Lisa Brown-Gilbert of Pacific Book Review (PBR) sits down with Rohan and Mohan Perara, the authors of What is Man
What led you and your brother to start your journey as writers?
“In 2006, we became housebound because Rohan was ill and the internet provided us with an avenue to interact with people, not only locally but also globally. This was the beginning of our journey into writing.”
What is Man is such an inspiring work, what motivated you to write and publish the book?
“I am glad you found it inspiring. The motivation to write and publish this book came from an inner feeling. Nonetheless, we felt, now here is a reason to live for, to give from our experiences and our understanding of the most misunderstood or shunned words of Jesus: ‘Come follow me’, ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life’, and ‘I and my father are one.’ Many of our friends and colleagues remarked about our oneness, though most of them were quite averse to it. We understood oneness. People saw that in us, but most of them didn’t comprehend it, while others hated it and ridicule it. But for those who are inspired by us, we want to encourage them.
The book contains so much valuable information. How much research did you do for this book?
“The research began long before we ever thought of writing a book – from around the time we absconded from boarding school at the age of eleven with three other kids to the forest and pray that God to take us away from what we felt then a senseless contradictory existence. From then on we studied the Bible, examined other religions and philosophies, and studied sciences at our father’s insistence. Also, our professional involvement in psychiatry gave us further insight into the psychology and the power of the human mind. However, practising what Jesus taught, and relating with the oneness of Jesus and God and that of ours revealed the meaning and purpose of our existence.”
What are your goals and intentions with What is Man, and do you feel you have achieved what you set out to do?
“My goal is to do whatever the spirit inspires me to do that I am able to do mentally, physically and financially. What is Man has been our childhood quest, and now the only motivation is to publish the route map for another.”
What did you enjoy most about writing your book?
“Working together to sharing our togetherness, and our understanding of the oneness of Jesus and God. You need two to witness.”
You have a blog, The World of Ro and Mo – would you expound on the content and purpose of your blog?
“We started several blogs, but one in particular got the attention of an audience where some of them began to interact with us. We made comments about life in general and questions and answers based on the teachings of Jesus to share our understanding and to understand other’s perspective on life. This also inadvertently inspired and helped us to develop the book. So we decided to include extracts from the blog and quotes from well-known men and women who inspired us as we could befitting the work.”
What is consciousness, as you understand it?
“Consciousness means ‘the state of being aware’, and conscious means ‘to know with’. So the question is: being aware with whom or with what? Consciousness is also energy, and like the energy of matter, it cannot be created nor destroyed; but just as matter can change form, consciousness can change character, because consciousness is energy of subjects, and matter is energy of objects. Furthermore, subjects of great character create matter of great objects. And energy of matter cannot detect the energy of subjects, however the energy of subjects can detect the energy of matter. The spiritual and the physical, the duality of existence-consciousness. How positively or negatively one is energized is with what or with whom one is ‘knowing with’.”
Is the world in an existential crisis, and if so, why?
“Existence is awareness. Without awareness, you are none the wiser. The world is engulfed in a deeply materialistic existence, consuming and contaminating the physical world we wish to grow in existence. The more we consume, the more we pollute where we want to exist. But the world will not exist forever even if we didn’t pollute it. Nonetheless, it is an indication as to how we are polluting our spiritual existence collectively.”
What is the best advice you would give to the spiritually lost?
“How spiritually lost one can be is how entrenched one is in the egotistical materialistic life in the world. It is not easy to control the self-ego in a fiercely competitive world. The ego is as powerful as the super-ego because it is born of it. So the only way to control the ego is to succumb to your inner voice, your conscience. It is not about success in the world, it is about freeing yourself from the shackles of its ego and returning to your eternal provenance–the Greater Character.”
Do you have new projects that you are currently working on?
“Writing and publishing really were the important but the easy bit, so this is the new project – to promote What is Man as best as I can for the foreseeable future.”
Rohan and Mohan Perera are siblings from Sri Lanka. They pursued an education in England, studying science and biochemistry at Hounslow College, chemical engineering at Surrey University, and psychiatric and general nursing at Lister and Fairfield Schools of Nursing.
In 2008 they created the World of Ro and Mo, a campaign to promote self-awareness and empowerment through the teachings of Christ. Together they helped people discover their true purpose of life via websites, blogs, and social media.
Rohan passed away in 2013 after a seven-year struggle with a rare lung infection. What Is Man was completed before Rohan’s passing and published posthumously.