RAJA – YouTube No. 3

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.

RAJA – YouTube No. 2

Awaiting the Family of Man while seeking the Divine

I present again octogenarian author Raja Arasa Ratnam. “You are a practical sociologist” said a senior academic after reviewing Raja’s first book ‘Destiny Will Out’ for Monash University’s Journal, ‘People & Place.’ This book set out the early bicultural shocks detonated by the arrival of a number of well-educated, English-speaking, confident young Asians into White Australia. Coloured people were then not permitted to migrate into Australia.

The prejudice and discrimination displayed was one-sided, and widespread. The Asian youth, according to Raja, were comfortable in their knowledge that they represented durable ancient civilisations. The oldest Australians had to die, he said, before the display of an imagined white superiority subsided.

Since this book was both a memoir reflecting his on-arrival observations, and a record of the government’s successful policies in assisting the great intake of post-war European immigrants to settle, it received tremendous reviews, especially from academics.

This led Raja to write ‘The Karma of Culture.’ 3 senior academics provided pre-publication endorsements, as Raja presented relevant settlement issues as both an outsider and an insider. Raja has his head in Asia’s communal cultures while his feet are firmly planted in the individualism of the West. He is bicultural.

This book also highlighted Australia’s position on the fringe of Asia. Indeed, a reviewer had pointed out that Asian spiritualism had already found a foothold in Asia through yoga and Buddhism.

It is easy to forget that, when one’s memory bank is spilt, many interesting stored-away thoughts can fall out. So, Raja wrote ‘Hidden Footprints of Unity.’ It focused on how immigrant communities related to one another; and their search for the Divine, their paths to God. He presented the reality that, below the divisive dogma that may present religions as competitive, the core beliefs of the major religions are indeed shared.

This brought him a wonderful endorsement from the Religious Affairs Editor of ‘The Australian’ newspaper.

Another editor pointed out that Raja’s hope for the future is the evolution of the Family of Man. Great progress in this direction has been achieved in Australia through the successful integration of culturally diverse immigrants through official policies. Raja had an important role in this campaign. Young Asians also displayed their ability to blend into the Australian community.

Even before his retirement, he could see that Australia had changed – from a supremacist white society to a cosmopolitan, multi-ethnic multicultural people. He commends the host people for their adaptability. He also commends the teachers who guided students to realise that skin colour, accents, and countries of origin do not matter – that they are now Australians!

He points out that today’s youth, with visibly diverse origins, speak with the same accent, and display the same values!

RAJA – YouTube No. 1

Surviving to contribute: age no barrier

Who would not be interested in a 87-year old whose mind is as sharp as a tack, and who writes in an interesting and clear style? Yet, he began to write only after a significant psychic experience after retirement.

“You could contribute to building a bridge from where you came to where you are” suggested the spirit of his uncle just before he de-materialised. Earlier, the clairvoyant involved had told Raja, a bicultural Asian-Australian, that the spirit world had experienced difficulty in getting him to Australia. ‘Why me?’ was his plaintive thought, in the light of his difficult life, over 6 decades, in his country of adoption.

Raja knows a lot about migrant settlement, both from his settlement experiences and his work as a director of policy on ethnic affairs & multiculturalism, citizenship & national identity, as well as refugee & humanitarian entry.

His settlement experiences included a woman shouting at him in a public place. She said, “Why don’t you go back home, you black bastard?” He happens to be light tan in skin colour.

Although qualified as a psychologist, he was denied a job because he was ‘too black.’ When he then qualified as an economist, he was told that the Australian worker in the private sector ‘is not yet ready for a foreign executive.’ This was White Australia, after all.

It was the public sector which promoted him rapidly. Yet, he was somewhat dishonestly denied permanent promotion in the Senior Executive Service. He obtained proof of that 2 years later.

To compensate, he channelled his surplus energy into civil society, where he made a substantial contribution in his spare time. He was chairman of a school board, the national president of an organisation akin to Toastmasters, the founder of a public speaking competition for primary school students, and a recipient of a meritorious service award from his union for his work on merit protection.

He achieved all this while the wheels of his life-chances cart fell off from time to time; and he kept falling into holes which were not there. Obviously, he does not give up!

Between 69 and 84 he published 6 books; 2 memoirs, 2 on migrant settlement, 1 on Australian society, and 1 on fiction. 4 of his non-fiction books were recommended by the US Review of Books. All the books received favourable reviews. Quite an achievement!

He then wrote 44 thought-provoking articles for ezinearticles.com. He has now completed about 1,000 daily posts on his WordPress blog, rajarasablog.wordpress.com, titled ‘An octogenarian’s final thoughts’ : a mind-exploring smorgasbord!

This octogenarian author is Raja Arasa Ratnam. I commend him to you as a most unusual person who, in spite of his travails, claims to be at peace mentally and spiritually. “At my age, I should be”, he says. “My wings await me.”

