From the perspective of Daduk Permanahadi, 28, a metalworker from East Java

What are we here for?
To achieve a kind of human destiny. It doesn’t matter where we live, God created all of us and this universe, of that I am sure, but I don’t know why he did it … maybe just for fun – we are God-toys.

Do you believe in the Bing Bang theory that the 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?
Yes, I think it’s true. Actually, I think God created the Big Bang and everything that’s in the universe.

If there is a god, where is he?

God is everywhere. He is invisible, but He could be a star, a tree, anything. We cannot see Him, but we know He is very powerful. He has to be, or all the people would not feel His presence.

Is there a mystery to life?

Yes, I think so. I don’t understand all the things that make up life, so I reckon there’s a mystery.

Do you think we are alone in the universe?
We are not alone. I think there is a different kind of life somewhere, on another planet, but we cannot find it yet. It is still part of the mystery.

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?
I don’t think it’s true. It’s science fiction.

What do you think happens to people when they die?

They are still alive, but without a body. The soul is still alive, so they can see you and see me, but they cannot talk to us.

Where is your soul, and what is it?

My soul is in my heart, in my mind, my eyes, my blood, everywhere, and it is power; it is linked to God.

Science says that all matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed. Therefore, will our energy, in the form of our soul, live on for infinity?
Our soul will not disappear, but we cannot see it, because it is invisible. So, yes, it will live for infinity, in Heaven.

Do you know your place in the universe?

On Earth. And maybe in Heaven after my death.

Some people believe that because we are made of the same matter as the universe – carbon, and other elements, like nitrogen – anything we ask it will be attracted to us, popularized recently in the movie The Secret. What’s your view?

No, I don’t think so. Because all that we want we have to make happen. Thinking is not enough. I don’t believe in telekinesis. But I believe in karma, which is another way to consider the power of the brain.

Are we being observed?
God always observes me, but that’s all.

If there is a god, why does he allows such colossal suffering of people on earth, either through war, disease or natural disasters?
I don’t believe God wants to hurt people; he doesn’t want people to suffer. But on Earth, there are a lot of different people, and sometimes they have extreme reactions – reactions God cannot control. That is what wars are made of. As for natural disasters, it’s different: they come from nature, and God controls nature, but maybe He is sometimes angry and wants to give people a warning.

Filed under: The Big Questions

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