Mar 05, 2020
Jesus: Don’t get me wrong: I love this place, but If I was born in here, if I truly shared the experience, I’d probably find it a bit suffocating…
Joshua: In what terms?
Jesus: People here are kinda slaves to a routine: there are daily offerings and prayers, almost weekly ceremonies… Numerous hours spending on preparation: cooking, building bamboo altars, palm leaf figures, dressing statues and trees, roasting pigs, arak drinking… Dance rehearsals, banjar meetings. You know? It is like the 24 hours in the day were dictated by religion, as if they don’t have real time to themselves, to do what they like and what pleases them…
Joshua: They don’t seem too unhappy doing that, do they?
Jesus: THEY don’t… I don’t know if I would…
Joshua: You will never be someone you’re not, but at least you could try to see the reverse of it. Think about your own world.
Jesus: I don’t particularly fancy it, either…
Joshua: I know. I’m not a huge fan, myself. Every time I open Facebook I see people complaining about the Government… (I don’t to it often, but that’s a mean to contact some relatives and friends).
Jesus: Yeah, that whole complaining shit makes me sick… It’s as if there was some sort of Facebook god to attend their prayers and miraculously evaporate the governors, they, themselves, elected.
Joshua: See? Praying at the family temple either it’s more rewarding or equally worthless, with the advantage of not making anyone angrier.
Jesus: Point taken.
Joshua: Often, I stumble upon that same dialectic.
Jesus: Which one?
Joshua: People and their chiefs.
Jesus: Like what?
Joshua: People elect them / people complain about them / people celebrate their winnings / people feel enraged with their exploitation…
Jesus: You think there’s a way to stop it? Like anarchy or some similar shit?
Joshua: Not a way to stop it, but a way to balance it…
Jesus: As always, regarding the Balinese… “Aim for balance, not for a victory”…
Joshua: Indeed: so evil people want power.
Evil people are the ones who fight harder for power (as there is nothing else they want, nothing to stop them) ; so they eventually get it.
Power, thus, is usually exerted by evil people. This is not an episode, this is a rule…
Jesus: …Though people want to see it as something temporary, something that the Facebook gods would put an end… Is that it? But will it have an end?
Joshua: I don’t know… What I’ve been observing is that in some periods or time, society itself, counterbalances this evil – that’s when a nation behaves like a body: it’s organic, strong and organised. Isolated people, angry people, rootless people, are the best prey for an evil leadership.
Jesus: You’re talking about the Balinese routine, right?
Joshua: … Not only, but also. All the “suffocating routine” that you mention, is a way to create and strengthen bonds between people. …To sustain a community. …And that’s the only true protection against an evil leadership.
For a description of a temple praying visit, read A visit to Tirta Empul.
Extra photos of the life described above can be found in the following posts:
Among others, in Alex Ribeiro Portfolio webpage.
Videos from Balinese Hindu Ceremonies, can be found in here: