Past-life influences

When a little grandson struggled, while seated on his mother’s hip, to reach me each time I visited my daughter, and then hung on to me, I felt that this baby knew me. He had to be the son my wife and I lost 30 years before. My wife had a similar feeling.

Then I met a 6-month old baby relative who seemed to be angry or unhappy for no reason. He was supported by loving family and other relatives. At 3 years, he was still unco-operative and grumpy. By 7, he was a normal happy child. I surmised that a past life had bothered him severely initially.

Reliable research shows that some young children, all over the world, do remember their most recent past life; and that, by about 7 years of age, that memory is totally lost. I have seen videos of young children, clearly under 7, playing with great skill the piano, or the drums, or ‘conducting’ a musical program (in one instance playing with an orchestra). Only inbuilt soul-memories of past-life skills could explain such proficiency, but without the child being necessarily conscious of anything unusual.

Yet, I have had a frightening psychic ‘flashback’ of being buried alive. It was a very real experience, which took me about 3 days to overcome; I was way over 60 years old then! My then attempt to delve into my past lives, through auto-hypnosis, produced scenes involving red sand, again and again.

My urge, when facing overt discrimination, to wield a scimitar, has implications; perhaps of a deliverer of steely justice in another life. Yet, I have never seen a scimitar, but do feel an attraction. My wife noted that, asking why. Perhaps it is a past-life memory, I responded.

As well, when I was sketching designs for fabric painting, my initial designs replicated the shape of the beautiful mosques of Central Asia. So I discovered many years later. Perhaps this is why, in spite of being a Ceylonese, I was born amongst a tolerant Muslim people, the Malays.

Then there was an English fellow-migrant. She and I became blood-brother and sister soon after we met; there was a strong bond between us, discernible to others. Another psychic flashback showed that we had been twin brothers; our skin colour was white. We supported each other psychologically through turbulent lives, although separated by oceans for much of the time.

A local psychic healer, assisted by her Spirit Healer, told me about a couple of my past lives. Her intention was to alleviate physical pains reflecting past-life trauma. She was successful.

Another clairvoyant told me recently that she could see me in my scimitar-wielding past life. This view coincided with my earlier views of Central Asia. Was she reading my mind? Or, do clairvoyants, with assistance from the spirit realm, see scenes of relevance to the client?

In any event, since past-life memories are no doubt attached to one’s soul, could they not occasionally seep into one’s conscious mind or unconsciously affect one’s thoughts? Am I not my soul? With an accumulation of memories from many Earthly lives?



“Of mice and morality – a parable for adults” (Part 1)

This last piece of bicultural fiction in my book “Pithy Perspectives” has entranced readers. I offer it in segments, because of its length, but also to allow ‘Wordpress’ readers to digest the events presented. The New South Wales President of the Federation of Australian Writers was quite entranced by this parable.

The Plan

House spoke. He had the right to speak first because he was the Elder of the tribe. Speaking first has traditionally been understood in all manner of societies to indicate unobtrusively, implicitly, and without further sign or signal the authority necessary to lead. Yet, it was also understood that age or seniority did not necessarily deliver that authority. However, House’s tribe had agreed in that democratic way that had been lost since the demise of the Athenians (who, one might remember, had resided in that location which, nearly 1,500 years later, had become part of a new nation called Greece), that House was entitled to speak first.

So, House the mouse spoke first. But, as soon as he started to articulate his scrambled thoughts, for rapidly advancing age does tend to scramble – as with an egg in a frying pan being man-handled (so to speak) – thoughts, both formed and preformed, Mona (his number one wife) began to moan. Her moaning did not, however, discomfit the tribe because Mona always knew what House was going to say – so she claimed.

Was she clairvoyant? On the contrary, she had lived with House long enough to anticipate not only his words but also his thoughts. Ah, so she thought! She really should have consulted his sainted mother, now in the land of the angels, and thereby able to guide her. For House was not a common house mouse (that is how he received his pseudonym) or even a garden mouse. He was indeed an intellectual mouse who, when the moon was in conjunction with Pluto (not the neighbor’s dog), could not only see into the future but also anticipate trouble. That might explain why he had not been eaten by Whicky, the Persian cat who shared the house with him.

Whicky, so named by little Virginia who, at age eighteen months, had displayed the normal age-related inability to say certain sounds, was a very relaxed beast. He must have been since he seemed unable to see or even sense the presence of House when they were only a meter apart in the kitchen. But Whicky was not the problem. It was Mangy Maxwell (MM), Whicky’s best friend, who lived next door, who posed an existence-threatening problem. Existence is, of course, as Whicky had already intuited, an ephemeral matter. Well, not so much matter as energy perhaps. For, as the ancient Hindus have taught, not only is matter interchangeable with energy, all existence is only Maya; that is, neither real (but not in a Platonic sense) nor unreal and that both real and unreal are merely transitory emanations from that ocean of consciousness from which all objects with form and name arise.

To counter MM, the mice in House’s environs had tried travelling en masse. Yet, after each foraging trip through the paddocks adjoining House’s domain, there would be one less member. They believed that cunning MM had somehow managed to side-swipe into his maws one of their lot.

House had finally decided to have a confabulation. He, in his Whicky-derived wisdom – because it was Whicky’s demeanor which had allowed House to grow old and thereby wise – knew what the solution was. But, before he could speak, Mona had risen with all the authority of ancient wives to speak for him. Big mistake! Wife number two, Angelina, much younger and not as bound by habituation, was not about to let Mona upstage House. So she broke into the moaning that had just begun to flow like water over-flowing a bathtub and insisted – ever so courteously and in that acceptable voice of gentility which is far more persuasive than any other kind of oral delivery – that House should have his leadership say.

Gratefully, House stood up (on his hind legs of course) and spoke. He spoke with that authority which can only come from leadership – whether imposed or earned. He uttered these words of profound wisdom: “We need to bell that cat!”


The Problem

Thus, in the beginning were the words. The words were: “We need to bell that cat!”

Then came the void – the void of ocean-deep silence. And what silence! Was there such a silence after God had said to her entourage, “I am, there I create”?

The silence convinced House that he had not dropped a clanger. His suggested solution for the tribe was sound. That terrible silence surrounded the mice and suspended all potential sounds in much the same way as a sea mist seeps onto its foreshore, engulfing, as it were, all other matter whether alive or dead, animate or inanimate, conscious or unconscious. The silence which had suddenly flooded the consciousness of the mice was not as heavy as that winter fog that can press down upon one with its weight of moisture about to be deposited without discrimination upon freedom-filled flesh or feathers. It was also not like the summer mist that filters the dawning light to produce an enlightening glow which yet renders insubstantial all that it subsumes.

Instead, in that deep void of silence, all the brains brought to the confabulation of mice suddenly went berserk. Never had these brains been so stimulated. Never had the normal chatter of trivia which so occupies the lives of mice (and mankind) been silenced by the enormity of this plan of concerted action. And thus and thereby, all the brains went into hyper-drive. If channeled into some kind of propulsive mechanism, collectively they could have found themselves in one of the inter-galactic “worm-holes” alleged by certain speculative cosmologists to link any one universe with another.

But then what would mice know about the Cosmos? On the other hand, how are we humans to know whether intergalactic or interstellar travelers (viz. anthropologists, members of the food supply industry, or armament merchants) have not already insinuated themselves into each and every life-form on Earth? If this has already happened, it would only be an extension of the now well-known path of neo-colonialism. This process of entrapment of the resources and minds of “others” (that is, those who are not “us”) is currently being propagated with a prodigious proficiency by the lust of the last of the white-skinned colonizers. As ever, similarly pigment-deficient accumulators of the assets of others had, over a few recent centuries, not accepted that all humans are but projections from the one and only Creator of the universe and that the urge to control resources that transitorily belong to “others” is truly futile. After all, one cannot even take one’s material body into the ether on Judgment Day. It must be admitted, however, that mice normally do not bother themselves with matters which preoccupy the minds of socially sensitive souls of the human kind, intergalactic and interstellar observer-participants of mice (and mankind) possibly (and probably) excluded.

After an extended silence of the void created by many minds in gear, one mouse started to speak. In his excitement at having suddenly produced a clear and undeniable thought, he forgot to ask for permission to speak from the chairman, his tribal leader. House therefore would not accept his right to stand up (on his hind legs of course) and to speak. As soon as the others saw Porthos (the mouse who thought that he had a clear and undeniable thought) stand up, they erupted. Vesuvius, that great volcano of ancient lore, would have been envious. Fortunately, unlike that eruption that had destroyed Pompeii, the eruption at the confabulation of mice was only oral. An observer of this aural reverberation might be forgiven for remembering, with some amusement, that famous childhood aphorism: “I tought I tought I saw a puddy tat”. For any vision of the pussycat MM, whether real, imagined, or illusory, would certainly have caused a comparable decampment.

The dam was now broken. All those mouse brains in gear, silently churning all manner of clear ideas and fragmentary thoughts as well as visions and feelings not quite ready to be transformed mentally into unspoken words now switched from processing to projection. All that mental grinding, not unlike the grinding of the tectonic plates below the surface of Earth, led to the uplifting into potentially vocal sounds, again not unlike the uplifting of ground-up magma within a volcano, and finally to that mighty explosion of sound. Vesuvius would indeed have been envious.

In the process, poor Porthos was drowned out, but only aurally. Even if the sounds were all near-subliminal squeaks, the uproar was truly deafening. But House cleverly allowed them all to jump up and down and have their say. This they all did simultaneously. He realized that all that brain-power had to be released. He therefore waited patiently for that strange phenomenon demonstrated by large vocal groups: when all the froth and fury of self-expression had been exhausted, there would be a silence – the silence of uncertainty. The unspoken question would then be: “Where do we go from here?” Or, more pithily (as that great Chinese sage Lin Yu Tang might have said to his porcine pet): “What now, old sow?’



Why produce children?

We are not a third-world nation. In some under-developed or ‘emerging’ nations (even those ‘screwed’ by neo-colonialism), is there reliable evidence of harm to children perpetrated by their parents? Or, are children there more likely to be put to work as soon as possible? I have read about children digging for diamonds, sewing soccer balls, weaving carpets, scavenging on rubbish tips, or working on family farms.

Even in those countries without priests urging a continuous production of babies, contraceptive practice may not be known; or contraceptive aids are beyond their reach. Worse still, Western nations offering financial aid to developing, poor nations will not subsidise contraception in these nations; something to do with Christian principles?

In Australia, we do not put children to work. They are to be looked after, and educated – even if some are likely to be economically unviable after leaving school. But, our key politicians, led by a shopkeeper mentality, want mothers to go to work outside the home. Why? It adds to Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Babies and little children are to be brought up in childcare centres. The rise in employment in these centres also adds to GDP. Economics thus out-ranks psychic satisfaction today. Sorry! I should say wealth-creation, a modern mantra; not economics.

‘Keeping up with the Jones family’ (a not-so-archaic ambition) also leads to 2-income families. The resulting pressures have now led to demands for after-hours care for children. And I thought that institutional upbringing of children is to be found only in countries with ‘command’ economies.

Then, because childcare is so expensive, taxpayer subsidies are needed. Everyone is richer, except those taxpayers who benefit not from this subsidy. Are those little children in 2-income families who spend their day in childcare as well off emotionally as those children who interact hugely with their home-based mothers?

With no priestly demands, and the easy availability of contraception, is there a case for fewer children from 2-income families? Should we ask those children who have limited contact with their mothers for most of the day? Isn’t psychic wealth more valuable than any other kind of wealth?


‘Generations of lost children’

How is it that, in a modern civilised nation, so many children are in need of protection from harm? A news report in the Sydney Morning Herald of 17 March 2017 points out that, in the State of New South Wales, “Almost 200,000 reports relating to 278,521 children were made to the FACS (Department of Family and Community Services) helpline in 2015-16. Only 30% of children assessed as being at risk of significant harm received a face-to-face visit from a caseworker. There are about 20,000 children in out-of-home care … …”

The harm to which the children are exposed range from negligence, to emotional violence, to physical violence, to sexual abuse. How terrible!

What does this say about the morality of the parents, the coherence of family, and the future of society itself? The financial cost to the taxpayer of this program is $1.9 billion annually.

What about the emotional damage to the children? Will more money and caseworkers change the behaviour of those responsible for inflicting this harm? Are penalties applied? What is meant by preventative policies? Would de-sexing the proven guilty be of any value?

What effective policies are available to change the attitudes and behaviours of those who harm children?

Predicting adult personality from childhood behaviour

I read recently that the observed behaviour of a 4-year old can predicate the personality of the adult that the child will grow into. Even if this conclusion was drawn from a properly conducted survey covering a particular population at a point of time, could it apply to another population at the same point of time? Or, at a different point of time?

Are there not cultural differences, including parental behaviour, school policies, community values, and eroding societal standards for behaviour to be taken into account?

