you mean spurious, then we're talking about different religions.

    "Christianity is incompatible with science. So is Judaism. So is Islam."

    I'd put it in a different way. Science is incompatible with Islam. You provided two elements to science: data+explanations. Data depends on testable premises and its testability is seen in similar results. Data also depends on the sensitivity of testing equipment. Explanations are invariably spins based on a perspective of the human conducting the testing.

    The problems that Science faced with Christianity before the Renaissance forced it to redefine itself and become its opposite. If Christianity believed, then, science shall not believe. If Christianity said no, then science shall say yes. Interesting then, how a culture which stresses so much on individualism should blanket ban every religion since.

    There have been Philosopher-scientists, there have been Animist-scientists, there have been Christian-scientists, there have been Jewish-scientists and there have been Muslim-scientists. I know nothing about the others, but Muslim scientists have never been persecuted for practicing science on the scales we've seen in the Western world.

    "When you talk about the Ilmu batin I must admit I don’t know what the Ilmu consists of but the Science and knowledge of Choondu Varma and Noku varma have been around for thousands of years."

    This is exactly why I asked for a definition in the first place. In Narrue's definition, Ilmu consists of intimate knowledge of the nervous system while in Raden-Rahmat's view, it is spiritual.

    After passing some levels, you are able to break ice, and metal pipes with your bear hands. Some higher graded students can even stop your movement just by having a look at you!

    I'm sorry, brother Kertas, I wanted to reply with something intelligent but I couldn't get past the 'bear' hands comment. :p

    Gajah Silat
    "So could we say it's a mainly Christian art or an art predominantly practiced by those who are nominaly Christians."

    Not really, unless there was a priest who founded a style, which is basically what most silat talk about when they claim an Islamic influence, that there was intervention by a Muslim scholar.

    "It seems to me that the emphasis on religion and dawah is much more prevalent among Malaysians than Indonesians. On the whole I think there is a much more tolerant nature towards other beliefs in Indonesia(most of!)."

    I disagree. The emphasis on Islam and da'wah in Malaysia is focused more towards present Muslims (and not to proselitise new reverts), whose faith is declining steadily. The daily reversion rate is higher in the USA than it is in Malaysia. In terms of rights of belief of other religions, yes, we do have a lousy track record.

    Kembang Alas
    "All religion is in the dark ages ... just another socio-political smoke and mirror to subjugate the masses."

    I'm sad to hear you say that, brother.

    "Speaking about meteorite, i met a silat guy who had a thin piece of it injected into his arm for magical reasons."

    Believable, though maybe not for supernatural reasons. Certain metals do interact with the human body and the recent fad in embedding gold under the skin to promote collagen production is an amazing justification for the long held Nusantara practise of susuk, though many ulama aren't still sure what to make of it.

    "He had a keris with an invisible blade,you could only see its handle."

    Hmmmm... and the benefit would be...? Invisible or spiritual? Could you feel the blade by touch? I met someone with an invisible firesword once. He has since been hanged (for other reasons).

    "Anyway,have you guys read the Azure Keris on Saiful Azraqs blog? Quite an interesting series based on truth."

    Thanks for the free plug :p Shameless, I am.

    Salam persilatan,
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2008
  16. Rebo Paing

    Rebo Paing Pigs and fishes ...

    Kembang Alas
    "All religion is in the dark ages ... just another socio-political smoke and mirror to subjugate the masses."

    Saiful Azraq
    I'm sad to hear you say that, brother.

    You may choose to be sorry if you wish, although there is no need from my POV :).
    May I clarify that religion by my definition is man's formal organisation to create a theistic society that more or less follow pre-determined precepts ... based on faith ... meaning "I can't prove it, but trust me ...".

    Silat is in this realm.
  17. Saiful Azraq

    Saiful Azraq Valued Member

    Salam hormat Kembang Alas,

    I'm not 'sorry' (as in, "sorry you thought I'm not the best thing that ever happened to you", but that's a different story with a different person) in a cynical manner.

    Just sad, because the state of religion, which I had always hoped were founded for the development of mankind, is now seen as an inverse influence. And not because you said it, but mostly because its probably held by many more people than I prefer to believe exist out there.

    We agree to disagree :) Perhaps we could restart this thread (it was amazingly civil, though). Raden-Rahmat's question is valid, but needs definition. If everyone is up to it, maybe we could try again. This one's getting moldy.

    Salam persilatan,
  18. Kertas

    Kertas Valued Member

    Salam Brother Saiful.. and everyone else.

    Your reply has most certainly some interesting points. Ok, i'll skip the socio-scientifif-religious debate. The invisible keris my friend told me he used to fight Jinn with. dont know if its true haha..

  19. Kertas

    Kertas Valued Member

    It almost seems to me as if i know who the narrator of the story is. Is he yourself? :woo:
  20. Saiful Azraq

    Saiful Azraq Valued Member

    Salam hormat Kertas,

    To a large extent, yes, but like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who was quite different from Sherlock Holmes (and why wouldn't I like to be compared to him? It's a goal, isn't it?), I don't share some of Saiful's opinions and thoughts, but I have held them before and I do know people who think that way.

    Salam persilatan,

Share This Page