Returning to the Ocean of Consciouness

The following excerpt from Ecknath Easwaran’s The Upanishads views life’s as “ … a kind of school in which the individual  self is constantly evolving, growing life after life towards a fully human nature.”

The world is the wheel of God, turning round

And round with all living creatures upon its rim.

The world is the river of God,

Flowing from him and flowing back to him.

On this revolving wheel of being

The individual goes round and round

Through life after life, believing itself

To be a separate creature, until

It sees its identity with the Lord of Love

And attains immortality in the indivisible whole.

(Shvetashvatara I.4-6)

I offer to share this inspiring view to other Seekers of understanding of reality. But, I am not seeking to ‘sell’ Hinduism, or to argue that there is only one path to God. Ultimately, we are dealing with beliefs – unproven, unprovable – no matter how many theologians stand on the head of a thumbtack claiming that they have an inside track or the only track to God.


Reincarnation in a nutshell

Moving back to matters of the spirit rather than of the mind, as a metaphysical Hindu interested in obtaining a purview of reality which transcends the valuable guidance available in all the major religions, I hold on to a belief which I acquired in my youth; that is, reincarnation.

This concept of a repeated renewal of Earthly life was, I understand, part of the belief systems of most cultures, until the early Christian church discarded it. This belief offers a continuity in the process of soul purification, as driven by one’s free will. The process needs more than a single lifetime.

Refreshing my reading of The Upanishads by Ecknath Easwaran, an American academic of Asian Indian origin, I came upon the following self-explanatory excerpt:   

As a caterpillar, having come to the end of one blade of

grass, draws itself together and reaches out for the next,

so the Self, having come to the end of one life and shed all

ignorance, gathers in its faculties and reaches out from the

old body to a new.

(Brihadaranyaka III.4.3)

I offer to share this with other Seekers of understanding of reality.



About my writing

To complete my story about my writing, I offer the following.

I began to write in primary school. On a palm-sized slip of paper (to avoid being caught by the teacher) I set down my thought for the day, and passed it to my immediate neighbours. At work, I wrote analytical reports. For civil society, I wrote press releases. Writing was my surfboard, permitting me to ride the waves in many seas.

After retirement, I had a significant psychic experience. The spirit of my senior uncle, who had appeared to guide my spiritual development, suggested that I could contribute to building a bridge from whence I came to where I am. It took me 2 years to accept that I knew enough about migration and settlement to do what had been suggested by the spirit world.

Imbued with the communitarian spirituality of traditional Asia, and wondering whether what I really had anything relevant to say, I began to write.  Based upon my own settlement experience in Australia and my policy work experience (at the level of Director) as a federal official, I wrote 3 books on ethnic affairs & multiculturalism, citizenship & national identity, refugee & humanitarian entry, and settlement assistance.

A memoir, infused with Eastern philosophy, then described my life under British colonialism, a Japanese military occupation, and a racist White Australia which denied me equal opportunity; yet enabled me to reach leadership positions in civil society. Two other books followed. One was fiction, written for fun. The other, the latest, is about Australian society, reflecting my tentative conclusions about matters I had thought about.

All my non-fiction books were endorsed by senior academics in diverse disciplines and other notable persons. The book of fiction and my memoir received most favourable reviews; the latter included a recommendation by the US Review of Books.

Also published are many articles, especially 44 in – on a variety of issues arising from my books.

See also my website and

The wisdom of the ancients

I remember that, at about 8 years of age, I asked my parents about the origin of the universe. This was a time when, before bedtime, my family often sat outside our home in the dark, and wondered at the beauty and apparently complexity of a sparkling sky. Their response? It has always been here, with neither beginning nor end. What an entrancing glimpse of reality, in the midst of a life of material insecurity!

While traversing the mechanistic perception of all that is in the universe by the modern Western world, throughout my life, my wonderment has continued. I remain unsatisfied by the changing speculative explanations or theories of modern science. Instead, I have been entranced by the myths from all over the world about the inexplicable complexity of the Cosmos. I recognise that enduring myths originating in ancient, long-gone civilisations will reflect some history, while offering explanations of the mysterious.

I have also been challenged by the claim (read The Upanishads by Ecknath Easwaran) that the mind is only an instrument of consciousness.

