We are fortunate in so many ways. Fortunate to be able to be here 10 months, do what we do and experience everything we do. Fortunate to have been born into the lives we have in the western countries with money and all the opportunities we can imagine. Fortunate to have the luxury and freedom of choice in every situation we are in. But I realise more and more for each day here how much we also lose or miss because of all this wealth. In Norway as an example I know that we complain all the time about something instead of appreciating what we have and what we do and we are the richest and wealthiest country in the world. As people in Norway and Netherlands we have the opportunity to change what we want in life whenever we want, although many of us don’t realise this, we are stuck in our own patrons and think we have to search for happiness somewhere new and outside ourselves.
The Balinese peoples fortune in my eyes is that they are born into a way of living that contains a lot of spirituality and to live in the moment, sounds so simple, but did you and I grow up this way? I think as a child we all do and we all are spiritual, but we learn to plan everything ahead what to do and how we will do it, we forget to live in the moment. I know this is a cliché and that a lot of us are aware of this lately, it’s modern to be spiritual and to seek other happiness than in materialism and career. But I realise here that we still don’t know how to easily change and think different than we always have learned in our culture and upbringing, even tough we know things through knowledge and traveling. Who can blame us? We are also just living within our own boundaries with our own references.
I have to think about papa, I remember how he was to me as a child and how he let me stay spiritual and dreamy as long as I wanted it and needed it, later in life he also never made any stress out of anything and always took the day as it was and didn’t plan anything in terms of having to feel obligated to things or worry about something yet to come. The stress inside me and that I also often forget to live in the moment comes from later in life and the culture and society I grew up in.
In Bali they don’t worry so much about what is going to happen tomorrow, they have a saying that I hear here a lot: ‘…like the river flows…’ It symbolises the way they look at life, they don’t plan much ahead, they are not afraid for what will happen next and they believe strongly in the flow of the river and that it takes them to were they’re supposed to go. There are absolutely less fortunate sides about thinking this way, Balinese often don’t plan things efficiently and on time, they don’t always stand up for themselves and they are too (in western ways) humble against another person, being on time is a wide term here. And children don’t were helmets on the scooters and they drive from age 10. Probably I will find out more in the rest of my time here. And still I have to say, I would like to think, feel and look at the world more like a Balinese, if we all did, we would have had A LOT less wars on this planet. We look at Bali with our organised and western look and then think they don’t work efficiently…but who am I to say who is right?
The fortunate anyhow side is clearly that they are much more in touch with them selves inside and they know from childhood already that everybody is the same inside and live on one planet. Off course western/material greed has taken over a lot of the culture also here, but still they have a totally different way of dealing with it. Yet….I hope it will sty like this.
Yesterday I took a taxi from Ubud back home together with Els and Loek. The driver was a dedicated Balinese Hindu who really enjoyed to tell us about the Balinese way of life and the religion. When he understood that I know a few things and that I was very interested to know more about different things, he didn’t stop talking, laughing the typical Balinese way and explain things. He was such a happy man, he told about all different traditions, offerings, ceremonies, way of looking at life, the world and God. It was all so logical for him and he could explain it in such an easy way. God is in us al, but also in the trees or in the animals and everything around us. We are all the same, but also every person is unique. He lives today and doesn’t know what he will do tomorrow, even tonight, he said, I don’t know what will happen, and then he laughed… The greatest thing here is that they don’t want to force anything on you, even better, they don’t even care what you believe. In their eyes we are still the same inside and good and bad is in and outside us all. This they try to keep in balance by for example offering a lot.
He told about karma and how you can learn and change your whole life, if something did not go well you have to evaluate and then change it. It all was so simple for him. And this is wisdom that we western people read in books and here from great thinkers, writers and spiritualists. And there you are talking to a Balinese taxi driver and you have the first seat to one of the most essential and spiritual lectures you can get, fantastic! :-) He also had a great fun trying to teach me some Balinese, haha, I think I will stay with the Indonesian in first place, but it’s nice to know some Balinese too. I love Bali!
So who is more fortunate? That’s the question.
I could go on telling about the culture and the Hinduism here, and I am still learning. There will come more thoughts and philosophies from me for sure.