As well, what if (repeat, what if) the child’s behaviour seemed to reflect some past-life trauma, perhaps in the manner and circumstances of death? Having brought up children successfully, through firm rules and loving guidance, supplemented by on-going dialogues, and backed up by my studies on child development, with some reading on past-life memories displayed by children; and having contributed substantially to the development of a number of grandchildren, could I not offer some insight onto the behaviour of young children?

I once observed, over a period of a few days, a 6-month old baby who had no reason to be unhappy, and who did not always display the normal discomfort of indigestion, continually shout at the parent holding, and attempting to comfort, him. At 3 years, he remained un-cooperative and truculent and, in one instance, he whinged for about 45 minutes for no reason that I could perceive. I felt that this poor child could not help himself. By age 7, he was a normal child. Had he been driven by a subconscious painful past-life memory, considering that he had the most loving parents one could ask for?

Normally, tribal cultural values, applied through rigid family control, will ensure that not only behaviour, but also attitudes, conform to family and community standards. In the ethos of Asian communalism, this is important. Against this is the ethos of individualism of Western nations, manifest in less-controlled and guided children. However, individual rights can also be conferred by some primary school teachers, sometimes countering family values. I write from personal experience.

Is it significant that, when Australia-born offspring of tightly-knit immigrant Middle Eastern families break away (through peer-group and other influences) from parental values, some of these chose to be jihadists or become anti-social?

I’ll bet that they did not display such tendencies in childhood, especially at about age 4!

Raising children – ‘free range’ or ‘caged’?

Rights involve responsibilities. Morally. Since a woman has a right to produce a child, does she not have the responsibility to nurture the child, rather than to hand over the task to an institution?

Would not this mean being there, being available, to assuage pain, to offer bodily comfort, to answer the million questions which arise in the growing child’s mind? And to be home when the child is ill? Otherwise, why produce the child?

Do these questions challenge the right of a woman with a baby or pre-schooler to go to work? Not at all. However, reality requires a response to the modern-day dilemma: how balance the subconscious needs of such a young child with the right of the parent?

If the mother has a substantive need for sustenance, should not other arrangements be made which do not subjugate the young child’s needs? Even in a Western society based on individualism (not communalism), parents and politicians can surely give priority to the emotional and psychic needs of a little child?

Yet, in a modern capitalistic nation such as Australia, in which no one has to starve, some babies and little children seem to be brought up in institutional care for (reportedly) up to 5 days/week, and up to 8 hours/day. Is this situation comparable to laying hens being brought up in large closed sheds, in which they are allowed to wander and feed, but without access to sunlight, and the right to forage freely in nature?

What are the consequences of little children being cared for (even educated) for long hours? A 4-year old boy I knew spent 8 hours/day for 5 days/week in childcare. Each day, he ‘lost’ something – his jacket, bag, etc. I recognised what was happening; he was hurt. Right through primary school, he tended to be unco-operative, recalcitrant. I recognised subconscious anger.

From about age 13, when conceptual development begins to flower, he gradually changed (with guidance from grandpa). Recent research confirms this pattern of response to aggravated institutionalisation. Hurt feelings do last.

In my low-employment district, one sees young mothers and their little ones enjoying one another’s company – in the traditional way; the way my generation was prepared to live frugally in small houses while our children knew that mum or dad was always there; even to sort out problems at school.

I hasten to iterate that I accept that childcare workers and teachers are caring people, and qualified professionally. I was once responsible for childcare policy in Australia’s migrant hostels (and also qualified in psychology, with emphasis on child development).

Society is based on families. Families need children – the future of society, and its leaders – who are stable emotionally, and have an adequate sense of societal responsibility. Parents and politicians need to ensure such children. Childcare and schools cannot be expected to be surrogate parents. Unfortunately, that seems to be the modern trend. Read Fukuyama’s ‘The Great Deterioration,’ and observe what is happening in your society.

Has there been any mention in the media, ever, about the psychic needs of very young children in two-career-person families who are being brought up in childcare and in after-school care? What about their rights?

All that one reads about is how much more of Other Peoples’ money needs to be spent in subsidising working mothers. Why not pay them to stay home for the first five years of a child? Want to work, to have a career? Surely not at the expense of the psychic needs of a little child!

What of society are our politicians creating? Should not morality over-ride materiality? Let us learn from the animal kingdom, from which we are said to have evolved.

