From the perspective of I Nengah Suryawan a 27-year-old civil servant from Tabanan

What are we here for?
Just to live our lives and do useful things for ourselves and others.

Do you believe in the Big Bang theory that the now circa-13.7-billion-year-old universe and all that is in it was created by a massive explosion of enormously dense matter at what may have been the beginning of time?
I don’t believe it. Some things can’t be explained scientifically. I think the Earth was created by God, an invisible supernatural power.

If there is a God, where is He?
God is everywhere but unfortunately, we as ordinary people can’t see Him. There are many unexplainable things in our environment that I believe are created by God the Almighty.

Is there a mystery to life?
Yes, there is. All we can do during our short lives is make plans to be happy, but we can never be sure of the results. We never know what’s going to happen in the future, which is the mystery of life.

Do you think we are alone in the universe?
I don’t think so. The universe is full of creatures: humans, animals, vegetation and other invisible things. Our universe is extremely diverse and it can be fun and exciting to explore, feel and use everything we can to enhance our lives.

There is a theory that there may be parallel universes with exact copies of us – doppelgangers – doing exactly the same thing as us right now. What do you think about that?
Perhaps, although it sounds improbable to me. It seems silly that if there is another world, the inhabitants are doing exactly the same things as us. I think they would be different, living their own lives and doing different activities.

What do you think happens to people when they die?
According to my beliefs as a Hindu, after people die they will be placed in a “new home” to wait for reincarnation. They will be reborn to be a higher or lower form of life depending on what they have done in their previous life. If they did good things and behaved properly, they will be reborn as a higher being. If they didn’t, they will face many troubles and suffer in their next incarnation.

Where is your soul and what is it?
My soul is in my beliefs; it is untouchable and can’t be imagined or described physically. My soul is the thing that enables me to move, think, speak.

Science says that all matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Therefore, will our energy, in the form of our soul, live on for infinity?
Our souls can’t be created or destroyed. It is a gift from God and only He has a right to take it from us. Even when we die, our souls will still be alive, waiting for a good time to inhabit another being.

Do you know your place in the universe?
Honestly, I don’t know exactly, but based on what I learned during my studies in and out of school, I can say that we are living in one part of the large universe called Earth. When I think about it, I realize we are only a tiny part of a huge world with billions of other people.

Are we being observed?
Yes, we are. We are being observed all the time by God our creator.

Why does such a God allow colossal suffering of people on Earth, either through war, disease or natural disasters?
Everything that happens on Earth has its purpose. It is not necessary to blame other people for such suffering. God creates everything in order to help us lead our lives properly, but we humans have done many terrible things with the good God has given us, which has lead to natural disasters and wars. When humans are greedy and bad things happen, God does nothing to help them.

Filed under: The Big Questions

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