Quotes on re-birth

Karma brings us ever back to rebirth, binds us to the wheel of births and deaths. Good Karma drags us back as relentlessly as bad, and the chain which is wrought out of our virtues holds as firmly and as closely as that forged from our vices. Annie Besant
Assimilation of the fruits of each past life takes place before the spirit descends to rebirth, and consequently, the character generated is fully formed and readily expressed in the subtle, mobile mind-stuff of the Region of Concrete Thought, where the archetype of the coming dense body is built. Max Heindel
A rebirth out of spiritual adversity causes us to become new creatures. James E. Faust
One thing I want to make clear, as far as my own rebirth is concerned, the final authority is myself and no one else, and obviously not China’s Communists. Dalai Lama
Everyone focuses on the earthly state, but how cool might death be? I believe in spiritual rebirth, and I can’t wait to experience that. Barry Zito

“Tell a wise person, or else keep silent,
because the mass man will mock it right away.
I praise what is truly alive,
what longs to be burned to death.

In the calm water of the love-nights,
where you were begotten, where you have begotten,
a strange feeling comes over you,
when you see the silent candle burning.

Now you are no longer caught
in the obsession with darkness,
and a desire for higher love-making
sweeps you upward.

Distance does not make you falter.
Now, arriving in magic, flying,
and finally, insane for the light,
you are the butterfly and you are gone.

And so long as you haven’t experienced
this: to die and so to grow,
you are only a troubled guest
on the dark earth.” ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 

 

 

 

 

DEATH – More notable quotes

Better to flee from death than feel its grip.

HOMER, The Iliad

We all labour against our own cure, for death is the cure of all diseases.

SIR THOMAS BROWNE, Religio Medici

Death, in itself, is nothing; but we fear,

To be we know not what, we know not where.

JOHN DRYDEN, Aureng-Zebe

Our life dreams the Utopia. Our death achieves the Ideal.

VICTOR HUGO, Intellectual Autobiography

You only live twice. Once when you are born and once when you look death in the face.

IAN FLEMING, You Only Live Twice

Morn after morn dispels the dark,

Bearing our lives away;

Absorbed in cares we fail to mark

How swift our years decay;

Some maddening draught hath drugged our souls,

In love with vital breath,

Which still the same sad chart unrolls,

Birth, eld, disease, and death.

BHARTRHARI, “Against the Desire of Worldly Things”

 

(Ha! My death will take me to a better place. It will enable me to gird my loins – so to imagine – before I undergo my next phase of moral cleansing on Earth. So I have been told!)
 

DEATH – Vivekananda Quotes

DEATH

This is a matter of considerable interest to me, as I cannot live for ever.

Here are some thoughts from Swami Vivekananda, a great commentator on Hinduism.

  • Be true unto death.
  • Birth is re-composition, death is de-composition.
  • Death comes to all forms of bodies in this and other lives.
  • Death is better than a vegetating ignorant life; it is better to die on the battle-field than to live a life of defeat.
  • Death is but a change.
  • Death is but a change of condition. We remain in the same universe, and are subject to the same laws as before. Those who have passed beyond and have attained high planes of development in beauty and wisdom are but the advance-guard of a universal army who are following after them.

 

Ramakrishna quotes

A man is truly free, even here in this embodied state, if he knows that God is the true agent and he by himself is powerless to do anything.
Through love one acquires renunciation and discrimination naturally.
The fabled musk deer searches the world over for the source of the scent which comes from itself.
To work without attachment is to work without the expectation of reward or fear of any punishment in this world or the next. Work so done is a means to the end, and God is the end.
 

When the flower blooms, the bees come uninvited.
God can be realized through all paths. All religions are true. The important thing is to reach the roof. You can reach it by stone stairs or by wooden stairs or by bamboo steps or by a rope. You can also climb up by a bamboo pole.
 

 

 

 

 

 

RAJA – YouTube No. 4

Free Will under spirit guidance.

“Freedom!” This is the banner under which Raja Arasa Ratnam, an octogenarian, bicultural, Asian-Australian author, has contributed to civil society all through his life, while adapting successfully, as a coloured, initially-unwanted person to White Australia. The trigger for this pre-occupation was his father, an immigrant into British Malaya from colonial Ceylon.

Later, partly from what might possibly be a soul-memory, and partly from the vision of a clairvoyant, Raja feels that he had been a Muslim warrior, wielding a scimitar, in a recent past life. This clairvoyant had been able, a few years ago, to see and describe Raja’s spirit guide, when the latter had complained to her that Raja had not been listening to him.

Each time he faced overt discrimination, Raja had to combat an instinctive twitch in his right hand – his need for a scimitar! His lesson in this life, he says, is therefore to work for, not fight for, justice. Since he is becoming increasingly intuitive, he wonders whether he has progressed from the throat chakra to the third-eye chakra.

Apart from a happy boyhood, which ended with the arrival of the Japanese military (and the associated semi-starvation), Raja has experienced a life of great turbulence. Yet, like the stability which prevails at the core of chaos, there has been a steady path of progress at all levels in his life.