Theology made a mockery of democracy

“You’d think it would be bleedingly obvious that if 87% of the population agreed with a proposition, then our members of parliament would dutifully and faithfully reflect that view when it came to voting on legislation … It turns out that many of our MPs are quite happy to represent us – but only so long as they agree with us.”

“When it comes to abortion (or similarly divisive issues such as same-sex marriage, assisted death or even stem cell research) many MPs ditch the idea that they are our representatives, and instead impose upon us personal opinions dictated, they tell us, by their consciences.”

Haw! Haw! Conscience votes are almost as rare as a sighting of that famous bird, the dodo. Our parliamentary representatives are selected by their parties to be elected by us, on condition that they vote as dictated by party chiefs. Or else! The whole system is so authoritarian that a Prime Minister apparently took Australia to war recently without parliamentary approval.

Who are the controllers of our political parties? How did they achieve their control? I doubt if either academe or the media could enlighten us. All that we know is that the first priority of our political parties is to be re-elected; but not at the price of giving up any theology-related policy.

What is interesting is that Census data shows that just 61% of us are Christian; and that Roman Catholics represent 25% of Christians. That is, no more than 15% of the population could be identified as bound by the theology of the Vatican. This has significance in relation to policy in relation to assisted death (or voluntary euthanasia – no ‘killing’ involved) – a matter of great interest to the very elderly as they deteriorate, with increasing pain, in institutional care. (Where are the loved ones they brought up?)

Voting is compulsory in Australia, unlike other Western nations. Yet, reportedly, about 400,000 youths aged between 18 and 25 are not enrolled to vote. Many more allegedly submitted informal ballot papers. Is there any penalty for non-enrolment?

Vatican theology reached new heights in 2013 in the State of New South Wales. According to Anne Summers, a respected journalist, whom I quoted at the start of this post, “The vote for Zoe’s Law … involved a 63-26 majority of Lower House members … in favour of granting personhood to the foetus.” (Ye Gods!) In this so-called democracy, Vaticanites seem to have achieved control over both sides of politics, as well as the public services in the nation. Are we too well fed to care?

Minority rule is not democratic, especially if guided by a restrictive theology. Refer ‘Keeping the bastards honest’ in my book ‘The Karma of Culture’ (available at amazon kindle at $US 2.99 or $A 3.99). Yet, we preach, in lofty tones, to other nations about the effulgent beauty of Western democracy!

(Anne Summers’ article was published in the May 14/15 issue of ‘News Review’ in the Sydney Morning Herald)

 

Socialising in the ‘Afterlife’ (the Recycling Depot)Depot)

Socialising in the ‘Afterlife’ (the Recycling Depot)

The clairvoyant who enabled the spirit of my uncle to offer me advice told me, nearly a quarter of a century ago, not to be in a hurry (I was!) ‘to get to the Other Side’; it would not be different from here, he said. I did not like that.

I was, however, promised that I would continue my learning there. As to those I might meet there, all my close relatives who had died a while back would probably have been reincarnated by now. Would I be fortunate in meeting some of the ‘higher beings’ referred to by my uncle? He had explained that they had sent him to me.

It would also be wonderful to be able to talk to some of the learned men and women of recent times. Throughout my life, I have tended to seek out people who are interesting, especially immigrants and (genuine) refugees in Australia offering their diverse experiences. Great insight into the human condition is thus available.

I would also like to meet in the Afterlife some of those religious leaders who had practised control over their ‘flocks,’ including separating them from being contaminated by ‘foreign’ ideologies. In this context, I am reminded of that priest who convinced all 5 of our new neighbours not to have coffee with my wife. They ignored us after that; we were not of ‘the faith.’ What ignorance; what subservience. How un-Australian!

I would ask such priests what they thought they had done for humanity as a whole. I do not, however, expect bigotry and evil thoughts to survive Earthly death. One’s soul should be above Earthly contaminants.

The Afterlife promises to be interesting in another way. Currently I am saddened by those Christians, all regular church-goers, who have indicated to me that they do not know what will happen to them after death (in spite of what the Bible promises), or who are genuinely afraid to die. They are not convinced by my belief that we will all go to a better place. What have their priests done to them? I know them to be good people, surely not conceived or born in ‘sin.’    

I look forward to be able to say to them (and their priests) ‘Isn’t this a good place to be’? I really cannot see why the Afterlife (the Recycling Depot) cannot also be an R&R (rest and recuperation) Way Station!

There we could again re-connect as fellow-travelers, until we move on to our respective personal-destiny pathways once more. It is the journey, the objective of repeated rebirths, which offers valuable learning in the meaning of existence and non-existence!

My 3 votes

What a transition: from having no political rights as a colonial subject, to find myself with 3 votes after becoming an Australian citizen. Voting is compulsory in Australia; this is an improvement over optional voting, both in terms of applied democracy and in limiting the scope for manipulation.