Learning to express love

It was not easy. I tried to speak of my deep love for this little bundle of joy my wife had just produced. Was she not the extension of the woman I love, and to whom I had learnt to say ‘I love you’ (contrary to Asian traditions)?

For more than 16 years, from age 14, I had experienced a most difficult, de-stabilising, and psychologically painful life. Now, in a stable life, impoverished, but on the way to peace of mind, I was blessed with this quiet, cheerful baby, my first-born. But I did not know how to tell her – not just show her – how I felt about her.

How could I? Born into, and brought up, in a no-touch cultural tradition, where men exchanged greetings with bare hands put together as if in prayer, and no words of affection ever passes any lips (except perhaps in the marital bed in the darkness of night), where could the appropriate words of love come from?

Fortunately, my Anglo-Australian wife, in my view the best mother I had ever observed, showed me the way. Better still, I also learnt to show by touch how much both of my children meant to me. After 16 years of turbulence, I had found peace with stability, and guaranteed love, within my own nuclear family.

More importantly, instead of children being seen and not heard – that was the cultural tradition of my youth – my own family talked freely, especially during mealtimes. (Refer Francis Fukuyama’s ‘structured rituals’ at family meals.) My wife and I even explained the bases of our pre-agreed values about perceptions and behaviour, so that understanding of things that matter followed.

Thus Australia taught me also to speak out – instead of being silent and turning away in the manner I had been brought up – when others behaved improperly. I became an outgoing, verbally-proficient person, to the point that my wife complained whenever I used the word ‘bloody’ in casual conversation. I was becoming common, she used to say!

Internally, ideologically Asian (and proud of my ancient heritage), but externally, functionally Australian – that’s me now; and a spade may be spoken of as an effing shovel.

The breakdown of family

As nations we may not be quite civilised, because greed predominates. What of family and society? Has the individualistic ethos of the immigrant-created nations of the West derailed any aspirations by their citizens to develop their spirituality through building up an enhanced sense of community? As a bicultural Asian-Australian formed by the communalism of my antecedents in Ceylon and Malaysia, but with my feet deeply grounded in the West, I can see the increasing barrenness of society in my adopted nation.

Change is ubiquitous. Is there anything which, over time, does not change? Society changes, as many a conservative family or society has discovered to its dismay. I have been changed by the new nation into which the spirit world (so its representatives said) placed me, with me reciprocally contributing to certain necessary changes in Australian society. Having lived a highly-interactive and contributory life for more than 6 decades in Australia, achieving leadership positions in civil society, I can claim to have had my fingers on Australia’s pulse for an adequate time. Why am I now disturbed by some of the ways my adopted nation has changed?

When I arrived during the White Australia era, family life (and its mores) were little different from what I had experienced. The male breadwinner was supported by his spouse through maintaining the home and bringing up the children. (There were exceptions, of course.) Hardship was the norm, as was self-sufficiency, with some help from good neighbours and relatives. Public transport supplemented the use of one’s legs. Neighbours talked to one another, not being isolated (as now occurs) by car ownership. Children created their own enjoyment, even making their toys. (I did – from kites to tops, to a high jump frame, to bows and arrows.)

At mealtimes, the family ate together (generally at set times), and brought one another up to date on their respective activities and experiences. ‘Structured rituals’ represent the basal level of communicating within families. Read Francis Fukuyama’s ‘The Great Deterioration.’

Now, most of that has reportedly changed. The sense of co-dependent communities; of a cohesive family; and of mutual individual help, seem increasingly part of history. Worse still, families are breaking up, with children denied the love and care of both parents, in so many instances, because of the asserted rights of the adults (especially in relation to career, sexual activity, lifestyle, location of residence and, strangely, getting onto the public teat); the needs, especially the psychological needs, of the children, and the psycho-genetic bond between child and absent (often, forcibly absent) father are ignored.

I have not heard of any objectively reliable research on the emotional and psychological impacts of family breakdown on children. Children will adapt on the surface. What alternative do they have? What of their emotional and psychological pains? Do these not matter?

Recently, a retiring member of the Family Court, which has the difficulty of adjudicating between contesting parents, was reported to confirm what many us have been told – that many women claim falsely that their child’s father had molested the child sexually, with no evidence provided.

The core question here is – without cohesive families can there be society? Without a cohesive society, will pack behaviour be the norm, with the State and faceless bureaucrats determining how people live?