Significantly, temporary stability had been provided, when needed, by much-valued individuals, who had each been dropped into his life and then been taken out, in a painfully clear sequence. Support, followed by emotional separation, seemed inevitable. Each hiatus, however, enabled further learning, he says.

He now accepts that it is on-going learning which defines his life. He has a need, not just for knowledge, but for understanding. Unexpected and unwanted change will, of course, be emotionally disruptive. This then feeds his search for increasing mental and spiritual peace. Raja now feels that he has finally achieved that peace.

What is abundantly clear to Raja is that he has been on a guided trajectory all his life, with pain and pleasure, or stability and disruption, being 2 sides of the same coin. His motto is to accept whatever happens, and move on – until his wings arrive!

He hopes that his books (refer amazon kindle) will provide both historical perspective and a societal beacon for the future; and that his articles and blog (all on the Internet) continue to stimulate thought on a wide range of topics.

Demanding Other Peoples’ money

Like the pimples which pop up, as if by right, on the face of an adolescent male, so Australia has claimants of OP (Other Peoples) money popping up in profusion. As one of the OPs, I am sensitive to this. I feel like a wool-growing sheep.

Unlike the sheep, I want to know who my dependants are; and how (and why) they achieved that status. Actually, they are almost self-defining; a sort of cross-bred product of highwayman, a Mafia-like collector, and a beggar.

Starting from the outside, and moving inwards to local claimants vociferously demanding their claimed rights: grants to foreign governments which do not require any accounting (like the $A12 million paid to some nations in the Pacific recently to encourage their children to attend school – but what about Aboriginal children in parts of the north of Australia?); overseas financial aid (who gets what and why?) when an overseas aid agency I supported for about 30 years provided targeted material aid (eg. sewing machines, water taps); major foreign corporations (and local ones too) allegedly receiving tax subsidies (why?); or are allowed to pay taxes (apparently low) to foreign nations on incomes earned in Australia (in spite of the reality that Australia relies on the inflow of foreign capital so that we may continue to eat as well as we do).

The most powerful of the current claimants within Australia of OP money are: our medicos (GPs) and specialists (who are a long way from any ‘poverty line’); women with young children who choose employment (unlike their mothers) whose childcare costs are subsidised by other taxpayers (the OPs), but why (since we import large numbers of workers each year)? Both categories seek increases in their taxpayer benefits.

Although (reportedly) some companies pay no tax, and some pay little, in order to be ‘competitive internationally’ the big business supporters of the conservative political party demand a reduction in company tax – but what specific benefits are we offered in return?

A current political ‘hot potato’ is the claim that those with a bit of spare cash should be tax-subsidised through ‘negative gearing’ of investments. This means ensuring that the purchase of a property incurs a financial loss; this then reduces the tax payable on the principal income. The so-called ‘mums and dads’ investors reportedly include more conservative politicians (one of whom apparently has 46 such properties) than the other kinds.

Most of us cannot afford negative gearing, euphemistically described as wealth creation by those indulging in it. Yet, publicly, no one mentions the use of OP money here; the tax benefit for one has to be made up through a higher tax paid by others.

There seem to be so many such lurks. Greed abounds, like never before. As well, what can one say to those who wish to ‘do good’ for someone or other, provided the government (effectively OP) provide the money?

Most importantly, what about the right and needs of the poor sheep whose hard-earned money is increasingly deflected?

No black ‘tall poppies’ allowed

Traditionally, (at least, in the 1950s and thereabouts) Australians (about 85% were deemed to be of the working class) tended to cut down ‘tall poppies.’ So I was told. Why should this have been so? Here are possible explanations.

Australia was initially populated by the ‘lower orders’ of Britain. When North America was no longer available for taking the output of Britain’s program of cultural cleansing, Australia was the next best alternative depository. Then there evolved a policy that Australia would be ‘a white man’s paradise,’ in which no man would ‘reject any kind of work’ (so I read). The White Australia policy necessarily followed. The associated ethos of a ‘fair-go’ approach – equal opportunity, at least for white men – was in evidence when I entered the country in the late 1940s. Employees claimed equal status with their bosses.

I noted, with approbation, the stand-tall stance of the Australian worker. This was confirmed when I was a tram conductor, and worked in factories, for short periods. He would make an excellent role model in those rich Asian nations exploiting the lower orders. Strangely, as I was told by a veteran of the trenches of World War 1, it was the immigrant British communist union leaders who had achieved the rights of the Australian workers.

In the resulting relatively classless society which offers social mobility, any tall poppies may tend to keep a low profile. If anyone is attacked publicly, it would most likely be by the fog-horn using media which would be responsible. Its notables are paid richly to (apparently) stir up the lower ranks of the hoi polloi. I am not sure whether anyone else cares.

But, let a coloured (sorry, ‘black’) person become a notable, he will be torn down by many. A socially-integrated and exceptionally-gifted Aboriginal football player, and a multi-skilled Australian Muslim (broadcaster, academic, writer and musician) have drawn the ire of obviously supremacist whites.

