Musings at Death’s Door: an ancient, bicultural Asian-Australian ponders about Australian society
This is a hard-hitting, no-punches-pulled summary, presented in the form of brief essays, of my lived-through observations, gathered over more than 6 decades, as an adult in Australia, 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, during my formative years, in Asia’s communitarian spirituality, while subsequently grounded firmly in the operational requirements of the Western world.
This book highlights issues of concern to me, while I await the wings which will take me to my next (temporary) abode. These issues include: the racket of asylum seeking, vociferously supported by only a small local minority, who have yet to explain, in the national interest, the budgetary and inter-community relations consequences; the motivation of those who seek to flaunt cultural differences; the subservience of Australia’s politicians, in contrast to the stand-tall ethos of the traditional Australian worker (who could also be a beacon to our neighbours); and, among other issues, the presumption that Western democracy as currently practised represents the best form of governance.
I also touch upon the difference between traditional empires of history (based on direct control), all of which went the way of the dodo (and whose respective duration was presumably affected by planetary cycles), and the current hegemonic empire based on influence. Since Australia is already a happy satrapy, and also for other pragmatic reasons of a sociological nature, I recommend that we become the next state of the USA, with mutual benefit.
Continuing my end-of-life but progressive thoughts, I do highlight the many commendable aspects of my adopted nation, of which I am quite proud. However, to maintain a proper perspective, this book is dedicated to my ancestors and successors.
A pre-publication endorsement by a prominent professor of history and politics (one of our true intellectuals) 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.