Those of us who are spiritual know that, since we humans are co-created, we are interconnected; that is, bonded to one another (at least, in intent). Similarly, the recently discovered principles of quantum physics has led to free-thinking cosmologists working in that discipline to postulate that the interconnectedness of all matter and events (the ‘oneness’ described by mystics in many cultures) is actually conscious, possibly intelligent. These heretics of science may take us to a real understanding of existence.

Indeed, in his autobiography, Paramahamsa Yogananda wrote of his wonderful experiences of cosmic consciousness in a state of ecstatic joy when “ … the entire Cosmos … glittered with the infinitude of my being.”

Modern science may yet accept that those who came before us may have glimpsed reality in a way not practised by us.


What one perceives to be of form and substance may only be a transient projection from that

all-embracing, all-permeating, ever-existing essence of indefinable reality which is the Cosmos.

This, the ancients called Consciousness.

Does this not explain that subtle yearning by sensitive souls to return to that very ocean (the Ocean

of Consciousness) from which we humans had once arisen?

Is this not the greatest, and yet simplest, lesson we can impart to our youth?


Where do I go from here?

As a metaphysical Hindu, I expect to be ‘recycled,’ and to return to yet another Earthly life some time later. (Would time matter at the Recycling or Way Station?) Partly by cultural conditioning, partly through some visions I had when I sought to peer into my past lives through auto-hypnosis, and partly through some reading and logic, I believe that my inner self, my soul, is an on-going entity, and which is reborn on Earth in order to purify itself morally. I do like the idea that I will ultimately return to that Ocean of Consciousness from which we humans had apparently originally arisen.

It is only a belief, but it ties in together some experience, some knowledge, and some intuition. Was some part of my intuition influenced by higher beings in the spirit world? Why not? I am not that clever.

Influenced by my age and infirmities, I have begun to ponder about the After-life, the Recycling Unit. I have been told that I could continue my lifetime search for learning (and understanding) there; but I will not meet God there. The latter is of no concern, as my vision of the Creator (abstracted from Hindu philosophy) does not involve a being with form and substance. In any event, Hinduism (and possibly other religions) claim that the Creator or God is already within his/her creations – that’s us!

What will this next temporary home, the After-life, be like? Since I would surely be insubstantial, as the appearance of the spirit of my uncle – the one who faded away – implied, I would not need a place of substance, would I? If so, it must be in another dimension. (I note that the physicists studying the structure of the universe also refer to the number of dimensions they require.) In that dimension, will there be day and night, or the seasons? I was told, however, that this After-life will not be ‘that different’ from here. What a terrible disappointment! But how could that be?

If my concept of a personal destiny is correct, then my life between Earthly lives will be a freedom-filled karma, quite unlike the constraining, judgemental version of Hinduism, at least as taught to me. There will also be no place for the New Age idea of a returning soul being counselled about, or choosing (under guidance), the life to be experienced. Why would I have chosen, or agreed to, this ridiculous life? See Raja A Ratnam for my articles on this and related subjects, as well as ‘The Dance of Destiny.’

The pathway of a personal destiny

To contemplate such an issue, one has to step back from learned prejudices, open one’s minds, and think ‘What if … … ?’

First, one has to imagine, without paying any consideration to priests, politicians, or even parents, that each one of us is an entity who lives, dies, and is re-born, with this cycle being repeated for a while. Why would this be so? Who knows! Just go with the flow, and see where it leads us. This will be easy for the adherents of the ‘forest faiths’ of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, etc., but not for the adherents of the ‘desert religions’ of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. But I could be wrong about this.

Like a snail which leaves a trail, each of us may leave moral footprints whatever we do. At the end of a life, the Law of cause and effect (the Law of Cosmic Justice?) may result in ticks and crosses on a figurative whiteboard, indicating those imprints which offer benefits to one’s fellow humans, and those imprints which indicate the need for more learning, or care for others, or even for oneself. This balance sheet may be the template for one’s next Earthly existence.

In each Earthly life, one may compensate for one’s previous errors/sins, while earning gold stars for past good works, all the while learning, learning. The objective? To improve one’s soul-entity morally. I visualise this path as one’s personal destiny, created by one’s free will. Enticing or worrying? Pillow over head or head in the sunshine?

What I have done is to seek to operationalise what I had learned from my Hindu faith. I have stressed the role of free will because I am an integral component of the ‘can-do’ Western world. Yet, I have accepted that one’s Earthly existence, as well as the individualism of the immigrant-created Western nations, need a moral substrate and bulwark.