Some interesting thoughts offering guidance for living

“All matter, including you and I, has rhythmic movement within it and our quest should be to create a proper rhythmic harmony within ourselves…you feel happy when you sit near an ocean because your vibrations try to synchronize with the frequency of the waves.”
― Ed Viswanathan, Am I a Hindu?: The Hinduism Primer

“The little space within the heart is as great as the vast universe.
The heavens and the earth are there, and the sun and the moon and the stars. Fire and lightening and winds are there, and all that now is and all that is not.”
― Swami Prabhavananda, The Upanishads: Breath from the Eternal

“It is only when we have renounced our preoccupation with “I,” “me,” “mine,” that we can truly possess the world in which we live. Everything, provided that we regard nothing as property. And not only is everything ours; it is also everybody else’s.”
― Aldous Huxley, The Perennial Philosophy

Only two kinds of people can attain self-knowledge: those who are not encumbered at all with learning, that is to say, whose minds are not over-crowded with thoughts borrowed from others; and those who, after studying all the scriptures and sciences, have come to realise that they know nothing.”
― Ramakrishna, Sayings of Sri Ramakrishna

Feel nothing, know nothing, do nothing, have nothing, give up all to God, and say utterly, ‘Thy will be done.’ We only dream this bondage. Wake up and let it go.”
― Swami Vivekananda

Jesus Christ knew he was God. So wake up and find out eventually who you really are. In our culture, of course, they’ll say you’re crazy and you’re blasphemous, and they’ll either put you in jail or in a nut house (which is pretty much the same thing). However if you wake up in India and tell your friends and relations, ‘My goodness, I’ve just discovered that I’m God,’ they’ll laugh and say, ‘Oh, congratulations, at last you found out.”
― Alan W. Watts, The Essential Alan Watts

(From Goodreads. With thanks.)

Challenging deconstruction – Part 2

The rest of my writing is covered here.

1) The Dance of Destiny
Having been well-educated by British colonialism, buffeted (but not damaged) by ignorance in a relatively new nation set in coloured seas and surrounded by foreign but ancient and durable cultures, risen to leadership positions in both civil society (through a highly interactive and contributory life) and in the federal public service, and sporadically falling into holes which were certainly not there, and also experiencing the wheels of my life-chances cart falling off for no discernible cause, I had to ask: ‘What determines human life on Earth?’

Trekking through the maya of history, geography, sociology, significant psychic experiences and personal relations of some import, I came to postulate how a personal destiny might evolve. I drew upon Hinduism, not on the New Age modifications. Increasingly, I speculate whether, like the nested fields of force in physics, there may be a nested network of human destinies, leading to one which encompasses the Cosmos as a whole. Thus, this book is much more than a memoir.

Necessarily and intuitively, I have woven through my narrative some Eastern (mainly Hindu) spirituality. Supportive endorsements again followed. The US Review of Books recommended the book, previously supported by Kirkus Discoveries and BookRead.com.

2) Pithy perspectives: a smorgasbord of short, short stories
This book was written for fun. It was reviewed by the NSW State President of the Federation of Australian Writers. He describes the stories as “interesting,” “crazy, frightening, weird, some really lovely,” “a clever book.” The last story in the book (“quite intriguing,” “so different”) ends in a spiritual haze which envelops cats, mice, and a little girl who understands the language of animals.

The book was also favourably reviewed by the US Review of Books.

3) Musings at Death’s Door: an ancient, bicultural Asian-Australian ponders about Australian society
This is a hard-hitting, no-punches-pulled summary of my lived-through observations, gathered over more than 6 decades as an adult, culminating with a view on the place of religion in human lives, and the place of mankind in the Cosmos. Not unexpectedly, my perceptual stance is bicultural, since I was well soaked in Asia’s communitarian spirituality before I arrived in Australia, while becoming grounded firmly in the operational requirements of the Western world through more than 6 decades of a participatory life in a nation reflecting the primacy of individualism.

This book highlights what the Australian media has identified as the racket of asylum seeking (now re-affirmed by the current government), with little to no evidence that the vociferous supporters of an open door to all asylum seekers are adequately aware of the national interest. I argue for due process to enable those who have a genuine fear of persecution in their country of nationality to be granted necessary succour. The book is also critical of those who seek to retain their cultural separation even after the third generation has merged with the rest of the population; we are already an integrated multi-ethnic people. The book compares the subservience of Australia’s politicians kow-towing to powerful interests to the stand-tall stance of its workers (who could thereby be a beacon to our neighbours). I also examine empires gone and going, as well as the sham of Western democracy, and a number of other issues of societal relevance.

On the other hand, I do highlight the commendable aspects of my adopted nation, of which I am proud. We can be a beacon of tolerance and equal opportunity.

An endorsement by a professor of history and politics says “ … there is wisdom here … this book is rich, intelligent and provocative. A major contribution to Australian culture.” This book was also Recommended by the US Review of Books.

These books are available as ebooks for deconstruction or to be read for information and/or pleasure at Amazon Kindle Direct at $US 2.99 each.

Other writing
I have had a few articles relating to migrant settlement issues published in: ‘Asia Sentinel,’ ‘Malaysian Insider,’ ‘Webdiary,’ and the Multicultural Writers Association of Australia’s anthology “Culture is … “. The Eurobodalla Writers’ recent anthology “Where penguins fly” includes 3 pieces of fiction by me.

More recently, I have had 44 short articles published on http://www.ezinearticles.com on a wide range of issues, most open-ended, thereby inviting intelligent readers to reach their own conclusions.
For further background, refer http://www.dragonraj.com and http://www.independentauthornetwork.com .

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.”

When I collect my wings

It is a satisfying thought; that when I am ‘deaded’ (as my then Greek landlord’s 4-year daughter used to say), I will be sent a pair of wing to take me into the heavens – to my new home. Would I need to remember Icarus, the lad who flew too close to the sun? I do, however, like the thought of flying high, like an eagle. Yet, as my father advised in response to that hope, ‘Of all the birds, the eagle flies highest; but he flies alone.’ O.K. that would suit me: even at an early age, I realised that I may be destined to become a loner, thereby being able to fly high in any direction.

Is it then significant that I was born in the (Chinese) Year of the Dragon? Unlike those who believe that you are what you are because of when you were born, I prefer the view that you were born when you were because of what you are. That is, the time and date of your birth reflects your innate nature and (possibly) your path of destiny (in the broad). This path, no matter how it was set, has to allow for a degree of free will, as well as for chance events or influences, or for pre-programmed interactions and intersections, has it not?

As I wrote in the conclusion to my memoir, The Dance of Destiny, referring to the flight of dragons in the context of human folly: They soar into the sky of solitude, and simultaneously sink into the sea of humanity, as they sing the songs of significance about their true home, that ocean of consciousness which unites all existence and non-existence

What will the higher beings in my next abode say when they meet this new arrival who was described in relation to one of his books as ‘an intellectual who cannot be categorised’? Or, do they already know that I am only an eagle thinking that I am a dragon?

 

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.

 

 

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.

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.