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#3263 - Wednesday, August 20, 2008 - Editor: Jerry Katz
The Nonduality Highlights - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights
This issue is about the nation of Mauritius and a nondual memo addressed to it. First the memo. Then some facts and photos about Mauritius. (Trivia question: Mauritius was the home of what famous extinct animal?)
The following is from the Mauritius Times, http://www.mauritiustimes.com/150808letters.htm
The Privilege of Being Born Human?
I refer to Dr Gopees article The Privilege of Being Born Human (http://www.mauritiustimes.com/080808gopee.htm). To say that humans have any kind of privilege is to assume that Life is partial. Is this a fact? Did Life pick and choose whom It would drown when It unleashed the devastating tsunami a few years ago? The human mind is always seeking an explanation for such disasters. Therefore it invents the theory of Karma and conveniently parks it in one of its other inventions -- the 'Books of Illusions' read by billions resulting in wave after wave of conflicts over centuries.
Life being Eternal, Non-dual, and Complete has no opposite or choice and therefore it is arrogance on the part of the human mind to think that it is a privileged manifestation of that Life.
Dr Gopee also writes: "Because we possess the higher faculty of intellect, we are in a position to make rational choices instead of blindly following our baser instincts."
If humans really possessed a 'higher faculty of intellect' which is able to make 'rational choices', this planet would not be suffocating and there would be no wars. Again the Theory of Karma will probably be used to explain the unexplainable. Can the appallingly limited human mind explain the movements of an Unlimited Being? Is this possible?
It is the illusion that Life (some would prefer the word God, Brahman, etc., instead) has given humans carte blanche which is putting this planet slowly into intensive care. The price humans will pay for this 'privilege' is... extinction. Life knows no 'win-win' situations. It is these 'rational choices' of humans which have left Mauritius with only 1.4% of its forest. My belief is that in just a few more decades the so-called 'privilege' of humans will wipe out this 1.4% and transform our homeland into a piece of bare rock in the middle of the Indian Ocean.
Some facts and factoids about Mauritius taken from the Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mauritius:
Mauritius, officially the Republic of Mauritius, French: République de Maurice, is an island nation off the coast of the African continent in the southwest Indian Ocean, about 900 kilometres (560 mi) east of Madagascar.
Mauritius has been a stable democracy with regular free elections and a positive human rights record, and has attracted considerable foreign investment earning one of Africa's highest per capita incomes.
Mauritius is currently the richest country in Africa.
Mauritian society includes people from many different ethnic groups. A majority of the republic's residents are the descendants of people from the Indian subcontinent with substantial populations from continental Africa, Madagascar, France, Great Britain, and China, among other places.
The official language of Mauritius is English. All government administrative documents are therefore drawn up in English. Together with English, French is also used in instruction in the educational system. French, however, predominates in the media, both broadcast and printed as well as with business and in corporate affairs.
The most widely-spoken language of the country is Mauritian Creole, which has close ties with French pronunciation, but with a few marked differences. Mauritian Creole is considered the native tongue of the country.
Hindi and Urdu also have numerous speakers in the country, although both are used mainly in the Indo-Mauritian community. Several other languages including Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, Bhojpuri, Gujarati, Punjabi and dialects of Chinese, such as Cantonese, Hakka and Mandarin, are also spoken by significant parts of the population. Arabic is also taught in Mosques around Mauritius.
The largest religions present in the republic are Hinduism (48%), Roman Catholicism (23.6%), Islam (16.6%), and other Christian denominations (8.6%); followers of other faiths totaled 2.5%.
The cuisine of Mauritius is a blend of Creole, Chinese, European and Indian influences. It is common for a combination of cuisines to form part of the same meal. The "cari poule" or chicken curry, for example, is a very popular dish. Other common Mauritian dishes include the "dholl puri" (a type of bread, made from lentils) the "mine-frit" (Chinese fried noodle), and "niouk nien" (dumplings). A common Mauritian drink is "alouda", a milk-based drink containing basil seeds.
The production of rum is widespread on the island. Sugarcane was first introduced to Mauritius by the Dutch in 1638. The Dutch mainly cultivated sugarcane for the production of "arrack", a precursor to rum. However, it was during the French and British administrations that sugar production was fully exploited, which considerably contributed to the economical development of the island. Pierre Charles François Harel was the first to propose the concept of local distillation of rum in Mauritius, in 1850.
The sega is a local folklore music. Sega has African roots, and main traditional instruments for producing the music are goat-skin percussion instruments called ravane and metallic clicks using metal triangles. The songs usually describe the miseries of slavery, and has been adapted nowadays as social satires to voice out inequalities as felt by the blacks. Men are usually at the instruments while women perform an accompanying dance. Shows are regularly hosted in the coastal hotels.
When discovered, the island of Mauritius was home to a previously unknown species of bird, which the Portuguese named the dodo (simpleton), as they appeared not too bright. However, by 1681, all dodos had been killed by settlers or their domesticated animals. An alternate theory suggests that the imported wild boar destroyed the slow breeding dodo population. Nevertheless, the dodo is prominently featured as a supporter of the national coat-of-arms.
Graphic: The National coat-of-arms of Mauritius
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