| by Gajalakshmi Paramasivam
( May 17, 2014, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) There is much discussion about 18 May – in relation to the war in Sri Lanka. To me 18 May is special because of spiritual experiences I consider to be miraculous due to my faith in Our Lady of Schoenstatt of the Sydney suburb of Mulgoa. This church is the parallel of Madhu Church in Sri Lanka. There would have been many devotees of Our Lady of Madhu caught up in the camps or would have ended up being killed during that period. To me, we must neither mourn nor celebrate at the public level but respect the value for which both sides lost lives.
Recently, when counseling a Tamil with family problems – I said that she could privately/confidentially act as per her likes and dislikes of the individual. But when it came to public display – it must be on equal opportunity / responsibility basis for all who relate to her in that relationship – for example all her siblings. That renders order to our family relationships. When there is order in family relationships there is order in community and social relationships. Then again, when counseling a white Australian lady – I had to take a different approach due to difference in cultural structures. With the latter, I took a zero base approach and said that we related to ourselves through others and hence to stop dwelling on relationships that did not make her feel valued. Those that we identify with whether they are pleasant or unpleasant – become our family – a part of us. Once they are a part of us – it is easier for us to manage the problem or opportunity in common- as if they are a part of our body even if that part gives us pain.
Then again, when reading through the confessions of a widow of Sri Lankan soldier – I could not help identify with common problems between her and Tamil war widows. At their levels – neither celebrations nor memorials would bring them the comfort and restoration of confidence they need. Given that Sri Lankans are getting used to living in weak - law and order environments – that which is wrong to those living in more structured environments would not seem so to these folks. As I said to the above lady – a person suffering from mental disorder would not be able to demonstrate reliable valuation of another. We can reliably see others only through ourselves. Yet, we often expect that valuation – even though we know it would be unreliable. It’s catch 22 – once you know you are mentally ill you are no longer mentally ill. In terms of relationships including at workplace and in governance – once you know that the other person is not capable and you accept it – the person is no longer a relation – but is family insider or is an outsider who needs to be observed but not related to. Either way it would not matter to us once we accept the limitations.
Often relatives continue to expect due to their desires and fears and thus keep the weakness as well as the frustration alive. This is the case with both sides to the Sri Lankan war. It’s as if one cannot live without the other and yet both are declaring ‘nationalism’. One needs to be careful in relation to remembering the dead. According to most religions they ‘go back to base’. Hence we need to use only Truth to remember or not remember them - Truth as experienced by us. Such memorial or no memorial is natural. In the process of conducting memorials, the living who are already suffering should not have to suffer due to any status demotion of the dead. They would not if the memorial is based on Truth alone.
Truth – helps us remember them not as relations / enemies - but as values – positive or negative – as part of ourselves through our experiences. We are naturally connected to all those who also carry those values as a natural parts of themselves. That’s how miracles happen when we are in need. They are really unseen connections that would support all believers. We cannot believe if we keep the matter open beyond reasonable time and place. We need closures at the physical level beyond the point up to which we are confident of deriving returns.
In terms of Tamils seeking to remember publicly their heroes who have passed away, the risk is whether such would bring about anxiety to the relatives of the combatants. Instead, if it were to pray together at the same time – but within our respective homes – that would invoke the blessings of Peace. If we are not able to remember on our own, our valuation of those who died for their cause cannot be deep. Getting together physically is healthy but not when it results in anxiety for those left behind at the family level.
Those of us who consider ourselves to be civilians – need to bring about closure in terms of ‘terrorism’ as well as ‘war-crimes’. Otherwise we become the problem for the next generation by developing disorderly minds. We also carry the disorder into our next life. The average human needs to bring about a closure at the physical level – as in projects. Others who keep the relationship open – to excite their minds, would end up suffering depression due to disorderly mind. Whatever we do to the other – needs to be through a common system and/or Truth – for there to be order in our thinking. Hence Nat Chinthanai / Good Thinking by – Sri Lankan Saint of our times - Yoga Swami.