From the perspective of Iwan Supriono, a 31-year-old beach boy from Jakarta
What are we here for?
To do good things for the world.
Do you believe in the Bing Bang theory that the now circa-13.7-billion-year-old universe and all that’s in it was created by a massive explosion of enormously dense matter at what may have been the beginning of time?
No, I don’t believe that’s true, because I believe God created the world. It was not only an accident.
If there is a God, where is he?
Is there a mystery to life?
Yeah, because we never know what will happen in the future.
Do you think we are alone in the universe?
I don’t know; maybe there are aliens.
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 believe that’s possible.
What do you think happens to people when they die?
They go to a special place, and if they have a good karma, they can move to another life.
Where is your soul and what is it?
Inside my body. It is like my spirit.
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?
I believe my soul will live forever, even when my body dies.
Do you know your place in the universe?
No. That’s another mystery of life.
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?
Sometimes it seems true; sometimes it doesn’t.
Are we being observed?
Yes, angels are watching us to protect us, and to see if we are doing good or bad things. This is important for our karma.
If there is a God, why does he allow such colossal suffering of people on earth, either through war, disease or natural disasters?
I think God tests us to make us stronger and become more patient.