What I hear is this. ‘Why should a ‘black,’ especially a Muslim, dare to be prominent in our society?’ ‘Be like us, but not above us!’ There may be other learned explanations (eg. the lack of ethnic diversity in the media; or an increasing tendency for some ‘commoners’ to be ‘outraged’ all the time); but these are not convincing.

Colour or religious prejudice, laid upon ignorance, provide a persuasive explanation for cutting down black ‘tall poppies.’  An additional explanation may be this: a shallow morality!

Becoming colour blind

“No dogs and Chinamen” said the sign outside the prestigious Selangor Club in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of British Malaya. Today, a multicultural and integrated Malaysian people (including the powerful Malay Muslims ruling the nation) utilise the Club.

For me, a visiting ex-Malayan Australian, it was the sight of a few dark-brown men wearing sandals and Malaysian shirts which impressed. They were (as I was told) local lawyers, indicating the extent to which the caste and class distinctions of the past had become irrelevant. In this context, I recall, with disgust, a Christian Ceylonese doctor who had his teenage Hindu servant sit on the floor in the back of his car.

Rubber-tapper Indian families used to send a teenager to work as a servant for families like us. I assumed that this practice was to enable these youngsters to look forward to a better life. I remember Francis (with fondness) who slept in the servant room. Whenever he minded my sister and I in our early childhood, he would spin a long tale, which entranced us, while often frightening us. He was a born story-teller. He should have progressed to a better life than that of his parents, who were indentured labourers (like the labourers sent by the British to Fiji to work on the sugarcane plantations).

“No dogs and Indians allowed” said the sign outside the Simla Club in India during the days of British rule. Yet, officials of the East India Company have been described as not as sensitive to skin colour as were the British Government officials who replaced them. The former were presumably responsible for the large Anglo-Indian population, but also for their privileged position above that of the Indians.

I got to know quite a few Anglo-Indians in Australia. They were not any different from my Eurasian friends in Malaya. In Australia we were all equal; because of our skin colour, we were (guess what?) ‘black.’ I did wonder whether Christian Indians and Euro-Asians in Australia had expected to be accepted as socially equal to the Anglo-Australian peoples.

While I remain averse to eating beetroot because of its colour, I do prefer Australians to become colour-blind. This does not mean officialdom claiming that we are more diverse ethnically than any other nation (not credible); that about 150 non-Aboriginal languages are spoken in the nation (only 15% of the people speak a foreign language at home); and selecting black or brown Christian refugees as humanitarian entrants – not while our rulers are ‘white bread’ in colour and texture (and stick together)!

Just as the oldest generation of the Australian people had to die before the virulent prejudice and discrimination faced by Asians in the immediate post-war years began to fade (the ignorant yobbo excepted), perhaps another generation or two of the Anglo-Celts here have to wander off into the Afterlife before their descendants become as colour-blind as are the peer groups of my children and grandchildren.

Mixed skin colours are the norm in most part of the world. Is it not time for nations like Australia to join the Family of Man? Refer my book ‘Hidden Footprints of Unity’ (ebook available at amazon kindle at $US 2.99 and $A3.99).

 

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!

The mystery of religious faith

As a metaphysical Hindu and a functional church-attending Christian, and who is also a freethinker in matters religious (that is, I believe that the major religions are equal in their offerings), I found the following extract from The life of Pi by Yann Martel (pages 48/49) the clearest delineation of the core of Hindu belief.

“The universe makes sense to me through Hindu eyes. There is Brahman, the world soul, the sustaining frame upon which is woven, warp and weft, the cloth of being, with all its decorative elements of space and time. There is Brahman nirguna, without qualities, which lies beyond understanding, beyond reproach; with our poor words we sew a suit for it – One, Truth, Unity, Absolute, Ultimate Reality, Ground of Being – and try to make it fit, but Brahman nirguna always bursts the seams. We are left speechless.

But there is also Brahman saguna, with qualities, where the suit fits. Now we call it Shiva, Krishna, Shakti, Ganesha; we can approach it with some understanding; we can discern certain attitudes – loving, merciful, frightening – and we feel the gentle pull of relationship. Brahman saguna is Brahman made manifest to our limited senses, Brahman expressed not only in gods but in humans, animals, trees, in a handful of earth, for everything has a trace of the divine in it.

The truth of life is that Brahman is no different from atman, the spiritual force within us, what you might call the soul. The individual soul touches upon the world soul like a well reaches for the water table. That which sustains the universe beyond thought and language, and which is at the core of us and struggles for expression, is the same thing. The finite within the infinite, the infinite within the finite.

If you ask me how Brahman and atman relate precisely, I would say in the same way the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit relate: mysteriously.

But one thing is clear: atman seeks to realise Brahman to be united with the Absolute, and it travels in this life on a pilgrimage where it is born and dies, and is born again and dies again, and again, and again, until it manages to shed the sheaths that imprisons it here below. The paths to liberation are numerous, but the bank along the way is always the same, the Bank of Karma, where the liberation account of each of us is credited or debited depending on our actions.”