From the perspective of Ni Nyoman Sudiadnyani, a 37-year-old teacher from Tabanan
What are we here for?
To change our past lives and try to do something more useful and better than before.
Do you believe in the Big 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?
Yes, I believe in evolution, but I believe that God began evolution. I believe more strongly in God than evolution.
If there is a God, where is he?
He or she is everywhere. He is sitting next to you.
Is there a mystery to life?
Yes, life is a very big mystery.
Do you think we’re alone in the universe?
No, I think there are other beings out there somewhere.
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 think that could be true.
What do you think happens when people die?
After a complete ceremony a person can be reborn. It could happen quickly or take a long time, depending on their actions in life.
Where is your soul and what is it?
My soul is in my body; it’s invisible but I can feel it.
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?
Yes, it just keeps going.
Do you know your place in the universe?
My place is taking care of my family.
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?
That seems to be the same sort of theory as karma.
Are we being observed?
Yes, God watches us, taking note of all the good and bad karma we create.
If there is a God, why does he allow such colossal suffering of people on earth, either through war, disease or natural disasters?
In Bali we believe in balance, so I think God gives us good and bad to keep us balanced.