Refer my book ‘The Dance of Destiny,’ available at $US 2.99 at Amazon as an ebook; also Francis Fukuyama’s ‘The Great Deterioration.’

Understanding fellow-humans

There is nothing more beautiful than a baby’s smile. It is innocent and morally uplifting. There is nothing more disturbing than a sad look on a little child’s face. That look may reflect a lack of understanding of the behaviour of the parents or other adults. Why should parents explain themselves to a child? How is a child then to cope? Is there not a need to help children, as they grow up, to understand human relationships? Later, as their brains mature, they may even begin to understand what it is to be human. I have offered the following advice to a grandchild from whom I am separated, hoping that it will offer some relevant insight.

So much of human behaviour is predictable. You enter the world on your own, having been developed within the womb, enjoying its security. Then you are exposed to the insecurity of the outside world. You then find yourself protected again by your parents. Each parent sees the other parent in you, and loves you more for that. Both parents see something of themselves in you, wondering whether your personal destiny-path (your river of life, on which you will paddle to survive, suffer and succeed) will be kind to you.

While your genes are inherited, and supply your reaction-potential, your soul, that is essentially YOU, has brought into your current life a whole boatload of memories (hidden from your current personality), and related instincts (which might present you as a fighter or pacifist or even a little screwed). It is thereby said that you are born WHEN you are because of WHAT you are (horoscope-wise).

My investigation into the past-life memories of little children (see my recent posts on WordPress) helps me to ‘read’ people more than my training as a research psychologist. I also endeavour to see the child in the adult, as it helps to explain extraordinary behaviour and attitudes.

Why am I writing like this? Understanding people helps you to understand yourself, especially when you have unusual thoughts and reactions which just seem to pop up. In my case, an instinctive urge to use a scimitar when facing on-going discrimination at work (and elsewhere) hinted at (and subsequently supported by a clairvoyant) a relevant past life – a warrior! That also explains why I have worked for justice all my life, and the support I am receiving for my WordPress posts.

You can also make life more interesting by seeking to understand your fellow-humans; perhaps to see what drives them.

The ‘stolen’ generation

“ … negative attitudes surfaced when the report on the ‘stolen generations’ was released, except that the counter-attack was strangely bitter. The authors of the report, their motives, methodology, definitions, and findings were all attacked, but only by a noisy handful.

The semanticists, pretending to be fair, focused on the meaning of ‘stolen’ and the scope of the word ‘generation’. The other critics, seemingly less erudite, simply went ballistic, with all manner of quaint arguments. Yet, no one could deny, that many, many, lighter-skinned children were removed from their mothers (pounded may be a more appropriate term in some cases) in ways which were both immoral and illegal. Can the white tribe do no wrong?

The claimed motivation for removing the children seemed to be multi-faceted. The need to save them from a terrible future amidst the dust of the cattle stations was one claim. A related caring claim was that, as part-whites, they could be assimilated through separation from their mothers and the rest of their people.

If these motives were genuine, how did those in authority see the rights of the mothers and their communities? Since the children were to become no more than servants, what did assimilation offer them? In the event, what does this policy say about the morality of those involved?

A more honest motive was to ‘to f..k them white’, in order to avoid a biological throwback to their indigenous heritage. Preventing the allegedly ‘quick-breeding half-caste’ from contributing to the growth of the creole community seems a more honest motive. As the Aborigine was then seen to be an early version of the Caucasian stock, there were thus hopes of breeding out the black peoples as a whole. But was there any intention to have white families adopt these poor kids, as claimed by a friend of mine? What were the odds of white families even considering such adoptions? I am inclined to believe that some did.

The ultimate aim was to achieve that white nation in all its purity. In this attempt, many scientists carried out all manner of tests and measurements on the indigenes for decades. It was all so futile … “

(The above extracts from ‘Hidden Footprints of Unity’, represent a sad historical period. Yet, the current ‘debate’ about recognising the First Peoples in the Australian Constitution, and the needed removal of any reference in that Constitution to race, has identified divisions.

I wonder if our leaders, political and Aboriginal, have the wisdom to accept that ultimately, we need to be one people, one nation. When my expert team revised the Australian Citizenship Act in the early 1980s, we had a vision of one people with a commitment to the nation through a shared citizenship.

Yet, the First Nation Australian peoples are surely entitled to be identified as such, with necessary affirmative support mechanisms to ensure ultimate parity in equal opportunity with other cultural communities.)