Rear-vision mirror observations
The indomitable octogenarian author Raja Arasa Ratnam has more to tell us. He had published 3 books to meet his obligation to his spirit uncle and to the higher beings who had sent his uncle to counsel him about his spiritual progress.
To those who keep telling him what Jesus had allegedly said about dealing with spirits, his response is this. No sensible person can deny a real experience. And one should not assume that spirits – who are only former human beings – are evil. Cross the road with due care, he advises!
Having passed his use-by date, he wrote 2 books which he describes as rear-vision mirror observations. The first is a memoir. The other represents his conclusions about his country of adoption – or was it exile?
This memoir, ‘The Dance of Destiny,’ covers the life of his extended family, immigrants from Ceylon, in British Malaya; then life under a Japanese military occupation; and, most interestingly, life in colonial Singapore with his Anglo-Australian wife. The rare opportunity for the Indian community to socialise with a European woman enabled Raja and wife to enjoy a rich social life, and to acquire a couple of close friends.
The rest of the book covers his life as a settler in Australia. Step by step, he recounts his prodigious efforts to find a career. He qualified as a psychologist, and then as an economist, by studying at night, with minimum sleep. His first wife left him, as foretold by a number of palmists. His second marriage was a success, with 2 offspring in financial security.
When that marriage finally broke up, he realised where the trajectory of his personal destiny was heading. So, he included in his memoir his understanding of how one crafts one’s destiny through reincarnation. The book ends on a high spiritual note. He now realises that, throughout his life, he had been paddling steadily in his frail sampan as his river of destiny had taken him where it had to.
Drawing upon his experiences, he then wrote ‘Musings at Death’s Door.’ It is a hard-hitting but fair assessment of Australian society, from the perspective of a bicultural Asian-Australian. When a senior academic said ‘There is wisdom here,’ he had it published.
The book covers religion and the Cosmos, the hegemonic US empire, national identity, racism and tribalism (Raja has suffered from both), the folly of multiculturalism policy which erroneously stressed the retention of imported cultures, the myth of Western democracy, the breakdown of family and its consequences for society, and so on.
In articles published elsewhere, Raja warns against those new immigrant arrivals who want Australia to change to suit what he refers to as a desert culture. It is the immigrant who has to adapt, he insists.
This octogenarian author is indeed fearless. He tells it as he sees it.