“Of mice and morality – a parable for adults” (Part 5)

The path to peace

Taking House aside, Whicky explained that he was a member (even as a cat) of a Western family that had adopted Buddhism, the fastest growing faith in Australia. Together with Virginia, whose intuitive understanding of all things material and spiritual and whose grasp of the language of mice and cats implicitly indicated that she is the reincarnation of an old soul, he knew that Buddhist beliefs, like those of yoga, did not conflict with the teachings and rituals of the other major religions.

Whereas doctrinal differences have separated one religion from another – and such differences represent merely the egoistic pretensions of the guardians of the institutionalized faiths – Buddhism, by emphasizing the moral obligation of sentient beings, one to the other, encompassed the ethical teachings of Christ and all the other known religious and spiritual teachers. When one bypasses the gongs, drums, bells, chants, and the other rituals which had grown as encrustations to the Buddha’s original guidance – like the rituals purveyed by the priests of all the faiths – there is only one simple exhortation for one and all. And that is to offer love, protection, care, and compassion to others whose existence is also due to the universal Creator.

House was flabbergasted. Here was his old mate displaying so much wisdom, which also explained his tolerance of the tribe of mice sharing his home. Like Virginia, he too might be an old soul. Together, they would surely light the way for those not privileged to be so enlightened.

Whicky went on to explain his plan, which had been agreed to by Virginia. Both would lead House and his tribe in meditation – daily. Out in the open with the sun (another product of the Creator) bestowing its blessing upon them all, Virginia and Whicky would lead the Buddhist chant, “Om Mani Padme Hum.” This was only a variation of the “Om Nama Shivaya” chanted by the adepts of yoga or the simpler “Om.” Uttered through the back of the throat and drawn out over a few seconds, Om would reflect the primeval hum which preceded the Big Bang of the modern physicists’ cosmology.

With the support of the Committee of Wise Mice, House put Whicky’s plan to the tribe. Intrigued, a little confused, anxious, but desperate, the tribe agreed. The next day, out in the open, within sight of Max, the meditation program started. Max was intrigued. Closer and closer he came to the mice each day – merely to see what was happening. The closer he came, the more he was influenced by the aural aura of the chant. The more the chant engulfed him, the more he realized the peace which enveloped the mice. The more effective this peace on the mice, the more Max became absorbed spiritually. A warm, caressing, mist-like atmosphere bonded them all in a cocoon of mutual acceptance and tolerance.

Can mice and cats become imbued with spiritual peace or was Whicky’s plan an aberration? On the contrary, both mice and Max eventually became submerged into that ocean of consciousness from which the physical Cosmos arose. Thus was Max conditioned to change his ways; that is, not to eat mice. Thus did peace reign over the mice, the cats, and little Virginia. So says Virginia, the old soul.


Here ends the parable of mice and morality. Virginia’s sojourn into another improbable world awaits another day.



Open-door immigration and open minds

In the mid-1970s a radical Australian government formally ended the White Australia policy (with its racism). This was sensible. A white-man outpost set in coloured waters and surrounded by foreign faiths in the burgeoning independent nations of Asia was clearly not politically sustainable. Yet, the entry door was not fully opened to the darker peoples of the Indian sub-continent until after the 1980s, as indicated by Census data (see Census 2001).

The reigning antipathy to the Aborigine may have coloured the perceptions of some individuals, also influenced (perhaps) by the religions of the region. Australia had already suffered from a bitter sectarian religious divide, which contrasted with my experience of tolerance in British Malaya.

Had this divide now become subterranean? It seems so, as the chasm created historically seems to be unbridgeable. The open immigration door, with its assumed influx of foreign faiths, has certainly not broadened the nation’s ideological values. For example, unlike most developed Western nations, Australia does not have a statute of liberty (while it lectures Asian nations about human rights). See Geoffrey Robertson’s ‘The Statute of Liberty.’

Further, although a vast majority of Australians seek voluntary (repeat, voluntary) euthanasia, a religious minority successfully denies compassionate relief to those who cannot be made pain-free, both pharmaceutically and through palliative care. See my 3 ezine articles on ‘The will of the people.’ (Refer http://ezinearticles.com/?expert Raja A Ratnam)