But, am I empowered politically by exercising a vote at federal, state and local government levels? I do not feel so. Why? For the last 5 centuries or so, in the Western world, political parties have been choosing their candidates for election by registered voters; the membership of Party branches can have, in many instances, a great say in this nomination. By and large, we voters have no say as to the individuals who are to represent us in parliament (or in any other appropriate forum). We just vote for the party of our choice. In Australia, the choice is effectively between Tweedledum and Tweedledee (refer Alice through the Looking Glass). In local government, teams tend to replace political parties.

Who decides the policies? The parties, of course. Do voters have any say in the formulation of policies? Do we have any say in when the sun rises? But … … we can replace the government! One tends to seek to do that, especially when one’s party and representative do not reflect our more urgent needs.

How are the candidates chosen? How would we know? On what criteria are they nominated? Yet another mystery. When I spent 10 years (7 as the chairman) on a trade union committee working for merit protection in the Australian federal public service (later receiving a Meritorious Service Award), we ensured that duty statements and selection criteria were accurate and made explicit; and that assessment and appeal procedures were transparent. I have never heard of such an approach by our political parties in selecting candidates for election!

What indeed are their criteria for selection? Whoever seems to offer the best chance of winning, obviously! What determines the field? I can surely guess! In view of the availability of electoral staff to deal with the public, what are the duties of our elected representatives, apart from voting as told?

So, this is Western democracy! Thus when the West requires certain nations of interest (not the others, especially if they have the resources we need) to display greater human rights, what is asked is that each adult should have a vote in electing political leaders. This should replace tribal leadership with political party leadership. While the voters may be no better off, foreign powers (that’s us) may be better enabled to influence certain national policies in these new ‘democratic’ nations.

Is there a lesson to be learnt from those nations which are democratic but which continue to be led by unreplaceable heads of government or unshakeable political parties?

My Feelings about the Spirit World

Learning is there for those who want it. But, there are some learned fools about. Therefore I sought understanding – which is deeper, wider, and probably intuitive. Taking all my significant experiences (especially my travails) into account, I feel that there is a template at work.

Being a metaphysical, non-ritualistic Hindu, based upon my belief that I had traversed many lifetimes on Earth, I formed the opinion that the template I had intuited is a personal destiny; and that this reflected the culmination of my exercise of free will over quite a number of lifetimes.

While I believed that this is an automatic mechanism, offering opportunities for my soul to improve itself morally, the spirit world introduced itself to me. I suddenly learnt that higher beings had experienced some difficulty in getting me to Australia. My irreverent reaction was whether I was to improve the colour of the population all by myself.

So, does this realm influence human lives? Apparently so. Is this only to ensure that I continue to paddle on my river of destiny with benefit? Not quite!

Since I began to write in response to spiritual advice, I conclude that my understanding of certain relevant societal matters was acquired so that I could transmit them, allowing the Cosmos to decide where they go. I do believe that I am but one of a myriad of such transmitters.

 

Pondering the Meaning of Life

Because of the inexplicable major disasters early in my life, and a proclivity to fall into holes which were clearly not there, I began to ask myself after my retirement about the possible determinants of human life. I have concluded that we do indeed have free will, but that our actions in our past lives influence the trajectory of our current lives.

English: Tibetan endless knot Nederlands: Tibe...

English: Tibetan endless knot Nederlands: Tibetaanse Oneindige knoop (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On the basis of my understanding of the Upanishads, the highest level of metaphysics found in any religion, I believe that the process for the transmission of the template for each current life is automatic.  The free will exercised during each life is sufficient to explain what happens. Thus, there is no need for the New Age belief that the reincarnating soul ‘chooses’ the pathway of the life to be just before birth.

However, on the basis of my significant exposures to the spirit world, I accept that the spirit world may involve itself in the working out of the template established elsewhere in time and place.  The travails of my current life lead me to offer a spiritual path for all mankind. In this, I am aided by my intuition, as well as by reliable clairvoyants, to feel that I have already been a Christian, Moslem and Jew. This inter-faith tolerance was also enhanced by having grown up in a multi-ethnic community in British Malaya, which was already on its way to becoming a tolerant multicultural nation.

This might also throw a little light on the path I have followed in my current life to be able to advocate the eventual integration of people of diverse cultures within my adopted nation into one coherent people. My ultimate hope is that we humans will accept that we were co-created, and are thereby bonded to one another. Is the concept of the Family of Man not eventually achievable?

My thoughts have been influenced by the role of a visiting yogi, which resulted in me being sent to Australia; and a most significant psychic experience during which the spirit of my senior uncle offered advice on my spiritual development, and also suggested that I could seek to ‘contribute to building a bridge’ from whence I came to where I am. It was during this experience that I was told that the spirit world had faced some difficulty in getting me to Australia; to which, my questions were: ‘Why me?’ and ‘How much influence does the spirit world have on us on Earth?’

In my writing, my repeated effort is the creation of one people out of the wide diversity of ethno-cultural origins found in the newly-created immigrant-fed nations such as Australia. My ultimate aim is the recognition by one and all that we humans, in spite of the imperatives of form and substance creating separation, will eventually return to be united in that Ocean of Consciousness from which we apparently arose.